I am about to reminisce over an enlightening dinner for two at one of Wilmington’s upscale dining experiences, Pembroke’s. The restaurant planted its roots in the Forum several years ago but it wasn’t until recently that I was able to indulge in the hand-crafted menu by the company of warming aromas bouncing from the brick exposed walls to our white tablecloth.
After being seated at a dimly lit corner table for two, my eyes relaxed to the romantic ambiance and my faithful dinner date before me.
Wine please. Oh, and a side basket of fresh-out-of-the-oven kind of starches. Cornbread muffins and buttery rolls kept us occupied until I was dared to try something new..
Oysters? Yes, I know what you’re thinking. Where have I been? I am wondering the same thing because I was in love with them and the champagne Mignonette pairing. I am proud to say I will never miss another Oyster season again.
As for the main dish, we both satisfied our love for seafood and creative eats.
I chose the pan-fried NC crab cake served over gold rice, bacon, scallions, Crème Fraîche, and sunflower shoots. Each bite introduced rich, sensational and bold flavors to my wide eyes and fearless appetite.
Lucky enough for me, I was an arm’s length from another lovely serving of crispy soft shell crab served over buttered lettuce, cucumbers, radishes, grilled scallions, and a secret green goddess dressing.
So I guess we know how to treat ourselves.
But really it was all summarized perfectly when our check slid its way onto the table. When your bill is tucked into an old vintage cook book with ruffled edges and worn pages, you can’t help but smile and tip a little extra. Inside the pages of the once used book were greetings of sincerity and appreciation from past visitors at the restaurant, all signed and dated. It was more than a book suggesting the perfect sides with fresh local foods. It was a continuous dialogue of shared experiences over time from new and frequent visitors. Needless to say, I grabbed a pen and jotted down my own sentiments inside the “check book” and dated it, hoping that one day I will be handed the same book at the end of a later visit.
And we will be back because it is quite a nice surprise to fall in love with a new food while sharing a “check-book” with those who enjoy fine dining.