Thursday, July 10, 2014

It's Redemption, Baby!

Oh, for the love of the difference a couple weeks makes!

We rode into "It's Vegas, Baby!" at Blue Chip Casino and Spa in Michigan City, Indiana a couple winners. Okay, the ride was a little bumpy on the video poker machines before that, despite lucking into a four-of-a-kind. But I had an hour of fun for not too much. And it hardly mattered, because food comps and some luck in the Thursday night "Cash Grab" had us eating and drinking free anyway, which is the way it ought to be in such environs, no?

Not sure what happened to the usual staff, but it was as though they'd cleaned house - only one familiar face. But the new hostess was prompt and courteous. Our waiter Rudy was great the entire meal, checking on our satisfaction frequently, remembering that people might like ground parmesan *and* ground pepper on their soup and salad. He even poured our wine bottle on repeat visits, something we'd never experienced there before. Thanks, Rudy!

The food was better than ever. We dipped bread in fine olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I had the pasta fagioli, easily the best I've ever had anywhere. The house salad had wonderfully fresh greens, cucumbers, and cherry tomatoes - fantastic and radiating a sense of eating right under blue cheese dressing and the aforementioned ground garnishments.

Here's the thing. By the time you've had the bread, soup, and salad, you'd have to be Rocky Balboa to honestly have room for more. But, believe me, you make room, because you've only just begun.

My linguini and pomodoro was spectacular. I'd never had it before, actually, and although it's a huge helping, you're looking at it and all you're seeing is the pasta and some diced tomatoes with a nearly invisible sauce. But the moment you put a forkful in your mouth, you realize you were the victim of a wonderful optical illusion, because that transparent sauce packs an shockingly immense amount of flavor. And since you can hardly see it, it feels as though you're going rather low cal while "getting away with something" due to the intensity of flavor running roughshod over your tastebuds. I ate about half of mine, despite knowing the kind of abdominal tightrope I was walking, because there was still dessert to contend with.

And for me, it's always the spumoni. Such a perfect finish, served in a pleasantly lush state between solid and melted.

The bottle of Italian red we enjoyed throughout the meal was just $14.95, a steal for its quality, and in a fine restaurant. The five course (including the bread) meals were a paltry $12.95 a piece. Feeling as though you've taken the house is a good thing, and we're looking forward to feeling that again next Thursday. You should too.

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