Sunday, October 09, 2005

The Ladies Who Lunch, Pt. 2

Many of my friends have scattered around the country after their few years in my college town, and when I get the chance to visit them, I like to enjoy their company over a good meal. Let's face it -- almost all of my good friends share my appreciation (if not passion!) for good food, so what better way to spend time together than in breaking bread?

Since Spicyflower had offered to drive me to meet my Granola Girl (with whom I'm spending the rest of my vacation), I suggested that we enjoy a late lunch at a charming place off the beaten path in southern New Hampshire.

Pickity Place appeals to all my interests with its herb and flower gardens (many items find their way onto the menu), a gift shop with herb blends and teas and other good things, and a small dining room where you can enjoy a five-course set menu that celebrates the season's bounty.

Though we had to wait until 4 PM to be seated for lunch, we were able to tuck in right away with the crackers and the sun-dried tomato spread. Our waitress understood our need to leave early, and she graciously speeded up our meal without rushing us so that we could all hit the road in good time.

Our first course contained a smooth and savory butternut squash soup drizzled with a cider cream that warmed us up after being out in the cool, damp weather. The soup was followed by a Greek salad topped with a sun-dried tomato dressing, and we had slices of warm, swirled apple cranberry cinnamon bread spread with orange butter to go along with it.

For our entree, we all chose the sweet potato quiche (two entrees are offered: one vegetarian and one meat). The quiche was satisfyingly light and full of taste without being too heavy on the eggs, and the braised red cabbage that accompanied it provided the perfect kick to go with the quiche's mellow flavor.

We rounded out the meal with small wedges of a dark, intensely chocolate Kahlua cake drizzled with caramel sauce and topped with whipped cream. Heavenly!

Though we parted ways right after lunch, we all enjoyed the elegant meal and the chance to converse together (since neither of them had seen each other in several years) -- and, of course, to share our love of food.

What better way to spend time with friends?

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