Sunday, December 7, 2008

Holiday party and haute cuisine

My company had their holiday party last night at the Portland Golf Club. What was really interesting was that this is probably the most upscale place we’ve held the party at, at least since I’ve been going to them (I missed my first year because I hated my department but I’ve gone every year since) and it was the weakest, as far as food and libations went, of the three. The food itself had haute cuisine portions (a tiny beef tenderloin medallion, in a passable sauce with a dollop of mashed potatoes, three or four wilted green beans which had been cooked in a balsamic vinaigrette and an edible orchid). The desserts, however, were even worse. I’m not the world’s biggest fan of cheesecake (another thing from my childhood that I used to devour) but I love a good mousse. Chocolate mousse, as my partner likes to point out, is something that is hard to screw up because even if it falls you still have this wonderful, rich, chocolate confection. But not in this instance. It was edible but overly bitter and it’s almost as if they made it from Nestle’s Quik instant chocolate milk. I’m not saying they did but it tasted as if it had. While we had drink coupons (and Jaime and I used them) at one point I wanted a Long Island ice tea but they wanted, wait for it, $11.50 for it! No, I had a local mico-brew (at a much more reasonable $4.50) instead.

Last year we had it at a private ballroom in downtown portland and it was buffet style. Much better food in much better varieties and the drinks were more reasonable.

That said, it’s been a while since I’ve been in a golf club and I forgot how the other 5% lives. Not sure that I would want that. The company at my table, however, was excellent.