I have eaten at restaurants twice recently - TWICE - which has blown my mind with wonderful ideas for food. Mere menus get me excited. I know that it's very early days yet, and that I have other career plans in the meantime, but I think I might quite like to go into food journalism someday, if I can figure out how.
Anyway, the meals. One was a duck breast in chilli-plum sauce, with 'potato corners' (it looked like one long potato had been cut into roughly six long wedges and baked until crispy: I liked the idea of making wedges the same length as the potato to save on prep time) and a small salad. The sauce was absolutely delicious, with enough heat to taste, but nowhere near too much.
A friend had ordered goat's cheese salad with grape-balsamic dressing and pumpkin seed pesto, and found the dressing too cloying and sweet for his taste. Luckily, that meal is generally what I go for when I go to this particular restaurant, so I happily swapped some duck and wedges for a giant lump of goat's cheese. The cheese, dressing and wedges went really well together, so goat's cheese + potato has become a biiiig thought in my head at the moment. My boyfriend & I have used a goat's cheese + potato recipe before (this one, I believe - the chicken/spinach/gnocchi/sauce mixture was amazing) but substituted brie for goat's cheese as he doesn't like the latter. Much to my constant disappointment.
Then I went to an amazing restaurant, which is basically Subway for pasta. You can choose your pasta, which is freshly made on the premises (and you can buy their fresh pasta for astonishingly cheap, as well - next time I go there I will bankrupt myself on it even though it's just 50 eurocents for 100g), and your sauce, and watch it being made in front of you. The queues are fairly long, but who cares when it's so delicious and so cheap! I had pappardelle carbonara, and my only complaints were this: the waiter didn't hear me properly and put in WAY too much chilli, so I had to pick a bunch out while I was eating (wuss), and they didn't have parmesan at the tables to sprinkle. Other than that, it was perfect.
My boyfriend went for a pizza, which was huge, cheap, and made much more quickly. Some of the more expensive pizza toppings made me salivate: one was ham, figs, acacia honey, tomatoes and mozzarella, oh my god. I have to go back and have the gorgonzola, cheese, smoked cheese and figs one (yes, I memorized them, even though I also stole a menu). Wonderfully, and entirely coincidentally, my mother bought some figs the same day, so I am considering a fig tart for tonight's dinner. Sadly there is only one blue cheese eater in the house, and that would be me, so if this does happen I shall have to substitute other kinds of cheese.