Monday, December 20, 2010


G and I decided the other day to explore a nearby town that we were considering making our next home (in about 6-8 years).  It seems a little silly to look so far in advance, but I've told you that we like to dream and plan.....and the main street there, dating back to the Revolutionary War has been recommended many times to us as a place to go explore.  So off we headed and we were not disappointed.  If anything G has informed me I can stop looking into other areas because we'll be moving there as soon as possible.  And one of the draws was a restaurant I had happened to come across a review of on a blog that just happened to be the corner we first walked out on from their city parking lot.  It's Tersiguel's in Ellicott City, Maryland, a french country restaurant.  Hungry we decided to splurge and drop in for a late lunch.  It was seriously so good that it sealed the deal, with us envisioning coming there for the next 50 years and eventually having "our table."  (Because I'm totally going to be that eccentric entitled old lady with a hat and spectacles!)  

I am a big complainer of modern American dining.  It just simply pisses me off.  I don't want to have to be looking around wondering if our food will ever arrive while my water glass sits empty, but I also don't want to have my food brought out so quickly and to be encouraged to move along quickly.  If I'm paying for a meal out when I can cook restaurant quality foods at home I want the experience of being able to relax.  I've recently had an excellent meal that they're lucky I was enjoying a glass of wine and had ordered food that I would have no problem eating cold because we weren't halfway through our appetizers when the main course came (and for perspective this was a restaurant where our bill for two was higher than say a bill for 4 at a chain place).  I get frustrated because it shouldn't be that hard to gauge where the diners are and to tell them to begin our main course once we're halfway through our appetizers.  I don't mind sitting, letting my stomach digest my first course while waiting for my second.  In fact, I prefer it.  It was a harsh re-acclimation when we first began dining out here in the U.S. again and the reason we tend to go to small locally owned businesses.
 Pate with spicy mustard, cornichons and olives.
Chickpea crepes with roasted peppers, black olive pesto, anchovies, herbed chevre and olives.  Tres bien!

So imagine my delight when my indecisiveness didn't seem to phase the waiter in the least.  In fact he was willing to recommend, ask questions, answer questions, but was not too chatty or hovering.  We ordered our meal and a bottle of wine he had recommended and it was like a perfect dance.  Another waiter kept an eye on our water glasses, keeping them full.  Our waiter would occasionally quietly slip in and refill our wine glasses.  Our first course was brought, we ate slowly and he would occasionally look over.  We had sat there for a little bit finishing off the first course and he came over and quickly cleared it away for us, barely causing us to pause our conversation.  Our main course was brought out maybe 5 minutes later.  It was perfection, it clearly had not been sitting under a warmer and we ate it pretty much all up (G ate quite a bit of my pasta because I can't handle that much food, whereas he's like a bottomless pit).  
Duck confit, shitake mushrooms, lardons, and red potatoes in spaghetti with duck jus and parmesan. 
 Their version of a croque monsieur.  Slow cooked pork confit with creamed cabbage and a dijon aioli on house made bread.

While clearing those plates we were asked about coffee and dessert.  Having already conversed with the couple next to us about their desert (the woman was foreign, European and I kept glancing out of the corner of my eye at her enjoyment of what terrifies some women: sausages and warm potato salad...a delicious meal) we knew it was the one to order.  And here is where I explain that this place was closing very, very soon.  And yet, no hurry.  I even mentioned not wanting to make them stay and he waved my worries away.  We enjoyed a cup of coffee and our dessert (a creme caramel so amazing that even the spoon gently touching it cut into it but it didn't fall apart).  And after we finished dessert the water came over and refilled our cups after they were closed!  We tipped him very well, and after having discussed this on my French chic board I will be sending a thank you note to the restaurant.  It was truly the most relaxing meal I've had in a long time.  I would have never thought of it, but now wonder why we don't do that more often?  The restaurant is family owned, their son is the head chef and I am sure they like to know their business if much appreciated.  

Have you ever sent a thank you note to a restaurant or store?  

* Don't forget to enter the giveaway for the 2011 leather planner HERE


  1. Sounds like a lovely place to eat, and I so enjoyed your narrative of your visit. It's nice they put their customers first! (You'd think that would be a no-brainer, and yet...) I think they will be very touched by your thoughtful thank-you note. Bess

  2. Before you mentioned the restaurant I knew it was Ellicot City! I used to work in Elkridge and LOVED driving through there!

    And that restaurant sounds fantastic, we will HAVE To go!

    Send the thank you note, a restaurant like that would appreciate it. I know when I worked int he service industry I loved thank you cards from anyone. It kept me motivated and inspired, knowing I was doing the right thing!

  3. Like Allie mentioned having worked in a service indrustry myself, I did enjoyed getting thank you notes. I can't say I've been doing this back after I left. Where are my manners:) I've only written to authors but really should think about sending a thank you note to restaurants that I truly enjoyed their outstanding services.

  4. What an incredible feat. I love the idea of sending a thank you note to a restaurant. It had never occurred to me. I bet you will get a very warm welcome when you return.