ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS...

                December 30, 2013

THE HUNGER JAMES OFFICIAL RATING:

…is FOOD.

 

For the holiday break, I was lucky enough to escape the cold and snow and spend a week in warm, sunny, 80 degree Florida. Yes, it was 80 degrees in December. My days were filled with tanning out by the pool, drinking frozen mojitos, and wearing shorts and flip flops to Christmas mass.

 

It was nice.

 

As with everything the holidays bring – family, friends, PRESENTS – what my family and I did the most this past week was eat.

 

That’s really all we did. They picked me up from the airport, we went straight to a restaurant. When I woke up in the morning, eggs and bacon were already being cooked. A half hour didn’t go by where we weren’t eating or driving somewhere to eat.

 

So, that being said, it was really hard for me to pick just ONE meal to discuss, but after much consideration, I finally decided on Christmas Eve dinner at The Dove.

 

The Dove is an Italian restaurant located in Melbourne, Florida. It used to be located in Satellite Beach, just 2 blocks away from my house, but they ended up moving allllllll the way to the downtown area. We had been going to the Dove every Christmas Eve since I can remember. It is, and will always be, a place of nostalgia for me.

So, when my mom called me a week before my trip and asked if there was anywhere special I would like to eat for Christmas Eve dinner, the answer was simple.

After being dragged to church, we headed downtown to feast! The great thing about this restaurant is that you get five courses – appetizers, salads, pasta fagioli, entrée, and dessert. For my appetizer, for the eleventh year in a row, I ordered the escargot. Now, if anyone knows me, I am one hell of a picky eater. I like to stick to the three main food groups: chicken, cheese, and bacon. But for some reason, I just love the taste of escargot (and I seem extremely fancy when I order it.)

 

The plate arrived with six escargot(s), lying in a pool of melted butter and garlic. I ate the six of them before anyone else in my family could even ask to try one.

After the salads and pasta fagioli came and were devoured, we were brought a classic Italian digestive – limoncello. My parents love this part so they can act like they are young again doing shots. “Whatever cleans your palate” I said.

 

For my entrée, I went with my all-time favorite Italian dish – Veal Parmigiana.

 

 

The cut of veal is so thin, breaded to perfection, topped with homemade

marinara sauce and fresh mozzarella cheese. The veal is served with penne

pasta in case the piece of meat wasn’t enough.

 

I could barely finish my last piece, but I somehow ate everything on my plate.

I was so full. I hadn’t been that full since I went to a macaroni and cheese

tasting. We decided to skip dessert and coffee on a lack of a place to put it,

and went back to my housefor cookies and spiked hot chocolate, spiked

coffee, and wine (yeah, we like to drink).

 

This was my first Christmas back home in Florida since I moved to New York,

so it was very nice to relax, spend time with my family and friends, and most

importantly: eat.