Greg and I both basically believe that Valentine's Day is really an invention of the greeting-card and florist industries, but we feel the need to celebrate just a little anyway. If we had an anniversary, it would be on February 13, so the timing is just about right. Besides, it gave us the perfect excuse for dinner at Windows on the Water in Kennebunk.
They don't serve food at Windows on the Water. They serve sex on a plate. I'm not kidding -- they really deserve the acronym WOW. Everything we had was so good it'd make a grown gourmet cry, but in particular, the mixed seafood appetizer with its amazing shrimp poke had me ready to lick the plate and beg for more. (Our waiter laughed. "We get that a lot.")
Greg chose the half roast organic chicken, and I went for the trilogy of duck. Those, paired with some nice wines, were fabulous... but the piece de resistance was their special Valentine's Day dessert: homemade white chocolate ice cream, a dark chocolate flourless torte, and two chocolate-dipped strawberries. Michael, our waiter, explained that the ice cream would have come in a Belgian chocolate shell (as described on the menu), but someone in the kitchen tripped and accidentally dropped a tray of the fragile shells. The ice cream came out in martini glasses instead, and it made for a very nice presentation for the few seconds that it remained there before we made it disappear.
I've eaten at some famous restaurants in my life, including Chez Panisse and a few of the big-name restaurants in Boston and DC, but if I've ever had a more incredible dinner from start to finish, I can't bring it to mind. Greg has eaten at Aquavit in NYC, and very favorably compares the quality of WOW's food to Aquavit's.
I didn't really think much of the movie "Like Water for Chocolate," but if you've seen it or read the book, you'll remember the scenes where the main character cooks all manner of incredible meals for other people -- including the man she loves and her sister, who is involved with him -- even though it breaks her heart. Her emotions are reflected in the meals; people consume them and are then filled with her feelings: lust, longing... you get the idea. Anyway, the meal was like that. The chefs are artists, and the emotion they put into the food was sheer joy.
Seriously, if you're looking for sex on a plate, or even just a meal that you'll remember for a good long while, go there. Look past the obligatory photos of the loathsome Bush clan (the restaurant is in Kennebunk, close to the Port) to the views outside, breathe deeply, and prepare to be ravished.