I have to start off by saying that when we found out about this dining opportunity we were well into day three (3) of the Recession/Depression Dinner series.  As well I was a bit guilty because I felt like a) I was cheating on all of you for pushing back the last R/D dinner by a couple nights and b) I was cheating on Carrie over at The Oliver Ranch Company, by straying away from my sustainable ways of eating beef!  But once one is presented an opportunity like this, one must seize the moment and have a good time!

Our friend, Mike, has his pilots license.  As well, he has  a new girlfriend, one that we keep saying we should meet over dinner.  When Mike called during the week and suggested flying us all down to Harris Ranch for dinner on Saturday, we jumped at it!  After all how exciting is that, flying into a ranch to have dinner, pretty much a 10!

I grew up flying in small planes and have not been in one for about 30 years.  Lenny has been talking about getting his pilots license since we met.  We were pretty excited the entire week and come Saturday, we were smiling all day long, even before getting to the airport.  We got a bit of a late start on our departure and even thought we thought we may have to abort the mission, the plane finally arrived and we were able to take off just around sunset.  It was really stunning to look back and see the city glistening in shades of orange and red.  The flight was an easy hour and was calm the entire time – we were just grinning ear to ear!

After landing on a small airstrip (yes, it is a recession, we were the only plane there.  I remember the days of driving by and there was always a plane or two sitting there), you walk over to the Ranch where there is the restaurant.  The dining room is rather elegant.  They seated us at a big round table with high-backed leather/cow hide chairs, felt like a scene out of ‘Dallas’.  We started the evening with a fantastic bottle of Tobin James wine (the pilot did not drink), an order of fried green beans and calamari – both were very good and we kept talking about how great “fried” green beans were.  Mike had the Trio of Soup (Oxtail, Sweet Corn Chowder and French Onion) to start with, the rest of us just made sure there would be plenty of room for the steaks that were arriving.  Everyone except for I ordered the 8 oz. filet, I went with the 20 oz. bone in rib eye, after all we came all this way, may as well go BIG!  As well we had sides of gratin potatoes, garlic mashed potatoes, a baked potato and sauteed mushrooms.  I have to say (sorry Carrie) the meal was pretty fantastic!  All of our steaks were cooked to perfection and incredibly flavorful.  The sides were all hearty and a great addition to a big juicy steak.  And our wine definitely rounded out the meal.  For dessert we had an assortment of different desserts, which was just okay, nothing to really write about.

After stuffing ourselves, laughing a lot and enjoying our company and getting to know Shelley, we were ready to board Air Voie for the flight home.  It was still and dark but very calm and satisfying after a fantastic meal.  Thanks, Mike & Shelley, for a great night out and a wonderful experience.

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