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I suppose this can qualify as a Happy Holly entry for today … some things last in their joy for more than one day.

Just thinking about it makes me smile … even now.

When last heard from alive, I was on my way to the Eleven Restaurant in Pittsburgh … to have dinner with my parents and my brother and sister-in-law. And as I mentioned yesterday, I have done this before with the same people … the same place … the same table … more than once.

But I digress.

Yesterday was wonderful.

Once I finally got there.

Forget the fact that it took roughly two hours and forty minutes for what is usually a less than two hour drive. Forget the fact that halfway there the skies turned black, the laightning struck anything not nailed down, and the skies opened in buckets of rain … and cars slowed to forty miles an hour.

Oh yes, and forget the fact that I waited almost ten minutes for the valet parking guy to show back up … at which point I called my brothers cell phone … and was advised to leave the car … leave the key at the front of the restaurant … and let them figure out how to run that part well.

So I finally arrived … in less than a stellar mood. And was greeted by “Gee, and you seem so happy in your blog.”  Had to laugh.

After initial greetings … we set to catch up on all things exciting and new. I was flattered by the first statements … in which I learned that my family both likes the improvements to my house and also thinks I can write … or what’s a family for?

And I was told that perhaps my entry from yesterday more closely resembled “I am in a crummy mood today … the food better be good tonight.”

Note to self: Try not to be so transparent in writings.

Stories were told … Laughter was enjoyed … Philosophy was shared … and I was assured by someone who said he could be quoted … but don’t mention his name … “All feelings are good. Even bad feelings can make you happy … because at least you are feeling them. Not feeling feelings is bad.” Thus sayeth the anonymous sage.

Did I mention that my brother was at dinner?

Here are pictures of my Brother, Sister-In-Law, Mother and Father. See? No names.

And yes, of course I will be happy to remove any of these pictures if you ask nicely.

For a price.

So eventually we came to the point of ordering food. Ah the food. On a par with anything virtually anywhere. Excellent. Wonderful. Go to their website and … trust me … the reality is better than the pictures.

And speaking of pictures, this was a first. I actually took pictures of my food. It was that good.

I had Salmon with a crust that was smoky and bacon-y … and a pumpkin soup that was flavorful and smooth. Others had lump crabmeat, lamb, tuna tartare, prime rib, and crab cakes. And the bread … and … well, you get the idea.

All of it was fabulous.

And then there was the dessert.

While others ordered a chocolate lava concoction and other things, my eyes glazed over at one item.

Creme Fraiche Brulee … with Raspberry Preserves and Raspberries and … sold.

I know of no place in a fifty mile radius of here that makes this.

And. It. Was. Mag. Ni. Fi. Cent.

Didn’t think to take the picture till I had eaten the raspberries and part of the Creme Brulee …

But the unexpected thing of the evening … and at this place it should have been no surprise … we were told that two tables away was … Troy Polamalu of the Pittsburgh Steelers.


Since I had been taking pictures all night after all … what could another one or two hurt, right?

Except that I may have not mentioned it … but the Eleven Restaurant is pretty dark.

And the flash on my Nikon blog camera only goes so far.

Ah well. So here are the two pictures of his table taken from ours … with little bright-colored arrows at the appropriate blur … also known as Polamalu.

And no, I did not ask for an autograph. After all, seriously, we were all eating dinner. How de classe would that be?

The pictures were enough.