April 4, 2004


Background: Thor and I have been watching Iron Chef on Food Network for years. It’s a Japanese show, where chefs battle an “Iron Chef” to see who can produce the best dishes in 60 minutes which showcase a certain ingredient. The ingredient is revealed at the beginning of the show, then then the chefs ‘wing it,’ then their dishes are judged at the end. The Iron Chefs almost always win. It’s great! One of the Iron Chefs was (show’s been off the air in Japan for years) Japanese chef Masahiru Morimoto, who now has a restaurant in Philadelphia named … Morimoto!

We got dressed in our good duds last night and headed to Philly to celebrate seven (seven…wow!) years of wedded bliss. We only had to circle 723 Chestnut street once before we found the place! The restaurant was very visually interesting to look at. The floors and celiings were hardwood, and the walls were white and … sculpted … into some neat, curvy relief patterns. The tables and chairs were very minimalist.

Having arrived before our scheduled 7:15pm reservation, we were usherd into the upstairs lounge, where we could overlook the restaurant while we sipped our drinks. Total for two drinks: $22.00, which is more than a dinner at the Olive Garden for us. Eeek!

“Do you see him?” Thor asked as we peered through the window at the diners below. “No…maybe he’s not here tonight,” I replied.

Once we were seated, we decided to go with the omakase, which was the chef’s choice meal. It was nine — NINE — courses! It was mostly seafood, Japan being an island nation, ya know, but we did get to try some of the legendary kobe beef, which was like butter!

We were star-struck when we saw Chef Morimoto himself strolling through the restaurant. He was signing menus and taking pictures with the patrons. (In an attempt to be classier than I am, I left my camera at home. Bah!) I asked our waiter that, well, since it was our anniversary, would it be possible to have the chef sign a menu for us? “I’ll see what I can do,” he replied as he winked at me.

“Omigosh it’s him he’s coming here!” I squealed in a voice that was once reserved only for Santa Claus and the New Kids on the Block. And although he didn’t rise from the floor on a platform, we were just as impressed. He asked us how long we were married, shook our hands and thanked us for coming. I gushed that we didn’t want to be anywhere else.

OK…naturally, I’d rather be digging my feet into the sand outside of Disney’s Polynesian Resort Hotel, but we take what we can get, right?

He left us a menu with his signature and some Japanese writing that says “May all your dreams come true.” Squee!! That’s what the waiter told us. It probably reads, “Don’t die when you see the check.” We’re going to have it framed. Really!

THREE hours later, our bellies were full with food that we’d never ever ordinarily eat. We were going to try to make the 10:30 show at Rascals, but it was 10:20 by the time the valet brought our car. So we came home.

Today, we clean out/pack up the bedroom. An unglamourous denouement to a rock-star evening! 🙂

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