Monday, July 23, 2012

Wine Dinner at our Favorite Local Restaurant

My husband and I are in for a very special treat this Thursday evening--a prix fixe wine dinner at our favorite local restaurant. These are held once every few months and we have heard they are a blast--delicious food and wine and socializing with new people. The restaurant emailed the menu--to tantalize us I presume--and I thought I'd post it because, to me, it reads like poetry. 

We love The Rawls restaurant for several reasons. My husband is a soldier in the Army and is currently stationed in Southern Alabama. I moved here with him several months ago after finishing graduate school in New York City. He is also an NYC transplant--he worked there for 2 years before heading South to flight school--and the difference between New York and Ft. Rucker, Alabama could not be more stark! That's not to say we don't like it here. The slower pace feels refreshing after two and a half years in the city, the Army community is wonderful, and of course it's been a blessing for my husband to receive such excellent and competitive training.

But it is true that our options for enjoying a gourmet meal at a restaurant are limited. I don't want to say we're food snobs, but we certainly do love good food! And as you can probably tell from the above menu, The Rawls does not let us down. The chef makes it a priority to cook with local, fresh ingredients, and is always changing the menu to reflect the season. He also is not afraid to experiment with more unusual foods (like plantains!) and is creative in the flavors he combines. 

The last time we ate here was for my birthday, and we happened to see the chef walk out of the kitchen to chat with the people at a nearby table (he's very friendly) and my husband waved him over to compliment him on our delicious meal. We started chatting, and it turns out he worked for three years at one of the very top restaurants in New York before moving South. As a girl who had moved out of the city a mere few weeks earlier and was already missing it, this discovery made me feel a little less nostalgic somehow. We had our own piece of New York cuisine (one of my favorite things about the city) right here in Alabama--and for half the price!

It was also fun to learn that Chef Schleusner moved down to Alabama, an unlikely place for a gourmet chef, specifically to raise his family. He himself grew up here and told us that he believes this is such a wholesome environment for raising children, and he wouldn't want to do it anywhere else. I find that very admirable. He put his family first, his career second, and good things happened. I thought it was precious when he told us that his 3-year old daughter picked the blackberries that were in my cobbler!

Not to mention that the historic hotel the restaurant calls home reminds us of where we held our wedding reception. Combine all of these things, and we are probably The Rawls' most loyal fans. 


  1. Better watch out or our little secret is going to become so mainstream that we will have to find a new joint to avoid appearing too hipster!


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