Monday, May 16, 2011

Mothers' Day

For Mothers' Day, two friends and I went out to eat at a fancy French restaurant, Regine, located near Beiterek, the funky tower in the new downtown.

Kazakhs celebrate Mothers' Day as part of International Women's Day on March 8, and when I planned our dinner for Sunday, May 8, I wasn't thinking about Mothers' Day. But it worked out great, as my two friends and I are all single mothers-- it was our Mothers' Day treat to ourselves.

Sophia stayed home with my assistant (her favorite babysitter) and my friend's daughter.

We first took a cab to a French restaurant located in the middle of the huge Central Park. We got out of the cab in front of this fancy building that looked more like a mansion near Versailles than a restaurant. We had our picture taken on the red carpet leading up the stairs to the main entrance. Then we were informed that it was closed due to a private party.

We were in the middle of the park, wearing heels. Nowhere near a road. Oh dear.

So we trekked back to the main road, where we hailed a cab and went to Regine's, which was open. It's located on the 4th floor in a business/shopping complex. Above it is a night-club, Jimmy's, owned by Regine's.

We were the ONLY people there the entire time, and we stayed for over 3 hours. Yes, it was a Sunday night, but it was a holiday, because the next day was Victory Day.

But we quite enjoyed having the entire restaurant to ourselves. We sat near the window--overlooking Beiterek Tower and the fancy, funky buildings of downtown Astana, watching the sun set.

The restaurant was by far the fanciest restaurant I've ever been to, but it wasn't too expensive. You could order a la carte, or order a 4-course meal, and they had three choices for the 4-course meal--a 6000 Tenge ($40) option, an 8000 Tenge option, and a 10,000 Tenge option. The most expensive included foie gras, which I really didn't want anyways.

I ordered the 6000 Tenge meal--a salad with goat cheese, French onion soup, chicken in red wine sauce, and creme caramel for dessert.

We ordered the cheapest bottle of white wine, around 7200 Tenge. The waiter brought it out and showed it to us, and had one of us sample it before he poured our glasses. Throughout the evening he made certain that our water and wine glasses never dropped below halfway full.

He also put on white gloves to change our silverware between courses, so we would only have the utensils needed for each course.

The salad was the best part of the meal, the goat cheese melted in my mouth, and the whole thing was utterly divine. It also started to fill me up so by the time I got to the main course, the chicken, I was quite full.

But the creme caramel was so delicious I had to ignore my bursting stomach just to eat it.

After eating, we took our pictures in front of some of the paintings hanging on the wall.

It was an excellent meal, fun to have an entire restaurant to ourselves, and nice to have an evening without children.

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