Bob and I went out to dinner Saturday night to celebrate our anniversary. We decided to go to the Ellicottville Brewing Company (EBC, to those in the know), in Ellicottville, NY. We’d had a couple of dates in E’ville before, so it’s something of a favorite.

This weekend was also the Jazz Fest; there was a lot of interesting music and lots of the bars had musicians, so there was a happy, friendly vibe. After walking around to a few shops and enjoying the fine weather, we cut through a back alley courtyard (the back of one bar, with deck and band playing, overlooks a few small shops) and circled back around to EBC.

We were seated immediately (which was surprising, actually), outside under a tree in a corner of the patio. The patio, under the tree (covered in lights) and the gradually falling dusk, reminded us of two other places. The back patio at the Adelphi Hotel in Saratoga Springs, NY (where our friends toasted our engagement – memories!), and Ramos House in San Juan Capistrano, my cousins’ favorite restaurant (and rightly so).

We exchanged presents (and got a touching presentation on the house – a coaster on top of a beer, with a candle in the coaster) and then ordered. We started with an artichoke bella roma dip, which was a nice twist on the traditional (and slowly-getting-boring artichoke and spinach dip). It was not too cheesy, and had a fresh taste that went well with the flat artichoke taste.

For the main course, Bob got one of the specials – a peppercorn steak, which must have been just lovely because I think it lasted only a few minutes. I ordered the ravioli caprese (which I insist on pronouncing ka-preeze, although the girl behind me ordered the ke-prees-ie – I think we’re both right). I wish I had taken a photo or written down the description. Three giant raviolis (which I’m pretty sure were pan seared), filled with ricotta and some delicious combo of something, topped with Buffalo mozzarella, fresh tomato slices, and basil. There must have been lemon included somewhere. The basil was really out of this world. I just had the leftover ravioli for lunch today. Just as good reheated.

I had been feeling a jolt on the walk through Ellicottville, too, because one of the restaurants was making ribs or something and they smelled heavenly. But my ravioli was so filling and so delicious, hitting these delicious taste markers in a unique and flavorful way. I’m sure all the cheese wasn’t exactly “healthy” but such a divine meal is really a luxury and not an everyday staple.