A bit more than 1.5 months have passed since I informed you of my epiphany at Turning Stone. The first one involved golf and how to enjoy a resort/unknown course. Thanks to the gastronomic delights (and my own lack of will power), I underwent a second epiphany at Turning Stone, involving earthly delights and balance.
When The Scrambler and I spent time at Turning Stone, we had the opportunity to dine at two of the resort’s ten restaurants. We selected Forest Grill, a traditional steakhouse, and Rodizio, a Brazilian steak house. Forest Grill offered unique takes on cuts of meat, including an herb crusted prime rib (which I believe was Scrambler’s choice), accompanied by a wondrous array of tantalizing sides, appetizers and desserts. For my part, I opted for a center-cut filet mignon, desperate to recover from the previous evening’s antics (more to come) at Rodizio.
The mood at Forest Grill was calming; the decorations and lighting encouraged intimacy among couples (which we were not!) and camaraderie among amigos (to which we raised a glass.) The serving staff was outstanding and the delivery of all elements (food, bill, etceteras) was timely and appropriate. Our meal at Forest Grill was the calm relaxant that one anticipates after a full day (36 holes) of golf.
In contrast, the meal at Rodizio was a bare-knuckled street fight between my mind and my stomach. If you throw in my eyes and my taste buds, it was like the comical gang battle in the movie Anchorman. I had not experienced a Brazilian steak house before, although I had heard rumors. Let me break it down: the host gives you a stone, Red on one side, Green on the other. The Red means “stop feeding me” while the Green signals “keep it coming, babe.” In addition to the obvious connection to the resort, the stone is a perfect, non-verbal way to communicate the moment’s feelings.
I didn’t play contact sports in high school; a torn rotator cuff saw to that. I did play a good bit of soccer in college and graduate school and did my best to turn my role as sweeper into one of contact. Until my dinner at Rodizio, eating had never been a contact sport. However, after years of golf, I was prepared to roll up the sleeves, ignore the bread and salad bars (although I did pinch a few hunks of sushi~they are so darned tasty!) and dive right into slabs of meat. Here’s the damage: skirt steak, linguica [Portuguese-style sausage], Brazilian spare ribs, roasted salmon, roasted pork, flank steak, crab legs, lobster tails and, if I recall from the haze of protein, a pair of empanadas.
The Scrambler viewed this entire attack, thankfully, with aplomb, checking for a pulse, breathing and high blood pressure. I proceed with my epicurean extravaganza until the last bite possible was swallowed, then flipped the stone to Red. Waddling off into the evening, the Rodizio I left behind was a restaurant filed forever in the annals of unforgettable dining experiences.
And the epiphany? I had to lose some weight (not Rodizio’s fault, mind you.) I’m now 20 pounds lighter but still recall that night’s dining with satisfaction.