For most of my life, having a New Years Eve birthday has been a blast. As a child, my birthday was often an after thought because of coming so quickly after Christmas. However, once I became an adult, I finally realized the benefits of my birthday - there were always parties to go to on my birthday.
For many years, I never lacked for a celebration on my birthday. Furthermore, my friends would often make sure that my birthday was part of the celebration. For most of my birthdays, I would often leave town on vacation to celebrate my birthday, mostly ski resorts all over the U.S. and Canada. However, I spent quite a few of my birthdays in places like Vegas, New York or the California wine country.
Now that I'm old, quiet and less crowded celebrations have become more and more appealing to me. This year, hubby and I spent a quiet New Years Eve here in town with a just a nice birthday dinner at one of my favorite local restaurants.
The Elephant Bar is by far one of Simi Valley's best restaurants. With a tropical décor and a bit of African adventure with animal print flooring and seating and wild animal paintings on the walls and animal structures too, the feel is a bit like a jungle setting with dark teak furnishings too.
The menu offers dishes from all over the world and it's always a challenge trying to pick something to order because so much sound so delicious and there's always something new I haven't tried before.
Hubby and I started our dinner off with a nice bottle of Penfolds Syrah, which is a big favorite of ours. As far as Australian wines go, you can't go wrong with a Penfolds. We also ordered the artichoke dip because it's often been a favorite of ours.
While I often like to have my artichoke dip to have a little firmer consistency, hubby likes this creamier version and I really enjoy the chunks of artichokes. Mmmmm.....
We then moved on to the citrus salad that has a mixture of different lettuce and veggies as well as apples, dried cranberries, mandarin oranges, caramelized walnuts and gorgonzola cheese crumbles with a honey citrus dressing accompanied with toasted garlic bread. Mmmmmm.....
Then came our dinner with my Moroccan chicken breast rubbed with some of Morocco's best spices and topped with a tomato and orange chutney served with raisin spiked couscous and sautéed spinach. Hubby had the shrimp adventure coconut fried shrimp, teriyaki glazed shrimp and hand-breaded fried shrimp served with white rice and sweet and spicy dipping sauce. Mmmmmm.....
We finished off the meal with a birthday cupcake (thank God they didn't do the whole singing thing) that was a red velvet cupcake with cookie crumpled topping and a rich chocolate sauce.
It was a nice evening, maybe not as quiet as I was expecting (lots of revelers and partyers in the bar) but hubby and I got home just in time to watch the Rockin New Years Eve party on tv and we rang in the new year together. Hope everyone had a safe and sane New Years Eve too.