I’m in Dallas for the 9th Annual Literary Conference of the Golden Crown Literary Society. Tonight, my publisher, Linda Hill and Bella Books, took her authors to dinner. We climbed aboard the shuttle from the hotel for the short trip over the highway to Maggiano’s Little Italy restaurant.
It was marvelous to be around so many established authors who I’ve respected for years and exciting to hang out with the ones (like myself) who are just starting out. There was so much story telling variety in the group. I was seated across from Kenna White and Gerri Hill and really hope I didn’t make a fool of myself during our conversation. Kenna did the math and determined there have been over 125 books published by the authors around the table.
I started out by admiring Chris’ tomato caprese. It was almost too pretty to eat with fresh mozzarella and leaf of basil drizzled with a balsamic glaze.
I went with the stuffed mushrooms appetizer. The stuffing of spinach and breadcrumbs wasn’t particularly memorable but the garlic wine sauce was worth sopping up with the bread.
My main course was the veal piccata. Lovely lemon flavor but the bowl of angel hair pasta was pretty much wasted as I just focused on inhaling the meat and capers (and leaving the rest of the green on the plate).
Erica Abbott made the poor choice of sitting next to me and learned quickly that the position required her to allow me to snap a picture of her food before she could start eating and for her to acede to my demand for a taste. She had the veal Marsala and the marinated mushrooms were particularly good in this dish with the Marsala sauce. With remarkably good humor, she even let me have additional mushrooms from her plate.
For dessert, I prevailed upon Erica to have the creme brulee (in my defense, no real arm twisting was required). Nice hint of citrus and a very crunchy sugar topping.
I had the chocolate zuccotto cake for dessert and I swear the slice was as big as my head. I enjoyed it with a 10 year tawny port.
Dealing with a table of that many in a crowded restaurant required a team of servers. There were some errors and plates delivered to the wrong diner but they were pleasant and friendly and quick to provide refills.