Usually closed on the first days of the week during the wintertime, Alana was open for a private party for our good pal 2E on Mardi Gras. Talk about fat Tuesday!

While this was a feast unmatched anywhere in town, you can still delight over bits and pieces of it--and I strongly recommend you do!--by going there this Dine Originals weekend. Here's a taste:

Hors d'oeuvres included juicy, tender, grilled beef skewers (slathered in yogurt dip) and Ohio cheeses

Mongolian (Bluescreek) Beef soup -- with a generous hit of fish sauce and nifty addition of peanuts

A lovely and chunky blast of summer from this killer tomato soup made with "the last of last season's put up tomatoes"

Earthy spinach salad with radishes, radish shoots and red cabbage shoots

Italian Wedge Salad with crispy pepperoni and "white trash dressing" (love Alana's sense of humor!)

OK those courses came out at a relatively leisurely pace. At this point the amazing parade of delectable hits started coming fast & furiously....

Appetizers

Mortadella Crespelle with pistachio cream sauce...yowza!

Shrimp Piri Piri--could not eat them fast enough

(not pictured, Mussels)

Potato and Cheese Risotto -- rich, rich, rich, delicious. More than a spoonful was venturing into pure decadence--I definitely had more than a spoonful

Mushroom Strozzapreti (it means "priest strangler"--and I would've slavered over this even if it didn't have such a great name

Duck Confit, Bratwurst and red cabbage--melted in my mouth

Grilled hanger steak with .... bacon and maple vinaigrette The wine was kicking in; the steak ate less blurry than it looks...I was blurrier

There were also grilled king trumpet mushrooms, broccolini with garlic and chilis, cauliflower roasted with olives and capers..... and I'm pretty sure I'm forgetting something.

The ancient Romans would've been embarrassed to eat all this--but not us!

And back to the cake: after the onslaught of dinner, Alana brought out a nutty German chocolate birthday cake later sliced and served with Jeni's Salty Caramel, caramel sauce, and a chewy coconut macaroon. Perfect.

Frankly, I'd had a miserable day in a very expensive dentist's chair and was told I was moody company that night, but in retrospect, I wish I could do it all over again--down to each glistening morsel--right this very minute!