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End-of-Project Dinner — Monk McQueens

weather: partly cloudy
outside: 10°C
mood: satisfied
music: Schindler's List Theme (Itzhak Perlman)
Monk McQueens was the destination of last night's End-of-Project dinner. This project is so weird. It hasn't ended yet.

It's actually two separate projects that are two separate components of the same product. We had more or less the same group working on both. The attention slowly shifted to the second part and the first part of it became more auxiliary after a while.

I was a bit confused at first as to why we were having a dinner for it; the project wasn't finished yet and we usually don't have dinners, even for major milestone deliveries. But I think it was significant enough to warrant a celebration dinner because this was the project where the client had actually outsourced the second part to two different contractors: us and another company. The other company started on it months before we did. We were at an unfair disadvantage because we were given vague, sometimes inconsistent, misleading direction. Our component also depended heavily on the API in their technology. At one point, we were told that the competitor's progress "looked better" than ours and we were in danger of losing the contract. But our team really hauled ass and won the bid.

Finally, I guess someone decided that the first part officially ended with the first milestone delivery of the second part. So last night was the celebration of the end of the frst part and the first part of the second part. =D

Monk McQueens is actually two restaurants. The lower floor is Monk's and the upper floor, where we were, is McQueens. It's the same Chef and Sous Chef running the place.

Our waitress was a highschool classmate of mine. =O Her last name came right after mine in alphabetical order. Even though we weren't really friends, we knew of each other just because we'd always be seated closeby if the teacher decided to go by alpha order. Our mugs were always side-by-side in every yearbook too. It was nice to see her again and she took extra good care of us =)

Three of us shared oysters on the half shell with horse radish and a raspberry vodka not-dip thing (it's called a "migonette", definitely not a "mignonette"; it was just raspberry juice in vodka as far as I could tell). There were three kinds, two big shelled ones and one smaller shelled, very tasty one. They were all very good.

The sable fish I had was very good, as was the crab and not-asparagus risotto. I didn't see any asparagus anywhere, unless it was puréed and was a part of the macadamia pesto... The veggies I had looked like julienned sweet peas to me.

We had two white wines with dinner. Two really good wines and I forgot to check out the labels. Eh, I don't care as much about white wines because all I taste is apples. I think they were a fairly recent vintage because they both had plastic corks. My Project Manager is a veteran oenophile. Smelling the cork is a reflex and he was having such a hard time with it. It feels so wrong for a cork to smell like that and yet there's actually a better chance that the wine is intact. =)


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