Friday, May 25, 2012

Bonne Nuit Jardiniere

When one thinks of dinner, one would probably think of a sit down meal at home with the family consisting of a home-cooked meal. But tonight for the Ivy League Connection cohorts, parents, sponsors, chaperons, staff, and alumni, we have had the pleasure of dining at Jardiniere in San Francisco. Located on Grove Street, this French themed restaurant does not seem like much from the outside but amazed me with it's stylishly elegant interior.

Exterior of Jardiniere
Tonight's adventure started at 5:15 PM when I arrived at El Cerrito Plaza BART station. There I met with my fellow cohorts, parents, chaperon, alumni, sponsors, and staff. Once everyone that agreed to meet there arrived, we all boarded the train towards San Francisco. After getting off at Civic Center, we walked a few blocks while meeting a few sponsors and alumni along the way. Once we arrived at the restaurant, we waited a few minutes for a few more alumni to before being seated.

The meal in all was very pleasant and delightful. My menu for the night was divine; I started with mixed field greens with beets and goat cheese tossed in a vinaigrette, then a risotto with mushrooms and greens, followed by roasted hen with potatoes, squash, and mushrooms, and finally topped with a milky way dessert of caramel ice cream and chocolate.

Risotto with cheese, mushrooms, and greens
Roasted hen with squash, mushrooms, and potatoes
"Milky Way" dessert with caramel ice cream, chocolate, and nougat
But the food is only half of the dinner; what really gets the ball rolling is the conversation. During the night we had four speeches; each made by Ms. Kronenberg, Adrianne Ramsey, Morvarid Mehdizadeh, and Mr. Ramsey. Ms. Kronenberg talked about the dinner itself and why we were all there. Then the next two student speeches were about the upcoming time in New York as well as what we plan to give back to our community. And finally Mr. Ramsey closed with how the ILC is a one of a kind program in the nation and how important it is to bring back to our community.

During the dinner, I was seated at table with a fellow cohort Lenny Eisen, his father, Don Gosney,  Miguel, Sue Kahn, Sally Swanson, Kenyatta Monroe-Sinkler, and my father. I mainly conversed with Ms. Sinkler and Ms. Dawson about New York and Columbia University. Ms. Swanson is an alumni from the class of 1971 while Ms. Sinkler is an alumni from 1991. Conversations ranged from majors- Ms. Sinkler majored in literature and went to graduate school for psychology while Ms. Swanson majored in architecture and urban design- to possible visitations of attractions. I spoke of this trip being my second plane ride and my first time outside of California, excluding Nevada. They in turn talked of their lives as mothers such as the joys of raising a four year old son to the sadness of departing with a college bound daughter. Being able to meet and converse with graduates of Columbia university was such a great experience; I was able to learn more about New York itself from their own experiences.

After dinner, we all boarded the train at the BART station. There I was able to further converse with a few more alumni and my fellow cohorts. I spoke with Malcolm Carson, a rising senior at Columbia university and Kenyatta once more. We talked about Columbia dorms and the Core Curriculum as well as sports at the university level and coaches. When transferring trains, I then conversed with my fellow cohorts; Adrianne, Morvarid, Lenny, and Lucas. Then at long last, we arrived back at El Cerrito Plaza and went our separate ways. Now the only obstacle to New York is the orientation meeting and a twenty-four day waiting period.

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