To our surprise and delight, my brother-in-law's fiancee managed to finish her studying for the day so that she could join us. She's in an intense program right now to get a second bachelor's to become an RN - she'll be finished in March. Since Mitchell, a college professor, is off for the summer, he's doing the childcare for her daughter, which he seems to love. We also found out that four-year old Zoe is now too big for the restaurant provided highchair, so she got a big-girl booster seat instead. Zoe is being taught to call my in-laws "Bubby" and "Zaidy" to differentiate them from her other two sets of grandparents, btw. And she got showered with Bubby gifts, too. Her birthday is in a couple of months, and she'll get more. And she will clean up at Chanukah, with a dozen adults giving her presents to welcome her into the family.
Anyway, we got guacamole and a meatfree meze (Middle Eastern Appetizer plate) for the table, plus Mitch got fish chowder, and we then got much salmon and tuna, with a chicken breast filet and mashed potatoes for Zoe. Her parents just wanted her to, you know. Eat. :) And seriously, the minhagim of the Nine Days hardly apply to her.
Jonathan made a little mock siyyum to justify the party itself.
The food was delicious. I had cold poached salmon over salad nicoise, whch featured roasted garlic cloves and was just wonderful. I took half the fish home. We got Zoe pareve chocolate ice cream for dessert and Jonathan and his father (the birthday boy) shared an apple cobbler. The rest of us had coffee. And my mother-in-law made a point of telling the waiter we couldn't have dessert because we were diabetic. She does that. I don't know why.
We were home by 9:30, in the pouring rain.
All in all, a lovely evening.