Dovetail is a great choice for half-veg/half-omnivore couples. We had two excellent tasting menus, and they even swapped out the course of death (ie scallops, to which  I am allergic) for another option:

I had --
Sadie's Sour: Bourbon, Uncouth Raspberry Vermouth, fresh raspberry, citrus, basil
breads plus: white cheddar corn bread, wheat cracker, a truffled arancini
amuse: green tea panna cotta with a layer of beet-champagne gelee, topped with a bit of smoked salmon and shiso, served with a spoon of spicy tofu with a cube of watermelon on top
heirloom tomato salad with beer cheese and peanuts
dungeness crab with barley, fennel, meyer lemon and snow peas
gnocchi with mangalitsa ham, chanterelles
halibut confit, spinach, haricots verts, artichokes
sautéed foie gras with graham cracker puree and huckleberries
prime filet mignon, with a leek wellington, roasted fingerlings and a truffled bone marrow sauce
palate cleanser: cucumber sorbet with meringue
pre-dessert: parmesan ice cream with hazelnuts, lemon crouton and other things we don't remember
dark chocolate cremeux with whiskey marshmallo, chocolate crumble and ice cream

tim had --
Yellow Bell Pepperita: aged tequila, mezcal, citrus, mixed salts
same breads
amuse: lentils and roasted carrots with some kind of aioli plus the tofu/watermelon spoon
cucumber vichysoisse with compressed pineapple and basil
summer mosaic salad, which had a little bit of everything and some cool sauces to go with
ricotta agnolotti with corn and blueberries
soft boiled egg with braised fennel and summer truffles over barley risotto
zucchini tart with pistachios and rosemary honey
foraged greens croustillant with olives and spring onions
same palate cleanser and pre-dessert
beet red velvet cake, sour cream frosting, strawberry ice cream, milk chocolate

mignardises: yuzu-peach gelee, macaroon with red wine something in the middle, milk chocolate with ginger, dark chocolate with caramel, linzer torte

plus a rose wine (cinsault/grenache blend) called La Mascaronne, from Provence (2012)
we went to Mas (farmhouse) in the Village for my birthday. It's new-ish, and had decent sounding vegetarian options. They offer a three-course tasting plus dessert, but we decided to go with two courses, cheeses, and dessert. Their menu is extremely flexible, which was nice. I even substituted sides on my entree. Here's what we ate:

Me --
  • Salad of Local Summer Beans with a Truffle Vinaigrette, Maplebrook Farm Stracciatella & Brown Butter Croutons (stracciatella is this amazing mozzarella/cream concoction. i had never had it before. so good.)
  • Roasted Long Island Duck Breast, Fingerling Potato Purée, Caramelized Brussels Sprouts and Grilled Baby Squash
Tim --
  • Heirloom Tomato Tart on a Parmesan Sablée, Caramelized Onions & a Toasted Pine Nut Dressing
  • Fried Zucchini Blossoms Stuffed with Mushroom Duxelle & Mustard Greens, Huitlacoche- Black Trumpet Purée, Baby Spinach, Roasted Radish & Almond Foam

Cheese -- 
  • Spring Brook Farm “Tarentaise,” Reading, VT - Cow’s Milk, Alpine style, aged 1 year
  • Cato Corner “Hooligan” Colchester, CT  - Cow’s Milk, pungent wash rind
  • Belle Weather Farms “San Andreas” Petaluma, CA - Sheep’s Milk, crumbly with a buttermilk tang

  • Caramel Roasted Peaches over a Ricotta Pound Cake, Blackberry Compote & Sweet Corn Ice Cream
  • Hazelnut-Milk Chocolate Mousse with Cocoa Streusel, Salted Caramel Ice Cream & Chocolate Ganache

I yelped it. here's the review, for posterity's sake:

The good: 

Read more... )

Tim got me Book of Mormon tickets for Christmas, but it was sold out until July, so we've just been waiting for the day to come around. At the time, we thought it'd be a weekend trip to the big city, but now that we live 90 minutes away, we took a half-day trip.

Got in around 3, left the car near the theater, and walked over to the Plaza hotel, since I wanted to see the new food court. There were way too many options, and we ended up splitting a piece of coconut cake, and I had a (overpriced) cold pressed Stumptown. Did a check via foursquare of what else was nearby, and learned there was a Momofuku Milk Bar! Had to go there and try crack pie. So good. Now thoroughly hyped on on caffeine and sugar.

We had a fancier than expected dinner, thanks to my new promotion and feeling the need to celebrate. We went to The Modern, the fine dining restaurant at MOMA, which I think [ profile] picopaco recommended at one point. Four course prix fixe, but also multiple amuses, and mignardises. So much food!

premeal 1: two spoons -- one with a cube of ginger and coconut crusted goat cheese (best goat cheese i've ever had) and one with a raw preparation of fish; watercress soup in a test tube; chili dusted, lemon verbena scented popcorn.

premeal 2: mackarel escabeche with a square of gelatin, basil cream, something else

one: "Pralines" of foie gras / Mango Purée and Balsamic Vinegar.
The foie looked like truffles, rolled in something crispy and some poppy seeds. This was just the right size serving, too.

two: SWEET PEA SOUP / Smoked Ricotta, Barley and Pea “Barbajuan”. 
Incredibly fresh flavor, with the biggest slice of black truffle that I've ever been served. it looked kind of ugly when you mixed all the components together, but it tasted great.

three: THOMAS FARM RACK OF LAMB / Olive and Fines Herbes, Fava Bean-Bacon Fondue and Crisp Spring Onion
This was prepared tableside, which made me feel a little silly. It was super rich, and the lamb was a huge, thick slice. the cooking seemed a little uneven to me, but it was still quite good, and the fondue sauce helped the meat where it was a little too done.

four: CARAMEL PARFAIT / Mango Ravioli, Coconut Tapioca and Ten Flavor Sorbet
Kind of weird, but not untasty. the combos of textures, temperatures and flavors weren't quite harmonious to me. I liked tim's fig tart better.

after: a big cart of treats that we got to choose from --  grabbed caramels, a macaron, a passion fruit caramel-filled chocolate 'lollipop,' a stroopwaffel cookie (or however you spell that), an earl grey truffle.

after 2: lemon and rosemary sorbet with candied herbs served in a raspberry tuille cookie.

after 3: a little box of the most amazing cookies, kind of like thumbprints, with a milk chocolate center, which we ate after the show.


Jun. 26th, 2012 08:33 am
  • 2002: Italian dinner at I Ricchi (ended in being so full we couldn't climb into our loft bed and slept on the floor. romantic).
  • 2003: Wild Orchid Cafe
  • 2004: no idea. didn't write about it, so it doesn't exist.
  • 2005: Geoff and Mary's wedding
  • 2006: I was at a conference in Portland, OR, and then Tim came up and we celebrated in OR/WA
  • 2007: Signature Room at the 95th in the Hancock Building in Chicago (which was also where we got engaged)
  • 2008: Oleana (in the midst of trying to sell our Waltham house)
  • 2009: somewhere in Vermont, while Tim's parents were visiting
  • 2010: i had surgery, and then laid on the couch in a vicodin-induced haze. we might have done something before the surgery, but i don't know what it was.
  • 2011: Primo in Rockland (though on the actual day of our anniversary, Tim was at a meeting at school and I ate take-out chinese)
  • 2012: Peacock Inn in Princeton

deep fried turkey
gingered cranberry sauce
sugar and spice roasted butternut squash
maple mashed sweet potatoes
wasabi mashed sweet potatoes
cornbread stuffing
homemade bread
roasted beet salad with ricotta salata and lemon vinaigrette
spinach salad with goat cheese
pumpkin pie with fresh whipped cream
chocolate espresso snowballs


Jun. 29th, 2011 10:26 am
having two livejournals, fb and twitter makes it really complicated, figuring out what to put where. i originally splintered [ profile] scrabblek8 off of this journal so that i could keep that part of my life/friends separate from my "real life," but now they're just so intertwined that it's starting to feel silly. but, there are plenty of people in scrabble who i don't want to know that much about my life outside of scrabble, and there are plenty of y'all who read this who couldn't care less about the scrabble, so i guess it's fine. y'all who read all my internet blathering will just have to tolerate some redundancy here and there. in any case, i'd like to keep up with this journal better than i have been in the past year or two, because i like being able to go back to it and reference what i was up to.

so, that aside... this past weekend. was so good. there is a lot of Maine to explore, and i get excited about it. as usual, our trip included farmers market, food, beer, yarn, coffeeshops, and random browsing through shops. it's nice to have my amazon wishlist with me at all times on my phone - i can be out shopping and see something great and jot it down there, to see if i really want/need it, or if it was just the moment that caught me up. of course, i'd rather buy the things themselves at small businesses if i'm going to buy them, but having amazon as a centralized wishlist is helpful.

our first stop was Bath, ME. it was pouring down rain, but i will brave the showers to visit Halcyon Yarn. i picked up some birthday swag for [ profile] woolarina, some Zino to make socks for Tim, and some Rios because every time I see it, I must buy it. We visited the farmers market, looked at the water, and jumped back in the car. Visited a few more businesses and markets along the route, including the State of Maine Cheese Company, grabbed a hot dog at Wasses, played a couple of games on Scrabble at a coffee/book shop in Rockland, and eventually checked in at the Old Granite Inn. We had the smallest, most economical room, but it was still perfectly fine for our needs.

Went to Primo for dinner, which I already posted about. The menu changes every night, so if I lived there, I would have to talk myself out of going every day, even if just to read the menu. We walked around the grounds first, checking out the gardens, the chickens, and the very tame pigs. Looked up descriptions of the various salumi on offer with my phone, and settled on boar lombazini, which was basically meat candy - salty and smooth and great. The service at the table was excellent, and they wrote "Happy 10th Anniversary" in chocolate on my dessert plate, reminding me of the "congratulations" written similarly on my plate after we got engaged (rather publicly, at a restaurant).

On Sunday, we went to the Farnsworth Art Museum (thank you, NPR member card, for the 2 for 1 deal). There was a special exhibit of Andrew Wyeth's art, and an exhibit by Paul Caponigro, a Maine photographer. This was my favorite piece - just a bunch of broken ice, taken in Newton, MA. Headed back home, took a long nap in the car, casted on a sock, had lunch at an indian place in Biddeford.

10 years! still hard to believe.


Jun. 26th, 2011 10:12 pm
Before dinner - some cheddar-ish cheese served with honeycomb, strawberry, fig, toasted bread
plus a plate of boar lombazini, one of the many meats they cure onsite.

Amuse - tuna on crostini with caper, olive, greens

Me - Duck confit with sunflower sprouts and cherry vinaigrette, roasted red and golden beets, cherries, and crostini with goat cheese and cherry

Tim - Morel chanterelle and some other wild mushroom cavatelli with peas and pea tendrils in cream sauce

Tim - Char with white and dragon beans, Hot Italian sausage and tomato sauce and basil

Me - Sea bass with homemade pappardelle, charred garlic scape, fava beans, roasted corn, speck in creamy sauce

Tim - Belgium chocolate budino cake with mint chocolate ice cream and raspberries

Me - Lemon cake, meringue, blueberry (?) compote

Mignardises - passionfruit marshmallow and grand marnier truffle

best meal we've had in maine, despite having to listen to the people at the table next to us talking about colonoscopies.

xmas food

Dec. 26th, 2010 11:15 am
breakfast: baked pancake, home fries, soyrizo w/rice, bacon, turkey kielbasa, chicken sausage.

dinner: turkey, stuffing w/fruit and chestnuts, braised & glazed brussels sprouts, beets with ricotta salata and vinaigrette, honey glazed carrots, scalloped potatoes, bread, salad, cranberries.

dessert: cupcakes!

mmm food

Dec. 27th, 2009 09:51 am
we're in chicago - it's been a reasonable temperature, and we're ensconced on the empty third floor until the renters move in on 12/29 - it's nice to have the big space all to ourselves, although it'd be even better with some furniture and a mattress with more support than a cushion of air. i think we'll leave on the 29th to make the trek to the ithaca area, and then tim will drop me in albany from there.

highlights have been seeing the nephews, working out at the fancy gym and lots of food and presents (highlights include ugg boots, new bathrobe, a bunch of dvds and cds including Glee vol 2, and tons of chocolate).

xmas brunch: two types of baked french toast, dutch baby pancakes, cream scones, fresh fruit and cheese plates, hash browns, corned beef hash, bacon, sausage, and frittata.

xmas dinner: prime rib, catalan style swiss chard, green beans, rice, three cheese sourdough bread, glazed carrots, cake with fresh fruit and meringue.

and then last night, the parents sent us to mercat a la planxa, jose garces' tapas place downtown. we had eight tapas: flash fried peppers with salbitxada; three cheese plate (pau w/chocolate hazelnut puree, ombra with orange-guindilla marmalade, and cana de cabra with strawberries and balsamic reduction - i drank all the balsamic it was so good); escalivada with roasted peppers, cipollinis, eggplant and tomato confit; patatas bravas; roasted brussels sprouts with bacon, feta, and garbanzos; wild mushroom saute with potatoes and onions; duck breast with seckel pears and a duck confit & foie gras crepe.

the food last night was excellent - it was well-timed as far as when the courses were brought out, and the flavors were unique and excellent. the duck with the duck crepe was by far my favorite - it was ridiculously rich, small enough that i wasn't overwhelmed by it, but big enough to feel like i'd gotten a good serving.

we went to see Addams Family after that - it's in preview in Chicago. Hard to go wrong with Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth in the title roles, but the show was kinda dumb - the story wasn't that interesting, and there were no stand-out songs. Maybe people who like the tv/movie a lot will appreciate the show more. The hardest part was Nathan Lane's accent -- it felt like it wavered from Spanish to Italian to Jewish. Meh. Also, Terrence Mann is one of my favorite broadway actors, and his main song was about his tryst with a giant squid - kind of a waste of his talent. But, it was fun, the voices were great, and it's always nice to get to the theater.

the spread

Nov. 26th, 2009 09:17 pm
turkey, filet mignon, roasted garlic mashed potatos, sweet potatos, green beans with garlic and almonds, glazed carrots with pecans and bacon, swiss chard with raisins and pine nuts, cheddar scallion biscuits, rice, fresh cranberry sauce, chestnut stuffing, salad...

and once we digest, pumpkin, pecan and dutch apple pies, and strawberry shortcake with fresh whipped cream.

happy eating everyone! i'm thankful to have all of you in my crazy life.
It's weird having a birthday on a Saturday without making any concrete plans for a celebration. On a work day, you work for most of the day, and only really think about festivities for the evening. On a Saturday, you have all day to sit around and be birthday-ish.

My birthday ended up being the whole weekend, which was awesome. It started with dinner on Friday night at anneke jans, the one fancy restaurant in downtown Kittery. It exceeded my expectations with excellent service and food. I started with a raspberry lime rickey laced with vodka and fresh berries. the butter with the bread that was served was very rich and tasty; even the free food that some restaurants don't think much about was notable. We also started with a pate that was freshly made that day - I think it was beef, calves' liver and pork, wrapped in bacon - comfort food at its best. Tim had a chilled gazpacho-y soup that tasted like summer in a bowl, followed by some concoction of things I didn't really try so I can't report on. I had a bibb lettuce salad with spice rubbed bacon and pickled shallots. I have recently developed a love of sweet pickles, and the sweet-tangy shallots were a perfect complement to the soft, subtly flavored lettuce and the crispy thick-sliced richly-spiced bacon. There was just enough vinaigrette to pull it all together. My dinner was a giant steak and an even huger basket of paper-thin fries. For dessert, I had the best bread pudding I've had in awhile, and Tim had a blueberry/blackberry cobbler. So good. Fresh whipped creamy goodness.

Other than that dinner, I basically got to dictate what we did and when and Tim happily did it. Go to the mall? Sure, honey! Go to Maine Diner for breakfast? Sure, honey! Sit on the couch and do nothing? Excellent idea, honey! It was pleasing. I wish I had been well enough to go down to Boston and see people, but it was probably better to stay close to home. joey came by and helped feed my scrabble addiction, and even though I lost three of four, it was a much better set of games than the ones I played at the end of the Maine tournament. This coming weekend, the fesitivities continue with [ profile] sharkycharming's visit -- hopefully I'll finally get to go to Food Factory Miyake in Portland!
To celebrate anniversary number seven, we went to Oleana. We have dubbed Oleana our favorite restaurant in the Boston area.

We ate:
Warm Olives with Za'atar
Appetizer special - fresh homemade mozzarella with arugula, beet carpaccio, candied walnuts over cherry sauce with pomegranate vinaigrette
Fried Haloumi Cheese & Spring Onion Dolma with Walnuts, Sesame and Rhubarb
Fava Bean Pate, Soft Boiled Egg & Wilted Spniach with Fried Almonds and Za'atar
Spicy Fideos & Chick Peas with Green Chard & Orange Aioli
Crispy Duck with butter Toasted Pita, Cinnamon Rice Pilaf, Fresh Chick Peas, Eggplant

It was tasty. Especially the duck skin. Mmm duck skin. They brought things out in courses - olives, then the two cheeses (yay flaming cheese), then the fava, fideos and duck. It was a good selection, and a reasonable amount of food, especially since we managed to not ask for seconds on the bread basket. The selection of wines by the glass was plentiful, so we split a white cotes du rhone, and Tim had a grenache. I felt a little ill from my half glass. It's probably about time that I give up drinking wine and beer, and just stick to martinis, which don't have the same effect. We sat in a secluded corner table in the bar side of the restaurant, surrounded by wine bottles. It was much less hectic than sitting in the somewhat crowded dining room. We were too full for dessert, and nothing was so inviting that we wanted to overstuff ourselves. We bought some Pie Guy mini pies on the way home, but Tim fell asleep on the couch before he got to eat any.
I have never been to a graduation with

-- teachers dancing in wearing robes and sunglasses while leading their procession of seniors to the songs like "Walk this Way" by Aerosmith
-- excellently-produced video montages of the senior arts showcase, which took over part of Chicago this weekend
-- spontaneous performance by Earth, Wind and Fire, who were receiving an honorary degree (one of them even swiped a bass from a member of the graduation orchestra)

Art school graduation is pretty cool. Many of the speakers' themes were the same as 'regular' college graduation (eg, life long learning and leadership; self-discovery as the most important lesson of college; the significance of collaboration rather than competing), but within this context, it somehow felt cooler.

So, after we collected the sister from graduation, we had a bit to eat at Clarke's on Lincoln, near the Biograph Theater. There's a Dillinger movie being set to film there, starring Johnny Depp, and everything is being converted to look like lincoln ave circa dillinger's time, which means lots of cool old signage. It's a little surreal.and then there was dinner )
First things first: my two nephews, Andrew and Eli, were born Wednesday (no one managed to tell me til today). Everyone is happy and healthy. They were 5ish and 6ish pounds. I don't know how they both fit in Mary. One of them apparently looks like our side of the family and the other like hers. James (my other nephew) has declared them the third and fourth kids, since Henry, the basset-beagle, is his 'first younger brother.'

Second: Valentine's Day. I got up early and baked two batches of cookies to surprise Tim, then went to work, then we went out to dinner at Cambridge Brewing Company. We were there for two hours because something went awry with entrees (we waited for them for about fifty minutes). We were also sitting by the door, so I was a little freezing by the end of the night. Even so, it was a nice dinner with great beer.
Started the morning by dropping off three, maybe four old computer monitors, and two or three defunct computers at the recycling facility. Had breakfast, then home for some sitting around, and then some cleaning. Did about two hours in my grandmother's dining room, sorting, tossing, and getting grimy and sweaty. There was a glorious thunderstorm in the middle of all of that, with the kind of rain where you can barely see across the street.

After getting thoroughly dirty, got all cleaned up and went to the Hancock Center to celebrate our sixth anniversary (which was actually Sunday, but who's counting) in the restaurant on the 95th floor. We had a table by the windows. and looked out on Navy Pier and the lake. I started with a pear martini and the greatest prosciutto-wrapped mozzarella on grilled bread appetizer, then duck, which was not quite right, so I sent it back. The nice server, who I'd asked earlier to help me choose an entree, got me a brand new entree of my other choice, which was pork tenderloin in a hibiscus-dried cherry reduction. Tim had a melange of appetizers and sides -- roasted beet salad, tempura asparagus, mushroom roulade, and cheddary gratin-like potatoes. He had the cheese plate to finish the meal, and I had the cheesecake -- they wrote "Happy Sixth Anniversary" in chocolate on the rim of the plate. Cute.

I think the best part of it was feeling clean and showered and nicely dressed after two days of sweat and cleaning. Tomorrow the dumpster will be dropped off at 8am, which means a full day of seeing how much actually fits in 16 cubic yards of space.
For the record, we ate at Sidney's Grille in the Hotel@MIT for Thanksgiving. All you can eat buffet, no cleanup required, good vegetarian options. The mix of people was entertaining -- lots of college students in college student clothes, some guy with an iPod and a bow tie, a giant family gathering of Asians, etc.

The menu:

Duck Confit Salad with Grilled Heirloom Apples, roasted delicata squash and cipollini onions
Roasted Sugar Pumpkin Bisque with toasted pepitas
Baby Spinach Salad with topped with caramelized pears, spiced pecans and vermont chevre, vermont maple dressing
Fresh Mozzarella with sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, and a balsamic vinaigrette
Flatbread crackers with spices

Hand Carved Turkey with roasted chestnut and andouille sausage stuffing, candied sweet potatoes, and cranberry-orange compote
Slow Roasted Peppercorn Crusted Rib Eye with burgundy demi glaze, yukon gold mashed potatoes, and garlic rubbed blue lake beans
Hot Smoked Atlantic Salmon with mustard seed infused greens and tangerine emulsion
Butternut Squash Ravioli in an amaretto cream sauce topped with crispy parsnips

Chocolate Marquise cake with bittersweet Chocolate mousse, sable cookie
Baked Apple Cobbler with fresh whipped cream
Bourbon Pecan Pie
Vanilla Pudding with Cranberry Gelee
White Chocolate Almond Cake
an assortment of brownies and cookies

I tried a little of each appetizer and entree, and a couple of the desserts. My favorite thing, strangely, was the flatbread cracker. The spice mixture was super tasty, and I loved the texture and flavor. Plus, it wasn't on the menu that we found online, and something about the element of surprise was pleasing as well. All of the entrees were great. I will put sausage in my stuffing more often -- so good and rich. I will also fry up parsnips when we make squash ravioli or squash gnocchi, as that layer of flavor and texture was also a great touch, and easy to do.
borrowed from [ profile] aracknee
December 16, 2004
10 Ways To Be A Better Person )

Three more days of work (this one included! And this one is short!) and I'm off to Chicago. I have much to get done before I leave, as usual. Presents to wrap, make, finish. House to clean. Students to advise. Letters to write. Holiday cards to send. Blah blah blah - this is more or less the same list that I keep repeating to myself every day.

Last night, in celebration of Tim's defending the proposal for his dissertation study (now he actually gets to start his study, which is good, since all plans were already in place to start on 1/3 or so), we went out to dinner at White Tiger, which is Indian food in DC. It was tasty, as usual, and I even put up with the excessive (to me) doses of cilantro on my soup and chicken makhani. Came home and watched television while I finished knitting a hat, and boy sat and drank some nice Spanish red from our Riedel crystal glasses.

No more classes, so we had a more leisurely morning, and didn't leave for school til 8 or so, instead of the usual 7:15. This gave me more time to drink the lovely coffee that [ profile] maratcal sent as part of my Christmas present (it's really good!), so I'm a little more twitchy than usual this morning.
I've managed to drag myself into work after a great evening last night. We headed to Annapolis in our shiny new car, and only got slightly lost trying to find the restaurant.

The Wild Orchid Cafe is a house-turned-restaurant, very similar to Cafe Phoenix back in Grinnell, which was about the only restaurant we really liked in that town. I often find that there's a comfort to eating in a house that's a restaurant rather than a regular restaurant -- it feels very personal, casual while still classy.

We were seated toward the back, in a little nook that could've been a walk-in closet back when the restaurant was a house -- it was big enough for us to fit comfortably, and it opened into the restaurant completely so it didn't feel claustrophobic, but it was still close enough to feel more intimate than we would've at the other tables. The server brought mini-phyllo cups with a roasted red pepper mousse - very similar to the pepper dip we make at home but creamier - as a complimentary appetizer.

The menu, as most are in Annapolis, was pretty seafood-heavy, and neither of us eats seafood, but we both had choices in entrees, which Tim often doesn't have being a vegetarian. I decided on tournedos of beef wrapped in veal bacon with a peppercorn sauce, served with yukon gold potato and frizzled leek hash (basically cubed and beautifully fried potatoes), and grilled asparagus. Tim had basil and goat cheese ravioli with pesto, also served with asparagus and I think some spinach, or similar greens. Both entrees came with freshly baked, warm cheddar bread (plus oil with freshly ground pepper, which I always appreciate), and a house salad of organic greens with strawberries, toasted almonds, and gorgonzola. We paired it with a Spanish 1999 Malbec (I can't remember the name, but they had a reasonably extensive wine list) which was very red :) I think I'm losing my taste for alcohol - it's very bizarre.

The food was quite good, and entrees with the salads and bread were in the 20s, which seemed pretty reasonable. There's a balance between quality and quantity at restaurants with $20-something entrees, and this one was a little higher on the quantity, lower on the quality than I would prefer, but still definitely worth the price. They did lose a couple of points for serving Tim's meal on a plate that I recognized was sold at Target (and sure enough, checked the bottom and the brand name was Gibson). Details, details. The wine was very reasonably priced - not marked up nearly as much as we tend to see at restaurants. Plus, we got to use our entertainment card, which gave us one entree for free, and I was too full to eat dessert, which means we'll go out some time this week or next to finish off the celebratory dining experience. The meal with 20% gratuity was under $90, so, for an anniversary deal, it was reasonably economical, and highly satisfying.

mmmm food

Feb. 15th, 2003 03:15 pm
I had quite the lovely Vday after counting down the minutes til the end of work.

Tim had been totally downplaying the plans. I figured we'd just hang out at home, he'd cook dinner, maybe rent a movie. I'd bring it up and he'd absent mindedly say 'yes honey' or some such. I asked him what he was thinking of cooking and he'd mumble something about looking in a cookbook soon, etc. He reminded me that he had a school observation he had to do for work, so he wouldn't have much time to get anything ready, and he'd just pick me up from work and we'd go to the grocery store and so forth. Okay, whatever, I wasn't that concerned about Valentine's Day. It's been four years, and I'm not as anxious about doing nice things any more, I suppose.

So he picked me up, and I whined because I had wanted to play some cards with the boys at school and him, but he made up excuses about long day, not having quarters for a parking meter, etc. I asked him what the plan was and he said something like 'plan? I guess we could see a movie or something..." I hadn't eaten much that day, so I got a little carsick on the way home and dozed on and off. As we approached our exit, we were chatting and there was a car next to us and we ended up in (what I thought was) the wrong lane and missed the turn-off to the road we take home. I was again a little cranky, with the carsickness and so forth, and he said 'well, I guess we'll just go see a movie in Bethesda now so we don't have to turn around'... I figured, sure, I'm not starving yet, we could go see a movie and I could have some popcorn. We drove a bit further and he said 'we might as well get dinner while we're there' -- sounds fine, I told him, except I'm in jeans, so we can only go somewhere as fancy as my outfit, and likelihood of finding a table at anywhere fancier is slim anyway. So he throws me a bag with a pair of my nice pants in it, and then I was decidedly suspicious about the plans and supposed lack thereof.

We went to grapeseed, which is a great new wine bar/restaurant, over 80 bottles, food inspired by the wine, written up as one of the top 100 restaurants in the area by the Washingtonian. Had great food, wine, dessert, then headed to Barnes and Noble, as too intoxicated to drive home, and played some Scrabble, read, etc. He was quite proud of himself for having such plans, and my not figuring them out until the last minute. He even had flowers in the trunk of the car for me.

So yeah, I suppose that was an acceptable Vday, then :)
I could've sworn that I had updated since Christmas, but apparently I haven't. I'm feeling much better now, although I still get really tired from walking around and doing much of anything, and I've taken 2 hour naps every day since I arrived in Chicago (which was about a week ago). This is usually the time I spend in shopping madness, returning and exchanging, burning gift certificates at after-holiday sales, but instead I've been mostly quiet, around the house, enjoying my pajamas and the new shearling slippers that Tim bought me.

It was a good holiday for getting stuff :) clothes, books on watercolor and colored pencils, to experiment with new art forms (I'm still not brave enough for acrylics... someday...), a big rolling suitcase (now I'll be able to pack for ACPA - whee!), a new powder brush since Jasper ate the last one, the new Trivial Pursuit (now I have another excuse to throw a games night!), Buffy Season Two and Sex and the City Season Three DVDs, About a Boy and Aida CDs. Yum.

Saw Two Towers, feel like the only person in the theater who hasn't read the books. I feel silly jumping in at the third book and reading, but I don't know how I'm going to wait until next December to see the third. I suppose most people who actually read the books have been waiting a lot longer to see what would happen on film, so maybe I should just be patient.

My parents live two blocks from a yarn store. I don't know if I mentioned this in the last journal entry, so I'm saying it again :) it's SO GREAT! It's a huge place, much bigger than most yarn stores I've visited that feel so crowded and claustrophobic. I'm thinking of finally making the leap and buying enough yarn to knit a sweater. I did find the yarn I needed for my hat - black with colored flecks - and am also doing a knit a hat for the needy project that the store is sponsoring, which I'll hopefully get finished tonight.

My parents' house is about the same as it always is - hectic and disorganized, and loving and fun. My mom, sister and I are hoping to see Chicago in its film version tomorrow, then a couple more days of lounging about, and the twelve hour drive back to Maryland.



June 2016

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