Monday, July 30, 2012

Night out in Richmond

A couple of weeks ago, while MB had lots of work projects here in DC to do, I headed down to visit with the parents for the weekend.  Saturday night we headed out on the town to check out some new (to us) places.

We started out at Barrel Thief at the corner of Patterson and Libbie.  This small wine store is also a cafe with some tables in the back.  They have a nice wine list, as well as options to pick a bottle off their shelves.  We had a couple of glasses and some snacks - the plum bruschetta was wonderful!

Then we drove across town to Church Hill for dinner at The Roosevelt.  

We were a little early for our reservation, so went to the bar and ordered some cocktails.  The place is not very big, and it was packed.  They had quite an impressive fancy cocktail list. Mom had her (current) favorite, a dark and stormy while I tried the Seersucker.  It was amazing!  Marker's Mark with sweet tea syrup and a halved lemon that was grilled and frozen.  

Yum.  We ordered a Virginia favorite, the Linden Hardscrabble, for dinner.  The menu was very interesting with creative combinations.  We all had a hard time choosing!  Mom and I shared the beet and watermelon salad, which was fantastic and light.  I had the pork shoulder special with grits and grilled peaches.  Everyone at our table just about licked their plates.  We finished by sharing the foie gras pound cake and ice cream.  

Everything we had was just delicious, and the prices were very reasonable.  I can't wait to go back, and next time take M with us.  I'm sure he'd flip over things like the crispy pig head terrine and foie gras pound cake!  

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Baltimore Orioles day trip

Over Memorial Day weekend, while H was in Tahoe doing some training, I headed up to Baltimore with some of my favorite guys to celebrate one of my best friend's birthday.

Since most of us hadn't ever really been to many games at Camden Yards, native Marylander Dan showed us around the area.  Lunch at Pratt Street Ale House, followed by $2 Natty Bo's at Sliders before heading into the game.

Birthday Boy

Camden Yards is such a great park.  This was only the second game I'd been to up there.  The team is doing well this season, and the park was full of orange and black.

We had a great time at the game and exploring the stadium.  It's always fun to get out and see how other places do it. 

One of the highlights of the day was Bacon on a Stick.  It was something that we knew was there, and we went searching for it! 

They grill it, and then smother it with a maple glaze.  The pieces aren't really pieces...more like slabs! 

Oh soooo good!

It was such a great mini-getaway from DC, and fun day spent with friends.  

Thanks to Burrows for being the photographer! 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

New Orleans, take 2

As you may remember, I spent about 12 days in New Orleans back in March for our annual conference and a couple of fun days following.  

Well, apparently that wasn't enough because in May I hopped on a plane and headed back, this time with 2 of my favorite Elon friends.  Sara had a conference there this time, so we used the excuse to go hang out for the weekend!  Josh had never been to Nola, so we had a great time showing him around town! 


Frozen Irish Coffee from Erin Rose, Covington Strawberry Ale, and breakfast biscuits from Johnny's.  We had drinks at the Sazarac, Carousel bar, and the Napoleon House.  We ate at Dominica and Red Fish.  And we wandered around town, enjoying the sites and sounds! 

One of my favorite cities, and what a fun crazy weekend with these two!  When do y'all wanna go back?! :)

Monday, July 2, 2012

5th anniversary celebration

Time sure flies when you're having fun!  I can't believe that we just celebrated our 5th anniversary! 

I feel like just yesterday we celebrated our 4th, and to that point, just got married! 

In past years, our tradition has been to take a vacation day on our anniversary.  This year, we lucked out and it was on a Saturday.  M surprised me with an overnight stay downtown DC at the Madarin Oriental...

View of the Washington Monument from our room

...and dinner at the famous DC restaurant, CityZen!  We opted for the 6 course set menu, and it was delicious.  The staff and service was unmatched.  They knew it was our anniversary and spoiled us from the minute we walked in the door.

I'm going to try to remember each dish...bear with me.  We started with a surprise from the Chef, a roasted quail leg.  We also each had a glass of rose prosecco.

The sommelier was fantastic and suggested a delicious bottle of Burgundy.  Then began the tasting menu - first was a veal carpaccio with mini crab cake and bĂ©arnaise sauce.  

Next was a savory lobster french toast - this was our favorite.

This was a sea trout and very different than we expected - it was delicious.

Fourth was a rabbit roulette which was incredibly rich - we both could have finished with this.

The least favorite of the dinner was the lamb, which was disappointing.  I love lamb, but this one just didn't do it for us.  But the bread they served with it however melted in your mouth.

Then we had a small sorbet as a palette cleanser...

before dessert.  The corn cake was strange, but the rhubarb cream thing on top was very good. 

They also surprised us with a sparkling muscato and extra dessert, which was delicious.

They also gave us coffee cake and coffee 'to continue the celebration the next morning.'  It was a lovely touch. 

With my bad luck in seeing the chefs, I was surprised when James Beard Award WinneEric Ziebold was in the kitchen!  He's on the right in the blue apron.  This was taken from our table, right at the kitchen!

The dinner was good, but incredibly expensive.  While it was delicious and certainly memorable, it will be a long, long time before we return...

The next morning, we hopped up early slept in until 10am!  When I woke up and looked across the room, I saw 4 black wooden letters, L O V E.  Wood is the traditional 5th anniversary gift, and how creative was M!  They're now on our bookcase in the living room.  He also gave me beautiful David Yurman earrings.  It's a bit of a tradition for him to give me a piece of Yurman, my favorite, each year.  Keeping with the wood theme, I gave him a big, fancy, official wine rack for the basement.  He's so excited to be able to organize the wine that's currently laying all around the floor!

After exchanging gifts, we laced up our sneakers and headed out to enjoy the beautiful morning and walk around the monuments.  

After brunch, we headed back out west and stopped at Lost Rhino brewery in Ashburn.  We have been meaning to go for months, and thought what better day than this to visit!  They've got quite the set up there with a nice bar, a few food options and tours of the brewery.  They're open Wednesday-Saturday with tours all day Saturday.  My favorites were the Blond and the Brown, and husband enjoyed the IPAs.  For $5 each, you get the tour and tastings - great deal! 

After a super fancy dinner of Chipotle in the car, we headed to Nissan Pavilion, er, Jiffy Lube Live for the Dave Matthews Band concert! 

We had pit tickets, which we love to get when we're seeing Dave.  When we saw him play at Nats Park in 2010, we ended up about 3 rows of people from the stage, and it was awesome!  

We weren't quite that close this time, but still had a fantastic time.  He's one of my favorites, and I love seeing him live. 

We had an absolutely great time celebrating our 5th anniversary!  Five down, so many more to go :)

I love you MB!