Taking Back My Twenties

Posts Tagged "Amazing Restaurants"

A Lovely Thanksgiving

Posted on Dec 4, 2014 | 1 comment

I had a wonderful week in Maryland. It was so great, in fact, that I didn’t take many pictures. But you guys all know what Thanksgiving food looks like – we had the full spread of turkey and delicious sides, plus pumpkin pie. And a tasty prosecco after some quality autumn beers.

IMG_6273.jpg IMG_6269.jpg

I got to see my parents on Friday – they drove up to Annapolis and we spent a blustery day walking around by the water, looking in shops, and eating seafood. We tried a new restaurant called Blackwall Hitch, where we had crab dip, crab pizza, and shrimp and grits.

IMG_6282.JPG

IMG_6285.JPG

Saturday night, Matt’s parents took us into DC and we tried an amazing Argentinean restaurant called Rural Society. The food was really different and we had fun tasting a bunch of plates paired with carmenere. And there was malbec butter! I wonder if this is what the food in Argentina really tastes like…

IMG_6287.JPG

IMG_6288.JPG

IMG_6290.JPG

IMG_6291.jpg

IMG_6294.JPG

It’s back to the grind, but only for 3 weeks. Christmas break is on the horizon and rest + healthy eating is in full swing!

Adios.

Read More

Thoughts from a Thursday

Posted on Oct 16, 2014 | 2 comments

Current obsession edition:

1. I go through a chip and hummus combo every few weeks – right now it’s these pumpkin crisps with jalapeño and cilantro Hope Hummus.

IMG_20141016_212800.jpg  

2. I got a new iPod after my nano from college stopped keeping a charge. It was a tiny one that couldn’t hold all of my songs at once. I put a bunch of old country music on the new one and I’m enjoying driving around with the windows, down pretending I’m in high school.

IMG_20141016_212600.jpg

3. Kath introduced me to this foundation a few months again and I just love it. It took a while for me to get used to it because I think my skin was addicted to Clinique, but now I’m really happy with the color and moisture.

IMG_20141016_212626.jpg

4. This weather. I know some people like to get right to boots and coats, but 70’s are just fine with me. Plus, when temps have been in the 100’s forever and ever, 70 feels pretty darn cold.

5. The stuffed squash at Origin Kitchen – this may been the best vegetarian dish I’ve ever had. Matt and I were both in love with it when we had it last Saturday night. Acorn squash, crispy kale, wheatberries, pomegranate, and a walnut syrup….

IMG_20141016_212736.jpg

6. Entering my 30th year. My 29th is this weekend, and I’m in a good place at this age. There have been so many transitions in my 20’s – grad school, moving for Matt to go to grad school, getting married, moving for Matt’s career opportunity, and a long, frustrating job search. But for the first time in a while, I’m just living my life, going to work every day, and not gearing up for any major change (knock on wood:))

Happy weekend!

Read More

Sonoma Photo Dump

Posted on Sep 4, 2014 | 3 comments

Hello!

How is it Thursday again? The work weeks are already flying by! We had our open house tonight – lots of nervous parents and lots of questions. And man, people sure dress to the nines for open houses these days:)

IMG_5985.JPG

But on to the fun stuff. We were lucky enough to get to spend Labor Day weekend in wine country. My sister and I have been planning this trip for well over a year – I can’t believe it’s come and gone already. Kath and her husband are Sonoma experts, so we were glad to have them show us the ropes!

IMG_5987.JPG

We rented a wonderful little house near the Sonoma Square, complete with a backyard and hot tub. I wish we had been able to spend more time grilling in the chilly (!) temperatures, but it was a short trip and were busy tasting pinots and zins!

IMG_5982.JPG

On our first day, we headed straight from the airport to Sausalito for lunch. The bay breeze were soo incredible – I miss water when I’m in Dallas. Then we ventured on to Lagunitas for beer! What a cool spot. I ordered a kombucha since I was the DD for the day, but I had a few sips of IPA.]

IMG_5989.jpg IMG_5992.jpg

For dinner, we walked to the famous Girl and the Fig, where I had a lovely fig bourbon drink. We shared a cheese plate, and Matt and I ordered pork belly and quail.

IMG_5993.JPG

I didn’t snag pictures of our dessert and port, but everything was wonderful.

IMG_5994.JPG

Our second day was spent in the Dry Creek and Alexander Valleys with a picnic mid-day.

IMG_5996.JPG

Chalk Hill was one of my favorite wineries of the trip!

IMG_5995.JPG

IMG_6000.jpg IMG_5999.jpg

IMG_6009.JPG

We made our way to Healdsburg and ended at the La Crema tasting room – another favorite in terms of wine!

IMG_6011.JPG

We killed some time shopping for dessert and walking around the square and then landed at Chalkboard for dinner. Oh my goodness – this was amazing.

IMG_6016.JPG

I think we ordered 10 small plates?

IMG_6019.jpg

Highlights were the pork belly cheddar biscuits, the beef sliders topped with short rib, and the crab tater tots.

IMG_6017.JPG

Saturday was a big day because we did a wine tour – I would highly recommend Dean from Woody’s Wine Tours!

IMG_6022.jpg
IMG_6025.jpg
The highlight of the day was definitely a lunch at the owner of Montemaggiore’s home!!! When Dean told us he’d be arranging for lunch at a winery, I had no idea it would be a private tasting with incredible views in someone’s home. Boy, were we spoiled!!
IMG_6028.JPG
IMG_6029.JPG

IMG_6030.JPG
IMG_6037.jpg

IMG_6038.JPG
At the end of the day, we ventured to a pub for a casual dinner.
We were a little tired of drinking by Sunday, so we took it easy and just visited two wineries before retiring to the house! William Hill over in Napa and was another favorite because of the views!

IMG_6044.JPG
IMG_6043.jpg
IMG_6045.JPG
We had one last dinner in the town of Sonoma at La Salette. It was Portuguese and the food was delicious! I had a stuffed pork tenderloin paired with a Sonoma red!!
IMG_6057.JPG
We bought ten bottles of wine while we were there and I can’t wait to drink them over the next few years and think of this special vacation!

IMG_6042.JPG
It was the trip of a lifetime and I am so thankful that we were all able to go together. And a very special thank you to my parents who took care of little Mazen (my nephew) so that we could make it happen!

Read More

Bodrum Birthday

Posted on Jul 14, 2014 | 8 comments

Hello!

I’ll spare you the details of my low-key weekend at home and share the last of my Turkey pictures!

After our time in Istanbul, we traveled to the beach town of Bodrum along the Aegean coast. I was really, really excited about this part of the trip, but after the whirlwind of the city, I hadn’t thought much about it. I think Matt and I were both blown away when we arrived and saw how ridiculously beautiful it was. We didn’t stay right on the water to save some money, but our hotel had a breathtaking view from a hill overlooking the city and harbor, so it was fine with me!

IMG_5652.JPG

IMG_5658.JPG

I knew the town was old, but I didn’t realize how much history there was until we started walking around the city and learning more about it. On our first day we explored and visited the ruins of the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world! We probably could have spent another whole day going to historical sites (the castle looked so neat), but we had a birthday to celebrate!

IMG_5660.JPG

We walked down to the harbor on our first night and discovered tons of waterfront bars – reminded me of the cove we’d go to in Mykonos every night before dinner on our honeymoon!

IMG_5664.JPG

One thing I forgot to mention in my previous posts are the cats in Turkey! They were everywhere and the locals and people working at restaurants kept them well-fed and gave them attention, so it wasn’t a sad situation (or at least didn’t appear to be) like some of the other places I’ve visited where the animals are thin and sickly.

IMG_5668.JPG

This was the view from our dinner table down to the docks where the cats were waiting for scraps of seafood.

IMG_5685.JPG

Anyway, back to the birthday. Matt turned 30 on the 3rd, so I wanted to do something extra special for him. It didn’t take much research to discover that renting a gulet, or a traditional wooden boat is a big thing in Bodrum. A friend of mine had also done this and highly recommended it, so I made arrangements with a wonderful lady to hire the Adorya gulet for the day.

IMG_5686.JPG

Matt didn’t know a thing about it until the morning of, when I gave him a pair of sunglasses and a card that explained the surprise. He was one happy 30-year-old!

IMG_5703.JPG

IMG_5698.JPG

The boat was absolutely amazing and the day was right out of a fantasy….by far the best excursion I’ve ever done!

IMG_5729.JPG

We sailed into quiet coves and swam in the brisk water,

IMG_5733.JPG

we snorkeled (but didn’t see much),

IMG_5695.JPG

we drank beers while floating on noodles,

IMG_5742.JPG

photo10.jpg

and jumped off the top of the boat.

photo16.jpg

photo17.jpg

Our captain prepared an incredible fresh lunch of salad, fruit,

IMG_5711.JPG

and fish caught that morning.

IMG_5712.JPG

Of course, I arranged for a bit of cake:)

IMG_5737.JPG

photo 5.JPG

It was seriously one of the best days of my life.

IMG_5713.JPG

After the boat trip, we rested and then strolled into town for dinner. We took a break from Turkish food and had dinner at a Spanish restaurant called La Pasion.

IMG_5749.JPG

We sat in a beautiful courtyard and had tapas. I think we ordered 7 and all of them were phenomenal. I’m so glad we found this gem!!

IMG_5758.JPG

We went to this one bakery every night in Bodrum to pick a dessert to take back to the hotel. I think Matt’s birthday is about the only day he’s willing to eat dessert with both lunch and dinner!

IMG_5761.JPG

On our last day in Bodrum, we took a bus over to the beach side of the town and spent the day at a beach club.

IMG_5768.JPG

The view was great! We had crazy winds, so we wrapped up in towels to stay warm and watched the huge beach pillows blow into the water. It was cozy.

IMG_5762.JPG

We had one last dinner in the harbor, and then it was back to Istanbul for the long trek home.

IMG_5773.JPG

Looking back at these pictures, it’s like the whole trip was a dream. I know I am very fortunate to be able to travel and I’m so thankful that Matt and I had the opportunity to visit such an amazing part of the world and celebrate a fun milestone on a gulet:)

Read More

Rooftop Fun

Posted on Jun 23, 2014 | 0 comments

We had a very nice weekend over here! We didn’t do a whole lot, but we did get to hang out with friends both Friday and Saturday nights. And meet a one month old baby!

Friday, one of Matt’s coworkers was promoted, so we went to a happy hour celebration at the W Hotel, complete with champagne! We had planned on cooking in on Friday, but time got away from us at the party and we ending up eating bar appetizers for dinner.

IMG_5490.JPG

On Saturday, we met friends [with dogs] at the rooftop of HG Supply Co. Matt and I have eaten there before, but have never been on the roof – oh my, it’s amazing! It’s a giant space with fireplaces, string lights, mist, and views of the city skyline.

IMG_5484.JPG

We had a couple rounds of beers and paleo-style bowls for dinner. Matt and I shared a burger bowl and a Mexican-inspired bowl with spicy pulled pork (so delicious).

IMG_5488.JPG

It was a beautiful night and so much fun!

IMG_5483.JPG

We had plans to go swimming on Sunday (Matt’s training for a tri), but it rained all day long. We hadn’t had a rainy day like that in a while, so we took it easy and were productive around the house. And then we watched the USA game with some friends, of course!

Another week begins and this one is a short one! See ya

Read More