Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Out and About Eating Adventures - Chapter 2

We have been busy over the past couple of weeks, and were able to check out some new places and recipes that I thought I would share with you.

A couple of weeks ago, we had a family style Italian themed dinner at one of our favorite spots, Pairings. The food was served and passed along the table, it was a ton of fun. There were appetizers, salads, the entree and of course dessert.

The Caesar salad. SO good!

 A nice panzanella salad.
 Our wine which we paired with it, delicious!
 By the time the main course came, I could only eat a bite and then I boxed the rest for leftovers.
We had a really good time, and we love Pairings, I would definitely do it again!

The next day my mom, her good friend and daughter came out and spent a beautiful Saturday afternoon in my neck of the woods. We had a good time shopping in the cute little towns and had a really nice lunch out at Antiquity Rose. It was the cutest little place, I knew my mom would love it!

I had the corn chowder and a feta and mixed green salad that was delicious.

Later that evening we had dinner with 5 other couples at one of our favorite restaurants downtown in the warehouse district, Bar La Grassa. Isaac Becker is a James Beard winner and this is by far one of our favorite places in the twin cities. They have such a unique diverse menu, we always find something new to try, but for some reason, I always find myself gravitating back to the Foie Gras Tortellini. EVERYTHING on the menu is delicious though!

Sunday was Grand Old Day, and we decided to walk in the parade this year. It was a first for the boy, who had never been in a parade before. We walked with the Summit crew and had a wonderful time.
After the parade we hit up some of the food vendors, the boy was excited to get a gyro!
I had enough of the crowds, and I didn't wear the right shoes, so my feet were not happy with me. Luckily we ran into sister S and got to spend some time with her and her boys back at their house, which luckily for us, was just a block from the festivities. Her boys are adorable and just crack me up!

Monday we left for the conference I was speaking at. Not a lot as far as food selections go. And we ate out at this great place, right between two lakes called Bug-a-Boo-Bay, with a name like that it just has to be fun right? Well, I ordered the salmon, and it was awful. The green beans were disgusting. I don't understand how a restaurant can do vegetables that poorly. The salmon was dry, I could hardly eat it. They need a Restaurant Takeover!

I was happy I could go back to the resort and sit on the pool patio bar and have one of these and just kick back.
We did have a nice view from the deck of our room!

We finally got to take the boys mom out for Mother's Day last week as well. We picked a place we knew she would like, she loves Irish Pubs and Jake O'Connors was just what the doctor ordered. The boy and both his mom and dad had the Corned beef and loved it. I had a delicious pub style burger, it was a beautiful night out in Downtown Excelsior, so we sat outside, had dinner, watched old cars cruise by, enjoyed the beautiful flowers up and down main street and then grabbed some ice cream before heading home.

Wednesday brought a really fun wine event. My friend John and his partner Brian, opened a restaurant down in Burnsville called Ernie's about 10 months ago. They are very engaged with their customer base and decided to have a wine tasting with food pairings to have some of their customers help pick the next wines to go onto the menu. We tasted 21 wines and had some wonderful samples of some great food. My favorite was the pulled pork taco, it was delicious. And as always, it was great to see John. He even has his daughter working there with him this summer, how fun is that!

We had a great full table with a lot of lively conversation as well! What a fun night!

We were due to head out to First Thursday the next night, but I think I was already starting to come down with the crud, so we decided to stay home. I grilled a delicious pork loin and grilled peppers and rice. It was the perfect summertime recipe!

The rub/glaze that I used was from our local grocery store chain, I love their spices and branded items, they are all so good. This was the rub/glaze that I used, it was awesome, it comes with a bag, you plop it in, put the spice on it and let it sit in the fridge. Easy peasy and so delicious!
By Saturday the boy was down and out for the count, so I sent our regrets to the functions we had planned for the day. Let sister J and our friend J know that we would probably not be able to join them for dinner, and then settled on the deck for some reading and relaxing. The boy felt bad though, so he told me to just go on and join the girls. I figured what the heck, a girls night out on the town sounded like a blast! And we had a wonderful time.

We started with a glass of wine at sister J's and then went onto the newly located Oceanaire for dinner. We started with a drink on their patio which was wonderful and made for some excellent people watching. It was a beautiful night out, which made it even better.

We started with oysters and some sauv blanc that was delectable!
Sister J and I did splitsy's, which is also one of the best parts of dining out with the girls! We shared mussels which we both love and then the scallops, they were SO good!!!!

We finished the night off on the new hot spot downtown, on the patio at The Butcher and the Boar. I LOVE this place! We sat at the tables that have the chairs that swing and just took it all in with a couple more bottles of wine AND wrapped the night up with some of their homemade chips and dip, delicious! Perfect way to end the evening, and I just love these girls! Sister J is in Watertown, SD for the summer taking care of her mom while she goes through chemo for breast cancer, so she is only in and out of the cities sporadically, but we are definitely making the most of it! I really miss her, but she is earning her badge for daughter of the year!

Now we just need to find a weekend to head out to Watertown to visit with her so she can show us around her home town!


Kris said...

I eat at Bug-a-Boo Bay a lot. My parents have a cabin near there. Yummy! I also recognize your conference location. We watched fireworks there 2 years ago.

Jacky Hackett said...

That is a lot of fun and food. Tired and full just thinking about it. :)