Sunday, March 21, 2010

Dinner Out - First Day of Spring, Dinning Al Fresco and Sandals


As planned we went out for dinner last night and let Ian do the cooking. The weather was gorgeous so we had dinner on the patio. With the heaters on patio we were able to stay out until 10pm and be perfectly comfortable. Not only was yesterday the first day or spring and the first dinner dining al fresco, but it was also the first day of wearing sandals.

Wearing sandals makes me a very happy girl and is a sure sign of spring at our house. I will be packing away my boots and most of my closed shoes on Monday. It is so nice to be wearing my sandals again. For those of you that don’t know I am sandal fanatic. I have at least 20 pair that I wear regularly throughout the season and add to my collection each year. Can you tell I love my sandals?

We had some of our usual suspects for dinner so I won’t bore you with the details again. But I did snap a picture of the dinner specials last night since they gave me inspiration for things to veganize so I thought they might do the same for some of you. Here they are:

I don’t want to frighten anyone but one of our favorite non-veggie options was on the special menu tonight. We could almost hear Ian (in his best Darth Vader voice) calling us to the dark side. We did not give in, but darn it we were tempted. He does make it tough to stay on the straight and narrow path. Having such a talented chef in the neighborhood makes life much more difficult when you are trying to eat healthy.

For our entrĂ©e we asked the kitchen to take the quinoa and veggie salad they were serving under the lamb chops and put it on top of a green salad for us. It was great, even though the chef thinks we don’t eat enough. Do you ever mix and match things on a menu in and non-veggie restaurant to make a meal you can eat? I find that most restaurants are more than happy to do this when the components are easy to swap in from other dishes.

As usual we had a wonderful time and spent far too long at the restaurant. When you have had 5 pots of green tea you know you were in a place a very long time. During the evening the Ian (the chef) sat down with us, as did Corey (the manager), Alan (one of the owners,) and Aimee (the sweetest “Pharmacist to be” you have ever met). I guess you can see why we feel right at home here. Somehow we spent over 5 hours at the restaurant. Alan was telling us that our “private stock” of good Brunello is still stashed away waiting for us. That too was incredibly tempting, but we managed to abstain. As you can see this was an evening of temptations but we made it through without giving in. This was a miracle I assure you.

My garden has started to return to life. The french tarragon has sprouted and is about 2 inches tall. The oregano has also sprouted. Oddly one of my parsley plants has little shoots sprouting forth. I can’t wait to see the dill, fennel and mint coming up. Spring is my favorite season. Somehow the renewal and return of life lifts my spirits every year.


Dan and I were just discussing what to have for dinner tonight. We seem to have settled on green salad with marinated veggies and lupini beans, with a cold asparagus soup and mushroom barley risotto. I doubt that I will get those all posted today so you can expect to see at least some of them tomorrow.

I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend. The weather here today is glorious again with sunny cloudless skies and temperatures expected to reach the 76 degrees Fahrenheit. I plan to take advantage of the weather since tomorrow we will be having thunderstorms. Talk to you all later.


  1. How Lovely that you could have that much time with your husband in a place you love! Lucky girl you! I often mix and match at restaurants, I do not know if they are to keen on the idea, but usually I have no problem getting something yummy. Although Chili's removed a vegan soup that was my favorite and replaces it with a roasted corn soup that is loades with cream...It upsets me too, because I love Corn Soup!!
    I haven't vegenized my corn chowder yet, but I think I might do that soon! So tell me..... was your favorite pre-vegan dish...Lamb Chops? lol I am dying to know!!

  2. Sounds like the perfect evening!! I am a total sandal girl too. Actually, shoes period, but LOVE sandals and open-toed shoes in general. Can't wait to see your dinner tonight. Sounds great.

  3. Brandi,

    Thanks we had a great evening.

    I am pretty certain I posted a vegan corn chowder last summer if you want to do a quick search.

    Picking one of Ian's dishes as a favorite is like choosing a favorite child. Somehow it doesn't seem right. Everything he makes is fabulous. Sadly many of his dishes are becoming a faint memory. =(


    I knew we shared the shoe obsession. There is something about sandal weather that always makes me smile.

    Dinner is coming along well, but I didn't have a jar of lupinis in the pantry so there is a modification. I should have checked before I posted the menu.

    I hope you are both having a great Sunday,

  4. It's great that you have such a friendly restaurant to go to. We just bought our new sandals on Friday. I only have about three pairs of shoes, so your feet would feel so lonely in my closet. However, I'm quite pleased with my newest acquisition - a bejeweled strappy number! Have fun in the sun!

  5. blessedmama,

    We had a great time at the restaurant, but we always do.

    I have been collecting sandals for quite a few years. Since I have so many pair they don't tend to wear out that quickly. The bejeweled ones sound like something I would love. But I haven't gone sandal shopping yet this year so there is still time.

    talk to you later,

  6. I'm wearing them now, and they love my feet. Let us know what you buy!


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