The weather yesterday was perfect for eating on the patio so we decided to let Ian cook so I could have the night off. When I called for reservations the first thing the manager said was, “we were just talking about you guys”. Have I said recently how lucky we are to have such a great place right around the corner? Everyone is so nice and they always treat us like family. It is rather like our version of “Cheers”.
We love sitting on the patio under the trees and having dinner. There is really nothing better than dinner on the patio when the weather is cooperating. It is always great to see Ian, Corey, Aimee, Michael, Stephanie, Brandon, and Kristin. There is something very special about having a neighborhood restaurant where you know almost everyone by name as well as quite a bit about them. We used to know everyone but there are some new people for the summer that we haven’t met yet. Give us time though we will get to know them too. ;-)
We were thrilled to hear that Aimee’s straight A streak is still intact. Yay Aimee! She aced organic chemistry, which she was a little worried about, as well as her other three courses. We knew she could do it! ;-) We (Dan, myself and Louis our pharmacist friend) are all convinced Aimee will be getting into her first choice pharmacy school next spring. As you can see I was not kidding about knowing them fairly well.
As usual we had to order things that aren’t exactly on the menu, nothing new there. ;-) It is amazing that they put up with us, LOL.
Here is a pic of the specials from this evening. Nothing vegan here, but great inspirations for things to veganize later which I often do. This is one of my favorite tricks when I am looking for dinner ideas. Ian is always a great source of inspiration.
Aimee thought we needed something to nibble on while we decided what we were going to eat and brought us some whole wheat baguette with hummus and fried sage leaves. Again, this isn’t on the menu, but most of the things we eat there aren’t. It is nice to be part of the family and get “special” food. Fried sage leaves were quite the treat since you know we don’t use oil at home. They tasted much more decadent than I remember them being in the past when I used oil regularly. Our tastes have changed tremendously in regard to fat.
For our appetizer we had a small whole wheat pizza with basil and pine nut pesto, grilled eggplant and roasted peppers. This made a great pizza that was full of flavor; we did not miss the cheese. This is a really nice flavor combination. Ian would have added Taleggio (my personal all time favorite cheese, of course it is Italian) which would have been fantastic here if you are a vegetarian. For those of you that don’t cook much Italian food pesto almost always has cheese so you need to know that it won’t be vegan at most restaurants.
Good thing we don't go out to eat often with all the flour and fat. This is why I try not to cook with flour at home. We always seem to end up with pasta, pizza or bread when we go out. But it is good. ;-)
Then Michael and Aimee made us a special salad with granny smith apples, raspberries, strawberries, walnuts and balsamic glaze. We also had an arugula salad with avocado, oranges, cucumbers and black olives (sorry I forgot to take a pic).
Of course there were copious pots of green tea. We don’t even have to order that any more. It shows up at the table about the same time we do. It really is nice to have such a friendly neighborhood restaurant with fabulous food.
Like always we stayed for hours and had to chat with everyone, some more than once. Ian came to the table a few times and even sat down for a little while to chat. We have been trying to coordinate dinner with Ian and Carmen (his wife) for quite a while. Ian is always so busy he is hard to catch up with unless we see him at the restaurant.
Overall it was a lovely evening with wonderful food, weather and company. Definitely a fabulous way to start the long weekend. I hope you are all having a great weekend too.
I need to run and get ready to leave for the farmers' market. Talk to you guys later today.