My Life in Rewind: Restaurant 3 August 4, 2009Posted by smooregasbord in Around Town, Food.
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For Casey’s birthday (waaaay back in April), I took him to dinner at Restaurant 3 in Arlington. Neither of us had been there and it seemed like a great place to celebrate his turning 33. I made the reservations on OpenTable (which I LOVE) and mentioned that we were celebrating his 33rd birthday. I really wasn’t thinking about the correlation between the name of the restaurant and his age. Apparently, a lot of folks go there to celebrate 3rd, 30th, and 33rd birthdays, anniversaries, etc. When we were seated, they had even printed up special menus for the occasion.
For starters, they brought out fresh baked bread with butter and tapenade. Oh, not just any tapenade, the BEST tapenade I have ever eaten. Of course, I’m a sucker for olives. Is it wrong to want to lick the little plate?! Casey ordered their bone-in ribeye with creamed spinach and mashed taters (that’s what we call ’em down South). I thought the steak was good, but that creamed spinach was phenomenal! I went with the duck breast. Typically, if it’s on the menu, I order it. If prepared well, it is the most tender and juicy meat you will ever eat…Restaurant 3 did not disappoint. Mine was served over top a sweet potato hash and garnished with a fruit gastrique (that’s just fancy talk for a garnish). Unbelievable. Totally plate-lickin’ worthy!
Dessert was a tough decision. Coffee and doughnuts, Bourbon Pecan Pie, or Candy Bar Pie? I’m pretty sure we couldn’t have made a bad decision, but we opted with the Candy Bar Pie. It was like having a snickers and a heath bar mushed up into a cookie crust…complete with candle!
I give Restaurant 3 high marks. The food was delectable and I felt that they went the extra mile to make our celebration special. We definitely plan to go back!
Away We Go June 18, 2009Posted by smooregasbord in Around Town, TV/Movies.
One of my girlfriends got several passes to go see the movie Away We Go, so we had a little girls’ night out. I read several reviews in Us Weekly and People that had only given it 2 stars. Opinions vary, so last week we all headed to the theater to see if this movie was all it was cracked up to be…or not.
On a scale of 1 to 5, I give it a 5 all the way. It was a complete laugh riot! So much so that half way through the film I leaned over to Nicole and said, “No more laughing, my face is starting to hurt!” They couldn’t have picked a better cast. While the scene with Allison Janney’s character (Lily) provided for belly-aching laughter, the scene where they have dinner with Maggie Gyllenhaal’s character (LN) was by far the most hilarious in the entire movie! If you’re looking for a great date night movie, I highly suggest this flick…it’s equally funny for both guys and gals.
Note: If you’re at all Prudence McPrude like myself, then the opening scene will have you covering your eyes and blushing like a twelve year old girl. Just a warning.
HOT…NOW June 4, 2009Posted by smooregasbord in Around Town.
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Tomorrow is National Doughnut Day.
When that sign is ablaze, my mouth begins to water.
Isn’t it great to live in a country that celebrates hot, fried dough covered in a sugar glaze?!
Alex and Belle March 9, 2009Posted by smooregasbord in Around Town.
Friday I was stuck in a crapload of traffic on the GW Parkway. I look over to see folks on the side of the road armed with cameras and huge telephoto lenses. I’m thinking, “Are they seriously taking photos of the traffic jam?!” Clearly, I was having a moment of mental muddiness. I turn my head in the direction that their lenses are pointing to see a huge bald eagle perched just above her nest. A nest that appears to be the size of a coffee table wedged in a tree on the edge of Belle Haven Country Club’s Golf Course. These two eagles have been dubbed Alex and Belle and are currently incubating eggs that were laid early last week. You can see amazing photos here and here. I got a chance to see them several times over the course of the weekend. With names like Alex and Belle, I feel like I’m part of my own little Disney love story. Photo Source: Paula Sullivan.
Namasté January 8, 2009Posted by smooregasbord in Around Town.
Since last summer, and by way of my friend Beth’s introduction, I’ve been taking regular fitness classes at our local rec center. Classes are less expensive than our gym membership and the people are way more friendly. The class schedule changes every quarter which gives me the opportunity to try new things. I started with a crew class. It was a great total body workout, but like running on a treadmill, it can get to be a little monotonous. Next up was boxing for fitness. Well, you all saw how that played out. This quarter I’m taking on hatha yoga. Tonight was my first class and, well, I l-o-v-e-d it. Along with the other classes that I’ve already mentioned, I’ve also been taking pilates which I’ve held near and dear for some time now. More so than what I expected, yoga is quite similar yet more flowing.
The point of this post was to say how much fun I had, but to also mention a few of my Christmas presents that I’ve put to use as a result. I have a pointy tailbone and a pointy spine. When I would do “rolling like a ball” (super fun, by the way) on my old mat, I could feel every bone dig into the wood floor. OUCH! To compensate, I would basically roll like a wobbly ball. Casey relieved all of that by giving me a new, extra squishy mat for Christmas. Santa knew I would need a fancypants bag for my fancypants mat and this was under the tree. Who knew Santa shopped at Etsy?! No wonder he’s so jolly!
Carafe Wine Makers January 8, 2009Posted by smooregasbord in Around Town.
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One of my top five favorite booths at the MCES was Carafe Wine Makers. Located in Old Town Alexandria, Carafe gives you the opportunity to take control of the grapes. Once you’ve decided on your personalized blend, a few weeks later you’re able to visit their location again to bottle, label, and cork your creation. If you’re not interested in creating your own vintage, you can always pop into their wine bar for happy hour or one of their special tastings. We preferred their fruity mist wines. The blackberry merlot was by far one of the best wines I tried at MCES…I even ventured back for seconds!
Stonewall Kitchen January 7, 2009Posted by smooregasbord in Around Town, Food.
Now back to our regularly scheduled programming…
Prior to the new year, I was talking about the various vendors that we enjoyed at November’s MCES. Based on the crowd surrounding the Stonewall Kitchen booth, we weren’t the only fans there. I’ve yet to try one of their spreads, dips, or mixes that I didn’t like. I hold a deep disdain for celery, but if anyone could make me change my mind, it would have to be Stonewall. For those who know me, you know that’s saying a lot! The quality of Stonewall products is just that good.
Their jam selection is endless and endlessly delicious. Looking for a two-second appetizer, take a block of cream cheese and cover it with their Hot Pepper Jelly, serve with Wheat Thins or Chicken in a Biskit crackers. YUM! Spread their Mimosa Brunch Jam on a buttermilk biscuit for a treat reminiscent of my southern childhood. The Holiday Jam was a favorite in the Moore household this year, but you’ll have to wait until the next holiday season to pick up a jar of this cranberry-orange delight (or check out the sale items). They seem to offer everything under the sun. I especially like their packaging. The labels look to be handwritten giving me the feeling that I’ve brought home some of my Aunt Emma’s homemade goodies.
Stonewall is based in York, Maine; however, you can find their products at many grocery and specialty food stores. If you happen to live in the DC area, you can head over to National Harbor and check out their newest company store….but you better wait until payday!
Sahale Snacks January 1, 2009Posted by smooregasbord in Around Town, Food.
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If you’re a nut for nuts, then you’ll love Sahale Snacks. Using only natural and organic ingredients, Sahale takes various nuts and combines them with dried fruits and unique seasonings and spices. We’ve tried the Valdosta (pecans, cranberries, black pepper, and orange zest), Soledad (almonds, apples, flaxseed, balsamic vinegar, and red pepper), and Cashews (with pomegranate and vanilla) and have loved each of them equally. The serving size on these snacks is 1/4 cup. However, if you can stop at just 1/4 cup, call me. That will make you one of the most disciplined individuals that I know!
Augusta’s Creations December 31, 2008Posted by smooregasbord in Around Town, Food.
I l-o-v-e pimiento cheese. However, Casey doesn’t quite harvest those same feelings. This is why I don’t make pimiento cheese at home…because I couldn’t let it go to waste. I would feel obligated to eat it…ALL of it. At this year’s MCES, we stopped by Augusta’s Creations for a sample. This family-owned business is located in Charlotte, NC, and specializes in pimiento cheese, buttermilk pie, and chicken pot pie. I know that sounds like a totally random selection, but if you think about it, these are all wonderful southern comfort foods. We sampled their jalepeño pimiento cheese and instantly fell head over heels. If you’re not a fan of spicy, then don’t worry because the jalepeño doesn’t add spice, it just enhances the flavor. As a matter of fact, it enhances the flavor so much so that Casey and I were fighting for the last bite! This snack is rather inexpensive running about $5.99 for a 1/2 pound tub…which won’t last long, at least in our house. The only kicker is the $25 shipping. Why so high, you ask? Well, the pimiento cheese is perishable and must be shipped in a cooler.
As a side note, it can be spelled pimento or pimiento (my personal preference).
Wissie Cakes December 30, 2008Posted by smooregasbord in Around Town, Food.
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Wissie Cakes is a family-owned Viginia Beach-based bakery named after the family’s Grandmother Wilson. Their pound cakes are to die for! They are melt-in-your-mouth moist, and my personal picks are the almond pound cake and the coconut pound cake. I am often chastised because of my love of fruitcake, but if there’s a chance that you can be turned…Wissie can do it! We purchased one of each of the three flavors mentioned above and, in our household, they didn’t last for long. For the ridiculously low price of $6.95 per loaf, there’s no reason you shouldn’t indulge. Besides there are still a few days left before you have to follow through on those New Year’s resolutions!