dining out

This week’s highlights, so far

BakedChicken_BraisedFennel_IMG_0195Totally slacking on the blog this week. Sorry folks!

So far, we’ve had that new baked chicken dish, made with Cannelini beans, so that I didn’t have to make a separate vegetarian meal for myself (pictured above). Served with braised fennel, which is a nice thing to serve it with.

Also, Shane’s Famous (genuine Italian approved) Pasta alla Carbonara (pictured below):
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The highlight for me, was my date with Rose. She was craving some dedicated mom time, and a dinner date seemed like a good plan. I took her around the corner to Arunee Thai and ordered her a Shirley Temple (RIP) and way too much food.
DaughterDate_IMG_3157It was great to catch up with Rose. I learned all kinds of new things about her. She likes edamame, she loves exposed brick, and she’s crazy about cops! She doesn’t want to be a cop when she grows up though, because it doesn’t pay well enough.

She spent a good amount of time trying to tie her cherry stem in a knot with her tongue, like Auntie Jenya does. And when that didn’t work, she tried tying it with her fingers. Finally she threw in the towel and made a list of all the kids who were absent from school on Tuesday due to a stomach virus. Good times.
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Birthday celebration & amazing pink cake

Rose’s birthday isn’t for another 10 days but she jumped at the opportunity to celebrate with family at the Mezza Luna restaurant. A good time was had by all, especially the birthday girl.

The highlights were probably Shane and André’s shared meal of prime rib and chicken parm, Rose’s enthusiasm and excitement, and the amazing cake my mom made. Of course, nothing outshines having a really nice time ,with your really rad family.

See photo captions for more details.

On the road

We had our usual road trip dinner on the way up to Boston tonight. Frank Pepe’s pizza, in the car, in the dark.

I took a picture but it came out black. The pizza was excellent, as always.

Jamaica Night @ Coonamessett Farm

CoonamessetFarm_IMG_9062Dinner at Coonamessett Farm on Jamaica Night has become an annual tradition. It’s exorbitantly expensive for what you get—unless you’re one of those folks who can really take advantage and pack it in at an all you can eat—but we do it for the experience.

Last night was kind of buggy and duck-poop smelly. Perhaps not our best Jamaica night, but we had a good time anyhow.

It’s a lovely farm with pick-your-own veggies, lots of animals to visit, wagons to wheel, an ice cream stand and, of course, Jamaican food and live music on Wednesdays.

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Williamsburg Pizza

WilliamsburgPizza_IMG_1831We had our first family outing in a long time tonight. Shane needed to pick something up at his studio in Williamsburg, so we met him there for some art making, good pizza and to give him a ride home.

He got pretty limpy towards the end of our “adventure”, but I think it was good for all of us to have some non-bed-ridden normalcy again.

Shane’s favorite pizza place in Williamsburg is Williamsburg Pizza. They have some excellent pies, interesting toppings, and even a few vegan choices for my non-dairy friends.

Rose’s review of our outing went like this: “I didn’t want to come, but when I got here, I remembered that this is a very exciting area.”

Chickenfish & friends

Chickenfish&Friends_IMG_1807Rose, my sister, and I, had a late lunch/early dinner (linner?) with good friends Fiona and James, and their kids, in the burbs yesterday. We made a day of snacking on our lunch/dinner, sort-of watching the kids (but mostly trusting them not to get in trouble) and catching up.

James had been fishing in Alaska earlier in the summer, and had some lovely filets from his trip. We had to refer to the fish as chicken so that their kids would eat it. I told Rose that it might not taste quite like the kind of chicken she’s used to, and surprisingly, she didn’t blow anyone’s cover.

The two types of “chicken” were halibut and rock fish. James cooked the halibut with tomato sauce, anchovies and capers. It’s a great way to treat a hearty white fish like halibut, which I’ll have to keep in mind.

For the rock fish, James had been working on his battering and frying technique, and had it perfected. He admitted that he’d reluctantly turned to Paula Deen for tips on getting it right. Major political and personality flaws aside, that woman really does know a lot about fried stuff, the rockfish was amazing.

Fiona made a delicious salad using cherry tomatoes and a selection of herbs from their own Westchester garden. For dessert, the girls dipped blackberries in (loads of) sugar, which kept them happy and occupied for quite some time.

Shane didn’t join us because he’s going through drug withdrawal. This sounds like a terrible thing, but compared to his back pain, it’s downright pleasant.

The Mezza Luna

MezzaLuna_IMG_8730We went to the Mezza Luna restaurant tonight. It’s always great fun. This time we got to sit in the Venetian Room, my mom’s dream come true. Rose said her kid-sized spaghetti with one giant meatball was the best thing she’s ever eaten.

Read more about Mezza Luna in this post from last October.

Also, Happy 4th Anniversary to Jenya & Andre, who probably would have loved to join us, if they weren’t doing something much more romantic and luxurious.
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