Tag Archives: dinner

Stress free day … NOT

25 Apr

A few weeks ago I planned today as my stress free day. No work, no errands, just relaxation. To that end I made myself an appointment for a massage, and made dinner plans with friends to get Vietnamese out in VA.

I got to the massage with no problem. I booked it at the Four Seasons, I know it’s expensive, but it’s sooo nice! This experience was nice, but not nearly as luxurious as the last time I visited. The place was packed with groups of women – tourists maybe. They were so loud and took over the lounge and the steam room – it was so annoying.

The massage itself was wonderful, but the masseuse was a heavy breather. It was actually quite distracting! I mean I started to feel bad that maybe she was working too hard…It freaked me out.

The kicker though came when I ran an errand on the way home (had to get some meds for Artie) and the car STALLED. What?!  I had no idea what to do  – I’ve never owned a car. I only learned how to drive at 22. Thankfully, MJD was home and calmed me down, and I was able to get the car started and drive home. But yuck. That kind of made the massage obsolete.

And now we have no way to get to Vietnamese! We’ll probably just have to move the location of dinner, but I am going to think of the Vietnemese food I missed all night…

Oh well, the day could have been  A LOT worse, so I’ll suck it up now and enjoy the beautiful summer evening!

Baby Cakes

18 Dec

It has taken me way too long to find the time to write about my birthday dinner at Art & Soul on Sunday. After a day of intense shopping, we did in fact make it and I’ve been itching to write about it ever since!

I have to admit immediately that we found the location and decor alarming. The restaurant is basically in a hotel lobby – and the decor blends between the two spaces. Not exactly the exciting and innovative design I was expecting. On top of that, the restaurant (and neighborhood) had about as much energy as a wet dish cloth. The dining room was practically empty, the hostess and server whispered, and the music sounded like it could be playing at my doctor’s office. Maybe it was the fact that we went on a Sunday night, or that we’re, you know, in a recession, but it was depressing.

But let me say that any disappointment passed as soon as we got our drinks! What Art & Soul lacks in decor and Sunday night business, it makes up for in food and drinks.

To start the evening, we ordered drinks, and were delighted when they were served in festive glasses, alongside delicious buttery, warm bread.

Fancy drinks

Fancy drinks

Carb Addict's Worst Nightmare!

Carb Addict's Worst Nightmare!


You can see the butter just covering those little bundles of goodness! For an appetizer I had the land and sea hoecake. Every bite was filled with taste. I’ve never had anything like it in this city. My mom had the “Put Up’s” salad that was both light and decadent – and my mom refused to allow the waiter to clear her plate until she ate every last piece! Very unusual!

My advice about the apps is to pay attention to the waiter’s description, because the menu doesn’t give you anywhere near a complete idea of what you will be served.

For dinner I had the lamb, which is served with poached pears, and it was wonderful. Somehow classic and still a unique taste. Just about the opposite of how the place feels when you enter!

And for a finale, our waiter (who overheard my mom comment on my birthday) brought out the Art & Soul baby cakes with a candle! So thoughtful! And the baby cakes just made me smile.

Baby Cakes

Baby Cakes

So, after my too-quick judgment, we ended up having a lovely meal and I will definitely go back. I’d love to go during the week for drinks and assorted appetizers, and hopefully see the bar and tables crowded – I think that would make the bad decor less obvious.

Oh, and here’s the greatest picture from the weekend — absolute proof that we enjoyed our dinner!

Too funny!

Too funny!


21 Nov

My friend Ellen, and her boytoy, are coming to visit this weekend. I’ve known Ellen since nursery school in Jackson Heights where we spent our childhood eating entenmann’s products: chocolate chip cookies and donuts being our favorites.


I’m not sure what we’re going to do all weekend (Ellen used to live in DC so she knows the area), but we are going to make dinner on Saturday night, and our other friends who happen to be in town for a family event are going to join us. I can’t wait to show all of them our new apartment, and all the work we’ve done! Also, this is the first time a friend has ever visited me and not had to sleep in the living room. Granted they will be shoved in the tiny second bedroom with all the boxes we haven’t unpacked…but at least they can close the door!

Anyway, I’ve decided to make spaghetti and meatballs, garlic bread, and a big salad. It’s going to be cold, and meatballs just seem so warm and cozy! Also, it goes well with wine, and we’re going to drink a lot of wine. I found a recipe at WhereInDC that looks pretty easy and delicious. And this picture I saw on Flickr sealed the deal! So that’s dinner Saturday – I’ll take pictures if it’s really good, or really bad!


Two benefits to living in DC: getting visitors more often and having an apartment big enough for a dinner party. (even if our current table isn’t quite large enough…)

Donut Scandal

11 Nov

This past weekend in DC was marked by bad service and lackluster donuts. On Friday night, EP (my sister) came to town and MJD and I took her back to our new apartment so she could see it (and love it!). No surprise, once we got home we could not decide on a restaurant, so by the time we headed out it was late! I figured we’d get a table at Sette easily – it was almost 9pm for goodness sake, and while Sette has some reliable options, it’s not new or different by any means. Well, it was packed! I take this as further proof that this city is in desperate need of more reliable neighborhood restaurants. Anyway, we were too hungry and moody to wait that long, so we walked down Connecticut by the usual disgusting options, and decided to try the Cantina,  the bar below the Darlington House. (We tried Darlington House on her last trip during their “soft opening”, and it was good, but expensive. I’ll have to go back now that it’s been open for a while in order to write a reliable review.)

When we got to the bar it was crowded, loud, and smelled kind of bad. Looking back we obviously should have left, but we were starving and kind of desperate, so when our waitress came over we immediately ordered drinks and dinner, and asked for a side of fries, ASAP. Apparently, our waitress was either new or trying to get a bad tip, since the sad looking $7 fries didn’t come out until our quesadillas and burger were ready (even after repeated requests). And then she didn’t even tell us what the dipping sauces were made of, so poor MJD who despises mustard tried one and had to suffer through the mustard covered fry, or spit it out right there.  Thankfully, he opted to gulp a lot of soda and get that fry down! Other than the smell, and the slow, unhelpful service, I thought at that point that maybe we had just been judgmental. The food was a little dry, but fine – maybe it was a place to come back to for drinks and appetizers, but not dinner. That would be ok.

But then we ordered the donuts.  A bag of warm, sugar-coated donuts for the table.  How could you mess that up?! HA! A brown lunch bag was delivered to the table with SIX almost invisible donuts! They were so small, and barely covered in sugar, and they didn’t even cover the bottom of the bag! And when we asked our waitress what the three dipping sauces were (having learned our lesson from the fries), she looked, pointed at them and said “this is one kind of chocolate, that’s another kind, and I guess the white one is cream,” and walked away!! And she was wrong! It was pathetic! So, I have to admit that I then asked a man that may be the manager if possibly the kitchen had forgotten to fill the bag with all our donuts. I swear I asked nicely. He basically scoffed, told us that desserts were sized for a person, not a table, and walked away in a huff.  But come on, at most places you get a dessert for the table, and it’s plenty – this was not even enough for one person! And what happened to the customer always being right?

Anyway, I would not recommend it for anything, and we will not be going back. When we got home we all ate cookies my sister had brought from NY and tried to decide what part of the evening was worse – smell, staff, food, portions, volume, etc…!

Oh, and they charge for soda refills.  WHAT!?