Lately we’ve had lots of false starts where our Thursday nights are concerned. We get back on track and then something happens that throws us off again. This is one reason The Whale Wins was rescheduled so many times. Last week, I was bound and determined that we would make it.
This was our first Thursday night dinner visit in the neighborhood of Wallingford. That’s a little surprising given we’ve been doing this for over six years and Wallingford is really not far from home. We’ll have to come back soon.
The Whale Wins space is absolutely gorgeous. It’s sort of a combination of rustic farmhouse and beach cottage with a few fun details thrown in. It’s comfortable and engaging all at the same time.
Whether you’re just getting to know a new sweetheart or you’re celebrating your 25th wedding anniversary, planning a Valentine’s Day to remember can cause a significant amount of anxiety. You want to plan the perfect day, but don’t want it to be the same perfect day everyone else has planned. Fear not! No matter your budget, we’ve compiled a list of his and hers Valentine’s Day ideas that are sure to make for a memorable celebration free of mylar balloons or grocery store chocolates…
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Oh, Ojos Locos… My first trip to Ojos Locos came last year when my cousin, BN, took me there to watch a Kentucky game while B was snowboarding in Whistler. We called around a few places to make sure someone would have it on. The manager at Ojos Locos assured us they would. As we walked in the door, BN paused long enough to tell me “By the way, this is the Mexican Hooters.” Um, what?!
One scantily clad server who introduced herself as our “chica,” some nachos, and a circular conversation about the bar’s Direct TV package later, we were back in the car headed for Buffalo Wild Wings. No Kentucky game for us at Ojos Locos. After returning home to tell B the story, though, he insisted that I take him there on our next trip. Gee, I wonder what the appeal is?
There is a time and a place for fabulous cuisine and there’s a time when something greasy from a bag just fits the bill. During our holiday vacation in Albuquerque, we definitely took some time to visit some old familiar favorites. High on my fast food list for the last several trips had been Blake’s Lotaburger, but we hadn’t eaten there after my parents said that the quality had recently gone downhill.
I’d given up on Blake’s. There are plenty more great places to visit when I go home, so really, that was ok. A few weeks before we traveled this time, though, I spotted a Blake’s bag on the table in an episode of Breaking Bad. From them on, every time I thought of a hamburger, I thought of Blake’s.
In the more than six years B and I have known each other, he’s talked about one particular New Mexican restaurant where he had lunch on an Air Force trip years before we met. He knew it was famous, he knew it had a glass case in the front, he knew it had a patio of sorts… and that was all he knew. Six years of hearing him telling me of this magical place. Six years of me insisting there was no way we’d ever find it. A few months ago, though, after polling my Facebook peanut gallery, we came to the conclusion that it was probably Barelas Coffee House.
It took awhile for us to get there, though. I made one trip to Albuquerque without B. My mom offered to take me so I could take photos and see if it was really his place. We opted not to, much to my father’s relief. Once we identified Barelas, I heard a lot of great things about it from a lot of people. My parents, however, remained merely willing to visit with us. They lacked a certain enthusiasm (or any enthusiasm). There were comments like “it’s not that bad” thrown around. B started to get nervous. He decided he could live with not finding out if Barelas Coffee House was, in fact, his white whale. I, on the other hand, after hearing about this place for the last six years, would not be dissuaded. We were going.
It’s a crime to let a blog post sit for weeks after a new restaurant visit… any blog post. I mean, really, how much can one possibly remember after dozens of subsequent meals? The bigger crime, though, would be not telling you about our visit to Artusi. In all fairness, I don’t remember enough detail to be too specific, but it was such a great meal, I can’t let it pass until our next visit.
What’s better than enjoying a beautiful meal prepared by three talented home cooks who are out to impress you with their culinary skills? Sharing that same excellent meal with two James-Beard-award-winning chefs as the guest of a third is definitely better. Chef Thierry Rautureau, The Chef in the Hat, owner of Rover’s and Luc in Seattle, WA, is responsible for concocting this magical combination.
Kitchen Circus is a web series featuring home cooks who put their skills to the test in the kitchen of Chef Thierry’s 4-star restaurant, Rover’s. Each episode features three contestants who prepare one of three courses for a full house of 45 diners. Guests vote on taste, presentation, and creativity, ultimately choosing the winner. The winners from each of three episodes move on to compete in the grand finale.
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