New Years Eve Dinner 2016 at Duexave

FINALLY I’m GONNA POST THIS!!!!!!!!!

So I’ve been backlogged… I have half written blogs up all in this shizz and it doesn’t seem to be coming out (ha! – Sorry dirty mind!) I keep having ideas and then writer’s block… my current obsession with watching Frozen and Tangled and seeing their soundtrack 24/7 isn’t helping either… haha “hashtag dork”… and I also started obsessing (yeah a few seasons… like 6, late) with 2 Broke Girl$ (hastag ILOVEMAXSHEISMYHERO) so yeah.  Work, Disney, iTunes is ruining me…. in a wonderful way.

So let’s catch up on 2017… Let’s start off with my last night of it…. NYE 2016 :) which sadly I had a stomach bug so I threw up all night with my date.  Which was funny cuz my date and I went to watch college football first, and me being over-underdressed  puked a few times at the bar.  My stomach finally calmed down on the way to Deuxave (owned and cooked by one of favorite chefs Chef Christopher Coombs) And while I was being careful with my tender tummy… I am NOT about to throw up any good food… I didn’t eat my usual overstuffed way, but all the food was amazing!!!! I haven’t been in forever!!!



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We started off with delicious warm sourdough (great crust and fluffy middle) with a ribboned creamy butter.

Funny story [sidenote] about sourdough bread.  This total bully that lived across the street from me when I was a kid in New Mexico, LOVED sourdough bread. I played with her because 1. She lived across the street from me. 2. She was a bully. 3. She had no friends. 4. I am overly nice even though she did horrible things to me…. etc. etc. ANYWAYS, she loved it, I hated it and she even held it against me. She also forced me to watch Child’s Play which I ran home crying after. I was like 7. Bitch. Her, not me. She also grabbed my arm and bit it once because I said I didn’t want to play with her anymore… #whyineedtherapy [/sidenote]

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Then came the complimentary amuse bouches…. All topped with microgreens!!!…

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Crap, I forgot what these balls were.. they were fried balls of yumminess though… I think it was crab… When in doubt just shove it all in your mouth (ha!) when in a spoon… especially if shaped in little balls (double ha!)

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Some Creamy Lobster Bisque. (HA! The lady next to us even asked for spoons… LOL duh you sip it, it’s a tiny little cup… and if anything just freaking eat your balls and use that spoon… LOLOL.. she complained a lot all night LOLOL!) Anyways.. tasty, thick and rich.

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And some duck liver terrine with pomegranate seeds on cute little crostini…. I could never turn down anything duck liver… or things on a crostini.  I admit it. I love the trend… it shall never grow old… anything on toasted bread (preferably buttery… even more buttery and garlicky) will forever be delicious!!!!!

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For appetizers (thankfully my date was happy to go with my (get two of everything we would eat so we can try more foods) we got the Wagyu Beef Tartare with Forbidden Rice Chips, Green Papaya Salad, Avocado Puree and Crispy Shallots!

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And the Hamachi Crudo with Fennel Dill, Pickled Shallots, Rye Crisps and Smoked Aioli… which is fresh and delicious…. simple and perfect! And gorgeously plated…. and oh oh oh how I love the roe :] Roe roe roe!!!

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And then came the seafood plates!  With Seared Nantucket Bay Scallops with Maitake & Black Trumpet Mushrooms, Brodo, Fines Herbs and a Chili Oil….. hehe I always love when they table side pour for you… I had to whip out the camera in time to catch it in action.

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Look at those beautiful cute things.  Now, date doesn’t do seafood, but he did for me :] And liked it!!!! —- Although he did pass on the hamachi crudo… still need to ease him into sushi…. (bad experience, supposedly)

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And obviously anything with pork belly.. am I right?  Crispy Spanish Octopus(sy) & Pork Belly with Chorizo, Choucroute, Potato, Parsley and Aiji Amarillo.  Octopus on point with crispy ends… and a melt in your mouth pork belly :] NOM!

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And then comes our main courses!!!!! Which contained the highlight of the night… Prime Beef Tenderloin & Perigord Black Truffles with Egg Yolk Raviolo, Celery Root and Bordelaise.

This Raviolo was the dish I was waiting the whole night for, especially since Chef Chris posted the instagram online.  Yeah, you should follow his instagram.  I stalk it religiously for amazing food porn and cute baby pics :]

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Spiced Long Island Duck Breast & Housemade Sausage with Romanesco, Baby Shitake Mushrooms, Foie Gras & Cipollini Vintrigrette and Persimmon.

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Perfectly cooked and I adored the small chunks of all the foie and sausage.  It didn’t overwhelm and the duck was amazing.  You know I’m a duck girl, if there is duck on the menu, I am sure to get it.

We were nearing close to midnight……..

We got complimentary bites nibbles whilst waiting for our desserts…. nervously so, since it was nearing midnight.  They weren’t a hit…. Not to be a party pooper but the other customers around us didn’t seem to enjoy them either…..

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And the desserts came…..

“Cafe Chocolate” with Coffee Biscuit, Cardamom Cremux, Caramelized Vanilla Glace…. Super yummy!!!!!!!!…. I loveeeee cardamom in sweet desserts…!!!!

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And I, being a lover of Chestnuts, I picked “Chestnuts Roasting On an Open Fire” with Chestnut Cream, Vanilla Meringue, Kalamansi and Banana Glace.  The Ice cream was delicious but unfortunately the citrus inside the ball was just way overpowering so I ended up getting no chestnut flavor. :[

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We sipped on glasses of a delicious Rose bubbly the whole night and had such delightful conversations… (I think I might be a bit loud and embarrassing to him) —-and even got to chat with my buddy, Chef Chris for a bit [yes! Hang soon! And I’ll be in for the waffles & foie ASAP]… unfortunately we were rushing to our venue at the W Hotel to countdown to the New Years so I couldn’t squeeze in a pic with him :[ WAA WAA… It’s okay… it’s not like I’m far from this place.  Adore this place!!!!!

 

Scott Conant makes my tummy swoon: Scarpetta in Vegas

It was a lazy day of pool and grubbing.. and yes, more drinking… but we finally decided to get our deal together and realized that it’s hard to find a good place to eat on a Friday night.. trying to book a table when it’s already 7pm… in Vegas…OOPS.  After a few failed attempts with the concierge at Caesars…

…[we got ready anyways] and ended up deciding on Scarpetta

[Oh Scott Conant you so dreamy <3 swoon]

…with an old coworker of mine, who also happened to be in town.. we headed over to Cosmopolitan – GORGEOUS hotel.  Had a few drinks at the bar and then finally sat down before 10.

Bread and yummy stuff to dip it in… MMM BREAD!!!

George & I

Appetizers Round

Roasted Sea Scallops
truffled white asparagus, pink grapefruit & uni aoili

Super tender scallops… delicious white asparagus… MMMMMM….. To me, if someone can cook a scallop to perfection, they can cook. It’s hard to get it just right, especially since it’s so easily overcooked and turns rubbery like whoa.  These melted at the touch of my tongue. Light, decadent. Amazing. But hello. Two scallops and two asparagus for three people? Awkward!

Special: Steak Tartare

This was okay.  Probably shouldn’t have ordered it, wasn’t bad, wasn’t great.  Wish there was a bigger portion….

And the best dish of the night — and possibly of the whole time in Vegas:

Creamy Polenta
fricassee of truffled mushrooms

Here is the guy pouring the sauce with truffled wild mushrooms all over the creamy polenta…


SO good we got it twice – YES twice!!! We started smothering ALL of our food with this stuff.  Words can NOT describe how amazing it is… and as soon as we licked the bowl clean, we ordered another one.  I’ve never had creamier, buttery polenta in my life.  It was like melted ice cream of savory truffled goodness.  Delicious tender mushrooms.. OMFG.  Last dinner sort of food. I can die happy in a hot tub of this.


We all ordered our own dish but shared everything – not allowed to order the same thing hahaha….

Duck & Foie Ravioli
marsala reduction

This  was obviously mine.  It was the least tasty of the three, methinks, not that it wasn’t tasty.. the filling was good but a bit dry/mealy.  The texture was a little weird for me, but the flavors were spot on – and the pasta was a good al dente.

George picked the Special: Bone-In Prime Rib with a side of Potatoes

It was delicious. If you fuck up beef, than you can’t cook at all.  It was HUGE, Fred Flintstone style. I love a good piece of meat with a nice bone in it.

Kelly got the Special: Chicken & Sweet Corn Agnolotti

This was actually  in my running to be one of my choices.. it was really good and the only thing we all finished!!!! YUM – the corn was amazing and added such a great texture and sweetness to it. YUM

We opted out of dessert but our awesome server gave us some deliciousness anyways…

Butterscotch pots <3 YUM

We headed to XS afterwards…. but ended up waiting a million hours in line.  I ended up cutting a ton of people to get thru, get stamped, just to wait LONGER.  Got to see B for a brief moment and say hi at least…. at least tummy was happy – cuz feet were NOT.

Another night at Eastern Standard…

“What you wanna do? xxx or Eastern Standard or xxx”

Eastern Standard?”

“Hehehe I already got resos there..”

“Let’s just go casual…. bar at Eastern Standard?”

“Let’s do it!”

We ended up at the Hawthrone Bar having some delicious cocktails and bubbly… a great convo with the owner and bartender… LOVE LOVE LOVE.

Island Creek Oysters

Amazing as usual. ALWAYS.

Frisee Aux Lardons

Hazelnuts, Sweetbreads, Poached Egg

SOOOO sexy

Delicious and only thing I pretty must inhaled the whole night.  Runny egg. Sweetbreads. Hazelnuts.  Bacon. Frisee. How can this be wrong at ALL?! *JOY*

Steak Tartare

Cornichons, Baquette

According to W a TOTAL “Cougar Food” And while yes yes yes I loveeeeee tartare, as you all REALLY WELL KNOW… this was meh. Still can’t help but giggle about how it’s a “Cougar” food… :]

Frites

Yummy as usual :]  Altho W told me that it was some sort of fries that all the restaurants get… boo way to be a Chef and blow the cover, yummy nonetheless :] NOM

Pan Seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras
Caramelized Pear, Pomegranate

HUUUUUUGE sexy lobe of Foie Gras on yummy toasted fluffy toasted brioche!!!  It was good until it got cold… delicious nonetheless.. still love the stuff, it was HUUUUGE tho

All W wanted [yep my fatass wanted everything else]:

Linguine & Clams

Oregano, Chili Flake, Parmesan

I had some, it was great. Smallest portion of Pasta I’ve ever seen in Boston, no seriously, but good :] MMM creamy with a hint of heat! I love carbs!!!

Daily Offal: Duck Heart & Leg Cassoulet

W isn’t a fan of hearts or beans so I took a nibble. Def a heart.  Took a bite of the beans.  Not a fan. Sigh.  But the chef gave it to us complimentary – totally awesome of them :] Way for W to throw the “I’m in the business line” :] TEE-HEE…

And like I said, we ended the night just a short distance down the block at Hawthrone for drinks and chit chat… and I just HAD to take this pic

Little baby hand with fake tattoos in big hand with real tattoos..

TEE HEE

Valentine’s Day 2012

Be My Valentine

I’m not a huge Valentine’s Day person. Most Vdays are linked back to BAD memories or no date at all.  In fact one of my best ones was when a crush of mine in HS took me out, bought me a rose and taught me how to drive. :]  Unfortunately for us, he never knew I liked him, he admitted to liking me later on…. annnnd he had a gf at the time. Woot? Anyways. Tragedy.  While I’m not a huge Valentine’s Day I can’t help but give into it if it’s in my face. This was a great Valentine’s Day :]

Last year I was at Blue Hill at Stone Barns and the Patricia Fields Valentine’s Day Costume Ball.. this year was a bit more low key :] But super tasty and fun!!!

Last Year

This Year
This dress looks like a tube top but somehow stretches out into a dress….

Red lips to match my red platform 6″ heels ;]

I worked most of the day and didn’t even start getting ready til late in the day… but I did get a beautiful surprise in the afternoon.. the largest bouquet of flowers I’ve ever received… this tiny little old man who looked like he was 90 carried it all the way to my front door – people who know my house and where I live and how to get to my front door KNOW that sucks balls… but yeah… this was bigger than him.. AND SOOO BEAUTIFUL.

Thanks Love <3

I have late dinner plans with M… so OBVIOUSLY that means we’re gonna pre-drink.. and more importantly, PRE-DINNER!!! So off to DRINK we go.  I love Barbara Lynch…. Obviously… so I was super excited to come here.. it’s in the basement of Sportello – also a Lynch establishment. WOOO!!! Seriously, M knows me way too well… #stalker ;] I had champagne cocktails the whole time, deliciousness and each one was unique~ WOO! He also immediately ordered two things that I LOOOVE

Fried Oysters & Fried Pig Tails

Absolutely AMAZZZZZZZING!!! M knows that I’m IN LOOOOOOVE with pig tails.. these were meaty, fatty and just deliciousness…. while Craigie’s are kinda on the sweet side, these were somehow light fluffy and SUPER fatty and FUCKING AWESOME!  M was sweet enough to let me have most of it. HAHAHA… :] Methinks he enjoyed me nomming on them and licking my lips and dropping it on my legs hahaha #perv ;]

“What else do you want?!”

Yep M REALLY knows me TOO well.. #stillhungry… So hard to choose since there was so much yumminess on their menu…. but obviously I needed to continue my obesssion with Steak Tartare… I still miss my true love.

Steak Tartare: Brioche, Truffle Parmesan Aioli

I LOOOOOVE super chunky tartare and this was a btit finer than what I like but the taste was AMAZING. The meat was super fresh, tender, tasty and YUM YUM I love brioche!

Seriously?

A few drinks and pre-dinner apps later… we were off to our final destination… No. 9 Park :] We already decided the last time we were here to come for Vday… :] Planning ahead hahaha.. altho we WERE supposed to be wearing sweats…

We got the Valentine’s Day Chef’s Tasting Menu with Wine Pairings, there were a few courses that had two options so we got one of each :] at No. 9 Park.. we had resos at 9:45 but didn’t get seated til well past 10 something… good thing we were already getting our drinks on….

Hawaiian Hearts of Palm

Mushroom Vinaigrette, Petite Greens, Black Truffle
Paired with: NV Aubry 1er Cru Champagne Brut

These were SO delicious and definitely made me happy from the truffle fail with M a few weeks ago…  I loooove hearts of palm, and I love that they were the focus of this dish. Amazing.

Pour pour pour

Chilled Peekytoe Crab

Chevril Vichyssoise, Crème Fraîche, American Caviar
Paired with: NV Aubry 1er Cru Champagne Brut

Deliciousness.  LOOOOVE crab everything!!!!!  Looooove caviar everything :] HAPPY HAPPY.. plus I always giggle when I hearcreme fraiche cuz of South Park hahahahha…

Maine Diver Scallop

Smoked Guanciale, Cauliflower, Sauce Périgueux
Paired with: 2008 Simon Bize Savigny-les-Beaune

Is there anything about the flavors and ingredients that are bad at all?! FUCKING BOMB!!!

Seared Yellowfin Tuna

Maine Shrimp, Couscous, Black Olive
Paired with: 2010 Bison Ciliegiolo Rosato 

Super fresh and tasty Tuna. I’m not a huge any kind of cooked tuna girl. I love my tuna rawwwww.. but this was just BARELY seared and delicious. HEHEHE, cute little shrimps and it was super yummy!

Boule de Quercy Raviolo

Celeriac, Dandelion Greens, Bread Crumbs
Paired with: 2007 Lucien Crochet Sancerre Riouge “La Croix du Roy”

We both got one, these were DELICIOUS!  Beautiful fresh pasta, crumbly crunchy bread crumbs… great combo of textures and deliciousness. BOMB diggity of flavors :]

Soooo many wine glasses and we sucked each one down dry

Terrine of Foie Gras

Persimmon, Hazelnut, Quince
Paired with: 2003 Château de Suronde Quarts de Chaume

Creamy and salty… we each had our own, they were HUGE slices and oh so yummy :] I think this was around the time our neighbors yelled at us for speaking too much profanity.. HAHAHA.. srsly, SO much awkward dates going on tonight…

OK I have to say after this the night gets a little fuzzy, more wine was poured, more drinks came and while, yes, the food was banging, I don’t really remember much.

Pekin Duck Breast

Chestnuts, Rillette, Poached Pear
Paired with: 2008 Monpertuis, Châteanuneuf-du-Pape “Suvée Classique”

Prime Ribeye of Beef

Potato Mille-Feuille, Grilled Porcini, Vegetable Blanquette
Paired with: 2009 Margerum “M5”

You are a sexy beast


Out of all the things I don’t remember eating I remember eating this, YUM!

Pomegranate Sorbet

Hibiscus

Chocolate Cream Tart
Pistachio, Banana, Tonka Bean
Paired with: EL Maestro Sierra Pedro Ximenez, Sherry 

Ricotta Cheesecake
Red Currant, Blood Orange, Cornmeal
Paired with: 2010 Marenco Brachetto d’Acqui “Pineto”

Complimentary mini Muffins and Truffles

I actually remember trying a muffin. I think I may have had a frowny face hahaha…. not that it was bad but it was LITERALLY a muffin!

How the hell did we finish EVERYTHING?! Including the wine… How is my liver still alive?! And how am I not 200lbs yet?

OK.. so I don’t exactly remember ALL the details, a bit hazy here, sorry, I blame all the booze beforehand :] Still want more piggie tails, those fried oysters from DRINK… and then the Chicken Fried Foie from last time… I have a feeling I’ll be back soon :]

I love you my Didi baby… my favorite Valentine

It’s Somebody’s Birthday :] – Happy Birthday 白鬼

— Decided to set this to post ON the big day.. hahahaha so just keep in mind that this was written.. a bit beforehand —

It’s T’s birthday on Tuesday but since work is crazy busy for both of us, it’s easier to plan a nice birthday weekend :] The weekend after is Halloween and Papa Ding’s bday [hehe and I’m a daddy’s girl so I have to do a nice big celebration for him] blah blah blah blah so on and so forth, I tend to babble a lot – especially when I’m procrastinating — sooooo I took the Bear/White Devil/Monkey aka my 白鬼  ;] to MOOO… :] Nothing like good steak and wine to celebrate a birthday! I haven’t been to MOOO… for awhile.

I’m a spoiler, I love spoiling the people I care about in my life, from friends to family to significant others – I think I’ve been doing a good jobjust maybe not so much of a good job in choosing boyfriends.. most of the time :]

We’re excited.. and slightly intoxicated… we’d been drinking since the AM – mimosas, wings and nachos galore while we watched the BC/VTech Football game. – which btw started off yay but ended up waa :[ I blame me taking a shower because BC was totally winning before I hopped in for a quick steammmm….  that or cuz the nachos ended up getting sad and mushy. Blaming things that don’t make sense makes things so much better :] See?! Don’t you feel better already BC fans?! It’s all my nachos’ fault! Ok babbling again, back to the FOOD

First a goofy picture…

Finally the time came and we got there just in time!  Valet, walked in and they gave us a great cozy table away from the crowds of people.  As soon as we sat down we got, per my time at reservation request, two glasses of delicious champagne… mmm bubblyyyy!!! Happy Birthday!!!

And then we went on to find a delicious bottle of red.  After perusing the wine menu we decided on just asking the waiter for help.  I love bold juicy not earthy reds and T prefers not too fruity, light Pinots or Merlots.  Waiter, most boss waiter ever, helped us come to a happy medium/balance.

Orin Swift, ‘The Prisoner’, Napa Valley 2009

This wine, The Prisoner, was SO delicious.  We tried two different kinds of wines and while the first, a zin was amazing, this just blew it away. YUM!

Warm buttery cast iron skillet rolls with a ball of melty gooey butter sprinkled with sea salt.

Time to chowwww down!!!

Classic Caesar

We started off with the salad to split and they were sweet enough to split it for us.  Delicious, not too heavy on the dressing, nice and cheesy and crunchy croutons and super fresh romaine. Chew chew crunch crunch – loves!

Next up was steak tartare, we were caught between this or the carpaccio… T isn’t a huge seafood eater so those were two obvious choices.  He’s not a big raw food guy either and we were trying to figure out what he had had before…. I’m thinking it was carpaccio he wasn’t sure if it was tartare – at first – or not. So we went for the tartare – WHICH I’m glad we did cuz looking back at my last post on Mooo… I wasn’t a fan of the blue cheese and cherries on the carpaccio here. Score!

Steak Tartare

He liked it, he liked it – and I loved it.. chunky.. not overly seasoned or goopy.. the pita chips that it came with were grilled, perfect thickness for crunch and chew.. not too crunchy and not spongey or chewy or rubber :]  There were huge capers and gherkins on top and it was delicious… super super fresh beef – obviously, it’s a steakhouse, and it was a great dish!!!.. I’ve had a lot of steak tartares but this was definitely a yummy one.

For our main courses.. we both got the 12 oz Filet.  I got mine rare and he got his medium rare. Delicious. Tender.

Filet Mignon with Roasted Garlic/Bone Marrow Butter

Side Special of the Day: Oyster Mushrooms

T isn’t that into mushrooms and I couldn’t get him drunk enough to try them. They were soooo good tho.  Great texture, a bit crunchy and browned on the edges, thick and hearty  – amazing meaty flavor.. like a really thin portobello.. shaped in a fan.. MMMM, sooo gooood… lightly seasoned so the mushroom flavor came thru

Other Sides: Mooo Mac & Cheese, Creamed Spinach, & Whipped Yukon Gold Potatoes

Delicious delicious delicious. When we ordered everything the waiter said it was a lot of food. To which I replied, I eat a lot. T confirmed and our waiter said he wished his wife was like that.  Everything was delicious. I’m not even a huge creamed spinach fan but this was perfectly proportioned – cream to spinach ratio – not overly done, not too wilted, but just enough to be yummy and still retain a slight fresh chew to the spinach – not mush – I’m def not a mush fan.

Yeah, I rule hahahaha #fattiesrule

Chocolate Stout Cake

Dark Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Sauce, Vanilla Ice Cream

It was funny cuz while T was in the bathroom I told the waiter that whether or not we ordered a dessert, to bring out a chocolate cake with Happy Birthday on it.. BUUUUTTTTT… T wanted the chocolate cake anyways so win win :] This cake was SOOOOOO GOOOOOD!! Chocolatey, rich and not too sweet. Even better with the ice cream in the nice crunchy chocolate shell NOM NOM NOM!

Marshmallow Chocolate Bon Bons, delish!

And then with a few more glasses of champagne with our dessert, it was gift opening time.

BUBBBBBBBBBBBLES

Me: What do you want for your bday?
Him: A really big mug!

And guess what I found:

Pug Life shirt :]  How Vinny #JerseyShore

And a Wine Monkey :]

HAPPY BIRTHDAY 白鬼

Celebrating Mommy’s Bday the French way…

It was my beautiful Mommy’s birthday this past Friday [obviously she was turning sweet 26 hehe]…


She’s always been my number one foodie crime in partner with me ;D Even before I started eating/liking food

…ane/so I was planning to take her out to dinner Thursday night since I had a wedding to go to in Flushing for the weekend… – it was her choice… but change of events and I had to make a trip down to the Apple store to get my macbook fixed [again] stupid harddrive [again] so why not our favorite French resto in our area?! Sel de la Terre.  I’ve been so busy with life/work that I’ve missed the past few wine Tuesdays….

I’ve been wanting to try their new menu items anyways since I’ve only been going to their wine Tuesdays :]… We had the NICEST waiter who gave me the best wine recommendation AND also recognized us from Wine Tuesdays :D Woot!

Instead of a bread basket we got to choose our own :]

A delicious glass of French red thanks to my awesome waiter

2009 – Cabernet/Syrah “Puydeval” Vin de Pays d’Oc, France
This was delicious.. fruity, bold but not earthy at all.. so glad I went with this and not the Argentinian Malbec… it’s so nice when I get proven wrong.. especially since I’m usually not a fan of French reds :D

House made Duck Liver Terrine, Toasted Crostini, Whole Grain Mustard, Chutney

Silky smooth duck liver, soooo delicious.. a light sprinkle of salt  – I like it with a sprinkle of red onion and a tiny bit of chutney – love the sweet – if I don’t have some of the jelly with it. YUM!  I’m in LOVE with the brioche toasts.  So fluffy….

ASF Green Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes, Bacon Lardons, Comte, Basil-Parmesan Vinaigrette

Delicious greens, so herb-y and full of flavor, different kinds of leaves and greens YUM.. and tons of freshly cooked bacon all over.. the basil heavy vinaigrette was DELICIOUS – I’m not a huge dressing person, but I loved it!  Just made the salad that much more refreshing!

Long Island Duck Breast, Quinoa, Braised Greens, Beet Puree, Pickled Baby Beets

Cooked medium – mom was kinda scared of medium rare, which is usually what I get with duck – but still super fatty and moist and FULL of flavor, tender and the skin was cooked to a slight crisp – but still chewy and pliable  consistency, YUM!  I say it was still under a medium which I loved…  the quinoa seemed to be a little cheesy mustard grain tasting which made it a bit heavy… so I didn’t eat it with the duck.  The beet sauce and the pickled beets had a nice slight tang to it that cut thru the richness of the duck.  YUM!

Mussels with White Wine, Chorizo, Sweet 100 Tomatoes, Fennel, Garbanzo Beans and Cherry Pepper Broth

This was sooooo good… super fresh mussels and tons of delicious chunks of spicy chorizo and perfectly cooked garbanzo beans!!!  This was soooo good.. and the salty broth paired beautifully with the delicious broth the mussels were bathed in.

Steak Tartare, Dijon Vinaigrette, Truffle Aioli and Rosemary Pomme Frites

I haven’t had a good steak tartare in awhile.. and OMG even tho I’m not a huge aioli girl THIS TRUFFLE AIOLI was AMAZING.. the tartare itself was delicious by itself.  I had some on crostini and with the fries but mostly with a tiny dip of the aioli.  MMMMMM, truffle and raw meat <3  What more can a girl want?!

Happy Birthday Mommy, from me and Dior :]

Plein Sud with Top Chef Ed Cotton

So the night before my trip back to NYC… I planned out the next three nights of dinners… there was Ai Fiori… then LTO.. and Thursday night was going to be Plein Sud [OBVIOUSLY, #topchefwhore].  To my surprise, as soon as I get into the City I get a tweet from the awesome Chef Ed Cotton to stop by his place. Thinking one step ahead chef, already booked!!! This just made me MORE excited for Thursday night to come :]

Now, to be honest, while I knew Chef was super talented, it wasn’t til I re-watched the whole season 7 again the other week that I knew, FO SHO that I had to eat at his place. Pretty EFFING talented dude yo. Not to mention, Boston pride yo! He went to HS in the same time I lived in. Prettttyyy badass.

I mean he STARTED working in HS… with freaking Todd English.. his resume is pretty impressive including working with chefs [aside from the forementioned English] like Barbara Lynch and Danial Boulud.

As soon as we were seated, in this suppppper cosy cute little round corner booth, might I add, we had glasses of prosecco planted in front of us. Bubbly and ice cold – delicious.

Before we even got to read everytime off the menu, we were presented, once again surprised, with some complimentary munchies….

The most delicious Flatbread

Creamy, smokey, crispy…. amazing!!!! This was sooo delicious… and totally helped with choosing another app ;D NOM NOM NOM

We ordered a whole bottle of the prosecco and continued on with our meal.. MMM delicious.

Large Charcuterie Board with Housemade Pickles

They consisted of yummies such as Coppa, this Cured Duck, a Wild Boar and something very similar to Prosciutto but a lot less salty. I completey devoured the housemade pickles.. sweet, slightly tart, mixture of onions, celery, carrots and, of course CUCUMBERS!!!!… MMM.. pickles.

Boudin Blanc
White Sausage, Pomme Purée, Prunes

Mandatory dirty picture of me with phallic food – yep i said it…

This was SO freaking delicous.  Chef Ed even came up while cooking it and said he didn’t want to overcook it. Seriously, most awesome chef ever :D Anyways. To be honest, Boudin Blanc kinda freaks me out.  Large white sausages… I mean.. OK, it’s ridic but I freak out a little bit. BUT THIS IS SOOOOO FREAKING GOOD.  Juicy, tender, a slight POP while you cut into it and chew it… literally melted like buttaaaa… not butter, but BUTTAAAA, in my mouth.  The prunes.. sweet, chewy, buttery, slightly tart – perfect compliment

Steak Tartare
Dijon-Worcestershire Vinaigrette and Grilled Country Bread

Nicely cut, heavy on the mustard but I love mustard so it’s okay :] And thankfully not overly salty.  Very nice and light, yes light, tartare… MMM, very nice and fresh and beefy tasting.. the bread was SO good.. nice, charred on the grilled and super crunchy and delicious. PERFECT with the soft tartare..

And then, to my surprise, another complimentary dish. Oh Chef Ed you spoil me so :] Make me so fat and happy!!!… The most delicious…

Escargot Persillade
Parisan Ham, Almond. Mushroom
I didn’t guess it’d be Parisan ham but this tasted nice, smokey and fatty.  So maybe Parisan ham is? Hold on, let me google it…

… yeah I don’t know…

The herbs in it were amazing and the most delicious fatty crunchy melt-in-your-mouth croutons.  DELICIOUS.  The escargots [yes snails] were cooked SOOOO perfectly tender – like honestly, the BEST escargot I’ve EVER had!!! And I’ve had good AND bad…]  It was rich and buttery but not overly so like a lot of the other times I’ve had escargot so I couldn’t stop eating it.. no seriously, I really couldn’t…. DELICIOUS. I’ve been daydreaming and fantasizing about it ever since. Anyone wanna go and have a garlicky escargot party with me? :D

Let Plat Du Jour:
Pied De Cochon

Yep! Stuffed Piggie’s Feet… A must when you’re here at Plein Sud… methinks anyways ;D  It’s TOTALLY not what I expected, to be honest with you…  Instead of a whole trotter…. it didn’t have the fatty skin collagen-y foot that I usually eat – but all the meat, a lot of meat in big pillows, big fluffy deep fried pillows… very unexpected but very delicious.

Duck Confit

It was atop a delicious sauce and mushrooms… nom nom nom…. the skin was ever so crispy and melt-n-your-mouth.. the meat melted like BUTTTTTAAA [yep again] in my mouth.. so tender.. Crisp Crisp Crisp MMMM, nothing like tasting something so fatty yet so good… good for your soul… and yet still so light. WAIT… light?  My toes are tingling…

Tribeca
Peanut Butter Ganache, Rich Chocolate Cake, Banana Cream

How could I say no?  It’s Peanut Butter, Chocolate and Bananas, NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM!… You can’t really see in this pic, but there’s a huuuuuge sexy smear of a delicious creamy rich peanut butter behind the cake… with a few slices of caramelized banana slices… MMMM…. a delicious chocolate gelato atop crushed peanuts [nonsalty.. wait, I think] and of course the chocolate cake itself.  Creamy, rich, decadent but not overly so in a gross way.  I could eat this for ages… get fat, but love it. Ok, and I also like how it’s called Tribeca, hahaha…

Lemon Tarte with Toasted Fluffy Meringue

This was so yummy, tart and super creamy.  The meringue was a lot more creamy than solid than I’m used to when it comes to a meringue, but very very tasty.. MMM I love burnt foods, it’s a sick sick thing.. and I’ll probably get some sort of weird disease from it — does your mom tell you that you’re gonna get cancer from eating too much burnt food too? — but oh well, YUMMY IN MY TUMMY!!!

The awesome Chef Ed Cotton and I :] EEEE Beantown represent yo!!!!  Thanks for some of the best French food I’ve had in a long time… :] YAYY happy happy pic!!!

Ai Fiori’s Chef’s Tasting – Oh Michael White…

Back in February I won the auction for SOBE Wine&Food Festival for a Chef Tasting for 2 with wine pairings at Michael White’s baby Ai Fiori.  You guys should know by now that I rarely go to the same restaurants again… so when I do, it really means that the restaurant [and Michael White] made a huge impact on me.. my stomach… which basically is where my heart lievs.

Delicious soft gooey butter with black pepper to go with my olive bread!!!

And then began the Chef’s Tasting… I marked all the add-ons we really wanted to try/eat that ended up being complimentary with a “*” :] Seriously, Ai Fiori has some of the BEST service and staff and everything everrrrr *ALL SMILES*

Amuse Bouche…
Steak Tartare, Tuna Tartare and Salted Cod Croquette
The tartare was super tender, very very clean tasting with a nice crunchy buttery crostini on the bottom… er, crouton?  The tuna tartare was just as clear, light and refreshing as the tartare.. and the croquette, which I had last, wasn’t overly salty, or fishy… definitely heavy on the potatoes… all three were an excellent start to the meal.

Chilled Asparagus Soup Shooter

Tasted like my favorite, BPC Green Juice :] Very very refreshing, clean and healthy tasting.. not very much on the asparagus taste but definitely full of fresh veggies…

Ricciola
amber jack tartare, cara cara oranges, cucumber, uova di trot

The cleanest tasing amberjack… SOOOO fresh… the caviar was SO delicious – popped in my mouth but wasn’t overly fishy or salty… perfectly complimented the raw fish. NOM!

The sexy version…

Uovo *
slow poached egg, lobster knuckles, crispy veal sweetbreads, nuage layon

Delicious and foamy… delicious chunks of lobster and sweetbreads with the most amazing cheesy tasting foam… all which complimented the ever rich, smooth and creamy perfectly poached egg… gooey amazingness.

Wait wait, what is this?

Vellutata
lobster velouté, périgord black truffles, chervil

Definitely the most TENDER lobster I have EVER eaten. SUPER SWEET… sooooooooooooo perfectly cooked.. and I’ve eaten a LOT of lobster… raw, cooked right, cooked wrong, overcooked and undercooked, but this was perfection. To be honest, better than the last time we had lobster here.

Agnolotti
braised veal parcels, fava beans, black truffle sugo

I LOOOOOOOOVE Michael White’s Agnolotti.. I literally daydream about these things everytime I crave pasta… SO tender, perfect dough….. MMM creammmmy veal center… I also adore fava beans, tastes like spring – and this whole dish was completed and complimented with delicious black truffle sauce… all of the elements, while perfection all on they’re own, just totally brought the dish together as whole

Vitello
amish veal chop “au four”, asparagus, peas, spring onion blanquette
They gave me the “man” dish…

And they gave Z the girl dish.. hahaha

YESSSS… I gots the bone :D

I’m a sexy bitch when I eat aren’t I? NOT!!! But it was SOOO tender and delicious…. YUM! Ever since my Resto Veal dinner I’ve been in love ever since.. OKAY, to be honest I never would fully seek out veal.. I do now… hahah thanks to Resto… and YUM YUM YUM was this good.  The bone was soooo fatty, delicious and FULL of amazing flavor.  Once you go veal, you never want regular again.. OKAY, that’s a lie.. just wanted to think of something clever to say.. hahaha

Gnocchetti *
semolina saffron gnocchi, blue crab, sea urchin, tomato, fresh herbs

Yeah, okay, we had this before, but we were still hungry so we decided to add to our order… we EACH got our own dish – YUM! The portions were so much larger too.. amazing, delicious, licked the bowls clean. YUM! YUM! YUM!… Michael White and his PERFECT pasta and sauces.. so balanced… chewy tender, perfectly al dente, creamy uni, melt in your mouth crab… OH FREAKING MAN… and then the crunch of the buttery breadcrumbs on top – so heavenly its like a dirty dirty secret.

And because we were super curious about the lamb dish that was usually on the Chef’s Tasting….. Chef gave us some to try :D

Agnello *
rack of lamb en crepinette, swiss chard crochetta, sariette

Yep, Chef got me to eat lamb. Lots of lamb, this was delicious.  SUPER SUPER tender and PERFECTLY cooked.. it wasn’t too gamey or “lamb”-y in my words, at all. Just plain deliciousness.  The swiss chard was cooked down and also super tender… the sauce was soooo flavorful.. yum yum yum.

Panna Cotta ♥

This definitely had a light light goaty or sheep flavor but I found it absolutely amazing.. DEVOURED… Super creamy and delicious – not too sweet definitely to die for.  I ate it up SO fast… crunchy, creamy, cold, amazing.


Okay, I honestly don’t really remember what was in this.. I remember there were SO many layers of tart textures and flavors…. there were candied walnuts and it was SO interesting.. so refreshing and new. Delicious nonetheless…

Thanks Chef Chris Jaeckle.. He was SO nice and charasmatic… we got to chat with him for awhile and I couldn’t stop praising the food… nom nom nom. Ai Fiori, my favorite place for pasta in NYC :] And probably ever… When you have time PLEASE try the Chef’s Tasting and definitely go with the Wine Pairings as well.. absolutely BRILLIANT!!!

L.T.O. [Limited Time Only] with Top Chef Leah Cohen

For the past year, Top Chef-testant Leah Cohen [Season 5] was traveling all over SouthEast Asia [yep and she blogged about it too, woot!]b So for four nights, Chef is serving up a 5-course menu [with or without the cocktail pairings] here at L.T.O. [Limited Time Only]

A little bit about the restaurant… same space, same name, same servers but they constantly, and consistently, change up the chefs/restaurants that do pop-ups here.  VERY cool concept – especially with the recent boomage/popularity of pop-up restaurants. Very clever….

I got there a few minutes early and sat at the bar with a glass of bubbly while I waited for Z to get there.  I was asked by the bartender if I wanted “house sparkling” or “champagne”… I asked him which one was better, confused since I’ve never heard of ‘House Sparkling Wine’… I know there’s always House Red and House White, which unless is in Italy, usually isn’t too great, but not bubbles. He whispered “Champagne is better…” haha cute. And yes, it was tasty.

We were seated at a tiny little table in the back next to the DJ booth, but Z knew me too well and asked for the big booth with the nice squishy comfy seats for us. :] YAY! My butt is happy!

Amuse Bouche
Steak Tartare with Truffle Oil on a Freshly Fried Taro Chip

And so it begins…. MMMMM… I LOVEEEE steak tartare… I LOOOOOVOEEE taro chips and, of course, I LOOOOOOVE truffles.  The taro chip wasn’t greasy at all, perfectly fried [or maybe since it wasn’t greasy it was baked? Regardless, perfectly crunchy and flavorful] The steak was chunky and super tender. The crisp greens added another textural fresh element to the bite.  And of course, the truffles were AMAZING.  I did feel, however, that the truffle oil masked the natural flavors of the steak itself.  It was an amazing bite, but I kind of missed the meaty taste of the beef itself.

Delicious concoction of Prosecco, lemon and vodka.

To be honest, I’ve been kind of scared of overly sweet cocktails since Luckyrice.  While I do enjoy a cocktail once in awhile, I don’t think I had drunken so many cocktails in my life, COMBINED [college included] as I did that night.  THIS drink looked evil but was delicious. Bubbly, light.. did not taste alcoholic at ALL – aka EVIL… – I could’ve drank these ALL night.

Mussel Omelet
Bean Sprouts, Coriander, Sriracha

Adorably plated and executed.  Reminded me of my favorite Taiwanese classic, 蚵仔煎 Oyster Pancakes.. The bottom of this omelet was a nice starchy fried crunchy “pancake” bottom. Despite the liquid surrounding the bottom from the cooked sprouts and mussels, it stayed crunchy.  The egg itself was perfectly cooked – although I could’ve done with a few more mussels, when I did get a bite of mussel, it was delicious.  I LOVED the crunchy fresh bean sprouts.  It played perfectly with the creamy mussels, the fried egg and the “heavier” crunchy bottom… of course I love cilantro – always refreshing in any meal and when I did get some sriracha in my bites [more sprinkling of it please] I was in heaven. You definitely need some of each element to create the perfect bite.

Champagne Raspberry Cocktail

Pork Neck
Watermelon, Crispy Skin, Lime Chili Dressing

My favorite dish of the night and the dish I was most looking forward to. Fatty fatty pork neck with melt in your mouth meat and a super crispy skin.  The watermelon was slightly cooked and super refreshing.  The lime chili dressing, i actually did not expect to like but it was SO delicious and perfectly balanced.

Separately I enjoyed the white wine but I actually found it not very complimenting to the next dish…perhaps it was because of the Chinese sausage…

Cod
Chinese Sausage, Cockles, Yuzu, Dashi, Thai Basil

COCKLES!!!!!!!  And for once, a yuzu dish that isn’t overpoweringly yuzu tasting! Brilliant.  I really liked the dish.. the cockles were cooked perfectly and the chinese sausage added a great spice and fatty element to the dish.  It was diced really small, which I’m actually not used to as much.. because even my mommy’s fried rice with diced Chinese sausage has pretty huge chunks of the stuff… it was a very light sausage – also another thing I rarely see – and the cod, perfectly cooked, tender, and had a generous thick toasted rice topping.  While, Z didn’t really find it good with the fish, I loved the play on the texture with the fish – I just found it hard to cut into.

Last savory dish of the night..and while very yummy, left me wanting more… #hungry

Grilled Hanger
Star Fruit, Rice Noodles, Peanuts, Herbs

I loved the starfruit addition to the dish, Z did not.  He thought it was weird, I thought it was brilliant.  My dish was a bit sloppy but the servings were huge – which was funny because throughout the night I kept getting larger portions than Z did.  The steak was cooked perfectly but I found it to be a bit too sweet.  The rice noodles were cooked great but cut into small pieces so it was really hard to eat – not to mention I REALLY wanted some chopsticks to eat this dish with.  I loved the addition of peanuts.   Crunch crunch crunch – and of course the chili peppers and cilantro are always a plus for me.

Lastly there was dessert… that came with a very very slightly sweet dessert wine – which is great since usually they’re TOO sweet and overpowering compared TO the dessert, this was perfect, light and crisp.

 

Pain Perdu
Toasted Coconut Ice Cream, Bananas, Pecans, Bourbon Palm Sugar Syrup

To be honest, before I really dive into how amazing this dessert was – I didn’t think much of it. I love pain perdu – basically a dessert version of French Toast – it’s been done. BUT this just may be the best of the night.  Ok, I lie I loved the pork neck, but this was Z’s favorite, in fact he STILL can’t stop talking about it. It was a good dessert though – simple, just sweet enough, texturally great, and just YUM! The crunch of the nuts, the silky smooth ice cream and the creamy, yes CREAMY, pain perdu…. with the sweet caramelized bananas – mmm I want bananas foster now – THIS was SUCH a great way to end the night, and one of the best desserts I’ve had in awhile. :] No lie.

Full, fat and happy…

After dinner, I was sad that Leah didn’t really come out to talk to any of the tables so I asked our waiter if I could meet the Chef… waiting patiently we saw her come out, make her way all around the room AND…….. skipped us!!!! SO SAD…. but then one of the servers pointed out that we were the ones who requested to meet her so happy Tiff Tiff again… we chatted for awhile asking about her dishes and her travels around Asia. HELLLLZ YEAH, she went to Taiwan, and loved it. She said she spent the majority of her trip in Thailand.. which was very apparent in her dishes that night.  She was really sweet.. and when we went to take a picture together she freaked out about  my height [haha] and asked if her eyes were closed in the pic.  In which I promptly replied, “I’m the asian one, shouldn’t I be asking that?!” Hahaha… She also mentioned that while she wasn’t allowed to talk about it she was opening a restaurant soon which will also be based on SouthEast Asian flavors.. YUM! I can’t wait.

Mopeds, Fish Tacos and Dinner at Beachhouse

After a crazy day of renting moped, driving around Hawaii [YEP, I drove it an hour East of Waikiki and then back…] and getitng caught in the FREEZING rain on the way back…

wait for it wait for it…

My cute little toot toot moped which Z let me drive :D

Blowhole

We had fish tacos, chips, salsa & guac from the Wahoo Taco Truck down by one of the beaches…

And shared a coconut for some thirst-age…


We were hoping that it’d be a refreshing cold coconut but it was room temp :T Kinda lame, but it tasted great…!!!

We came back, took a shower and got ready for our last night out in Honolulu…

It was hard to chose what to do on our final night… the first place we wanted to eat at was completely booked for the night, and the weather was just really bad to go to Paradise Cove for a luau……. We had reservations at Roy’s.. but ultimtely ended up going to the Moana for a drink and staying there for dinner at Beachhouse.. as much as Chef Roy Yamaguchi is super famous…. we can’t help but be slightly biased of the “chain” of restaurants all over the place.

The Moana Surfrider [a Westin Resort/Spa] is a GORGEOUS hotel and super old school – it was the first hotel to open on Honolulu and it still looks exactly the same as it did then as it does now. GORGEOUS!

We didn’t have reservations so we had to wait an hour or so to get a seat – which isn’t too bad. It was kind of odd since there were tables that were just not getting sitted… satted? Sat in? Sitted in… hahahahah…. SET. Ok whatever.. but still… and even AFTER we got seated were the tables finally filled [even though the hostess said they were taken for, LIES! Hahahaha…]

Anyways, while we waited… we looked around the shops and art gallery in the hotel and we took pictures.. lots and lots of pictures [yeah and I bought more stuff.. obviously.. TURTLE EARRINGS!!!]

We ended up sitting at the bar having drinks and chitchatting with the bartender and each other!!! :D

Our view from the table….

Delicious rose champagne :D

Creamy Butter with a touch of Pink Sea Salt

Z caught me in a moment….

Ocean Raw Bar for Two
assortment of fresh seafood including northwest oysters, king crab, lobster tail, yellow-tail sashimi, ahi sashimi and tiger prawns accompanied with mango cocktail sauce, wasabi shoyu, and an asian mignonette served on a bed of ice

It was alright. Plain. Simple. Fresh. But nothing amazing about it – it’s definitely not the most delicious seafood I’ve had…  The oysters were HUGE and the sashimi was super fresh… I also didn’t like how they seemed a bit stingy on the portios… haha… usually they don’t give that little :P  Irregardless… still good…

Lomi Lomi Salmon
House cured Salmon Garnished with Truffled crème fraiche and caviar

OK get this. The chef actually let the dish come out even though they ran OUT of caviar and the server didn’t even TELL us that.  It wasn’t until I was like “UMMM… isn’t there supposed to be caviar?” to Z that we asked the manager and the manager, didn’t even apologize, just said OH we ran out and later took it away. We didn’t want it… our waiter suggested a replacement but we decided to just skip it.  The fish was meh.. like bland smoked salmon…. definitely needed the caviar.. and of course, more truffles creme fraiche…. The toast points were SO buttery and delicious though. Crispy and melt-in-your-mouth.

Steak Tartare
Rich Wagyu Beef alongside Brioche Toast, garnished with Whole Grain Mustard and Capers
The tartare was ground a bit too fine for our liking… thankfully, the tartare wasn’t too salty but it definitely needed a little more oomph to it.. capers perhaps? Instead of a whole caper berry on top… like I said about the Lomi Lomi toast points, these were SO delicious. It was alright….. Nothing too special… so far the appetizers were just subpar… at least the view and the decor was gorgeous…

Z let me choose the bottle of wine so I went with a delicious Spanish Red… Mas de Can Blau

So fruity and amazing!!! It was SUCH an amazing bottle of wine :] I must find it again….

Moyer Farms Bone-in 20 oz RibEye

Cooked to perfection, Black & Blue just the way we love it!!!  The outside was the most delicious crust of a sear and the inside was niceeee and rawwww!!!  And who doesn’t love a good bone.  Bone-in steaks are always preferred :]

Catch of the Day: Pan-Seared Opah

Tasted like a light Salmon or an Arctic Char… delicious. I’m glad I got the sauce on the side.. I find that restaurants always over sauce dishes…. this sat on top of the creamiest most delicious garlicky mashed potatoes.. I couldnt’ stop eating it… and of course some delicious asparagus!!!! White + Green :D YUM! The outside was crisp and the inside was SO SO tender….

Coconut Lemon Haupia cake
Chocolate marble straws with lemon verbena sauce
This was SO delicious. SOOOOOO much fresh coconut all over the cake OMG I couldn’t stop eating it. I ended up eating off all of the coconut around it :] Hahahah…. #fattie. Nothing like some really really good coconut.

A delicious last dinner [despite a slow start with the appetizers] in Waikiki.. afterwards we headed out to the famous Yardhouse for a few drinks. It was a long exhausting day so we hit the hay soon after… I’m lame.. :D But Yardhouse was no Senor Frogs like we went to on Cinco de Mayo.. which I’m about to post about after this :D WEEEEEEE