indiana_j: (Default)
 Poste is apparently one of those trendy happening places where trendy happening people go to have cocktails - $11 a pop.  It's about two blocks away from the Verizon Center and attached to the Hotel Monaco which means it probably sees a lot of traffic.  Despite that, it was probably one of the quieter places we've had brunch at - we were tucked away in a corner with a table that just fit six of us and the placement and how the restaurant was laid out meant that whatever noise level there was went away.

It was exactly like some of the reviews online said it would be.  The food, very good.  The prices, a bit high depending on what you got for brunch.  The atmosphere, nice.  The service, awful.

It wasn't that the waitress was horrible or mean or anything like that.  It was just that we were sort of an afterthought; having to wait 20 minutes for the bill or even for her to ask for the bill was kind of the final straw.  They also tried twice to pour coffee into my hot tea, leaving me to become rather protective of my cup as time went on.  The food coming out from the kitchen is general not the waitress or waiter's fault - that resides with the kitchen.  But add that wait onto the all the other times, plus a few mix-ups, plus forgetting a few things ...

But the food itself was enough to convince me to come back at least one more time.

I had the Eggs Hussarde - poached eggs using crispy potato skins as a type of potato boat with merchand de vin sauce; bacon and a tart little lemon-y salad came with it and I ordered the truffle frites, as that was something all the reviews seemed to love.  (Not as good as others that I've had but very good.)  To be honest, this was probably a bit heavy and I ended up only eating one of my poached eggs in a boat but it was very good.  And the sauce was very, very nice.

Brunch seems to be the time for mimosas but I have to put in several hours of work (which is why I'm home instead of walking around with the others as today is a gorgeous day) and my stomach probably couldn't have handled it well.

I'm feeling a bit under the weather now but that has to do with trying to read on the metro as I traveled home and not really brunch.  I get motion sickness on the metro far too easily these days.
Now to bend my head to database clean-up and try and ignore how nice it is outside ... 
indiana_j: (Default)
Oh fuck.  I'm sitting here and trying to remember if I just took my sleeping pill or not.  I should probably err on the side of "probably", just in case ...

Had a great time tonight - I trucked up to Columbia, made great time!, to see Amanda and Evan and we went to their weekly trivia game.  I wasn't as much of a hold up as I thought I'd be but certainly not the lead on - I'm never the lead in trivia, to be honest, as my brain freezes.  But I did well enough and, more importantly, had a lot of fun.

It made me miss our laptop parties in the house ...
indiana_j: (Default)
I spent faaaar too much money on wine this weekend but it was worth it.  The fair that I went to was a lot of fun even on my own.  I picked up a hand made basket for my mom (I had some trouble finding one that was a good size while still being too small for her cat, KC, to claim as her own) from the actual fair and a bottle of Merlot from the vineyard for my dad.

It's hard to get wine for my dad because he doesn't like most Virginia wines and generally doesn't care for Merlot.  However, when I liked the tasting that I had of it, I figured he would like it as well.  A bottle of Merlot for him, and then a bottle of Apple wine, a bottle of Strawberry wine and then a bottle of Vidal Blanc for myself.  I generally don't like wines like the apple and strawberry because I find most of them to be overly sweet and generally gross.

But these were more crisp than sweet and, besides, when I was told that the Strawberry would go great with champagne I immediately went "Ooh, what about half and half with Prosecco?" and was promptly sold on the stuff.

The fair was more of a solitary adventure.  But despite being on my own when I went to the vineyard, I was soon 'adopted' by the other folks that were in my tasting with me.  (Two women my age, four guys celebrating a friends birthday, and a couple.)  That was really nice and went a long way to not making me feel awkward for being there by myself.  The only downside was that I couldn't join the four guys for a glass like they'd invited me to afterwards since I did have to drive back by myself.

And the vineyard was just gorgeous.  I need to go back with a group because I want to sit on the balcony with wine and friends and look at this view:

indiana_j: (Default)
Okay!  So the rice pudding seems to be turning out!  If everything else goes horribly wrong, I can at least feed my guests that!  (It's tasty but warm now so I'll taste test it tomorrow after it's been in the fridge.)  Tomorrow the caramel apple topping for it gets made, as does the spinach dip.
indiana_j: (Default)
So, you'd think the following would be ... weird, right?

Brie truffle - triple-brie & dark chocolate dropped in a bed of toasted black sesame seeds

BEST THING IN THE WORLD.  (I spent the evening at a wine and chocolate tasting/lesson, which I shall talk about endlessly tomorrow.)
indiana_j: (Flee)
alsdflknsdkfn;sk *runs out the door*
indiana_j: (Default)
Just got back from a relaxing afternoon at Lauren's - I made her Shrimp and Corn Chowder (actually, it's probably better called Shrimp and Leeks chowder...) as I've been wanting to cook for her at her place for some time now.  Speaking of cooking, this was the first time I've cooked since like the middle of the week previous.  I and my check book needed a break but, ironically, I spent more because I had few leftovers. -.- *sigh*

Anyway, I left the majority of the chowder with Lauren but took enough for lunch tomorrow.  The menu for this week will be:

Monday: Poached eggs with mushrooms and tomatoes
Tuesday: Taco's
Wednesday or Thursday: Meatloaf with Bacon
indiana_j: (flying)
Last night, Lauren came over to have dinner with my mom and myself.  I had been wanting to find a place in Alexandria, Old Town preferably, because for a place as awesome as Old Town is, I rarely go there to eat.  It also happened to be Restaurant Week and after a quick search, I found the Columbia Firehouse, who was offering the three course meal set at $35 but also had a full menu if you didn't want to do it.

...GUH.  Guuuuuuh.

The Columbia Firehouse is right off King Street, the main thoroughfare through Old Town and apparently the building is about 126 years old.  It was originally, of course, an actual firehouse for the Columbia Steam Engine Fire Company.  It's been turned into a two story restaurant that was absolutely gorgeous inside.  Stained glass in the ceiling, dark wood, comfortable seating.

The downstairs seats about 150 and, according to their website, is devoted to the more comfortable atmosphere.  They boast a raw bar, do small plates for sharing, and serve supper and bistro food.  The top floor, however, has recently been turned into a more formal sit down part - this is where we were seated, for which we were very grateful as going upstairs cut the noise level by probably more than a half.

I had called right before we left and told that they couldn't take anymore reservations until the 9 pm sitting but were more than welcome to stop in and they'd see if they could seat us.  We decided "Why not" as since they're right off of King Street, if they were full up, it wouldn't take much to find another restaurant.

Much to our surprise, since it was a Friday night and it is Restaurant Week, we were seated immediately upstairs in the much quieter, but still just as gorgeous, seating area.  And then we had to decide what to eat...

Okay, so I decided to go with the 3 course meal that was being offered for RW.  Since some of the main courses alone were $25, I could pay an extra $10 and get an appetizer and a dessert on top of that.  The food was - so very good.  (And the prices were decent - you could easily find something under $20 and Lauren's salad was not only huge but also delicious.)

Appetizer:  Pan Roasted Steak Waldorf with chopped lettuce, apples, walnuts, celery, grapes & buttermilk blue cheese.

There seems to be this 'new' thing where places make their starter salads roughly the size of your main course - I really don't like that.  Why?  Because if you fill up on your salad/appetizer, by the time the main course arrives, you're not going to be able to enjoy it as much.  So needless to say, the portion that they brought out was perfect.  Enough to really get a feel for the salad but not enough to overshadow what was to follow.

I'm a big fan of Waldorf salad to begin with and this was just so light and fresh, probably the best I've ever had.  And the steak - oh god, the steak.  I've never actually had rare steak before so I was game when it came out that way (they were more than happy to cook my mom's a little longer, she has something against blood. :D) - why have I not been eating my steak this way?  Melt in your mouth, just the right amount of warmth, nggh.  And it went so well with the salad.

Main course:  Rockfish with Ricotta Gnocchi, Broccoli Rabe and & Red Wince Sauce

As always when I'm torn between two menu items, I turn to the expertise of the waitstaff and ours recommend this to me.  (As much as I liked it, I think next time I'm getting the dry aged New York Strip.)  Also, I'd never had Rockfish and was eager to try something new, especially as I had just had steak with my appetizer.  It was really good - light and not at all "take a bite and think you're chewing salt water" and the searing on the top had all sorts of interesting flavor.  I'd also never had (or don't remember having) gnocchi (which I pronounced wrong, to Lauren's amusement) and this was really good.  And had a kick!  Woo, a bit spicy but that nice type of lingering spice that isn't overwhelming.

Dessert: Two Brownie Sundae with chocolate and caramel sauce.

Again, a lot of places will not only give you a dessert the size of your main course but they'll douse it with the sauces.  When I asked for no sauce, I was reassured that it was only a drizzle, mostly on the plate, so I was really happy that he wasn't making that.  Perfect size for the dessert, too - though it said two brownies, it really was half of a regular brownie and half of a blondie.  We think the ice cream was freshly made, just two little scoops, with a small thing of the whipped cream that I love best.  You know, the one that doesn't have a lot of sugar in it.  And the brownies were warm - the chocolate one was better than the blondie but I tend to like regular brownies better anyway.

Add on to the fact that the entire dinner was a really nice, low key one and we didn't hurt for conversation.  I had a blast and I'm so glad Lauren was able to come out for it.

This is so going on my "place to revist" list. :D
indiana_j: (Black and orange flames)
I sent an email to Applebee's to complain about, well, everything with dinner last night.  But I amused myself with this particular line (please note that I'm exhausted and still vaguely drugged from the sleeping pills.  I might not be as funny as I think I am):

The food was so subpar that it made food that actually was subpar taste like it should from a restaurant listed in the Michelin Guide.

In essence, thhhhbt.  (Also, Applebee's doesn't need a live DJ blaring music so loud that I'm forced to yell at my mother to be heard.)

...and I have a dent in my bumper the size of my fist.  *chagrin*
indiana_j: (Default)
Is there such a creature as exhaustionitis / the sleepflu / insert cute name here? Then again, it is after 11 adslfknsal midnight! I don't know when that happened!, which means it's one of the first nights that I didn't immediately faceplant into my bed the minute the clock changed to 9 pm. I just feel like I could sleep for a million years and still need a nap afterward. Oh jetlag, at least you're good for my insomnia?

This morning, I ran out to pick up gifts for Lauren and Erin, as I already had Hilly's; I also needed to get lights and decorations for the tree. I wound up getting a mix of reds and silvers for the tree with some nonblinking white lights, with an extra strand so I could wrap it around the balcony. (I was getting cheers for putting up lights from folks on a few balconies away. They were rather ... toasted.)

(Next year ... a party, I think, to help me decorate the tree. It was fun doing it myself but a bit depressing.)

I had a lovely time with Erin, Lauren and Hilly (as I always do) and I was glad we were able to go up and see Hilly at her place. We did what we do best - sat around and talked for several hours as the cats distracted us through antics. I love giving gifts and seeing everyone's reactions, so there was much glee tonight (Watching Lauren open up her gift just made. My. Night.). (From Hilly, I got a really awesome looking book and some really neat liquor; Erin gave me a bottle of wine with a monkey blown into the glass; Lauren got me these AWESOME eye makeup cards with the makeup on there and instructions, plus some much needed lip balm.)

Tomorrow, I need to catch up on my emails, clean, do a huge mailing for work, do up Christmas cards and plot the rest of the presents for folks.


indiana_j: (Default)

April 2016



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