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Recent Outings

Posted by eemilla on August 28, 2010

With our amazing skill to rationalize eating out or otherwise spending more money than is prudent, we decided a downtown dinner was in order.  After much discussion about where to eat, we landed on Cucina24 as their current summer menu is more vegetarian friendly than previous menus.

Although we are regularly on Wall Street, I haven’t been inside the Cucina24 space since it was Akumi (i.e., a few years ago).  The interior is classy wood and romantically lit; we were sat along a row of windows with a view of Patton Avenue, which was bustling and entertaining (without the distraction of too much street noise).  Katherine took care of us, and she executed service wonderfully; she was knowledgeable and helpful in navigating the menu.

We began with the a fava bean puree and toast points, the squash blossom appetizer special and a caprese like dish; I love fava beans, and I have been craving them all summer long.  The puree was nothing spectacular, but it was certainly serviceable.  The squash blossom appetizer was one blossom shy of a trio, but otherwise it was delicious with plenty of cheese and crab goodness (even after half of mine erupted into my lap).  My salad featured burrata, which is like a poached egg of fresh mozzarella cheese, and some exemplary tomatoes; being summer, my palate has been craving this dish incessantly.  My honey enjoyed lamb for dinner, and I believe it was the lure of figs that drew him in.  The figs and port reduction were beyond fantasy, and the plate was gorgeous (plus he enjoyed the lamb).  I ordered the gnudi (like with the burrata I had to ask what exactly it was), and I was surprised at how tasty and interesting the dish was, with plenty of hearty mushrooms.  After years of searching, I think I may have found a tirmisu to compete with my memory of La Caterina’s; it was perfectly mocha flavored without being too sweet, and the portion was nice, too (although Rezaz’s is a close second).

With our dining out dollars being few, I have avoided Tupelo Honey South after a couple of people mentioned how pricey their meals were.  I thought maybe Southern Living had gone to their head, and I haven’t really eaten at the downtown location since they stopped catering to the late night crowd and closing at 3 am on the weekends.  I was also put off with their decision to fund healthcare by selling t-shirts and mugs; it seemed a bit false when one cannot eat at their flagship location without a wait (I can’t remember the last time I haven’t seen a line regardless of time of day).  However, something compelled me to drop in, and I was hooked with their bar specials.  Although I cannot recall all five specials, my two favorite are ridiculously awesome deals; on Sundays, all scotch is $4 a glass, and Tuesdays feature $2 local draft beer.

We have enjoyed both specials a few times, and we’ve also been back for dinner.  To all those who bemoan the cost of Tupelo Honey, I say fie!  Sure, you can spend $16 on shrimp and grits, but you could also get the country breakfast (eggs, grits, home fries or asparagus, choice of meat or faux meat) with a biscuit for $8 or two biscuits gravy with meat or faux meat for $6.25.  For our dinner, I opted for the house salad, which was heaping and enough to share followed by two massive sweet potato pancakes showered with pecans.  My honey had the grilled cheese with sweet potato fries, and he added soysage and gravy to the complimentary biscuits to round out his meal.  We both left feeling fat and happy for less than forty-five dollars (including tip, my $4 scotch and his margarita).  Our server, Alex, was awesome, and we’ve never encountered anything less than professional service.  The decor is old time kitschy, with old window frames sectioning the dining area off.

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Good-bye Gabrielle’s

Posted by eemilla on March 22, 2009

I only had the pleasure of dining at Gabrielle’s one time, and it was one of the best meals ever.  We found our favorite bargain sparkling wine there, and the service was the best I had experienced since a trip to Sunset Key in 2001.  The ambiance was romantic and lovely, with the solid wood decor and the candlelight sparkling on the white draped tables.  Although Gabrielle’s is moving to another site on the property, I feel it is tainted by the arson.  Hopefully, unlike the last arson there, this one will be solved, and the blight will be cleared.

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Hello 2009!

Posted by eemilla on January 2, 2009

As I just started this blog, I don’t recall if I had any resolutions for 2008.  If I did they probably included saving more and spending less (which my husband and I both refuse to do for an extended period of time), losing weight and being more active (again a total failure as I gained loads of weight), and being nicer and less critical (this is the only resolution I have been remotely successful at, and the diminutive success stems mostly from ignoring the existence of the most irksome people I have to deal with).

I guess having this public forum will help to hold me accountable so I will try to improve upon being nicer and less critical, and in an effort to increase the chance of success I will endeavor to be more physically active.  Although I am not counting it as a resolution, the saving and cutting back will come along as a result of the general economic mood.  Even so, we couldn’t think of bringing in a new year without a couple of bottles of bubbly.  

 

Perrier Jouet and Cremant de Bourgogne

Perrier Jouet and Cremant de Bourgogne

 

 

We toasted to health, prosperity, and happiness so hopefully next year I will be posting something about how much I enjoyed drinking my Perrier-Jouet or Moet’s White Star.  Thanks to  The Wine Guy South for carrying the Perrier at its normal price rather than the higher price offered in October when a wonderful gentleman discounted it for me so we could enjoy it for our wedding anniversary.  With the Cremant being such a steal, I may decide to  gift it all year long to those who drink and are of age; afterall champagne makes every occasion seem special.

Happy New Year (even if WordPress operates five hours ahead of EST)!

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President Barack Hussein Obama

Posted by eemilla on November 6, 2008

Whoo-hoo!  After waking up at 5:20am on Election Day to spend most of fifteen hours handing out ballots, my trepidation and hope carried me through until I heard that Senator Obama had won the election by a good healthy margin that cannot be stolen.  After I tried to watch my local races, I passed out and had to helped into bed sometime after eleven.  

When I arrived at work the reality of the world hit me and deflated my elation.  I work with two ultra conservatives (in a three person office), and they seem to be looking forward to a failed Obama presidency.  However, I will not be cowed, and I am still joyous and proud of this country.  I am thankful that I was able to finally vote for a candidate who was not the lesser of two evils.  I truly believe that President-elect Obama will be a fearless leader who will give this country his all to raise us out of the mess we are in.  He will remind our elected officials that they work for the people not the lobbyists, and he will remind us, the people, that prosperity and happiness have to be earned with hard work not purchased on credit.

I hope to see a major transition from old school energy to new renewable and safe energy.  I can’t wait to see increased public transportation options; I want everything from bike lanes, sidewalks, bus stops, more buses, and light rail for longer travels.  

I look forward to living in a country where health care is a right not a privilege.  I am excited to think that prevention will take precedence over reactive surgery and drug abuse.  I cannot wait for the boom in the health care industry due to the new insureds as they will be even more stable, well paying jobs.

The thought of the wealth being spread not to major, multinational, multi-billion dollar corporations, but to hard-working families and small businesses is so energizing, and I cannot wait to do my part in stopping corporate welfare.

I love my country, and its ideals.  I am genuinely proud to be an American today, and I think is the first time I have been so proud.  I say this because I love this country, but it is the love of a parent for a child.  I am not blind to the blunders, and I think I help the future more by being critical rather than fawning.

Although the road is long and seemingly never-ending, YES WE CAN!

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