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Good morning! Here’s my Tuesday return from the weekend so I hope you all had good ones :).

Doing something fun on a Monday night is always a treat since Monday’s are usually such blah days. Last night I met up with my old roomie Nichole for Urbana’s delicious happy hour. A very good way to start to the week!

Urbana does $5 glasses of wine during their HH, so we both enjoyed a nice glass of cab. After browsing the menu earlier in the day I had a definite plan for what to eat!

A beet and rhubarb salad with apple crisps. How delicious does that sound? I don’t think I’ve ever seen rhubarb in a salad but I love it and therefore it was a must :).

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Delish! Sweet beets worked so nicely with the tang of the rhubarb. I think I’ve only ever had rhubarb in dessert form so this was an interesting change.

And one of my very favorite small plates, prosciutto-wrapped blue cheese dates. If you’ve never tried this combo you absolutely must. It’s one of those majorly delicious sweet/savory pairings, like salted caramel. Heaven :).

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Urbana’s were certainly not the best I’ve had but they’ll do. That delicious salad more than made up for their shortcomings!

So how’s that for a yummy happy hour? And of course the highlight was getting to see the lovely Nicole. We are the last 2 remaining in the DC area from our original house of 4. Things change so quickly! I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since we moved out of our beautiful Foggy Bottom apartment. Since then 2 are engaged, 1 is in New York and 1 is moving to the Middle East! And as usual my life is just one giant (fun) mess :)

I’ll see you soon my friends. Several exciting things coming up this week including a preview-to-Restaurant-Week din on Wednesday and a Food Truck-off Friday!

Happy Friday!

Now that Louisa is unemployed, she’s finally got some time to enjoy all the fun that DC-life has to offer. Like Thursday happy hour!

Last night she met up with me and my lovely co-workers for a little drinky.

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And by little I mean the biggest beers you have ever seen.

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These supermugs are courtesy of Chef Geoff’s. I’ve heard about them many times but only last night did I get the chance to try one for myself. My poor head.

It was in fact an excellent happy hour as they go and I’m quite certain from the crowd, most of DC turned out to enjoy it.

I hope you all have fabulous weekends!

Okay so let’s rewind to Friday! My parents arrived into town late afternoon. After a cup of tea, it was time to start celebrating the weekend! And what better way to kick things off than with a delicious glass of Pimm’s.

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A traditional English drink, mixed with fruit, cucumber and mint. It is quite possibly the most perfect summertime refresher :).

Phillips girls with our cups!

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After cocktail hour it was time for supper. We didn’t have reservations anywhere as I thought I’d just see what everyone felt like upon arrival. We ended up at Black Market, owned by the same people as one of my very favorite area restaurants, Addie’s.

It was fully booked, but the hostess let us know there were available tables outside for walk-ins. And so outside it was! Black Market is situated in a gorgeous historical house so sitting on the porch with the fans going overhead was a lovely summer treat :).

One of my favorite things about Addie’s carries over to Black Market: incredible house made bread.

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To start we had the antipasto platter and a bottle of white wine. Cooking School 268

A Daily Assortment of Tomato, Fresh Mozzarella, Prosciutto, Marinated Portobello, Roasted Red Peppers, Sopressata, Olives & Fresh Basil, Drizzled with Balsamic Vinegar & Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

This is one of the best antipasto platters I’ve had. Full of all kinds of delicious treats! We crushed it :).

And for my main, the Pan Seared Rainbow Trout.

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Sauté of Haricot Vert with Almond Butter, Topped with a Salad of Crispy Fingerling Coins, Mache & Toasted Almonds.

Let’s be honest, I mostly chose this dish for the promise of almond butter :). Although it didn’t taste very almond buttery at all! Despite that disappointment, the fish was just gorgeous.

And then we were stuffed. Too stuffed for dessert! The horror. Well until we went home for Belgian chocolates :).

Sooo as I attempt to unload my memory cards from the weekend fun, forgive me if these posts come a little mixed up! I promise you lots of yummy food, just not necessarily in the exact order it met my stomach :).

So this lunch belongs to Saturday afternoon. It’s funny because my family has such a weekend routine. You can always expect the same things to happen when we visit in Cleveland. And this routine seems to have carried over to DC when my parents come to visit Louisa and I. But it works! We see each other so rarely sometimes it’s nice to just spend time spending time, rather than stressing over grand touristy activities.

So on Saturday, we woke up and I made an oatmealy breakfast for everyone. Then we went shopping at the Farmer’s Market (that was a little out of the ordinary/wild). Then we went for coffee, to the gym, home for showers and finally out to lunch. Our lunch destination of choice in MD is always Dogfish Head. Gotta love that craft beer.

I had a new to me variety, the Namaste (Belgian white).

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Refreshing! And not too strong. I love Dogfish but I always need to remember to be careful about the percentage of their beers. Otherwise one drink = afternoon nap. And of course we can’t have that with visitors in town!

Their food is also delicious but giant. So my mum and I split the turkey and avocado sandwich. Avocado at this time of year is just dreamy :).

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And so there you have it! Post Dogfish we did a little bit of shopping, stopped at the incredible Rockville Whole Foods and then cooked (well, my dad cooked) a completely delicious supper. Why mess with a good Saturday routine, right!?

What traditions do you have with your family?? See you tomorrow!

Hello! I hope you all had nice weekends. Mine was lots of fun as my parents came to town for a visit :). I have much to share from our time together but we’ll start first with last night’s dinner, enjoyed with my darling friend  (and Cali travel-buddy) Jackie.

Loudoun County is currently doing a Farm-to-Fork series which Jackie brought to my attention. Since our amazing California trip we’ve been making an extra effort to seek out particularly fun foodie experiences when we get together. Why not, right??

Farm-to-Fork Loudoun is a collaborative effort between the agricultural, culinary, and winery communities of Loudoun County, Virginia. All participating chefs and restaurant owners have committed to using at least 70 percent locally sourced food July 21 through 31, when restaurant patrons may order from specially created Farm-to-Fork Loudoun menus featuring some of the county’s best locally grown and raised produce, beef, lamb, and poultry, complemented by a selection of Loudoun wine and spirits.

Sounds fab right!? After browsing through the participating restaurants we settled on The Wine Kitchen in Leesburg. First of all, how CUTE is Leesburg? I had no idea! I think we will be back very soon to explore more of the tiny town. And speaking of cute, the interior of The Wine Kitchen was just wine bar perfection.

Jackie and I both ordered the Grape-to-Glass local wine flight to begin, which featured tastes of 3 VA wines: Notaviva Vineyards Vinceró, Viognier, 2009; Tarara Winery, Nevaeh, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, 2008 and Bluemont Vineyard, The Pig, Norton, Non-vintage.

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I LURVED the Viognier which is a wine Virginia is quite well-known for. The Norton was also very delish. Drinking wines made so close to home makes the experience extra special I think, especially in light of my most recent job :).

To eat I had the “Chicken and Waffles” mostly because it was such a fun take on the original.

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farm-raised quail / cornmeal-herb waffles / bacon caramel syrup

It was quite tiny but very creative and delicious. And how often does one get to enjoy quail? 

And at least small meals = lots of room for dessert which we all know is the best bit anyway :).

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White chocolate-passion fruit crème brulee crafted by Trang Bowers of Sweetz Bakery right here in Leesburg

Passion fruit is a flavor that always brings to mind my trip to Rwanda and so I just adore it. Not only was the creme brulee a delight on it’s own, that biscotti over top was crunchy, lightly sweet and just perfect. A very delightful finish.

So there you have it! Just a lovely little Sunday night meal. I’ll see you tomorrow with some more from the weekend :).

Tabbard Inn

I was pretty excited to enjoy my day on Sunday! And luckily there were fun plans to enjoy it with. I’ve been dying to brunch at Tabbard Inn for way too long now. It’s just that reservations usually need to be booked several weeks in advance and I’m never that organized. But finally we had the foresight to book a table a few weeks back and on Sunday the day I had been waiting for arrived. :)

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It was disgustingly hot on Sunday which made the walk over not so pleasant. But luckily the restaurant more than made up for our hike! How adorable is that? And the interior was just as quaint.

A little basket of banana muffins and bread to start.

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With a Pimm’s Cup! We rarely see Pimm’s outside of England but a few places in DC have put it on the menu lately. So of course as soon as Louisa and I saw these we had to order them.  Delicious, although lacking in Pimm’s soaked fruit.

And to eat, Buttermilk Pancakes with apricot berry compote and whipped cream. Decadent, delicious.

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The pancakes were light and crispy on the outside with a soft, fluffy center. Pretty much pancake perfection if you ask me!

A delish brunch with some very lovely ladies. And I can think of few ways to spend a much-anticipated day off :).

Back tomorrow!

Hi! I hope every one had a great weekend. I pretty much loved mine :).

Let’s begin with that Friday night Chocolate and Bubbles happy hour shall we? It was just as good as it sounds. Co Co. Sala specializes of course in chocolate, which is the star of most everything they do including happy hour. It seemed like the most perfect spot for a girly evening featuring myself, Louisa, Joelle and Diana.

Take a look at these beauties!

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Although I also had a chocolate cocktail, Diana’s wins the prize for most gorgeous and so it gets to be featured here :). Seriously, how much do you want to drink that right now??

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They also do a prosecco and house-made chocolate special. Louisa had that one and I may have tasted a few :). Divine.

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After chocolate cocktail #1 I switched to wine since the drinks were quite rich. I am IN LOVE with the shape of that wine glass and so it needed a picture too.

So there’s more yummy-ness to the weekend than that! I’ll be back tomorrow with a very delicious brunch :).

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