Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend

It was lunch on Friday that began my holiday weekend. We went to Sidney's Grille for a department lunch to initiate a new hire into our crazy clan. I ordered the mozzarella, prosciutto, tomato, and pesto panini. There was one unexpected flaw: too much prosciutto! I never thought I would consider that a flaw, but for some reason, it just felt like overkill. As I made my way through the sandwich, I decided to sacrifice one of the slices of bread in exchange for a handful of fries. Munching through the sandwich something kept making me pause, there was something about the taste that just seemed "off." After poking, prodding, tasting, and smelling I finally discovered the source. The trademark green color of the pesto was from spinach. Now don't get me wrong, I like my spinach like any other girl, but when the menu promises "pesto" is it too much to ask that they actually use basil? If they had said "spinach pesto" on the menu, I would not have even considered it. Thank God for the fries and pickle. Nothing like the accouterments to compensate for a misstep in my judgment.

As we left work for the day, Matt and I stopped at Central Bottle Wine & Provisions to, well, to do exactly what the shop's name implies. We had only been here once before on a very busy Thursday night. The atmosphere was cool, but the abundance of Cambridgians in relation to the available square footage was a bit too much for us. The Friday before Memorial Day, however, was the perfect time to engage the "slow browse." This shop is fantastic! The selection of cheese, wine, beer, bread, chocolate, etc. is amazing! We ended up leaving with a growler of Berkshire Brewing Company's Steel Rail Extra Pale Ale, a 6-pack of Troeg's Dream Weaver Wheat Beer, a 4-pack of Harpoon's Leviathan Imperial IPA, and a bottle of Barbaresco for a friend's recent law school graduation. This place will most definitely become our regular check-in to the world of new and interesting wine, beer and the occasional pigs hoof (right next to the register, by the way).

The rest of the evening included takeout from Zen on the roofdeck, watching the Celtics win the playoff series against Orlando with friends, and stopping in to that graduation party to (reluctantly) offload the Barbaresco.

Saturday "morning" we loaded up the Swagger Wagon (our Ford Edge) and headed off to Maine for the night. Once the car was parked and the dog safe with grandma and grandpa, we headed off to imbibe with some friends at Frills (famous for their "Thirsty Traveler" a rum punch-inspired concoction). Later, we enjoyed great pizza and salads from Caffe Prego while relaxing with Matt's parents and some Spanish red wine on the front porch. After dinner we met back up with our friend's at Maxwells Pub for a few beers and some terrible (and that is not nearly a strong enough word) karaoke. I admire the guts it takes to get up there, but I consider myself smart enough to know that the only people who want to hear me sing are the ones stuck with me in my 430 square foot condo and they have no choice.

Sunday started with the 16 Beach Street "test kitchen." This is where Matt's mom tries out new B&B breakfast recipes on us. This morning it was almond-crusted challah french toast. It was as good as it sounds (and looks!). The toasted almonds made a crunchy and lightly salted crust that blended perfectly with the sweetness of the challah bread. What a wonderful way to begin a beautiful day!

After breakfast Matt and I headed to the beach for a little R&R with our friends from the night before. The weather was great, the water was wonderful. Sometimes, you forget you are in Maine. Then you wade into the water and realize that the pain in your feet is actually early-onset frost bite. Regardless, I'll take a day at the beach over any other day! Dinner Sunday night was take-out from the Front Porch, our favorite restaurant in Ogunquit. Matt and I split a pepperoni flatbread and a chicken mozzarella sandwich. Both of these entrees were new for us, and we enjoyed them both. The flatbread had thick, real slices of pepperoni with dollops of creamy ricotta cheese and perfectly caramelized, roasted cloves of garlic. Apparently, Matt is not a huge fan of ricotta on pizza. This became evident when there was a piece left and he was all to eager to let me take it. The chicken sandwich reminded me of a chicken bruschetta with divine mozzarella on top. The bread roll fell a little flat compared to the other vibrant flavors in the sandwich, but hey, it's just bread, right?

Matt's dad knows that I am a sucker for ice cream so he surprised me with a Kahlua brownie ice cream from a local creamery. He served it with Linda's fantastic oatmeal cookies. Great culinary ending to a great beach day.

These series of photos are from the "it will have to do for now" iPhone camera.

After the great meal, we headed back to Boston. Monday morning Matt made breakfast (probably in an attempt to avoid taking the dog out, but the end result was worth the hassle). An Eggo whole wheat waffle with bananas and an over easy egg. I always love it when he makes breakfast!

He also had a decadent surprise for me. My favorite vanilla creme donut from Dunkin Donuts. This is such a treat because not only are they hard to find (not all of the DnDs carry them) but I am now sadly aware of my caloric intake. "Fortunately" he split the donut with me so I didn't have to beat myself up all day.

After breakfast we headed out to the Natick Collection to take advantage of some bittersweet deals. The Calvin Klein store is closing, and everything was 50% off. We also hit up Martin + Osa as they prepare to close the brand... sad, but GREAT deals! On our way back from our errands we got this smokey view of Boston. I don't know if you can tell from my iPhone photo but the city is covered in smoke from the Quebec wildfires. It was crazy! It was hazy and it smelled like a campfire in the city!

The rest of the night was a typical end of the weekend routine... dinner (recipe post to come) and getting geared up to head back to work after a wonderful Memorial Day weekend.

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