Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Belated Birthday

Who doesn't like celebrations, late or not?!

I love them, even if I have to pay.  

One of my super good friends down in DC, Jenna, turned a whooping 26 several weeks ago, but  because of commitments and being out of town we really didn't get to celebrate.
She is drinking one of my favorite drinks- Dragon fruit Strawberry Mojito!
Thus, the belated.  I took her to one of my FAVORITE happy hour places, Gordon Biersch.  They do HH from 4:00-7:00 normal times and then like 10:30 to close. So you could technically go to HH twice in one day, which given their selection of amazing mixed drinks would be right up my alley.  And....don't judge but that might just happen this summer....might. Ok, who are we kidding, I will MAKE it happen! Anyway, all cocktails and mixed drinks are $5, not too shabby when they are typically $10, it's half price, or 2 for the price of 1. They also have great appetizers and those of you who read my blog know I heart garlic, so of course I CANNOT pass up on the garlic fries. Freshly chopped, sometimes larger than chopped pieces of fresh garlic- mmmm.....(currently salivating)

Then we walked over to Graffiato. Those of you who follow(ed) Top Chef know that is Mike Isabella's restaurant. It's know for it's "tapas" like dishes, order a few, share a few.  That way you can get a taste of a little bit of everything. They also have pizza's which can easily be shared among multiple people.  
The seated us immediately.  There are always seasoned pistachios on the table, which do not sit there after you leave for you germaphobs:-)  We of course started off with his famous PEPPERONI SAUCE- be jealous, and bread, which was basically pizza crust.  

There it is !!!------------->

 Then we ordered broccolini, which I have never had before. It came with topped with chopped walnuts, feta and a spicy pepper relish. Usually when I eat broccoli I don't eat the stems of the veggie, I tend to prefer the florets.  Broccolini however has mostly stem and tiny little florets.  I give this dish a B+, only because I am not a huge fan of crunchy cooked veggies.  Flavor wise I give it an A! 

Next up, asparagus with pancetta (Italian style bacon) and egg.  There was also a creamy sauce beneath the asparagus, but was not labeled on the menu.  The asparagus was cooked perfectly. I haven't eaten asparagus until recently, but Jenna said it was fabulous and she eats it a lot.  Flavor A and overall, A+!

For our "mainish" dish we had crispy potato gnocchi with wild mushrooms, favas and stracciattela (a mozzarella cheese).   I'm not sure what kind of mushrooms they were maybe morels or chanterelles, again I'm not very brushed up on the mushrooms.  I thought they were sightly salty which balanced the whole dish out.  It's amazing to me how balanced everything was. I guess I shouldn't really be all that amazed seeing as I am eating at a Top Chef restaurant. Flavor A and overall A

And....what's a wonderful dinner without a amazing dessert.  We had tossed around the idea of getting more pepperoni sauce, but we wanted to try something new.  Enter chocolate tart with salted caramel gelato and zeppoles with strawberry.  Six tiny little donuts fried and rolled in powdered sugar MTO.  Warm right out of the oven. Mmmmm.....
 I really cold have taken home a container of that caramel.
   Sugar covered goodness. Desserts=A Caramel=A+
Sorry that there aren't more pictures of me. I figured you would be more interested in the food, I am. Don't worry, my narcissism will come out in one of these posts:-) 

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