A Run and a Recap

Happy Saturday folks!  It is a beautiful day out there despite all the gloom and doom forecasting we got throughout the Boston area the past few days.  Hurricane Earl turned out to be a few light, quick showers and I am OK with that!

(SOURCE)

This morning I woke up and went for a run through Charlestown, into the North End, and back. The loop was just over 3 miles and it is the first time I have run outside in a long time.  It felt good. Tough, but good.  I need to get back into hydrating before runs, especially when it is kind of warm and very sunny.

Now I am getting ready to head to Beverly for my friend Holly’s wedding tomorrow.  Jack and I decided to make a weekend out of it so we are going up this afternoon.  Our hotel is near Cape Ann and Salem so we have lots of outdoor activity options and one of my goals is to find a good fall beer to sip on a restaurant patio….any good suggestions???

Since she is getting married tomorrow I thought there would be no better time than now to recap her bachelorette party!

The Saturday before I left for Hawaii I had the pleasure of partaking in the bachelorette festivities for my friend Holly.

The picture above was from my trip to Vermont back in April.  I got to catch up with Holly and meet her fiance Rick.  They are a super cute couple!

Holly and I met my freshman year at the University of Maine, Farmington and I have some really great memories of us from all four years up there that include dinners, parties, and plenty of beer 🙂  Unfortunately digital cameras didn’t exist when I was in school (at least I didn’t have one) so I can’t post any fun old-school pics right now.

We spent the afternoon of her bachelorette at Carson Beach in Southie.  The weather was perfectly warm and super sunny.  I heart the beach, especially with a good group of girls!

While relaxing and sunning myself I sipped on a refreshing cocktail of raspberry stoli, some other kind of liquor,and a mix of juices.  It has been over a month since the party so I don’t really remember anything but the fact that it was sweet and cold.

Lunch was cold cut sammies.  I had turkey and cheese on a whole wheat bun with a whole bunch of Doritos and a pickle on the side.  We packed up and headed home to shower and get ready for the evening’s festivities.  There was a great spread of pre-dinner snacks and beverages.

There were garlic triscuts (my new fav obsession), crackers, and a few different cheeses…

Chips and salsa….

and I had a beer.

We also poured some champagne for a toast.  Problem was that bottle was put in the freezer to chill, and ended up freezing!  Yikes!  When we finally popped the cork it exploded  slushy champagne all over Lindsay’s apartment.  Not to self: don’t freeze champagne!

Lindsay, Ashley (M.O.H), Holly, Andrea

Lindsay and Ashley got her an authentic Hawaiian lei flown in from the island.  It was beautiful (and I got one just like it a few days later) and smelled so nice!

She looked so pretty with it on!  So much more her style than a devil-horned veil!

We had a couple of beers, finished the champagne and snacks, and called a couple of cabs to drive us to Marina Bay in Quincy.

We took lots of pics on our way to the restaurant

We had dinner reservations at Siro’s which is right on the docks overlooking the water.  It was a perfect summer night and it was packed so we took the table inside.

We all started with a martini.  I forget the name of the one I got but it was fruity and I definitely liked it.  I garnished it with one of the flowers that fell off Holly’s lei.

The menu included a ton of appetizers which were a large enough portion for us to have for dinner.  I split tomato and mozzarella salad with Lindsay.  It had red and yellow beef steak tomatoes with the buffalo mozzarella, and basil.  It was also drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette.  It was so fresh and summer-y.

For dinner I got the beef tenderloin risotto.  I LOVE risotto.  When I make it I usually end up rolling it in breadcrumbs and putting cheese in the middle to make arancini (recipe part 1 and part 2), but keeping it as risotto and adding tender beef to the top is a novel idea 😉

This is supposed to be an appetizer!

It was delicious and now that I am thinking about it, I should try to recreate this at home!

After dinner we walked down the docks and stopped in for a couple of beers at one of the outdoor bars.  I had a couple of Bud Light drafts.  Draft beer is refreshing but very filling.

Then we headed to the Ocean Club which used to be “Waterworks”.  It is a very large, outdoor bar with cabanas, volleyball court with sand flown in from Aruba, and live music.  It is open during the day as well as the night.  When we went it wasn’t too busy, which was nice because we didn’t have to wait long for our drinks from the bar 🙂

Lots of beers were enjoyed, shots taken, and picture-taking……

It was really great to celebrate with Holly!


We had some fun when waiting for a cab too…

It was the camera taking blurry pics, not my lack of skills FYI.


T
he night was so fun and I can’t wait until tomorrow to catch up with everyone again.

Congrats Holly!

Until Later,

~L

Les Zygomates Part 1: The Wine

Last night I took my cousins Carney and Casey out to celebrate their engagements. Carney is getting married 1/1/11 (New Year’s Day and my grandparent’s anniversary) and Casey is getting married in the summer of 2011.  It is going to be a busy stretch of showers, bachelorettes, and weddings starting toward the end of the summer so I really wanted to take them out to celebrate before all the craziness!

Carney and Casey

We went to Les Zygomates, which is a wine bar in Boston’s Seaport area.  They do themed wine tastings every Tuesday night for $30 per person.

The restaurant itself is pretty small but has two bars and a very relaxed atmosphere.  I loved the dim lighting and giant white Christmas bulbs that adorned the pillars in the hallway of the restaurant.

The "Wine Bar"

There was also a jazz pianist playing live music by one of the bars.

The pianist

The "Jazz" Bar

They sat us in a small room set up with three tables that sat 8 people each (about 12 people attended last night’s tasting).  We were the coolest and most fun ones there if you were wondering!

Three of the walls were painted a mustard yellowish-brown color with vintage wine posters hung.

There were empty wine bottles that lined glass shelves on the adjacent wall.

Each place setting had a bread plate, water-glass, and four wine glasses.

There was also bread and butter.

The wine theme for the night was: Washington State Wines. Washington was actually the first state to begin prohibition in 1880.  Unlike many other wine regions, Washington is not known for any one type of wine.  The state produces 80 different varieties of grapes, which is part of the reason why it doesn’t have a wine identity to consumers.  Washington is pretty new to the wine industry  but is now the nation’s second largest producer of wines!

Our wine menu

The tasting begins at "1 o'clock" and goes clockwise

When tasting wine you need to do four things:

  1. Visualize the wine: take note of the colors and swirl around glass to check its legs
  2. Smell the Bouquet: stick your nose right in the glass, don’t dip it in the wine though 🙂  Young wines often have a fruity smell to them!
  3. Taste the wine (slurping is highly suggested)
  4. Evaluate the after taste:  the longer the finish the better the wine

With these steps in mind we started guzzling elegantly sipping our wine.

1. 2008 Charles Smith Wines “Kung Fu Girl” Riesling, Evergreen Vineyard, Ancient Lakes

  • I like my Riesling to be sweet and this was a drier variety.  The reason was that it had 12.5% alcohol, which means it is low in sugar content, making it drier.
  • Comes from a cool climate in Washington with lots of sunshine.  The temps are higher at day and lower at night allowing the wine to have more flavors.
  • This wine is produced to be sold and consumed within 1 to 3 years and tastes good right out of the bottle.
  • This wine was named after “Kill Bill 2” and the tattoo artist that created the label drew Uma Thurman’s character on the front of the bottle.

2. 2007 Ridge Crest Chardonnay, Columbia Valley

  • I don’t typically like chardonnay.  This particular brand was a fuller-bodied white but it was very crisp and smooth.
  • It had a slight oaky taste and was very acidic

3. 2005 Hyatt Vineyards “Estate” Syrah, Rattlesnake Hills (I LOVE ME SOME RED WINE!)

  • This syrah was delicate and perfume-y with a mellow and subtle flavor.  It was not peppery like the Syrah’s from Austrailia
  • A great wine to pair with a lean piece of meat such as fliet mignon

4. 2006 Hyatt Vineyards “Estate” Cabernet Sauvignon, Rattlesnake Hills

  • Made of 92% cabernet, 5% Merlot, and 2% Syrah
  • Made in a lush but cool climate
  • Very smooth and easily drinkable.  To be paired with a bigger piece of meat such as prime rib.

I enjoyed all the wines but I am very partial to the reds, especially Cab!  To me reds are a good winter wine and whites are a good summer wine so I was happy to try two of each.

Casey is not a fan of red (yet 😉 !) and while we sat and chatted after the other tasters left, Nick (the sommelier) brought in two addition wines for use to taste.

Rose (left) and Sparkling Shiraz (right)

Bonus 1: a sparkling shiraz which is served chilled and was kind of like a wine cooler with a refreshing fruit flavor and lots of bubbles

Bonus 2: a Rose (yum!) which looks like an “old lady” white zinfandel but it is actually a blended wine (also served chilled)

By the end of the night we did a lot of damage to our portions of wine!

Who isn't smiling after 6ish glasses of wine?

We had a pretty adventurous night trying new wines and NEW FOODS! I have never really pay attention to the wine suggestions given at restaurants to go with certain foods but part of this tasting was a food pairing and demonstration.  The details of the food will most definitely come in another post!

Now I am off to take a nap (with a whole day off from the gym it is weird to have all this time to myself).

Question of the Day

What motivates you to try a new food? I think to try a new food I need to be pretty sure in my head that I will like it….

Stay tuned!

~L