Summer Weekend #FashionFriday

It’s rare that I take almost a whole weekend just for fun, but that’s what I did, even if I did sneak in a fair amount of working on the blog.  #workhardplayhard

The excitement kicked off with the Forgotten Harvest Comedy Night featuring Seth Meyers.  I must admit, I don’t watch Late Night a lot, but it sounded fun to get out and about and I figured he would be super topical and funny.

It was a lovely evening and the Foxtown area was bustling since there was also a Tigers game that mercifully hadn’t let out when we arrived.  We got in to the theater and took our seats in the front row.

Before long, the show began and after a live auction, which raised tons of money for such a great cause, Seth took the stage.  We were blown away by his skill at telling jokes.  He has a great stage presence, even if he rarely came to our side of the stage.  There is an incredible ease with which he tells the jokes, most of which are part of a larger story.

We laughed so hard as he covered everything from Donald Trump to being a husband and father.  I would happily see Seth again in person and am making sure to DVR Late Night more frequently.

After that we headed home just as it began to rain.  The next day, I wanted to get out an about despite another chance of rain, so we headed to Ferndale for brunch.  Ferndale is one of my favorite places to hang out – it has such a fun vibe.

I’ve been dying to try the Conserva, so that’s where we headed despite a barbeque festival taking place right in front of the restaurant.  Luckily it wasn’t crowded.  Service was prompt and the food was pretty outstanding.  The bartender made Mom and me drinks based on a couple questions.  They were both stellar.  I’m not sure about everything that was in mine, but it had allspice, cinnamon and bourbon and I could drink it forever.

The pannukakku was our favorite dish.  A custardy baked pancake that the owner and his brother chef brought to the restaurant from their family members, was topped with apricot jam, berries, and whipped cream.  It was warm and comforting and practically melted in our mouths.  I would compare it to a flourless chocolate cake without the chocolate.

The asparagus omelet with potatoes, peppers, and fried bread was great, but Mom was a little jealous of Dad’s 45 day aged strip steak and scrambled eggs with irresistible potato gratin and hollandaise sauce.  It was Father’s Day though 🙂  The steak was definitely overcooked, but still tender.  All in all the meal was fantastic and I would highly recommend it.

We took a walk through downtown Ferndale after a downpour cleared out and stopped at the Red Hook for cold brew for Dad and golden milk for me.  I’m so obsessed with golden milk!  We picked up some groceries at Papa Joe’s and headed home, happy and tired from a fun and exciting weekend.

Standby Detroit

Standby Detroit

Sunday we saw our first opera, Cyrano, at the Detroit Opera House.  It was fabulous!  The sets were so intricate along with the costumes, and the performers sang like I’ve never heard before.  The story is a sad classic, and even though it was in Italian, I was riveted from start to finish.  It was also the final performance for long time Detroit Opera House artistic director David DiChiera, so that was something really special to see.

Opera Orchestra

David DiChiera's Curtain Call

Because the opera and the festivities surrounding the artistic director lasted nearly three and a half hours, we knew we wanted to grab dinner instead of coming home and cooking, so we met up with another couple at Standby.  We were late because the opera ran late, but the couple were already settled into our table.  We felt so bad but they said it was no problem.

I’ll tell you the first thing that bothered me about Standby: they don’t answer their phone.  Ever.  This is rather frustrating, especially when you are like me and like to ask questions and know what’s on the menu.  There is one online, but it was not the correct menu.

Chickpea Battered Cauliflower

Still, the restaurant is in a very nice alley with art on the walls and lights strung across it.  It’s a place I’d be happy to hang out.  The restaurant was small, loud, and bustling.  We settled into our table and ordered drinks.  A bacon old fashioned for Dad, a Midleton Cup with Irish whiskey, Pimms, mandarin, allspice, cucumber, ginger, mint, and nutmeg.  It was super refreshing and looked awesome with a cucumber ribbon floating in the glass.  I had La Joya, a strong, medicinal drink with San Luis, chartreuse, sherry, and hopped grapefruit bitters.  It was so flavorful!

Then it came time for food.  The other couple ordered the fried cauliflower as an appetizer while they were waiting for us, and I ordered it with our entrees.  It’s a really unique dish in which the cauliflower is coated in chickpea batter with paprika and honey.  Everyone loved the dish but me.  I really wanted to love it, but there was just something about the flavor that I didn’t love.

Brussels Sprouts with Cashews and Fried Potato

Mom and Dad both had the cheeseburgers.  Dad got bacon on his, apparently he had a serious bacon craving.  The burger is the star of the menu with a custom blend patty, American cheese, pickled red onion, lettuce, and black pepper aioli on a sesame seed bun.  It was pretty freaking fabulous and arrived to the table steaming hot.

The fries were another story.  They were rather cold, brown, and not crispy on the outside, tender on the inside like we all want from awesome fries.

Wagyu Strip Steak

The other couple and I both ordered the Wagyu strip steak which comes with a house salad and the brussels sprouts.  I don’t typically order steak out because I am always disappointed, but this did not disappoint one bit.  The fatty steak was cooked to perfection and perfectly balanced with the fresh salad.  At $30 this may be the best steak, particularly for the money, in the area.

The Brussels sprouts were a huge hit too.  The crunchy cashew and fried potato chunks really stood out.  They should serve those fried potatoes with burger instead of the fries – a total world of difference.

Custard Time Wild Cherry Sundae

The desserts didn’t interest us, so after walking around town for a bit, we headed for Custard Time in Northville for some soft serve.  The small serving was literally the best way to end a great meal and an even better day.

Standby's Alley

May Meal Ideas + Shinola Giveaway!

043017 Monthly Meal Plan May-main

I am so excited to share some wonderful May recipe ideas with you and even more excited to share a Shinola card case giveaway with you.  You probably know I live in the Detroit area.  I am always looking for amazing local products and Shinola never disappoints.  Dad has a watch and a card case and I have a journal that I picked up when he and I visited the store last year.

Shinola Card Case Giveaway!

Enter the giveaway and then check out our dishes for this month!

Beverages

Entrees

Sides

Desserts

 

This month’s recipe round up was brought to you by:

The Cooking Actress | Pies and Plots | The Spiffy Cookie | Foodtastic Mom | Kelly Lynn’s Sweets & Treats | Savory Moments | The Pajama Chef

Pin this to your meal planning board for easy access all month long!

043017 Monthly Meal Plan May-square

Foodie Night in Detroit

Foodie Night in Detroit

The Tower

I told you recently that I had just about the perfect day/night at the Bon Jovi concert.  I figured things like that only happen every now and then.  But it turns out, anything is possible, especially in nice weather.

Last weekend, Mom, Dad, and I met up with Dad’s boss and her husband, Jana and Steve, whom we have become friends with.  We had a blast with them last year at the Detroit Athletic Club and this most recent outing may have been even better.

The Ren Cen

We began our evening with dinner at the London Chop House.  It was popular back in the day, had been closed for a few decades, and was resurrected five years ago.  We hadn’t been and it sounded like the place to go.

Unfortunately, the service and food were far from the high expectations we all have when dining at a steakhouse with prices to match.  The most glaring errors were bones in Jana’s fish and Steve’s forgotten entrée.  That’s pretty unacceptable no matter where you dine.

London Chop House Fish

Too bad they left the bones when they filleted it :/

LCH Hamburger Steak

Dad was fine with his filet and sides of macaroni and cheese and a stingy portion of fries.  Mom’s entrée the Hamburger Steak was again, fine.  My food was probably the tastiest.  I ordered the tuna appetizer and fried Brussels sprouts.  You can never go wrong with Brussels!

Dessert was just as strange.  Housemade blueberry gelato had a strange nut/coconut thing going on that none of us liked, the crème brulee was not fully set and warm.  Dad’s carrot cake was the star of the whole evening.  I may have eaten more than my fair share.  Oops!

LCH Carrot Cake

Despite the odd food and service experiences, the company and conversation were great and more than made up for it.  I won’t be going back to the Chop House though.

From London Chop House, we walked to Bad Luck Bar.  I have been DYING to go to Bad Luck since it opened in December 2016.  It is known for pricey craft cocktails and is something totally different for the Detroit area.

Bad Luck Bar

Though the evening was a bit brisk, the walk was nice.  We made it a bit after our designated time and were thrilled the bar sat us anyway.  It is teeny tiny and has a speakeasy vibe.  We were presented with menus and given an amuse bouche: a warm pisco beverage with cinnamon and honey that was pretty much EVERYTHING!

We each ordered a drink after carefully going through the menu.  I had the Tower and loved every bit of it.  The complex flavors went together perfectly in this smooth cocktail.  I also tried Mom’s Past Lives, a tequila and rum based drink that was fruity and sweet and went down super easy.  Steve also had the Past Lives, Jana had an Old Fashioned, and Dad’s drink was something with citrus and good too, but I don’t remember what it was.

Past Lives

Past Lives

The Tower

The vibe of the bar was awesome, as were all the drinks and the people who work there.  They were knowledgeable, friendly, and happy to explain all about the bar and deal with our slightly tipsy attempts to set me up with one of the workers.  #sorrynotsorry – he was cute and nice … and not single 🙁

On our way to the bar, we passed the recently opened Shake Shack and joked about stopping on the way back to the restaurant to pick up our cars.  As we neared leaving the bar close to ten pm, it wasn’t a joke.  Not only did I FINALLY get to go to Bad Luck, but I FINALLY got to try Shake Shack.

Shake Shack

It’s so not like me to get a burger at 10 at night, but with our lackluster meal, we weren’t that full and it sounded fun.  I let go and went and it was awesome.  Shake Shack wasn’t very crowded, thankfully, and we pretty much walked right up.  Everyone there was so nice!

The fries were fine, though I bet the cheese fries might be better.  But the Shack Burger.  Let’s just talk about that Shack Burger.  It isn’t too big or too small and has just the right bun to meat to cheese ratio and the sauce is good and it’s all-natural, non-GMO, and it’s just great.  I’m not the kind of girl who eats a whole burger, but I would have eaten that one and hope to go back for another very soon.

Foodie Night in Detroit

We walked back to the restaurant for our cars and five and a half hours after our evening began, I didn’t want it to end.  It was an evening totally unlike me.  Yes, I love going to dinner, but not typically dinner and a bar and an almost midnight snack.  It felt good, like a preview of the life I want in the midst of times that are often stressful and disappointing.

Nights like that remind me that I am very lucky and I need to appreciate all I have.  They also remind me I need to keep fighting for my dreams and goals, because I can and will reach them.

Also, when can I go back to Bad Luck and Shake Shack????

Bon Jovi at The Joe

Bon Jovi at the Joe

Have you ever had one of those days where everything goes right?  From start to finish, top to bottom, it’s just a good day.  There are no traffic jams are bullies.  No spilled food or drink or broken glass.  No arguments or tears.  Just a great day.

Even better is when you are aware of its greatness as it’s happening.  It’s one of those times when you take literal and mental photos and cherish as many memories as you can because you know days like that are fleeting and few and far between.

I had one of those days a couple weeks ago at Joe Louis Arena when Mom and I went to see Bon Jovi.

 

There were some jitters since we hadn’t driven there in a long time and were trying to find the best route, but once we got ready, ate dinner, and even cleaned up without having to rush around, a calm washed over me.  I couldn’t remember feeling like that in a long time.

We hit the road on a chilly but rather nice late March day and found no traffic issues.  Seriously, you guys, none.  When was the last time you went to an event of any kind and did not encounter a line of traffic?  Um, never.  We breezed right into our parking lot and had a fair amount of time to kill before Bon Jovi would take the stage.

Joe Louis Arena

If you don’t live in the Detroit area, you have probably never heard of Joe Louis Arena.  It’s a pretty big deal around here.  The Red Wings play there and have won quite a few Stanley Cups, and this was the final year for them to play there.

It’s a bit sad, even if the Arena is rather run down, and has us all feeling rather nostalgic.  I fondly remember going to see hockey games in a suite many, many years ago.  After snapping some pics in front of the famous stairs outside, we headed inside and explored.

Bon Jovi at The Joe

The corridor leading to the floor has logos and Wings murals where we snapped a couple pics, and the Olympia Club was open to the public.  Because we had so much time, we took the elevator up to the main concourse (the Joe Louis workers were kind enough to let us skip the stairs that have no rail – scary!) and walked around the entire arena.

It was super fun to see The Joe one last time, even if it was packed and we even ran into Jay Towers.  I used to listen to him on the radio all the time and now I watch him on Fox 2 news every morning.  I’m still hoping he can get me on to make some recipes 🙂

Bon Jovi at the Joe

We made our way to our seats after the walk, very nice aisle seats on the main floor so we could see all of the action.  The show started before long and the whole Arena was jamming all night.

Bon Jovi played a lot of new songs, which I loved, as I have been listening to them a lot lately and really enjoy the new music, but he made sure to work in all those old hits.  He kept the talking to a minimum and just played great music, working from This House is Not for Sale to open the show to You Give Love a Bad Name, always a crowd favorite.

Bon Jovi at The Joe

When he worked Old Time Rock and Roll into I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead the whole crowd went wild.  It’s so fun when performers sing an old, well known song, that is special just for that crowd.  It’s My Life came shortly after.  That’s my favorite Bon Jovi song and one of my favorite songs of all time.  I think it was one of my first iTunes downloads all those years ago.  I sang and danced so hard I broke into a sweat!

 

Bon Jovi himself is very talented, singing, dancing, and playing guitar, but the rest of the band is awesome as well.  They all really add something to the performance, along with the light show.  The set is pretty bare bones and the only thing that draws your attention are the moving and color changing lights.  Some confetti would have been appreciated though 😉

Something I don’t think enough people realize is the wonderful positive message that permeates Bon Jovi’s music.  The songs talk about standing up for yourself and ignoring haters and being you.  It’s something we can all relate to, particularly me.  Those empowering words and beats are something I treasure.

Bon Jovi at The Joe

The only break the band took was before the encore and it was well worth the wait.  I barely saw anyone leave because we all knew some of the best songs were yet to come.  Raise Your Hands was followed by two all-time classics: Wanted Dead or Alive and Livin’ on a Prayer.  The whole crowd singing along was electric.  I wish I could have bottled that energy and saved it for another day.

 

When all the singing was done, as the crowd was leaving, Bon Jovi had one last surprise.  Understanding the history of The Joe, he pulled out a Red Wings jersey with his name on it and put it on.  It was really special to see that he took pride in performing there and this wasn’t just another tour stop.

After two and a half hours of music, I was beat.  My ears rang, my voice had disappeared, and my feet hurt.  I don’t know how Bon Jovi stayed so energetic for so long, because I wanted to immediately sit down and relax for a few moments.

It one of the best shows I’ve seen (only behind Katy Perry) and was one of the best days of my life.  I didn’t want it to end.  But it did, and though that makes me sad, we have the memories to keep us company.

Bon Jovi at The Joe

Detroit Basketball

Detroit Basketball

A few weeks ago, my parents and I went to our very first Pistons game.  We’ve been to lots of Lions and Red Wings games, and one Tigers game, but never ever a Pistons game.  It was time.

We love the Palace, having been there for many concerts.  While there is lots of fanfare around the Pistons moving to Little Caesars along with the Red Wings, I am really sorry to see the Palace go vacant.  It is a well maintained very nice destination for concerts and games that happens to be out of the congestion of Downtown Detroit.

The Palace of Auburn Hills

The Palace certainly knows how to make a basketball game fun too.  We actually began our evening in the Palace Grille, a fine dining type restaurant down on the lower level of the arena with really outstanding food.  We were glad to get a good meal before the game.

We might not be the biggest basketball fans, but I absolutely loved the game, and so did Mom.  I think Dad got a little bored, but oh well.

Detroit Basketball

Our seats were very close and let us see all the action and how small the court looked in person versus TV.  This Pistons might not be the best this season, but their opponents for the evening, the New York Knicks, are even worse and they pulled out the win.

After awhile, I’ll admit basketball is just the players kind of running up and down the court, but there is plenty of entertainment to keep things interesting.  The dancing usher, t-shirt sling shots, a race up and down the stairs, cheerleaders, a drum band, and a flag team are just some of the fun things they do during time outs and what not.

Detroit Basketball

Halftime was a Zumba performance which was super cool.  I am so amazed at how all those people coordinated their routine.  I always want to give Zumba a try, but I seriously lack coordination.

Detroit Basketball

One of the other super fun things they did were pizza parachute drops from the sky.  It was so funny to see the tiny pizza boxes with their tiny parachutes coming down from the rafters.

I am sorry I waited so long to check out a Pistons game in person, and equally as sorry to see the Palace go.  Sports in person are always a blast and the Palace is such a welcoming venue.  Hopefully we’ll have many more good times in Little Caesars Arena.

Pistons Mascot Hooper

Detroit Basketball

Parc Detroit

Parc Detroit

Cold weather is just not my thing.  I know this and yet I wanted to go to Parc, one of Detroit’s newest and hottest restaurants, right in the beauty of Campus Martius.  And it was a cold night.  So cold walking into the restaurant and especially back to the car and even sometimes in the restaurant with the air from the windows that encase almost the entire building blowing on me.  I’m cold just thinking about it.  Oh, so cold.  Excuse me while I go turn up the heat.

Okay, I’m back.  Despite the cold weather and the fact that if it would have been sixty or seventy my night would have been that much better, Parc is a really fabulous addition to the area’s dining scene with some outstanding food.

Crab Pasta

The location is the draw to Parc.  We met up with some friends the night before they took down the Christmas tree steps outside of the restaurant.  The lights are beautiful, there’s a fire pit with that comforting scent, music plays, people abound.  It’s where you want to be.

Because of this, it would be easy for Parc to make food that was fine but nothing special.  They didn’t take the easy way out, though, with outstanding and unique food including some tableside presentations.

Shaved Vegetable Salad

The appetizers didn’t wow me (though I am intrigued by the charred burrata they flame at the table), but the pastas did, so we ordered the crab pasta to share.  It was a nice size and allowed everyone a decent taste.  It arrived at the table piping hot and the housemade pasta was perfectly coated in a rich sauce.  It is one of the best things I have ever eaten.  Truthfully, it didn’t even need the crab, though the fennel was a nice touch.

Main courses were up next.  I had the shaved vegetable salad which I devoured with the tangy mustard seeds and lemon vinaigrette.  All the vegetables were bright and fresh, though it was definitely a little light on the apple, as well as the quinoa and almonds, which I’m not even sure were present.

Pasta Carbonara

Wild Boar Pasta

Dad and one of our guests went with the pasta carbonara and wild boar Bolognese, respectively.  They liked them, but Dad admitted the crab pasta was the best.

Our other guest had the filet mignon, which she enjoyed, and Mom had one of the specials, a Wagyu strip steak, which was perhaps the best she’s ever had out.  It was so well marbled and presented with flavorful and pretty roasted vegetables.  Meat lovers can rejoice because they have tons of super nice meat specials and at least one is sure to suit your tastes if you are craving steak.

Filet Mignon

The waitress, who with a waiter assisting her, was very nice, but did tell Mom that the side that came the steak was not much so which additional side did she want.  She ordered the Yukon gold wedges, which were awesome with the romesco and an aioli, but they also appeared on the bill.  It wasn’t a huge deal but slightly misleading.

One more nit-picky thing before we move onto dessert, oh dessert.  One of the gentlemen who answers the phone says “how may I service you?” when answering.  I definitely appreciate that he wants to be helpful, but this sounds weird, if not more than a little creepy.  How may I help you will definitely suffice.

Wagyu New York Strip

Now that we got that out of the way, for dessert they have baked Alaska.  I love that they have this old school treat and that they do it right.  It is flamed tableside – so cool!  The base is carrot cake and on top it is layered with carrot sorbet, cream cheese ice cream, and lemon buttermilk ice cream.  All of it is topped with an irresistibly gooey and melty marshmallow meringue.  Plus it is more than enough to share.

Parc is a great fine dining destination in a wonderful environment.  Plus, the food is fab.  Now I’ll just have to go back in the summer when I can remember more than how cold it was.

I’ll be back Friday with my fashion look and more about the atmosphere.

Flaming Carrot Cake Baked Alaska

Grey Ghost Detroit

Grey Ghost Detroit

Grey Ghost may have only been open for a couple months now, but the buzz surrounding it has been strong from the very beginning.  So strong in fact that Mom, Dad, and I had to meet our friends on a Sunday night because we couldn’t get Saturday reservations.

Luckily, it was a beautiful early November night and we headed out to downtown Detroit.  Parking was a bit of an issue and the restaurant wasn’t even packed, so I can imagine at other times it is almost impossible to park.

Once inside, the small restaurant had a welcoming vibe and our waiter Scott greeted us and was incredibly helpful throughout the meal.

Butternut Squash Salad

We ordered our cocktails (bourbon for me) and then some appetizers.  Our guests had been to Grey Ghost numerous times and fell in love with the butternut squash salad.  It is thinly sliced and layered with apple, pomegranate seeds, and green mole and garnished with mint.  The colors are so striking and it is a celebration of fall that reminded me once again how much I love mint in dishes.

I went in knowing I had to try the cheeseburger, but eating a whole one sounded like a lot.  So Mom, Dad, and I split it for an appetizer.  It was great with a soft bun and tons of melty cheese, though it’s not the best burger I have ever had.

New York Strip Steak

Entrees arrived before long.  The waiter informed me that they had a chocolate doughnut, so to be on the safe side, I shouldn’t eat anything from the fryer.  I really appreciated him being on top of my allergy, but it was definitely a bummer that I couldn’t try the fries or Mom’s steak since he forgot about the fried onions on top that were not listed on the menu.

Everyone raved about that steak.  It was cooked perfectly and seared so well.  One of our guests had the pork schnitzel which was super crispy and he said tasted just like schnitzel should.  The other guest had the scallops with panko breadcrumbs on one side.  They practically melted in your mouth and other than dessert (which we’ll get to in a moment) were my favorite bite of the evening.

Seared Sea Scallops

Sweet Potato Angolotti

Dad had the sweet potato agnolotti with grilled broccoli and enjoyed it greatly.  I had the whitefish salad.  It was a nice dish and was heartier than I imagined.  The flavors of mustard, dill, onions, and the irresistible creamy sauce mixed wonderfully.

Smoked Whitefish Salad

We also had the Brussels sprouts with chicken skin, that the waiter had the chef roast instead of fry and the shishito peppers with candied oxtail.  While I always love sprouts, the peppers surprised me in their extreme tastiness.

But let’s get to dessert.  The aforementioned doughnut was out of the question but the peanut butter and jelly sundae and kuri squash pie were not.  The sundae was very good.  I didn’t love the jam which read a little too sweet but I still can’t get over the perfection of the peanut butter ice cream.  It was silky smooth and tasted just like peanut butter.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Ice Cream Sundae

And then there’s the pie.  Have you ever eaten something at a restaurant and wanted more?  And most of the time you tell yourself no.  you guys, I wanted another piece of pie and I ordered it.  My defense is that I’d had a crappy day (week, month, whatever – agents and Hollywood, ya know) and I knew I’d never have another chance to eat the pie.

Plus it was that good.  The crust was perfection with a flaky, crunchy texture.  I feel like there was something nutty in it, but I don’t know.  The filling was creamy and just slightly spiced and the whipped cream, oatmeal crumble, and rosemary on top made me fall head over heels in love.  I have never ever had a pie other than one I have made that I love so much and I doubt I will again.

There are plenty of reasons to check out Grey Ghost, but maybe their pie (in always changing flavors) is my favorite.

Toasted Oak Grill and Market

Toasted Oak Bar and Grill

We have been very lucky here in Michigan to have some lovely October days and nights.  A couple weeks ago on one such night, I just couldn’t stay home and inside, so Mom and I headed to Toasted Oak Bar and Grill in Novi, Michigan to sit outside for dinner.

I spent most of the day searching for a restaurant that still had an open patio.  Luckily, Toasted Oak did, because on an 80 degree, sunny, breezy warm October night, I wasn’t going to be cooped up inside a stuffy restaurant.

French Fries

I have heard about Toasted Oak for a while and wanted to try it, so I was excited to finally have the chance.

Like so many restaurants these days, they source as many local ingredients as possible with a farm to table philosophy and make pretty much everything on the menu from scratch.  What sets them apart is that instead of in a space somewhere in downtown Detroit, Toasted Oak is in a hotel adjacent to a mall in a suburb of Detroit.

The mall and hotel setting fell away as we sat on the evergreen enclosed patio, the sun setting and the building thankfully blocking most of the breeze.  Plus, we only got attacked by one bee, so I’m calling that a serious win.

Our waiter was nice and knowledgeable and presented us with cornbread.  It was warm and super moist with great flavor and the whipped butter along with it was nice as well.

Lobster Salad

The housemade kielbasa was our appetizer and favorite dish of the night.  The charred outside of the meat contrasted the tender, decadent interior and the mustard and potato salad accompaniments were delightful on their own.  We were so glad we tried this dish, as it isn’t something we would typically order.

Before long our entrees arrived.  Mom ordered one of the specials, a ribeye steak with potatoes, onions, bleu cheese, dried cherries, and a peppercorn crust.  It was cooked to perfection and melt in your mouth tender, something that can’t always be said of a ribeye.

Ribeye Steak

I ordered another special, a lobster salad.  I had had a craving for lobster so it was fate.  The perfectly cooked meat went so well with the last of the season local tomatoes, black radishes, some greens, and a bold dressing.  I devoured it, but was disappointed to find a few pieces of shell.  Kindly the manager did remove it from the bill.

Mom and Me

We also tried the French fries, because you know I can’t skip fries!  They were good but not great.  It would have been better had they been slightly less brown and crispier.  Still they stand up to most of the local fries I’ve tried.

The meal might not have been perfect, but the evening was.  We had such a nice time sitting outside and enjoyed our meal.  And really, you can’t ask for much more than that.

Heart to Heart Event #FashionFriday

Heart to Heart Event #FashionFriday

You know I love a good event, an excuse to get dressed up and have a fun day out.  So when I heard about the Heart to Heart Glam Lunch and Fashion Show benefitting Beaumont Health, I was in.

As it is October and I haven’t moved to California yet (why oh why?????), it was a chilly rainy day as Mom and I headed to the Townsend Hotel in Birmingham, the swankiest hotel in the area where lots of stars stay when in town.  Luckily, they also have valet!

Heart to Heart Event #FashionFriday

Heart to Heart Event #FashionFriday

Mom and I bought fashion show only tickets so we arrived around noon and wondered around the ballroom and lobby while we waited for the show to begin.  Before long, it did begin and Monica Gayle from Fox 2 was the host for the afternoon.  We watch Monica and Fox 2 every day, so it was nice to see her there and even meet her.

After a few speeches about the heart center at Beaumont Hospital (did you know heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women?), the fashion show began.

Mom and Me

LK Bennett, Tapper’s, Bricker Tunis Furs, Max Mara, Halston Heritage, and Saks Fifth Avenue each showcased some of their latest fashions.  The show was great and the way it was set up was even better, with different aisles so every seat was great and we all got a nice view of each and every model.

The clothes and shoes were gorgeous, though we did notice price tags hanging off lots of pieces!  After about a half an hour of awesome fashion and music, the show ended, but the day was young, and Mom and I didn’t feel like going home.

Heart to Heart Event

We wandered around the hotel for a bit and then headed to the Rugby Grille for dessert and drinks.  Though the rain was still falling, we sat by a window, and the still blooming flowers we beautiful.  It was a lovely day and another to add to a string of just wonderful experiences this year.

Heart to Heart Event #FashionFriday

Heart to Heart Event #FashionFriday

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