Tag Archives: martinis

WIAW: Restaurant Photo Dump

The Barre: A Real Food Giveaway ends tonight at 11:59PM EST – don’t forget to enter!

I am blown away by your support on my post yesterday. I have to admit that when I woke up that morning, I felt so beyond low. I have never felt that level of hopelessness before. I had no idea how I was going to get through the day with my mind being SO damn mean to me. But making my #AmazingMe list helped, and the comments I got on the post truly made me teary-eyed. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading my blog, commenting, and sharing with me your own feelings about negative thoughts and holding ourselves to ridiculously high standards. I already am seeing some lists pop up – and I am going to read every single one!

Becki is going to blog her list – can’t wait!

And talk about timing – Lindsay published an amazing post today in which she fights her brain’s negative body image thoughts with specific positive thoughts about each part of her. It’s clear that every part of Lindsay combines to make one AMAZING blogger who dreams up the best recipes and runs a huge, and growing, Foodie Pen Pals program!

So today I have both old and new restaurant food photos to share, so thought another WIAW Photo Dump was appropriate! I can’t really bear the thought that some of my restaurant photos, even the ones from months ago, will go unseen by my readers. Thanks to Jenn of Peas & Crayons for making sure this delicious party happens every week.

Like I’ve said before, I haven’t really been doing posts of what I ate each day, but I DO take a lot of photos at restaurants. Sometimes they pile up on me and there are too many to share after each time I go out to eat! So without further ado, here are photos I’ve accumulated from February to now that haven’t been seen on the blog yet. These are things I (and my friends) ate and drank, and I’m sharing them on a Wednesday, so it’s totally WIAW-worthy 🙂

Best miso soup I’ve ever had, from Miya’s Sushi in New Haven, CT. Made with seaweed foraged from the Long Island Sound!

Samples of Miya’s sake! Best ever. One was super salty (meant to taste like the ocean) and one was sweet.

Me and a full-size sake at Miya’s, back in March.

Array of Miya’s sushi – all automatically made with brown rice. One roll had brie, and one was wrapped in grapeleaves!

Some of the best fries I’ve ever had, with ketchup, mayo, pesto aioli, and mustard, at Rudy’s in New Haven, CT.

Pear vodka martini on Franklin Ave in Hartford.

Amazingly yummy bread sticks and EVOO/tomato-based dip at Carbone’s on Franklin Ave in Hartford.

Ahi tuna with balsamic vinegar at Carbone’s – so amazing!

Grilled veal scallopini from Carbone’s light menu, served over sliced tomatoes, lemon, baby arugula, and cilantro pesto. My first time having veal and it was a winner.

Jeff’s dinner at J. Gilbert’s this past Thursday – veggie platter of mushrooms, asparagus, tomatoes, corn on the cob, zucchini, and black beans/corn in a red pepper. CRAZY AMAZING I’M GETTING THIS NEXT TIME.

A red blend at J. Gilbert’s this past Thursday, and some of their amazing sourdough bread.

J. Gilbert’s special on Thursday – had to get it – grilled swordfish with red wine demi glace and chive butter on the side. Sides were grilled asparagus and a baked potato with mango salsa. I can’t get over it still!

BIG glass of Merlot at Matthew’s in Unionville, CT on Saturday. Eating a caper and salmon cake sent out complimentary by Matthew himself.

I think you can also tell that the last photos are more recent because I’ve gotten a little better with my camera! Wow, my inner arm in the above photo is also quite ghostly. Looks like I need to do some arm flipping next time I tan.

And now that I’ve dumped all my restaurant photos, maybe this will make room for more daily eats photos in addition to the restaurant photos as well! Is that something you guys would be interested in?

I also want to leave you today with one of my favorite quotes of all time that I remembered this morning:

“Sweet are the thoughts that savor content; The quiet mind is richer than a crown.” – Robert Greene

Which of the photos looks the most appetizing to you?

Do you enjoy my way of doing WIAW, aka photo dumps? Maybe I’ll do a traditional WIAW one of these days!

Have you made your #AmazingMe list yet? Don’t forget to share it with me on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, the comments…sky’s the limit!

How to Save a Weekend + CT GIVEAWAY!

If you have a moment, head on over to the fashion company Free Endearment’s blog, which today is listing out bikini-ready tips for summer. The last one is from yours truly! And while you’re at it, check out my darling friend Jenny’s new blog, Tofu Swag. The fabulous title clues you in to what you can expect – vegan food porn and sassy commentary. Need I say more?

My weekend started out kind of crappy. I was feeling really, really down ever since Wednesday, and despite the fact that I had plenty of fun planned for Friday through Sunday, I was not feeling good. Blame my usual issues. However, I managed to slowly salvage the weekend – and my mood – thanks to family, friends, and the power of positive thinking.

Jenny, me, and Heather – three blonde triplets!

So without further ado, I give you – how to save a weekend:

1. Wear a new shirt that makes you feel fabulous. Express surprise when your best blend wears a brightly colored shirt with an interesting back as well. Proceed to bring sexy back.

2. Don’t be afraid to make a fool of yourself. Otherwise photographic gems like these wouldn’t exist.

Oh HEY cardboard fox!

3. Go with your gut. If your first instinct drink order is a cucumber martini and the ginormous Greek dip platter is calling your name…do it. If you’re dreaming of a Wildflour vegan scone…order it.

Greek dips and Effen Good cucumber martini at Bar Louie in Foxborough, MA.

Still dreaming of this mushroom and spinach scone.

4. Drink wine. Preferably with family friends, your parents, and your best friend by your side. And preferably local wine.

Lidia and I at the gorgeous Chamard Vineyards in Clinton, CT.


5. Don’t be afraid to ask your mom for a hug if you’re feeling down. Cry on her shoulder. It doesn’t help anyone to feel guilty for putting your worries on her or to hold your sadness inside. Just let it out so you can get to the smiling.

Height diff much?

6. Wear a flowy dress. Spin around. Jump. Channel your inner flower child.

7. Have the best dad in the world. Need I say more?

8. Drink tequila out of a wine glass at the vineyard. It looks like white wine – they’ll never know!

That is NOT Pinot Grigio.

Classy pairing.

9. Go to the beach. Yeah, that’s it. Just go.

I’ve fallen…and I can’t get up!

10. When selecting a restaurant for a Sunday dinner, look no further than the local spot where your sister is a waitress. She’ll pour you LOTS of red wine, give you slow service because she knows she can, and make sure you leave smiling (and not just due to the wine).

Sis and I at Giovanni’s, her place of work, in Glastonbury, CT.

This is NOT one glass.

I ended my weekend feeling WAY better than I had going in. I think I can give credit to every part of the ten steps above for how much better I felt, and am continuing to feel. Oh, and I don’t have work tomorrow. YAY.

And now it’s time for a giveaway for my Connecticut readers. The Hartford Symphony Orchestra is sponsoring an excellent outdoor summer concert series at the Performing Arts Center at Simsbury Meadows. This Friday, July 6, receive a free dance lesson at Dancing Under the Stars. Or next Friday, July 13, listen to Music of Elton John at Rocket Man. Finally, on Friday July 20, get your fill of Big Country. Lawn tickets are only $20 in advance, and table tickets are just $40 (both prices go up $5 if you purchase at the door). Child lawn tickets are always $5!

But you have the chance to go for free by entering a giveaway for two lawn tickets for one lucky winner! The tickets work for any of the 3 shows in July mentioned above. To enter, just comment telling me which show you’d most want to attend (mandatory). Entries close this Thursday 7/5 at 12PM EST!

For extra entries (leave a comment for each) you can:

  1. Follow me on Twitter
  2. Follow Hartford Symphony Orchestra on Twitter
  3. Follow me on Pinterest

Good luck to all who enter!

FitFluential Hits Mohegan!

Blogging just continues to bring me new friends! Saturday night I had a long-awaited meetup with two fellow FitFluential Ambassadors, Samantha of Running and Cupcakes and Jennifer of Savor the Thyme. They’re both from RI and after we realized we were all a reasonable distance from Mohegan Sun Casino, we planned a get-together at a couple of the restaurants I interact with regularly on Twitter, Michael Jordan’s Steak House and Michael Jordan’s 23 Sport Cafe (I also like chatting with SolToro, where I ate on St. Patty’s day).

Before I hit the road!

Sweater: Urban Outfitters

Halter: Ann Taylor Loft

Jeggings: American Eagle

Boots: Payless

Watch: Fossil

I arrived first at Michael Jordan’s Steak House, a very good thing because I had an amazing drink menu to peruse! I finally decided on the French Mojito: Bacardi, mint, lime, prosecco, and St. Germain elderflower. 

It was so delicious, especially with the addition of the prosecco, but I was a little bummed out by the presentation! I was hoping for a sleeker glass at such a fancy place, with such pricey drinks. Taste is most important though, and they nailed that one.

Samantha and Jennifer arrived and the three of us hit it off immediately. We found so much that we all had in common – no surprise, right? Jennifer even used to be a manager at one of my favorite places I used to go to as a UConn student, Willimantic Brewery. Samantha and I share a skill too – a skill we like to call, how to go to the beach the right way. It was hilarious to bond over the fact that we both shake our heads at the people who show up at the beach in the summer at 11AM and are shocked that they can’t find a parking spot. Helloooo, we are there by 9AM! I could tell we were both raised near the beach (she in RI, me in FL).

Samantha and her drink!

Samantha’s drink’s presentation definitely trumped mine! She got the Caramel Apple Martini: Van Gogh Dutch caramel vodka, apple pucker, and caramel drizzle. As you can see, it came with a bonus cherry! She said it was really delicious.

Of course we had to tweet the above picture to our favorite lady Kelly Olexa! Our Twitter feeds were blowing up with #fitfluential love!

After several unsuccessful attempts to make reservations at already-booked restaurants, 23 Sport Cafe was kind enough to make an exception to their “no reservations” policy for us and set aside a table for three for our dinner. The gracious staff even put up with us being about 10 minutes late for said reservation. I can’t say enough good things about everyone we encountered at that restaurant – our waitress was really nice about taking pictures of the three of us!

Jennifer, me, and Samantha at our reserved table!

23 Sport Cafe also boasts a cool cocktail menu, but none of them were my thing AKA they all seemed too sweet.

Never fear – there is always wine! I of course had to choose one I’d never tried, Razor’s Edge Shiraz. It was wonderful!

Samantha recommended the Garlic “Go-Go” Bread with bleu cheese fondue (she’s dined at 23 Sport Cafe before). I wasn’t sure if I wanted any for fear of spoiling my dinner, but as soon as this tower of tastiness arrived, I was sold and had to have a couple pieces.

Oh YUM. Is there anything better than crispy bread? Why yes, there is – crispy bread in bleu cheese sauce. Jennifer the recipe expert tasted some of the sauce and she detected mostly cheddar, but I was sure to select two pieces of bread with the most bleu cheese crumbles! More bleu for my buck.

The appetizer steals the show in this photo. And Samantha’s 23oz Blue Moon!

Unfortunately Jennifer’s stomach was not feeling too good that evening, so she had to opt out of any adult beverages or heavier foods. Talk about bad timing! She played it safe for dinner and ordered the house salad with a side of mashed potatoes. When your stomach is off, something there is NOTHING better than potato!

No, that is not ice cream!

I was quite impressed by this house salad. At most restaurants it comes as a plate of dinky iceberg lettuce with one or two cucumber slices. But look at those greens and those tomatoes!

I immediately honed in on the Spinach Steak Salad listed above. Samantha and I wondered what tobacco onions were, but my question was answered as soon as I caught a glimpse of the plate.

Crispy onion straws! I didn’t finish all of them but the ones I had sure were excellent. So was the entire salad. The filet was cooked medium just as I asked for – nice and pink. I loved the red and yellow tomatoes. They tasted extremely fresh. It’s hard for me to be intrigued enough by a restaurant salad to actually order it, because I am spoiled by the ones I make at home, but this was a winner.

Samantha ordered a sandwich called the Tall Guy: open-faced prime rib steak on ciabatta with garlic aioli, lettuce, tomato, swiss cheese, and those tobacco onions. She opted for a side of sweet potato fries. Her meal looked so good and she confirmed – it was! Samantha doesn’t eat red meat often but she said she was glad she opted to with this dish. No regrets!

Jennifer gives her meal a photoshoot.

The three of us loved that we were able to take photos and tweet to our heart’s content without seeming like total weirdos! Dining with other bloggers felt like dining with “my own kind”, ha.

Come on salad, work it!

Overall it was an amazing evening. I loved meeting Samantha and Jennifer, even though it didn’t seem like we were meeting, just meeting up to hang out like girls who are already friends! Again, thank you to 23 Sport Cafe for being so accommodating and helping us out with getting a table!

Make sure to check out Jennifer’s recap of the evening on her blog too!

What did you do on Saturday night?

Do your dining companions ever call you out on doing “blogging activities” like tweeting or taking photos during meals?

Worldess Wednesday – St. Patty’s Day

I spent St. Patrick’s Day evening last Saturday at Mohegan Sun, having a drink at Leffingwell’s Martini Bar, and then dining at SolToro Grill. Enjoy the photos!

Sweet tea vodka martini with a sugar rim!

Patron XO Dark Chocolate Shots

Lidia and her Strawbarita (El Charo Blanco, strawberry sorbet, lime juice).

My original margarita, extra salt (not as good as last time’s).

Evan and Prasant’s Quesadilla Picante: macho salsa, jalapenos, panela cheese (menu’s highest heat level).


Evan’s pork belly tacos – one of the best meals of his life.

My shrimp fajitas with corn tortillas, black beans, and corn – amazing!

See you tomorrow with some words!

Did you eat any Irish food on St. Patty’s or did you make like me and go for something that had NADA to do with the holiday?

Orlando – Day Two

I woke up on the Monday of our vacation feeling good, and I was so excited and grateful! To play it safe, I did my favorite yoga video on Hulu, YogaWorks Body Slim. I was sweating by the end and also felt relaxed and stretched-out. I headed to Starbucks and, continuing the play-it-safe plan, opted for an iced decaf Americano with the teeniest splash of skim to protect my still-sensitive stomach.

The pool wasn’t crowded at all and we scoped out some excellent seats. I sat back and enjoyed the warm weather with my magazines, and also had my beloved Chick-fil-A chargrilled chicken sandwich with extra pickles for lunch, with no stomach issues.

My Grannan and George (grandparents) arrived mid-afternoon too, and I was so excited to see them! We all remained poolside til late afternoon. 

I continued to feel better, no doubt thanks to how cautious I was being and all the water I was chugging. I’d found out that one of my former co-workers from UConn, Matt, was staying at a nearby Embassy Suites with his mom – AND they have free happy hour every night! He invited me to be his guest, so I took my grandparents’ car over to see him.

I had a couple nibbles of chips, and that classy plastic mostly-empty cup you see there was formerly filled with red sangria. It was extremely – juicy. But what can I expect during a cheap happy hour?! I planned to have a more unique libation at dinner anyway! The best part was meeting up with Matt after not having seen him in so long, and also finally getting to meet his mom, who I heard plenty about while we worked together at UConn Dining Services.

I met my parents and grandparents at a restaurant with a Caitlin-approved food/drink menu – and bonus points, our hotel gave us a coupon for it!

Interesting outdoor seating "booths", complete with space heaters.

The new-ish restaurant, Atlantic Cove, featured a menu of traditional meat and seafood plates, sushi, and unique Asian-fusion dishes. Our waitress, Alexa, was an absolute SWEETHEART. She seemed a bit new and nervous, but was so respectful and accommodating! I was very impressed.

Talk about a drink menu! My choice jumped out at me the second I saw it.

The Basil Martini, made with Belvedere Red, vermouth, and infused basil, was just what I was hoping for and more. It was so amazingly smooth, tasted like spiked pesto, and was certainly worth its money in terms of strength! I have to admit that I sloshed a bit of this beauty on myself at the end there.

Yay Dad!!

We were served some pretty tasty bread with olive oil and herbs, which I definitely prefer to butter.

I knew I wanted to get my fill of seafood on this trip, but I could NOT for the life of me decide on which fish I wanted, and whether or not I wanted it cedar-planked or blackened! I quickly took to Twitter to ask my go-to foodie followers for advice, and though I went with the votes for blackened, I opted for a fish I hadn’t had in a while, snapper.

My dad ordered seafood soup, one of his favorite things to get before our vacation dinners, a Lobster & Crab Bisque, and he loved it. The bowl was cool too!

He also ordered his fish blackened, but chose grouper. Unfortunately the kitchen goofed and served it grilled instead, but he didn’t say anything, because it was still excellent.

My meal was amazing too! I got asparagus on the side and devoured my pineapple mango salsa, as well as my dad’s. I also picked at my grandpa’s crabcakes and my mom’s baked potato skin.

I still had room for dessert once we got back to the hotel, so I savored a tiny treat I’d picked up the night before at TooJay’s, one of their famous mini black and white cookies. I didn’t have one during my December Florida trip, so it was a necessity!

I went to sleep content and grateful to be feeling better. Until the next day’s trip recap!

Which of the fish options on the menu would you have chosen? How about the preparation method?

Have you ever had a classic black and white cookie from a deli? The ones from Starbucks don’t count! 😉

Wordless Wednesday: Saturday Night Glastonbury Barhop

Note: I don’t count photo captions (or this note) as words 😉 Home sick today and don’t feel much like writing!

Sakura Garden happy hour red + free strawberry daiquiri shot

Another free shot – mango

Joe's happy hour California roll

Rooftop 120 martini menu

Dark n stormier, sparkler, pickle martini

Sourdough grilled cheese + french onion soup

Margherita flatbread

Plan B

Are there any places in your town to bar/restaurant-hop?

Starstruck at Mohegan Sun

Like I said yesterday…and the day before…I’ve got an exciting evening to share! So exciting I had to give it a build-up of several days, I suppose. I wasn’t going to let a snowy Saturday get me down this past weekend. I had exciting plans to reunite with college friends at Mohegan Sun Casino, and thankfully by the time I left around 6pm, the highways were pretty much all cleared and it was (fairly) smooth sailing during my trip.

I arrived, found some of our group playing video poker at a bar, and settled in with an Absolut Pear Martini while we waited for more friends to arrive so that we could grab dinner. The martini was delicious, just the pear-flavored vodka with a touch of vermouth, shaken with ice so that it was niiiice and chilly. I love a smooth, strong drink!

We grew to a party of six and set out to find a dining destination. The first two options we stopped at, Sol Toro and 23 Sports Cafe (both Michael Jordan restaurants), had waits. I had been hoping to try something new, but also didn’t want to delay dinner. Luckily, there were plenty of tables for large parties available at Jasper White’s Summer Shack, and old favorite of mine that I’ve visited a couple of times before, most recently during the Winter Storm Alfred power outage.

Specials are written on chalkboards throughout the restaurant.

The Summer Shack has the casual beach vibe of so many of the authentic seafood restaurants back in Florida that I adore. The seafood here is always fresh, and that’s the reason for the chalkboards throughout the restaurant that list the numerous special starters, entrees, and desserts.  So much of the menu is always changing, depending on what will taste the best based on availability!

Jeff and I, always foodie partners in crime.

I started off with a Dark & Stormy, or ginger beer with rum. This has become one of my favorite drinks to order whenever I see it on a drink menu when I’m out, ever since sampling it several times at Rooftop120. Their version, the Dark & Stormier, is definitely stromier aka STRONGER! However this Dark & Stormy was still delicious and I savored it throughout my meal…which resulted in me having to chug it so the rest of the party could leave and get-to-gamblin’, oops.

Reunited at the casino, at the end of our evening.

When the hostess was seating us, she informed me that Chef Jasper White himself (yes, it’s Jasper White’s Summer Shack) was actually in the restaurant that very evening! I became a bit of a babbling mess and blurted out that I would love the chance to meet him or talk to him, and tell him how much I enjoy his restaurant. I never ACTUALLY expected that Jasper White would come to our table to meet me!

Celeb chef sighting!

You know you’re a foodie when you’re fangirling over meeting the chef of a great restaurant, much like one would fangirl over meeting the singer of their favorite songs (oh yeah, I’ve done that before too). It was great to have the chance to tell Jasper about my blog, and how my family came to his restaurant during one of our nights without power during Winter Storm Alfred, and that I’d written about the experience and shared it with my readers. I  was so excited to give him my card – the idea of Jasper reading my blog was (and is) very exciting!

I was in for an even bigger surprise when Jasper sent over some appetizers for the table to sample! We received the stuffed oysters pictured above, as well as seafood potstickers. Both were beyond amazing, but I’d have to say my favorite of the two were the oysters. The crunchy breading atop the stuffing was so flaky, and the lemon juice squeezed atop each one really made it.

Ever the adventurous foodies, Jeff and I decided to split two of the more unique appetizer specials. First was the baby octopus with crushed tomatoes and white beans. This was fantastic! The octopus had a really nice flavor and the beans and tomatoes tasted SO good served atop that crunchy bread on the side – kinda like a little bruschetta! I squeezed a lot of the lemon wedge’s juice onto the greens too.

Unfortunately, our second choice, grilled sardines with a spicy marinara, were a little bit of a fail due to the bones! The fish that I did taste was good – I have been curious to try sardines ever since reading about them in the blog world, first on Kath Eats. It wasn’t too salty like I’d feared. The issue was the skeleton – the tiny sardine bones were impossible to pick out! This just comes with the territory of eating sardines I guess, but I am not a fan of high-maintenance dishes like that. Jeff and I both kinda gave up eventually, which was unfortunate because the fish was yummy! I guess bone fish just is not for me. The marinara didn’t taste that spicy to us, but I did enjoy its flavor and scooped some onto more of that crunchy bread, and put more lemon juice on this app’s greens as well. I like how each app comes with greens – the maple-glazed scallops I ordered last time did as well!

In contrast to the interesting apps Jeff and I sampled, our friend Charlie, the king of the plainest foods of all time, ordered buffalo wings. He was more than eager to give me his review, declaring that the meat was delicious, but the wings lacked any buffalo flavor (he also wanted me to include that he is, indeed, from the Buffalo area). He also declared the bleu cheese sauce to be excellent. My friend Prasant tried a wing, and gave the same consensus as Charlie. Sounds good to me, since I cannot deal with anything spicy, but these may not be the best choice if you are looking for a spicy wing!

Prasant and my other friend, Alex, ordered the same thing…the cheeseburger. Can’t go wrong with a good old burger every now and then, but as you can see, Jeff’s tastes align more with mine when it comes to what to order at a seafood restaurant! Prasant and Alex both liked their burgers though, and that grilled onion in the photo above looks really good to me!

Clearly I was so psyched about the pickles I received with my food (always gotta order pickles on the side, right Christina?) that I couldn’t sit still enough to let Jeff take a photo that wasn’t blurry.

The service we received at Jasper White’s Summer Shack was also excellent. Our waiter was really nice and, after initially bringing me 2 pickles, brought me a few more after he found out he would have to charge me $1 for them. Thanks, man!

And a huge thanks to Jasper White for being kind enough to check out my blog and send some delicious seafood my way!

While the boys in our crew headed to the craps table (where Jeff went on a heater and proceeded to win the tables’ players amounts ranging from tens to thousands of dollars), my friend Kelly (this is a third Kelly I know, so now I have mentioned all three of them on the blog at some point, yay!) and I decided to class it up, pass by the free casino beverages, and spend a little money to enjoy a more unique cocktail at Leffingwell’s Martini Lounge.

Such a gorgeous place! The bar was full, so we settled into some giant red comfy chairs (that were a little too large and seemed to swallow us) and perused the martini menu.

I was worried I’d have a hard time deciding on a drink, but immediately spotted the French Pear martini, remembered the first pear martini I’d had from earlier that evening, and decided that trying a version of it that included eldeflower liqueur and a twist was just what I wanted!

Kelly satisfied her sweet tooth AND grape tooth with a Grape Snow Cone martini.

How cute is her hair? Jealous.

And my awkward photo-posing-with-a-martini, which you saw briefly on Sunday…

Drinks can be so pretty!

After we finished our drinks and had wonderful girl-time, Kelly and I met up with the boys at the craps table. There wasn’t room for me to jump in until Jeff’s heater had ended, but I still managed to leave the casino $20 richer!

Dammit Brookstone, ruining my lighting.

We hung out for a little while longer and I decided to give into a craving that I always get when I go to Mohegan…

Oh Half-Baked Fro Yo from Ben & Jerry’s, how I love you so. And how I LOVE sugar cones. Got a kid’s cone for a nice treat!

Taken by a random man who may or may not have been drunk. Open your eyes, Caitlin.

What a fantastic evening, which went quite well with the rest of my wonderful weekend. It was so great to see so many of my friends together in one place for the first time since graduation – and meet Jasper White!

Have you ever met the head chef of a restaurant? Do you ever visit the casino – and do you ever win?

Bonefish Grill – Palm Beach Gardens

So far so good on the wisdom teeth front! I’m laid up watching my DVRed shows as well as movie trailers so that I can add more to my ever-growing watchlist. I got in a workout last night with Group Step, since I knew that today will be a likely rest day. I may do a light yoga stretch video later though if I’m feeling up to it, to get the blood flowing. We have plenty on our on-demand Exercise TV, luckily! But as of right now I definitely haven’t been able to eat/drink enough to fuel much more than chillin’ by this fireplace. Fine by me 😉

Time for another Florida vacation restaurant recap!

I’ve written about my love for Bonefish Grill before, but had only iPhone photos to show you the deliciousness that I experienced. There are no Bonefish locations near me (closest is in Poughkeepsie, NY!) so whenever I am near one, I make it a point to visit. Luckily, my recent family vacation to Florida put me within twenty minutes of a location, in Palm Beach Gardens!

The ladies of the family – 3 generations! My outfit tells you I'm in FL, right?

The first time I tried this awesome seafood dinner spot was during one of my favorite family vacations ever to Myrtle Beach.

Enjoying the first of two martinis during my first Bonefish visit in Myrtle Beach.

Two drinks in, I devoured the table's coconut dessert!

This time, I made sure to use my newish camera to take some better photos, though it really is one of the darkest restaurants I’ve ever been to (along with J. Gilbert’s), so that was difficult.

The famous crusty bread with pesto olive oil. Yum!

As a party of 7, we always have to wait (even with a reservation), so we had some fun outside with photos.

I told my dad he and I looked tropical, so we decided to do some tropical dancing!

I was psyched that the warm weather gave me the chance to wear the new Hollister skirt I’d gotten on Black Friday.

My shoes look like they have no bottoms!

Told the mom and dad to "look adoringly at each other" and this is what we get. The matching outfits make it even better.

Once we were seated, I spotted a cocktail on the menu that made me decide YES to having a drink that evening. The Fresh Grapefruit Martini of Ketel One vodka infused with grapefruit, freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, and a basil leaf, complete with a lightly sugared rim, was everything I hoped it’d be.

For my meal, I went with one of the specials: Wolf Fish Rockefeller, or wolf fish topped with lump crab. I declined creamed spinach that it came with, and got mango salsa as my “sauce” instead. For my sides, I got mixed veggies and asparagus. A fortunate mistake was made, and they ended up bringing me spaghetti squash too by accident! Score!

Mango salsa and asparagus are missing from the photo.

The last time I had wolf fish at Bonefish it was out of this world, so I was a bit disappointed with this meal because the fish seemed less flavorful and more dry than last time. It’s very possible that I am to blame since I opted out of getting the dish the way it was meant to be served (with creamed spinach). Always a risk!

My dad ordered another special, the Lobster Thermidor Mahi Mahi with Florida Rock Shrimp, and loved it. The mahi was topped with lobster, rock shrimp, and a velvety sherry sauce and served on garlic whipped potatoes with a side of spaghetti squash.

After trying a bite of my mom’s sea bass with mango salsa, I wished I’d ordered that. Her fish was so much more moist than the wolf fish!

While not the best Bonefish trip I’ve ever had (that honor may belong to my first trip to Myrtle Beach), I still had a great time and was impressed by our accommodating waiter. Is it bad if the martini was my favorite part of the meal?

What kind of seafood do you like to order out?

Rooftop 120

Hey guys! Hope your day is going well so far. I have to say that I’ve been MIA (or less active than usual) in commenting and tweeting, which bums me out. However I am in the home stretch of my first semester as a part-time MBA student, which means a huge group project with a presentation, a ten-page paper, and a final! I’m just thankful that one of my professors cancelled our final, so I only have one, for my other class. But I really can’t wait for a few weeks off between this semester and the next so that I can spend more free time blogging and less on homework! At least I can’t complain about spending time doing things with family and friends – I always make time for that 🙂 keeps me sane!

Or not sane…?

In fact, I had a pretty wonderful weekend. I started and ended Friday in a funk, so I didn’t have the highest hopes for the last couple of days. But Saturday I got a ton of homework and Christmas shopping done and had a delicious meal at Chili’s for dinner. Yesterday I PR’ed in a road race. I also explored a part of my town I’ve never seen before, which involved an art show with wine, crackers, and cheese, giving another local cafe a chance to inspire my homework/blogging-sessions, and a hike where I discovered a hidden treasure.

You’ll have to wait a bit longer to hear more about each of those things!

I also wanted to direct you guys to Sarah’s blog Sarah Snacks to check out the loot she received from her November Foodie Pen Pal – aka ME! I sent her the ingredients for a chocolate coma, plus a little mint thrown in. I’m bummed that I’m not doing Foodie Pen Pals this month (too many blogger cookie things going on instead!) but will be back for more in January.

The main purpose of today’s post is to share a fun Tuesday night outing I had last week with a fellow foodie and the namer of this blog, Rachel, at Glastonbury’s newest bar Rooftop 120. It’s the largest four-season rooftop in all of New England and is absolutely gorgeous. I’ve been several times before and their drinks are fabulous and unique. I’m usually a wine girl, but at Rooftop I’ve gotta go with hard liquor-based beverages. In the summer, when glass doors are not enclosing the bar area, it feels like Vegas, my favorite place in the world.

Image courtesy of rooftop120.com

How cool is that wall? At night all those bottles are illuminated! Courtesty of rooftop120.com

My favorite area to sit when it's warm. Image courtesy of rooftop120.com

I arrived in the mood for red wine, and Rachel planned to order the Cucumber Martini that I had during my first Rooftop 120 visit over the summer. We were informed by our server, however, that the cucumber-infused tequila the martini was made with was a seasonal item, so the drink was off the menu. Rachel was bummed and I was about to order my wine when the bartender came over and started mixing us up his own cucumber martini creation!

He used organic Pearl cucumber vodka and a little Prosecco!

I took one sip of this drink and my desire for a glass of red went out the window. So much for Wine Tuesday – how about Martini Tuesday?

That cucumber at the very end was like a cherry on top of a sundae!

So then I started telling Rachel about the apple, peach, and cinnamon-infused whiskey I tried during my last visit to Rooftop…

…and the bartender must have overheard us again, because he brought over complimentary shots! Bottoms up!

I ended up with a headache the next morning thanks to my martini and shot, but the deliciousness wasn’t stopping there. Rachel got the Provence Flatbread: Spiced Belltown orchards apples, caramelized onions, truffle honey, pancetta, and brie. I forgot to take a picture of before she started enjoying it, but I did remember to finish off the last slice. We both agreed it was a little too sweet, but still pretty good. The winner was my flatbread selection, the Tombstone Flatbread: grilled chicken, pepperjack, roasted red peppers, and chipotle onion. The server had it made for us less spicy than usual, which was a good thing because Rachel thought it was spicy as is, but it was perfect for me!

At first I had no appetite after  my drinks, but by the time this flatbread came I was ready to chow down.

Rachel and I had a great night at Rooftop 120 – it was her first visit, and she was back two days later to pre-celebrate her birthday! And in case you’re wondering why she’s MIA in the photos, that was her doing, not mine. And in case you’re wondering why these are iPhone photos and not taken with my new cam – well, the cam was MIA, and that WAS my doing.

About to finish off my vodka-infused cucumber slice!

Thanks to Rooftop 120 for fabulous drinks, crispy and flavorful flatbread, and great deals in the form of free shots and free app coupons for our flatbreads!

What’s the coolest bar you’ve ever been to? Are there any “stylish” places in your area?