Sometimes all you really need to unwind is a day trip. Week long vacations involve lots of planning and packing. A day trip can be decided on the spot and only requires a tank of gas and the support from your in laws to watch your dog. Justin and I took this past week of from work. We had thought about taking a vacation but in the end decided it was a good idea to save some money. Justin suggested on Wednesday that we drive to Duluth on Friday. I’ve only been there once (last spring) I remembered that I really enjoyed the lake views and all the beautiful flowers we saw.
When we hopped in the car Friday morning there was no question as to where we would be heading when we got to Duluth… New Scenic Cafe. We LOVED this place last year and have been wanting to go back. I was impressed that some of the same stuff was on the menu this year (no reason to change a good thing).
Here are some of our lunch pictures.
Appetizer: Artichoke Slather
Salad: Roasted Beet Salad
Entree: Lobster Bisque
Justin and I were joking before we ordered that he always orders the same thing at restaurants. He told me he was going to try something new and order the Prime Rib Dip. After we ordered I remembered I had blogged our trip last year. Anyways the point of my story is I looked at my previous entry while we were waiting for our meal and I found out that Justin ordered the same sandwich for lunch. (So… I did not snap a picture of his sandwich) He did want me to tell y’all it was just as good as last year.
Here are some links to some other spots we checked out while in Duluth.
Maybe it’s me but I feel like March has flown by! This weekend I decided to celebrate my favorite color, green. Nope I’m not Irish but why not celebrate spring. I picked up green sprinkled cinnamon twists from Isles Bun on Saturday to bring over to my friends house for dinner last night. Today I ran by Sephora and snagged the Pantone Universe Emerald Nail polish trio . I painted 8 of my nails the plain green and used the sparkly green as an accent nail for my pointers. This evening we are having Justin’s sisters over for dinner and I decided to make a green treat: LuckyCharm Treats. I ended up using the Limited Edition Green Clover Lucky Charms. I think they turned out pretty cute.
Don’t worry this post is not about eating turtles but is about a great Turtle Cake. Cafe Latte is a restaurant in St Paul that is known for its friendly cozy cafe feel. It also is known for its killer desserts. My mom and I are head over heels for their almond fruit tart (marzipan in the filling..amazing). Anyways I had heard from my friend, Kat that on Cafe Latte’s website. I decided that it was time to try making my first 3 layer chocolate cake. Thanks Cafe Latte for providing the recipe for your Turtle Cake.
Justin’s verdict- I loved it. It tasted pretty good for breakfast too.
Last night I convinced some of my friends to travel with me to Maplewood for dinner. I had been wanting to try a wing place that had been featured in the Minneapolis St Paul Magazine. We drove about 30 minutes and were not sure what to expect as we pulled into the parking lot. The restaurant has about 8 tables and has a very relaxed atmosphere. The menu well…that is another story…I now consider the owner, Darren (the d in D SPOT we all learned) the Willy Wonka of wings. I mean just look at this menu. Darren can cook….like really cook…We spoke with him after we devoured all our wings and learned about his culinary background. Now the pictures… They will make you hungry… I’m just warning you.
Here we have Pesto, Frenchy, and Black Widow
Desert Heat was a favorite of the group.
Here is Szechwan and Ranch. Ranch was one of my favorites.
Then we have Muy Thai, Salsa Verde, Buffalo, and Asian BBQ.
After that came Teriyaki. (I didn’t try that one…side note 8 people were at dinner and most of the wings came in orders of 6.)
Darren sent us complimentary dessert wings. This was Spicy Caramel and Snackers.
Last but not least. My friend, Mike whose part of the blog Two Happy Cooks decided he could not leave Dspot without trying the wings from the spicier part of the menu. He ordered the El Loco which are described as ridiculously HOT and for the extremist only! They even came with a can of green tea. All I can say is I have known Mike for about 4 years and this is the first time I saw him have tears in his eyes and I can promise you they were not for joy.
Darren and Mike, the fearless wing eater!
I will definitely be back to try some more options and have some more Ranch wings. It was a great night with lots of laughter and wings!!!
It all started with a bowl of granola… I don’t think I ever would start a sentence like that. I like granola but it is never what I would choose to order for brunch. I tend to go for omelets … Continue reading →
What a great weekend! My mom came in town and we celebrated her birthday this past weekend. I jam packed the weekend with a couple of surprises, a couple meals out and one home cooked dinner.
Here’s what I learned this weekend:
Sometimes the best gift is a chance to be pampered. I could not get over the look on my mom’s face when I surprised her with facials at Spalon Montage on Friday afternoon. I didn’t snap any photos but just trust me. This was heavenly from the comfy terry cloth bathrobe to the warm neck pillow and the chance to wait by a glowing fireplace. The ambiance that they create there is a great experience. I can’t wait to book my next appointment.
Birthday dinners are a blast when you try a new restaurant with an inclosed rooftop. I can’t get over the view from Union Rooftop. I was just as impressed with the food too. My mom continued to rave about the pumpkin ravioli she had the next day.
The scallops I had at Union.
Wuollet’s Bakery shocks me every time I order a personalized cake from them. They are truly some of the most talented cake decorators. I went in a week before and ordered my mom’s birthday cake. I am crazy and gave them some very detailed instructions of how I wanted it decorated. The end result was perfection and it tasted really yummy too!
The final thing I want to share with all of you is that after 6 years of trying I finally made a delicious brisket last night. The only problem…. My mom was here to help me.
I have no idea why all of my dinner is smushed to one side of the plate. My presentation skills were slacking a bit last night.
Hang in there with me as I title this post in a way that can only be described as Spanglish. I meant to post yesterday about Justin and my impromptu date night on Friday but…. I was a bit of a hot mess yesterday and forgot.
( I promise tomorrow to post the recipes and details to last nights Heart Party tomorrow.)
Smack Shack (aka Lobster Roll Food Truck) opened up a restaurant on Friday night. For my non Minnesota palls… We, Minnesotans have been patiently waiting for this opening for well… I don’t even know how long… I think we all thought at the end of summer they would be opening the doors but that did not happen. Anyways…I’m rambling again…. I begged/convinced Justin to go there on Friday night (CRAZY, the night they open and everything… But he agreed) We tried to make a reservation on Thursday afternoon but were told that they were not taking anymore and to try just coming in Friday night. When we arrived Friday we found out it was a 2 hour wait or we could try getting a seat at the bar.
After about 15 minutes we snagged seats at the bar. The bar had a limited menu which did not phase me but proved a bit tricky for my no seafood eating husband.
Justin had the Braised Beef Tacos appetizer.
He had the chicken wings with bacon bleu cheese for dinner.
I had two oysters for an appetizer.
My dinner was the Lazy,Lonely Lobster. I opted for no side items and they did a bit of the cracking for me so it was easier to eat. The bowl on the side was lobster broth. I chose to eat mine with just the standard melted butter. It was so yummy and a bit decadent.
I’m looking forward to returning here soon. I got a chance to look at the restaurant menu and saw many things that looked good. smack Shack has not posted their menu online but they say they will be adding it soon to their website.
When I started to write this post I thought for a second about coming up with a cute name for the title but… Then I decided a place like this that is sooo good does not need the title it can truly stand on its own.
Cafe Levain has been on my must try list for at least 6 months. Why it took me this long to go here?.. I have no idea. It is owned by the people that own Turtle Bread and Pizza Biga(really want to go here).
We started our meal out with bowls of soup. I had the onion soup.
Justin had the potato soup.
I really wanted the mussels as an appetizer but they sold out right before we got there. (Next time I will be ordering those. They looked AMAZING)
I had the Roast Chicken with polenta, stewed mushrooms, kale, brown butter and chives.
Justin had the Braised Beef Short Ribs with potato purée, brussels sprouts, roasted carrots, braising jus and dijon crème fraîche.
We ended up not ordering dessert because we were pretty full when we finished our entrees.
Thanks Erin and Dan for the great recommendation. We will definitely be heading back to Cafe Levain soon.
Sundays are usually meant for barre class and grocery shopping. This weekend I decided to take advantage of the fact that we grocery shopped last night by doing brunch at a new spot with Justin today. We got a great recommendation from a friend of mine. We went to Sun Street Breads Cafe. I can’t even begin to describe how amazing this brunch was. Justin had biscuits and gravy. I had a southern fried chicken biscuit. Great prices and friendly atmosphere. We will be back soon.
This year Justin and I made a pact that we would not be exchanging gifts. Neither of us was coveting any sort of thing and we are trying to not accumulate more stuff in the home. We decided we would rather go out to dinner to a new restaurant. Last night we went out for our Hanukkah date night to Travail Kitchen and Amusements
We got to the restaurant at 6:30 and only had to wait about 20 minutes (which we learned was not a norm at this place). We had been told by numerous people to plan on grabbing a drink and appetizer at the bar because we would have to wait for a table(this was not the case for us).
After looking over the menu we chose the 8 course tasting menu which came with amusements. (Amusements were in the form of individual tastings of food… I’m probably not describing this well at all so just wait for pictures)
Every single thing we had was delicious and some of the foods we had never tried until last night (example- venison) .
Here are some of the snaps (Kat, I tried my hand at editing but I still might need another workshop)
This was an amusement.
Make your own dip in dots (sooooo cool)
We both loved the caramel apple and the cotton candy.
Side note- I forgot to take a picture of course three which was the pork ribs.