Monday, December 3, 2012

out with the fella

Had such a fun day Saturday!

I saw that the Swedish Embassy was having a Christmas bazaar, and since anything Sweden related is basically my boyfriend’s favorite thing ever in the whole world (he took Swedish in college… he loves their environmental laws… he’s convinced he was switched in the hospital at birth and is actually Swedish royalty- seriously!), I went for a hot embassy date. At one point I texted my sister telling her where we were and how ecstatic Steve was and she texted me back, “Leave and see how long it takes him to notice. My guess is six hours”.

Then since it was nice out, we went for a lonnnng strollsie.

Hello White House! 1600 Pennsylvania was decked out for the season/AIDS with a red ribbon. And there was a big stand being erected even as this photo was taken- we were thinking the tree lighting ceremony was imminent.

There’s always a crowd there. Protesters, too! First amendment, yessirree.


As I said to Steve- it is SO FUN living somewhere you can just stroll to the White House when you feel like it. I forget about these things!

Next we went wayyy up Connecticut Avenue to end up at… Zoo Lights! Every year the Smithsonian National Zoo does a big pre-Christmas light display. We meant to go last year but got there too late (I think the crowd changes later in the day… this year when we went around 6 it was all kids but last year as we watched the last people coming out at 9 they looked older… methinks it’s a big venue for making out!)

Very difficult to get a good picture. I did have no choice but to get the poor guy in a panda costume (!) in a Santa hat (!!) dancing (!!!) in a giant snow globe (!!!!!).

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Go figure, the children loved him.



Funny how real that looks in the picture! No elephants were harmed in the making of this blog post.

Not pictured was a petting zoo with some amusingly bored farm animals and a GINGERBREAD HOUSE COMPETITION! Ooodles of fun.

Originally the plan was to Metro back to Foggy Bottom, go back to our car in Georgetown, drive through Arlington to the Trader Joe’s in Clarendon, then get back to Steve’s place and cook… but it was like 8, Trader Joe’s closes at 9, and Steve was already starving. And I was wearing inappropriate footwear and needed a rest.

And then we peeked through a restaurant window and saw this charming place.


And Cafe La Ruche it was.


When I’ve spent time in Europe (yknow… twice… well and in fourth grade but that doesn’t apply to this fact), I admired that you could get wines by the carafe or half carafe.

You can economize by getting a slightly larger quantity(rather than buying two individual glasses) but don’t have to get a whole bottle, the wine’s already been sitting out which makes red wine tastier, and for two people it’s a perfect glass-and-a-half. (Though of course, if one of those people is a lightweight like me, you’d think it was like four glasses a person).


Steve and I both opted for the special.

It arrived with first a Caesar salad. The dressing was definitely fresh made and delicious. It was actually a little too decadent for me to finish (ugh, I am saying this about SALAD, how obnoxious :D) so I passed the rest off to Steve, who was busy inhaling it (Steve REALLY enjoyed this dinner).


Annnnd the special of the vegetarian lasagna, in adorable individual dishes (I love food served in individual tureens and things. So cute!)

So vegetarian lasagna did not actually mean the presence of a great quantity of vegetables, but rather noodles drenched in the most heavenly cream sauce, scant little hints of carrot and broccoli, super sweet marinara, and the most heavenly crispy cheese atop (Gruyere?).

I ate wayyy more than I thought- perhaps 2/3 to 3/4 of this? It was marvy. And the rest, of course, went to cute Steve, who was swearing up and down to our waiter that he was half Italian and had never tasted anything like this.


Gossip at the next table over revealed that the restaurant was well known for their desserts, and it was one of those this-is-so-fun-I-just-don’t-want-to-leave-yet nights, so we opted to share a dessert. I told Steve to order whatever he wanted. He opted for the mousse au chocolat. Tasty!


Steve took me out for yet another fun night out (kind of a two year anniversary- YAAAAAY!- celebration).  He snagged a Groupon to Rabbit, a restaurant in Clarendon. I’m always skeptical of restaurants that say we emphasize local/organic food or we obtain local/organic food whenever possible because it’s just TOTALLY MEANINGLESS. I mean, Wendy’s could say that.

However, the food was good :) And hopefully at least some of it was local/organic.

Love that the food was good but the ambiance was casual. Witness barstools and buckets of cutlery, as well as a counter where you picked food up (and got to watch the action!)


The place actually produced a Steve-sized salad! Even my fastest-metabolism-on-Earth boy was satisfied! (Well, til like an hour later when he got a slice of pizza. But only one slice!)


And because the Groupon said any entree, I got the most expensive thing on the menu :D That’d be the seared tuna. Which came with a (slightly bland) green salad and mashed potatoes.

The tuna was good! Love a good rare tuna. The plate was larrrrge so Steve got some bonus food too!


Annnnd then the Groupon included cupcakes! After not at all lengthy deliberation, because these were both totally obvious choices, we opted for the pumpkin with cream cheese frosting and the chocolate with peanut butter frosting.

Look at the cute puff pastry pumpkin on top!

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We went halfsies on both. Both were pretty good, but the pumpkin definitely outshone the chocolate- the spices in there were so good! It was also very very very moist- like, they had not skimped on the butter/oil! That is of course why it was so delicious!

And because my dessert stomach struck again, and we had a gap before Skyfall began (I enjoyed. Even the stupid gila monster part). So froyo happened. I know.


Anyone else been on any fun holiday season outings lately? Share!

And, do you have a dessert stomach?

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