Tag Archives: dinner

What we did on our summer vacation — Day 4

I need to finish this before I blog about other things…

Sunday morning I went to church with Mom and afterward I enjoyed the wildflowers on the church property while Mom attended a meeting.

That afternoon we had a cookout with my brother and his family at my Mom’s house. Not knowing what to cook for dinner, Kevin, Brandon and I went to a local Italian grocery store for inspiration. We found it in the meat department in the form of amazing store-made sausages and the produce department in the form of vegetables to grill. And in the wine department where I saw the bottle of wine that I was hiding from Tony Soprano in my dream about him a week before the untimely death of the actor who portrayed him. We decided our meal would be a tribute to James Ganolfini and Tony Soprano.

We ate well that night thanks to Kevin’s skill with the grill. We also had fun with Preston.

 

Dinner and a Walk

The Dinner

Friday night the kids were busy with their various activities — Clare to the mall with a friend and Andrew had a Rugby game, so Dean and I took the opportunity to go out to dinner.

We’d gotten our latest (last?) Bethesda Magazine in the mail a few days before and read a couple reviews of local restaurants. Visions was mentioned, as was Dean’s favorite restaurant — Black’s Bar & Kitchen (formerly Black’s). The magazine also held a $10 off coupon that could be used at a number of restaurants in the area during May. We looked at the list and decided to go with a restaurant we’d not eaten at before, Trattoria Sorrento. Besides we were both in the mood for Italian.

We were given a choice of sitting in a light and lively area of the restaurant or a darker and more formal area. We chose the lighter area mostly because the host told us there was a party of 40 or so expected in the formal dining room.

We immediately felt at home in the restaurant. It was obvious the folks sitting just behind our table were either part of the family or good friends of the owners. Another couple dining near us seemed to be either regulars or good friends of our waiter because of the familiarity they exhibited towards one another.

The waiter was very friendly — not in an over-the-top and fake way, but just down-home family friendly. He told us about the specials, took our drink order after explaining that the woman sitting behind us was Sunday’s entertainment. On Sundays the restaurant hosts Opera Night and the guests are treated to an opera singer or two while they dine. We’re not opera fans, but I’m sure the folks who are enjoy the performance.

For dinner I chose sea bass which was prepared with a kind of puttenesca sauce. I don’t recall the actual name of the dish. Dean ordered veal ravioli. Prior to our entrées we shared a Caesar salad which was good. Nothing special, just a normal Caesar salad.

My entrée was delicious. The sauce was perfect — not too salty. The fish was very good, mild and flaky, but not dried out. My only complaint was a fishy taste once, that might just have been some skin. Unfortunately it ruined the rest of the meal and I gave my dinner to Dean, but I’d actually eaten enough by then.

Dean’s dish, according to him — I don’t eat veal — was not so good. He thought the filling was too salty and the dough on the ravioli overcooked. He ate most of it, but left three small ravioli — unusual for him. He was content to finish my fish, though — so my fishy tasting bite was a good deal for him.

We shared a bottle of Meridian Pinor Noir. It was fine, and priced pretty good at $26.

We’ll probably return to Trattoria Sorrento at some time, but probably not soon. We’ve got a lot of other restaurants to try in Bethesda, and even feeling a part of the family isn’t enough pull for an unsatisfactory dinner.

The Walk

rhododendronsnowball treeAfter dinner we went to McGrillis Gardens for a walk at dusk. The rhododendrons were in bloom as well as a bush* with snowball shaped flowers. As we neared the back fence Dean claimed to hear spring peepers on the other side of the fence, near the newly built McMansions and after disagreeing with him at first, I finally conceded that he was right.

I heard my first Rufous-sided Towhee of the year (FOY in birding jargon). At least I thought that is what I heard, but it turned out to be an Eastern Towhee. See, some silly bird committee decided to re-name this bird from an interesting and descriptive sounding moniker to a boring and nondescript one.

All-in-all, it was a pleasant evening. It’s nice to get out once in a while. Of course I could eat out several times a week, but with college looming we need to be a little more frugal. Eating in Bethesda — heck, just living in Bethesda, is not inexpensive. Having a free and open area to wander around in after dinner is a treat that we don’t take advantage of often enough.

*speaking of Bush, his sister lives around there somewhere…according to AARP Magazine and my Aunt Ginny’s Internet sleuthing.

My Daughter, the Critic

Clare and I went out to dinner last night mostly because I was to lazy to cook for just the two of us (the guys went skiing), but also because we’d not been out of the house for something fun in a few days. I’m not sure if Clare considers dinner with mom fun, but she seemed to have a good time.

P4130055.JPGClare talked mostly about reading – her passion. Once again she thanked me for fostering a love of reading in her, which always tickles me, and she talked about what she loved didn’t like about books.

She loves it when the author manages to describe how people look without seeming to describe anything. She hates it when an author uses worn out metaphors and similies to make points in books.

She thinks Stepanie Meyer’s vampire trilogy is poorly written (even worse than the Harry Potter books, she said) but wants to read the second and third books anyway.  I liked what I read of Twilight, but I always was a sucker for vampire stories and gothic type novels.

She has the same kinds of opinions about films, but perhaps not so hypercritical.

I’m quite proud of how she’s turned out so far. Her love of reading will take her places – on a couple of levels. She’s not too bad in math either – last night she even figured out the tip for me.