Monday, May 21, 2012


I don't watch the show, but Nancy and Jodee do, so the very next day after girls' dinner, we headed to Bill and Giuliana Rancic's restaurant, RPM. We were seated at Bill and Giuliana's table because we are just that cool. (No, Bill and Giuliana were not there, but if they had been, they would have LOVED our company).
We started off with a little cocktail (of which now I cannot remember it's yummy name).
I think Jodee became really nervous when we were told that this was yet again a place to share plates.  I felt really bad because I know I wouldn't want to have to eat with me if I were in their places.
But, it wasn't too bad, we shared two salads and four appetizers, and then we each ordered our own pasta dish.
My creation
I was really having issues with trying to remember to get a photo of each dish.  We had shredded brussels sprouts with avocado salad and the arugula with shaved artichoke salad.  Both damn yummy.
For appetizers, we had fried olives, gnocchi with gorgonzola, lobster caprese, and roman-style artichokes. I didn't like the gnocchi that well; the gorgonzola taste was too strong for me.  The olives had sausage in them, and the girls loved them.  I quickly fell in love with the artichokes.  HEAVEN.
We ordered a bottle of wine (most likely two) to accompany our dinner.  Our mini pasta dishes were:  sweet pea risotto, the special ravioli, short rib pappardelle, prosciutto pansotti (I'm not 100% sure about the last one).  And here's what happen with the pasta:  we scarfed down those bitches like it was our last meal on earth.  Our plates were all void of any pasta, but we could see sauce, so we did what we had to do.  We yelled at any busboy that came by to try to take our plates, and ordered bread so that we could lick our plates clean.
We ordered two of the desserts, both of which were chocolate, and both of which I wish I could eat everyday for breakfast (not that they are breakfast foods, I just want it everyday). OH MY!!
Afterwards, we walked to The Westin on the river so that we could continue drinking and talking.  This seems to be our "go-to" joint.  It's relatively quiet so that we can hear one another, has cozy couches, and they give you free nuts!
Nancy and I had taken the 'L' from my place to the restaurant, and our way back, Nancy was such a chicken shit!  She was so scared of the 'L' at night. Sheesh, you can tell that one lives in the suburbs.
But, as always, great night with even greater friends.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

May Girls' Dinner

This past Thursday, the group headed to Sable Kitchen & Bar for our monthly get together.  The executive chef of this joint is Heather Terhune of Top Chef fame.  (I was trying to count, and I think this is the third restaurant we've been to of a Top Chef contestant...we have many more to go).
Sable dishes are meant to share, and because I am a MAJOR pain in the ass when it comes to what I will eat, the group hates me at these types of places, and I don't blame them one bit.

We had mini wild mushroom veggie burgers, pear and brie flatbread, tuna tartar tostadas, sweet corn creme brulee, potato and cheese pierogis, balsamic roasted cauliflower, and bacon wrapped dates.

The food was fantastic.  The stuff was really good.  I think it's all about being a bit brave at some places (yeah, that's coming from the chick who won't eat meat, mushrooms, or olives), but something that sounds strange like sweet corn creme brulee is delicious.  It's a strange phenomenon when you are sharing plates, there is always a bit left because no one wants to seem greedy and take the last bite.  So silly.

The best part of my evening, was my 'L' ride back home.  I walked down into the subway, and I heard music playing, so I peaked through the little doorway in the subway tunnel, and saw the musician singing and playing guitar on the other side of the tunnel.  I stood and watched and listened to him serenade ME with "Darling, you send me, ooooh, darling, yooooouuuu send me, honestly you do" for quite awhile.  I motioned to my camera, and gestured to him to make sure he was cool with me snapping his photo, and he moved to the edge of the platform, so that he was a bit closer to me, and allowed me to snap away.  As he heard my train coming, he stopped playing, and blew me a kiss.

That is kind of stuff I live for.  The little serendipitous moments.

A juicy evening, indeed.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Back in the Saddle (or ballet shoe)

I’ve finally done it. I went back to ballet class.  It’s been years since I was in dance class.  The mirror has not been my friend (but that’s another story for another time).  I got a great deal on Groupon for ballet class at the Joffrey Academy of Dance.  I purchased the Groupon in January, but it took me until April to get my ass to class.

There was the issue of the lost ballet shoes.  I had two pairs of relatively new ballet shoes, and they disappeared into the ether of my closet.  It’s kind of okay because when I had my mother sew the elastics on the shoes, she used black thread.  Did you hear me?  She used BLACK thread on my pink ballet slippers.  Oy, mother.

So, it took a couple of months for me to purchase new ballet slippers.  Then, it took me a couple of months to sew the elastics on.  (I used bright yellow thread).  Then, it took a couple of weeks to gather the courage.

So, three weeks ago I made it to a Sunday morning class.  It wasn’t as bad (read: painful) as I thought it would be.  I thought I wouldn’t be able to walk come Tuesday, but I was pretty okay.  The studio is beautiful.  It is right on the corner of State and Randolph just north of Marshall Fields.  Two of the walls are floor to ceiling windows, and it is just an amazing city view.  I’ll have to take an evening class to see the night view.

I learned that if I raise my eyebrows during relevé, I can balance much better.  I also have decided that arabesque is an unnatural position and should not be required in people over 40.  I also learned that I get much dizzier than I ever have before when doing turns across the floor.  On my second week of class, the teacher was trying to give me a correction after a turn sequence, and I was so dizzy, I couldn’t even see her.

Sunday mornings are a great time for ballet class, so feel free to join me.  I’ll be the chick hiding in the back, wearing all black.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

April Girls' Dinner

Six of us headed to Grange Hall Burger Bar for our April dinner. 

The joint was really cool.  The music selection was the best I’ve ever heard in a restaurant, but then again, I am a sucker for 70’s tunes.  The décor was really cool, too.  The plates, the bar, the wine glasses, etc.; it was so cute.

The burgers were good, but I would have to say that the burgers and selection are better at Burger Bar.  Grange Hall definitely worth a trip, though.
April Girls' Dinner