On Friday, Nathan and I decided on a bit of an impromptu date night and made our way over to Ten Ten for a little something new. We had been there for lunch once before but never for dinner and had only heard great things. Especially about the brussels sprouts.
We made it there just in time to end happy hour so we ordered up a couple drinks and an order of the famous baby cabbages. It’s definitely out of the ordinary for me to suggest a fried appetizer, but at least it was a veggie, right? 😉
Holy moly did they live up to their reputation! The brussels are served with a sweet chili vinaigrette dipping sauce which only enhances the flavor. They were perfectly crisp and not greasy. I would say, however, that they were a bit salty but it was entirely too easy to polish off the bowl! Love the little brussel chips!
And what goes better with fried brussels sprouts than a nice citrus-y cocktail? I ordered the Hoop La—a brandy cocktail with combier, lillet blanc, and lemon. It was nice and light but full of flavor. It definitely hit the spot.
For dinner, Nathan went with his new favorite—a ragout with homemade pasta. Ever since the honeymoon, if we see homemade pasta on the menu, he’s all over it!
Nathan describes this dish as “a hug from your mama in a bowl.” At least his descriptions are better than his pictures 😉 The pasta was tender with a little bit of bite.. pretty darn close to what we had in Italy! The ragout was hearty and rich, accented nicely by the parmesan cheese. The portion was just the right size.
I was a between a few seafood dishes so I asked for the server’s recommendation. I was told I couldn’t go wrong with any of them, so I guess we’ll have to go back soon, but this time I ended up with the pan-seared rockfish. Rockfish is one fish that is local to Maryland and the server said that they had been getting some great catch recently.
The potatoes were nice and crisp around the edges and the sauce from the stewed peppers was nice and light. I’m not a huge olive fan, but the small dollop of tapande on top gave the perfect amount of saltiness to the fish. And the fish was incredibly meaty but flaked apart nicely. I needed my knife to cut through the crispiness of the skin which, if you ask me, is the perfect preparation.
All in all, we were very pleased with our meal. There are definitely more than a few other items on the menu that we’d like to try [roasted mushroom toast, anyone?] and would love to head back soon for another date night.
Food for Thought
Do you prefer to hit up happy hour first or just sit down to dinner?
Do you have a favorite date night restaurant or do you try to go somewhere new?
Yumm, the brussels sprouts look delicious! Although I love brussels sprouts even when I prepare them, something about good restaurant versions is just to-die-for (it’s probably the extra oil :)). My husband and I decided that in 2013 we will try one new restaurant each month that we can walk to and that we haven’t been to before, so that’s been fun!
There is definitely something a little better (and less healthy) about brussels at a restaurant, but it can’t hurt every now and then, right? 😉
I love the idea of trying a new restaurant every month. Maybe I’ll have to start that too!
MMMMM! i have seen most of these pics (except nathan’s, ha, nice description) but i didn’t mind seeing them again ESPECIALLY those baby cabbages. the little brussels chips are the best part! when my mom roasts them at home i like to save those for my salads! i don’t really like going to happy hour before dinner because it makes me feel like i’m eating more – i swear i could eat the same amount and drink the same amount in one meal and feel fine about it but it’s just hard for me to pause and then start back up again eating and drinking. i like to just sit down and get it done! my parents like to go out for a drink sometimes before we eat dinner at home but i often stay behind and just chill.
I usually feel like I can eat the same amount but the brussels really filled me up this time! Fiberful, right? 😉
My husband and I like to try new places all the time, but there are a few places we visit over and over!
We’re the same way.. definitely have our faves 🙂