What I Ate Wednesday #59: Ten Years Gone

I mentioned on Friday that Nathan and I were going out to Birroteca for dinner to celebrate 10 years together. We had heard so many fantastic things about this restaurant and decided this was the perfect time to cross it off of our bucket list [more on that later!] and I’m so glad we did. Every dish was absolutely wonderful! I think we might be experts on the menu now because we went all out!

Drinks

We got to the restaurant a little early so we took advantage of their happy hour drink specials. Wine for me, beer for him. The cocktail list looked awesome but we were waiting until we were seated for that.

His

Andrea Gail Ginger Beer Bitters Spiced Rum

Andrea Gail – Blackwell Spiced Rum, Ginger Beer, Boston Bittahs’

Hers

Grapefruit St Germain

St. Germain, Sparkling Wine, Grapefruit

Birroteca Baltimore Maryland MD

Cheers!

Appetizers

We couldn’t decide on one appetizer to split, so we had to get our own. They all sounded so good!

His

Italian Wedding Soup

Italian Wedding Soup

I know, it doesn’t sound so exciting, but those tiny meatballs were packed with flavor! The broth had a little bit of a kick, the tomatoes were so fresh, and the barley had the perfect bite. I’d never had Italian wedding soup before, but this would have me coming back again!

Hers

Kale Salad Radish Pepitas Apple Beets

Chopped Tuscan Kale, Heirloom Beets, Pumpkin Seeds, Radishes, Gala Apples, Apple Vinaigrette

Again, it may not sound like the most exciting appetizer, but the flavors blended so well. And that vinaigrette was something special. I’m definitely going to be trying to recreate it at home!

Veggies

No more his and hers. From this point on, we shared everything!

Fried Brussels Sprouts Black Garlic Aioli

Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Black Garlic Aioli

Whenever I heard anything about Birroteca, the crispy brussels were always mentioned. And how could I say no to brussels sprouts?! The aioli was so flavorful, you only needed a little on each bite and we were pleasantly surprised to find slices of salami throughout!

Eggplant Fries Red Pepper Caper Mayo

Eggplant Fries with Red Pepper-Caper Mayo

We hadn’t planned on getting the eggplant fries, but when we saw an order come out we knew we had to try them! Again, the aioli was packed with flavor and we were using it for everything! The eggplant was breaded and the crust stayed nice and crispy, even when we reheated them!

Entrees

Pasta

Pappardelle Wild Boar Bolognese

Homemade Pappardelle with Wild Boar Bolognese

If we’ve learned anything in the past few months, it’s that we must order homemade pasta whenever we see it on the menu. And with a wild boar bolognese? Like there was any doubt!

The dish was a bit saucier than I had expected from other meat sauces we’ve had in the past. The sauce was also thinner than I expected too, but we loved it nonetheless. The chunks of wild boar were tender and the homemade pasta was cooked perfectly.

Pizza

Duck Duck Goose Pizza

Duck Duck Goose – Duck Confit, Fig-Onion Jam, Balsamic, Fontina & Asiago, Duck Egg

Oooooh the pizza! The crust was soft but not too chewy. The fig-onion jam mixed with the balsamic gave the pizza a little barbeque flavor. The duck confit was meaty and rich, but didn’t overpower the rest of the flavors. The fontina and asiago mix was flavorful so the pizza didn’t need a lot of cheese. And what’s better than topping all of that with a nice, dippy egg?! It just made it feel extra special.

Dessert

Gluten Free Apple Pumpkin Cake Pistachio Ice Cream Seed Butter

Gluten-Free Apple and Pumpkin Cake, Pistachio Ice Cream, Toasted Pepitas, Pistachio Butter

I told Nathan that I was “comfortably full” before dessert came out knowing that would probably change! He said to me “it’s gluten-free so it’s good for you, right?” Luckily I knew he was joking. I took one bite, looked at him and said “yea. Tell me that’s healthy!”

It was so amazingly worth every single bite! The cake, topped with an apple ring, was so buttery and rich. The simple flavors were set off by the nuttiness of the pistachio ice cream and creamy pistachio butter.

Knowing that we were going all out, we planned ahead and got food boxed up as the next dishes were brought to the table. I’m sure people were laughing at our tower of boxes!

Birroteca Leftovers

HELLOOOOOOOO LEFTOVERS!

But I bet they wouldn’t be laughing when they realized we got to have an awesome lunch on Sunday 😉

Birroteca Duck Pizza Kale Salad Brussels Sprouts Eggplant Fries

Best. Lunch. Ever.

I can’t imagine a better way to celebrate 10 years with Nathan. We gushed over all of the food the whole night, even after we left the restaurant. It was so fun experiencing something new with him again and it was almost like taking another little trip back to Italy. Any reminder of the honeymoon is a good time in our book!

Food for Thought

If you had to choose one dish from our menu, which would you choose?

Do you ever go out to dinner with big plans of trying wayyy more than you know you can eat, knowing you’ll take home leftovers?

Happy New Year!

Well, it’s a good thing I didn’t make a resolution to blog more! So sorry to leave you hanging for the better part of 2 weeks. (Life, right?) So let’s catch up, shall we?

I was really looking forward to New Years Eve; my family always has a big dinner to celebrate with lobster and other wonderfully delicious treats. The peanut butter pie and peanut butter cups always call my name! I could never have too much chocolate and peanut butter. This year, however, was a bit different. My brother had to work on NYE, so we got together for lobster and mounds of peanut butter and chocolate on the 29th.

I made Gina’s Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip which, like all of her other recipes, was a big hit! We also stopped at Lebanese Taverna to pick up a shawarma dinner for my non-seafood-eating fiance. The nerve of him! But since we were there, we decided we’d also get some baba ghanoush. They have one of the best around!

New Years Eve Dinner NYE Skinnytaste Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip Lebanese Taverna Mediterranean Baba Ghanoush Maine Lobster

We followed up the delicious appetizers with even more delicious LOBSTA! Sorry for the awful picture.. I was too excited to dig in to go grab my real camera 😉 I loaded up on my veggies and after devouring everything on my plate, went in for 2 lobster claws and some extra shawarma that we got for everyone to share.

And I must have been really excited to dig into dessert because I don’t even have a bad picture of that! But imagine.. creamy peanut butter pie with oreo crust.. and homemade melt-in-your-mouth peanut butter cups.. oh yea, and fresh fruit. YUM!

After indulging on Saturday, Nathan and I had plans to indulge, yet again, for the real deal New Years Eve on Monday. We went back to an old favorite, Annabel Lee Tavern. We started with cocktails and a chicken quesadilla. Their cocktails are on point, but I’d skipped the quesadilla next time. It wasn’t bad, just not anything special.

New Years Eve Dinner NYE Annabel Lee Tavern Baltimore Maryland MD Cucumber Gin Ginger Rum Cocktails Chicken Quesadilla

I had the Morella (my fave!)– Hendrick’s Gin, St Germain Liqueur, Muddled Cucumber and a dash of Simple Syrup. Nathan sipped on the Descent into the Maelstrom – Goslings Rum, Bacardi 151 and Ginger Beer. Goslings Rum and ginger beer are his jam. It’s a new-found love for him but he orders it whenever he finds it!

Dinner and dessert were phenominal, as expected!

New Years Eve Dinner NYE Annabel Lee Tavern Baltimore Maryland MD DuClaw Sweet Baby Jesus SweetBJ Crabcake Blackened Asparagus Roasted Duck Salted Caramel Crunch Cake

Before our food arrived, we finished up our first round of drinks and decided to split a Sweet Baby Jesus, or Sweet BJ, as Nathan called it. Hey, it’s the hashtag😉 This beer is a chocolate peanut butter porter, and like I said before, never too much chocolate and peanut butter!

I ordered the crab cake platter with blackened asparagus. Look familiar? That may just be because it’s my favorite crab cake ever. And coming from a Maryland-er, that means they’re doing it right! Nathan had the roasted duck, cooked to absolute perfection!

Finally, we treated ourselves to a slice of salted caramel crunch cake. Oh my gracious! I would get this time and time again if they continue to have it on their menu! A perfect meal to end a wonderful year.

We partied the night away right into 2013, which just so happens to be our wedding year! With it being just over 4 months away now, planning has started to pick up again. We’re both so excited for everything to come! So from our craziness to yours, we wish you a Happy New Year!

Barr & Table Happy New Year

Food for Thought

What did you do for New Years Eve? Did you go out to celebrate or stay in the comfort of your home?