What I Ate Wednesday #56: Date Night

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? 😉

Fried Brussels Sprouts Bagbys Ten Ten Happy Hour Baltimore Maryland MD

Fried brussels sprouts with chili vinaigrette dipping sauce

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.

Bagbys Ten Ten Hoop La Cocktail Happy Hour

Hoop La! – brandy, combier, lillet blanc, lemon

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!

Pork Ragu Tagliatelle Bagbys Ten Ten Baltimore Maryland MD

Pork ragout with housemade tagliatelle, cunningham farms heirloom tomatoes, parmesan

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.

Rockfish Bagbys Ten Ten Baltimore Maryland MD

Local pan-seared rockfish with stewed red peppers, fingerling potatoes, olive tapanade

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?

Marvelous Leftovers and Fabulous Finds

Happy Monday, friends! I hope you all had a marvelous weekend.. I know I did.

Marvelous is kicking off the weekend with a semi-impromptu date night. We had planned on going out but as the day progressed, we decided it might be better to stay in and order carryout from one of our favorite little restaurants. To my surprise, on my walk home, Nathan called me and told me to meet him out on the main road so he could swing by and pick me up for our original date night plan. Off to Ten Ten!

Bagbys Ten Ten Date Night

Cocktails, Fried Brussels Sprouts, Ragu, & Local Rockfish

Our meal started off with their famous fried brussels sprouts. They were amazing and I’ll be sharing more detail in my WIAW post this week, but for now just enjoy the mouth-watering picture 😉

Marvelous is having leftovers! I was super excited to have leftover rockfish for my lunch on Saturday. It was just as delicious the next day!

Bagbys Ten Ten Rockfish Baltimore Maryland MD

Kale salad with leftover rockfish

And not only did I enjoy leftovers for lunch on Saturday, but I had leftovers on Sunday too! We had dinner at The Red Star on Saturday night and I ended up bringing home half of my sweet chili salmon. Yum!

Red Star Tavern Sweet Chili Salmon Baltimore Maryland MD

Kale salad with leftover sweet chili salmon

Marvelous is finally finding a sweater long enough to wear with leggings! I’ve been looking for a year for a sweater that I like and now that I found this one, I might have to buy it in more colors 🙂

Target Sweater

OOTD complete with a cheese ball smile and all!

Marvelous is incredibly huge and flavorful local fuji apples! I found these bad boys at the little Thursday farmers’ market near my office and they’re amazing! In years past, I haven’t been able to find local apples that are crisp but this year they are absolutely perfect. And they size of my head!

Baltimore Maryland MD Farmers Market Fuji Apple

Local Fuji Apples

Marvelous is finishing my weekend with another eggy quinoa stuffed squash.

Eggy Quinoa Stuffed Squash

Need I say more?

Food for Thought

Did you have a marvelous weekend?

The Best Part of Wedding Planning

Food!

Last week my mom and I went to meet with a potential caterer for the wedding, Innovative Gourmet, and were rather surprised to find out that we would not only be discussing food, we would also be tasting!

One of the first things I said to Nathan when we got engaged was “OOH!! Now we get to taste cake!” So needless to say, I was excited! Unfortunately I arrived sans camera, so my camera phone had to do.

First Course
Chilled soup / Turkey, bacon, cheddar panini on pumpernickel bread

Both delicious and such a great combo!

Barr & Table Innovative Gourmet Caterer Baltimore Maryland MD Chilled Soup Turkey Bacon Cheddar Panini

Second Course
Grilled and roasted veggies / Vegetable flatbread / Duck bites with crunchy pecans / Smoked brisket on french baguette

In my opinion, you can never go wrong with grilled and roasted veggies. I ate those up! The duck was fantastic with the sweet crunch from the pecans and I loved the smoke flavor in the brisket.

Barr & Table Innovative Gourmet Caterer Baltimore Maryland MD Grilled Roasted Asparagus Red Pepper Zucchini Tomato Cauliflower Flatbread Duck Pecans Smoked Brisket Carrots

Third Course
Polenta bar with shredded chicken, roasted peppers, sauteed spinach, smoked gouda, and bleu cheese.

This is such a fun idea; rather than doing the typical pasta bar, you substitute creamy polenta and put out a bunch of toppings. A make-your-own so everyone gets what they want. And each piece was equally tasty.

Barr & Table Innovative Gourmet Caterer Baltimore Maryland MD Polenta Shredded Chicken Roasted Bell Pepper Sauteed Spinach Smoked Gouda Bleu Blue Cheese

Fourth Course
Chop salad / Heirloom tomato and buffalo mozzarella salad over asparagus with frisee and balsamic reduction

I’m not a huge chop salad fan, but the heirloom tomato and mozzarella salad is right up my alley. I love the layered, deconstructed visual appeal of the dish, and the flavors were fantastic!

Barr & Table Innovative Gourmet Caterer Baltimore Maryland MD Chop Salad Heirloom Tomato Buffalo Mozzarella Asparagus Frisee Balsamic Reduction

Fifth Course
Brown butter rockfish over roasted corn, carrots, green beans, & red pepper / Pistachio crusted lamb over roasted vegetables and tzatziki

The rockfish was flaky and delicious, but the lamb stole the show. It was cooked perfectly; so tender and flavorful, and the pistachio crust gave it a beautiful crunch. We took a few leftovers home, but the lamb was not one of them.

Sorry Nathan. (Not really……)

Barr & Table Innovative Gourmet Caterer Baltimore Maryland MD Brown Butter Rockfish Corn Carrots Red Pepper Green Beans Pistachio Crusted Lamb Tzatziki

Sixth Course
A beautiful assortment of petit fours

What can I say? I’m a sucker for sweets! Chocolate. Chocolate. And more chocolate. And a few other bites of desserts, but my favorites were all of the chocolates!

Barr & Table Innovative Gourmet Caterer Baltimore Maryland MD Desserts Petit Fours Chocolate Dark Chocolate Milk Chocolate White Chocolate

This has definitely been the most fun I’ve had during the wedding planning thus far and it makes me so excited for more tastings!

As for the caterer choice? Decisions still to come…

Speak Up!

If you’re married or engaged, what was your favorite part of planning? And if you’re not married or engaged, what are you most looking forward to while planning?

Don’t forget! Today is the last day to enter my giveaway for a chance to win a case of CalNaturale Svelte! Don’t miss it.. entries accepted until 11:59pm EST! Four lucky winners will be chosen Friday morning!

What I Ate Wednesday #6 – Heavy Seas Ale House

I love nothing more than trying new things.. especially when it comes to food! I’ve been mixing up my meals a bit this week and trying new easy recipes. I also got to try a new restaurant in Baltimore; Heavy Seas Ale House. The food was delicious and the drinks were even better! So let’s get to it, shall we?!

Breakfast

Perfect morning quinoa with blueberries & almonds and a Bombshell Spell. All directly from the lovely Tone It Up Nutrition Plan!

Barr & Table Tone It Up Perfect Breakfast Quinoa Raisins Banana Almonds Almond Milk Bombshell Spell

Sensible Snack #1

1/2 grapefruit sprinkled with stevia. Alright, so not everything is getting mixed up this week, but what can I say? I’m a fan of the grapefruit!

Barr & Table Tone It Up Sensible Snack Peas and Crayons Grapefruit

Lunch

Summer shrimp salad.. another one from the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan. This is such a great meal for warm days! It’s so light and delicious and frankly, I’m a fan of topping anything with avocado!

Barr & Table Tone It Up TIU Summer Shrimp Salad Tomato Corn Avocado Zucchini

Sensible Snack #2

GT’s Guava Goddess Kombucha is one of my absolute favorite drinks lately! If you have never heard of or tried Kombucha, get on it! And I would highly recommend the Guava Goddess, Gingerade, and Gingerberry flavors.

I was also so excited to try The Good Bean Chocolate Berry bar. These bars are full of fruit and no nuts! Typically I love almonds and cashews and other nuts in my bars, but this one replaces that crunchy texture with chick peas. So delicious and you really don’t miss the nut! (And how can you top dark chocolate and berries?!)

Barr & Table Tone It Up TIU M4 GTs Synergy Guava Goddess Kombucha The Good Bean Chocolate Berry No-Nut Bar

Dinner

We celebrated my parents’ 35th wedding anniversary at Heavy Seas Ale House. Nathan and I had only been there once before for drinks, but had been wanting to return and try the food; we’d heard so many good reviews!

Heavy Seas has become known for their beer cocktails. The first time we went there, I got the Gold Ale Cucumber Margarita. Holy yum!

“Heavy Seas Gold Ale”, resposado tequila, fresh lime juice, cucumber and house made golden ale syrup with a salted rim.

This time I had to try something new.. here we haveAny Port in the Storm. Again, holy yum!

Gosling’s Black Seal Rum, house made ginger syrup, lime juice, and “Heavy Seas Gold Ale”

Barr & Table Heavy Seas Ale House Any Port in the Storm 8.25  Gosling's Black Seal Rum, house made ginger syrup, lime juice, and "heavy Seas Gold Ale"

We started out with 1/2 dozen raw Washington oysters. I’m not a big oyster fan, but I always try one when we get them. My parents loved them! I much preferred the Spicy Beer Nuts. I would definitely recommend them, but watch out.. they’re addicting and the spice builds!

Pecans tossed with sweet spices and “Marzen”

Barr & Table Heavy Seas Ale House Appetizers Raw Washington Oysters Spiced Beer Nuts Pecans

My mom and I both got the Crispy Rockfish Special over mussels and cockles, topped with zucchini, roasted corn, & bacon in a tomato broth. Delicious! I was happy to learn that crispy didn’t mean fried. It was cooked in a pan, skin on, so the skin was nice and crispy, but the fish was not at all oily.

Barr & Table Heavy Seas Ale House Rockfish Corn Zucchini Tomato Bacon Mussels Cockles

We finished off with a lovely Flourless Chocolate Cake with bay leaf chantilly creme on a beautifully (and deliciously!) decorated plate. And to our surprise, every table gets to end their meal with these wonderful homemade mini chocolate chip cookies with a touch of spice! I have to say, I think I preferred the cookie to the cake!

Barr & Table Heavy Seas Ale House Flourless Chocolate Cake Bay Leaf Creme Chantilly Mini Chocolate Chip Spice Cookies

I will definitely be returning to Heavy Seas to try some more delicious food! I hear the burgers and oyster po boy sandwiches are out of this world, so I think next time we’ll be trying out their lunch dishes. Can’t wait to report in on that!

Speak Up!

What’s the best dish you’ve had a restaurant recently?