Dinner + party = Elina in a food coma

Whoa, last night was way too much food. I know I said all bets were off yesterday but I definitely overdid it. I knew it too, but I couldn’t stop the train wreck. I would say this was not a typical “day off” though and will try to be better next week. These days off definitely help me with the whole dieting sanity. I don’t feel deprived with my healthy eating. In fact, I really love healthy eating, but somehow the idea of “guiltlessly” eating brownies or whatever it is I want at the end of the week, helps me stay on track. I know the “all or nothing” mentality isn’t the best one, but that’s what I have and I have to work with it.

Let’s start with dinner. My husband and I watch the Phantom Gourmet (a restaurant review show in Boston) religiously, and a few weeks ago they featured Da Vinci, a relatively new italian restaurant. I don’t remember the details of their review, but whatever it was that they said made us put the restaurant on our “must go-to” list. So when we decided to go out to dinner this Saturday, we checked our list and OpenTable.com and chose Da Vinci as our dinner destination.

So here is what I had…

The service was slow; it took over 30 minutes to finally get our wine. So while waiting for the beverages and our food, I munched on a little piece of fresh bread with some cheakpea spread. It was very delicious.

And then I got my wine :) Imagine this glass x 3? I had a little less than half a bottle.

And then came the my appetizer. I ordered the scallops appetizer. I don’t see it on their website for the real description, but it was basically two scallops stuffed with mushrooms and wrapped in phyllo dough, with a side of corn. I’m it sounded much more eloquent on the menu :) Look how gorgeous the presentation was…

The scallops were amazing, but the bed of corn mixture tasted like onions! Eew! I really REALLY despise onions. Anyone that’s ever met me knows this. I practically introduce myself by “Hi, I’m Elina and I really hate onions!” so yeah, this little mixture was really nasty and really upset me since I said no onions or scallions when I ordered my meal, and the waitress stared at me like I was a crazy woman when I told her this tasted like onions (which obviously I did not want!). I didn’t send the dish back though, because the scallops were incredible and I just set the corn aside.

Onto my entree, the short ribs: braised prime short rib with saffron risotto, broccoli rab, finished with rosemary veal semi-glased sauce.

Once again, this looked and tasted beautiful. Can food taste beautiful? I think so :) Very tender with an amazing sauce. The broccoli rabe was a bit on the bitter side, so I didn’t eat all of it. I had all of the short rib, minus 5 bites or so (gave 3 bites to my husband and left about 2 bites’ worth) and all of the risotto, minus 2 bites. It was a lot of food, but I was still ready for dessert :)

Warm chocolate souffle! It took 20 minutes to bake (there was a warning on the menu so I didn’t mind). Our waitress was a complete spazz, so the little warning was appreciated. The verdict: it wasn’t chocolatey enough! I think I’ve been eating too much dark chocolate these days, so if there it’s not super intense, I’m not satisfied. My husband thought it was incredible. I wouldn’t fault the restaurant for it, though, because it was very well done and I’m sure was tailored towards less picky chocolate eaters. Again my husband thought it was to-die for. But… I wouldn’t order it again, and I also didn’t eat all of it (maybe 2/3 just because it was there).

Overall, we had a really good time, but most of our complaints were due to the service. We were seated seriously right next to the table which was 2 inches away when there were plenty of empty tables with more privacy and personal space. Then our waitress took forever to get us our wine and did not make sure that my food was onion and scallion free (as requested). She didn’t even know what my dessert was. I thought I was making small talk, when I asked her if my dessert was baked (I knew it, because of the description and the 20-minutes warning) but she didn’t know. Hmm, that’s basic stuff, lady! But the food was good. I would recommend the place, but personally would not go back there. There are just too many other restaurants with good food and better service.

Ok, I’m actually running late now. This post took a bit longer than expected and I’m going to Panera for breakfast and then apple picking. I’ll be back with the party recap (there are some funny pictures there!) and today’s eats. Happy Sunday!

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