Foxwoods

Wow, time flies when you’re having fun!!  Foxwoods was such a blast.  I’ve eaten quite a few delicious things before and after the trip (and they definitely deserve a post about it) but I just have to write this one first because there was just so much good stuff not to be missed.

My husband and his best friend, Kyle, love gambling.  They’ve been talking about a trip to Foxwoods for what seems like ages.  The plan was to go in the middle of the winter, when it’s cold and miserable outside.  Well, this weekend is certainly cold and miserable and we were able to get a great rate at the MGM Grand hotel.  Me and Kyle’s wife, Tiffany, are definitely not gamblers, but who can complain when there is great eating, hot bars (with fun drinks) and lots of shopping :)  The trip was seriously so much fun!!  I even decided to spend $20 and test my luck.  Yeah, not much luck with gambling for me.  Oh well 😀  Let’s get to food then…

We wanted to have a nice dinner before the gambling craziness began.  There are a few great dining options at both the MGM Grand and the main Foxwoods, but we chose Alta Strada, and Tuscan fine dining restaurant.  It was fantastic!

We began the dinner with a nice bottle of 2004 Fontanafredda ‘Eremo’ Langhe (70% Barbera, 30% Nebbiolo).  Wow, so amazingly flavorful without being heavy.  I never really know how to describe wines.  All I can say is that this was very good and if I see it in the store, I won’t hesitate to buy it again.

Eremo

We split this bottle between the 4 of us, but my husband and I had a little more than half, I think.  Let’s say I had 2 glasses 😀

Then came the bread – a huge chunk of crusty italian bread actually, with parsley and cilantro infused olive oil.  Here is the chunk I pulled of:

Alta Strada bread + EVOO

The olive oil was neon green.  So fun! :green:

Then came the apps.  We split 3 apperativi.

Crostini with fig ham and prosciutto:

crostini

Finocchiona Salame with Spicy Peppers:

salami

And mushrooms with Italian mint:

marinated mint mushrooms

All 3 were excellent. Very fresh and high quality.  This was a great start to our dinner!!

And then, the star of the show came out.  I am in love with truffles, so when I saw the Mushroom Mezzalune with more Mushrooms, Truffle, and Parmigiano on the menu, my meal choice was clear 😀

Voila, deliciousness in a bowl (apparently mezzalune is ravioli btw):

Altra Strada pasta

I gave a taste of this to everybody and they agreed this was the best meal of the bunch. It was perfectly creamy without being heavy, the truffle really stood out and made it extra special.  I think Tiffany even said it was possibly the best thing she’s ever had.  How’s that for a review?! 😛

And of course I had to leave room for dessert.  Ok, there wasn’t much room for dessert but I persevered 😆  I got the nutella tart with hazelnuts

nutella tart

The nutella flavor was very subtle.  In fact, I’d just say this was a chocolate tart with hazelnuts, but it was still very delicious.  Tiffany also ordered the mascarporeos for the table (like oreos with mascarpone) and of course I had to taste it.  The cookie was nice but surprisingly I wasn’t crazy about the mascarpone.  It tasted more like whipped cream, which I’m not a big fan of.  Everyone was behaving and there were a bunch of cookies left.  I may or may not have picked at them while we were waiting for our check to arrive and get processed 😉

All in all, a wonderful meal and the perfect start to our evening.  Next up, the bar at the MGM grand.  There was a lot of talk about margaritas but I wanted to order something a little more exciting.  This particular bar didn’t have a drink menu, though, so I went with one of my stand-bys, a vodka cranberry.  Here is me with the hubs :)

Adam and me at MGM Foxwoods

The bar was super cool… I think I said: “This is hot!” like a million times.  There were even little flat screen tvs at every seating area, can you see it in the background?  Here are a few photos of the decor for your viewing pleasure:

MGM bar

fire pit at MGM bar

Yup, that’s a fire pit right in the middle.  So hot!! 😀

Our friends, looking swanky:

Kyle and Tiffany

There was a bit of gambling then, and more drinks.  I finally got my fancy drink, a midnight mojito.  It was some fancy rum, simple syrup, cane sugar and of course mint.  Sweet and delicious.  Tiffany ordered the Tiramisu martini which was also excellent.  We chatted for hours while sipping on our drinks until the guys came back from a long game of black jack.

midnight mojito

We walked around for a bit, I did a bit of video pocker gambling (only $10… which I lost :( ) and drank a little more.  My next (and final) drink was a vodka tonic with a splash of cranberry.  I don’t think I finished it.  By that point it was 2am and I was feeling the drinks and my bed was calling my name.  Yeah, not the most flattering pic…

last vodka tonic

The next morning, coffee was much needed!  I brewed it in our little coffee maker in the hotel while getting ready to check out.

hotel room coffee

And then I got the strangest craving for a fruit salad and a banana bread muffin.  Everyone else wanted to sit down for breakfast and get omelets.  After walking around for what seemed like forever (Foxwoods is huge!) we finally found a place (Veranda Cafe) that still served breakfast at 1pm (Yeah, the boys gambled until 5am so late check-out was very much necessary). The place looked slightly sketchy, but we were not in a particularly picky mood.  And what do you know, the first thing on the menu was a fruit plate with banana nut bread.  How crazy is that?  Of course I ordered it!

fruit plate + banana bread

I had the banana bread with a smudge of the cream cheese and most of the fruit.  I was still hungry after finishing this so about an hour later I made my husband go hunting for food with me.  We went to Burke in the Box, which was super cool… very much my style.  Modern/fancy fast-food joint.  

Burke in the box storefront

burke in the box decor

I wanted something not fried but warm and cheesy.  The big pretzel sandwich with chicken, provolone, bacon, tomato and whole grain mustard mayo sounded perfect!  This was a grease fest… I was not expected that.  Still delicious, though, and my husband helped me with it :)  It came with chips which I removed from my plate right away.

big pretzel sandwich

Have you ever had a pretzel bread sandwich?  It was genius.  I think I need to make that in my very near future.

Oh and of course I had to have dessert.  Who can resist a cheesecake lollypop?

cheesecake lollypop

This really hit the spot!

inside of cheesecake lollypop

Overall this was a really great 24 hours of food and fun (wow, now I sound like the Phantom Gourmet!).  I am very picky when it comes to meals out I think, but this really was great.  If you ever go to Foxwoods, these places are definitely recommended (ok, not Veranda Cafe per se but even that was still good despite atrocious service).

I’ll start a new post with the rest of the food and fitness from the last few days.  I’ve definitely been indulging quite a bit!  Oh well, you only live once, right? 😀

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