Small Plates ++

Hi bloggies, how was your weekend?  I really do hope that most of you had Monday off.  Long weekends are the best!  I’ve decided that we should always have Mondays off – anyone with me? Maybe if we all come together, they’ll actually make it official.  I don’t mind working extra on the other days.  Ha, ok enough dreaming… 😉

I had a really great relaxing day off yesterday and finally made it to the gym for a fabulously sweaty workout (more on that below) but the highlight of the day was definitely the blogger dinner that Tina was nice enough to organize.  It was so much fun!  I think I met all the Boston bloggers I follow – it was so cool!  And these girls are absolutely amazing.  We had so much to talk about – from food to traveling, to just random girl stuff.  I know we’ll definitely be doing this again.  I can’t wait! :)  We met at Small Plates Restaurant in Cambridge and there was a whopping 13 of us.  I know I’ll be missing a few of them (sorry) but here a few ladies that attended: Tina, Shannon, Katie, Lauren, Kelly, Inna, Sue, Sabrina, Bridget, Sarah + 2 other lovely ladies whose names escape me right now (check out their blogs – they’re awesome!).  The place is right in Harvard Square and was such a little surprise.  It was so cute and cozy inside. None of us bloggers knew much about it before, and were all very pleasantly surprised by the atmosphere.  And of course it was my…

BEST MEAL OF THE DAY

I started out with a glass of Chianti (1.5 in total were consumed throughout the night)

glass-of-chianti

And then Kelly and I decided to split 5 small plates.  Everything just sounded so good and we got to taste 5 things instead of 2 or 3.  It was an excellent plan because we easily agreed on our choices and they were all fabulous (they were out of the duck we wanted to try – next time, next time…).  It’s hard for me to pick my favorite!

The first course to arrive was the Roast Sweet Potato & Beets salad with Herbed Chevre and Black Currant Dressing.  I love love love beets and goat cheese together and although this was very delicious, surprisingly I wasn’t blown away by the beets… but the sweet potato and goat cheese combo was incredible.  Note to self – combine the 2 at home! *all the dishes pictured are full plates (I ate 1/2 of everything).

small plates goat cheese/sp/beet salad

Our waitress was crazy busy/a little frazzled and Kelly and I were getting antsy watching everyone else’s dishes arrive.  Finally the paella with chicken, chorizo sausage, mussels and snails was served, and we were happy :)  It was very yummy, just like the paellas I’ve had in Spain (or at least what I remember of them now, years later).

paella

And then all the other dishes started coming out right away.  I didn’t know which one to eat first.  Then all looked so good!  And yes, they definitely were.

Lemon thyme ricotta crepe with broccolini. The ricotta was very creamy and lovely.  I didn’t really care for the tomato sauce though.

lemon thyme ricotta crepe

Warm Squash ‘Fettucine’ with Tomato Romesco.  This had such unexpected flavors.  I think the tomato sauce complemented the squash really well.  It actually reminded me of something I’ve had during my childhood… except it definitely never looked this beautiful :)

warm squash fettuccini

Japanese Eggplant with cow’s milk feta, pine nuts and tomato basil sauce.  Looking back at this, I guess it was my least favorite dish.  I think the pine nuts were a really great addition to the dish, but otherwise it wasn’t very memorable.  It could also be that it was the last (savory) dish I had, so I was already very satisfied and was chatting more than really tasting food at this point.

japanese eggplant

So I thought we were done at this point.  I was happy.  This was delicious and I was really enjoying the company.  And then the waitress came and asked if we wanted to see the dessert menu.  Dessert?  How did I not even think of that.  I never ever forget dessert!  Of course I couldn’t resist and ordered their chocolate mousse cake (from the ? a la mood choice – daily special).  This was their special for valentine’s day, and boy was it ever amazing.  I’d say this was the best chocolate cake I’ve had in a restaurant in quite a while… and it wasn’t even a molten chocolate cake.  Crazy!

chocolate mousse cake

Isn’t the presentation with the rose petal gorgeous?!  I ate the whole thing!  Every single bite of it.  Kelly got the same thing.  We didn’t share our desserts.  It probably would have been a better choice for my waistline, but seriously I think it was worth every calorie!

And then we chatted a bit more and realized it was past 10 pm and the waiters definitely wanted us out.  We quickly remembered to take a picture of the remaining crew (there were more of us there during dinner).  So here it is.  And yes, I look like a whale in this pic (horrible angle!)… don’t mind me.  Look at the others! 😀

Boston bloggers at Small Plates

From the left: me, Shannon, Bridget, Kelly, Tina, Sabrina, Sarah, Lauren (see links to their blogs above).

OTHER EATS OF THE DAY

Ellie Krieger's buckwheat pancakes (with bananas + choc chips)

pancake closeup

salad: mixed greens, grape tomatoes, fresh strawberries, baby carrots, sabra hummus, baked tofu in Bob's Country sauce

salad closeup ... mmm tofu

strawberry banana pecan muffin

apple

WORKOUT

I am totally running out of time here (gotta get to work asap) so I’ll just mention what I did but I hope to go back to this post and allaborate a litte bit more later (I have a short story about motivating yourself)…

I did 3.5 miles on the treadmill (6 intervals + warm up and cooldown), 15 minutes of the stationary bike, 30 minutes on the elliptical + 15 solid minutes abs work (I actually timed it and never stopped for 15 minutes).  I burned ~850 calories.  Workout stats and more detail to come later.

Hope you had a great day.  Gotta run! 😀

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16 comments to Small Plates ++

  • so fun that you got a chance to meet up with everyone!

  • sister inna

    that salad you made with the strawberries looks sooo good.
    Of course the restaurant eats look deeelish. yumm

  • aww the blogger meet up sounded fun and the food looked amazing! I probably wouldn’t have shared that dessert either!

    That was an intense workout! You use a heart rate monitor right? What kind if yours? I got a Polar FA 20 I believe for Christmas and I don’t think it’s working! I can’t figure it out, it says I only burned 30 calories after doing an intese 30 min cardio session.

  • K

    That looks like a fun dinner!! Hooray for meeting the bloggies :)

  • SO good to finally meet you last night Elina!

  • Looks like a fun night! I’ve never been to a tapas place but I like that you get to eat lots of little bites :) Dessert DOES look amazing, and the group photo is super cute!

  • looks like such a fun time :) everything looks so amazing!!!

  • KellyB

    did you make that salad? if so, how did you prepare the tofu, I’ve always wanted to cook with tofu, but never know how…

  • Elina

    Lisa, I have the Polar F6. Make sure you really wet it, otherwise it doesn’t work. And if it’s still funky, bring it back to the store – it’s obviously falty. I’m sometimes questioning how accurate this thing is, but 30 calories in 30 minutes is clearly wrong.

    Inna, it was great to meet you too!

    KellyB, yes I made that salad. I pressed extra firm tofu under heavy books for about 1.5 hours (just because I went to the gym, you can do that for less time), then pre-heated the oven at 400*, covered the slices (twice of what you see in the salad) in 1T of Bob’s country sauce (you can use other spices/sauces) and popped it in the oven for about 20 minutes. Then I turned the slices over, covered them with another tablespoon of the sauce and baked them for another 10 minutes. The tofu came out really well! Give it a go :)

  • Oh my gosh, that is one tasty meetup you guys had! And everyone looks great! You do not look like a whale girlie!

    And your pancakes are out of this world!

  • sue

    hi elina! i know we didn’t really get a chance to talk but it was still nice meeting you last night! the two of you did such a great job ordering- i was eyeing your paella- it looked delicious!

  • Thanks SO much again for the ride to my car!!!

    Man I need to go to the gym with you! I really need to have some longer workouts like that.

    Can’t wait til the next get-together!!

  • great recap too!

    i also hate myself in the picture, but unfortunately i don’t think our server was into taking more pics of us haha!

    the food was so yummy!!!!! company was even better!

  • ooh, i was wondering how the paella was:) i’m with you on the monday’s!!

  • KellyB

    I’m going to try that — Thanks. btw: have a great time on your trip. I’m envious!

  • Elina

    Sue, it was really nice to meet you too! Hopefully we can chat a little more on our next get-together :) I’ll add a link to your name so people can check out your blog!!

    Bridget, no problem! You parked like a million miles away 😉 And we can definitely meet up for a gym date if you’d like!

    Thanks, KellyB! 😀

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