A new local favorite

Today was such a great day.  Ok I was at work, so that’s not that fun, but at least all throughout the day I kept on receiving emails in response to my granola giveaway.  There are so many readers I never knew existed (or maybe you’re new and just came for the giveaway, but I hope you stay :) ) and that was really exciting!  I especially loved all the positive feedback on the blog.  It was so amazing.  I still can’t believe I’m an inspiration to some of you!  Very VERY cool :D

I just got back from a great dinner!  It was totally spontaneous.  I was planning on making turkey burgers and baked fries for dinner, but the turkey was still frozen (even though I took it out of the freezer last night! Seriously, how long does it take to defrost things?!!).  So given that it IS a Friday night and my husband and I are still in our 20′s, we decided to have a date night out.  Love those!!! It’s restaurant week in Boston, which is good and bad.  Bad because for obvious reasons so many places were already booked, but good because we finally decided to try a local Italian restaurant, Trattoria Toscana, that’s been getting rave reviews and has been on our to-try list for ages! For some reason every time we wanted to go out to dinner, a local spot seemed too easy.  We wanted to go somewhere a little further to save this place for the time when we had no energy.  Let me just say right now that we wasted nearly 2 years of our lives by not trying this spot.  Their menu had about 5 things in each section (5 apps, 5 pastas, 5 main courses) and I think we’re going to try them all… very soon ;) I better put a few extra miles on the weekly run schedule right away.  Oh boy!

BEST MEAL OF THE DAY – DINNER AT TRATTORIA TOSCANA

The place is very small and has only 13 tables.  They don’t take reservations because they get plenty of business as is.  We’ve often passed by the restaurant and saw people waiting outside.  Always a good sigh, but in today’s freezing cold weather (was it supposed to be the first day of Spring today or what?) I was really hoping the wait wouldn’t be too long.  I called, they said it should be only about 20 minutes. Thank you restaurant week, because we were seated immediately.  Sweet! :)

The bread basket came first. Simple (whole wheat?) bread with an olive oil and balsamic mixture for dipping.  Honestly nothing special at all.  I had a slice but only because I was hungry.

bread basket + olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping

We got an amazing bottle of wine.  Every Barbara d’Alba wine I’ve had I’ve been impressed with. This was no exception.  I have no idea how to describe wine so that’s my best description… it was velvety smooth – not too heavy but with enough body to it.  Very very good.  I probably had 1/3 of the bottle :)

Barbera d'Alba bottle

me with my first glass of wine

Since the place is so small, every picture I snapped was definitely noticed by the waiters.  Our waiter (very Italian!) asked if Adam and I wanted a photo together and of course we said yes.  I felt like a tourist :lol: But here it is. We look pretty cute actually, no?

Adam and I at Trattoria Toscana

Then came the first course, which we shared.  We went to Italy on our honeymoon.  The crostini misti were one of our favorite appetizers there… we’ve had some goooood crostini in Florence.  These guys were pretty awesome too.  There are 3 kinds you see here: chicken liver pate, sausage & spinach, sautéed portobello mushrooms crostini. The bread was warm (actually surprised me but it was a pleasant surprise), soft and a little crunchy on the corners.  The chicken liver pate was my favorite!  The mushroom one was good but I think there was an onion there at some point (maybe cooked in some stock that had onions?) and the spinach and sausage crostini was delicious but I didn’t particularly care for some spice in it so I decided to save room for the later dishes and Adam happily finished those 2 for me :)

crostini misti

For my main course I ordered the Pappardelle Al Sugo Di Cinghiale wild boar & vegetables braised in chianti classico. OMG this was to die for!  This was a lot meatier than I usually like but tonight it really hit the spot.  I wanted comfort food and this was the definition of comfort food.  The pasta was definitely freshly made.  The balance of flavors was amazing.  I ate literally everything except for 2 bites that I shared with Adam.  The restaurant changes their menu seasonally and this was their last week of the winter menu.  I’m sad that I will have to wait a whole year (until next winter) to have this again.  Seriously I loved it!

Pappardelle Al Sugo Di Cinghiale

[I also tried a piece of Adam's lamb (which I usually hate) and it was spectacular as well!]

And of course there was dessert!  How could we not order the chef’s tiramisu?  I think that’s the only dessert they had.  There were no dessert menus, the waiter just casually mentioned that this was delicious and I had to have it!  It was smooth and creamy and reminded me of the best tiramisu I’ve had in my life (in Rome).  I love how food can instantly transport you to places, and the first bite of this brought me right back to our honeymoon.  Good times! :D I told Adam he isn’t allowed to eat half of this… he ate about 1/3 and let me have the rest :)

tiramisu

The last thing I want to mention about this place is the wait staff.  They were so friendly and knowledgeable… and funny too!  This really felt like a great local spot and that’s why I know we’ll be back there soon!

OTHER EATS

The rest of my eats today you’ve seen before.  I did decide to run into our conference room with windows (and natural light) to take the pictures (instead of my sad cube with florescent lighting) so I went a little crazy with the pics ;) As always, scroll over for descriptions…

plain oikos with bear naked granola and banana fig pistachio muffin

yogurt + granola and muffin - take 2

I’m in trouble!  Oikos plain greek yogurt is pure heaven!  It’s like whipped yogurt – the consistency is creamy yet light, and the taste is not tangy like some of the other greek yogurts (namely fage).  The stuff is expensive so I’m actually upset I discovered it.  I don’t know if I can go back to anything else…

And then there is the Bear Naked a hundred mile medley granola.  Yeah, NOT good.  I’m almost done with the stuff and I cannot wait to finish this off.  The granola is DRY.  It’s like eating cupboard.  Thank god for the chunks of chocolate chips and cashews :)

Oikos plain yogurt (best stuff ever!) with Bear Naked continental blend granola

And let’s not forget the yummy banana fig pistachio muffin.  This guy brightened up my morning (I told you I went crazy with picture taking today) :D

banana fig pistachio muffin

Lunch was leftovers from Typhoon.  Still delicious!  I love when you get 2 meals out of 1 dinner :)

sea bass in ginger sauce, brown rice and salad

Snack #1:

mango slices and 2% cottage cheese

Snack #2: the free sample of Quaker True Delights dark chocolate raspberry almond bar I got in the mail yesterday.

Quaker True Delights chocolate raspberry almond bar

bar nutritional info

I had a chocolate craving and was hoping it would satisfy it (actually it kind of did for a while).  I liked that it was a pretty decent size for 140 calories.  The chocolate chunks were awesome and the whole almonds were a huge bonus.  It was definitely very raspberry-y (I just made up a word ;) ) but the granola part… I’m just not a huge granola bar person I guess.  Put all the add-ins in one block, skip the granola, and then give me a call!  Again, I found it on the dry side.  The worst part of it though, soon after eating this I got a massive stomachache that wouldn’t go away for hours. I don’t know if it was a coincidence, but I have a feeling it was a few of the artificial ingredients that snuck their way into this bar.  My body apparently decided to hate me for feeding it this *crap*.  Quaker, I know you make 100% natural granolas.  Why do you still sell products with junk in them?  Granola bars should be healthy!

Snack #3:

Girl Scout peanut butter patty

Total calories consumed today: ??? (I was at about 1100 before dinner but obviously counting went out of the window when we decided to go out… no regrets!)

Hope you have lots of fun plans for the weekend. I am going to be a very busy girl!

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