Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Way to My Heart (Feed me)

Ladd and I recently celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary.  Each year we choose not to exchange gifts and instead celebrate through food (are you surprised?).  The days leading up to this years anniversary we poured over online restaurant reviews, searched the food section of the Washington Post, and pestered our friends for worthy recommendations.  After all this research we were finally able to narrow it down to a couple of noteworthy choices: Restaurant Nora and Komi.  We started with Komi by reading a few reviews, all of which said it was by far the "best dining experience" they'd ever had.  The descriptions of this place melted us and we thought for sure that this was the place.  Then we looked at the prices.  YIKES!  It's true that we are madly in love and food, for us, does nothing but magnify our love... but $125 PER person was a little steep and that doesn't include wine. No thank you. Restaurant Nora was the first certified organic restaurant in America.  I've spent countless moments in Kramer books (I may never go to Barnes & Noble again) flipping through her cookbook and always put my hand on my heart when I drive by the quaint little red brick restaurant.  It screams romantic.  The menu focuses on what's in season and the combinations she uses just seem like perfection.  An easy sell, right?  First opening for dinner wasn't until 10 pm.  Yes, we're young.  Yes, this restaurant seemed to have it all.  But I know Ladd and I-  a 10:00 reservation would have left far too much time to sample wine and champagne and would have left us half in the bag by the time dinner rolled around.  I'm just sayin'...

By Friday we still hadn't settled on anything. 

Saturday morning rolled around and we had no clue where we're going.  My palms were sweating and my anxiety was high.  The lead up to this had become so much bigger than originally planned.  It was as if this anniversary would be made or broken based on a dinner!  We live in one of the best cities in the country.  It's full of fabulous eateries.  How is it that we could NOT figure it out?

And then my wonderful husband said something that made me realize why I love him, "Holly, I know where we can find the best restaurant in town.  It's called our kitchen and I'm certain we can get exactly what we want."  My heart is fluttering all over again just typing this.  HULLOOO- of course we should just make our own dinner.  Isn't he brilliant?  When we immediately found a parking spot at the Clarendon Whole Foods, I knew this was going to work out just great.  If you haven't tried to find a parking spot there you may not understand how this can seem like a true stroke of luck.  I've spent 25 minutes circling this lot for a spot in the past.  It isn't pretty.  Gorgeous spring flower bouquets greeted us as we walked in (a bunch easily found its way into my bag) and the vibrant colors of the produce section shouted out, BUY ME!  Our grocery list came together as easily as bread and butter: scallops, clams, shrimp, saffron rice and tomato.  For a starter it was Prosecco (which we toasted with on the beach 4 years ago), a variety of cheeses and crostini and for dessert we settled on a Whole Foods made, Key Lime Pie.  After all, we did get married in Florida and this is the quintessential dessert for Floridians, is it not? 

Cooking dinner together was the perfect way to celebrate our nuptials.  There was no longer the worry of whether or not we'd found the perfect romantic spot.  Our dinner was beautifully created and we were able to spend hours enjoying the flavors and each others company.  I would certainly recommend this entire menu for a night in with someone you love. 

First course
Assorted cheeses, local honey & crostini
paired with Italian Prosecco

Second course
Iceburg wedge with tomato, bacon, parsley &
blue cheese vinagrette

Clams, shrimp, chorizo & seared scallops
served with saffroned rice
paired with a 2007 Catena Malbec

Key Lime Pie, coffee and Frangelico

**Any of these courses make your mouth water?  Let me know and I'll be happy to send you the recipe.   


Lauren said...

Hey there!
Your blog is just it.

Have you guys tried any ice wine yet? I see that you served Frangelico with dessert. Certainly a fine choice, but when you do something like this again, make a decadent chocolate dessert and try an ice wine from the Niagara region. So blasted good.

SashaInTheKitchen said...

Beautiful photos - sounds like a great meal. Happy Anniversary, too :)

Holly Keegan said...

Ice Wine? I'm almost embarassed to admit that I've never heard of it! :O But I'm going to look for it and try it.

Thank you!

Ladd said...

It was VERY good. We have to do that one again sometime!

Liren said...

Happy Anniversary! What a perfect way to celebrate -- I have to admit, some of my favorite "dates" with my hubbie is when we go to Whole Foods or another specialty market here called Draeger's. I love that you shopped and cooked together!

Chef Dennis said...

Your anniversary dinner sounded just perfect..I think we do have a lot in common...the best restaurant in town always seems to be at home, or at least my wife thinks so.
Sometimes I think of all I have done, but being a foodie seems to define me.
Best Regards!

Sarah said...

I know that the seafood medley sound fantastic all on its own! Would love that recipe!

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