Bryce and I have officially survived and celebrated our fourth year together! I'll have to admit the past year was certainly the most trying and rewarding of our relationship thus far. Since our third anniversary we've moved apartments twice, gotten engaged, gone to 2 weddings, traveled to California (for Thanksgiving), San Fran, Pittsburgh, and Boston [no post!? WTH Ang?] and both secured new jobs!
After such a year we enjoyed a low key anniversary together. I was welcomed home with some lovely flowers :)
They were pretty jammed into that vase, much like I would be in my pencil skirt after our dinner!
We followed our hearts desire to a new Italian restaurant I'd read about: La Cucina. They don't take reservations for groups smaller than four and we had to wait just about 10 - 15 minutes to be seated.
It's a tiny spot located oddly in an industrial building. The photo below was taken from my seat in the very far corner of the restaurant, it's truly that small! The atmosphere is fun and inviting. One girl, not unlike the Wizard of Oz, was the only person to emerge from behind the curtain! She was the hostess, server, food runner, bartender, and busser. She even made an excellent wine recommendation based on my food selection! I bet the good ole' Wiz didn't have all those talents in his bag-o-goodies!
As tradition in Italian restaurants goes, an unlimited supply of bread and dipping oil/vinegar/seasoning was provided. Keeping within Pap's rule book, we didn't fill up on bread before our meal! We failed him when we neglected to take bread home with us in our pockets, unfortunately.
Did you think I was joking about being seated in the corner? Here's our awkwardly posed mandatory anniversary photo! The pour your own water feature was a nice touch, no doubt the idea of the multitasking front of house lady!
We began with the antipasto plate which was delicious! Bryce hogged up the bread and insisted that each bite include some carby-deliciousness. Is butter a carb? I had no problem eating the olives, cheeses, and meats sans bread. Although uncertain of what the cheese and meat varieties were, we loved them all. The only item I didn't care for was the pickled asparagus - very strange. Nothing was left on the platter when it left our table!
Let's begin our meal by noting that all of the pastas are homemade, *smile*! Bryce's choice was the trenette bolognese ($17) - ground veal, pork, and beef slowly cooked in a tomato sauce and topped with Pecorino Romano. The noodles were perfect and tasting the meat instantly took me back in time to my Great Aunt Marina's kitchen as a kid. That's when you know you're eating good Italian food - your senses transport you to an Italian kitchen from your childhood, MANGIA MANGIA!
My selection was the ravioli neri ($19) - black (squid ink) ravioli filled with lobster in a basil and saffron cream sauce. It was so decadent and wonderful. The pieces of lobster were large and flavorful and the sauce was perfection. I purposefully ate only half and saved the remainder for the next day's lunch. Anybody surprised that I ordered lobster? No, me neither. A very different lobster ravioli joined me for supper on my birthday this year also.
Happy 4 years Bryce, I love you!