Monday, June 17, 2013

this is the end of going to italian restaurants for our anniversary

This weekend was far more low-key than the past 6-ish weekends but it still gave me plenty to want to share!

On Friday night, we decided we wanted to grab a quick dinner. Our Whole Foods has a bar inside with  beer and wine on tap and a grilled cheese bar, so we checked it out. I loved the wine I chose (plus it was a very generous pour, yay) and the sandwich was good but probably not worth $8.

The best part, though, was the people watching. Whole Foods is a grocery store. Most people we have seen at the bar grab a drink to walk around the store with while they shop or have a quick meal or try out a flight for a few minutes. I never thought of this bar as being a "watering hole" where you were a regular, but apparently one woman decided to make it her Cheers. She was in her 40s, possibly a divorcee, and was looking a little rough (maybe she pre-gamed at home?). The bartender seemed annoyed by her presence and you could tell she was there often. She had walked through the store to get samples of food and brought them with her (and even made a repeat trip through the store and was urging others to do the same...) and she was just funny to watch. The bartender was clearly over her and did not want to give her a fork so she could enjoy her samples or a taste of a wine (she was a huge fan of the bordeaux and couldn't believe another patron preferred the pinot noir to it so she had to try for herself). No matter where life takes you, don't ever be the mooch at the grocery store bar, kay?

We decided to go see This is the End at a new movie theatre pretty close to us. The theatre has a cheesy Greek theme going on. You walk in and there is a food-court like area, two full bars, a bowling alley, an arcade, tons of soft seating where you can sit and socialize, a gift shop, and an area selling gelato and Starbucks drinks. We checked everything out, bought a few frappucinos, and found seats for the movie. There were a ton of young kids there (maybe 8-12 with their parents?). Now, I'm not a parent, but really? That movie was hilarious but completely inappropriate for kids. But really, if you are not easily offended by much, then I definitely recommend you going to see it. I will definitely watch it when it starts playing on TV all the time.

Dinner | Extra large armrests with a ledge for your popcorn bucket | bowling alley | ESPN, anyone?

On Saturday, I decided to try Spin class for the first time. The instructor was really nice and helped me get the bike set up and the music selection she was playing was good. I made it through a few songs and then started to feel... wobbly. I just pedaled at a comfortable pace and kept feeling gross. I was afraid I was going to fall off the bike so I left. I hated feeling like a quitter but I realized I didn't eat any meat the previous day and hadn't eaten that morning and figured that it was better to try again on a day where I had better fuel in my system (not to say you have to have meat to fuel your work-outs, but you probably need more than a Healthy Choice meal and a grilled cheese with tomatoes...). But I really, really want to try it again! Then I got my hair cut later in the afternoon and I am pretty happy with it. I like to get my hair cut when we have a night out planned so my good blow-dry isn't wasted. So it was perfect timing.

This is so long for me. 

We wanted to try something new for dinner to celebrate our anniversary and we're still trying to explore as many restaurants on Alison Cook's Top 100 as possible, so I chose Giacomo's Cibo e Vino. However, on the way there, we stopped at Macaron by Patisse first. It is so very cute and the macarons are divine. The owner told me that one cupcake has as many calories as seven macarons, so if that isn't an excuse to indulge, what is? We got (and ate, over two days) caramel fleur de del, spicy chocolate, lemon marscapone, spiced rum, chocolate coffee, fig and goat cheese (probably my favorite!), and chocolate hazelnut. Macarons are super labor-intensive so they come with a hefty price tag but are definitely worth splurging if they're good. And these were so good!

Checking our our selection in the car | some were cute and had little mustaches on them | chandelier inside the shop

Giacomo's is a tiny place in River Oaks. We were hungry early, so we went early and there were plenty of people already there. The ceilings were low and the tables had chipped aqua paint. It was more casual than I expected. They serve beer and wine only. Our waitress was kind of severe (I compared her to Lane's mom on Gilmore Girls) but seemed to soften up when she saw how much we were going to order. We shared the semolina gnocchi for an appetizer and it was more like polenta than gnocchi, so I was kind of disappointed.

For the main, I got a half order of stuffed chicken breast and tortellini with a tomato cream sauce. The pasta was house-made and I really liked it. You could taste what was inside rather than it being overpowered by sauce. Andrew got shrimp and carbonara, both of which he was happy with but not floored by. We shared mixed vegetables and I liked the broccoli (never happens) and we both liked the brussels sprouts. Food-wise, I wasn't really blown away by anything but I'm not opposed to going back again. The mushroom gnocchi is supposed to be amazing and I am really bummed I got the other gnocchi and didn't get to try it. Next time.

I had been eyeing a hazelnut mousse on the dessert menu and was ready to try it when the waitress dropped the check on our table. No offer of coffee or dessert. She hadn't given us the specials, either, until we asked. If I know anything about my husband and dining out, I know that not offering dessert is a cardinal sin in his book. I looked at him and he tossed his card on the table. We were done here.

Tortelloni, veggies, chicken | shrimp and carbonara | Amy's dark chocolate and Mexican vanilla

After that, of course, nothing sounded good but I needed dessert. I ended up with Amy's Ice Cream as my consolation prize. They were out of waffle cones. Sad day. We realized that we have gone to an Italian restaurant for each of our three anniversaries and been underwhelmed each time (Stella Sola, Vinoteca Poscol, and now Giacomo's). Next year we have vowed no Italian and we will probably go somewhere we have already been.

On Sunday, we grocery shopped, cleaned, and just hung out. My dad decided he would rather celebrate Father's Day next week sometime, so we will. It will be kind of nice to avoid the crowds.

How was your weekend? Linking up...

Sami's Shenanigans


  1. Happy Anniversary! That's too bad it wasn't a great experience at the Italian place.

    That is kind of funny about the Whole Foods lady. I've never been to a spin class before but I have a feeling I wouldn't last the whole session my first time either. The macarons you got look delicious!

  2. Your long hair looks fabulous!

    Kind of lame with the waitress at the restaurant; she sounds like she was having a bad day -- but at least you bot to go to Amy's! mmm!

  3. Thank you for all the food recommendations! Especially the macaron place! I usually get my macaron fix from Petite Sweets but I'd love to try a new place :D and fancy grilled cheese too.

    Your long hair looks awesome. I just chopped my long hair recently :(

  4. I love that Whole Food but will remember not to make it my own Cheers lol We wanted to see that movie this weekend too, but figured the theater would be really packed. And girl you're so funny; I love how you didn't "waste" your blow out lol I should start doing that too!

  5. OMG I want macarons!!!!!!!! Also, I totally also almost passed out the other night when I was running and it was the same situation - I hardly ate anything! Spin is fun, and you're not a quitter!

  6. Now you have me craving macaroons and it doesn't help that I actually drive by that place on my way to and from work :) I hadn't heard of the Alison Cook list so now I have tons of new restaurants I need to try!!! Happy Monday friend!

  7. Way to go, trying out spin!! Was it crazy crowded or decent? I still want to try it, maybe one day I'll come with you (although the early start time has me yawning).

    Lol, I never thought to eat at Whole Foods. Or drink there either. And I want to see This Is It, I've heard such good things. I think I'll wait til it's out for renting and watch it at the gym lol!

  8. That sucks, no coffee or dessert offer. It's not a special meal if you don't linger over some coffee and dessert. Lame!

    I cannot do anything exercise related without having a protein a few hours before.

  9. Those macarons look delish!!!

  10. ah! i hope you give spin another try, because i love it! but you'll definitely want to eat first and have some energy to get your through the class!

  11. Happy anniversary, girl!!
    I so badly want to try macaroons but haven't had a chance! Yours sound delish.

  12. Dinner at the bar at Whole Foods and watching people sounds like so much fun! And the grilled cheese bar? YUM!! I'm gonna look for that at the Montrose Whole Foods! And thanks for the review about Giacomos!

  13. Haha people watching at the Whole Foods bar sounds fun! I've never had macaroons! Must try soon! I totally do the same thing with my hair cuts!!! I always schedule them when I have a reason to have pretty hair! Happy Anniversary! Have y'all been to Grotto?


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