Good morning and happy Friday everyone! Can’t help but smile because it’s Friday and because I have some exciting news to tell you. This week has been a wonderful week and last weekend was one of the best weekend’s of my life. I’ve told you some (Boston Marathon recap and Easter Sunday recipes), but today I plan to tell you all! This is a longer post but there’s just so much good stuff to talk about.
Let’s start off with some Friday Favorites to get this post going as I have a delicious recipe to share and a few restaurant reviews from last weekend! So grab your morning cup of joe and enjoy!
Friday Favorites (Rhode Island restaurant reviews & a recipe)
1. NEWPORT, RI: Last Friday afternoon my parents and I went to lunch at Midtown Oyster Bar in Newport, RI. They are the newest restaurant on the infamous Thames Street stretch and we could collectively agree that they delivered on all accounts. Walking into the restaurant was an experience in itself as they really make you feel at home. The minute we walked in, the bar area was the first thing we saw. The bar was filled with high-top tables, a chic looking bar, wooden highlights and nautical decorations. We decided to sit in the dining room area which had the same feel with lots of big windows, tables and booths, and an all around friendly and open atmosphere. The menu offered a variety of fresh seafood, soups, salads, sandwiches, pasta entrees and more. We went ahead and ordered a few cocktails and soups to start. I obviously had the french onion soup which was nice and hot and decadently delicious (yay for cheese and bread! The photo below isn’t the best as I started eating before realizing I hadn’t taken a picture yet). Following our appetizers, my mom and I both enjoyed the Salmon Avocado BLT on multi-grain bread that was lightly toasted. DELICIOUS! If you haven’t been to Midtown, I suggest you check it out the next time you’re in town!
2. NARRAGANSETT, RI: On Friday night Frank, myself and our parents headed out to dinner and drinks in Narragansett, RI. Right by the sea wall, the view was gorgeous and the company was just perfect. We decided to go to Spain for dinner, which is a fine dining restaurant on Ocean Road serving both large meals and tapas style plates. I’ve heard great things about this place and when we arrived, it was packed which is always a good sign! Our appetizers included calamari with hot peppers and stuffed mushroom caps. For our entree, Frank and I shared the paella for two. A delicious combination of shrimps, sea scallops, clams, mussels, chicken, chorizo, calamari, saffron rice and spices; let’s just say this was more like a dish served for FOUR! The meal was delicious and we left feeling stuffed!
3. PROVIDENCE, RI: Saturday night we decided to head out towards the Providence area for a night of sushi and piano bar fun (more in a minute). We’ve heard great things about a restaurant called Sakura on Wickenden Street and thought it was a great opportunity to make the trip (45 minutes ha!) to Providence. What we didn’t know before arriving was that this restaurant is BYOB! Naturally, Frank and his dad took a walk down the street and brought back a bottle of red and white wine. I should also mention that THIS Chardonnay was the smoothest Chardonnay I have ever tasted; both my mom and Colleen would agree! Though a much more laid back restaurant than we anticipated, the food was pretty good! I was in charge of ordering sushi for the whole table which was intimidating at first especially since I’m always told my eyes are bigger than my stomach. I think this time around I did pretty well and ordered lots of sushi and sashimi to share. For my main entree I enjoyed filet mignon teriyaki-style that was cooked to perfection; which again I forgot to take a picture but it was delicious and cooked just the way I like it (you know how I feel about my steak!). All-in-all, it was a nice restaurant experience, but in my books, not the best that Rhode Island has to offer in the sushi department.
4. MUSIC, DRINKS, DANCE, FUN: Point Street Dueling Pianos….In my opinion, this is one of the best bars in Providence. Two pianos, one stage, four musicians and plenty of drinks. You will not regret going here but be prepared for the COMPLETELY WORTH IT $10 cover after 8pm ($5 before 8pm). If you’re going in a big group, make a reservation online and don’t be late! With those things in mind, you will have a great evening full of laughs and great music. We went here on Saturday night after our dinner at Sakura and my parents just loved it! The highlight of the night happened when Tom Jones’s “It’s not unusual” song was being played and they asked for some “Carlton” from the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air volunteers. Well folks, let me tell ya, Frank was up there in less than a second doing the Carlton dance in front of the entire bar (for those that know Frank, you know he can break it down like no other). He will now be forever known as “The Carlton Guy” and I couldn’t be more proud. I did get a video but unfortunately I can’t upload it. So instead, for your viewing pleasure, I have added the actual Carlton video from the Fresh Prince to this post. Just picture Frank in the spot of Carlton and that’s exactly what happened at the Piano Bar; he’s seriously my hero. In the pictures below you can also see how the stage is set up and the mirror board in the back allows the audience to have fun, tip the musicians and get their own phrases up on the board. The Boston Strong phrase was a hit!
5. RECIPE! Frank’s mom Colleen makes the BEST quiche recipes that are always a hit. She has a few go-to’s from her favorite websites and cookbooks and today, she shared with me her Asparagus Swiss Quiche from AllRecipes.com. I love this website, they have such a variety of dishes to try and they cater to home cooks; right up my alley! They might not always offer the healthiest dishes, but they are so versatile that you can easily swap out this for that which is a great habit to get into! Colleen mentioned that this Easter she went for the “unhealthier” option (when in Rome!), but she usually makes some easy switches that offer a little more nutrients and a little less guilt 🙂
10 bacon strips, diced (Healthy swap: Instead of frying the bacon, bake it!)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1 tbsp all purpose flour (Healthy swap: Whole wheat flour)
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/2 cup half and half cream (Healthy swap: Skim milk)
In a skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove to paper towels; drain, reserving 1 tbsp. drippings. In the drippings, saute onion until browned; drain.
Cut eight asparagus spears into 4-inch long spears for garnish. Cut remaining asparagus into 1-inch pieces. In a saucepan, cook all of the asparagus in a small amount of boiling water until crisp-tender, drain.
In a bowl, toss bacon, onion, asparagus pieces, cheese, flour, salt and pepper. Pour into shell. In a bowl, beat eggs and cream, pour over bacon mixture. Top with asparagus spears. Bake at 400 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean and crust is golden brown. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.
Well, I won’t keep you waiting much longer for the excitement that occurred last Friday night before drinks and dinner in Narragansett, RI. My best friend and the love of my life proposed! Frank took me to our favorite spot by the ocean and told me that he wants to spend the rest of his life with me. Frank is my everything and my soulmate and I can honestly say that I have never met anyone in the world that makes me feel as happy and complete as I do with him; he truly is an amazing man and I’m so excited to spend the rest of my life with him! Following the most perfect proposal, we headed over to Turtle Soup for drinks with our parents. We popped champagne and took lots of pictures! The fact that Frank planned this during a weekend my parents were here was the most special part of all; he knows how much family means to me and I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect occasion to celebrate with the people we love. So from now on, when you see “fiance” instead of “boyfriend” (ahh still gives me goosebumps), you’ll know why 🙂
So, here’s to family, love and a lifetime of happiness!