The Great Coffee Table Quest

Happy Sunday, friends! Hope you’re having a great weekend! Mine has been packed full of food and fun, starting with a fancy-smancy dinner out with our friends Struan and Jessica after work on Friday night.

Panache

I’d never heard of Panche but our friends recommended it and the menu looked awesome, so we decided to give it a shot.

Wine was obviously necessary as soon as we sat down.

wine 3

It took us a while to figure out what we wanted but, as soon as we decided, we were rewarded with bread and these delicious mini onion quiches.

bread and quiche

At that point in the evening, the wine was good and so were the free apps so I was a pretty happy lady. I was even happier when the salad I ordered came out.

Endive SaladThe Panache Salad: Belgian Endives, Bartlett pears, goat cheese, & almonds with lemon vinaigrette 

The waiter warned me that it might be a bit bitter because of the endives, but the goat cheese and pears evened it out and it was seriously one of the most delicious salads I’ve ever had. Jeff ordered calamari and our friends ordered Arancini (“Arancini” style fried asparagus & Robiola cheese fritters with house made tomato sauce) as appetizers, and both dishes looked fantastic.

For my entrée, I ordered a “small” hot plate: Neapolitan style baked eggplant parmesan

eggplant

I’m sorry- small? I guess this dish was small compared to the pasta dishes my friends ordered—which were huge—but this was definitely not a small serving of eggplant. I think restaurants really need to redefine their idea of portion sizes. But, I digress. This dish was so-so. It wasn’t nearly as good as it looks, but I guess that’s my fault for ordering the eggplant instead of one of the hand-made pasta dishes on the menu.  The ones my friends got looked so good! I also ordered a side of asparagus, which was delicious.

Dessert more than made up for the eggplant. 

dessert

Thick, rich chocolate mousse and coffee. Don’t mind if I do!

I’ll definitely go back to Panache, if only for the salad and to try one of their amazing-looking pasta dishes. (For any of my DMV readers looking to try it out: we went to the one in NoVa but there is also a location in DC.)

After dinner, Stuan and Jessica came back to our place and we alternated between watching Cold Case and Cops on TV. It was a very strange combination but pretty entertaining nonetheless.

We had a late and lazy start on Saturday morning and it wasn’t until close to noon that I decided we probably needed to eat breakfast. We went back and forth between whether to eat at home or go out, but, by that time, I had seen about half a million diner breakfasts on Instagram so that debate was pretty pointless. Enter Chutzpah New York Deli:

Chutzpah

Jeff and I discovered this place last year when I had a strong craving for kasha varnishkes (my childhood comfort food) and Chutzpah seemed to be the only place in the area that had it. We’ve been back a bunch of times since and we love it. I know what you’re probably thinking: A New York deli…in Virginia!?!? Trust me, at first I didn’t think it could compare either, but, speaking as an original New Yorker, I can honestly tell you that this place comes pretty darn close to the real thing.

Up until yesterday we had only been there for dinner, but now I know we’ll definitely be back for breakfast.

Chutzpah eggs

I ordered the veggie supreme omelet filled with red peppers, tomatoes, onions, mushrooms and swiss cheese with a side of home fries and pumpernickel toast. It was exactly what I was craving.

After breakfast brunch, we set out on a quest to find a coffee table for our new place. Setting cups of coffee and glasses of wine on the floor is getting pretty annoying, not to mention a disaster waiting to happen. First stop: Ikea.

ikea

Sadly, we spent what felt like three years there with no luck. We should have known better than to go on a drizzly Saturday afternoon. The place was packed and not fun to walk around at all.

My sorrows were quickly forgotten when we got to Panera for a late lunch/dinner and I saw they had Autumn Squash Soup on the menu. Sign me up!

Panera

That and a Fuji Apple Salad (minus the chicken) restored my motivation to find the perfect coffee table so we headed to Pier 1, where I bought this:

Yoga dog

I bet you think I mean the table…

yogadog

Wrong.

That is not a coffee table, Rebecca.  Oh well, at least we have a yoga dog now. We obviously needed one.

What did you do this weekend!?

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From March to October

Oh, where to start…

Would you believe me if I told you I stared at the screen for 15 whole minutes before I started this sentence? Ok…maybe it was 14. Who's counting? Not me…

The last time I posted was on my birthday…seven months ago. A lot has happened since then, and I've missed blogging so much. For some reason, I just couldn't bring myself to post. The more I put it off, the harder it became. Finally, with a little encourgagement from close friends and family (especially Jeff), I decided to just do it. So here I am. I hope you're here, too.

Life has moved quickly since I last posted. Just two days ago, my family held the unveiling ceremony for my father at the cemetery. It still seems as though we just lost him, but it's been a whole year already. I wish I could say that it's gotten easier. In some ways, it has; in others, it's gotten harder. I still haven't fully processed that he's gone. Sometimes the realization hits me like a punch in the stomach and completely takes my breath away. It comes in waves and I have to stop what I'm doing to let them pass me by. All I can say is that I'm lucky to have such a supportive group of family and friends, even though many of them live far away from me.

In other, happier news, I've lived in Northern Virginia for nearly eight months now. A little over a month ago, Jeff and I moved from our one bedroom apartment to a two bedroom condo which we absolutely love. It has a huge open kitchen, two balconies (one that overlooks a running and biking trail), and allows pets! I see a dog in our future! On top of our new space being absolutely perfect, we are now within walking distance of restaurants and the metro. I work in downtown DC and my commute is about 20 minutes. DC and Virginia are very different from New York, and I am still adjusting. I love our new neighborhood though and hope we stick around for a while.

As far as food and exercise go, I am currently trying to lose the weight I gained over the past year. After my father passed away, I lost some of my motivation for a while. Now I'm proud to say that I'm back at the gym and eating well…for the most part (there are a lot of awesome restaurants in DC!). I'm still a vegetarian and have no plans of changing that.

And, now, about this blog…I plan to keep posting regularly. I am currently writing this post from an app on my iPad and once I figure out how to post pictures, I plan to bring back the recipe and food posts. I also promise to post pictures of DC, my new condo, and all of my other everyday adventures.

So, stay tuned, and thank you in advance for hanging out and still reading!

Have a great Tuesday! <3

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