Sunday, January 20, 2013

Mom's Birthday Food Tour

NOTE: This post is late. It's been sitting half-done in my draft pile for exactly 11 days. But I've been really busy watching movies and painting my nails and stuff, you guys. You have no idea. 11 days late, but here it is...

Since she's such a wonderful "Grammy," my mom was up here helping take care of Charlie in the weeks following his release from the hospital, allowing Melissa and Pete to go back to work. It was great because she'd send me pictures of him all day long. Although, I also fear she undid all of the groundwork I'd been laying to establish myself as his favorite non-parental relative. Now that she's back down I-95, I'll have to get over there to continue the brainwashing. I want his first full sentence to be "Aunt Lindsay is my bestie."

The new "Nanny Grammy" schedule meant that she would be here for her birthday. I won't reveal which birthday it was but, let's just say that, the closer I get to 30, the sooner she's going to have to pick a new repeating birthday number. She's been thirty for a decade or so now - an amazing feat considering my sister has already passed that milestone.

And that folks, is the exact moment in time when my mom and sister both stopped following my blog.

No matter the mathematics, January 5 was my mom's special day and she was in town so - of course - she deserved to be wined and dined and wined a bit more.

First up on the Birthday Food Tour was Dino, the exquisitely delicious (lofty adjectives are justified) local Italian restaurant. I say "local" because that is its proximity to me, but Dino is a favorite throughout the city (and, dare I say beyond.) We went with family friends - and former Charlotte neighbors - The Clouds, who'd also heard rave reviews of the local eatery. 

If this was an actual food blog or I considered myself a "foodie" then I'd have written about what everyone at the table ordered, the presentation and their reviews, in order to give a better sampling of the menu. But, I was focused on my meal so I don't really know what they had. I'm sure it was good. I was well on my way into a wine and food coma by about 8pm so I can't be expected to remember such things. Don't expect that high-level of reporting from me. I do know I had the Canestri - Kabocha & Lentils: lentil & roast squash, roasted garlic, pecorino cheese, shell shaped pasta. Mmmm...don't mind if I do. 

I didn't even take a picture of my food because I was too busy eating it, but let's just pretend this was mine.
This is actually the Wild Boar on House Pappardelle and the photo is from the Dino Facebook page.
I'm no expert on Italian food, but I did live there for four months in college and my lack of expertise is certainly not for lack of trying. While the good ol' USA was going through yet another low-carb diet fad (I think it was still Atkins at this point), I was across the ocean indulging in a fantastic high-carb diet of pasta, lasagna, pizza and wine-that-was-cheaper-than-water. (There were veggies, soups, and meats thrown in there too). All that to say, Dino's cuisine reminds me of some of my favorite Florence restaurants. However, my favorite part of the menu is that they use produce and meats from local farms whenever possible. Now that's a food fad I can get behind.

The best thing about good Italian restaurants is that I never have to look at a dessert menu (this was a special occasion  y'all). The minute the waiter starts to ask, "Could I interest you in any desser...." I just automatically blurt out, "Tiramisu!" Always. Nothing will ever come close to my host mom Carla's tiramisu but Dino's certainly didn't disappoint.

The next stop on the Birthday Food Tour was Lincoln for brunch. The Clouds joined us again as did my sister. You may recall that I went to Lincoln for my birthday but I'd always wanted to try their brunch. While I didn't have a delicious copper-mugged Moscow Mule, I did imbibe a delicious mimosa - this was brunch after all. I left the "bottomless breakfast cocktails" to the Birthday Mom.
I love the decor of Lincoln. This was the ceiling of the room in which we were seated.
Like Dino, Lincoln boasts a seasonal, locally-grown menu. I ordered a scrambled egg biscuit (amazing) and this incredible fruit salad to "share" with my mom. I put share in quotes because I'm not very good at sharing foods, but that was the intent. You may be thinking, "uh, Lindsay, I know you said your not a foodie but fruit salad is pretty much just fruit in a cup." Well, my friend, you don't know what wonders a little local honey and some mint can to do a fruit salad. I suggest you go to check it out. From the decor to the food to the "Chill beats" from "DJ George," Lincoln was a great (albeit somewhat loud) birthday brunch destination. 

Fruit salad.

Our birthday food tour crew.
Mom and daughters at Lincoln.
I promise not to let future posts sit in my drafts for 11 days. I'll hopefully have lots to share after this weekend when I bring you a behind-the-scenes look at my first presidential inauguration. (Actually, it's President Obama's inauguration but I'll be there.) And, well, when I say "behind-the-scenes" I really mean "from whatever tiny spot of grass I'm able to secure, surrounded by 800,000 of my closest friends in the freezing cold." Nonetheless, it should be an adventure!

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