Twenty one years ago, I was a sophomore in high school. I was far away from where I am now, on the west coast going through awkward life stages as a teenager. Did I ever think that so many years later I’d end up near Boston, married with a child, and looking forward to special mama’s-night-outs like this? Probably not.
O, sushi! Yes, it certainly is my all-time favorite food. I could never get tired of eating it and I’m so happy that my family enjoys it almost as much. Yup, that includes our 3-year-old daughter who – during the day while at home bored and on the kitchen floor – decided to video call her daddy at work and begged to have sushi for dinner. Luckily, he agreed. And that’s when we decided to try out O Sushi in Harvard Square.
So like what’s up with slacking on the restaurant posts, right? I looked back and realized that my last post about any restaurant outing was way back on July 29, 2013. Say what??! It’s not like I haven’t gone out to eat since then, but I partially blame things like Instagram and mobile phone updates because well, let’s just say they make it easier to share sometimes.
Anyway, I went out last night with another mom friend and it was awesome. We’ve been friends for almost eight years now and met through crafting channels, yet we’ve never been out on a one-to-one outing before. With family responsibilities, job duties, and all the other crazy life stresses we just were never able to make things work out until last night.
I wanted to check out a restaurant called Catalyst in Cambridge (Kendall Square) because a) it’s new to me and b) I haven’t been out to a restaurant in that area in a long time. The bonus was that neither had she so we could check out a new place together.
18 months. That’s about how long it took before my husband and I went out on our very first date since our baby arrived. Eighteen months! And in celebration of our 5th anniversary, we wanted to make our first date night special. Since it was also the very first time we were leaving her in someone else’s care (gasp! that’s a whole other topic for another day!), we didn’t want to venture off too far from home into oh, say like Boston. The answer: Spoke Wine Bar in Davis Square, Somerville.
What a nice way to start off the new year: dinner with a great friend at a new restaurant! That’s right – you read it here – this mommy was granted another night out, so my friend and I decided to try out a new Italian restaurant in Cambridge called Giulia. It opened about five weeks ago and replaced Rafiki Bistro.
There’s a new bakery in Kendall Square called Tatte Bakery and Cafe. My friend and I went to check it out last week and were blown away by so many aspects of this place. Not only was it a lot more spacious inside than I had expected, but we just loved the ambiance, decor, and of course the food.
After running around doing a bunch of errands on Saturday with my husband, we were famished and shared a craving for beef (particularly a good burger). It was fun being able to actually “go out” with him after being cooped up at home for about a week, so we wanted to try some place we’ve never been to before. I remembered hearing that Lord Hobo had good food, but I also remembered the one time we tried to go there a night a few months ago and not being able to get a seat because it was so crowded. So since it was only about 5 pm we headed over (and after I found their menu on the Blackberry and started drooling over the choices) and luckily managed to find a parking spot nearby (that was another reason we never really were able to go there before this day – it’s mostly residential parking and the metered spots are like gold).
The last time we were at Il Casale was back in December 2010 which seems like ages ago. We recently went about a week ago and decided to take my in-laws there as a “thank you” gesture for some work they did in and around our house. (That’s right ladies and gents, thanks to my father-in-law, all the doors in our hallway now match!) We lucked out because the restaurant is now open on Mondays, and I managed to get a 7:15 pm reservation. We got there a little earlier and they were able to seat us anyway (I wonder if my big prego belly helped with that).
Whenever my husband asks, “Can I take you out for dinner [tomorrow night]?” a very hasty response of, “Definitely!” shoots out of my mouth before I even have time to decipher what he said. Thus, this was the first thing that came out of his mouth when he got home from work on Thursday night. Date night with him has been something I’ve learned to savor lately in anticipation of our baby’s arrival this November, and the thought of not being able to go out for a long time gives me the chills.
So to add to the thrill of date night on a Friday night, I let him pick the place and keep it a surprise. And I was pleasantly surprised to find out that he had picked Blue Inc., chef/owner Jason Santos‘ new place in Boston’s financial district. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Chef Santos’ fame, he was the runner-up in the 7th season of Gordan Ramsay’s “Hell’s Kitchen” (remember the guy with blue hair? Yup, that’s him!). He was also the former chef over at Gargoyles on the Square in Somerville’s Davis Square. We went to the special viewing party that they held in the Gargoyles parking lot last August to watch the Hell’s Kitchen season finale in anticipation that they would announce Jason as the winner, but alas it was the other chef that won. I guess the best thing for Bostonians is that it meant he would stay here in Massachusetts and eventually open up his own place.
In all the years that we lived in Somerville, we never ventured out to eat at Chez Henri in Cambridge. I guess I had always pictured it as one of those restaurants that you would go to for a very special occasion, plus I have to admit that being a French restaurant with a Cuban twist kind of threw me off in terms of possible food allergy issues (read: I didn’t want to be a nightmare customer asking a million questions about the menu items). So we finally decided to try it out a couple of weeks ago for what I think is a rather special occasion (although he will completely disagree with me and would prefer to ignore the day): to celebrate my husband’s birthday this year. It was a week and half before the actual date but it was a good reason to go nonetheless.