1) Restaurant Resolutions.
We hosted a group of wonderful friends for New Year's Eve, and while we were all sitting around our table, someone asked who had New Year's resolutions. I'm not a fan of typical resolutions -- I don't really understand why you have to wait until January 1st to make a change in your life -- but on a whim, I threw out the idea that I'd like to try to visit as many restaurants on the Philly Mag Top 50 list this year. Even with the places we already dined at prior to the start of 2015, I know we won't hit all of them -- a combination of time limitations, budget, and the desire to still fit into my pants come 2016.
Considering it's only the end of February, I think we're doing pretty well so far. In previous years, we've dined at Fork (#2), Vernick (#3 - and our personal favorite restaurant in Philly), Sbraga (#5), Zahav (#13 - my thoughts here), Amada (#27), Pub and Kitchen (#33), il Pittore (#34), Russet (#39), Petruce et al (#41 - which inspired my vegetarian bechamel lasagna I posted earlier this week), Ela (#42), and Indeblue (#49). Thus far in 2015, we've managed to visit Amis (#18 - my thoughts here), Le Virtu (#21 - my thoughts below), and Noord (#50). And coming up over the next few months, we have reservations at six more restaurants on the list.
Phew! It's a lofty conquest, but I think I'm up to the challenge.
2) Le Vertu.
Last week, we headed down to East Passyunk to check out Le Virtu, a charming little Italian restaurant featuring the culinary flavors of Abruzzo. Like so many other restaurants, it focuses on local meats and produce, along with imported products straight from Abruzzo, like cheeses, olive oil, and the flour used to make their (delicious) pasta. In total, we ordered the suppli (fried risotto, wild boar ragu, and peas), taccozzelle with house-made sausage, porcini, and truffles, the brodetto casalese seafood stew (which reminded me of this Mediterranean Fish Stew, just shellfish based), the stinco d'agnello braised lamb shank, and an amarena-chocolate semifreddo for dessert. We each thoroughly enjoyed what we ordered, though I think we were a bit spoiled by our recent trip to Amis - nothing stood out quite as much as the dishes did there. That said, it was still a wonderful dinner, and I'd certainly go back... but first, I have a lot of other restaurants on our list to tackle!
3) Workout Music.
Any good playlists or new music to suggest? I'm starting to get bored with mine. I usually listen to fast, upbeat music for cardio and then switch to podcasts for lifting, but I haven't added anything new to my cardio list in a while and I could use something new and exciting while I force myself to plow through yet another workout.
4) Westminster Dog Show.
Any other fans out there? We watched both nights that were televised, although our dog was less than impressed. She’s waiting for them to accept mutts, and also establish a “Couch Potato” group. I was really pulling for the syke terrier, because how fun are those ears?! Our dog walking group walks a skye terrier and I love when they post pictures of him.
Hooray! It's almost the weekend! Weekends are SO much better now that I don't have to work every single one (postdoc in biophysics lab >>>>> grad student in cell biology lab -- no cells, no mice, nothing that REQUIRES that I come in every weekend). Tonight, we're off to dinner at Osteria (on the top 50 list, of course), tomorrow we're brunching with friends at Pub and Kitchen, and Sunday the dog and I are off on a pack walk, with some errands and cooking thrown in the mix. My neighbor's birthday is next week and both our husbands will be out of town for work so we're going to order in and I'll bring dessert -- now for the tough decision of what to bake!