Saturday, January 31, 2009

four on four

Last night was another dine-out event at Quattro on Fourth, a little restaurant that serves great Italian cuisine. I went there last year with another friend for dine-out, and we couldn't stop raving about the radicchio bocconcini. So good!

For my meal, I ordered the Radicchio Bocconcini (grilled fresh mozzarella wrapped with prosciutto and radicchio in a cherry vinaigrette), the Involtini di Vitello (braised veal tenderloin breast stuffed with spinach and caciocavallo in a marsala sage succo) as my entree and for dessert, I had the Torta al Sanguignia (blood orange and almond tart with vanilla mascarpone cream).

Radicchio bocconcini was delicious. The cherry vinaigrette was light and slightly tart, which I liked.

The veal was juicy and tender and the sauce was not too heavy.

Dessert! I was surprised to find the tart a bit hard, but I think that's how it's suppose to be prepared. It had a light almond flavour and I really liked the blood orange sauce.

My friend had the Carmellata, chocolate pate with caramel sauce. It was very smooth and rich. A little too rich, since my friend, the self-confessed chocoholic couldn't finish the tasty treat.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

shopaholic is my middle name

Spent last Sunday indulging in my favourite pastime. Went downtown with my little sister and scored some really good deals:

This gold brocade pleated skirt at Club Monaco for only $19!

Black and white striped nautical blazer, also from Club Monaco, for $39

And this bright blue silk wrap dress from Banana Republic for my little sister
Below is a better picture of the dress, in orange (photos courtesy of Banana Republic).

I also stopped by French Connection, hoping to use up my store credit that I've had since last Christmas. Their spring collection was slowing trickling in, so I checked out the sales rack in the back. Found some really nice items, but nothing that really stood out. So, it looks like I'll be holding onto this store credit a while longer.

At first, I thought this was a dress when I pulled it off the sales rack. But when I tried it on, I realized it was a jumpsuit. I like the style and the structure of it, but the entire time I had it on, I couldn't help but think what a pain in the ass it would be if I had to go pee.

Doesn't look like much in the front and I wasn't crazy about the extra details around the shoulders...

but it looked awesome in the back!

I felt like a pilgrim in this dress. Or a Mormon bride.

Great shift dress and I liked the orange piping against the grey wool. But the minute I bent down in that dress... let's just say, you get quite the eyeful!

Friday, January 23, 2009

salty goodness

Last night, me and Shar had dinner at the Salt Tasting Room, as part of the dine-out event that's happening throughout the city. Located in Blood Alley (it's not that bad, really), it's a small inconspicuous nook at the end of the alley, easily missed if you're not looking for the salt shaker flag above its door. Once inside, it's a busy hub where you can enjoy fine wine, artisan cheese and delicious deli meats paired with strange but yummy condiments (fig bread anyone?).

I had a glass of Elephant Island Crab Apple Wine 07 from Naramata, BC along with my dinner which was very nice and very unexpected and grown-up of me. Usually, I order cocktails. The wine tasted like fermented apple juice, sweet but also tart and smooth. I wouldn't mind having a bottle of that in my fridge. I ordered the Potato Leek Chowder garnished with Organic Olive Oil and the Salmon Pate with Cornichons as my appetizer. The chowder needed just a pinch of salt, but the salmon pate was delicious. For my entree, I chose the BC Plate: Wild Boar Salami with Rosemary paired with Piparras Peppers (Spain), Ash Camembert (from Salt Spring Island) with Marcona Almonds (Spain) and Fruilano Salami partnered with Quince. Dessert was Lemon Vanilla Bean Cheesecake with Raspberry Sauce, which was wonderful. Light, fluffy, with a hint of lemon... loved it! Shar ordered the Chocolate Pate with Strawberry Compote, which was also good. The chocolate was so smooth and just melted on your tongue as you savoured it.

Potato and Leek Chowder garnished with Organic Olive Oil. The place is called Salt Tasting Room, but not a single salt shaker to be seen... interesting.

Salmon pate with cornichons. Superb! Tasted really good with the sourdough bread and the waitress kept refilling our basket, over and over again.

Fruilano Salami with Quince. I liked the fruity quince; it was paired nicely with the salami, which was a little salty. A small slice of sourdough smeared with Camembert, a slice of wild boar salami and topped with a little bit of quince = a lovely sandwich.

Ash Camembert with Marcona Almonds. Shar wanted a more pungent cheese (something like goat cheese or blue cheese), but I really liked the Camembert. The almonds were super yummy. Shar kept mentioning how much better they would be If they were chocolate covered. LOL!

Wild Boar Salami with Rosemary and Piparras Peppers. The pickled peppers went well with the meat and wasn't too spicy. I liked the wild boar salami, but couldn't really taste the rosemary in it.

Lemon Vanilla Bean Cheesecake with Raspberry Sauce. Licked my spoon clean, it was that good.

Chocolate Pate with Strawberry Compote. Went down smooth.

I'm persuading my chef friend to have her birthday dinner at Salt. I think she'll love it. I know I did.

Sorry for the way the pictures turned out. It was dimly lit inside (to create that special ambiance, ya know!) and I didn't want to use flash. I was already getting looks from our neighbours. The tables were very close together. I could have reached over and grabbed a slice of olive bread. I really wanted to, it looked so good.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

history is made

Today is a momentous occasion, a turning point in the history of the United States of America as the first Black president, Barack Obama is sworn into office. Unfortunately, I couldn't listen to or watch the Obama's inaugural address, as I was at work, typing away at my computer. I was only able to see clips of the inaugural address when I got home after work, so it looks like I'm going to have to check it out on Youtube.

Photo courtesy of the Washington Times.

Monday, January 19, 2009

afternoon tea, gossip-girl style

Spent Saturday afternoon with Shar at Hycroft Mansion to peruse through the dotted loop sample sale. We browsed through jewellery made from reclaimed vintage finds and people-watched as we sipped on tea and nibbled on cheese and crackers, chocolate cake and other yummy sweets. It felt very much like Gossip Girl with little cliques forming as they gossiped and gushed over the jewellery. Not to mention there were some stylin' females there. I wanted to take a picture of an elderly lady's outfit, but I didn't want to appear rude or prying. She was dressed to the nines in a lovely white winter coat, a cream-coloured shift dress, black leather tote bag and the most awesome pair of heels: black sheer leopard-print peep toes. I SO covet the shoes!

I bought a lovely pair of vintage heart charm earrings that I had spied at Fine Finds in Yaletown last year while I was doing some Christmas shopping. I also got a dainty vintage necklace that I can't wait to pair with my leather gold-chain necklace from Club Monaco.

My credit card is hiding from me, angry that I've abused it yet again *sigh*

Saturday, January 17, 2009

going West

Vancouver dine-out has officially started (January 14th) and will continue on til February 1, 2009. Last night, we went to West, a place my chef friend has been to last year for dine-out and still continues to rave about every chance she gets. So, of course I had to go and taste it for myself.

The restaurant didn't look like much from the outside, but the interior was lovely. Swirly mirrors on the ceiling combined with the traditional decor of the room (dark stained wooden shelves for wine storage, dim lighting, rectangular mirrors on the walls, etc) created a nice contrast. They had an interesting menu for dine-out and I decided upon the veloute of pumpkin with cinnamon marshmallows for my appetizer, the bio-dynamic aged risotto with David Woods goat cheese, red onion and pesto dressing as my main and for dessert, the white and dark chocolate tower with peanut toffee, popcorn ice cream and caramel wafer. I chose the dishes based on their unique ingredients (cinnamon marshmallows? Bio-dynamic risotto? Popcorn ice cream?!), and I was pleasantly surprised.

The veloute of pumpkin was velvety smooth and with the cinnamon marshmallows swirled in, it gave the soup a slightly sweet flavour without it being too overpowering. There might have been some squash mixed in as well, not that I'm complaining. My entree was so rich and I liked the pesto dressing, but I still couldn't figure out what was so bio-dynamic about the risotto. I could've done without the fried curls of red onion sprinkled on top, but it did add a nice texture to the risotto. Dessert was fabulous, you can't go wrong with chocolate and the popcorn ice cream was yummy! One day, I might have to go and find that flavour when I visit the 150+ ice cream shop. I had a Leong-Lei cocktail (lychee liquor, vodka, apple hearts, green tea syrup) to accompany my meal. What can I say, I'm a sucker for lychee liquor.

Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures as I left my camera at home and the photos on my phone came out all blurry. So, you're going to have to trust me when I say that West was definitely worth the visit.

Friday, January 16, 2009

today's conversation

Read from the bottom up:

Me: Sometimes, you just got to give into your primal carnal instincts and let go once in a while. It might be murderous to attack a defenseless apple, but it shouldn't be looking all juicy and sweet and think nothing's gonna happen. Really, it's the apple's fault.

Andrea: Ohhhh. Well, aren't you feeling murderous today!

Me: It has a death wish. And I'm going to grant it in about 6 minutes.

Andrea: That bastard apple!!!!!!!

Me: That's a shock. I thought Macy controlled the US postal service, the price of oil and who gets voted as the next American Idol. LOL. It's Friday! It's been a long week. I'm counting down the minutes to my break so I can chomp down on my apple. I'm eying it right now. It WANTS to be eaten, it's suicidal.

So I emailed Macy's again just asking how long it takes for payments to show up online on their website. Since I mailed a cheque over a week ago and I am just worried that it has gotten lost.
And maybe I should cancel it and just send an expedited letter instead. I got a reply informing me that they don't have control over the US postal service and it will get posted once they get it. Really? Macy's DOESN'T control the US postal service? NO. WAY.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Coach obsession

So... I might have gone a little Coach crazy. I've visited the downtown Coach store every day since Tuesday, to pick through the last remnants from what is now their famous Boxing Day sale. And each day, I've walked out of the store carrying a Coach shopping bag. Ack!

First, it was this ravishing patented plum wristlet that caught my eye,

and then it was a metallic bronze clutch that came home with me,

and now a Legacy wallet in purple with the striped lining holds my money (what little I have!) and my plastic.

Must. Resist. COACH!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


I blew my nose so many times that I gave myself a nose bleed. WTH?!

Sunday, January 4, 2009


I'm a sneezing, coughing, aching, sniffling, gurgling mess. Stupid cold. First, it was a sore throat, and I thought I had it under control. Been eating vitamins, oranges, drinking warm liquids and taking cough/throat lozenges. Then it graduated to a runny nose. Now it's a full on cold. And right after New Year's too! This is NOT how I wanted to start the New Year; I wanted to start the year off right. I wanted to be healthy and happy, not miserable and needing to blow my nose one minute and then coughing the next minute.