date night

Lavish & Lovely

Our weekend started pretty well. Daycare had a “date night” for parents and held a Halloween party for the kiddos so Michael and I got to go out to dinner just us. I think the last date night at daycare was back in June. Michael made the reservations for Laurelhurst Market a month ago and we were both really excited!

The place was packed. Glad we had reservations! We had a drink in the bar area while we waited for our table. The wait wasn’t very long. It was a cool space. We’ve been to Laurelhurst Market a few times but it’s been years for me. So this was a nice treat.

Laurelhurst Market is a very nice restaurant with a meat market attached to it. One of these days I’d like to get some stuff from the market.

Okay–the food. SO GOOD! We started with a few appetizers. The first was the bone marrow. Michael has been raving about it–he had it a few months ago when he was there for a work dinner and has been talking about it ever since. I’ve never had it before.

It arrived on a plate with a horseradish sauce (I usually hate horseradish but this was really good). It also came with a pretzel cut in half to share. The bone marrow was in the bone and there were some pickled radishes and celery on the side.

You used a tiny fork to get the bone marrow out and spread it on the pretzels. The flavor was really rich. If it sounds creepy, I understand and I can see where someone would be apprehensive. But it wasn’t creepy. It wasn’t amazing, but it was flavorful and went well with the other things on the plate.

The winner for me was the deviled egg appetizers. They were topped with thin slices of prosciutto. These babies were soooo good and I could have eaten a dozen of them.

I got a second glass of the delicious Sauvignon Blanc wine and then our entrees arrived

Michael got the Rib Eye steak with avocado puree and cowboy candy (I love cowboy candy!). I had a few bites of his steak and it was fantastic. Perfectly seared with a little crunch and rare in the middle. The flavors were outstanding.

I got the seared scallops. It came with raw fennel and caramelized onions, plus an egg yolk that you were supposed to swirl around in everything on the plate to kind of “cook” it. So the menu had said the dish came with some sausage. I kind of forgot about it and then realized that they made the sausage to look exactly like the scallops!

So there were two “scallops” in there that were actually sausage. The (real) scallops were absolutely perfect. I love scallops and haven’t had them in ages. So this was a really great dish for me. I loved my meal. It was so unique. I also had Brussels Sprouts on the side.

The sprouts were sautéed and a little crispy with jalapeños, maple syrup and radishes on top. It was slightly too sweet but I still loved the sprouts.

After our meal, we had some time before we had to pick up Logan from the party so we stopped at Papa Haydn’s to get some dessert to go. It was that time of year–pumpkin pie cheesecake! I really wanted to get that but Michael wasn’t into the idea (his loss). Boo! We ended up with a slice of New York cheesecake to go.

How good do these desserts look, though? Yum!

Our cheesecake was amazing, as usual. Papa Haydn’s never disappoints.

We picked up a very sleepy Logan who had had a fabulous night! Pizza, cupcakes and Halloween games. His face and fingers were stained blue from decorating cupcakes. So adorable!

The next day we went for a family hike.

It was a nice fall day, almost 60+ degrees pretty early and by noon it was about 70. The sun was out, it wasn’t foggy or cold like it usually is early in the morning. We decided to do Saltzman Road. It’s close to the city, so not too far to drive to. We needed something closer in town, so this was it.

We’ve done this hike a bunch of times. It’s a deceptive workout. It doesn’t feel all that strenuous and sometimes I kind of think it’s not worth a hike because the calories won’t be in there. But sometimes it surprises you and you do get a decent workout from it.

There were beautiful fall colors everywhere. It was a nice day for a hike. The trail wasn’t too busy, which was nice. Logan was doing well so we kept going past where we usually turn around.

We ended up doing the whole hike! I’ve never done it before–Michael did it once before without me. It was just under 6 miles round trip. Towards the end of the hike we let Logan out of the pack and he “hiked” for almost a mile. 😉

So we ended up hiking 5.75 miles! It might be the longest hike we’ve done in a long time. Like I said–this was deceptively hard. I ended up burning a pretty good calorie number.

My shins and calves were SO SORE afterwards.

After the hike we headed home for lunch, naps and showers. Logan was wiped out and fell asleep in the car on the way home. Unfortunately, when he woke up from his nap he was sick and we ended up spending a few hours at urgent care. 🙁 He’s ok, it’s just a virus, but it made for a bummer for the rest of the weekend. We left urgent care at like 8pm and got drive-thru burgers for dinner. Boo–so much for the diet for that day.

Two Date Nights

Michael and I lucked out and got TWO date nights this weekend!! The first was Friday night. Daycare had a “parents night out” and they were open until 10pm. We took advantage of that and got dressed up (sort of) and went to Chart House for dinner.

A coworker has been talking about how this is their date night spot because happy hour lasts until 7pm. So we decided to take advantage of that. We got there and it was valet parking only (free) and the bar is downstairs of the restaurant. It’s perched on a hill in SW Portland with amazing views!

The picture above was the view from our table, right by the window. It was a nice view of the river and downtown Portland. We could also see Mount St. Helens and Mt. Hood in the distance.

We got drinks–I got a white wine and Michael got a beer.

We got the calamari with kim chee (and it had deep fried veggies in there, too). It was really good and flavorful! And who doesn’t like deep fried veggies?

We shared the mahi mahi fish tacos. They were pretty good but needed some spice or something. They were a little on the bland side.

We shared the lettuce wraps. It was chicken with cucumber and carrots and a soy sauce glaze. I thought they were pretty good. Very messy to eat!

Lastly, we got the prime rib sliders (they had cheese and caramelized onions in it). Michael wasn’t a fan of the sliders but I thought they were really good! I loved the caramelized onion flavors and gooey cheese (and let’s be honest, the bread!!!)

We split a piece of cheesecake for dessert. It had caramel, crushed macadamia nuts and a little bit of Heath Bar crumbles. It was REALLY good but very, very decadent. Thank goodness we split it!

It was a really nice experience. We hadn’t really been on a real date night and been to a nice restaurant since February when we went out to sushi. 😀 It was definitely time for us! And it was perfect timing because this week was our 9 year anniversary. Hard to believe 9 years ago we had our first official date. <3

Then Saturday it was time for date night #2: my cousin’s wedding. My parents drove down from Seattle and got to spend some time with Logan and then we left Logan with Michael’s mom and drove to Ridgefield for the wedding.

It was at Bethany Vineyards. I’ve never been there before but it was a really beautiful wedding venue! It was off the freeway in Washington near Vancouver, amongst countryside and farms and lots of trees. I guess there was a brewpub nearby, too.

Her flowers were gorgeous!

The wedding was outside. It was a sunny, bright day, but unfortunately it was also 100 degrees (not exaggerating!). Here are a few photos of the venue:

It was too bad they didn’t have some kind of tents set up for the tables because we were in direct sunshine, no shade, and it was very very very hot! Thankfully they had tons of ice water.

The ceremony was kind of off to the side near the vineyards and there was a bit of shade over there, so that was nice.

And we got to spend some time with another cousin and her husband, whom we don’t get to see very often but it was a really fun night hanging out and catching up.

Since it was at the vineyard, they had plenty of the wine for drinks or tastes. I tried the Pinot and it was really good so I ended up buying a bottle. 🙂 My other cousin and her husband and I snuck into the tasting room for about 15 minutes after the ceremony because it was air conditioned and SO NICE in there (LOL) so we did a small taste and their Cuvee was excellent!

almost bought that bottle, too, but decided to be an adult and just buy one.

The signature drink for the wedding was a white wine spritzer, which I had never had before but it was quite lovely! It was the Bethany Vineyard Riesling with tonic water and fruit. In 100 degree weather it was very easy to drink those!

Very refreshing! I drank a ton of water and tried to stay hydrated as much as possible.

My cousin looked gorgeous in her dress and guess what? Her aunt HANDMADE the entire thing for her! It was absolutely stunning! And what a cool heirloom to pass down to your daughter or granddaughter someday. The ceremony was lovely and the food was really excellent! It was heavy Hors d’oeuvres –fruit and veggies, pasta salad, green salad, meatballs and these really yummy cold sandwiches. It was actually the perfect food for a hot, outdoor wedding.

There were these little chicken salad sandwiches on croissant rolls that were to die for! So good! Then it was the speeches and cake cutting and they had cute cupcakes, too:

I had one of the cupcakes. They were really good. By then I was pretty stuffed. So the homemade macarons that my cousin made as favors came home for later…

I’d like to say it was starting to cool off by then, but it was still nearly 100 degrees when we left at 6:30. We had to get home for Logan. It was a really nice wedding and it was nice that it was an afternoon wedding. I remember when Michael and I were planning our wedding we considered a Sunday brunch wedding (we loved the idea!), a vineyard wedding, or an afternoon wedding. I’m very happy with what we did but it’s still fun to experience other weddings and think about what it would have been like if we’d done that.