Thursday, October 28, 2010

Arrival in Rome 28 October 2010

Time for another vacation. This trip includes 3 nights in Rome and then 15 nights on board the Celebrity Equinox (Sunday).

Louisa and I arrived safely today. When Louisa and I met up at the airport, I weighed her bag. Actually a guy saw me hook up the scale and he was interested in seeing it so I asked him to lift it 55 pounds, so she had to move things around and I ended up with a few items in my carry on. Had drinks at the bar near the gate and Larry and Anne (from Kauai) sat with us. They had arrived from LAX. Nice time with them and they bought our drinks. We had also ordered fried artichoke hearts with aoli sauce. Very good.

Lots of turbulence last night. Flight attendant came up and I started to show her my ID card to see about getting some complimentary wine and she looked at my seat number and said, "32B and C, yes, we know about you. The Captain told us." So Marcy did know someone on the flight Later he came up to me and introduced himself. We talked (and Louisa too) for about 10 minutes. That was nice of him.

Didn't do much today. Just walked around and had a very good lunch. Ristorante alla Rampa (near the Spanish steps) serves a 10 euros antipasti buffet. One plate only but you can fill it up. Fresh mozzarella, meatballs, eggplant, zucchini, white bean salad, calamari salad, marinated octopus, sauteed spinach, etc. Yummy.

Lots of tourists. Spanish steps packed with people sunning themselves. I went into the church at the top, first time there. Not as spectacular as other Churches' in Rome

It's cold here so I'm glad I brought my heavy jacket. Beautful sunny, no clouds, day.

Will be meeting friends on the terrace here at our hotel for drinks before we go out to dinner with John.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Frederick Maryland Top 10 Listing

I'm very happy to read that downtown Frederick Maryland is listed as onoe of the Great places in America: Neighborhoods 2010.

Click on this link to read the article.

I'm downtown at least twice a week enjoying the local restaurants, shopping opportunities, and Baker Park (Lucy loves it too).

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Dinner at Volt

Yesterday was our wedding anniversary. Tony and I dined at Table 21 at Volt, in Frederick, MD. The meal was fabulous...and expensive. Well worth the splurge for a special celebration. Table 21 is a 21-course tasting menu.

I will say we were a bit put off that Bryan, the chef (and owner), didn't come by to welcome everyone at the table. Between the dinner, drinks, tax and tip, we spent a hell of a lot of money - something we've never done before and most likely won't do again (Bryan, if you read this, check out our bill and you'll understand these comments). I had made reservations stating we would be celebrating our 22nd wedding anniversary and I really thought we would receive complimentary glass of champagne or something. We dine at Patrick's, an inexpensive pub in town, and the owner always greets us (and his other guests) and everyone once in a while comps us on something. Bryan also disappeared after a while. We selected table 21 because we expected to have the chef of the restaurant cook for us. Wouldn't a chef stay to take care of his table? His expensive table? So, we were very disappointed in this aspect.

Here's what we had:

"john daly"
buddah hand citron, sweet tea foam.

chips and dip. This was one of our favorites.

celeriac macaroon
foie gras.

yellow fin tuna tartare
cilantro, jasmine rice, soy, yuzu, avocado. Another favorite.

curry scented squash
smoked scallop, tarragon pudding, red onion marmalade. Okay, this was another favorite!

"chicken parmesan"
parmesan noodles, parsley

cherry glen farm ravioli
maitake mushroom, goat cheese

, smoked chicken sausage, carmelized red onion, crisp chicken skin.

cauliflower, ver jus, chickpea

artic char
carnival squash, pumpkin leaves, black forbidden rice, matsutake mushrooms, brown butter. A new favorite fish for us!

mustard greens, brussel sprouts, red cabbage.

, fennel, kalamata olive, caper, lemon

tuscarora farm beets
arugula, goat cheese, balsamic

scottish hare
, hudson valley foie gras, black mission fig, minus 8 gastrique.

When pigs fly
- these two pigs were on display at our table. We were told that when chef Bryan came up with the idea of Table 21, the health department wasn't going to give approval - stating that it would be dangerous to have customers in the kitchen. So, he invited them to dinner to 'test' it out. The rest is history.

red wattle pork belly
cranberry beans, carmellini beans, mostarda, petite sorrel

duck sunshokes, coffee, brussle sprouts

pineland farm beef
chanterelle mushroom, applewood smoked bacon

point reyes blue cheese
apple, balsamic

goat cheese cake
, bartlett pears, spiced vanilla

gala apples
, walnut crumb, dulce de leche

chocolate covered banana
mousse, caramel, concord grape ice cream