There's music almost every night and the band was just setting up when we were leaving - the crowd looked ready for the fun night ahead. Alas loud music isn't our cup of tea any more but that didn't mean the night was over for us. It was back to our house for coffee and dessert and a lively round of our favorite new game - Guesstures, a Charades game that we've had so much fun playing lately. A nice way to end the evening with lots of laughs and frankly some light exercise as we run around the living room gesticulating wildly in an effort to get our teammates to guess right. And yes the girls won AGAIN. But we were all winners for this Great Escape and you can bet we will be going back to The Clam Factory very soon!http://clamfactory.com/
Monday, March 31, 2014
Sunday, March 2, 2014
Notice anything about Libby's Logo? Check back on my previous post for O'Bricks in Bradenton and you'll note that the logos are almost identical. Hmmm....so either they are owned by the same corporation, or they've used the same graphic designer. Take what you will from that - perhaps I'll investigate further. Our Escape this month led us to Libby's where we enjoyed the food, the atmosphere and each others company. It must be stated that whether the restaurant is a hit or a miss - our company is always a hit. This Sarasota neighborhood is lively and filled with restaurants and bars clustered within a few short blocks. I'm always delighted to discover these pockets of cool, hip eateries. Libby's is a large beautiful place with additional sidewalk seating where you can dine alfresco even on a cool evening as they are equipped with some futuristic groovy furnace towers.
Thursday, January 30, 2014
Our original Great Escape pick last Saturday had been for a restaurant in Tampa and we’d all looked forward to it until someone remembered it was Gasparilla weekend. A couple of years ago we had found ourselves gridlocked in Tampa’s most celebratory weekend and vowed to forever more avoid the pirates and pirate lovers. We quickly changed the venue to O’Brick’s Irish Pub & Martini Bar in Manatee. Sometimes last minute Plan B’s work out great and this was one of those times. O’Brick’s offers a myriad of martini’s (mmm). I had a Lemon Drop that was quite delicious but they had dozens of flavors to pick from. The service was very good and our waiter was extremely nice. Note that while groups of 6 or more customarily get 18% gratuity added to their bill, at O’Brick’s it is 20%. Not a bad thing as we’d tip that much anyway for good service. But I’m guessing you’ll see this small increase at other restaurants soon. http://obricks.com/main.html
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
With the holiday season upon us our group is taking a break for November and December as Escape seems impossible. We'll spend these months doing more entertaining at home as family and friends come from near and far. I'm flexing my long dormant 'chef' muscles and find that when I have enough liesure time to spare I actually enjoy doing some cooking. Hold on hubby I'm not ready to take back my apron full time - you're still the master of the kitchen. But I've been preparing one meal a week and enjoying it. I make killer black beans, wicked good hot dog onions, GREAT pizza, yummy quesadillas. I'm not fool enough to try my hand at one of Jolly's specialties. I focus on things he doesn't cook and am so pleased when he likes them. Validation. Recently we invited a friend over who wanted to learn how to make hubby's Eggplant Rollatini - a dish that has earned him high praise through the years. I filmed it for our kids to enjoy but its too long to share here. I will say that looking at him perform his culinary magic through a camera lens helped me focus squarely on his incredible precision. His style is so regimented that he does it almost on auto pilot with culinary muscle memory. Viewing it back on film even he was struck by how calmly he went about his process. I think that's the mark of a genius cook. I'm more likely to get distracted and forget that somethings on the stove. I've made my mother's bread pudding recipe twice in the last two weeks but haven't been happy with the results. I had asked her for years to please give me her recipe and she couldn't do it. So I set about ammassing all the ingredients and invited her over to make it for me. As she put it all together I followed her around with pen and paper and wrote it down for posterity. I lost mom just a couple of years after this and so I treasure this recipe in her memory. Bread pudding is one of those things that changes each time you make it depending on the ingredients at hand. I'm ashamed to say these two efforts didn't cut it and its because I took liberties with her recipe thinking that's what I was supposed to do - make it my own. So this weekend I will try again and this time stick to her recipe. That's what hubby does and why his dishes always come out exactly the same - delicious. Lesson learned.
Merry Christmas and Happy Hannukah and Happy New Year to all!