Celebrating Five Years

This past weekend, Graham and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary. I work up and went to brush my teeth, and when I got back in bed there was a ring box sitting on my pillow. Inside was the sapphire & diamond band I’ve been coveting. So, the day was off to a pretty awesome start.m2016-04-24 10.09.54We were cramming a lot in the day, and since they were calling for rain later on, I wanted to take our anniversary photo early. So, we got dressed, and headed to my favorite house in Yorktown.
2016-04-22 20.25.15-3I’m so glad we got there early. We had the place almost to ourselves, and only one person stopped to ask what we were doing. 2016-04-22 20.28.59-2After taking our photo, we headed to Virginia Beach for brunch. Last week I had read about Bay Local Eatery in a round up of the best brunch spots in Virginia. I was intrigued by their menu, so we headed that way. We started with cocktails; a Bloody Mary for G with an Old Bay rim…2016-04-23 11.13.27-2… and a (jumbo) mango sorbet mimosa for me. This was such a fun way to have a mimosa! They offer several different flavors , and I can’t wait to go back and try every single one. 2016-04-23 11.14.46-2I wanted tots, but I didn’t want an entrée that came with tots (I wanted the french toast), so we ordered the “ta-chos” (tots, cheese, bacon, tomatoes, arugula, avocado, jalapeno, and Cajun aioli). This was SO good. I LOVED that the cheese sauce was served on the side. It kept all of the ingredients really crisp. We never poured it on, just dipped it. And by the end of our meal, G was putting stuff in it, so he would stop eating it. 2016-04-23 11.20.04-1 G had the “Big Al” (two biscuits stuffed with cheddar, bacon, and sausage, baked, and then covered with house made sausage gravy). This was delicious. 2016-04-23 11.23.17-1 I had the Jamaican Dark Rum French toast. I LOVED this, but G wasn’t a fan. He likes really moist, eggy french toast. I don’t. It had great flavor, and didn’t make my stomach turn the way french toast at a lot of places does. The flavor was so delicious, I didn’t even use syrup. 2016-04-23 11.23.50-2

I hate that VB is such an annoying drive (45 minutes with no traffic, but since you have to take the tunnel, there is ALWAYS traffic), because this is my new favorite brunch spot. The food was delicious, and the service was EXCELLENT. Our server, Kendra, gave us the best service we’ve had in a really long time. When the kitchen put the sour cream on the tots, instead of on the side, she came out to check on what we wanted to do. They would of course remake them if we didn’t mind waiting, or we could have the sour cream ones. I don’t mind waiting, as long as I’m kept in the loop about WHY I’m having to wait. People think I’m difficult when I’m dining out. And I’m not. I just want the server to communicate with me. She took a few minutes to come get our drinks, because she wanted to get her other tables food orders put in. But she acknowledged us as soon as we sat down, told us what she was doing, and said she’d bring some waters while she looked over the menu.

After brunch, we went and bought a heat press. Totally unromantic, but practical. I’ve decided to start trying to make some money from my vinyl cutter. Graham wants to take that to the next level by making/selling custom t-shirts and things. (I’d love it if you guys would go ‘like’ my vinyl machines facebook page!)13015631_1704009203200402_6077919160702311397_n

We got home, and for the first time in maybe our entire marriage, we took a nap. G had worked the air show the night before, and we were up way too early. So, we napped. And it was wonderful.

We woke up just in time to get ready for our dinner at Terrapin. Dinner was perfect The food was amazing, the service was excellent, but it was all in the details at Terrapin. When we were taken to our table, I was given a black napkin instead of a white one since I was wearing dark clothes. He didn’t want me worrying about lint. I didn’t get a photo of it, but the butter was shaped like a turtle. Our server brought us new flatware after every course.

And the service really was excellent. He was informative and attentive, but never hovered. I would look up occasionally and see him in the back of the restaurant, just watching his tables. He was quick to recommend cocktails, and menu items. Everything here was absolutely flawless.

We went with the 4 course tasting menu (slightly smaller portions of almost anything on the menu. Some of the items charged a tasting supplement, and you got the full sized portion). We both started with the beet salad (roasted baby red, gold & chioggia beets, shaved organic fennel, orange segments, feta cheese, rosemary-yuzu vinaigrette, radish sprouts). I never knew I liked beets until a couple of years ago. Since they’re messy to prepare, they’re still not something I eat frequently, but I’m so glad I went with this salad. It was absolutely gorgeous, and delicious. The flavors all complemented one another perfectly. I sat down at dinner with the intention to leave my phone in my bag, and not take photos. But once I saw this, I couldn’t resist.

2016-04-23 19.52.33-2For my second course, I had the truffle mac & cheese (vermont extra sharp white cheddar, parmigiano-reggiano, black truffles). This was incredibly rich, and delicious, and SO CHEESY. 2016-04-23 20.15.08-2 For G’s second course, he had the pork belly (sorghum braised pork belly, organic peas, fennel, ‘rye’ gastrique, poached farm egg). I only had a small bite of the pork belly, since I’m not a fan of peas, and runny egg yolks make me nauseous. But the pork belly was excellent. 2016-04-23 20.14.42-1For my 3rd course, I (of course) had the scallops (fennel dusted sea scallops, oven-dried tomato, dave & dee oyster & wild mushrooms, sea beans, black truffle & garden herb pan sauce). I’m always wary of ordering scallops at upscale restaurants after the Savoy incident in Little Rock several years back, so I now I’m forced to ask how many scallops are served. When he told me three, I was sold. The scallops were PERFECT. I have never had a scallop more perfectly cooked than these three beauties right here. And the sauce… oh my. Ever since our trip to Canada a few weeks back, I’ve become obsessed with gravy fries, and pretty much gravy in general. A pan sauce is pretty much a fancy gravy, and I pretty much want to put this on everything I eat forever. 2016-04-23 20.35.23-2Both desserts we chose were simple, but delicious. I had the strawberry field (poached strawberries, rhubarb compote, cotton cake, strawberry cream cheese, honey-rosemary ice cream, butter crumb) and G had the sorbet trio. One was orange ginger, once was lemon cardamom, and the third was completely forgettable. The lemon was definitely the favorite. 2016-04-23 21.04.42-22016-04-23 21.04.27-2

It was such a wonderful day with my favorite person in the world. Every year truly does get better and better. 2016-04-23 11.05.33

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