Sunday, January 29, 2012

Birthday Eats

Today is the hubby's birthday. On any given year, you can find us celebrating quietly, at home, perhaps with a nice bottle of wine and a home-cooked meal. This is in direct contrast to my birthday, which I start to look forward to at least two months in advance. Ben thinks birthdays are stupid, and wants them to be over as quickly as possible. So I decided we needed to do something fun to celebrate this year for a change.

Since Ben travels so much for work that he has about a squillion hotel points. We took advantage of this by booking a room at the Hilton Netherland Plaza in downtown Cincinnati for a night on the town. Ok, I know it's only Cincinnati and not somewhere exciting like New York, but it's infinitely more interesting than Dayton. Our room was free because of the points (yay!) so we splurged on an awesome meal and way too many cocktails.

We went to a really nice restaurant called Local 127. To start, Ben had French onion soup and I had potato and celeriac soup. Unfortunately, the soup was eaten before I even thought to take a photo. Moving on, Ben had a pork-intensive dish which he claims was delicious, with sausage, bacon and cheesy foam!

There weren't any vegetarian options on the menu, so I went with the scallops. I've never been a fan before but these babies changed my mind. They were huge, not tough at all, and they came on a bed of lentils with crispy rice on top! 

I insisted we have dessert, of course, and this is why.

Deconstructed sour cream cheesecake! It was orgasmic. The crust was buttery, the filling was creamy yet light, and caramel sauce was out of this world. And it came with a maraschino cherry made by the original makers of the maraschino cherry (according to our server, who was most excited about this fact). When it was over, I cried. Well, not really, but I definitely was sad that it was over so soon. 

Today we decided to go by Cincinnati's Findlay Market on the way home for some breakfast. We got Belgian waffles with chocolate syrup and blueberries which made my morning.

Post-breakfast, we wandered around for a couple of hours and got some chews for the pups, some handmade beeswax soap and some honeycomb. After experiencing my first vanilla chai tea, which might be my new favourite drink, we decided to grab a light lunch at a Vietnamese cafe. Light lunch my butt! I had the vegan pho with mushrooms and bamboo shoots, and it had so many rice noodles that I was stuffed afterwards. It was delicious though!

After lunch, we stopped back into the market to grab some whole grain bread, paprika salami for Ben, and double Gloucester with onions and chives for me. This is, without a doubt, the best cheese in the entire world. That might be a bold statement, but it's true, and it's also true that I never buy it because I literally cannot keep out of it. But for the occasional treat, I'll buy a small chunk to tide me over.

Cheese heaven!
We headed home late afternoon and presented the pups with their chews, which consisted of a kneecap and a knuckle, ick! They spent most of the rest of the night chewing obsessively.

For dinner I used our newly bought bread, cheese, salami, plus some hummus and veggies I had on hand to make a Ploughman's of sorts. It was delicious, especially with the addition of some Branston's pickle, the best invention ever.

Mission: Enjoy Ben's birthday was complete. We both had an awesome weekend and I'm sure I won't have trouble convincing Ben that we need to celebrate his birthday properly each year from here on out!

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