weekend recap

Happy Monday!  I'm happy that it's the last week of August - it's always slower at work this week.  Although, I'm already feeling anxious knowing that September and it's fast-pace at work is just around the corner.  

Enough about that though, how was your weekend?  We had a spectacular time celebrating our anniversary this weekend up in the Hudson Valley.  Al surprised me with one of the best dining experiences of my life, you'll see in the pics below...

Friday after work we took the train up to Chappaqua and checked in to the Kittle House Inn.  How darling is this place?

Al was laughing at me because I couldn't get over how large the room was.  We even had a fire place (granted, it wasn't a working one, but it existed!).  You can't tell in the photo, but the room was just as big on the other side of the bed.

After getting prettied up and a drink in the cute old bar downstairs, we took a cab to Tarrytown to dine at the famed Blue Hill at Stone Barns restaurant.  I was beyond excited about this meal and experience.  When we got there they said our table wasn't quite read and to have some drinks on them.  I was a little worried that Al messed up and made a reservation at the Blue Hill in Manhattan and that we were at the entirely wrong place altogether.  I should give him more credit, because we were most definitely at the right place and he knew what was up.

Once we were seated, we selected the menu we we wanted (we went for the longer "grazing" menu) and selected a bottle of wine (a Chateauneuf du Pape, of course!).  We ate our first course, some fresh tomatoes on little "fence" and lettuces that we got to "snip" right at the table.  Again, Al was laughing because I thought this was just the coolest thing.

After the first course was removed, our waiter, Patrick (who we got to know quite well over the course of the night - what  sweetheart), wished us a happy anniversary and told us to grab our drinks and come with him.  I thought we were getting a better table or something since they made us wait for awhile when we got there.  Boy was I wrong.  Patrick took us into the GIGANTIC kitchen.  I thought, perhaps, he was just letting us watch for a minute.  He led us through the kitchen (it was large, double the size of a normal NYC restaurant, let alone kitchen), to a counter where our next course was plated for us.  I about DIED at this point.  I was asking Patrick all sorts of questions about the chef (so sad we missed Chef Dan Barber, he just had a baby and wasn't working that night), who was expediting orders, what was happening at each station and so forth.  I kept punching Al and telling him how much fun I was having.  I literally just kept saying, "I am having so much fun right now."

^^ That's the pastry chef photobombing us.  He and Patrick thought it was pretty hilarious. 

^^Oh, and did I mention Al got an accidental buzz cut earlier in the week?

At this point, I thought we had just had the royal treatment.  I admit I felt pretty cool walking back to our table after that.  

Not even before our next course could come, did Patrick come and get us again.  I had no idea where we were going this time.  He lead us outside, down the steps of the terrace, to what they call The Shed.  A tiny little building with flowers drying on the walls, lit with candles and the light from the full moon (and a few well-placed spot-lights).  It was gorgeous and had the same look as our wedding decor.  There were even ranunculus (our wedding flower) drying on the wall opposite us.  We had our main courses out here along with some really touching conversation about our lives, future, and happiness. 

As if all of this wasn't enough, Al and Patrick had one more trick up their sleeves.  After our main courses in the shed, we were led down a lantern-lit path to a bench under the stars.  I told Al that at this point, it felt like we were on an episode of The Bachelor.  Everything was just so over the top beautiful and thoughtful (they even had a wrap for me since I was cold). And the food (the main reason we came) was out of this world.  After our meal they had our car pull around to a separate path so we could exit without walking back up to and through the restaurant.  Al still won't let me know how we did all of this, but what I do know is that my husband knows me very well and knew that this would blow me away.  What an awesome night.  Love you Al! 

 ^^ The lanterns that led us from the shed (the building on the right) to our dessert spot.

Saturday morning we woke up, ate breakfast and headed back to Stone Barns to see it in the daylight.  More on the farm in a future post, it was a glorious afternoon.

Quick lunch at the Blue Hill Cafe before heading back to the city.

Saturday night we were still wiped from our meal the night before (we were there four hours - until about 2am!).  Al had some work to do and I curled up to read the book I bought from the Stone Barns gift shop.  You guys know from some of my Friday Finds posts that I love the Dinner A Love Story blog.  The book is even better.  I couldn't put it down!  It's not just a cookbook, it's a story and statement about family dinner interwoven between time tested menus and recipes that work.  Highly recommend it.

Sunday I did one thousand loads of laundry (okay, more like seven but that is a lot for two people and a dog.  I don't know how families with kids can ever keep up) and read my new book pretty much all day.  Oh, and I napped.  Duh.  It's what Lily and I do best.

Roasted a chicken for dinner (used the DALS recipe, obvi).  While it got golden brown in the oven we took a walk.  We let Lily choose where to go and followed her lead.  She led us right to the middle of Bryant Park.  What a little city pup.

The chicken came out great.  Paired it with fresh tomatoes we got at Stone Barns drizzled with balsamic, olive oil, basil and a little arugula on top.

Oh, and ended the night clapping and waving our hands to the Justin Timberlake performance at the VMAs.  The rest of the show?  It made me feel so...old.  I didn't know half of those performers and I just don't understand Miley Cyrus.
I refuse to end a blog post with Miley Cyrus commentary.  Instead, here's the cutest pup around looking very pensive.
Hope you had a great weekend.  We sure did!
Cheers to a quiet final last week of summer (well, not officially, but you know what I mean).


{photos by me}
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