Happy (Belated) Valentine’s Day!

(image from etsy.com)

Hope everyone had a romantic Valentine’s Day filled with decadent food and plenty of vino!

This year, we kept it low key, although we did indulge in two nights of dinners. On Sunday night, we ventured to Tia Pol, our favorite tapas bar in NYC. We just can’t get enough of this place. The patatas bravas and garbanzos fritos are enough to put a smile on my face. Luckily, the rest of the food lives up too. The portions are bigger than your traditional tapas, and perfect for two, which makes the hubby happy, and makes me feel guilty about that extra order of patatas bravas (so worth it!). They always have interesting specials for the more adventurous, although we were extremely sad at the lack of lamb meatballs, by far one of their best specials, and possibly the best meatballs I’ve ever had. Served in broth, they are delicate and as moist as a matzo ball. If only they had some kind of lamb-meatball-alert mailing list I could join? I guess we’ll just have to go back yet again. Such a shame.

(image from tastingroom.com)

Dinner on Monday night was super laid back and oh-so-French (a crunchy baguette, wine, cheese, olives…deliciousness). We also did our very own tasting of wines with a sampler from TastingRoom.com. I read about the site in one of those trusty TastingTable emails and thought it sounded like a fun vday gift idea. I ordered two samplers of 6 wines, one was a Tour of Napa Valley (3 whites and 3 reds) and the other was a Tour of California wines (reds only). The mini tasting bottles are smaller than I expected (only 50 ml), but enough for two to taste. In the end, one sample bottle had about 2-3 small sips for each of us. The samplers came complete with tasting notes, so we enjoyed the chance to try a number of different wines while testing our palates for intricacies like brambleberry, cassis, caramalized brown sugar, and “wet rock minerality”. I know this is starting to sound like some ad, (blame the day job), but I swear no one told me to write this. I just thought it was an interesting gift idea. And the little bottles of wine are so cute, I can’t even stand it.

(image from pinchmysalt.com)

And, of course, we ended the night with a little stripping (of a red velvet cupcake wrapper, that is).

Happy day after vday!



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  1. 1

    I’ll have to try that Tapas place! We love tapas and miss all of our favorite places in Boston (haven’t found ones to love as much in NYC). This place sounds like it might be the place though…I love me some patatas bravas! Also love the wine sampler idea (will have to store that away in my brain for a special treat!)

    • 2
      dabbling chef

      Let me know if you end up going to Tia Pol! I’d love to hear how it stacks up against your fave places in Boston. If you go, I also recommend the blistered pimientos with sea salt, artichoke and manchego wrapped in serrano ham, lamb skewers, crispy marinated fish, where do I stop? 🙂 We are dying to take Josh and Kate there too, so maybe we can all go one time!

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