On Sunday morning, I dropped Bret off bright and early for his full-day practice multi-state exam (which he then proceeded to ROCK!), and headed to Luna Grill for brunch and good conversation with my friend Heather. I've been to Luna half a dozen times or so, since it is just down the hill from us in Shirlington Village, and so have been aware of what a gem Luna is for quite some time. I'm a huge fan of their Eggs Benedict & Home Fries, topped off with several cups of coffee (something about diners makes me drink a week's worth of coffee in one sitting). Since it was Heather's first visit, I am under the impression that you might find more of a "first impression"-type review over on her blogspot.
After brunch, Heather and I headed over to Penzeys Spices in Falls Church. I have passed the place a million times and had no idea what joys lay inside. All kinds of spices, and spice mixes- for chili, bread dipping, baking, rubbing... Unfortunately, I stocked up on the few spices I knew we needed when I made a recent pilgrimage to Wegman's, but it is comforting to know that the next time I need something for the spice rack, it's just a hop-skip-and-a-route-7-traffic-jam away.
After Penzeys, I headed back into Arlington to pick up Bret and enjoy the last couple of hours of a gorgeous day walking hand-in-hand with my husband through Georgetown. (Apparently I was not the only one to have this idea, as there were about a billion people milling about in the dwindling sunlight.) I also thought I could revive Bret's law-soaked senses with a trip to Dean & Deluca. While we barely escaped without buying any of the fresh fruit, deliciously stinky cheese, gourmet prepared food, and brightly colored candy, we simply enjoyed ducking in from the busy sidewalk to take in the sights and smells.
On Sunday night, Bret took a break from studying for a late dinner at Bastille, a little French bistro near the water in Alexandria. I used the occasion as an excuse for my first contribution to Tasting Serendipity, and you can check it out here.
The funny thing is that I didn't realize how food-centric that entire day was until I sat down to discuss it here. I just knew it was a wonderful day. Just goes to show what makes me happy: good conversation, quality time with my husband, spring weather, and Food.
And in one last food-related note, though not on Sunday, I tried this recipe for the Braised Beef Shortribs that I bought at Wegman's a couple of weeks ago. And IT. WAS. DELICIOUS. Due to the annoyingly sparse availability of both veal stock and demi glace, I substituted beef stock with no apparent sacrifice in the taste of the final product. We whipped up a batch of way-too-rich mashed potatoes to go with it, but I think it may have been better served by a loaf of crusty bread instead (to sop up even more of the tasty sauce). This is one of the rare occasions where I am actually excited about leftovers tonight.