Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Date Night Under the Big Top & Sunny Brunch at a Bistro

On Saturday night, Bret and I spent a lovely date night in Chinatown. I had spontaneously picked up tickets for the Circus at Verizon Center while downtown on Friday morning, and we decided to make a night of it. We started at Proof for appetizers and a glass of wine. We had the bresaola, roasted beet salad, veal sweetbreads and mixed olives. It was a perfectly delicious start to the night. Oddly enough, I thought the olives were the best part. We eat a LOT of olives and the citrus twist to the marinade here was refreshing and just a little something different.

After a quick bite at Proof, we waded through the PETA protesters (Note: I have it on good authority from inside the Circus personnel that the elephants are not abused in any way, and in fact are revered as the core of the Circus brand image. See this for more.) and small children to get to the Circus. We actually had a great time! Neither of us had been since we were kids, and it was something different to do. Having just read Water For Elephants, and filed it in my list of FAVORITE books ever, I think I got an extra layer of enjoyment. We also enjoyed trying to capture the movement and sparkle of the performances by experimenting with the camera, but you'll have to wait for more pictures until I put out this week's Photography blog.

After the Circus, we wandered around and followed our grumbling tummies to Matchbox, where we split a buffalo mozza and basil pizza. Nice atmosphere, but definitely not our favorite wood-fired pizza in the area.

Sunday afternoon, we came out of church to an absolutely gorgeous day in the District. I mean PERFECT-- sunny, cloudless skies, and just enough chill in the air to remind you that it's Spring. We headed over to Eastern Market and found ourselves sitting on the patio at Montmartre, watching passers-by, basking in the sunshine, drinking coffee and finding it difficult to decide which of the delicious-looking menu items to order. Since we were in Paris precisely a year before, we lingered a little more than usual, reminiscing and wishing we could teleport back. I had the croque monsieur (which I loved, except for the mustard vinaegrette, which was not my favorite even in Paris) and Bret had the endive and apple salad and pate. I suspect we will return for dinner in the not-so-distant future.

Topping off the general happiness of the weekend, we had the Whitneys in town from Denver. While they were here to visit Mark's dad, we were glad to be able to steal them away a few times and catch up with the goings-on in Denver.

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