Sunday, May 23, 2010

Richards Bistro, AKA Badly Lit Food Porn

 Weekly Weight - Can't find my college scale yet, and I prefer to use one scale generally.  My house one tends to reflect a different weight than my digital one.  Plus, I don't believe a weekly weight is essential to my loss.  I'll post one later in the week though, I promise!

Anyway - I ate well yesterday.  Are you ready for this shiz??

My Aunt's Company's General Manager, Jess, is having a baby.  And yesterday was her shower.  It's was a luncheon at a downtown Manchester restaurant, Richard's Bistro.  Lunch was three courses - Richard's freshly made bread, either a seafood chowder or one of four salad options, and a finishing course of a dessert dish.  Here's how it went down for this Chubb-o:

Please excuse the bad lighting in general - the function room of the teeny bistro was only lit by the dimmed wall sconces and the open windows directly against the table from me.  Hence, the problematic glare.

But I digress.

This was my bread choice from the passed basket - I am not sure what it was, embarrassingly.  It wasn't foccacia, I'm pretty sure it was dusted with parmesan.  But - it was excellent.  My mom had a bread with spinach and tomatoes baked in (no photo).  The little cactus-shaped thing were candles - party favors.  How cute is that???

The second course - My mom's choice, the Caesar salad with grilled shrimp added.  The croutons are polenta - how cool is that??  She said that the dressing had a kick to it, but I didn't test it.  My own salad was enough to fill me above and beyond capacity.

I am truly sorry this photo did not come out better.  My salad choice was Richard's Pear Salad - mixed greens, raspberries, blackberries, candied pecans, fried pears, and a balsamic vinaigrette.  I also added some grilled shrimp, I've had a very seafood-filled couple of days and have no regrets.  I practically licked the plate from this salad.  If I had made something similar for myself, I might have put a few less candied pecans on it.  They get old pretty fast.  But as it were, I gave a few to the Madre, so it worked out fine for me. 

It was at this point that I overheard one of the guests complaining about her salad and picking through it to eat the things she actually liked.  One of my pet peeves is finicky eaters, of all ages.  Granted, there are things that people do not actually like, and it can be hard to get kids especially to eat specific foods.  This is also hilarious, because my boyfriend is the pickiest eater on the planet.  HOWEVER, he will eat something presented to him, or try to order around the offending food.  He's polite about it, so I try not to be too concerned about it. 

I guess I generally have an issue with people being rude with food, or not even trying something.  My blog is about enjoying food and life, and trying to love my Chubbeh self in the journey to being healthier, and for me part of that is adventurous eating and joie de vivre.  I was raised to think that eating food at someone's house was a mark of politeness, despite how much you might not like it.

I'm guilty too, though, so don't think I'm without sin on this one.  I do not eat salmon, in any way, shape, or form.  Watching a kid pick through food at a restaurant because they don't like broccoli, or seeing an adult pick through their salad because they don't like fruit and veggies mixed together?  It just grates me a little.

Let's move to happier things - THERE WAS DESSERT AT RICHARD'S.

My mom's dessert choice - the creme brulee.  OMFG.  I love creme brulee like a fat kid loves chocolate cake (which...I also love...I'm a fat kid, remember?) and this was BY FAR the BEST creme brulee I have ever, ever had.  The crack was a perfect sound, and got my attention instantly.  I should have ordered it, because after the first crack, Madre was practically licking the dish clean.  I managed to sneak a taste, and god it was soooo good! 

I didn't pick this, as I said, because I have had creme brulees all over the world, and I was feeling more of the fruit vibe from the salad.  So I went with this:

The blueberry crepes with fresh cream - pretty damn good.  I have a secret crepe problem - it started my senior year with a trip to Quebec and Montreal, and a daily morning ritual of a walk to a creparie for crepes with fried apples and chocolat chaud.  These were pretty good, the cream was really something, but again - I wish I had gone with the creme brulee.

Richard's Bistro, overall, had a nice atmosphere.  Brightly lit (aside from our room, of course), nice colors, and plenty of artwork from local artists (it's a few blocks from New Hampshire Institute of Art).  It was a cute place, nice independent Bistro, cozy atmosphere, a delicious, aesthetic food.  I would hit it up for lunch again sometime.

Richard's Bistro

Friday, May 21, 2010

Did you miss me?

I've been gone awhile.  Did you miss me, Buttercups?

Well, I'm back with a vengeance.

So today, my lovely Aunt/Godmother took me out for lunch at one of my absolutely favorite places in my hometown - the Cotton lounge.  It's not too too pricey, but a bit more upscale from something I would buy for myself or a place I would take my poor college friends for an evening out.

This place is GORGEOUS.  The inside is vintage movie posters and travel advertisements, and I am a sucker for vintage prints.  The bar has a soft accent light around it, and the music is always a little on the swing side, lots of Sinatra and Dino being played.  If I were 21, I'd probably get some serious cocktail on here.

The outside deck was open for the gorgeous weather today, so we elected to do some lunching outside.  This place used to be called Cafe Pavone when I was a kid, and I remember doing fancy lunches here even as a young girl, under the grape vines and wooden beams.

A little bread and oil to start, iced tea for the table, and my uncle's wine glass.  Bread and oil, surprisingly, isn't European.  If you travel to Italy or elsewhere, don't expect it to be served.  Nevertheless, I do like my crispy bread and oil from time to time.

My lunch entree - pan-seared scallops with greens tossed with bleu cheese and pistachios.  An extra crab-cake on the side.  Their crabcakes are really fricken good, and are offered in several entrees and appetizers with Maryland sauce, as burger patties, or as I did, as an available salad addition.  Scallops weren't seasoned too heavily, and the greens were fresh and not overly doused in vinaigrette.  Some people shy away from seafood - the beauty of being raised Greek is an appreciation for seafood and vegetables.

Please ignore the fact that I tossed real sugar in my iced tea today, at least it's better than Splenda or Sweet N Low.  I love the sweet tea, ever since my freshman year trip to New Orleans.  I also learned to love crawdaddies, but that is another discussion.

After lunch, there was coffee (no photo - I get self-conscious being food paparazzi all the time).

Cotton is one of those places I really enjoy.  Atmosphere is pretty excellent.  Clientele tends to be a bit older than myself, the lunch crowd is usually local business people (It's located in the Millyards, and most mill buildings have been converted to office spaces) and owners.  Generally, the regulars such as my aunt and uncle, know the other guests and the staff, and are friendly.  Dinner crowd ranges all age groups, and entrees include awesome comfort-food fare like their supreme meatloaf dish, stellar burgers, Cuban sandwiches, salads, and seafood fare.  The wine list, which I'll be attacking come August, is pretty extensive for the fairly small restaurant that Cotton is.  And like I said, it wasn't exactly cheap, but not out of the price range for a fairly nice evening out.

I love, love, love Cotton. 

Cotton Restaurant

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Chart

Weekly Weight: 195.0 lbs

I lost again, yous guys!  Not only that, but I've lost the 5% of my original body weight total!! Woo Hoo!!

Last week, I clocked in at 199.0.  Somehow, it didn't feel right, but I only allow myself to weigh-in once a week.  If I did it every day, it would become compulsive, and that's generally not reflective of overall loss.  Once a week allows you to account for water weight during the week, eating badly on Tuesday and stepping up the workout Wednesday, etc.

I was glancing over my WW chart, trying to figure out why I had that stupid-ass gain (which, by the way, haunted me all week and made me want to get back on that scale).  This is how I've been since January:

It's kind of hard to see, but look at the peaks closely.  It appears that I tend to lose steadily for a few weeks, and then make some significant gain back, or an appearance of a gain.  And then right after the weird little gain, I drop pretty sharply.  Like this week, where I clocked a 4 lb weight loss.

But right now, I'm hankering for an egg white omelet with veggies and a cup of tea.  Off to breakfast! Studying! And enjoying my small victory.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


Good morning, Buttercups.  I started my day off well:

This would be breakfast....About a cup of oatmeal, with raisins, brown sugar, and some cinnamon, three hardboiled eggs (I only eat the whites), and a cup of cooled coffee with skim milk, no sugar.  I like doing this to my oatmeal, because it reminds me of all the delicious oatmeal raisin cookies I have sworn off of.

So towards the end of May, I am up for lifeguard re certification for this summer.  I'm completely nervous about it, because when I first became a lifeguard, I was ten pounds lighter than I am now, and was a varsity swimmer.  I don't have much time in general, forget pool time.  So I'm completely shaken on this.  Yikes.

Anyway, I'll be mailing in the payment check for that sometime today or tomorrow, hopefully.  And I mean, I hope I can get into the course.  I've been holding off because of money issues, but it's getting to be Do or Die time, and I will lose my summer position if I don't get re certified.


Let's hope the rest of the day brings better news, yes?