Convivial D.C. 

Going out for ethnic food in Northern Virginia is always awesome: super delicious and quite affordable. However, we all have one of those days we wanna treat ourselves in a fancier setting. That was last night. 

We went out to Convivial in DC to celebrate my birthday and my father-in-law’s retirement. You may not wanna walk in there in your shorts and flipflops but it is pretty laid back there. All the servers were wearing jeans! 

First, and our favorite dish: Arctic Char Lox. Rye crisp, horseradish & caraway coleslaw, “everything” aioli. What a brilliant twist to a great food concept! It actually tastes better than it looks (and yes, that’s possible!). 

Zucchini Roulade. Tomato, goat cheese, sumac, pine nuts. Good thing I took a quick snap of this beautiful dish because there is no pretty way to cut this roulade😂 The pleasant, subtle goat cheese flavor in this cold dish was just perfect. 

Bouillabaisse. Blue catfish, clam, mussel, prawn, crab, squid, daurade, octopus. I know it can be quite intimidating if you are not used to certain seafood items in that broth. However, I think everyone should try this. The broth had this super creamy texture and the fresh seafood was perfectly cooked. Say no to overcooked, chewy squid! 

Grilled Daurade. Sautéed squid, celeriac mousseline. Daurade (European sea bream) may not sound quite familiar to you. I think a lot of Asian countries use this fish too. I know that it’s considered a very expensive kind in Korea😉 Absolutely delicious! 

And, of course, desserts! No meal is complete without desserts!

They serve French-American food in smaller portions like tapas. It’s perfect for me because I love to try many different dishes! And more importantly, EVERY SINGLE THING WAS JUST FANTABULOUS! It almost reminded me of Rose’s Luxury in a way- small delicious dishes to share with everyone. 

Their service is top-notch too. A new set of silverware is provided in a timely manner for every course. Serving spoons/forks are set aside as well in case you need them to share food. 

Even though it’s in a busy part of DC, you are not on top of each other like other well-known, hot restaurants in the city. I wouldn’t say that it’s serene but you can have a normal conversation with people in your party without other people running into you every 5 minutes. 
This weekend, we definitely well treated ourselves. Now, I’m ready for some baseball! 

Valentine’s dinner at Bistrot Royal

I had been told that we had a reservation for Valentine’s day but I did not know where we were eating until we got to Bastille in Alexandria, VA. Well, hubby made a surprise reservation for the day but it turned out that they have two locations. The one that pops on Google is a new one, which looks nice and chic, but we were trying to get to the sister restaurant, Bistrot Royal.

BISTROT ROYAL
1201 N. Royal St.
Alexandria, VA 22314
Tele: 703.519.9110

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For Valentine’s day, they had a prix fixe menu. While hubby’s dishes would have been more photogenic, I just took pictures of my selections to be somewhat decent at a dinner table. 🙂

The lobster bisque had surprisingly generous amount of lobster meat and an exquisite flavor. Filet mignon was still perfectly cooked while the best part was the sides: potato anna, Brussels sprouts and while mushrooms!

One thing about this visit… We were literally on top of each other. I get that restaurants need to fit as many people as possible, especially on a holiday night. However, we were 10 inches apart from other tables.

For that reason, I would like to go back to this restaurant and have a full, complete dinner experience. I am also curious about the dishes on their regular menu.

After delicious dinner time, I was given this card!

IMG_1471 You would give up your phone for me? You must REALLY like me! 😉 Hope you all had a scrumptious Valentine’s day!

Palm Springs! Another tasteful vacation!

Killing two birds with a stone! We participated in the Certified Angus Beef® (aka CAB) conference and made a vacation out of it. It goes without saying that the meals were phenomenal. 🙂

They were very creative and inspiring in preparing all the dishes. I had never seen a cotton candy wrapped beef bites until this trip! So, here’s the footage of all the delicious dishes.

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We were given great dishes every night at the venue but there’s one restaurant that I think everyone should check out when in Palm Springs. Le Vallauris! They proudly serve French cuisine and the dining experience there is beyond your imagination. They even give you different color napkins that match your dress! Besides, the whole restaurant is just so beautiful. I strongly recommend sitting out in the patio. Absolutely gorgeous!

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Montreal & Quebec City

6 days in Montreal and Quebec City. How did I like it? I enjoyed every single bite of it! And that includes Tim Hortons! 20130827-162602.jpg

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One great thing that we did was using Airbnb. You basically rent out someone’s apartment or room by the day. This makes perfect sense, especially price wise, when you need two hotel rooms. The one we stayed at in Montreal was much better than my own apartment! I definitely recommend it.

What food was the best? It’s really hard to say. I never had a bad meal on this trip. However, if I have to pick only one, I’m gonna go for bagels. This awesome bagel place was right downstairs from our Airbnb apartment. Montreal bagels are very different. There’s no bottom! Both sides look the same and they are cooked as seen in the picture below. 20130826-171824.jpg20130826-171649.jpg

So here we go. Food pictures 😉20130826-171728.jpg

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20130826-171806.jpgAnother thing that I can’t forget about! Poutine! It was just so dramatic. 🙂 Fries with gravy, cheese and other toppings of your choice! It sounds kinda heartattacky but you know what? When in Rome, do as the Romans do. When in Montreal, eat poutine! 😉
Yup! These are “some”, not all, of what we ate for 5 days. Montreal and Quebec City are great places to visit in many aspects. However, wherever I go, food comes first! Everything else (attractions, tours, excursions, history, etc) is just what happens between meals. 😉 Now I look at all the pictures, I want to go back!

If you need names of restaurants or the locations, please do ask me by commenting here or tweeting! Bon appetit!

Patisserie Poupon

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Patisserie Poupon
202-342-3248
1645 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20007

I’m just gonna post pictures and torture you. You can go to this delightful French bakery and experience their great dessert selections 😉 Great coffee as well. Parking could be really tough but I gotta say it was totally worth it!

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