Over a cup of tea…

By Monday, March 10, 2014

This is my 52nd Over a cup of tea! Thanks for reading a long for a whole year!

If we were chatting over a cup of tea this morning, I would seriously be hating on the time change. I was so excited all week for it, mostly because I will get an extra hour of food photography time each night (natural light is the only way to go!), but now that it’s Monday, I’m cranky. Getting up an hour earlier is not fun. But I am thankful I can now shoot (a bit) at night. It’s hard squeezing all my cooking in on the weekends!

6th anniversary

If we were chatting over a cup of tea, I’d talk about our 6th anniversary dinner this weekend! Every year, instead of gifts or cards, we treat ourselves to dinner somewhere neither of us have ever been before. Our first date was at Kinki, and then in the years following we tried Beckta, Domus, Verona (in Toronto), Atelier and Union Local 613.  This year we decided to try Juniper (thanks to a thoughtful engagement gift!) and I was really excited because I’d heard so much about it. We were not disappointed. First of all, I thought the restaurant itself and the décor was very nice – much more formal than most new restaurants these days. All night, we were served by a team of staff – cocktail server, sommelier (wine pairings were excellent), a few regular servers, and the manager. The food was outstanding. I had the fish & chips (not your average fish & chips, I might add) and My Other Half had the duck. The appetizers and amuse-bouches were equally impressive. My only complaint would be that the servers didn’t explain what was on our plates, so we were left wondering what we were eating in some cases. Regardless, it was delicious and we’ll definitely be back.

If we were chatting over a cup of tea this morning, I’d be rambling on about my half-marathon training. Last week was my first week, and I ran over 23 km, plus a soccer game. That is the most physical activity I’ve done in a very very long time. To think… in just under 90 days I will be running almost that much in one race! Well, on-wards and upwards. I have to run almost 26 km this week, and it only gets harder from here!

If we were chatting over a cup of tea, I’d apologize for neglecting to blog about our trip to San Francisco and all the amazing restaurants we tried! I was puttering around on Urbanspoon recently and just realized. Let me break it down chronologically:

Our first day was spent doing touristy things, and we spent a lot of time on Fishermans Warf and tried the famous chain Joe’s Crabshack. It was fun! Our seats were overlooking the boat dock and the server was awesome. We had a few margaritas, lots of fried things and some shrimp. That evening we had a really hard time getting dinner reservations anywhere, so we decided to walk around and see what we could find. We stumbled upon a great little French restaurant, Bouche. Although they were full, they went out of their way to accommodate us. They told us they’d have a nice table ready in an hour, and told us to go next door to a bar called Tunnel Top for a drink and that they’d come get us when our table was ready. Isn’t that great service? The food was fantastic – really good beef tartare and I consider myself a beef tartare expert. All the staff were actually from France! Tunnel Top was also really cool. It had a second floor loft area with tiny tables to have a cocktail at, and a big DJ booth. After dinner, we waited in line to get into this totally awesome speakeasy called Bourbon & Branch. It was basically an undercover, prohibition-era library (it has no signage or anything) that serves the best cocktails I’ve ever had in my life. The BOURBON! It was in abundance and I was in heaven.

The next morning we had brunch at Sutter Pub (excellent eggs benny) and then rented a car and went to Los Altos Hills to visit my aunt and uncle. We had a fabulous timing touring California with them, and we got takeout from their favourite Chinese spot, Chef Chu. It was way better quality Chinese food than we were used to! And I think those are all the restaurants we tried… I’m sure My Other Half will let me know if I missed anything!

Juniper Kitchen & Wine Bar on Urbanspoon

Joe's Crab Shack on Urbanspoon

Bouche on Urbanspoon

Sutter Street Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

Chef Chu's on Urbanspoon

  • Betsy Gilberti
    March 11, 2014

    Hi Julia,
    Happy Anniversary, and congratulations on your engagement! You are so blessed to have found such happiness. I am super thrilled I found your blog again. I had seen it awhile back, and it’s terrific. Your post Jan. 27 about your relationship is fabulous, as are the pictures. You have traveled the glob together. You should have a Travel Tab. You have a wonderful ease to your writing, and with earnest you could teach us (those who long to travel and have not been able to). I LOVE your Book Club. My favorite book is Pride & Prejudice as well. I have tried to start a book club here in CT where I live to include close friends and other lovers of books but with children, work, volunteering, etc., reading is a before bedtime activity or one of stolen moments. No one will commit to chatting once a month. The last book club I was in 9 yrs ago aptly had it’s name changed to “the eating and drinking club” for obvious reasons, and hardly anyone read the book. Soooo, I will live vicariously through yours. Right now, I am in love with The Luminaries, but it’s 826 pages so I passed it to my Mom. I am listening to The Magician while I drive or cook. I will continue to browse around and try some of your top 10, starting with the soups. Thanks for sharing and happy wedding plans. I hope you post about possible cake choices. I used to sell my cakes and desserts, can’t wait to hear your favorites. Betsy G.

    • Julia Kent
      March 12, 2014

      Hi Betsy! First of all, I can’t tell you how much I loved hearing from you!

      Thanks for the congratulations. We are so excited! Good tip about the travel tab. I will think about what I’d put on there!

      The book club brings me more happiness than I can put into words, honestly! I love to read, but the women I get to see every month really make it for me. They are all so smart and beautiful and I am always learning from them. The wine and food isn’t so bad either 🙂 Please continue to read along with us!

      I have yet to experiment with audio books… what do you think of them? While I train for my half-marathon (I know, I’m a crazy person), I think they might be good to “escape”.

      The top 10 recipes are some of my favourites! The soups are especially impressive. Report back and let me know what you think!

      Last but certainly not least, we’re not having a cake at the wedding! Isn’t that weird? Neither of us have a sweet tooth and we’re serving dessert with the meal, so we decided to skip it. I’m sorry!

      Thanks again for stopping by 🙂

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