Three cheers for visiting friends!
I miss Emily. Sometimes I forget just how much I miss her. The two of us were inseparable in college, in fact, Emily was the one who introduced Derek and me way back in 2005 (a fact she’ll tell anyone that asks – it’s her number one line when trying to set other friends up with each other 😉 ). Then, after college, we both went our separate ways. Now she lives all the way in Philly and I live in Tampa, but that doesn’t stop us from remaining great friends. I even asked her to be one of my bridesmaids and she asked me to be one of hers.
Oh, did I forget to mention that little tidbit? Emily’s engaged! Her fiance proposed last month and I couldn’t be happier for the two of them. They’re a great couple that definitely complete each other in every way.
Aren’t they cute?
That’s actually why they’re in town. They’re planning their dream destination wedding for 2013 and are in the Tampa Bay area researching venues on the beach. Emily is on top of her game, too. They had appointments for 5 venues on Friday and 5 venues for today – I was exhausted just listening to them talk about it all. Venue shopping is probably the hardest part of wedding planning, so kudos to both of them for taking charge and knocking out the venue shopping in one weekend.
They had their last appointment in downtown Tampa, so Derek and I met them at Boca for dinner.
Boca is a relatively new-ish restaurant in the Hyde Park area. It came highly recommended by a couple of friends and the menu looked great online. It’s a farm-to-table concept that only purchases ingredients fresh from local farmers. It’s hard to tell in the photo above, but the hidden chalkboard lists sources for all of the items on that night’s menu.
The atmosphere inside was great. There was a quiet, homey feel to it. Very intimate and perfect for reconnecting with friends over a bottle of wine and a good meal.
Derek and I split a bottle of the naked earth.
Two glasses of wine = tipsy Meghann. I am such a lightweight.
I ordered the free range chicken, which was herby, tender, and very moist. I enjoyed the greens and roasted potatoes underneath and wished there had been more of that. Overall I’d say my plate was delicious, but a bit boring. Definitely played it too safe at a new place.
After dinner we introduced Emily and Aaron to a Tampa classic – the dessert room at Bern’s Steakhouse.
One day Derek and I will actually get dinner here, but for now it’s one of our favorite places to bring out-of-town guests for dessert. It’s just too cool of a place not to show off. I think Emily and Aaron were impressed with the private dining coves, extensive drink menu, and overall cool vibe Bern’s provides.
I ordered the “Cappuccino Bern’s” which the waiter sold me on when he said it was their specialty. The beans are soaked in a mix liquors for three weeks before they are roasted and brewed. Though there is no liquor in the drink itself, the server told us the soaked beans give of a hint of flavor.
hmmm… a hint? This drink was strong. Much stronger that I was assuming when i ordered it. It was rich and would have made sense on a cold winter night, but I sadly wasn’t feeling it last night.
The espresso brownie I ordered for dessert was much better.
Burnt sugar ice cream on an espresso brownie with a dark chocolate fudge – heaven. So rich. So decadent. So what Bern’s is totally about. I approve.
Derek ordered the Macadamia Sundae (I stole a few bites)
This was delicious too, but I’m not the biggest fan of chocolate ice cream (I know, I’m a freak). Why is the macadamia ice cream chocolate, anyways? Doesn’t it make much more sense if it was vanilla?!
We said our good-byes after dessert, but we’re hoping to see each other again tonight for more shenanigans.
Like I said. I miss Emily!
Somehow I was able to get my butt out of bed at a decent hour this morning for a brick workout.
20 miles on the bike.
2 mile run.
Ham and egg tortilla with my babe for breakfast.
And a white flesh peach that had seen better days.
Not sure what’s on the agenda today (all of our plans fell through), but I’m up for an adventure!
Have a great Saturday!