Baby tomatoes

Baby tomatoes

Friday, October 3, 2014

Girl Time- Girls Night Out

Many of us have one of those friends- you know the one, they are family, but not technically, but you find a way to make them family, like their niece is married to my son so that makes us- sisters!! For me that friend is Jessica. Over the years we have enjoyed so many good times together. Concerts, road trips, wine tastings, baking days with a stack of CDs of 70s music, epic marathons of making apple butter, dinner in, dinner out, everything a couple of sisters would do. Like it has a way of happening, life sometimes got in the way. Kids, jobs, busy lives and before you know it you don't spend as much time as you once did. We decided to make time for sister time. Do all the things we used to enjoy so much and make it a point to make time to slow down, catch up and enjoy life. 

We picked a popular local restaurant for our inaugural Sister Date. Since we are both wine enthusiasts we wanted a place where we could get a really good steak, and a really good glass of wine. She suggested John and Nick's, a very nice locally owned restaurant in Clive. That's about the midway point for me driving in and her driving west so it worked out great. I had never been here before and was impressed by the dark woods and cozy atmosphere. Candles on the table warmed the feel of the room and we were seated under a picture of the Eiffel Tower- my dream vacation destination. I liked it already!

The wine list was really pretty good. Now, if you're used to Michelin star restaurants with a sommelier and wine attendants on staff you will not be impressed, but if you are looking for good variety and some really good house wine, the wine list is for you. Jessica chose the house Cabernet. It was big and bold and filled the glass with amazing jammy fruity aromas. It was the perfect wine for a cut of beef like prime rib and was one of the better Cabernets I have had in years. We did ask for the name of the wine, but.......I forgot !!!! Anyway, I chose a Riesling. Yes I knew I'd be having steak for dinner but I don't believe in those stuffy old "rules," I believe in drink what you like when you like however you like. So Riesling it is, and I chose the Kung Fu Girl 2013. I might be a little bit biased because Riesling is my favorite wine, but this one was the best ever. Light and fruity, the perfect blend of tart and sweet, I loved it so much I found a store that sells it and bought more for home!

Like all the old family-owned restaurants here, and maybe everywhere, John and Nick's has the old standby- the salad bar. Normally I stay away from salad bars but theirs was very fresh and inviting. Lots and lots of fresh choices, vegetables, salads, and of course the odd fruity fluffy things I've never quite figured out. But besides the fresh salad and great selection of dressings, I added cubes of cheese and some beautiful olives to my plate. Of course, fresh bread arrived at the table. Some of these old traditions I just really enjoy, and the warm loaf of bread is one of them.

Choosing our entrees was not as easy as I thought it would be. They have a great selection of steaks and prime rib. I chose a New York Strip with crab stuffed shrimp and Jessica went with the prime rib. She ordered hers in a way I had never heard of before- seasoned and seared. It was delicious! Apparently, they slice off your prime rib, season it with their house seasoning, I'm guessing salt, pepper and garlic, and sear it on the grill. Now my Chef says he hates it when people order it that way, but I thought it was absolutely fantastic. My steak was perfectly cooked medium rare and was juicy and expertly seasoned. The crab stuffed shrimp were very good, although I thought they could have used a little bit more of the stuffing. And Jessica's prime rib was perfect as well- I was leery of it being overcooked once it's seared but apparently these chefs make this often- it was the perfect doneness.

No girls night, in or out, is ever complete without dessert. I deferred to Jessica to make the choice- we were both so full (Seriously, us girls are meat eaters. We don't "do" doggie bags.) that we decided to share dessert and she chose the chocolate lava cake. It was as lush and delicious as it was beautiful and we devoured it in no time, of course with a second glass of wine. Dessert and wine just go together.

We have a full lineup of Sister Dates to look forward to- days, nights, even a slumber party! We have wines to drink, movies to watch, dinner to cook, pies to bake, Downton Abbey to watch (from the beginning- I have never seen it) and so much more. Brandy, sherry, port. Beautiful teas and froofy coffees. Our favorite wine movies. Laughs, tears, memories and the kind of love only sisters share.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 55: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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