Friday, December 31, 2010

Date Night (with Gather + True Grit)

Tuesday I turned the big 3-2...which seems not too notable or exciting. Since we had such a downer of a day on my birthday (travel + jet lag), we decided that this would be birthday week! Last night my mom babysat and we had a date night- I can't remember the last date we've had. It was the perfect birthday treat.

We started the night off at Gather. It's this amazing new restaurant near the UC Berkeley campus. The food's local, sustainable, and all that good stuff. The chef  is young (he looks like a grad student that wandered off the school's grounds across the street), and hailed as a best new chef by various foodies and media outlets. With Gather's righteous attitude towards food and all the fanfare we thought the place would be pretentious, but it was quite the opposite. After leaving the restaurant Mark and I were talking about how several Bay Area restaurants serve upscale, to-die-for food, while remaining completely down-to-earth and approachable. Gather has instantly become a new favorite for me: most everything in the decor is salvaged material (including bench upholstery made from old leather belts sewn together), every bite of the food was flavorful and completely enjoyable, the waiter was warm, knowledgeable, and not too into himself/explaining the food (a plus at this type of place).
Food and Wine Magazine voted Gather's Vegan Charcuterie (pictured below) a top ten restaurant dish of the year. Umm- it was amazing! I can't describe the flavors- but I wanted to savor every delicious bite.
Here's what we had:
*out of 4 starts each
Vodka Smash (Cocktail) **
Bitter Rose (Cocktail) **
Vegan “charcuterie” ****
– pork belly, chile, Fontinella ****
Barbecued young chicken
– farotto, turnips and tops, punterelle, cheese rind oil ***
(farotto= farro risotto and was freaking awesome!)
Scoop of cream cheese cranberry ice cream **
(The choc mousse looked tasty- but we were pretty full by then)

Bottom line: Go here. It's awesome.

After dinner we walked two blocks over to see True Grit at the California Theater.
I'm not one for westerns- but this is a must see. It was funny and touching. Jeff Bridges and 14-year-old  Hailee Steinfeld stole the show. I won't ruin it, but young Mattie is out to avenge her father's murder.
 Matt Damon is also in the movie, and provides a lot of laughs. I usually bristle at the Cohen Brothers violent movies, but this was entertaining and not too violent at all.

All in all, a great date night.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Living Nativity

My sister and her husband had a living nativity this past Sunday with all their friends' kids. Grandma Ruff had Sadie for the night- as a samurai shepherd.

xoxo Rebecca

Thanks to David for the video footage-

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Season of Busy

Things have been a little busy in these parts--

Just this week:
Mark's finishing up a massive paper for his master's program
I finished up a Lit Assessment course I taught online
Our staging was taken away (now we have an empty house)
We had several realtors show our house (which = a lot of cleaning for us!)
Lots of Christmas parties, shopping, and wrapping
AND...the most important....Sadie is starting to walk!! She's gaining confidence and is taking 3-5 steps regularly. Perhaps she'll be polished enough to WOW the relatives at Xmas.

Here are some recent photos-
 Cutie patootie
 See Mom, I can share (with buddy, Kate).
 They both "stole" these items from each other. The grass is always greener...
 Cheese and books= bliss


Bye bye boring furtniture!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Dance Party

This weekend Sadie was clapping her hands to the music, bobbing her head, and playing a little tambourine.