Monday, April 29, 2013


Last month at Supper Club, we decided to do something very different for April: meet on a Saturday and bring our boys.

The reason being: we decided to try Mangia.

Mangia is a "pop up" restaurant that "pops up" every Friday and Saturday at a lunch-only establishment in Franklin. Legend has it that the owner/chef came up with the idea on New Year's Eve at a friend's house and opened the restaurant a month later. It's a prix fixe, $45 per person, 13-course Italian meal. The menu changes quarterly, is served family style, and if it's not the best meal of your life, then congratulations on being a boss. Me, on the other hand? I feel like my entire life had been leading up to that meal.

We had a party of eight for this past Saturday's seating. The chef himself greeted us and showed us to our table, where there was warm focaccia bread and dipping oil aiting on us. Two TVs playing the Godfather 1 & 2 were on mute to allow for the occasionally Italian, always festive music. The rest of our group made their way in and finally, our server started bringing food. Here is the menu we were served:

Initially, some of our group was confused and thought that we were to choose one item from each course. Oh, no no no. They bring each dish en masse and everyone serves him/herself.

From the appetizer round, the southern-style deviled eggs were insanely delicious, but the lemon risotto cakes were hands-down the winner. If you've ever watched Top Chef, then you know Risotto is SO hard to make perfectly... and they nailed it. Then deep fried it. And fed it to me.

The salad course was yummy as well. I love a caesar salad of course, but was a little nervous about the orange salad, not liking oranges and all. Turns out, it was delicious: just orange-y enough, not overpowering at all.

The pasta course. OH the pasta course. First up was the beef bolognese served on shell pasta. Holy cow. The meat was so tender. I had several helpings. Let's leave it at that.

I was also a big, big fan of the second pasta course with the toasted pecan basil pesto cream sauce which begs the question: what WOULDN'T I eat, if it was doused in toasted basil pesto cream sauce? Only time will tell.

I could have stopped right there and felt that I had my money's and stomach's worth but no. It was time to dance! All the ladies were rounded up into a congo line and then it was mambo en masse. No complaints here; I was happy to be up moving after two hours of eating.

Next up: entrees. Lemon and rosemary roasted chicken quarters preceded a simple roasted broccolini. Both were delicious. The real star of the night though was the final entree: a porcini mushroom dusted beef tenderloin. EVERYONE at the table was raving about this dish. No one used a knife: it was like cutting butter. The dish was perfectly executed. I even ate mushrooms!

Dessert was a light but certainly not simple "semifreddo," which is Italian for "half frozen." Not quite ice cream but not quite a mouse, it was the perfect little treat after so much rich food. Light and tasty and perfect. The second dessert of homemade "zeppole" (Italian donuts!) arrived in a paper bag, one for each person. What a great little takeaway.

The food was delicious, but it was the experience that set the evening apart. Laughter, dancing and conversation, all intertwined with some of the best food I have ever eaten. It was exactly the way a meal should be.

We will definitely be back to Mangia! Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


I didn't mean to let almost the entire month of April go by without blogging. I have been in a pattern of BUSY. But some fun things have happened along the way!

In Style magazine released their Best Beauty Buys for the year and I was THRILLED that this was on the list. I feel like every woman out there spends the majority of their life hating their hairdryer. Am I alone? So far I have loved having this one and I am hopeful that it will hold up longer than twelve months, which seems to be about the max lifespan for a hairdryer in my household.

Totally unrelated but speaking of products I love, I use these little snack tubs from the Container Store all the time. I used to put peanut butter in them for my afternoon snack of PB and carrots (TRY IT). I put my oil and vinegar dressing in them and stick it in my salad until lunch. The other day I put cheese cubes in one. I use them ALL the time. But picture this: I was walking up the hill to my car, toting a bag FULL of empty tupperware from my week at work. The bag had actually ripped so I was basically balancing this tower of tupperware in my arms. Well along came a gust of wind and POOF: two of those empty little cups became airborne. I was DEVASTATED. I was going to chase them down the hill but one went to one side of the road and the other one went to the other. Merrily they rolled along, down the hill toward the bars of Broadway. I mean I was heartbroken. So, I will be making a trip to the Container Store in the near future to replace them; let me know if I can get some for you!

I coordinated a friend's wedding this weekend. I won a bet against the photographer as to what kind of cheese was on the buffet. Don't try me and cheese. I knew it was goat cheese but I couldn't figure out what was coating it. Turns out, it's a vanilla-soaked blueberry crusted goat cheese that comes from Trader Joe's. It was every bit as good as it sounds. I'll be making a trip there too when I go to the Container Store soon so once again, let me know if I can get some for you too!

I caught the bouquet at that wedding which brings me to my next topic: Matthew is doing great! Neither my despondency over lost tupperware nor love affair with goat cheese has run him off. The other day we got lost on our way to a state park and it was the best lost I've ever been, just driving around with nowhere to be.

On Sunday I celebrated my one year anniversary of being in my condo. I still love where I live and am happy to host a guest at any time!

Last but not least, if you like pizza and have not been to DeSano pizza here in town, you are MISSING OUT. Best pizza in Nashville and it's BYOB, as in, we'll provide cups and a corkscrew and there's no corkage fee so please just come right on in with your wine. They have these long communal tables so it's great for groups; in fact, the night we went, it looked like an entire pledge class plus dates were having their dinner before spring formal. I recommend the DeSano: so good it got the banner name. The cannoli is also divine. I wish they had a patio for the warm months ahead.

So there you have it: I haven't blogged because I've been crying over my tupperware and stuffing my face with pizza and driving around middle Tennessee with Matthew. Can you blame me?

Wednesday, April 03, 2013


I splurged and got myself a pair of Tory Burch flats recently. I was due for a new pair of flats; the last pair I bought (in 2010) had a hole in each sole. I had been eyeing Torys for a while and when I found the perfect, most beautiful nude pair at Nordstrom, I decided to pull the trigger. Quality over quantity!

I can’t remember the last time I paid so much to be hurt so badly. These things have been a real headache to break in.

But after about two weeks of wearing them with 2 pairs of boot socks while I get ready for work in the morning, along with about a dozen band-aids, I think we’re there. Happy happy happy.

Not gonna lie: I hope this is the hardest thing I do all year.

PS: If I haven’t said it lately, everyone should buy anything that costs more than $10 from Nordstrom, if at all possible.

Monday, April 01, 2013


Happy April! Did March FLY by or what?

I had a busy weekend! Since I was off for Good Friday, I headed to Alabama to spend the night with my favorite little buddy and his mom and dad. It had been a whole month since I had seen him and he had the perfect trick ready to show off for me: walking! Angel baby has grown up so much and I can't believe how adorable he is. We took him to see the Easter Bunny, which meant I got to see him in his precious Easter outfit. It was a quick visit but a great visit.

The only reason I didn't go home for Easter this year was because a while back, I bought tickets to see Seth Meyers, Head Writer of SNL and current anchor of Weekend Update. I was so torn between spending Easter with my family and not missing the sarcastic enthrallings of Mr. Meyers. But, Seth won. The consequence to that decision was that if I couldn't be with my real family, I wanted to spend the day with lots of people that are like family. So, I organized a semi-last minute potluck lunch at my house for some friends and was thrilled to be invited to Easter supper with Matthew's family. Which meant before a fun night out on Saturday, there was a few hours of this:

Nothing says Easter like my grandmom's delicious, mouth-watering strawberry pie:

And Alton Brown mac and cheese:

And with all that cooking, there was also a few hours of cleaning and dish washing!

So, all of that house work and prep, I shined myself up and had a delicious dinner with this guy

before heading downtown and laughing our fannies off at the show. Funny, funny, funny stuff. I was thrilled that Seth talked a little about SNL, which was just enough for me.

I spent Easter at church with Matthew's family, and then we headed back to my house to host my friends.

Evan surprised us with baby bunnies again, much to everyone's delight!

And Jay surprised us by wearing these socks:

We had time to clean up the kitchen, sit down for an hour and then it was off to Matthew's grandma's house, where I had the pleasure of meeting more of his family and sitting by his side all night. I tried to learn how to play Rook but I knew enough to quit while I was ahead: they are competitive card players so I was happy just to watch and learn.

So while I definitely missed my own family this Easter, between the bunnies, the food, the friends, the laughter and the love I shared all day long, it was as close to perfect as an Easter could be. Hope your day was egg-cellent too!

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