Restaurant Recommendation!

Last night, Bob, Katie, Monika and I had dinner at Trattoria Marcella, a wonderful rustic Italian restaurant. When we first walked in, we were afraid we weren’t going to be seated, it looked a bit upscale for our jeans and t-shirts, but, luckily, they took pity on our poor clothing choice. The waiter was attentive and accommodating, he gave us some great recommendations from the menu. Because Monika is allergic to Gorgonzola (she’s missing out), our waiter brought her a side of marinara sauce to dip her appetizer in and had it on the side when he served our salad.

The food was amazing! We ordered the Roasted Wild Mushrooms as an appetizer. I’m not a fan of polenta (had one bad experience with it) but these were yummy! The sauce was incredible. I even ate the mushrooms! We ordered the Special family-style salad which included iceberg lettuce, salami, tomatoes, garbanzo beans and Gorgonzola imported from Italy tossed in a sweet vinaigrette. Simple, clean and refreshing. Now, on to the main courses. Monika ordered the Chicken Spiedini, Katie had the Lasagna al Forno (it came in it’s own casserole dish!), Bob ordered gigantic chicken and prosciutto-stuffed ravioli (I don’t remember the name of it and it’s not on the online menu) and I had the Whole Wheat Pasta. Usually, whole wheat pasta has a distinct taste and is a bit al dente for me, but my pasta last night was SO good. I love goat cheese and having that in the dish added a creaminess to the pasta. I was so stuffed from all the good stuff before, I barely ate any of my entree but it’s sitting in my fridge now for my weekend indulgence. And of course, we played “Pass the Plate” and everyone got to enjoy each other’s dishes.

I highly recommend this restaurant to everyone. Even my boss (he has a VERY rich palate – only high-class food for him) said that he enjoys the food there as well so that definitely means something. Now, go forth and eat good food!

Humane Society Trivia Night

Last Saturday, Jen, Katie, Kim, My Parents, The Galles, and I went to a trivia night benefitting the Humane Society of Missouri and their foster program at Maryland Heights Community Center. As with all of our forays into the trivia wilderness, we were well stocked with food. Cookies, Puppy Chow, Apple Rollups, Spinach Balls, Artichoke Cakes, Wasabi Peas, Hot Wing Dip, Tuscan Dip, Beer Bread, and other assorted cheeses, meats, veggies and dippables made for a very satisfying evening on the food front. The trivia was marginally less exciting. We finished in 4th place, 5 points out of the money (they paid the top 3 and there was a tie for second), due mostly to our ineptitude with the Presidents category and our lack of knowledge when it comes to old-ass TV. Still, not too shabby for over 45 tables. We even held the lead going into Round 6, but it was short lived (Damn you Andrew Johnson…).

One thing that stood out at this Trivia Night compared to others, was the MC, Kevin Carbery. This is a guy who writes a column on trivia in the local paper, hosts a radio trivia talk show, and writes and hosts Trivia Nights all around the St. Louis area. If you are interested in trivia (and if you’ve read this far, you must be), check out to find upcoming trivia, and definitely check out the ones hosted by Kevin. In addition to the questions being interesting, yet fair (cough, Oakville, cough), Kevin really kept the pace going. He commanded attention in the room and didn’t have technical difficulties with his presentation — a rarity in this town.

Anyway. We all had a good time, a good cause was helped, and we’re looking forward to the next trivia night — whenever that may be.

Supper Club: August 27, 2008

Entree: Grilled Barbecued Chicken Pizza. Don’t let the photo fool you, this entree was a complete disaster. We burnt the crust to the point that it looked like a black frisbee (we should have tried tossing it around in the yard). We used a tube of pizza dough because I was too lazy to make the dough but that wasn’t the problem. The problem was that the charcoal grill was too hot and cooked the pizza to quickly. But Kim and Katie were amazing, they ate the pizza (or as much as they could). Now, those are true friends right there. So, what did we learn from this experience? Bake it in the oven or have a gas grill in which you are able to control the temperature or use a whole lot of less charcoal.

Side Dishes: Broccoli with Parmesan Crumbs and Cumin Carrot Fries. In an effort to be more health-conscious, we are trying to eat more vegetables and these two are a good introduction into that.

Dessert: Fruit Pizza. Kim raved about this dish, especially the crust, stating that it’s the best fruit pizza crust she’s ever had. Katie will reveal her secret: Pillsbury sugar cookie dough in a tube. I tell you, fruit pizza is dangerous, I probably could have eaten my own personal one.

Supper Club: August 20, 2008

Entree: Wasabi and Panko-Crusted Pork with Gingered Soy Sauce. You can’t really go wrong with panko but apparently you can weaponize ginger. Now, normally I’m not a fan of dishes that have a strong ginger taste to it, but it’s pretty mild in this recipe. It gives just enough of that tanginess.

Side Dishes: White Rice (courtesy of my rice cooker (Editor’s Note: That’s one sexy looking rice dome there.)) and Broccoli with Sesame Seeds. Asian cooking really only consists of a few key ingredients so both the entree and side dish worked well together. The broccoli does have a bit of heat to it but just eat it with the rice and you’ll be okay.

Dessert: Irish Cream Brownies. If you think about it, I kinda sorta followed the Asian menu. You know that many Asians are allergic to alcohol, so of course I chose alcoholic brownies. I had to lay down after eating one and chasing it with ice cream but it was worth it. If you like Irish cream and chocolate, this is a great brownie for you.

Before She Was An Olympian Champion

Nastia Liukin apparently was in the movie, Stick It, a couple of years ago, performing a routine on the uneven bars. Yeah, I was shocked when I recognized her while watching it last night (I’m ashamed I’m even admitting that I watched that movie). So, I’m sure she learned to “stick it” for the Beijing games from her movie experience. Tee-hee, har-har, oh, jeez, I’m terrible!