Cocktails, Weekend Update

Weekend Update: Coltivare and Salentein Malbec

Thursday morning was rainy, but it cleared up enough that night for a bike ride around Woodland Heights after happy hour at Karbach Brewery with my new coworkers.  Woodland Heights is such a dream land.  I’ve love to own a home there to raise a family one day!  I’m always a sucker for a tree canopy.

Woodland Heights

Friday was beautiful in Houston.  Unfortunately, I was so tired after such a busy week that I had only enough energy to have a glass of wine before hitting the hay early.

Downtown

I picked up a bottle of this 2015 Salentein Malbec.  I had this wine awhile back on a date and liked it so much I snapped a photo of the label.  Since I’m on a Malbec kick, I was checking out the selection and was happy to see this wine stocked!  It was as good as I remember.

Salentein Malbec

In tasting, I noticed cherry and spice.  I’m not sure if I prefer this wine or the Trivento Malbec I tried last week, but I think I’m leaning toward the Trivento; it seemed a bit less acidic, and I like fruitier wines. Both are very good!

Saturday night I went to Coltivare, one of my (now) favorite restaurants, for a second date.  It was very busy, so we hung out in the garden area for cocktails while we waited for a table.  I had the Cash Only which was good but mainly ice.  Think adult snow cone.  Once we were seated I had an excellent red wine.  Unfortunately, I didn’t take note of what it was! For the meal, we tried the Focaccia with Olive Oil, Texas Corn on the Cob, Wood Grilled Chicken with Grapes, Ricotta Gnocchi and famous Black Pepper Spaghetti.  Everything was incredible.  The corn had a sauce that was incredible and the Wood Grilled Chicken had a distinct flavor that I haven’t been able to put out of my mind.  The Black Pepper Spaghetti lived up to the hype and was perfect in its simplicity.  I think this was the best meal I’ve had at Coltivare, and I can’t wait to go back again!

I’m planning on getting back on track with posting this week.  I made an incredible cheesecake today for Tuesday’s post, and I whipped up some Habanero Simple Syrup for Thursday’s cocktail post.

 

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Weekend Update

Dolce Neve Gelato and Trivento Amado Sur Malbec

I don’t have much to report from this weekend.  It was a really low-key weekend with a busy week ahead in mind – a couple dates and some mixology for an upcoming post!  That said, I did manage to have a few highlights!

Friday night I rested.  It was my first week in the new job, and though the hours are not long, there is a lot to learn.  I was exhausted Friday night and stayed in to rest.

Saturday morning I ran around completing my usual errands and did some yoga (Saturday yoga for the win!). I decided to treat myself to gelato at Dolce Neve Gelato on Saturday afternoon.  I tried to Fromage Blanc & Apricot and Crema Dolce Neve (lemon) flavors.  I loved the Fromage Blanc & Apricot, but I was disappointed the Mascarpone & Fig and a couple other flavors I wanted to try were not available.  Next time!

Dolce Neve Gelato

Saturday night I tried out a new Malbec, Trivento Amado Sur.  Typically, I grab a bottle of Alamos when I’m craving Malbec, but I decided to change it up.  I really like the Trivento!  I would recommend.  It’s not pricey; I think it was around $12-13.  I’m having a bit as I type, in fact.

Trivento Amado Sur Malbec

Sunday morning I went for a run and then to church.  It was a fantastic sermon!  Then, I went for a manicure (clearly much-needed from the above gelato photo!) and spent the rest of the day relaxing.  I spent some time reading James Joyce’s Ulysses on my patio.  It was a very zen afternoon!  I’m hoping to go for a bike ride here in a little bit and then walk my baby dog, Laci.  The Crepe Myrtles are in full bloom around The Heights and just beautiful!

Crepe Myrtles

Hope you have a fantastic week!

Weekend Update

Presidio and Barbarella

Presidio, a new restaurant and bar in the Heights, held one of the top spots in my Must Try Wish List since its opening a couple months ago.  On Saturday, I finally had the chance to check it out.  In celebration of National Rosé Day, I met my friend there to enjoy a bottle.  To my delight, Presidio offered a bucket of four half bottles of my favorite rose, Whispering Angel, for less than the price of two full-size bottles purchased at the wine store!  It was a fantastic deal!  We also tried the Fried Texas Quail and the Sweet Potato Beignets, which were both great!  I can’t wait to go back!  It’s biking distance from my home, so that’s an added bonus.

PresidioWhispering AngelBaby Whispering Angel

After Presidio, we went to Barbarella for a friend’s birthday party.  Wow.  I haven’t been to place like that in years!  It’s a combination dive bar and dance club.  80’s night was rocking, and I danced like I haven’t in a good long while.  Much needed escape!

Saturday afternoon, before my visits to Presidio and Barbarella, I decided to ride my bike to my new office downtown.  I’m considering bike commuting to work, so I mapped my route and took notes on busy streets to avoid.  It was four miles each way, and I was proud of myself for making it there and back successfully.  I’m still deciding if bike commuting is a good option for me.  I rewarded myself with a Mr. Peabody smoothie from Juiceland – protein and veggies all in one!  It was a beautiful Saturday!

1400 Smith

Juiceland

Have a fantastic Monday!

Weekend Update

Brunch at The Del and Coffee at Flo Paris

Once again, the weekend doesn’t stick around long enough!  After a long work day on Friday, I stopped by the Year-End Party for Houston Young Lawyers Association’s Leadership Academy.  About half of the class showed up for wine, beer and hors d’oeuvres, including bacon-wrapped asparagus, various cheeses, crackers, jam, bruschetta and brownies!  I noticed right away the hostess opened a bottle of Francis Coppola Claret.  This wine must be growing in popularity –and with good reason!   First introduced to this wine last weekend at a friend’s home, I have a bottle of this in my wine cooler at the moment.  Small wine world! (Except it’s not at all.  Thank goodness!)

Saturday turned into a day of errands, yoga and working on some side hustles.  I attempted a bike ride but was caught in a torrential downpour.  Fortunately, I was about a block from a tarp over a metal frame.  I pedal-pedal-pedaled and made it underneath in the nick of time.  I waited out the rain until it started thundering and then high-tailed it the last two blocks home.  Not today, lightning, not today.

When I stepped out on my balcony Sunday morning at 6 am, I was immediately clothed in humidity.  Yes, humidity, not humility.  If you haven’t visited Houston, you just don’t know.  It weighs you down.  I had a six mile run on the agenda, so I wasn’t thrilled.  Somehow I made myself finish the run, and I’m so glad I did!  “Why would I battle against the oppressive humidity?” you ask.  Read on!

Mom and I went to The Del for brunch.  It was a little more casual than I expected and not in a cute area of town, but I really enjoyed the food.  We ordered the French Toast and the Crab & Asparagus Omelet to share.  It was a good combination of sweet carbs and savory protein.  As for cocktails, Mom ordered a Mimosa while I wavered between a Rosé and a Prosecco, finally settling on the Rosé.  Big mistake!  It was the worst Rosé I’ve ever had!  I found the color alone distasteful, and the flavor was not its saving grace.  I sent it back and ordered Prosecco, which was much better, as a replacement.

The Del French Toast and Crab Asparagus Omelet

The Del Mimosa and Rose

After we finished, we wanted a coffee at a more charming location, so we set out for Rice Village, a cute shopping area in the southwest part of Houston.  We stopped into Flo Paris and made a beeline for the pastries.

Flo Paris Display Case

Flo Paris Chantilly

Who could resist?  We tried the Chantilly, and it was perfect!  I even remarked, “We should just come here next time!”

Hope your Monday is off to a great start!

Weekend Update

Weekend Update: MDW

Happy Memorial Day!  I hope your day is a little sunnier than mine here in the beautiful Heights area of Houston, Texas.  Last night, a thunderstorm moved into the area, and, unfortunately, the gloom settled over the city.  I’m hoping I can manage to make myself walk over to Revival Market for a Lavender Latte here in a few minutes.  It’s incredible and will definitely brighten my day!

Due to the weather, I plan to spend the day indoors, working on some projects and watching Mozart in the Jungle with my pets, Laci (Maltese) and Maya (gray Tabby).  They’re both curled up with me right now.

The weekend has been eventful thus far.

Thursday night I had dinner with my Mom at rise, a new soufflé restaurant in the Galleria area.  rise has a unique vibe that we loved.  We didn’t feel like we were in Houston!  In fact, my Mom remarked, “I feel like we’re in Napa!” meaning the restaurant, though French, is something we haven’t seen before in Houston.  I didn’t manage to take any photos of the decor, but it was beautiful.  (The individual cutting boards for the bread were also cute!) However, I did take plenty of photos of the food!  Our favorite selection was the Marshmallow Soup, a tomato-carrot bisque  topped with goat cheese marshmallows.  Initially, my Mom vetoed, but I convinced her it was a must-try, and I’m so glad I did!

Marshmallow Soup 1

We also had the Bubbly Flight, which was on happy hour.

Bubbly Flight

My favorites were the first and the last.  Mom liked the middle two.  Since we were sharing the flight, this was convenient!

We ordered the Southwest Chicken Soufflé for our main entree.  I thought this was just okay.  I really wanted to try the Crab Soufflé, but it contained onions, and Mom has fought a war against onions since before my birth.  She hates them!

Southwest Chicken Souffle

For dessert, we (of course!) had to try the Chocolate Soufflé.  To be honest, I’ve had better chocolate soufflés elsewhere.  It wasn’t bad, I just wasn’t wow-ed.

Chocolate Souffle

As I noted, I really loved the atmosphere.  I’d return for happy hour and have the Marshmallow Soup, a wine flight and some cheeses.  The cheese cart looked phenomenal.  I think it was 3 for $14.  Yum yum!  Heaven to me is wine and a cheese board.

Friday night I was pretty tired after working a long day, so I took Laci for a walk and vegged.

Saturday I ran errands all day, went on a bike ride, yoga-ed and then went over to my friend Sharda’s home for wine and a chat.  Later, her sister, Mala (another good friend of mine), joined us with her boyfriend.

Sunday morning I went church and then met my friends Sarah and Meera for brunch at Hungry’s in Rice Village.  Big news:  I finally tried frosé (frozé?)!  And it was every bit as good as I imagined! Frosé all day.  For the remainder of the day, I worked on some projects while watching Season 2 of Master of None, went for a bike ride and did my long run for the week at Buffalo Bayou.

Hungry's Froze

(Side Note:  LOVED that Angela Bassett and Jackée Harry were cast!  They were excellent!)

(Side Side Note:  I saw a 2+ foot long, fat-bodied snake just chillin’ across the paved path along Allen Parkway.  It slithered away into the grass after a couple minutes.  No thank you, sir.  I had about 1/4 mile left to go, and then I high-tailed it right outta there.)

Hope you have a fun, safe Memorial Day and a great week ahead!