I completely forgot to mention that as of Wednesday, mia mama and I hit the road. We are driving to Georgia, were most of my material life is residing all packed away in boxes at my grandparents' house. On Sunday, we're driving up to South Carolina to move me in! I'm SO excited to reunite with all my friends - haven't seen them since December!
That said, it will be a bit more difficult to blog for the next few days.
BUT, I went and missed yesterday's Over-the-Humpday Challenge, and feel the need to make up for it...with a restaurant review!
Mom & I rolled into Charlotte after a very long day of driving. We were hungry, exhausted, and just wanted a nice, rejuvenating sit-down dinner. Charlotte did not let us down.
At the concierge's recommendation, we walked down the corner from the hotel to LaVecchia's, a seafood/steak restaurant.
[The pictures aren't super clear; in LuLu's defense, the lighting was not exactly food-blogger friendly.]
They had really funky decor - I love it when restaurants use the industrial look of the space to their advantage. I think it looks really modern & fun!
Lots & lots of metal fishies hanging from the ceiling. As true fish-lovers, we took this as a good sign.
Things only got better from there:
Bread baskets just make me happy. This arrived warm with a light but doughy interior and a perfectly crispy crust. Never mind the basket - bread alone is enough to make me grin like an idiot. I had 2.5 pieces, and I'm not ashamed to say it.
Mom ordered a salad as an appetizer:
Arugula with beets, blue cheese, and candied walnuts in a lemon-y dressing. It was delicious - she all but licked her plate! I helped her out a little ;) Although it would have been better with goat cheese...but I'm getting to that.
For dinner, I ordered exactly what I was craving: a big bowl of spinach.
Well, alright. Spinach with goat cheese, caramelized onions, tomatoes, pancetta & spicy grilled shrimp. The shrimp was actually a little too hot for me, but I'm a big fat baby when it comes to hot-spicy. I'm also a big fan of shrimp, so I still ate every single bite.
I was not expecting the pancetta - I don't think the menu mentioned it - but much to my surprise, it was perfect on this salad! I'm not much of bacon person at all and since basically giving up red meat, I haven't really had it in years - and when I have, I always remember why I don't like it. But on this salad....holy pork. (I think it was pancetta because it both looked & tasted more like it than bacon, but I could be wrong.) It was diced into teeny tiny pieces and was absolutely drool-worthy when combined with the caramelized onions. It totally had that sweet-salty thing going on. I am a little in love with this salad, actually. Spinach + goat cheese is one of those to-live-for combos in my book. If you haven't tried it, please do. You can thank me later ;)
Mom's entree was beautiful, in more ways than one!
Almond-crusted tilapia with blue crab beurre blanc and mashed potatoes over roasted corn, baby asparagus and red peppers.
It was in a cute little edible tower with the veggies hidden on the bottom, the taters, the crab, and the fish on top.
Ok, I was one of those kids who ate everything on her plate separately and freaked.out if one section of my plate touched another. Woe to anyone within ear range if my baby carrots began mingling with the ketchup for my hot dog. Thus, I was a bit skeptical about this stacking situation currently going on on my mother's plate.
But damn if it didn't meld perfectly! I would never have put mashed potatoes with tilapia, but they actually complemented each other quite well. It definitely helped that the fish was super fresh and delicious. The crab beurre blanc...well, put it this way: I only got one bite. The vegetables underneath also went well with the potatoes (which weren't in and of themselves amazing per se, but they tasted like my mom's mashed potatoes, and there is certainly something to be said for keeping it simple and comforting!). It was just a great dish overall.
I will add that my mom ordered 3 different white wines, all of which were rather disappointing. But it's hard to tell if that was just due to bad luck on her part or something else. Either way, the food made up for it.
And of course, I can't not have some form of dessert. It's simply a must.
Yep. Definitely a must.
That is mango sorbet - and downright delicious at that. I think sorbet is actually the perfect summer dessert. It's cold, light, and refreshing, and satisfies a sweet tooth without causing that pushing over the edge into too-stuffed-to-move land. Although it didn't have a smooth and creamy texture like, say, a certain gelato place, I could definitely taste how fresh the mango was and I think that's more important anyway. It was exactly what I wanted. Don't you love it when that happens?!
A lovely meal in a lovely city.
Now that is delicious.