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Anniversary Recap

16th November 2015

We celebrated our third anniversary on Tuesday, November 10th and we had a wonderful weekend together! I took Tuesday off so that I had a three day weekend to have a little extended rest and relaxation. On Sunday we kicked off our weekend by watching the Carolina Panthers of course. Sunday was really low key but that’s how we prefer to spend our Sundays. On Monday we went to lunch at Bida Manda. We have only been about two or three times but every time we go we remember just how great the restaurant is! Get the Pumpkin Curry, you won’t regret it! (Thanks for the recommendation Jenni Turner!) After lunch we made our way to the IMAX theater to see the new James Bond flick, Spectre. It was great as always. Lots of action, fashion, adventure and beautiful people. We actually saw Skyfall before we left for our honeymoon two days after we were married so it was only natural that we spent our day the same way!

In case you haven’t seen the Spectre trailer, now you have. 😉

On Monday after the movie, Nick told me to get dressed and get ready for dinner at a location unbeknownst to me. So we got all decked out to the nine’s and headed out first for a drink at the Umstead and then to our mystery location..

Here’s a fun animation that Google put together at our attempts at selfies of us all gussied up for dinner! Followed by a fancy cocktail at the Umstead. Hubby didn’t have a great idea for getting me out of the house for the chef to set up so cocktails were in order.

So after an hour of being away for cocktails, we headed back towards Raleigh and Nick said he had to use the bathroom and couldn’t wait so he pulled off at our exit to run inside to “use the bathroom” and told me to come in too. When we walked in Nick surprised me with an at home chef!! Chef John Upsal was cooking a private meal for two, super romantic and cozy to be at home. Chef Upsal owns a catering company in the Raleigh area, called Spread, and does corporate events, catering, weddings, etc so we HIGHLY recommend him for any of your party needs (Christmas is coming up!). Chef Upsal used to be the chef at Poole’s so if any of you Raleighites know a thing or two about dining in Raleigh, you know it’s one of the restaurants in the area!

Scratch made: Smoked trout rillette, house made pork paté, and house made pork rillette with Yellow Dog Bread.

Local North Carolina Beef Tartare!

A salute to the chef but also a homage to our last bottle of Champagne from Reims, France that we bought on our trip last year. Their last Vintage as well. But also the culprit for our dinner being postponed to night 2…

A little special something from the chef, fresh caviar!

North Carolina oysters with fresh caviar!

Pumpkin, beet and blue cheese salad

Unfortunately after all these yummy courses, we’ve come to realize Nick has an allergy of sorts to CHAMPAGNE. Of all things, CHAMPAGNE, and the real stuff too, not prosecco which we had the morning before with mimosas.. Unfortunately it causes him to get sick, and this has happened a few times this past year. It’s definitely an inconvenient allergy and we’re not quite sure about it, but needless to say, Nick could not eat any further on Monday night. The chef was SO gracious to come back on Tuesday night to finish our meal after our trip to the Umstead for a couple’s massage on our real anniversary. We are so thankful for the chef to finish our lovely meal and truth be told, I was definitely full by all the yummy-ness above!

Ahh… The Umstead Spa is FANTASTIC! I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a getaway in the Raleigh area. The only real co-ed areas though, are the pool pictured above and the lounge area above as well. (The fireplace unfortunately is in the ladies spa.) It is a really relaxing place and the massages are GREAT! Definitely check it out for a special occasion. Then after our massage and spa day, it was time to finally finish our anniversary meal!

Our beautiful bottle of Brunello we brought back from our trip to Italy!

Whipped eggplant puree, grilled octopus, shitake mushrooms, and roasted red peppers!

Probably the most amazing part of the night: Pork belly, homemade ricotta gnocchi and butternut squash.. SIMPLY AMAZING!

Braised short ribs with shitake mushroom risotto

And the grand finale of homemade pecan pie with homemade vanilla ice cream.. I mean, what more could a couple want?!