Sunday, December 29, 2013

Spinasse and Beethoven's Ninth

This is the face of someone who was spoiled yesterday by the handsome Michael.

Where do I begin? Besides first mentioning that I have such an awesome and stellar boyfriend! (Also, please excuse my dark photos, I didn't want to use flash in the restaurant.)

Yesterday was so hectic as we had so many errands to run right before our date night, but I am so glad we went because yesterday was one of my top nights of the year. Michael took me to Cascina Spinasse, a very fine and cozy italian restaurant right next to a bar we both like, Artusi. The setting was very homey and small that it gave an intimate feel. The server we had was also very knowledgeable that she helped us balance the flavors of our food.

At our server's recommendation we started off with a bottle of Nebbiolo. We've been favoring Nebbiolos after we had such a lovely wine at the Book Bindery, and the one we had below did not disappoint.

For our antipasti we had the Prosciutto di Parma. What I really enjoyed about this was the hint of sweetness from the apples that contrasted with the saltiness of the Prosciutto. Then add the bread and it becomes a delicate balance.

Prosciutto di Parma: Pio Tosini prosciutto 14 month aged prosciutto with toasted mustard seeds, fig vinegar, and ambrosia apples.

For our next antipasti at our server's suggestion, we had the Insalata Di Cavolo Rape. This was by far one of the most surprising dishes. It was such a delicate salad that had a bite and crunch from the radish, but a soft and creamy component from the cheese, and then a sweet, salt, and tart flavor from the vinaigrette.

Insalata Di Cavolo Rape: Shaved kohlrabi and radish with anchovy vinaigrette, capers and parmigiano
For the primi we did two pastas. The first was the house special, a beet ravioli with a three blend cheese. This was another dish that surprised me greatly with its balance of flavors. Sweet from the beets, but creamy from the cheese. Both so soft in contrast to the ravioli but beautiful together.

Beet Ravioli with a three blend cheese
Or next pasta was the Tajarin al Ragu, which contrasted the sweetness of the Ravioli, for this pasta was savory and salty in a good way. The handmade noodles were also so fine and thin that it captured the ragu wonderfully.

Tajarin al Ragu: Fine hand cut egg pasta with ragu
For the Secondi, we enjoyed the Stacotto Di Coniglio. The rabbit was so moist, tender, and flavorful on the savory side. It was divine, that's all I can really say about it.

Stracotto Di Coniglio: Stuffed, braised rabbit with roasted baby turnips
Now onto my fave part of any meal, dessert! Chocolate mousse with expresso gelato with wafers. It was so goshdarnamazingithinkiminheaven!

Chocolate mousse, expresso gelato, and wafer.

Afterwards, Michael took me to the Symphony for Beethoven's Ninth. It was a first for me, I had never been to a symphony before and I was in awe while I was there. Just walking in I felt like I was in some victorian or romantic novel. Everyone was so dressed up and just genuinely awed at the music, myself included. Just sitting there and listening, watching music come alive, it was like being transported to the 19th century or having time transcend for this beautiful moment. Even now during the next day, I still feel in awe at what I heard. I am so lucky and fortunate to experience this and I owe it all to him.

Another great date for the books!

Taking our seats in the center!
A picture behind us, look at how many people came. Full house!
Intermission photo.
The Chorus coming on stage right before Beethoven's Ninth!
The wonderful guy who made tonight possible.

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