Sunday, December 21, 2008

Birthday dinner: family, pasta, wine, and ... shaved bark?

Josh and I arrived safely in Washington to spend the week with his family for Christmas. Vacation time means time to finally catch up on the blogging ...

So, here's a post I have been procrastinating writing for a few birthday! The birthday was back a few weeks ago. To celebrate, we went to a restaurant I have been wanting to try: Trattoria Tre Venezie in Pasadena. Trattoria Tre Venezie, a Michelin star restaurant, specializes in traditional, Northern Italian food (no eggplant parmigiana or lasagna here).

By "we," I mean the usual cast of characters at these things: (clockwise: Josh, me, Bug, Anthony, Cathy, Dad, Grandpa, Grandma, Dad, Jackie, and PJ behind the camera.)

We piled in our cozy corner of the restaurant (the restaurant is small and has a warm, home-in-an-Italian-hilltown feel), ordered some delicious Montepulciano wine (a little Tuscan in with the Venetian) and had our slightly odd waiter give us a lesson on the menu. At first, this was appreciated. After awhile, it became a little condescending. The best exchange of the night:

Grandma (perhaps sounding a little skeptical): "This pasta is made with cinnamon?"
Snooty waiter: "Why yes. What is cinnamon but shaved bark?"

Jackie and I suppressed a major giggle fit. What is cinnamon but shaved bark? Deep thoughts, indeed.

It turns out the cinnamon pasta was delish. Some pics:

On the left, Bug and I shared Cjalsons for an appetizer, an ancient dish from Cania, Friuli. They are essentially savory and sweet raviolis, filled with up to eighteen combinations of ingredients, prepared for special occasions. This was, by far, my favorite dish of the night. Each little ravioli had so many flavors. The restaurant only serves Cjalsons every week or so, and if you have not been to Trattoria Tre Venezie and want to try it, be sure to be there on a day they are serving these little puppies. Truly delish!

For dinner, I ordered the special, Bigoli with crab (left). It was pretty tasty. Josh ordered the Casunziei all'Ampezzana, a ravioli filled with red beets with butter and poppy seeds. It was decent.

Jackie ordered the Tagliatelle alla Cannella (left), cinnamon-flavored tagiatelle with shitake mushroom sauce (a.k.a. the "cinnamon pasta"). I tried a bite of this and really liked it. On the right is the Ravioli al Ripeni d'Agnello, ravioli filled with shoulder of lamb.

For dessert, Josh ordered a cake from Susie Cakes (yum!).

It was marble cake with chocolate frosting, and it was a huge hit.

It was a pretty great birthday. My sweetheart of a husband did a great job planning the little get-together. Now, I am officially 28, which feels ... eh, the same. Two more years until the big 3-0 ...


dapotato said...

happy birthday! that sounds really good. and like a place the hubs would enjoy.

WeezerMonkey said...

Ahh! What a great birthday dinner! I totally want to try this place!

danica said...

i'm in love with your birthday cake. so cute and sounded delicious.

happy, happy birthday my dear!!

R said...

What a great looking dinner! I'm glad you had a happy birthday. :)

wan-nabe said...

happy birthday again!

what a great cake, and a fab looking dinner. pasadena, huh? i must add to my list.

Winnie said...

Yum! Sounds delish. The cake looks soooooo good.

amber said...

happy belated birthday! what a fun restaurant. definitely have to try this place. hopefully sans the "deep thoughts" waiter ;)