After indulging in coffee and toast we made our way down to Standard Bakery, where Jeff works. I don’t even walk in anymore because I am convinced that there are calories and butter molecules floating in the air. There is (among many believe me) a sweet that is leagues above the rest; fancier (I think it is spelled, and pronounce with a flair). They are a cross between a cookie and a dense muffin; they have almond flour and dark chocolate pieces… YUM. We had to have one to start the day.
From Standard we walked along Commercial Street to a really gorgeous gallery that had some of the most beautiful jewelry. Robin was kind enough to explain every piece and even let me try on the $9k ring. The boys went their own way and we finally met up with them right around lunchtime at Duck Fat (I assume it’s two words but it could be one, but it doesn’t matter). We have been hearing about Duck Fat forever and were so excited at the opportunity to try it out. The place is tiny. You can kinda see behind Jeff how small it is. Tiny isn’t even the word for this place. But the food was UN-BEEL-EVE-ABLE. The French fries are fried in … what other… duck fat. There are truffles in the ketchup. They have milkshakes with real full fat ice cream. And the panini’s are really good too. I’m sad that I didn’t try the beignets. For lunch I had the GBT- Goat cheese, bacon and tomato panini, hubby had the cubano – ham, pulled pork and bread and butter pickles and of course we shared a large fries. They also make their own soda, hubby had the root beer. I didn’t order a milkshake but Judy did and it was heaven through a straw, so creamy and cold but not icy. You have not had French fries until you have had their ff. You get a choice of dipping sauces to go with them; we tried the truffle ketchup because come on, when will you ever again find truffle ketchup, the garlic mayo. I went so far as to sprinkle some malt vinegar on mine… DEE-LISH. I will return to Duck fat and try everything else on the menu and get a side of those awesome fries every time.
So suffering from food coma at this point we walked back to the hotel, stopping at a few stores along the way decided to separate so that they could secure their babysitting and so we could relax a bit before dinner.
A few days before we arrived Judy asked me to choose the restaurant. She sent me the names of three restaurants and I couldn’t decide. They all looked so amazing. One better than the next. So she suggested her favorite restaurant and what an amazing choice it was. Vignola' sits on a side street near Commercial. The front of the restaurant is covered in vines and I was so happy as we were seated in the window seat. The wine and cocktail list was great. I ordered an orange basil mojito topped with prosecco, it tasted just like orangina, delicious.
Vignola’s pride themselves on local food from the lettuce to the steak. Most of the menu indicated locally grown food. The most impressive part of the menu was the cheese list. Covering exactly one half of the menu was the cheese list to rival all cheese lists. How could we not indulge. We ordered taleggio, manchego, goat and a local buttercup. One more rich than the next, so creamy and sharp; being the cheese lover that I am, I as in heaven. I ordered a red and green lettuce salad as an appetizer with local honey as the dressing, it was sweet and not over dressed, exactly what I wanted. For my meal I had swordfish steak over a bed of peashoot risotto and grilled zucchini and squash. The risotto was the star of the dish, perfectly cooked and seasoned and the peas were amazing and tender. The grilled veggies being the runner up perfectly cooked and dressed in very light oil. My first bite of sword fish was a little dry but turned out to be the only one. The swordfish was moist and tender and perfectly seasoned. The meal was stupendous. One of the best that I have had in a LONG time. The only dark spot in the evening was the service; although she was smiley and got everyone’s order right (except forgetting the fig bread at first) it was so slow. We were there for 2 and half hours and when we got there the restaurant was more than half empty. But honestly I can over look that in light of the amazing meal.
Whoa. I thought the first part was long…. Anyone still reading?
After the amazing dinner we went back to the Eastland Park hotel to have a drink on the roof top bar. The view was great and the drinks were plentiful. Sunday we woke up late had some breakfast in the room and finished a perfect weekend off with a visit to our friend’s place. Great weekend. Yay!