Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Best Birthday Ever!

My sister +Ashley Keene orchestrated a surprise birthday celebration with some of my best girlfriends +Gina Speelman, Kate, Shannon, and new friend Lisa. And yes, I know some of you are confused thinking I have already celebrated my birthday - but I like to really honor the whole month of my birth :) Narcissistic - probably. Fun - hell yeah.

The night began when my brother-in-law Scott drove Ash and I to an undisclosed location in the white out blizzard that we had Saturday night. Destination revealed: East 4th.


http://www.ballanwood.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Lola.jpg

Love love love this area. We were able to walk to all three of our special spots which became especially appreciated since I had on open toed high heels and was trudging through 3 inches of snow.

First Stop: Lola.

Hooray! I love fancy new restaurants to try! Here our some of the dishes we tried:

Bread and butter: crusty and perfect! I like that they kept it straight up simple - crusty white bread and no flavored butters. I hate when places mess with the bread and butter - I don't like my bread and butter to taste like a dessert!
Scallops: leek, sweet potato, bacon, mustard, lemon $29
Lamb Shank: fennel, turnip, fingerling potato, vadouvan $30
Agnolotti: chestnuts, winter squash, brussels sprouts, parmesan $26

Everything was good - I didn't really have a basis of comparison for the scallops - are scallops supposed to taste a little bland? The lamb was tender enough to fall right off the bone, but a bit salty. My favorite dish by far was Katie's Agnolotti - it was delic!

I also have nothing but good things to say about the staff. Friendly, attentive, and willing to put up with a table of obnoxiously loud girls :)


Second Stop: Hilarities at Pickwick & Frolic

1st comic was pretty funny and I was happy to hear Game of Thrones quoted!
2nd comic was hilarious! I love how he fed off of the audience so material seemed fresh, natural, and not scripted. (I have a phone call in to Hilarities to find out the name of the first two comics we watched)
Headliner: Andy Kindler - so not funny it was awkward and I actually felt sorry for him. I found myself asking 'huh?' throughout most of his set.


Third Stop: Society

I am seriously obsessed with this place. I want it to be my new watering hole, although I am too lazy to drive downtown to frequent it as much as I would like. The establishment has a speakeasy feel. Here's a little history on the word pulled from Wikipedia: "According to an 1889 newspaper, 'Unlicensed saloons in Pennsylvania are known as 'speak-easies'. They were 'so called because of the practice of speaking quietly about such a place in public, or when inside it, so as not to alert the police or neighbors.'The term is reported to have originated with saloon owner Kate Hester, who ran an unlicensed bar in the 1880s in the Pittsburgh area town of McKeesport, Pennsylvania."

After we entered the frosted doors (albeit a more conspicuous entrance than most bars of this type) a capped gentleman took our names and directed us to the basement.
We welcomed ourselves to a private room, took some pics, and then joined the crowd to order some hand crafted cocktails including Death in New York and Moscow Mules. I loved our equally cute and edgy waitress and the eclectic crowd.

The band Rick and Sharona had us dancing the night away to favorites such as "Downtown," "You're So Vain," "Sweet Caroline," and "Brown-Eyed Girl." 

Attaboy East 4th! Attaboy!