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To 29!

My 29th birthday was an especially enjoyable day thanks to friends, coworkers, and families.  It is always so touching to get so many people reaching out to me.  It was an especially happy one because it seemed like it had been weeks since Bryan and I were able to sit down to a nice meal together just the two of us.

My day started at 7 am before I was off to a free barre class at Barre3 for my birthday.  Good class to kick-start my day.  I talked to mom on my way to work, grabbed a grande cinnamon dolce latte from Starbucks and finally made it in the office doors around 9:30 am.  Work was the norm and finally the sun came out in the afternoon to make for a beautiful day.

Bryan had made reservations for my birthday dinner at the cozy and award-winning Cafe Juanita in Kirkland, WA (on the north end of Lake Washington) for 7:30 pm.  He brought me beautiful flowers on his way home from work and we headed over to Kirkland for a truly fantastic dinner.  We wanted to try quite a few things so we ordered a selection of dishes that we were able to share and they conveniently split for us (so all photos but the rabbit are the half portions).  Bryan ordered a fantastic Washington Tempranillo bottle that went well with all of our dishes.  We were brought a house made bread basket to get things started.  And then the food started to come…

Dim and awful photo of me at dinner.
Dim and awful photo of me at dinner.

First:  Octopus Appetizer = extremely tender and well seasoned octopus, creamy chickpeas, and great herby sauce to tie it all together.  Bryan also ordered his favorite Burrata Appetizer = creamy burrata and quince paste on an herbed bruschetta (no photo but good and very Spanish-influenced).

Octopus, chickpea, smoked bone marrow, salsa verde
Octopus, chickpea, smoked bone marrow, salsa verde

Second:  Beet Salad = best beet salad of my life!  I could bathe in that pistachio crema!!

Looks like dessert but is a roasted beet with yogurt, pistachio crema, and pickled rose petal vinagrette
Looks like dessert but is a roasted beet with yogurt, pistachio crema, and pickled rose petal vinaigrette

Third:  Pasta = very creamy lamb ragu in a brilliant mix of gnocchi and pumpkin with vibrant pomegranate seeds to contrast textures and flavors

Goat cheese gnocchi, lamb sugo, pan roasted pumpkin, pomegranate
Goat cheese gnocchi, lamb sugo, pan roasted pumpkin, pomegranate

Fourth:  Rabbit = Best sauce in the world, most tender meat, very good.  We also got the side of cauliflower which was delicious and plentiful in contrast to the portions of everything else and absolutely filled me up.

Their signature dish of roasted rabbit, stuffed with pancetta and porcini mushrooms and herbs, with a delicious microgreen topping and oh that meaty mushroomy sauce
Their signature dish of roasted rabbit, stuffed with pancetta and porcini mushrooms and herbs, with a delicious microgreen topping and oh that meaty mushroomy sauce
Roasted cauliflower, pinenut crema, cumin, cayenne, lime
Roasted cauliflower, pinenut crema, cumin, cayenne, lime

Fifth:  Dessert = Unphotographed because I was distracted by the candle but a very interesting and good dessert.  It was a burnt meringue on the plate, with passionfruit curd, roasted blackberries, cocoa crumbs, and milk chocolate.  Very nice combinations of sweet, tart, rich, light, loved it!

After our great and long dinner we came back to finish opening up my box from Grandma, open Bryan’s card, and this winter Bryan and I will be taking dance classes so watch out Mom and Dad!

Chelsea

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