Well, we’re back from a serene and blissful vacation. A lot happened in the past three days so I’m going to recap each day in one post – all in the name of savoring the memories. And, boy did we make some memories. Matty and I didn’t have any set expectation for this vacation. We were simply excited to spend three consecutive days together free of distractions and full of…well…us. Before we left, I had butterflies in my stomach. It was our first “couple” vacation in the four years that we’ve been together!
Told you I was excited.
The weather couldn’t have been more perfect. It was 85 degrees sans humidity for the entire drive. All that we saw was a big, bright blue sky, swirls of clouds, trees, and the open road.
The two of us are not big fans of sitting still for too long, so we decided to break up the four-hour car ride by stopping at a “must-try” vegetarian restaurant in New Haven, CT. Our restaurant of choice, Red Lentil, also has a home in Watertown, MA (about 45 minutes from us) and it had been on our wish list for the past year.
New Haven is a really cool city – a distinct cross between industrial and artsy – and, while Matty and I didn’t get the chance to do much exploring, we definitely felt that vibe.
We entered the restaurant and slid into a comfy booth with rumbling tummies. After scouring the menu and wanting to order about 90 percent of it, we collectively decided the Gobi Manchurian would be a good decision. Little did we know it would arguably be the best appetizer we’ve ever had.
Gobi manchurian is a traditional Indian dish of cauliflower that is deep fried and topped with some sort of sweet glaze. We were pleasantly surprised to see this version was coated in chickpea flour and lightly fried. The edges of the florets were slightly crisp and each piece was evenly coated with a slightly sweet apricot glaze. Fresh red peppers and onions were tossed with the cauliflower, and the entire dish was topped with freshly chopped cilantro.
We could have died right there and life would have been complete. Don’t mess with our fiery Indian food passion. Also, don’t mess with hungry boyfriends and ask them if you can take their picture right as the appetizer is being set on the table.
We were both so satisfied from the appetizer that our meals, while still welcomed with open tummies, were not so much of a concern. I ordered another appetizer instead of an entree, as I had a feeling the Gobi Manchurian would have left me feeling pretty satisfied.
These were incredibly fresh and flavorful, and wound up being the perfect thing to enjoy after the denser appetizer we shared. The beet flavor was very distinct and married well with the apricot glaze and cilantro vinaigrette. While super delicious, I was a tad disappointed at the lack of sweet potato flavor. Thankfully, I got my fix when I helped Matty finish his entree.
These sweet potato fries reminded me of Garden Grille’s because they were thick, hearty, and lightly fried to perfection. Alongside the fries, Matty chowed down on the Zen Veggie Burger, made with black beans, brown rice, corn, carrots, red peppers, garlic, and onions. He was a big fan!
After our knock-out lunch, we ventured back to the car for the next two hours, which we dubbed Christmas in July.
Winner. We also played the “shuffle” game. It’s actually not a game at all but it’s still fun! We put Matty’s iPod on shuffle and saw how many songs we could get through without skipping one. The most random order of songs included Saves the Day, Miles Davis, Bruno Mars, and Coheed & Cambria. We had a big chuckle over that one.
Before we knew it, we were pulling into the swanky Hotel Indigo East End. After checking in, we walked to our deisgnated room, whose sign was decorated with wine barrell back splash.
Our vacation would include lots of that. Without hesitation, we explored the outdoor patio, which was filled with comfy seats overlooking lots of beautiful flowers and trees. Matty made himself right at home.
We chilled in the hotel room for a bit before getting ready for dinner at the hotel’s restaurant, Bistro 72. The two of us were excited to use the $50 gift card to Bistro 72 that we got with the Living Social deal that we purchased. I wore my favorite navy, polka-dot jumper with a bright pink belt and neutral-gold flats.
Immediately, their flatbread pizza called to me! I’m not a pizza person (never really was) but when you tell me it is topped with hummus, roasted veggies, and olive tapenade, I can’t really turn it down. Paired with a glass of pinot grigio, it was, in a word, divine.
Matty was equally happy to enjoy his beer and duck quesadillas, topped with avocado cream. His dish also came with a side of apple slaw. Duck is one of his favorite foods to order and, because it is so expensive, he never orders it. This was so special for him and I loved seeing his face light up after taking his first bite.
I found a heart-shaped scallion and declared this a symbol of our love. I think my glass of wine was talking at this point.
Yes, I am aware that my hands are orange and wrinkly. Sarah can feel me on this one. We’re just vitamin A-lovin’ girls, yo.
When our waiter asked if we’d like some dessert, we were about to decline when we remembered that our gift card was not completely used up. Poppycock! Dessert it was. I asked if sorbet was an option and our waiter told us it was a trio of sorbet (raspberry, mango, and orange), topped with fresh blueberries and raspberries.
Say no more, monsieur!
I’m not one for orange- flavored things (I always gifted my orange Starbursts and Skittles to others) and Matty isn’t a fan of mango or raspberry-flavored things so it kind of worked out seamlessly! It was the best sorbet I’d ever had because it was homemade and free of artificial sugars, so you could really savor the natural fructose from the aforementioned fruits.
Driving kind of wiped us out so we decided to go for a light beach walk in the Hamptons, a 30-minute drive from the hotel. Unfortunately, night walks are not really a thing out there so we had to turn around. We still got to see some pretty incredible beach mansions, though. We “Ooohed!” and “Ahhhed!” at them, flabbergasted that the majority of them were Summer house to these people.
Pretty crazy, huh? After our night drive, we called it a night and fell asleep to Crazy, Stupid Love. We had a busy day ahead of us filled with massages and a stunning trip to the vineyard!