Sep 30, 2011

Food + Music for Our 1-Year Anniversary

On September 25, 2010, Jared and I tied the knot right here in Richmond and it was absolutely perfect. The sun was shining, the drinks were flowing and people were dancing! Our wedding couldn’t have been any better. It seems really crazy to be writing this post thinking that a year already flew by. A lot of good things have happened since our marriage namely purchasing our first home together and, of course for me, starting Pretty Tasty Things. We’re just thankful that things have been going great since we got married. So, for our anniversary, we wanted to make it special for us so we celebrated in several different ways that brought back memories of our wedding and honeymoon.

The first stop was Charlottesville, VA. We ate dinner at the downtown outdoor mall, which was absolutely the cutest place in Virginia. We didn’t want to spend so much money, so we tried The Hook, a popular diner in Charlottesville. The food was pretty decent, but I probably wouldn’t go back. We didn’t go to Charlottesville to just eat. The real reason was to see Ray LaMontagne perform at the nTelos Wireless Pavilion. Our first dance was to his song, “You are the best thing.” What great timing!

It was only a day trip so we loaded up on coffee before the show started. I didn’t want to fall asleep on the road driving back to Richmond!

Jared is such a Southern boy. He ordered country fried steak smothered with gravy. He had a side of mashed potatoes and corn, which was left uneatened. The steak was good, but the sides were pretty bad. You could tell the mashed potatoes sat on the burner for a while and the corn was straight out of the can.

On the other hand, my all-lump crab cake sandwich, was alright. It wasn’t anything to go crazy over, but it had a good amount of crab meat, which is what I like. I was a little disappointed with the bun. I think bread is just as important as the filling and it fell a little short.

We arrived at the show around 7pm. Jared was a little tired, but I was super pumped to see Ray! We found a spot on the lawn with our lawn chairs and watched from afar Brandi Carlile, who performed beforehand, and my man, Ray LaMontagne. Ray didn’t sing our song, but listening to his sweet sweet voice was worth the trip and money.

We returned back to Richmond later that night, and on our actual anniversary day, we had brunch at Kuba Kuba in Richmond, VA (the Fan). We went to Spain for our honeymoon and granted it’s not anywhere close to Cuba or being Cuban, they both love their café con leches as much as Jared and I do. Every day in Spain, Jared and I started each morning with a cup of café con leche. Since then, we’ve been addicted. We even make it at home, here’s the recipe for it! 

It was crowded as hell at Kuba Kuba, as always. So we sat at the bar and watched these two men cook seamlessly in their small space. It was damn impressive.

We both ordered the California Huevos, which is two perfectly cooked over medium-eggs over red beans and Kuban bread topped with Monterey Jack cheese, lime sour cream and enchilado sauce. It was outstanding. We finished our coffee, devoured our meal and left with happy stomachs.

Our last stop was Emilio’s Restaurante in Richmond, VA (the West End) for dinner. So, Jared surprised me with first stopping at Emilio’s in the Fan. Not gonna lie, the atmosphere wasn’t too great in the Fan. It was more like a hangout spot, a dive bar than something intimate and romantic. So, we drove a little west to their second location in Short Pump. It just felt cleaner and more appropriate for the occasion. We sat and immediately ordered a pitcher of sangria. Thankfully for us, it was sangria Sunday, which meant a pitcher was only $12!

The endless pitcher of sangria filled each of our glasses four times!! The sangria was not as sweet as the ones we drank in Spain, but they certainly hit the spot.

We ordered off the tapas portion of the menu since we ate that way in Spain. The food definitely reminded me us of our trip. The flavors and style were pretty close to being authentic. Our first tapa was the Gambas al Ajillo, gulf shrimp in a special garlic sauce. The shrimp were a little small, wished they were slightly bigger, but the garlic sauce was out of this world. We later dipped our bread in it…oh my gosh. I couldn’t stop eating the sauce. This is definitely one dish I’ll recreate in Pretty Tasty Things.

We also order the Empanada con chorizo. It was stuffed with Monchego cheese and chorizo served with a paprika aioli. We weren’t a huge fan of this one, the stuffing was too cheesy for my liking. We then ate a Pan a la Mediterranea, which was flat bread topped with marinated artichokes, mixed Spanish olives, roasted red peppers, garlic and melted Monchego cheese. It was like a little pizza! Pretty good!

Last, but not least, the mussels in a spicy marinara sauce. OMG. This specific dish definitely took me back to Spain. The first bite was exactly like the mussels I had in Spain. They were as good. The sauce was spicy and flavorful. I would go back and get this over and over again. We ate every last one of those mussels. It was my favorite.

This pretty much wraps up our weekend in food and music. Thanks so much for reading about our food experiences and if you live in Richmond, I would totally recommend Kuba Kuba and Emilio’s for some good eats. Can I just say that Spanish cuisine has got to be one of my favorites!

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5 Comments

  • thanks for sharing this. you two are super cute together, as i always tell your sister sharon. my hubby and i have got to venture to richmond one day.

    • Isabel

      thanks, jessica :) oh, you should visit richmond one day. definitely a lot of good eats here! and one of these days i have to meet you and the rest of sharon’s coworkers. you guys certainly get her into a lot of trouble :P or maybe she’s the trouble!

  • i wish you guys asked for restaurant recommendations in cville! there are so many cheap, tasty places there. happy anniversary!

    • Isabel

      i know! our trip to cville was so last minute though. we hadn’t decided until that afternoon that we were going b/c of the rainy weather. next time though, i’ll definitely ask you! i know you love that city!

  • [...] go. Within one week of each other, we celebrated Jared’s 30th Birthday and our 2nd year anniversary as a married couple. I know this is long overdue, but I wanted to share with you where we dined for [...]

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