Steak, Champagne & Chocolate

Sounds like the makings of a good Valentine’s Day, no?

Our date at The Capital Grille was wonderful. That place really knows how to make Valentine’s Day extra special.

Ryan and I decided to get dressed up for our special date since we don’t frequent fancy places like this all too often.

Me & My Valentine

All Dressed Up

The service at The Capital Grille was amazing. Our waiter, Kenton, was knowledgable, attentive and had great recommendations.

In honor of Valentine’s Day, we were both given a complimentary glass of champagne to enjoy right when we sat down.


Ryan made a beautiful toast. I can’t believe that next year on Valentine’s Day will be a married couple. Wow-zaa!

To start, we split a bowl of the lobster bisque. It was amazingly creamy and had generous lumps of lobster meat throughout. Between the bisque, champagne and freshly baked bread, our meal was off to a great start!

We both took Kenton’s recommendations to heart when ordering our main course. I ordered the filet mignon with cippolini onions and wild mushrooms while Ryan opted for the Delmonico steak.

My Filet

Ryan and His 22 oz. Steak

Both were very good, though Ryan’s was better. 🙂

The real show stopper??? The lobster macaroni and cheese. Thank you to those of you who recommended we order this. It was beyooooond amazing.

Lobster Macaroni and Cheese

We also enjoyed steamed asparagus, but it didn’t hold a candle to the lobster mac.


When our check was delivered, our waiter brought me a gorgeous long-stemmed red rose and a box of chocolate truffles for each of us to enjoy.

Rose and Truffle Boxes

Our Valentine’s Day date was perfect. My date was the best and the restaurant he selected impressed both of us. I have never been to a restaurant that pulled out all the stops like The Capital Grille did for Valentine’s Day. It was quite a memorable experience!

Lucky for Sadie, we didn’t forget about our puppers and asked our waiter to box up our steak scraps for our girl.

Ryan’s car smelled divine on the way home because of our yummy bag of leftovers!

Drivin' Home

Though Ryan and I love getting dressed up for a fun date, after putting on our pajamas, we both agreed that loungin’ around in comfy clothes, cuddlin’ with Sadie is the real us. Throw an ice cream Snickers bar into the mix, and you’ve got the perfect conclusion to a wonderful Valentine’s Day! 😀

Valentine’s Day Mission Gifts

In case you were curious as to what $15 (more or less) allowed me and Ryan to buy for each other on our Valentine’s day mission, here are the goods:

Ryan’s Gifts (aka Foodie Fun Bag):

  • 2 Clif Bars (Carrot Cake & Banana Nut Bread)
  • Farmgirl Apple Cinnamon Pancake Mix
  • Yogi Green Tea Triple Echinacea
  • Whole Foods Gourmet Spiced Olives
  • Jelly Belly Jelly Beans

I made sure to fill Ryan’s goodie bag with foods I know he loves but doesn’t buy very often. The Jelly Belly jelly beans were extra fun. They were like the Bertie Bott’s Every Flavored Beans from Harry Potter… You didn’t know if you were going to eat a  good flavor or a disgusting one (like a caramel corn jelly bean or a rotten egg jelly bean). We had fun with that until we both tried a moldy cheese jelly bean. Yuk!

My Gifts (aka Girly Fun):

  • My Best Friend’s Wedding & The Wedding Planner duo movie DVD
  • Yankee Candle (Apple Spice)

I loved my gifts! My Best Friend’s Wedding is one of my all-time favorite movies. My best friend/college roommate Laurel and I used to watch it on repeat in our room. “From the moment I wake up…” 😀

I also opened a wonderful Valentine’s Day gift from my parents: Gap Body red pajamas with teeny white polka dots and fuzzy red slipper socks. I love ’em! Thank you!!!

V-Day Gift from the 'Rents

My mom always did a great job of making Valentine’s Day extra special and emphasizing the importance of showing friends and family how much you love them today as well.

On that note, I gotta tell you guys how much I love you and appreciate your comments and constant support of this blog that means so much to me. ❤

Lobster with My Lobster

Yes, another reference to the best show ever… Friends! 🙂

For breakfast this morning I enjoyed lobster with my lobster.

Ryan and I went to the grocery store right when we woke up and they had lobster tails on sale for $5 each. We figured eating lobster for breakfast on Valentine’s Day morning would be a neat treat!

Lobster Tails

I broiled the lobster tails until they were bright red and lookin’ tasty!

Ryan had his with eggs and toast, while I enjoyed mine with egg whites, zucchini, mushrooms and mozzarella cheese.

Ryan's Lobster Plate

My Lobster Breakfast

It was a yummy treat!

Valentine’s Day Mission

After breakfast, I headed off to the gym for a quick workout while Ryan got a head start on our Valentine’s Day mission.

This year’s Valentine’s Day mission was to spend $15 or less on a simple gift for each other.

My workout was awesome. I was totally in the zone on my run and I caught myself lip syncing to the Wicked soundtrack on more than one occassion. I ran five miles in 44 minutes before walking on an incline for another six minutes to cool down. My hair was sweaty and I looked like a brunette when I was leaving the gym!

I then headed off to tackle my end of our Valentine’s Day mission. I have no shame shopping without make up, looking red-faced and sweaty, but maybe I should… 😉

When I arrived home, Ryan and I took Sadie to the dog park for an hour before arriving at an appointment to see the house just down the street  from our current apartment for the second time this week. We wanted to check it out again as a potential place to rent when we move out.

We saw the place in the middle of last week and really liked it a lot. The landlord is a cool guy and seemed to want us as tenants. We were hoping to find a cheaper place, so when he called us last night to say he’d drop the rent by $100 a month for us we were super excited!  

We ended up submitting applications and are hopeful! Cross your fingers!


We ate lunch late today and I was a hungry lil’ girl! 

Pasta was sounding great, so I made a big pasta bowl with broccoli, marinara sauce and Parmesan cheese.

Pasta Bowl

I enjoyed a couple Gingersnap cookies for dessert and two squares of dark chocolate Dove chocolate. What’s Valentine’s Day without chocolate???


I’m off to shower up for a hot date with my handsome Valentine this evening.

Ryan made reservations for us at The Capital Grille for a romantic dinner. Neither of us have ever been, so we’re very excited. I’ve only heard wonderful things about it and can’t wait!

See ya later tonight! 😀

The Capital Grille Nutrition Facts

I am not someone who is on the fence with how I feel about restaurants posting their nutrition facts for the public to see.

I think it’s so important for Americans today to understand exactly what they’re eating. With nearly 35 percent of Americans falling into the “obese” category and another 32.7 percent classified as “overweight,” our society needs to take a proactive approach to encourage healthier living.

Do you think a multi-chain restaurant’s nutritional information should be available?

I will often email a large restaurant requesting nutritional information before going out to dinner. I do this not because I think they’ll give it to me, but to (on some small level) communicate that there are Americans who want this information.

Most of the time I get the obligatory “Our chefs can accommodate special requests” email, but every once in a while I get lucky. After emailing The Capital Grille, I received three PDF attachments with lunch, dinner, dessert and drink menu nutritional information. Jackpot!

The Capital Grille

I immediately responded enthusiastically, thanking the man who followed up with me so quickly. Terrible nutrition facts to not deter me from going to a restaurant. They help me examine then menu and understand what I will be eating when I select specific menu items.

Many of the items on The Capital Grille’s menu fit easily into a healthy-living plan, and others can too since healthy living, in my opinion, encourages moderation and indulging once in a while.

Since The Captial Grill does not post their nutritional information online, I thought you might enjoy looking through highlights of The Capital Grille’s nutritional information:


(Menu Item, Calories)

  • Wagyu Beef Carpaccio, 360
  • Prosciutto Wrapped Mozzarella with Vine Ripe Tomatoes, 680
  • Smoked Salmon, 520
  • Lobster and Dungeness Crab Cakes (with tartar sauce), 420
  • Shrimp Cocktail, 120 (with cocktail sauce add 80 calories)
  • Pan-Fried Calamari with Hot Cherry Peppers, 1,200
  • Cold Shellfish Platter, 340 (with sauces add 80 calories)
  • Grand Plateau, 780 (with cocktail sauce add 80 calories, with mustard sauce add 240 calories, with crab butter add 390 calories)

Soups and Salads

(Menu Item, Calories)

  • Cup of Clam Chowder, 280
  • French Onion Soup, 530
  • Caesar Appetizer Salad, 790
  • Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing, 420
  • Mozzarella, Tomato, Basil with Balsamic Chopped Salad, 410
  • Field Greens, Fresh Herbs, Tomatoes, 200
  • Wedge Salad, 915

Chef’s Suggestions

(Menu Item, Calories)

  • Seared Tenderloin with Butter Poached Lobster, 840
  • Cedar Planked Salmon with Tomato Fennel Relish, 520
  • Bone-In Kona Crusted Dry Aged Sirloin, 980
  • 10 oz Sliced Filet Mignon with Cipollini Onions and Mushrooms, 440
  • Porcini Rubbed Delmonico, 1,400

Main Courses

(Menu Item, Calories)

  • Dry Aged Sirloin Steak (14 oz), 670
  • Dry Aged Porterhouse Steak (24 oz), 980
  • Dry Aged Steak au Poivre with Courvoisier Cream, 940
  • Filet Mignon (10 oz), 370
  • Filet Oscar with Dungeness Crab, 640
  • Delmonico Steak, 1,070
  • Veal Chop with Roquefort Butter, 690 (without butter, subtract 230 calories)
  • Roasted Chicken, 1,500
  • Double Cut Lamb Rib Chops (4), 860


(Menu Item, Calories)

  • Broiled Fresh Lobster (per lb), 120 (with 2 oz. butter add 420 calories)
  • Grilled Swordfish with Lemon Shallot Relish, 530
  • Sesame Seared Tuna (Tuna, 290, Gingered Rice, 160, Wasabi Oil, 160)
  • Citrus Glazed King Salmon, 440

Side Offerings

(Menu Item, Calories)

  • Fresh Asparagus (12 spears), 40 (with Hollandaise Sauce add 200 calories)
  • Roasted Mushrooms, 300
  • Sam’s Mashed Potatoes, 690
  • Lyonnaise Potatoes, 930
  • Au Gratin Potatoes, 1,590
  • Sweet Onion Rings, 900
  • Fresh Creamed Spinach, 720
  • Parmesan Truffle Fries, 950
  • Lobster Mac ‘n’ Cheese, 1,560


(Menu Item, Calories)

  • Double Chocolate Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich, 1,040
  • Chocolate Hazelnut Cake, 1,310
  • Flourless Chocolate Espresso Cake, 740
  • Key Lime Pie, 920
  • Cheesecake with Fresh Seasonal Berries, 820
  • Coconut Cream Pie, 1,020
  • Classic Crème Brulee, 400
  • Fresh Berries in Vanilla Cream, 200
  • Fresh Strawberries Capital Grille, 290
  • The Capital Grille Handcrafted Ice Cream, 320
  • Chef’s Seasonal Fruit Sorbet, 160


Phew! That was a lot of copy and pasting!

Pesto Pasta

My friend Leah made me laugh when she said that every time she sees one of my pasta dishes with marinara sauce on this blog she feels like the dish isn’t living up to its true potential. She’s a strong advocate for the use of pesto with pasta!

What’s your favorite pasta sauce?

I have always been a red sauce lover. I’ve tried many different marinara sauces, varying from homemade, to gourmet, to five-star restaurant quality, and I’m a little ashamed to admit that my favorite red sauce remains Ragu marinara meat sauce. To me, there’s nothin’ better! 😀

After a little prodding from Leah, I decided I should give pesto a shot. Last night I prepped my lunch and made pesto sauce using a Knorr Pesto Sauce packet.

Knorr Pesto Sauce

The sauce was really easy to make, and I only needed to add water and olive oil to the mix, bring it to a boil and let it simmer.

While the pesto was simmering, I boiled 7-grain Ronzoni pasta.


When the noodles were ready, I drained them before adding a can of chicken to the pasta.

Pasta + Chicken

I then topped the chicken and pasta with the pesto sauce and stirred it up to evenly distribute the pesto.

Pesto Pasta with Chicken

Ryah had some for dinner last night and really enjoyed it. I thought it was pretty tasty for lunch today, too! I wonder if pesto counts as a vegetable… 😉

(For those of you wondering, my hot lunch date with Ryan had to be rescheduled to next Friday. Work duty calls!)

Weekend Plans

I’m so happy it’s almost the weekend! I have a couple things on the agenda for the weekend:


  • Dog park (It needs to stop raining! Grr!)
  • Dinner and a movie with Ryan
  • Intensely search craigslist for a new apartment/house to rent in Orlando (Yep, we’re moving!!!)


  • Volunteering from 8:30 a.m. – noon
  • Enjoy a Gossip Girl season 3 marathon (& make Ryan’s valentine) with two of my girlfriends
  • Mall
  • Dinner with Ryan

Sunday (Valentines Day!):

  • Hiking with Ryan and Sadie
  • Drive around to search for an apartment/house to rent
  • Dinner at The Capital Grille with Ryan

$5 off $10 at Boston Market

Are you a fan of Boston Market? Click here for a coupon to receive $5 off a $10 purchase at Boston Market, valid through February 18.

Boston Market

I credit Ryan and Boston Market for opening my eyes to the deliciousness of sweet potatoes. Their sweet potato casserole is unbelievable.

How good does this sound??? Sweet Potato Casserole: Beauregard sweet potatoes slowly cooked, mashed, and mixed with spices and brown sugar. Sprinkled with an oatmeal streusel and mini marshmallows.

I instantly love anything with the word “streusel” in it.

After sampling the yummy side off Ryan’s plate back in college, I realized how good sweet potatoes actually are after living my whole life as a sweet potato hater.

One of my favorite things to do with Ryan when we first started dating was pick up a bag of tortilla chips and  swing through the Boston Market drive-thru to order big side of their creamed spinach to bring back to his apartment. Between the two of us, we polished off this special treat on several occasions. Yum!

What is one of your favorite simple date memories?