Daily Archives: April 23, 2012
By the time most of you read this, I likely will be back at work after a wonderful week off from school. As a teacher, I have officially entered the home stretch– April’s pretty much done, May is a great month at high schools full of proms, banquets, and of course senioritis, and then by mid-June, exams are taken and I am done for a glorious two and one half months! I am so, so excited for summer vacation– believe me when I say this that teachers are worse than students when it comes to summer vacation anticipation!
I still have at least three or four New York City posts to send your way, highlighting even more of the delicious food we consumed, so expect a few of those recaps this week!
I also celebrated my half-birthday Saturday night! By celebrating, I mean actually remembering and acknowledging (to myself only) that in six months, I will be turning yet another year older. I am totally OK with that, by the way, and I actually look forward to what the next six months will bring. While I didn’t go out into full on birthday bash mode, my half-birthday happened to coincide perfectly with a fun dinner out with two of my husband’s and my favorite people. Just being able to hang out with them itself was a present and celebration enough to mark the semi- important day!
Our friends invited to us their gorgeous waterfront condo in Tiverton, Rhode Island which is a part of RI we don’t get to often enough. My husband and I rarely leave the Providence area, which is sad because RI has some of the most beautiful beaches and beach towns only twenty-five minutes away from us that we rarely visit! Tiverton is one of those places (kind of near Newport), so we were so happy to be able to venture out to see them in their gorgeous neck of the woods!
I didn’t take any pics of their view, but let’s just say this is what their condo balcony looks out upon. Simply gorgeous!
When we arrived, they had put out a gorgeous spread of apps to kick off our appetites before dinner at a local restaurant. My friends are so gracious in how attentive they are to my dietary preferences. . . they had so many of my favorite things!
I nibbled on some baby carrots, celery, pea pods, homemade, amazing guacamole, and some shoestring fries cooked perfectly in the toaster oven! And yes. . . those fries were for me! They know I am obsessed with fries of all kinds, so how sweet and awesome of them was it to make me some, complete with salt, pepper and ketchup? They were sooo good too. . . crunchy on the outside, mushy on the inside and seasoned to perfection!
After some nibbles and chatting, we headed to our dinner destination– Scampi! Scampi is a great waterfront restaurant in nearby Portsmouth, Rhode Island, and is quite the local gem with a gorgeous location. We had been there once before with them and were eager to return!
The inside of Scampi is really comforting: lots of wooden accents and very homey while still retaining a sophisticated vibe. As far Scampi’s menu, it is quite varied with an emphasis on seafood. They offer many Italian dishes, pastas and other comfort food favorites including brick oven pizza. I found there to be many vegetarian options in the pasta and pizza sections of the menu. As far as vegan and gluten-free offerings, the options of course were pretty limited, but I made due and pieced together a satisfying meal.
I started with a simple garden salad with balsamic vinegar and olive oil on the side for dressing. My salad was on point, with olives, tomatoes, carrots, romaine, and bell peppers. However, my friend ordered the best-looking salad of the night– the Caprese with fresh tomatoes, greens and mozzarella. I thought I would show it to you all just to show you how enormous both the tomato rounds and mozzarella slices were. That, my friends, is a real Caprese salad!
My salad, while very fresh, doesn’t have quite the visual impact of the Caprese, no?
I had a dinner of champions for my main course: sweet potato fries and the vegetable medley side dish, which I made sure was cooked in oil, not butter. The fries were so delicious (and yes, this was my second time eating fries that night!) and the veggies were pretty tasty too! I ate all of both!
FYI, my husband ordered the stuffed lobster tail, which came with two sides. He didn’t really want sides, so he asked if my order of fries and veggie medley could count as his sides, and they said no problem! So, in other words, we did not technically pay for my main meal since they came with my husband’s entree.
Now I know you may be wondering why I am raving about this place if all I had was a garden salad, some fries and some cooked veggies. Well, let me explain. First, the vibe of the place is so comforting and warm that I enjoyed simply being there with my friends. Second, our waitress was off the charts awesome and attentive. She was conversational, pleasant and so helpful. Third, I didn’t expect to have all kinds of options that were both vegan and low gluten at an Italian/seafood restaurant. I had very low expectations, so the fact I did enjoy a good salad, great fries and a nice mix of seasoned veggies made me quite content. They did have plenty of options for those vegetarians who don’t worry about dairy or gluten. I could also have chosen different sides to piece together a meal, such as their baked potato or rice, but I was craving the fries and veggie medley. I also had a feeling that if I did ask for them to create some kind of veggie/rice stirfry for me, they easily would have, but I personally didn’t feel like eating that on this particular occasion. Scampi served me well in providing me what I was craving and the dining experience I was looking for, which is what I think is really important to consider when reviewing a restaurant. I heartily give Scampi two thumbs up, and would easily go back there soon to order the exact same thing I had on Saturday night!
Are there restaurants you just love, even if you can’t necessarily eat many items off of their menu? If so, why then do you enjoy them so much?