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Ok, maybe the last part is a stretch.  But that kind of sums of my weekend.

On Saturday, I had a triple date with my two best friends to celebrate Danielle’s promotion, Nicole’s wedding plans, et cetera.  I claimed the “et cetera” and said that’s what we could celebrate for me … not sure what that translates into yet.

We went to Via Emilia, an Italian restaurant by the Flatiron that both of the girls are in love with.  I had never been, but I will definitely be returning.  The wine list is lengthy and the house red is delicious (as well as the sparkling red) and the bread is perfect – the sign of a good Italian eatery.

And the dinners were fantastic.  (Yes, I made each of them photograph their plates.  I’m officially the annoying food blogger friend that screams “Wait!” when people try to start eating.)

Via EmiliaOur meals from left to right, top to bottom were:

  • My Tortelloni di pollo – chicken and wild mushroom tortelloni with truffle olive oil. A-maz-ing.
  • Tom’s Lasagne – Modena Style, with beef and a Bechamel sauce.  Delicious.
  • Mike’s Tortelloni special – meat and cheese stuffed pasta.
  • Nicole’s Tagliolini al balsamico – olive oil, crushed garlic, balsamic vinegar, Parmigiano. So unique, and mouth-watering.
  • Danielle’s Tagliolini al balsamico – same thing as Nicole, except she couldn’t wait to eat it. 🙂
  • Chris’ Bistecca e patatine – grilled skirt steak, fries, pickled grilled red onions.
  •  Our shared desserts – Hazelnut gelato, chocolate gelato, and blackberry chianti sorbet. Plus, light and fluffy tiramisu.

Since we were celebrating Danielle’s promotion it somehow turned into accidentally convincing the restaurant it was her birthday, so we ended up having a candle in our gelato and everyone singing to her … guess we can’t go here for her real birthday in June!

And of course, every one of us finished every bit of our food and wine.

Via EmiliaIf you look in the middle of that picture and see a gigantic mug, that is our parmesan bowl.  I have a soft spot for Italian restaurants that not only give you the parmesan to put on yourself, but also give you a gigantic bowl of it.  It’s like they know me and my love for cheese….

We sat around catching up and ordering another round of wine instead of going to the bar.  They never once rushed us out and the owner even brought us teaspoons of sweet aged balsamic.  It was so Italian and so delicious.  And although it wasn’t a cheap meal, it definitely was not too bad for how much we ate, how amazing it tasted, and being in the heart of Manhattan.  We’re keeping this place on the list.

So for the second half of my weekend… I went to a BYOB painting studio in Hoboken called Art e Vino.  Thanks, Groupon, for opening me up to these experiences that I didn’t know existed in my own town.

Art e Vino BYOB Painting | Hoboken, NJ

I blame my lack of artistic talent on the wine.

I realized painting is not my forte but it was so much fun.  The class was a little deceiving since we all (foolishly) thought we would end up with masterpieces like the example painting. The amount of detail in ours was that of a 6th grade art class, but it was still a work of art.  And it was definitely worth the experience, right in our hometown Hoboken.

Art e Vino BYOB Painting

I think I’ll stick to writing…

And after we had a big family dinner (with friends, siblings, and significant others) at my apartment.  What did I make?  My current favorite food.  Recipe to come tomorrow, so stay tuned.