Thursday, November 7, 2013

Say Whaaaa?

Hey everyone!  Sorry for the long time, no chatter.  This week completely got away from me.  But I just had to jump back on here today to tell you about the fun & REALLY delicious dinner we had last night, which was made extra special for one cool reason:  It was held at the JNA Institute of Culinary Arts in Philadelphia and everything, from the kitchen to the dining room floor, was run by the students!
Not to mention, it's one of the best deals in town!  4 courses for $25 with a fresh, new menu every season.  Me likesJ  The Fall theme this year was Italian and as you can imagine, we were OK with thisJ

After a short, two-stop subway ride from Center City, we were seated in the cozy, 7-table dining room (reservations are taken from 4pm-8pm Monday-Thursday)...

...where we placed our order and were met with WARM, homemade bread and olive oil for dipping.  Yum x 10!  I ate WAY more slices than necessary, but the word 'homemade' just kept forcing me to reach across the table and grab some moreJ

Next up, was my first course of warm and creamy carrot soup, which was very good but really only a hold over to the NEXT course...

...otherwise known as one of the best things I've EVER eaten:  The Beef Ragu with homemade linguine!
Seriously, no words but PERFECTION!  There's just something so SPECIAL about homemade pasta because it's such a rare find...but top those perfectly, chewy noodles with some beef ragu BURSTING with flavor and nice texture from the tender meat and crunchy carrots & celery, then you have a WINNER!  SO AWESOME!

We could have just stopped there with dinner, but the hits kept coming:  Including my pa- roasted tilapia topped with tomatoes & olives and served with polenta and mixed veggies... 
Everything on this plate was divine, including the flaky & flavorful fish...but for whatever reason, those vegetables had Scott & I licking our plates.  Big props to whoever was doing the garnish last nightJ

And finally, for our final course for dessert was crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside, PIPING hot zeppoles served with a vanilla bean glaze.  Swoooooooooooooooon!  Could you ever go wrong with this one??

When all was said and done, our bill came to a grand total of $0 thanks to a buy one/get one Groupon and the only thing left to do was fill out a comment card (it actually impacts the students grades) and provide a tip that went to their scholarship fund.... 
Dinner was 100% delicious and I'd definitely give all of the students an A+ last night!  A great job all around.  Try out JNA Institute if you want a great meal for an excellent bargain!

In OTHER news this week, I also managed to bust down all of our Halloween decorations in favor of turkeys...

...and my beloved 'harvest corn'...J

Oh yeah, and my BFF & I ran our first 5K. 

A 5K was on my BFF's 'bucket list,' so I decided to join in the funJ  We signed up for the Living Social 5K dance party, cause we figured if we were EVER going to run, glow-in-the-dark lights and dance music was a good way to go about itJ

The funnest part was after crossing the finish line, they had a stage & a DJ set up BLASTING music!  And since your adrenaline was so high from crossing the finish line, what better way to celebrate than dancing like maniacs along with the rest of your glowing 5KersJ
I REALLY can't wait to do it again. <~ And those are a few words my old self would NEVER have imagined I would utterJ

Alright, well I better scoot out of here and get to the grocery store.  There hasn't been much cooking in this house since the weekend, so I'm SUPER ready to get back into it today!  And it's definitely going to be one on the 'lighter side' after a few-too-many days of indulging.  Time to roll up the sleeves and get to workJ

Have a good Thursday!
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