Saturday, April 10, 2010

Date Night - Part Deux

When my parents and kid brother came over from Canada to visit us over Easter weekend, DH and I got another chance for a do-over of our previous disastrous date night. We nixed the idea to give sushi another shot (seriously, is there anything worse than mediocre sushi?), and opted for this little place right in our neighborhood that I'd been meaning to try out for ages - Ibiza. I'm not going to leave you hanging till the end of this post to tell you how I felt about it, because I'm not a tease. Not today anyway! Ibiza turned out to be better than I'd hoped for. Perhaps I purposely kept my expectations low, maybe I was desperate for a night out, or maybe it was the company (we dragged my brother along, despite his protests that he didn't want to be the third wheel - but between him and DH, I was thoroughly entertained!), whatever it was, I loved it! Now let me break it down for you and explain why. Oh, and let me apologize in advance for the dark photos; I still haven't figured out how to take decent shots in a dark restaurant. If any of you fab food photographers have tips on how to do that, do tell!

Ibiza is a tapas and wine bar. Their menu was split into the traditional hot and cold tapas, and the modern hot and cold tapas. Since I've never been to Spain, I can't vouch for their authenticity, but I know for a fact that they didn't try to dumb down their menu, which a lot of ethnic places are guilty of. Of course, they had an extensive wine list, but if you're looking to see me review those, you're on the wrong blog! It's all about the food here, and the occasional non-alcoholic beverage or two. The restaurant itself was cute, albeit a bit of a tight squeeze, but the atmosphere was really buzzing. The service really friendly too. Our waitress, Tiffany, was a sweet little thing who actually seemed to like her job - which makes a huge difference in the quality of service, folks.
Roast lamb on toast with roasted tomatoes and a kickin' chimichurri sauce. We should've ordered more of these delectable babies.

Nevat goat cheese on toast with fig, walnut and truffle oil. I wish I didn't have to share this plate with anyone (note to self for next time).

Grilled baby octopus with caramelized onions. So tender, they just melted in my mouth.

Baby squid cooked in its own ink, over baguette slices. A revelation! So damn good! Turned all our teeth black, but so worth it!

Sauteed shrimp in garlic sauce. Not half bad; it was all about the sauce.

Peppers stuffed with ground lamb, with crispy chickpeas. So complex and scrumptious - these disappeared so fast, I just managed to squeeze in a shot of the last one on the plate!

Cuttlefish with pasta. Probably the least interesting dish of the night, but overall not a bad choice.

The special dessert they had that night - Chocolate fondant cake with homemade strawberry gelato. I liked it.

My brother's favorite dessert of the night - Coffee and hazelnut tart. Smoooooooooooooth.

DH had the creme catalana, which is the spanish version of a creme brulee, and it was delicious, with specks of real vanilla bean swimming around. But if you know DH, you'll know that it was done with before I had time to get my camera ready.

After dinner, the three of us took our butts over to Mamoun's Falafel in New Haven (once we made the mandatory call to check in with B and his grandparents - they seemed to be getting along like old pals, so we knew we didn't have anything to worry about), where we sat outside and smoked some gooooooood sheesha (water-pipe) and munched on a plate of crispy, freshly-made falafel. It was a great way to end the night. Too bad the sheesha gave DH a headache (pfffft. Lightweight.), but I was was only slightly giddy and definitely happy. So there you have it, dear readers. A successful date night at last!


Unknown said...

Ah, fabulous daaaaahling. As for me, I made a crap attempt at macaroni and chhese. So below my expectations :P.
How I adore date nite.

Did I mention that I grew up in Orange, CT? Do they still have this place called Dip Top? It was my all time favorite place as a kiddie. Never tried mamoun's falafel, which is a shame, as I simply adore falafel. Kind of cant believe that they have sheesha in CT LOL.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend daaaaahling.
*kisses* HH

Mari said...

YAY what an improvement from the last time! I am happy to hear that mommy and daddy had a good time =) you both deserve it!

Everything looks mouth watering...

Joanne said...

tapas are so much fun because it almost feels like you're getting many meals in one with all you get to try. The food looks quite delicious, especially the dessert (my favorite part!). Yay for having a successful date night! Don't parents just make the best baby-sitters!

Cathy said...

What a great looking date night :) I'd be all over that goat cheese tapas...and I wouldn't share either.

Pam said...

What a feast! I am so glad your date night was a success.

nandini said...

My !! the goat cheese tapas with fig topping looks so tempting and cant get enough of that chocolate fondant too. Glad u had a great date nite!!.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a fabulous evening and a delicious meal!