Welcome to Mangia Mondays, the blog hop that I am lucky enough to co-host with the beautiful and talented Kristin of Delightfully Dowling (along with her sweet baby girl Charli!)
This weekend I had dinner with two of my best friends from high school and realized that I never shared with you a girl's weekend we spent last fall in honor of our 40ths! It was a culinary delight from start to finish so I thought I'd revisit it with you today.
If you are planning on leaf peeping in New England this fall, I highly recommend a stay at the Wentworth By The Sea Hotel and Spa in New Castle, New Hampshire, right outside of the small and charming city of Portsmouth. The three of us left our ten collective kids at home with their dads, and spent the better part of two days talking, eating, shopping and catching up. It was long overdue and so much fun!
We started in Rye Beach, New Hampshire - a beautiful, scenic area - with a walk along the coastline, followed by what might have been the best lobster roll I've ever had (besides Mark's of course!) at The Beach Plum.
Apart from catching up, the weekend was all about the food, so after reading reviews of restaurants all over Portsmouth weeks in advance, we settled on The Green Monkey for our first dinner. This was after we spent eons getting ready because we could - no kids to feed before we left, no husband waiting impatiently to go, the three of us in the hotel bathroom putting on makeup, blowdrying our hair, and chatting. I forgot about how getting ready with your friends is half the fun of going out!!
*I love these girls so much!!*
Every table at the restaurant has a hand drawn monkey on the paper tablecloth (that I actually found kind of creepy - how about you??)
The Green Monkey got rave reviews from The New York Times, Boston Magazine and The Phantom Gourmet and the three of us voted it an 8/10 (I actually wrote that down last year!) The drinks were really fun, the atmosphere was lively, the sea scallops were really good, and the location was great - two blocks away from busy Market Square in Portsmouth.
The next morning we had the highlight of our weekend culinary experiences - breakfast at The Friendly Toast, again in Portsmouth.
There is also one in Cambridge, MA and I highly recommend a visit to one of these restaurants if you are in either area. There was a line a mile long outside the restaurant and up the sidewalk, but it was worth the wait! (especially since we had no children to entertain in line - it's amazing how parenthood has given us a whole new perspective on such things!) A year later I can still remember what I had here and how very yummy it was! It was one of those meals that even when you are stuffed and feel disgusting you can't help but pick at your plate until the server comes by and you ask him to take it away before you can have another bite.
An omelette with goat cheese, asparagus and bacon, with tender, flavorful potatoes and themostsinfullydeliciouswhitebreadknowntomankind. Have mercy. Quite possibly the best breakfast of my 41 years of life. No kidding. Go there.
With all that protein and carbs under our belts - literally! - we were ready to face the day - a trip to the spa and shopping 'til we dropped - and believe it or not we worked up a bit of an appetite again! Karyn, our New Hampshire resident, told us about this little bakery, Popovers, right there in Market Square that we couldn't NOT go into. I knew it was my kind of place when I saw one of my favorite quotes on the wall:
"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well."
- Virginia Woolf
This bakery didn't happen to get the award from New Hampshire Magazine for Best in 2012 for nothin':
I distinctly remember saying "I will throw up if I have one bite of that" and then somehow managed to scoff down the whole thing. Mmmmmmhmmmm, complete gluttony.
Hours and hours later, after talking ourselves silly discussing everything big and small - wrinkle creams, parenting, mom jeans, our parents' health, shoes, books, careers and everything in between, we packed up and slowly walked out to the parking lot to say our goodbyes. But…..
….why leave hungry? Shouldn't we split a salad and appie at that place that was on the Wine Spectator's Award of Excellence list before we hit the road??? How often do we all turn 40???
The Library had a cute bar area, a nice menu and great lighter fare too. We gave it a 9/10 for overall enjoyment.
*Our rating might have been skewed by the fact that we were on Day Two of having no responsibilities, and our faces hurt from laughing. But still - it was great. We all recommend it!
Since it's Mangia Mondays, I'll leave you with this:
A true friend is one who thinks you are a good egg even when you're half cracked.
I couldn't resist!
Link up a recipe, restaurant review or kitchen tip or trick below.
Thank you for linking back to Shine Your Light or Delightfully Dowling in your post!
I hope you enjoyed visiting Portsmouth, New Hampshire with me, and check out some of these restaurant recommendations if you're in the area.
Happy Columbus Day friends!