Happy (or, well, whatever emotion it is you feel today) Monday, everybody! I hope you all had restful and relaxing weekends. I had a particularly great one! Friday night kicked off with an epic hangout with my good friend Lara, her friend (who is now also my friend, heh) Sabrina. In involved a delicious recipe for LASAGNA SOUP (it was amazing), some homemade ice cream with my new ice cream maker, and a glorious re-watching of Pitch Perfect, which is seriously so hilarious it actively hurts (aca-SCUSE ME?!).
So, yeah. Pretty awesome weekend kickoff, if I say so myself. Saturday Sean took me out for a surprise mystery date. He’d been hinting all week that we were going somewhere Saturday night, but wouldn’t give me any hints or clues as to where. Weeeell, it turns out the sneaky guy is kind of amazing, because he took me back to Nostos, the fantastic Greek restaurant where we had our first date!
And UNLIKE on our first date, where I was on my very best behavior, this time I didn’t feel ashamed to take a zillion pictures, hehe.
We even ended up at the same table, though that was due entirely to coincidence and not to Sean’s planning skillz, hahaha. Our anniversary technically isn’t for another few weeks, so I was totally caught off guard. It turns out there was a very specific reason for the early celebration, but I’ll get to that in a minute. First, FOOD!
Tzatziki and pita
Nostos offers both regular-sized entrees and a selection of mezze, or small plates. Being the food sharer that I am, of course I opted for the mezze! I did this on our first date, too, and was very pleasantly surprised to find out that Sean is A-OK with food sharing. That gave him a definite check in the “Pros” column that night, hee. Of course, had I KNOWN we were going to this place, I would have brought my REAL camera with me, and had actual, good photos to share. But I’m pretty sure that me leaving the DSLR at home was part of Sean’s plan all along, haha.
An eggplant tomato dish
Dolmades – rice and beef stuffed grape leaves
Filet skewers (these were AMAZING)
Yes, that is flaming cheese.
Which naturally turned into ooey-gooey, melty, delicious cheese.
We got almost all different things than we got the last time we were here, so it was really nice to sample more of the menu. I kinda missed the octopus though, no kidding! Back when Sean set up our first date, I looked up Nostos on Yelp and saw that everyone recommended the grilled octopus. I asked Sean if we could get it, and he complied (oh, the willingness that we all have to do things we don’t want to do when we first start out dating someone, hahaha) but it turned out to be ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. If anyone in the area goes to Nostos, the things I absolutely, 100% recommend are the tzatziki, the flaming cheese, and the octopus.
For dessert, we shared a creme caramel which was drenched in orange liquor sauce. Mmmm.
As if dinner wasn’t enough, Sean also had tickets to the Ari Hest show at the Barns at Wolf Trap, which is exactly what we did on our first date, too. So yeah, he recreated that entire evening, except this time there was far less nervousness and a lot more casual handholding.
If you like folksy, acoustic-y music, by the way, you totally need to give Ari Hest a listen. He’s like Joshua Radin (my loooove!) but a little bit deeper, a little more rhythm… and he is just the BEST performer. Seriously. I’d never heard of him before Sean took me to see him on our first date, and I’m usually not someone who likes to go to concerts of artists I don’t know. But I LOVED him. Right down my alley, and such an entertaining performer. My favorites songs are Dead End Driving, The Weight, and Business in America, if you need a place to start. <3
The weekend had a pretty anticlimactic ending, with the Redskins losing their playoff game to the Seattle Seahawks. (Yes, I watched the game, and yes, I actually paid attention to most of it. WHO AM I?!?) But the rest of it more than made up for the slightly melancholy ending.
Are you an anniversary celebrator? I used to go a little bit overboard and insist that every relatively long length of time needed to be celebrated — 3 months, 6 months, first dates, first kiss, etc, etc. But I think I’m pretty good with the single annual thing now. I’m sure we’ll still be doing a little second celebration (probably just a gift exchange or something) on our actual day (January 26th), but this was really the perfect way to ring in a year with my love.
Okay, stopping the cheesiness here. Except, you know, I’ll never stop the cheese-y-ness. Especially the flaming kind.