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Life is too short to eat bad food! Sharing great recipes, farm life, stories and photography from our Northern California dairy farm.

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September 12, 2010

Chianti and Portelli

What do these two names have in common?


  • They're both in Novato

  • They're both Italian restaurants

  • They both have delicious food

  • And we celebrated our wedding anniversary at both of them on Friday night.



My gym hosts a 'Parent's Night Out' once a month where we can sign up to drop our kids off from 6-9:30 p.m. for a nominal fee and during their time there, they can play with all the toys, video games, outdoor games, while also being fed a  pizza dinner.....how great is that?!  We haven't had the chance to take advantage of this program all summer because we've been busy on the nights it was scheduled.  Bryce and Paige have both been asking all summer if they could go to "Kid's Night Out" {as we call it}, so finally, we were able to utilize this member service on Friday night.  

After dropping the kids off, Dominic and I headed over to Chianti Cucina for dinner.  This is a fairly new restaurant and neither one of us had been to it yet.  They have a huge menu and a long list of specials to choose from.  

While pondering over the menu and snacking on some bread and olive tapanade, I asked Dominic,

"Can you believe it's been seven years since we've been married?!"

He answers, "Has it only been seven years?!"

Umm, sorry buddy you're stuck with me now.

On that note, I ordered one of these.  A nice glass of St. Francis Cabernet.  Perfect.

Dominic ordered one of these.  A Stella brew.

We placed our dinner order and ate more bread and olive tapanade.

Dominic's Minestrone soup arrived, which he said was really good.

While he ate, I sipped my wine and enjoyed the patio view.  We were actually fortunate enough to score on a random 75 degree evening.  Normally, it would be quite chilly by this time at night, but that's what I enjoy about our Indian summer weather we have during the months of September and October. 

I decided to do my part to support the dairy business even more than I already do by ordering this grilled salmon made with at least a half stick of butter {okay, I'm exaggerating just a little}. But, Oh My Gosh was this ever delicious!  It was served with creamy blue mashed potatoes and veggies.  I could tell at this point, Chianti was going to be a new favorite restaurant for me.

Dominic went for the surf and turf special.  A rib eye steak topped with deliciously grilled prawns and served wtih the blue mashed potatoes and veggies.  FYI, their 'medium' is more like 'medium rare' {at least for us}, but very tasty.  How can you go wrong with the flavor of a rib eye!  I had a bit of the prawns and they were grilled perfectly.

We sat and enjoyed the warm temperature from early evening....

to late evening.  At around 8 p.m. we decided to drive downtown to have dessert.  Ice cream or gelato was the original thought.

We found parking in front of Portelli and as we got out of the car, their sidewalk sign was calling to me with the words "Red Velvet".  My favorite! 

Portelli has an outdoor patio area as well.  So we continued the evening with our outdoor dining.
Dominic ordered a glass of port.


I had a decaf.

We sat and enjoyed the view while waiting for dessert.


Dessert, let me just say, I was not disappointed with this Red Velvet cake!  It was served with a scoop of what I believe to be vanilla ice milk.  I ate Every.  Last.  Bite.  It was SO good and I wish I had another piece right now as I'm writing this.



Dominic ordered the Tiramisu, served in a martini glass and topped with a strawberry.

Ten seconds later, his martini glass looked like this.  No Joke!

All in all it was a great night to celebrate our 7th wedding anniversary.  Great food, vino, dessert, company and a nice little break from the kid's usual monopolization of the dinner conversation.

We were back at the gym at 9:20 to pick up the kids, where they all happened to be outside playing tennis on a couple of the courts.  We played with them for about 10 minutes which was really fun and I was wishing we could stay longer!  Everyone had a fun evening.  And I hope you did too with what ever you happened to do this weekend :)

Happy Sunday!
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