Wednesday, August 22, 2007

There's nothing Wong with a pick-me-up

Originally uploaded by Coconutto.

It's tricky for me to work out whether my favourite dessert of all time is tiramisu or lemon meringue pie. Perhaps they really are tied for top spot in my estimations. Whatever the case, I can rarely resist a creamy, cakey tiramisu if I see it on a menu; it can often live up to its literal translation, and truly be the 'pick me up' dessert I need.

Normally Wongy travels for her job and only comes back to Chi-town on Friday evenings and stays the weekends before she's off again (usually somewhere dull) bright and early on the Monday morning. But this week she came back early, and called me because she wanted to take me out to belatedly celebrate my birthday - very sweet idea indeed.

When she called tonight I was committed to running errands at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. While I haven't announced in on here yet, I move into my new apartment on 1 September (yay) and the only thing I don't yet have - but pretty much really need - is a dinner set and some cutlery (boo). And despite this very specific list, AND a 20% off coupon for the store, I left empty-handed. Double boo to that.

So on we trrudged, through the stifling humidity, to the lovely Basil Leaf Cafe in Lincoln Park. I've passed it many times but never called in. But when I was searching for apartments in Lincoln Park way back when, my bus used to go straight past the restaurant and everyone inside looked well-fed and happy to be there. And tonight when I finally got to be the diner, I found out that the restaurant serves up very reasonably-priced and yummy Italian fare. The pastas are pretty creative with their ingredients too, and a fair amount of seafood, which I quite like.

I enjoyed a butternut squash ravioli with roasted garlic, spinach, and basil oil dinner, after which time I was compelled to order a tiramisu and an espresso to round out the experience. Both were delicious. This is not a photo of the tirarmisu I had of course - mine was terribly decorative (and clearly not made in the restaurant's more rustic kitchen). But nevertheless, the coffee was served in very cute Illy cups - I wanted to pinch it, but clearly I'd have to come back 5 more times to get the full set so it hardly seemed worth the trouble.

It was great to see Wongy again and reminisce about my 30th birthday celebrations. The memories are so fun to re-live.

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