Terra & Vine

Yesterday was busy, and I got to spend it with a few of my faves. 

After lots of time with my little girl, I headed out on a rainy day to Terra & Vine, a rustic Italian-Mediterranean restaurant in in downtown Evanston, to celebrate one of my oldest friends.

Google Maps failed me so I was the last to arrive, but I liked what I saw when I walked in: a friendly hostess, a gorgeously-designed restaurant, and my friends chatting happily.

But I have to confess a secret: I took two photos during lunch. Two. One of the massive pull apart cinnamon roll we had for our first course,


 and my beautiful Italian Cobb Salad (no cheese, champagne vinaigrette dressing instead of creamy Italian). 


Bonus: In the first photo, you can see the sweetly-detailed glass that my Diet Coke came in. If you know where I can find those, I will buy you a coffee. I mean it. I need those glasses. (Sidenote: I have a glassware addiction. It makes moving often difficult…)

Ok, ok, back to T&V. I gave up cow’s milk (except butter) for lent, so I appreciated the substitutions on my salad (didn’t eat the cream cheese frosting either). On that note, our waiter was so nice, attentive, and a hoot. A real character. I appreciated his energy, and his eye on my Diet Coke for refills.

Back to the food. Delicious. I would have showed some restraint on that cinnamon roll if it didn’t smell so good. And the waiter recommended it, so how could we say no?

And even though I made changes to the Italian Cobb Salad, I thought it was pretty stellar, too. I liked the presentation of rows of toppings–every bite was unique. The quality of the ingredients and the freshness was very obvious, too. I enjoyed it almost as much as catching up with my friends.

There is something so filling about spending time with friends. Especially sans little humans. I love my EJ, but she needs to practice the art of dining out. (Rule #1: Stay seated unless you need to use the restroom. Speaking of which T&V’s was pretty and clean, which to me means a lot.)

The question for me is always, would I go back? Yes, for sure. It’s a great meet up spot for friends and young families. They just started offering brunch and lunch, and I can also vouch that the avocado toast looked so tasty!!! The veggie sandwich, too, but lots of bread. Oh, and the fries aren’t bad either…

I’ll also return because I need to scope out that exotic black-and-white tile and those glasses again, too. See you soon, Terra & Vine!

happy birthday, Chicago!

I would be crazy not to wish my love, Chicago, a happy 180th birthday today!!! (Not to mention it was my handsome hubby and his twin’s birthday on Thursday!)

In honor of the Windy City’s big day, I thought I would share some (13, because it’s my lucky number) of my favorite city moments in the past year:

Celebrating our buddy Graham’s first birthday at A Little Photo Studio.

Chicago farmers markets! Any and all!

Having pear sorbet for the first time at Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream.

Impromptu lunch at Green Street Smoked Meats! One of my favorites.

Breakfast dates at Summer House Santa Monica.

Checking out the street art in our neighborhood.

Moving! (Ok, not my favorite at all, but a big moment nonetheless…)

Watching my brother run in the Chicago Marathon!

Trick or treating with Wayne and Snow White on Halloween!

Taking in the view from the rooftop at our apartment building.

Celebrating the Cubs winning the World Series with my friends/co-workers!!!

Visiting the beautiful Christmas tree with friends — a tradition! — at The Walnut Room.

Parents night out at a private holiday party at Publican Quality Meats!

Happy birthday, Chicago. Can’t wait to see what this year has in store for us! Xo