02 July 2012

My Weekend Adventure to Cincinnati

This past weekend I went to Cincinnati with my mom to see Porgy and Bess at the Cincinnati Music Hall.  We both have been needing a vacation from our hum-drum lives and this five hour drive south did just the trick!

We stayed at the Hilton, recommended as the best accommodations for opera-goers and let me tell you,  we were NOT disappointed.  The hotel was beautiful and not all that pricey.

We would not have stayed there if it was.

Cincinnati, Ohio, as viewed from our 21st-floor hotel room.

Me in our hotel room.

Before the show my mom and I had dinner at this Italian restaurant called Via Vite, which was located directly across the street from our hotel and came recommended to us by the hotel's concierge.

The outside of the restaurant looked really cool (sorry--forgot to take a picture!), almost like some futuristic pagoda.  However, the letters of the restaurant's sign looked kind of Mexican bistro-y.  So not the most Italian-looking restaurant but quite eye-catching nonetheless.

The inside was equally impressive, if not more so.  The walls of the dining area were floor-to-floor windows, which I loved because it really opened up the space, and the overhead lighting was this beautiful, delicate yet sturdy-looking cast metal branch light fixture.

Our waiter, Chip, had a slight chip off his shoulder (couldn't resist the pun) but was attendant, informative and did bring our meals to us very quickly.  He also was very accommodating of my vegan diet and assured me that the chef would be able to whip something up.

My mom and I split a bottle of wine to start the night off right, followed by bread, bread and more bread (I swear I had 10 pieces) and then split a salad of arugala, pine nuts and shaved parmesan (for mama) in a citronette dressing.  It was good but the dressing had a wee too much zing for me and could have benefited from maybe a little more oil or perhaps sweetener.

One of the best wines I've ever had, literally--and I'm a total wine snob so that tells ya something!

The best lady in the world.

Sorry for the blurry photo--still working through my camera phone : /

For dinner I had penne sauteed in olive oil with red pepper flakes and assorted veggies, including green beans, asparagus, baby red and yellow tomatoes (blegh!) and garlic.  The dish was tasty (I ate it all) but for my preference I would have liked a bit less oil and a LOT more veggies.

My mom ordered salmon, which she could not stop gushing over, and while I try to keep the food photos on this blog pretty much 100-percent vegan, the artistry of my mom's salmon plating warranted a photo.

Lastly, for dessert I had two scoops of deeeeeeeeeelicious strawberry sorbet.  I could have eaten, oh, six or so more "scoops", as I'm pretty sure the size of the scoops I was given were intended for a baby kitty cat.

After dinner my mom and I darted off to the music hall to see the show.  What attracted me to this show, in particular, was the fact that the lead soprano--Bess--was to be played by Measha Brueggergosman, of whom I am a HUGE fan.  So yes.  My mom, who is the best sport. EVER. drove five hours with me just to spend a day away, see a performance, and return home in time for 9 am Monday morning.

Measha's performance was wonderful and the opera was enjoyable, overall, but it could have been a half hour or so shorter.

In preparation of the "World Choir Games", the city of Cincinnati has painted piggies stationed around the city.  I don't quite get it, but the pigs are cute nonetheless.

Anuthuh painted piggy.

Me in front of Music Hall.

Me in front of Music Hall (again).

So that, in a nutshell, was my weekend.

Anuthuh painted piggy.

Mama with a piggy.

Oh!  And for those who follow me, I am going to make some changes to my blog--don't worry, nothing drastic!  I've just decided that I'm going to update it on a more regular schedule.  Every day after I get home from work I will dedicate an hour or so to my blog so that it gets the attention it deserves.  With that said, I will no longer do multiple updates in one day (although I have not been doing that for some time anyway).

Well, that's all for today!  Until tomorrow!

P.S.  This was dinner tonight and below were *FAIL* raw truffles (they really were quite horrible so I have to tweak my recipe).

 These look pretty enough but they sure tasted awful.

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