This is Lauren:
She is fairly adorable. She runs in marathons, she works her but off in an office job, she is a sports FIEND (Go Rockies… whatever that means…), and she loves to EAT! Lauren loves things like tofu and tea (GAG ME), but also indulges in things like nachos and margaritas(YES PLEASE!). We both celebrated our birthdays recently, so we celebrated with a rad deal from http://www.scoutmob.com/ for half off our bill at Tree . In case you don’t know, Scoutmob.com is like Groupon but without paying for it-you just get the dining deal without putting up any money upfront! You simply MUST join-well, you don’t have to…but if you don’t, I’m judging you.
We made our way down to the village to a teeeny little restaurant with a very sweet hostess/waitress. She led us out back to a lovely, covered garden area. It was a really humid, rainy night, and to sit outside with the rain pattering down on the roof was really relaxing and fun!
The restaurant was very casual but the menu looked very serious. Which was good, because we were seriously hungry. Luckily, there was some very serviceable, if unremarkable, bread and butter. We carbo loaded and talked about our upcoming marathon..well, LAUREN’S upcoming marathon…mostly, I just text her “good luck” on the morning of the race, then go back to sleep for a few hours.
And, being fairly serious girls ourself (we were discussing important world issues…like what kind of jeans fit different girls’ bodies best), we ordered the very adult sounding dish of pickled beets with baby spinach and toasted walnut breadcrumbs.
I won’t lie, i didn’t read the menu right. I had no idea the beets were pickled. I’m that person that skipped over the boring parts of Tess of the D’Ubervilles (most of that book was boring parts, fyi) So yeah, I skipped over the part that said the beets were pickled. So when I lifted the garnet colored root to my mouth, imagine my shock when the sharp and tangy taste of vinegar pervaded my mouth. It was GREAT! The beet was sweet, velvety, and soft. It was tangy and sweet and just delicious with that slightly bitter spinach and nutty breadcrumbs. Breadcrumbs on salad is SUCH an awesome play on croutons! This way, each and every bite had some carby goodness! The salad was lovely, and although some lovely blue cheese would have been a welcome addition, the dish was satisfying as it was.
Lauren got the roasted vegetables. Normally I would say-LAUREN! WHAT A WIMP! Get a REAL meal, girl!!! But she had indulged in a Sunday Funday the day before (If you have never had a Sunday Funday, please post your name and email in the comments below, and I will be most happy to take you on the best, booziest, cheaper- than- you- thought- it- could- be day of your life). Sunday Funday leaves you a little bit meat-logged and under the weather, so these veggies were just what the doctor ordered. The juicy tomatoes, sweet zuchini, earthy fingerling potatoes, crisp haricots verts, and gently caramalized onions all worked beautifully in the tangy and gentle balsamic vinegarette. It also came with a tiny tub of goat cheese that lauren eventually polished off with her fingers. Now do you see why I love her?
I ordered the salmon appetizer for my main course. It came with a small tangle of watercress and crisp slices of toasted baguette. The baguette was dressed in DELIGHFUL honey mustard dressing-seriously, I would like to buy this, pour it on my arm, and lick it off my own body, that is how great it is! And the salad was fresh, slightly bitter, and a wonderful contrast to the fatty salmon and sweet dressing. The salmon itself…kinda meh. The chunks were tough and some were even stringy-it looked like remnants of the salmon entree, versus a dish on its own. The fish was fresh, but not particularly seasoned beyon parsley and a few capers. If it were not for the honey mustard, I would not have wanted to finish it all. But, the honey mustard improved the dish, and as you know, i am a PIG. So i ate it all. And supplemented it with…
Pommes frites. Otherwise known as french fries, chips, G-ds gift to women with PMS…all of the above. I was not PMSing but GEEZ did these fries hit the spot!! Like gourmet McDonalds-greasy, crispy, flecked with herbs and glistening with oil-they were totally delightful. And seemed so light and delicate as I shoveled them into my mouth hand over fist, trying to beat Lauren to the crunchiest little morsels. She is an athlete…she has fast reflexes…i had to literally smack her hand away sometimes. Our friendship is now on shaky ground, but it was so, way worth it!
When we paid the bill, after tipping on the full price that the check would have been without the discount (of course-please always do this if you use a discount at a restaurant), I still only ended up paying $25. WHAAA??? I have paid that much at a PAX deli, for way lower food quality and absolutely NO atmosphere! Tree was a charming and well serviced restaurant, and though the prices would have been a bit high without the discount, with the discount it was just what the doctor ordered. And with a fun friend like Lauren? What could be better?? Now, if you will excuse us, Lauren has to go running, and I have to watch “Teen Mom”. We are both really dedicated to what we do.