Friday, December 27, 2013

ciao, 21!

My 22nd birthday was last week and to celebrate, K and I went to Ciao Wine Bar in Yorkville for dinner.

 We obviously had to order a bottle of wine (sauvignon blanc, no less).

The restaurant was quite cozy even though it was big.

We started off with some bread and balsamic vinegar + olive oil, as per usual.

The deep fried zucchini on the menu caught our eye, and for good reason. These were absolutely delish! The only downside? There wasn't nearly enough. We weren't a fan of the artichokes, simply because we just don't like artichokes, so if we could've gotten rid of those and gotten more zucchini instead, this would've been the perfect starter.

Deep fried zucchini + artichokes w/ roasted red pepper aioli and lemon lime aioli

Afterwards came the pasta -

K got the penne in vodka sauce,

Penne in pink vodka cream sauce w/ pancetta

And I got the ravioli. The pine nuts in the ravioli were what lured me into ordering the dish, but when actually eating the pasta, I did not taste any trace of pine nuts!

Ravioli stuffed w/ aged ricotta cheese, sundried tomatoes, pine nuts, Sicilian pesto in rose sauce

The pasta tasted a little too home-cooked for our liking, and I don't think the plates really helped either. Ciao Wine Bar boasts its cooking as authentic Italian, but with the upscale decor of the restaurant, this came across as a bit of a mixed message.

We figured that since we were at an Italian restaurant, we just had to get tiramisu since they had it. The presentation sure was pretty and the portion was the perfect size.

I personally like my tiramisus to be on the more creamy side as opposed to bread-y. This tiramisu was a bit more bread-y. (Am I even making sense right now?)

After dinner, the night was still young so we made one more stop.

Say hello to The Red Bench.

If you actually click the link, you'll notice that they don't have anything on their website except their logo. The URL of the site itself is findtheredbench. I guess they're trying to tease people into trying to figure out what they are exactly, and to find the red bench to find out.

Well, we found it.

The Red Bench is a little cafe where you can get cookies made to order with the dough of your choice, with whatever toppings you'd like, all in  5-10 minutes. Such a cute idea! They also have frozen yogurt and many different teas.

I went for the peanut butter dough with organic dark chocolate chips and toffee bits, and K got the chocolate dough with macadamia nuts and chocolate chips.

They were warm, chewy, and delicious. There was also the option of ordering a glass of milk or tea to go with your cookies.

This is the perfect place if you are shopping in Yorkville and suddenly get a craving for freshly baked, ooey gooey cookies. All without the mess of actually baking them!

All in all, a pretty sweet ending to my birthday :)

Side note, I'm starting to really hate the quality of the photos I'm posting on here. I really need to stop being lazy, and start bringing my J1 or DLSR out!

Ciao Wine Bar on Urbanspoon

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