Celebrating Matt

4 Jul

Yesterday was about celebration and relaxation. We slept in till 9 and then I made the birthday boy pancakes. It’s only been about three weeks since we’ve had pancakes and the first bite made me realize that I’ve missed our Thursday pancake ritual so.much.


We did some more unpacking and furniture assembly and fit in a quick couples workout in my apartment’s gym:) Then we headed to the lake!


We’re already obsessed with the sandwiches and salads at The Mad Hatter, so we stopped and grabbed lunch on the way. I got a thai peanut wrap, which was good, but really salty. I only ate half.


The lake was a bit crowded, but the water felt great and it was nice to just sit!


I snuck a delicious can of beer into the state park. I found this at Whole Foods and it was a really nice summer beer – not too thin and watery, but light enough for a 90 degree day.


I almost forgot that I have to drive to get around here! Good thing I only bought one:)


We showered and headed out on foot for a before-dinner cocktail.


It was hot!!! But fun to walk.


We stopped into Vin Rouge for a little bourbon at the bar. We ended up meeting the executive chef for another Durham restaurant at the bar, so we put his restaurant on the top of our list.




Another short walk later and we arrived at Parizade for dinner. I remember loving this restaurant the last time I went (in high school), and since Matt and I like Mediterranean food, I figured it would be an ideal birthday spot. I was right!


When I found the ‘Petite Petit’ Petite Syrah that I had back at Sonsie in Boston, I knew I must order it!! Especially because the glass was like $5 less than the same glass in Boston. It was scrumptious.

We ordered the mezze platter to start. Everything was awesome, especially the carrots with golden raisins and the tzatziki. And, surprisingly, I really liked the beets!


As usual, picking an entree was hard for me. Enough though I’m not a huge tuna fan, I went with it because of how it was prepared – crusted in mint and spices and served over tomato orzo with golden raisins.




This was soo wonderful and unlike anything I’ve ever had. The sweetness of the raisins and the tomato paired with the mint were so unique and I loved the texture of the orzo.


Matt was pretty content with his huge portion of seafood paella too.


Oh, and there was cake.


An ice cream cake with a layer of caramel blast, pound cake, and cookies and cream.


Matt is a huge fan of ice cream cakes, and although he likes buttercream cakes too, he has always requested an ice cream cake for his special day.


We’ve tried Coldstone, Carvel, and now Ben and Jerry’s cakes and this one was probably second best. The ice cream was top-notch, but it was definitely less cake-like than Coldstone. Loved the caramel blasts on the top layer!


  I accidentally had four slices and Matt had five. And then we realized we nearly finished off an entire cake between the two of us. Whoops:)


T’was a spendid way to celebrate Matt.


5 Responses to “Celebrating Matt”

  1. Kristine July 4, 2011 at 9:04 pm #

    This post brings back wonderful memories! I lived in Durham for three years after graduating from Davidson (’03) and pretty much lived at Mad Hatter (and did my shopping at Whole Foods). And Parizade and Vin Rouge…two of my favorites!

    If you and Matt decide to stay in Durham long-term, let me know and I’ll introduce you to a wonderful friend of mine who is a real-estate agent (and fellow Davidson grad – class of ’05, just like your sister!)

    • Laura July 5, 2011 at 9:15 pm #

      So fun to have a Davidson reader!

  2. Kath July 4, 2011 at 9:10 pm #

    FOUR slices!?!?! How come you didn’t bring me one!!

  3. earlytwenties July 5, 2011 at 1:02 pm #

    For some reason I’m finding it bizarre to see places I’ve passed on a regular basis on your blog! haha You hit Vin Rouge and Parizade both in one day! Two Giorgios restaurants — wow. Did you by any chance meet Scott Howell at Vin Rouge? (he’s exec chef of Nana’s)

    • Laura July 5, 2011 at 9:15 pm #

      haha. We actually met the executive chef from Guglhupf Cafe!

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