Hello! Wow. I sure am checking in late today.
As much as it can drive me crazy to go against a structured schedule, I am a firm believer in going with the flow and with whatever makes since at the time for you. For me, this includes blogging, and it also meant spending time at home with my husband this morning.
Scott went on a quick work trip out of town this weekend, so that left me with plenty of time to catch up with some much needed girl time. Before we get into that, let’s talk about some weekend highlights while he was still here!
Since we moved up to Michigan in October 2012, Scott and I have put a solid effort into getting the most out of living in the Metro Detroit area. Residing about thirty minutes from downtown, we have taken many date nights and days to explore things to do and places to dine in our surrounding areas.
It had been a while since the two of us went out with my best friend, Alex, and her fiance, Alex. If there’s one thing the two of them are set on, it’s to get Scott and I to explore all that Detroit and Michigan has to offer! I love that.
As soon as we made plans to get together Friday night, Alex suggested we drive over to Ferndale, a quaint city located about thirty minutes from us. It was Scott and I’s first time visiting that area, and we loved it!
Local Kitchen & Bar
With call-ahead reservations, the four of us quickly sat once we arrived a little after 7 p.m. on a Friday night. You can only call thirty minutes ahead of time, but I definitely recommend doing so if you plan to dine here on the weekends.
Local Kitchen & Bar is a casual dining establishment filled with style and unique character. I tried to snap some photos of the decorations, but nothing came out clear enough to post. You can probably get the feel by the details of our table. It looked like it purchased from a thrift shop!
I’m not knocking it. In fact, I think that type of shabby chic decorating is really cute. The napkins were wash cloths, and everything was kept on the simple side.
We sat in the enclosed patio, which was extra cozy with heat lamps and a fireplace wall.
We ordered a bottle of wine for the table, and the entire patio filled up shortly after we sat down. We got in at the right time!
The coolest thing about this restaurant is it’s “local” menu. Every so often, the restaurant features a new region and creates specialties known from that area. This visit highlighted Portland and included and entire menu dedicated to dishes known famous in that area.
Wanting to try everything, the four of us ordered appetizers while we browsed the menu.
Fried Green Tomatoes
Wild Mushroom Flatbread
A really good salad with an unexpected minty dressing.
(Scott ordered it, so it was probably from the Portland specials menu!)
Even though the restaurant was crowded, our waiter gave us plenty of time to look over the menu without rushing us into ordering. I almost forgot about it by the time we finished up our appetizers! I like when that happens, as you can truly unwind and enjoy table conversations.
Eventually, we placed our orders and all enjoyed different main dishes. Mixing it up, I ordered a vegetarian cannelloni.
It featured spinach noodles and was just as dreamy as it looks.
We wrapped things up with desserts for the table. Scott ordered one of his favorites, banana pudding, while the girls split Rick’s brownie. Both were delicious!
Before we ordered dessert, however, we called over to our next stop and made a reservation at a speakeasy next door.
Have you ever visited a speakeasy before?
True to the reputation, the name on the outside is disguised as Oakland Art Exteriors, or something of the sort.
The interior was dimly lit and decorated like it was straight out of a movie. Adorned in old fashioned paintings, chandeliers, and velvet chairs, the environment screamed private and upscale, yet casual. (If that makes sense.)
As a patron, you are kindly asked to put your cell phones away while you are enjoying the company of friends. I loved that!
The music was low, and the wait staff was very helpful in selecting from their many unique drink specialties. I didn’t get pictures (as I was trying to stick to the rules…), but I can tell you that everything we tried was incredible.
Alex and I ordered Juliet & Romeo cocktails that weren’t even on the menu. It was some kind of fresh cucumber infused vodka that tasted like a spa day in a fancy glass. It was fantastic! The boys switched around a bit more, and one of their drinks even came on fire! That was cool to see.
If you’re ever around the Ferndale area and are in need of a place to impress a date or catch up with friends, I would definitely recommend The Oakland! We can’t wait to go back again soon.
Our Saturday started on an early note with a sunrise drive to the airport. Scott left for a 24-hour work trip, and I came home feeling productive (and buzzed on coffee) around 9 a.m. I knocked out several loads of laundry and cleaned up the house before a quick morning nap ensued.
Gosh, I love Saturdays. I had brunch plans with Alex and Emily, a friend of ours, at Rochester Brunch House around Noon.
I have blogged about this spot a time or two, and it continues to be one of my favorites.
This time, I got past the omelets and ordered off of the lunch menu for the first time.
Chicken Pita with sweet potato fries
Everything was really good, but I was disappointed to find out that I was charged an extra $5 for sweet potato fries instead of chips. Isn’t that something a waitress clears with you first if there’s an upgrade charge? I don’t know… that just put me off a little. The food was still great, nonetheless.
After brunch, the three of us drove over to The Village in Rochester Hills for nail appointments. I honestly can’t even remember the last time I got a manicure! Some of you might have noticed that I don’t wear polish on my nails all that often. My nails are usually bare (a.k.a. hideous), and I wish I had more patience to keep them painted. I just don’t.
Anyways, I finally cashed in a gift card from Christmas to get a manicure and pedicure, and it was fabulous.
I spent the rest of the afternoon running errands around town and then got home around dinner time. With Scott out of town, I enjoyed the solo time and knocked out on some work on the computer with dinner from the freezer.
(photo courtesy of Nichole)
Ha! That’s pretty accurate.
I enjoyed her company and spent the rest of my weekend running more errands (including picking Scott up from the airport and jumping his broken down vehicle at work…), and getting everything ready to turn in for taxes this week. Good times!
All right. I better get going! I have an appointment at the gym and then a busy rest of the day to get to. Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll see you back here in a bit!
What was one highlight of your weekend?