Tastes of Italy.

With the moving truck scheduled (for exactly two weeks from now – gaaaaaah!), and with spring having finally arrived in Virginia, I am trying to spend as much time enjoying our adorable little Old Town as possible before we leave.

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I am trying to get a lot of things done ahead of time NOW, so that our last weeks and days here are relaxed (ha!) and can be enjoyed.  We took our pups for a looooong 4+ mile walk up the Mt. Vernon trail last night, and soaked up views of the Washington Monument and the Capitol building in the distance. 

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And while we walked and talked, we worked up quite an appetite!  So we dropped the boys off at home, grabbed our things, and headed right back out the door to enjoy an evening out together in town.

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Every single day I walk up Washington Street, and every time I pass Tattoria da Franco, I say “That is the cutest restaurant I’ve ever seen – I really want to go there!”  And yet for some reason, until last night, we never did.

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The outside is decorated in adorable Christmas lights that sparkle all year round, and in the warmer months the outdoor patio is always packed.

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We opted for indoor seating last night since it was starting to get cool (and Casey has a weird aversion to outdoor eating, which kills me).  From the minute we walked in the door, I loved everything about it.  Soft romantic opera music playing, wonderful lighting – I knew we were in for a special meal.

We did NOT hold back, especially after our massive walk.  We started by sharing a caprese salad (no tomatoes for me!)… 

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Along with a hearty side of gooey garlic bread.  After Casey took a piece I asked him how it was.  His answer – “exactly as good as it looks.”

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And a gooey fried mozzarella marinara appetizer.  This is the type of thing I would never normally order in a restaurant, unless I knew it was a really nice authentic Italian place, where everything would be very well done.  It did not disappoint, and the capers on top were a brilliant garnish.

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It was one of those perfect dinners where the courses just keep coming, and you have no concept of how much time has passed.  We enjoyed each other’s company, talking about all that we’ve done in the past, all the we’re looking forward to in the future, and how much life continues to surprise us in the most wonderful of ways.

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I told Casey this last night, and because it’s Friday and I’m happy, I will tell you guys today.  I feel like I’m finally at this place in life where I wake up every single day feeling so happy and lucky that I have to wonder if it’s real. 

Of course I have the worries, stresses, and day to day nuisances that we all have.  But overall, I feel like right now my life is exactly where I hoped it would be.  I have worked hard for what I have, but I also feel very very blessed for the opportunities and people in my life.

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Can you tell my pregnancy emotions are running high this week?  :)  While I gushed to Casey over our first courses, the second courses were coming out of the kitchen.  Casey got a delicious homemade gnocchi…

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When we originally picked Italian for dinner, I was seriously craving some lasagna.  I was sad (but not surprised) to find that Trattoria’s lasagna was meaty, so I opted for the next best thing.  Handmade, fresh ravioli with slow-cooked marinara sauce.  Perrrrfection.

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Even with my shrinking stomach these days, I managed to eat every bite.  And the true sign of well-done Italian food – I didn’t even feel that full or weighed-down afterward.

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So much that when Casey asked to see the dessert menu, I felt like I should probably help him finish his spumoni ice cream.  Mmmm.

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With only two weeks left in town, I am determined to make it back to Trattoria at least one more time – I wish I hadn’t waited so long to try it in the first place!  Our meal lasted over two hours, and reminded me of meals we would have on vacation – when the only thing you have to do all night is eat a good meal and enjoy each other’s conversation. 

I have vacation on the brain this week, and am seriously itching to go on a babymoon (honeymoon before baby comes) this summer.  Flights to Hawaii are veeeeery cheap from Seattle, and neither of us has ever been there…

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!