Sunday, March 28, 2010

enjoying life

i ♥ sunday mornings
and by that, i mean real sunday mornings, when both josh and i are off for the second day in a row. they are precious -- so few and far between! but i can't think of anything i enjoy more than lounging in bed until whenever, brewing coffee and eating a leisurely breakfast with radioparadise in the background, and just basking in the promise of an entire day off ahead.

even though i'm sure i'll be filling the hours with mundane household tasks, it's just so nice to just do things on our own agenda. in some ways, i'm jealous of those of you who get true 'sunday mornings' every week; at the same time, perhaps it's the rarity of these peaceful times that makes them that much more special.

☑ laundry (don't feel bad for me: it's my fave household task.)
☑ google reader catchup!
☑ check out jamie oliver's food revolution since everyone's all abuzz about it
☑ 8-9 mile run with sound opinions
☑ yoga!
☑ meal planning & weekly WF pilgrimage

ahh, there is NOTHING on that list that doesn't sound enjoyable to me (what can i say? folding warm clothes makes me inexplicably happy). a bit busy, but still a DAY OF REST for me . . .

date night!
+ a raleigh restaurant review. josh and i don't get to raleigh all that often -- but between ben folds and last night, we've been twice in the past week! the triangle (raleigh / durham / chapel hill) is quite interesting in that each area truly has its own flavor.

durham: some depressed areas, but urban scene on the rise. diverse and colorful! increasingly trendy/gentrified with amazing culinary options, but sometimes a bit rough around the edges.

chapel hill: suburbia, college-town style. tar heel territory . . . but feels safe and comfortable to me. chock full of students, but family-oriented as well.

raleigh: the true city out of the three. professionals rather than students. less academia, more $$$. fewer transplants and more actual born 'n' bred southerners.

because the movie we wanted to see was only playing out in raleigh (crazy heart -- S+J = 2 thumbs up!), we decided to head there for dinner as well. a brief convo with my sister (she lives in raleigh, but is currently on business in london!), and we had our target: sitti, located just blocks from the progress energy center where we saw ben folds 2 nights ago.

sitti calls itself 'upscale lebanese' -- and they fully lived up to this promise! we were in somewhat of a rush to get to our movie, and our lovely server accomodated us 100% without making us feel like we were putting anyone out. the atmosphere was refined but comfortable, with warm wood tones and subtle middle eastern touches.

obligatory menu shot:

enjoying a glass of a light lebanese red -- i asked for a recommendation and was really happy with what the server chose for me! it was fruity and paired beautifully with my meal.

absolutely delicious freshly baked (warm!) pita, served with a sort of spiced olive oil paste that i absolutely loved.

lovely presentation for this baba ghanouj appetizer, which had an interesting nutty quality (tahini?). it goes without saying that this also went perfectly with the pita above.

josh also ordered a sausage appetizer, which i had a taste of. it was chewy and a bit sweet -- not necessarily my thing, but tasty nonetheless. he seemed to enjoy it quite a bit.

not feeling super-hungry, i ordered a salad for my main course -- a bright and citrusy combination of oranges, dates, walnuts, goat cheese, and mixed greens, in a lemony vinaigrette. a flavor explosion! it hit the spot.

josh chose lamb fatteh (one of our favorite dishes at lebanese taverna, a DC chain that we adore). as usual, capturing this shot was difficult (his fork is always a blur!). i tasted it, and the rich and tangy bite with pine nut crunch was a luscious reminder of the signature dish at LT. YUM.

i would have loved to stay for dessert! but our movie time drew near, so we had to head out. next time, though -- and there WILL be a next time. this was one of the best dining experiences i've had in raleigh, and the best middle eastern food i've had in the triangle. the prices were very reasonable and the service was impeccable. i try to provide balanced reviews, but have absolutely nothing negative to say about our sitti experience!

and that's not all
for once, we were well-rested enough to do more than just hit a restaurant and pass out! it was still light as we hit the road:

ohhhh how i missed my GPS when my car was in the shop. it really does make venturing into lesser-known territory like this a million times easier.

apparently josh was still hungry as we arrived (on time!) to the movie theater. the colony theater is an independent movie theater located downtown, and they feature a full beer/wine menu. i remember being so weirded out about alcohol in theaters when i moved to NC! i don't think it's allowed in PA.

random fact: i really don't like popcorn.

we both really liked the movie. and in an uncharacteristic move, we actually had energy left at the end. good thing, because we had an important stop on our agenda.

party like it's 2010
a 25th + 30th bday party for durham friends lacey + craig! we met the pair via this blog, crazily enough -- they are a fun and interesting couple that i feel lucky to have gotten to meet!

craig hit the big 3-0 last night. here he is flashing a 30 necklace (i reminded him multiple times that i'll need to borrow it in less than 2 months . . .)

and lacey celebrated a much easier milestone: the quarter century. she was smokin' in a strapless dress:

fueled by mojitos + other assorted beverages, much dancing ensued:

awww. lacey and craig: happy bday again, and we should hang out again soon!

josh and i headed out at around 11:30 -- not impressive for normal people, but pretty earthshattering for us. and it was totally fun! now i'm inspired, and scheming a party for my own 30th. why not, right?

oh, and look who else had a birthday:

!!! happy birthday, gaga. i celebrated by rocking out to "telephone" upon arriving home. my own dance party . . .


Allie (Live Laugh Eat) said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Wait--you're going on a 8-9 mile run on your complete rest day!?! Please say that was a typo!

inmytummy said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I just watched both episodes of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution on hulu this morning. Then I proceeded to pick a fight with Jason about what our future children (if we have them) will eat.

sarah (SHU) said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

oh, i can see how that is confusing! allie -- i didn't mean 'rest day' in terms of workout -- more in terms of just doing stuff i love to do and not doing anything i DON'T feel like doing. a slow 8-9 run with an NPR podcast = restful to me!

(and i did take a 'workout rest day' friday -- don't worry, i always have at least one day where i do nada in terms of exercise!)

runsarah said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I am totally loving my Sunday morning with the hubs too, even if I have a similar task list to work through. Beer and wine at a theater? Thats crazy! I still find it crazy to see liquor at a grocery store in the US (here it can only be purchased at liquor-specific stores)

Kristina said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I really enjoyed "Crazy Heart" - was SO happy when/that Jeff Bridges won the Oscar for his performance.

haya said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

that looks delish!!

sitti means "my grandmother" in arabic, which *i* think is pretty synonymous with provider of delicious food. hahaha! though that said, i do have one grandmother who is not a great cook. i think she's an exception to this rule.
i love lebanese food.

i adore those types of sundays! we're always both not at work, but it still always seems like we have tons to do and rarely get to sleep in for realsies.

Chelsea said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Looks like a great weekend! I also wish we lived closer and could run together. It's so hard to find a compatible running partner.

marathonmaiden said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

what a great weekend. and i just read your words about lady gaga having a bday and bad romance just came on the radio. LOVE IT :)

glad you were able to have a resting sunday :)

Susan said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I guess I'll bring my laundry with me next time I go to Durham!!

I'm pretty sure alcohol isn't allowed anywhere in this's a bit nutso.

Love the lazy Sunday...even if it involves little tasks like you said!

Diana said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Sounds like a beautiful Sunday morning! I love the lazy ones!

Sitti looked like some good eats - I loved your photos - they were so full of life! :)

Have a great week!

Post a Comment