I had the most wonderful mini-vacation yesterday and today! I went out to Santa Clarita to visit the only place that I ever go to taste wine: Roman Holiday.
None of our regulars were there. We picked a new table with some ridiculously comfy chairs and settled in for a few hours.
I got a new hat! And made an unfortunate duckface. For that, I blame the wine and sincerely apologize.
Allie looked gorgeous and un-duckface-y as usual.
Small tastes of red wine were consumed by myself. A glass and a half of prosecco was also consumed.
Besides these few pictures, my camera stayed tucked securely in his bag and my computer remained unopened. The only contact I had with the outside world was through my Twitter addiction, where I posted some pointless photos. It was wonderful to get a break and spend some quality time with my cousin, shoving our faces with Indian food, baking quiche, tasting wine and watching ridiculous shows from our middle school years.
In other news, I have a wonderful recipe to share with you!
Maple-Sugared Grilled Sweet Potato Fries
Appetizer, Side Dish
Welcome the chilly days of autumn with a new twist on sweet potato fries. These Maple-Sugared Grilled Sweet Potato Fries are perfect for warming up and adding a sweet finale to those cold evenings.
- 2 large sweet potatoes
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 3 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons salt
|Wash and peel the sweet potatoes, then slice into small wedges. |
|In a large bowl, mix the canola oil and cinnamon, add the potato wedges and stir to coat evenly. |
|Spread the potato wedges on a large grill pan that has been wrapped in foil. |
|Grill the potatoes wedges over medium heat for about 15 minutes, |
flipping every 3-4 minutes.
|After 15 minutes, sprinkle the brown sugar and drizzle the maple syrup over the potatoes and stir to coat. |
|Grill for 5-15 minutes more, stirring often so the fries don't burn. |
|Remove the fries from the grill and sprinkle the 2 tsp salt over the |
Tomorrey is International Stout Day! How are you celebrating?
Two and a half months ago, my cousin Allie and I visited Roman Holiday for the first time. And second time. Yes, it was so good that we went there two days in a row.
When a Screamin’ Daily Deal for Roman Holiday appeared in my inbox, I grabbed at it right away.
We arrived at 3:30: right around when happy hour was starting, of course.
Seeing that it was a scorching eighty degrees out, an icy red wine Sangria seemed necessary.
The second Sangria was also necessary. Just trust me on this.
We loaded up our cards (if you don’t understand what this means, I sum it up in THIS blog post) and went around to the dispensers tasting all the wines. Allie went for some of the rare whites, I went for the reds that had pretty labels. It was a very scientific process.
We opted to go for the happy hour deal ($5 off each platter) and get a combo platter.
MEAT! We ordered the heirloom prosciutto, Italian speck, cave aged gruyere, L’Amuse gouda and O’Banon goat cheese along with five condiments on the side: dried cherries, fig jam, raisin/apple chutney with mustard seed, organic honey and Fuji apple slices.
Since we were being all fancy anyway, I decided to try their “Beachfire Margarita” – a mix of tequila, elderflower liqeur, grapefruit juice, fresh chopped cucumber and a dash of smoked scotch with a Kilauea black sea salt rim. This tasted nothing like a margarita, but I loved that it wasn’t overly sweet and the smoky finish was lovely!
Unbeknownst to us, last night was actually Roman Holiday’s grand opening! The place was soon packed to the brim with the Chamber of Commerce and others out looking for a delicious happy hour place. They had the champagne tower and everything, but since I’m so freakin’ short, I couldn’t get a good view, much less a good picture.
That’s what our evening started to look like once they passed out that free champagne… Deliciously fuzzy!
Jeremy was our waiter last night. Shockingly enough he and Chris (the bartender from the LAST time we came in) both remembered us! I showed him that he’d made it into my previous blog. Or his quote did…
“Oh, you know me: just pollinating the customers!”
Possibly my favorite, most memorable quote of all time.
The rest of the night was spent jacuzzi-ing and rocking out to new country music. That’s how we roll!
I celebrated my midweek-weekend over in Valencia with my lovely cousin, Allie. We stumbled across this wine lounge, Roman Holiday, and decided to be spontaneous and spend the evening there.
The bartender, Chris, gave us a tour of the cozy little lounge, which uses pay-by-the-taste wine dispensers!
We filled a little card with some money and got to work tasting a few of their sixty bottles of wine!
After each pour, we resorted back to what may be the most comfortable couch in all of Santa Clarita Valley, with a beautiful view of the lounge.
Chris was incredibly well-versed in his wines, and directed us to the best ones, and some of the weirdest.
This is the one that he proclaimed, “the weirdest.” Of course I loved it.
I’m classy like that, as you can see by my stick-on nail polish…
Once Chris was off the schedule, the girl behind the bar brought out menus and helped us select an AMAZING cheese plate. I’m going to attempt to tell you what is on it. Gruyere, prosciutto, soft white cheese which I do not know the name of because it’s in another language and by this time I was starting to feel nice and warm from the wine, organic fig jam, apple slices and dried cherries. DROOL. All of this was served with a big basket of soft breads and crackers.
We balanced out the cheese, meat and bread platter with – what else – a cheese, meat and bread sammich! This panini had turkey, more gruyere and balsamic onion marmalade, all encased in a rustic, crusty bread that was soft enough inside that your teeth sliced through it like butter. Oh yeah.
When I only had a few dollars left on the card, I decided to go big and try the most expensive wine in the lounge.
$333 dollars for a bottle of wine???
This is the amount of wine that three bucks will get you from a $333 bottle. I was so excited to try it! Sadly, it was a major letdown. It tasted smoky and bland, and wasn’t even worth my three dollars! I wanted to put a sad-faced picture next, but at this point, I was pretty happy no matter what was happening…
To make up for my disappointment, Chris jumped back behind the bar and made Allie and me these AMAZING margaritas with REAL lime juice! I got mine with a sugar rim (in the background) and Allie got hers with salt. This isn’t just ANY kind of salt, in case you weren’t tipped off by the inky black color – this is Kilauea Black Sea Salt from the active volcano Kilauea on the island of Molokai in Hawai’i. This salt is not like regular salt in any way! It’s a soft, subtle salt with an earthy, smoky flavor. For the first time, I wished that I’d asked for a salt rim!
We spent almost four hours there, sipping fine wines, gorging on decadent panini and cheese plates, and chatting with the hilarious bartenders. One of said bartenders was checking out this jar:
Bee pollen! He was kind enough to give us a sample of the floral, slightly sweet little pellets. The other bartenders gathered around to see what he was doing, to which he replied: “Oh, you know me: just pollinating the customers!”
Yeah, I’m just gonna end with that.