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22 July 2008

Ciao Osteria - A Fine Downtown Apex Restaurant

BOTTOM LINE AT THE TOP OF THE PAGE:  Yes, we'll go back!!

My wife and I went to Ciao Osteria, the 4th restaurant to grace the downtown slot at 121 North Salem Street.  We arrived Friday evening around 6:30 to a mostly empty lower level.  I think a fairly large private party had recently arrived and was seated upstairs, but I didn't come to this conclusion until a bit later.

We were seated near the front window, our our server promptly took our drink and appetizer order, and brought out some tasty bread for us to munch on while we waited.  Our appetizer came out relatively quickly - we ordered a palte of Zucchini Fritti.  Though it was only my wife and myself this time, the appetizer was definately suitable for 4 people, and well priced.  The bread was also quite tasty.

The lower level started to fill up, and I noticed the others who arrived at the same time as us were also waiting for their food.  The waitress apologized for the wait (we did not complain), as it turned out the large party upstairs had put their order in a few minutes before us.  I didn't mind.

When the food did finally come out, it was excellent.  I ordered the crab cakes, which came with a piece of asparagus and was covered in two kinds of creme sauce and a black bean puree.  The crab cakes were very good.  Not quite up to The Channel Marker standards, but very good.   Adrienne ordered a seafood special, which consisted of perch and jumbo shrimp over a bed of risotto (I think).  The dish was also supposed to include clams and mussels, which Adrienne forgot about until near the end of the meal.  She asked the waitress, who double checked with the Chef, who had apparently forgotten to put those items on the dish.  The waitress was very apologetic, and the manager comped the dish for us.

We got desert for carryout - the Macademia White Chocolate ice cream and a slice of Belgian Dark Chocolate cheesecake.

Overall, the food was excellent, and I was very happy with the service our waitress provided.  We will absolutely return to Ciao Osteria

Posted by rickroot at 5:44 PM | Link | 1 comment
21 July 2008

Emily's Last Swim Meet

Emily's last swim meet of the summer swim season is tomorrow night at Highcroft.  This will be her last opportunity to get another place ribbon, as she is once again participating in the main event for 6 and under girls backstroke.

It's unfortunate that she's missed 3 of her team's 6 meets.  She missed the third meet because she was at camp, the fourth meet she was sick, and the 5th meet she had a nasty case of swimmer's ear.  Tonight will be her first practice in a week, so hopefully she'll be ready for the meet tomorrow.

Considering that Emily could barely swim in February when we started her in the swim lessons at the YMCA, she's pretty good.  She participated in the main event for freestyle in the first two meets, and even now she's still one of the top 3 in her age group in the backstroke.

The weekend before last, she participated in the SWIM meet (Southern Wake Invitational Meet) and took 15th place in backstroke - good enough to earn points for our team.  There were about 50 6-and-under girls in that event, so we were quite proud of her.

She really enjoys swimming, so we're planning to enroll her in the YMCA's junior competitor program this fall and winter.  It's really just glorified swim lessons, more like a twice-a-week stroke clinic rather than full-blown swim team.  She's not ready for year round competition - and neither are we!

BTW, there are some pictures of the first swim meet of the year here.

Posted by rickroot at 6:03 AM | Link | 0 comments
08 July 2008

Weather Warning Humor

You've heard the old adage "Red sky in the morning, Sailors take warning.."?

Well, when you walk out the door in the morning and see this......

Just go back in the house,pour another cup of coffee, and stay there.

It probably isn't going to be a good day.


Posted by rickroot at 6:58 AM | Link | 0 comments