A dear friend from culinary school was in town visiting me from Washington DC.  She flew in just for a few days, to see me, and for me to meet her lovely 14-month-old daughter.  I was quite flattered, excited, and slightly worried.  What would we do?  Where would we go?  Would Seattle weather cooperate?  Of course, the weather did not cooperate – it was cold and raining.  On top of it all, the weather on the East Coast did not cooperate either, and my friend had to leave a day early to ensure a safe return home.

Meanwhile, I am happy to report that great time was had by all! For our first dinner out, my friend chose a local neighborhood restaurant – Serafina – that serves Italian and Mediterranean cuisine. 

The service was impeccable for both the grown ups and a lively toddler.

We started with a cocktail, a glass of wine, and a complimentary bread plate with delicious herbacious olive oil, spiced up with red pepper flakes.

And we got more bread for the appetizer.

Grilled calamari

Any guesses what this below might be?  It’s a piece of yarn/string that served as a perfect toy for a 14-month old.  There were also copious amounts of dried peas, fish crackers, and two metal restaurant-supply ramekins.

The star of the evening was the lamb shank! Fall-off-the-bone tender, perched on top of cheesy grits.  My friend and I shared, but I probably could have easily devoured the shank on my own.  There, I said it!

And then there was a plate of ravioli with toasted hazelnuts.  The hazelnuts were my favorite part of the dish.  Maybe I’m just not a pasta girl.

My dear friend, I miss you already!  Come back and visit, next time in the summer.