Each year we celebrate a good friend’s birthday by dinner and going out afterwards. This year, we went to Maggiano’s Little Italy (in Bellevue but they are Nation-wide) and then upstairs to The Parlor for dancing, drinks, and pool. With three kids, and our busy schedules, this is one of the few times we get to go out without the whole fam!


Since there were so many of us for dinner, instead of doing individual ordering (which I had something allll picked out to go with my diet LOL…a chicken/apple salad), they had us order Family Style. There were three choices: Light, Classic (which we picked) or Chef’s Choice. This gave us a choice of two appetizers, two salad types, four main-course selections, two desserts, and complimentary bread. The best thing about Family Style is that it’s bottom-less ordering which is perfect since we were eating with a bunch of guys!

For Appetizers, we had Stuffed Mushrooms and Sausage And Peppers. The over-all consensus is that everything tasted wonderful but one of the guys across from me and I thought that the stuffing in the mushroom was a tad bit oily (as you can tell from the photo) but it WAS good. The sausage was de-lious too…good thing I LOVE garlic! (sorry the photo is blurry- was using the cell phone camera).

I’m supposed to be dieting so I kept my portions small and didn’t get extra (except on those Stuffed Mushrooms!). The Seared Pork Medallions were good though pork is not my first choice (always seems a little dry) but I loved the sauce and capers they topped it with. On the top center of the photo is Mom’s Lasagna which was SO.GOOD! I haven’t been enjoying lasagna lately (I’m guessing it’s the ricotta?) but this one tasted perfect…would love the recipe! On the right was my favorite dish- Parmesan-Crusted Tilapia with a caper and tomato mixture on it (purrrr), with the Taylor Street Baked Ziti there in the front. Since we had -I’m pretty sure- the same sausage for the appetizer, I wish the Ziti’s meat had been something else but it was still super tasty (the menu doesn’t state all that’s in the pastas).

Oh Mr. Joe…………I’m SOSOSOSO sorry that I’m putting this photograph in BUT I do want to show what they do if it’s your birthday! At first we thought they were making somebody’s leftovers into a swan shape but no….it was for Joe to wear (it’s OK- I’m pretty positive he won’t read this ROFL).

Dessert consisted of this DELICIOUS New York Style Cheesecake and a Chocolate Zuccotto Cake. Hubby and I preferred the cheesecake though the outer shell of that chocolate was superb….almost bummed I had to share it with other people LOL. But like I said, I was dieting so was probably for the best! I WAS good and only had water making me the designated driver since Hubby was hitting the beers and the night was still young LOL


Afterwards, we headed up two floors to The Parlor where we had this huge private lounge. The club also had a dance floor but I barely registered that…I was so focused on playing POOL!!! My hubby and the guys were awesome (and very patient) trying to help me play better….I need more practice (maybe a pool table purchase in our future???) but I didn’t do too bad! I think I could have the making of a pool-shark with a little more guidance 😉



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