Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival at National Harbor June 15th & 16th.
Last night, I had a chance to meet up with some of my favorite local web celebs for a night out on the town - Old Town that is. And no, not Old Town Alexandria - we ventured into Old Town Manassas. According to some of my readers, Carmello's is the best spot in Prince William County - so, of course, we had to see what all the fuss was about.
I met up with Laura, Micaela , Kristina, Denise and Rebecca for a 7:30 reservation. I'll just go ahead and tell you up front - we didn't leave until almost 11pm (they serve more than just good food *wink wink*).
Carmello's has been awarded by Wine Spectator Magazine for two years in a row for their incredible wine list. Needless to say, this is what our table looked like 10 minutes after sitting down. I'm not gonna lie, Carmello's had me sold at "complimentary Moscato."
Jacob, the assistant GM, warmly welcomed us and brought out a tasting menu in tapas style.
Round One: VIEIRAS DO MINHO
Pan seared scallops, shrimp, and artichoke over saffron rice.
Round Two: LOMBO DE VITELLO
Medallions of roasted veal tenderloin wrapped in pepper bacon served in a wild mushroom sauce.
Round Three: RAVIOLI CARDINALE CON LAGOSTA
Homemade four cheese ravioli tossed with lobster meat in a rose cream sauce.
As if we had room to eat any more, Jacob told us that Carmello's owns a more casual restaurant and bar next door as well - and this was a little sample of their wood fire brick oven pizzas... The following is from Monza.
Round Four: BOLOGNESE PIZZA
Mozzarella cheese, ricotta cheese, sausage, veal, and marinara sauce.
Round Five: MARGARITA PIZZA
Fresh mozzarella, fresh tomato, basil, and marinara sauce.
After all of the tastings, Jacob mentioned that he'd bring us dessert. He must have known that we couldn't eat another bite... because dessert was a Root Beer Float Martini with a scoop of creamy vanilla in the glass. AMAZING! I know doesn't look like rootbeer - at all - but there is a peculiar combo of coca-cola, alcohol, and cream that can give you a nostalgic feeling of front porch swings and warm summer nights.
After dinner, we took a tour of the kitchen and Jacob invited us to check out the bar at Monza. I'll let you in on a little secret: $5 Martini Mondays @ Monza. Jacob has crafted a list of over 55 specialty martinis - some of which we were itching to try.
My readers were right - Carmello's is one of the best spots in the land Prince William County. I never thought I'd say this, but now I can't wait to go back to Manassas! Carmello's was the perfect spot for a great girls night out - great company, amazing food, and incredible beverages.
Located in the heart of Old Town Manassas, Carmello's offers upscale fine dining. Fresh ingredients, innovative cuisine, and romantic ambience equal an unforgettable dining experience. The mixture of succulent Northern Italian and Portuguese cuisine gives you a choice between two cultures. Whether you're out for a special occasion or looking for a pleasurable dining experience anytime, Carmello's is a wonderful place to visit. Come try our extensive Portuguese wine list and taste for yourself what everyone will be talking about. We currently carry over 50 Portuguese wines from such regions as Alentejo, Douro, Doa, Estremadura, and Vinho Verde. Our list of Portuguese wines is one of the finest in the DC Metropolitan area and compares with many of the top Portuguese wine list on the east coast.
Connect: www.carmellos.com - 9108 Center Street Manassas, VA 20110 - (703) 368-5522
Fairfax Corner's great summer program Little Tots begins Wednesday, May 30th with The Great Zucchini at 10:30am! Great family fun & don't forget to pack an extra set of clothes for fountain play! Summer schedule is below - also check out this years *NEW* Evening Little Tots starting at 6pm!
Tonight, I was lucky enough to be invited to an intimate little gathering at the Firehouse Subs in Annandale to meet with the co-founder, Robin Sorensen. Such a neat experience! I honestly did not expect the co-founder of a $400mil/yr business to be so down to earth. Also, I did not expect the food to be so good (and no - they are not paying me to say that!).
After trying four of their most popular subs - paired with multiple concoctions from their Coca-Cola Freestyle fountain - I found myself driving home with a complete food coma. I have to say, I fell in love with their Cherry Lime-Aid. Robin announced that they are coming out with a low-cal version of it! woo! I felt SO guilty with each sip, but I just couldn't get enough! Of course, I immediately thought it'd make a great mixer for a sweet summertime sangria...
Check out the pictures below from my visit. I probably could have taken more, but I was too busy eating, drinking, and chatting to think about my camera.
Aside from perfecting the art of subs and lime-aids, Firehouse Subs has an amazing philanthropic mission: to give back to the public safety community. In 2005, the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation was established with a mission of providing funding, life-saving equipment and educational opportunities to first responders.
To date the Foundation has donated more than $3.9 million, making a difference in 374 different communities throughout 29 states. Here is a YouTube clip from Anderson Cooper's CNN show - "he pulled an Oprah" and united Robin and his brother Chris with one of the people whose life they helped save. Firehouse Subs sells the buckets that their pickles come in for $2 - which goes directly to the philanthropy. In turn, those pickle buckets helped save this man's life:
Here's a little background on Firehouse Subs:
• Founded in 1994 by former firefighting brothers, Chris and Robin Sorensen, Firehouse Subs® is a 505-unit fast-casual chain and the only restaurant concept using a steaming method to create hot subs.
• Firehouse Subs has perfected the hot sub by taking the best meats and cheeses, like Butterball and Sargento®, steamed simultaneously to ignite the flavors, then combined with fresh, crisp produce on a separately toasted sub roll.
• The brand's mission statement ensures hearty and flavorful food, heartfelt service and public safety support.
• Based on the founding family's 200 years of firefighting heritage, restaurants display local memorabilia and images donated by area fire departments.
• A bold guarantee encourages customers to experience the Firehouse Subs difference - "Our way beats their way, if you don't agree it's free."
• In 2005, the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation was established with a mission of providing funding, life-saving equipment and educational opportunities to first responders. To date the Foundation has donated more than $3.9 million, making a difference in 374 different communities throughout 29 states.
Note: All opinions are my own. I received products or services in exchange for this blog post.
WIN TWO TICKETS ON OUR GIVEAWAYS PAGE!
Next Monday, May 21st, 2012 is BeltwayBargainMom's first Savings Nation workshop! BeltwayBargainMom is teaming together with Savings.com to bring these workshops to the DC metro area and give you the tools, information and community support you need to save up to 50% on your weekly groceries. For the average family that equals an extra $200 a month in your pocket! With Savings Nation, leading a better life on a budget is attainable because we know that ‘There’s No Such Thing as Small Change!’
What: Savings Nation – Grocery Savings Workshop in Burke, VA
Date: Monday, May 21st, 2012
Time: 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Location: Burke Community Church (classroom #118), 9900 Old Keene Mill Rd, Burke, VA 22015
In this 2-hour workshop you’ll learn:
The registration fee for this workshop is only $5 and you can register online here.
Studio Be @ Fairfax Corner
The Barre class is a unique fun, high energy class. It fuses legendary fitness techniques from pilates, ballet, calisthenics and yoga. These techniques are designed to streamline, firm, tighten and tone muscles and re-align the body without adding bulk. This helps to create balance, posture, body awareness, flexibility and cardiovascular endurance. The result is a body that can look and move as if it were 10 years younger!!
The structure of this innovative Barre class keeps the heart rate elevated with motivating, up-beat music and brisk, dynamic, no-impact movements. All the while burning calories and fat and simultaneously building “bulk-free” lean muscle mass. The
techniques learned in the Barre class help to increase your resting metabolism, which allows you to burn more calories and fat while you are at rest.
The Barre class has some jumping, punching, lengthening and strengthening exercises which help to create the body of your dreams. It’s a 55-minute total-body workout. You’ll tone the arms, thin the thighs, lift the seat and flatten the abs. The goal is to
work the muscle to fatigue, then stretch to make the muscles longer and leaner, and you’ll utilize the ballet barre in doing that.
Enter to Win: One Month of Unlimited Barre Classes, 5 Pilates Mat Classes, or One Private Session on the Mat
Studio BE Pilates
4211 Fairfax Corner East Ave. Suite 215
Fairfax, VA 22030
Enter to win on our Giveaways Page!
Bugaboo Cameleon Stroller ($980 retail value)
Three First Prizes:
$100 Baby Blossom Gift Certificate
Winners will pickup their prizes at a Baby Blossom location (Fairfax or Reston). Here are the OFFICIAL RULES FROM BABY BLOSSOM.
participating blogs: DullesMoms.com, PWCmoms.com, SuperNOVAmommy