Friday night we had dinner with my best friend Ashley and her boyfriend, Frank. It was the first day of what was to be a gorgeous weekend, so our only recruitment was that they find a place outside for us to eat. So we met at Paolo's in Reston, which has lots of outdoor tables that were in direct sunlight.
I felt bad for our servers who all seemed to be getting reaccustomed to outdoor service as they dodged trees and each other to maneuver between the close tables. I had this great martini called Damn The Weather, and Joe and I shared the calamari, tortellin rose appetizer, caprese salad and cucumber carpaccio.
The cucumber carpaccio was screaming summertime to me, so I had to have it. It was so light and fresh. A layer of shaved cucumber was stacked with fennel, oranges, radishes, leeks and ricotta cheese with olive oil. I'm keeping this in mind for my summer recipe interpretations.
The Town Center has completely exploded recently with new, hopping restaurants and a new wine bar that we tried to weasel our way into. They stuck to their guns and told us to come back next week when they open. The Tasting Room looks like an awesome, chic bar with what are sure to be a wide selection of wines for every price range and taste. It will fill up fast, so we'll see how desperate I am to elbow my way to the front of a crowded bar.