Saturday, March 26, 2011

Claire Loves... Enoteca Sociale and Retro Whale!

Good afternoon!

It's sunny here in the T dot, but I'm not fooled. Mother Nature is on a mean streak and she's made the city so cold it could freeze her titties off. Not nice, lady. Anyway, I have to keep this short as Ronaldo and I have to brave the cold to go bottle the brunello we ordered 5 weeks ago. A big HIP HIP HOORAY for having a huge supply of wine in the house again!! That is a love I will get into another day. 

Today, I want to share an incredible restaurant that I've recently been to in my hood. Ronaldo and I have walked past it for nearly a year, always mentioning as we saw it "we really need to try that place out". I've had their postcard pinned to my peg board forever as well, serving as another reminder. 
Finally on March ninth, the 35th anniversary of the birth of the hottest man alive, I had my chance to go. I don't know what I was waiting for. The Restaurant, called Enoteca Sociale, specializes in authentic, home-style Roman fare. During my blog absence in the fall I turned 30 and to celebrate Ronaldo and I went to Italy and we spent the majority of that trip in Rome. The food was exactly as I remembered it to be when we were there. The only downfall to this Enoteca is that I couldn't eat everything on the menu, and frankly I think this is more to blame on my stomach than the restaurant.
I decided to go with a classic carbonara. Funny enough, the wine here is a brunello! I savoured every sip and bite. Check out their website to see the whole beautiful menu and to make a reservation. On Sundays they offer a special "family style" dinner that I am hoping to check out in the not too distant future with some "family style" people. Anyone up for it?

Beyond the incredible food, the design and decor of the joint was fantastic. The lighting was warm and there were lots of wood accents. Very homey. I have to say that the best part of the whole place was a focal wall COVERED with the most amazing, eye-catching, "oh-my-gosh-that's-SO-cute" artwork. There were probably a good 40 to 50 little to medium  sized pieces. Thanks to knowledgeable wait staff and my iPhone I very quickly found that it was all done by one artist- Retro Whale.
 Out. Of. This. World. Retro Whale is based out of L.A. and, as described on their website, their inspiration comes from "animals, movies, outsider art, skate and surf culture, and anything that makes them laugh". I sat beside this beret wearing boston terrier and was in awe all night. Upon further investigation I found that they have not only a website, but a blog and a very active and affordable Etsy store. THIS is the business that one day I want to be able to say I have. Last week I made another step towards this goal by actually uploading my first sale item to my OWN Etsy page! That's right- it's not going to be "coming soon, clearly" anymore. I am selling my ABC giclee prints on it to start, but I am developing some other products to sell and will likely upload other prints soon. I've also added links to PayPal from the paintings that available for purchase on my website. EXCITING! Hopefully I can find some loving homes for my artwork. 

In the meantime I will sip my homemade wine and dream about the next time I will go back to my newly found neighbourhood gem.

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