On Thursday night, the huz and I decided to treat ourselves to a date night in the midst of the chaos that is illness and Christmas prep. The kids were babysitting for a nearby family, and we had a bunch of things to get done. But – hey – start the night off right with a little yummy cooking. We wanted to pick up a gift card (because they had monetary incentives to do so!) from our favorite neighborhood Twin Cities Italian restaurant anyway, so we left the ideas of Uptown behind and headed into Robbinsdale to Nonna Rosa’s where we are never disappointed and always feel at home.
I have blogged about this fine restaurant previously (back on the former blog site), and I could probably do so about once a month because we go there that often! When we sat down, the huz already knew that he wanted Veal Parmesan, but I did want to hear the specials. My heart skipped a beat when the server said they had Baked Stuffed Shrimp – my favorite dish from my favorite Italian haunt in Cranston, Rhode Island, where I spent many a fine summer since early in my childhood. I try to get there once a year to visit my grandmother…and have her to take me to Twin Oaks for Baked Stuffed Shrimp. When the server said this, my mouth started to water, and I could taste the yum. However, I was smart enough to clarify the ingredients before ordering the meal. Once the ingredients were shared, I knew I would not be satisfied – not that mussels, scallops, and other seafood (that I’m not fond of…simply a shrimp and lobster gal) wouldn’t be great for someone else. Just not me.
We went with the Veal Parmesan – never a bad choice – with Caesar Salad – also never a bad choice. They, of course, bring yummy bread. I added on the Peroni Beer Cheese Soup because I had wanted some ever since seeing in on their Facebook post the day before when I was still loopy and exhausted from having walking pneumonia. I love it when servers reference alcohol as if we are supposed to know what it means (who knew that Peroni is a brand – maybe flavor – of beer?) as in the name of the soup and then also in the name of creme brulee for the evening. Fortunately, we know that we love the Bailey’s flavored creme brulee even though we have no idea what straight (or mixed with other liquid) Bailey’s tastes like. The flavor of the evening was something that meant orange. We had heard of this previously and decided we wanted to try it. We discovered later (info on the bathroom stall) that homemade gelato (pistachio, wild berry, or salted caramel) would have been a possibility as well. We almost ordered that to go as the “something that meant orange” flavor was not our favorite.
Well – the meal aside, the evening took a fun turn as we ate our dessert. As I returned from the restroom (needed to rest), I caught the tale end of the conversation between the huz and our server. Turns out that she is from North Dakota as well and from just a little north of Grand Forks. When she came back by the table, we talked some more about it – and GUESS WHAT? We are almost related!!!!
Well…not exactly – but close enough that we could have attended the same wedding or funeral at some point or still could. I just had to map this out a bit to be sure, but our “relation” is only by marriage.
My Grandma’s sister’s son’s wife is her great aunt. We share a cousin…her cousin is my cousin. That makes us nearly related!!!
Only in an Italian restaurant – where we already feel like family because they know our names, what we like to eat, and where we like to sit – can something great like this happen! Ok…to be honest…it happens all the time all over the world. But how long would it have taken for us to figure this out?
The best part: we are going to Widman’s Candy to pick up some Chippers because my almost-relative wants some. 🙂
Watch for the blog post! Merry Christmas Eve!