Valentine’s Day Love + Dinner at Great Sage

Yesterday was a pretty good day, despite having it start at 4:35 am with the alarm going off. I got to the gym around 5 to do some rowing before teaching an energy-filled spin class at 5:30. I have such a love/hate relationship with Tuesday mornings. While I hate to get up so early, I absolutely love teaching the early morning class. I’m okay once I’m there- it’s just getting out of bed that’s a challenge. πŸ™‚

When I got to work, my co-workers brought me flowers for my birthday! (I had taken off Monday.) A little later in the morning, I got a nice delivery of flowers from my husband also! I decided to keep the delivery from Greg packaged up so I could take them home to enjoy, and keep the other arrangement on my desk at work.

Even though I’m not a big fan of my birthday and Valentine’s day being back to back, it usually results in lots of flowers at the same time (and I’m a big fan of that). I called Greg to thank him for the lovely irises and tulips and he said “You’re welcome, but I ordered you roses….” I’m not sure if he ordered something by mistake or not, but I assured him that I was very happy with these flowers- and I prefer most any type of flower over roses any day (especially any type of wild flowers!). I know that everyone’s opinions about flowers are different, but I love them. I love to get them and give them to people I love- such a simple gesture to bring a little happiness. And I can’t help but smile any time I look at them.

When I got home, I had another treat waiting for me- a package of love from iHerb.com!

I read about this site on Averie’s blog last week and spent a good hour shopping around on it. There area lot of good deals on products that I buy (or have wanted to buy) and I had very easy time filling up my cart. Shipping is free on orders $20 and over, and if you spend $40, you get free shipping that arrives in 2-3 days!

In my box of goodies:

Eden Organic Wild Berry Mix (I really only bought this because I needed something small to reach my $40), Chocolate PB2 Peanut flour (I can not stop eating this- good thing it’s only 45 calories for 2 tablespoons!), Adora calcium supplements (aka dark chocolate candy), Protein Plus Peanut Flour (a brand I haven’t tried), Pero Instant Beverage (I know that Marie will be proud of this), Skihai leave-in conditioner, Erythritol natural no-calorie sweetener (Sara uses this, but I’ve never tried it), and Jason Apricot Scrubble (this stuff is the best!!)

They also sent me a bunch of free samples of things (including a full-size lip balm) and a magazine. I am loving iHerb!

If you want to place an order from them, enter the coupon code: QIR197 at checkout, and you’ll receive $5 off your order!

**

On to the main event…

About a month ago, I saw an announcement for a special pre-fixe dinner on Great Sage‘s facebook page. As I’ve mentioned on this blog before, I love Great Sage. Not only is it my favorite vegan restaurant, it’s one of my favorite restaurants, period. When I read about this dinner, I called right away to reserve a spot. And I’m sure glad I did- the event was sold out with a long waiting list!

There were three different seatings for the Valentine’s dinner. One was Monday night, and two were on Tuesday. We opted for the 5:30 seating on Tuesday. The menu made my mouth water…

We started with a little vino…

I am always so happy when I see an ’08 Oregon Pinot Noir on a wine list (this was an ’07/’08 blend)- and this was fantastic.

The amuse arrived shortly after we got our drinks. (Sweet potato and caramelized shallot galette topped with grilled asparagus and vegan boursin cheese)

Believe it or not, Greg and I both agreed that this was our favorite taste of the night! It was …. incredible. And I’ve got to get my hands on some vegan boursin cheese!

The courses were timed perfectly. The first course came about 2 minutes after our plates were removed from the amuse.

First course: Arugula and blood orange salad tossed in a pink peppercorn vinaigrette, grilled hearts of palm (yum!!) topped with salt chocolate cashews.

This reminded me a bit of the salad that I made for our beer pairing dinner. It was really good- but I wasn’t crazy about the cashews with the salad (avocado would have been better). But, the cashews were awesome by themselves, so I set them aside and ate them after I was done with the rest of the salad. πŸ™‚

Second Course: Yellow pepper soup with Spanish saffron, cilantro coulis

I don’t think I’ve ever had a yellow pepper soup before, and I really liked this! The cilantro coulis was awesome- just a perfect combination of flavors.

Third Course: Garlic-herb smoked Tofu, crispy grilled vegetable polenta cake, truffled pea puree and tomato confit

I was the most excited about this course. I’m a huge polenta fan, and Great Sage knows how to do polenta. Greg kind of laughed that there were steak knives on the table, and I told him that if the tofu was cooked right, we’d need them. Luckily it was nice and crisp on the outside and softer in the middle. They actually smoked the tofu in a smoker, which was awesome! It smelled like a campfire! The tomato confit wasso good too- I just wish there had been more of it!

Fourth Course: Cherry cabernet gelato in a chocolate cup, sugar lattice and a chocolate heart accompanied by a glass of Santa Julia Sparkling Rose

Damn interior lighting….

Ahhh dessert. Yum. This was so cute and creative, and I ate the whole darn thing. Even the cup! The pairing of the Rose with the chocolate was so perfect! I was definitely in a sugar coma for the rest of the night.

They meal even ended with a single rose brought out to all of the ladies. πŸ™‚

Another amazing meal at Great Sage! I was really impressed the service. I expected to wait a long time between courses, but there was none of that. We weren’t rushed, either. As I said before, the timing was just perfect! And the food never, ever disappoints. If it wasn’t 45 minutes away, I’d be tempted to eat there every night. πŸ™‚

**

Did you celebrate Valentine’s Day? What’s your opinion on getting/giving flowers?

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36 Comments on “Valentine’s Day Love + Dinner at Great Sage”

  1. I too prefer wildflowers over any other. We really didn’t celebrate other than make a bunch of Valentines on Monday for the kids to give out at school. It’s not in our budget to even go out to a cheap dinner, maybe next year.

    What a fun package to come home to. I hope you like the pero. I make mine with half water half unsweetened almond milk and then a spoonful of pero (to taste) and a small spoonful of brown sugar. I go through it like crazy.

    • Lauren says:

      I love the Pero!! I will have to remember to try it with brown sugar when I’m home (I have almond milk and stevia that I keep at work). It’s kind of similar to Dandy Blend, but a little smoother. Thanks for the suggestion! πŸ™‚

  2. Magda says:

    Your Valentine’s dinner sounds awesome πŸ™‚ My hubby and I usually don’t celebrate on the very Valentine’s day, because restaurants, cinemas etc. are so packed that it’s really hard to find a place anywhere. Instead, we go to a nice dinner on the weekend before or after Valentine’s day, so we don’t have to rush from work, we can stay up late and sleep in the next morning.

    As for flowers… I don’t like getting them very much, because I don’t like to watch them wither… I can give flowers to others if I know they enjoy it. However, I think that sometimes giving flowers is plain silly… I don’t know if this tradition also exists in the US, but in Poland where I live every person that attends a wedding ceremony usually gives flowers to the bride. At my wedding, I got about 100 bouquets, maybe more… It was a real heap of flowers. Of course, I couldn’t possibly take them all home – where would I keep them. And we left on our honeymoon the following day. So we left almost all the flowers at the wedding venue… That’s a tradition I really don’t like, because it’s a waste both of money and flowers.

    • Lauren says:

      We barely had any flowers at our wedding. My bridesmaids had bouquets, and I had mine, and we had a few big vases of sunflowers. The venue was so beautiful, we didn’t need much. Some of my bridesmaids took their bouquets home, and another was given to my 7 year old niece (who LOVED it!)

  3. Jenny says:

    I prefer wildflowers or non-roses, too. Roses are lovely, they’re just so uniform. I like diversity in my bouquets.

    And I want to go to this restaurant. Especially after seeing those pics.

    Also, your hair looks fantastic.

    • Lauren says:

      Awww, thanks! That’s funny because I was like “ahh F— it!” about my hair.
      For my wedding bridesmaid bouquets I said “no roses” and just told the florist to pick a flower in every color.

  4. I love tulips and irises πŸ™‚ What a bunch of pretty flowers for you to enjoy!

    Your dinner looks amazing. I might have to checkout Great Sage someday because it looks so delicious.

    Keep us posted on your use of Erythritol because I’ve never tried it and I’m curious about how it tastes, etc.

    Happy Belated Valentine’s Day!

    • Lauren says:

      I tried the Etythritol yesterday and it had like… no flavor. Maybe it will be better in other things? I don’t know. I just had it plain.
      Go to Great Sage!!

  5. Corrie Anne says:

    I ❀ PB2. Wow! What a dinner!! That's so fun. My husband has never really bought me flowers. I'm okay with that. I'm usually asking for running shoes or Starbucks instead!

  6. Dinner looks great. I usually avoid pre-fixe menus when possible, but that menu sounds pretty appealing!

    • Lauren says:

      I actually love pre-fixe menus because I have a hard time making a choice. There are usually 10 things that I want to order and narrowing it down to one is hard. I like when the chef just says “this is what I’m making- this is what you eat!” πŸ™‚

  7. Yummy! Looks like ya’ll had a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

  8. Oh goodness, that dinner looks SO amazing, from start to finish, I would have loved it all!!!!

    P.S. Happy belated birthday!!!!!

  9. AikoVenus says:

    Ooh – this all looks so yummy! ^^ And that box you’ve bought is very interesting as well!

  10. WOW, what a fabulous night! And such pretty flowers! I am glad you all had fun out–it’s nice to just relax and enjoy each other in a fun/festive setting πŸ™‚

  11. the dinner looks great and so does your iherb box! So happy you’re on board with them because they have saved me so much money over the years…and then I see things I just “have to have”…but ya know πŸ™‚

    • Lauren says:

      It’s probably all going to even out in the end- I’ll save money on things that I already buy, but then I’ll see 10 more things that I “need” and justify buying them with the money I saved. At least I’ll have more stuff (which is exactly what I need in my life…) πŸ™‚

  12. Brigid says:

    WOW, what a fun box of stuff! I’ve never tried PB2 but I’ve heard it’s amazing. I will look into iHerb. I’d never heard of it before! Thanks for the tip!

    • Lauren says:

      You have to get the chocolate PB2 that I bought. It is unreal. My jar is half empty already!
      And be warned- you will spend hours looking at iHerb for things you “need.”

  13. lindsay says:

    you two are one good lookin couple!! Make some babies please. Oh and love the iHerb. Pero is awesome.

    • Lauren says:

      Haha. We’ll see. It’s in the plans for the future, just not sure when. We both keep thinking of things we want to do first.
      Pero IS awesome! I love it so far!

  14. Lee says:

    That restaurant sounds delicious. Your whole day sounded pretty great.

  15. Melanie says:

    Hi Lauren! I randomly stumbled upon your blog and am loving it, kudos to you. Its nice to read a local blog, I live in Baltimore city but grew up right around the corner from Great Sage…Im obsessed! Its also nice that they sell their desserts at Roots right next door.
    Do you ever go hiking with a group? I just joined the mid atlantic hiking group who go all around DC/Balt area and its a ton of fun, ususally have a few every weekend. Happy birthday as well!
    ~Melanie

    • Lauren says:

      Melanie- Thanks so much!
      I LOVE Roots. And Nest. And Bark. I didn’t allow myself to go into those on Tuesday because I spend too much money there. (Okay, I browsed in Nest, but didn’t buy anything.)
      I don’t go hiking with a group, but would love to learn more information about it! If you have any details that you wouldn’t mind emailing me, you can do it through the contact page… I’m going to Google it too! Thanks!!

  16. I don’t even know where to begin commenting on that meal! That is one of the best-looking amuses I’ve seen. And the dessert presentation! Almost too pretty to eat. Almost. πŸ™‚

    That peanut flour is like crack – I add it to everything! It makes a great “icing” for muffins and waffles. And it’s from my home state! Hope you enjoy it.

    • Lauren says:

      I thought that regular peanut flour was good, but I keep just eating this stuff straight out of the jar. I predict that it will be gone by the end of the weekend! I’ll definitely have to ice it over the buckwheat back (inspired by Ashley) that I’m making tomorrow!

  17. Yay for birthday flowers! What a nice gesture. I’m not a roses person, but really I love flowers any time I get them! Your meal looks fantastic. I love the presentation!

  18. Lili says:

    I love to give and receive flowers! Beautiful one you got! And happy belated bday πŸ™‚

  19. Liz says:

    That dinner looks amazing! This is going to make me sound like a grinch, but I’m not a huge fan of flowers because they are so expensive and don’t last long.

  20. Happy belated bday!! My bday was on Thursday and I hate that it’s near Vday too!! We went the old person route and just ate at home! Vegetable Polenta? wowzas…I wanna try that! BTW I actually don’t like getting flowers…I mean I like the attention of getting them at work but I end up not taking care of them once I get them home!


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