“As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster.”

One of my favorite movies is Goodfellas. I first saw it one Christmas, when my friend Sandy had gotten a copy of it on VHS (remember VHS? Yeah, I’m old), and brought it over because she was anxious to watch it. She’s half-Italian, and she had a minor obsession with the Mafia. I’ve seen it so many time, it’s become one of those movies that if Jay and I want to watch something without investing much thought into it, we pop that in (We’re the same way with Casino), or if I caught it on cable (back when we still had it) I could watch it from the middle or walk away from it at any point. Jay’s constantly scouring Amazon for all sorts of things, has about 8 billion wishlists going for various things, and a few weeks ago, he came across The Wiseguy Cookbook, by Henry Hill. He said that had he discovered it earlier, he would’ve included it along with my Pioneer Woman cookbook for Christmas. He placed an order last week sometime, and yesterday, I got it:

I’m only about 50 pages into it (I read cookbooks like regular books, and I especially like ones that have stories that go along with the recipes), but I’ve found about 5 things I want to make. I have an urge to make manicotti for tonight’s dinner. Which, of course would involve going back to the grocery store–Not that I mind that. I didn’t make a complete list when we were there yesterday, just because I knew I’d need other stuff once I read through the cookbook. But yeah, I’m thinking that some manicotti needs to be in my very near future. Maybe I’ll get stuff to make it today, and we can have it for tomorrow’s dinner, since we’re thinking of popping down to Sioux Falls for the day.

Last night, I met up with Melissa, Katie, and Jessica for dinner out (we keep saying that it should be a monthly thing, and at least for the past 2 months, it has been). We chose The Brownstone.

I really liked it–The décor and even the menu reminded me of one of my favorite restaurants in Columbus, Ohio, Mac’s Café. The menu looks a little different than what I remember, but I suppose a lot can change in 10 years, which is probably about how long it’s been since I’ve eaten there. They had some of the best fish & chips, next to the Old Bag of Nails, which had the best White Russians. Sometimes I miss Columbus. I miss Cincinnati even more.

But back to the Brownstone. I didn’t really feel like having wine, and I can’t have beer (I’m allergic to hops, which really rather sucks, because I’d love to be able to try some of the microbrews and whatnot, but my allergy is severe enough that if I were to drink a beer, within an hour, I’d be projectile vomiting for the rest of the evening), so I just had some Baileys on the rocks. A lot of Baileys on the rocks.

It’s hard to see from that angle, but that was the same-sized glass that Katie’s Old Fashioned came in. I wasn’t expecting that much, because usually I get a glass half that size, but I wasn’t complaining. I do love Baileys. I ended up getting myself the Brownstone Burger, with some cheddar and bacon on it:

Oh, it was everything I love in a bacon cheeseburger. Crisp bacon, an obviously char-grilled juicy burger, sharp cheddar, and a slightly chewy ciabatta bun. I had to stop myself from eating the whole thing (even though the portion I left was about two bites’ worth!) because they had this for dessert:

Boston Cream Pie! My favorite dessert, next to Tiramisu. I don’t know if they popped it under a heating lamp or something, but cake still felt a little warm, although the cream and ganache were room temp. It was SO good. I brought about a third of it home, which I might have to go and snack on in a bit! Melissa and Jessica both got brownie sundaes, and they commented that it was nice how the brownies were actual brownies that someone had lifted from a pan, rather than a perfectly-cut, then frozen and reheated brownie you get in most places. I thought that was rather impressive as well, and I’m keen to go back there soon. I think Jay would like it, although I didn’t see a kid’s menu, so I’m not sure how the bambino would fare. He usually doesn’t eat all that much anyway!

In the meantime, I think that Boston Cream Pie is calling me, and I’d better get myself showered and cleaned up if we’re going to head to Sioux Falls pretty soon!