Saturday, February 1, 2014

Romance at the Ritz

Valentine's Day is right around the corner. I never thought I'd be so glad to see February, so please let's leave behind the Polar Vortex. 

Luckily, I've got my engaged love to keep me warm! You can bet with my first Valentine's Day as an engaged lady, S and I will be celebrating! 

One of the places we love to celebrate and visit is The Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia.  Set on the lovely Avenue of the Arts near the Academy of Music, the Kimmel Center, City Hall and more.
Time to Relax at the Ritz
In the very first moment of arriving out front, the staff at the Ritz knew our names and that we were celebrating our engagement. Check-in took just a moment, and within minutes, S and I were happily ensconced in our king-size-bed room, enjoying some wine and cheese and marveling over the view and the comfort of the luxurious room. The bathroom was a vision in elegant granite and marble, with a tub, stand up shower, private toilet and marble vanity. 

The king size bed was perfect for lounging and an afternoon nap. The management kindly sent up Philly truffles and cognac which S and I immensely enjoyed! Later, we prepared for dinner at the Ritz's restaurant, 10 Arts Bistro. 
Thank you!
This is set in the main lounge and lobby of the Ritz, with low lighting, a majestic marble dome high above and powerful columns below. This property was previously a bank, and the touches of old classic architecture everywhere. 

Blair & Pear Martini
S and I settled in with drinks, S with a Japanese microbrew and myself with the delicious Blair & Pear honey lavender martini. We toasted our engagement, and perused the menu. We began with the artisanal bread basket and special sushi rolls, the CheeseSteak rolls - sweet and unique rolls wrapped in tender beef, peppers, onions, shiitake mushrooms and a touch of cheese whiz. These were fabulous! Every Friday and Saturday evenings from 6-8pm 10 Arts Bistro hosts a pop- up sushi table with unique and different sushi rolls.  

Philly Cheesesteak Sushi Rolls
Next we enjoyed succulent oysters on the half shell with lemon and lots of hot spicy horseradish sauce. Then the chef sent out tender pork belly to try with a fresh cilantro salsa and baked pita chips. So heavenly!

Pork Belly
For our main courses, I chose the 72- hour brawler braised shortrib over sharp cheddar and sweet potato gratin and candied Brussels sprouts. S chose the braised lamb shank with roasted potatoes and a mint jalenpo glaze. Heaven. S swooned over his duck while I was actually silent enjoying the tender delicious ribs.  Each bite was a delight. 

Short Ribs and Potato Cheddar Gratin
S and I quite liked the lemon intermezzo, then eagerly looked forward to dessert- coffee and cappuccinos with a cheese plates, then a selection of mini ice creams - peppermint candy cane, Dutch  chocolate, praline toffee with lemon shortbreads. S got the sweet potato cheesecake over a cranberry compote and candied pumpkin seeds - it was like Thanksgiving on a dessert plate- a delicious decadent delight. With my sweet tooth for fruit desserts, I chose the apple crisp with tart apples, bourbon soaked raisins and my absolute favorite- sweet, heady cinnamon ice cream. Serious Yum!

For Valentine's Day, 10 Arts Bistro is ready to set the most romantic table in the city - call now to reserve a table on Friday February 14 or Saturday February 15 to enjoy a special Valentine's Day menu at $195 ( tax extra). Also, reserve a room for a night or two to enjoy the most romantic place in the city. 

Don't miss the most romantic place in the city for you and your love!

After a glorious night's sleep in our luxurious bed, S and I headed downstairs for a romantic brunch.  I thought after the previous night's dinner I'd never be hungry again, but when we saw the brunch spread, we were suddenly starving!

We began with a taste of grits and duck confit, potato hash browns, special-order omelets with mushrooms, ham and cheddar, bagels with fresh lox and whipped cream cheese. We especially enjoyed the small glass containers with strawberry Greek yogurt and vanilla. Then the chef sent out cheesesteak eggs Benedict - poached eggs over cheesy tender beef- glorious! We also loved the assortment of croissants and sweet rolls with our coffees. 
Alas, it was time to check out. 
Cheesesteak Eggs Benedict
On the way home, we reflected on our wonderfully romantic Ritz weekend. Luxurious, elegant and romantic - all the elements of a glorious happy weekend. The Ritz Carlton Philadelphia has it all - and you should go and celebrate Valentine's Day 2014!

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