This past weekend was SP's birthday weekend! Due to snowy weather Friday evening, we did not go out as planned. Then, Saturday's birthday dinner with his family got changed to next weekend because of snow and some people not being able to make it (no one could tell what, if any, accumulation we might get and the family is spread out between Moon/Robinson & Squirrel Hill, so... we postponed). Late Saturday afternoon, we decided the two of us would go out to dinner - the roads didn't look too bad. Our choice: Atria's.
A while ago, we signed up for Atria's eClub to receive emails about special offers and deals. One benefit of signing up for the eClub is that every year for your birthday, you are emailed a coupon for a free entree with purchase of another entree, good from a week before your birthday until a week after. Since we enjoy Atria's and had the birthday coupon, we decided to go there.
We went to the Atria's in the McDowell Shops in Peters Township. We were seated right away and ordered iced teas. Our waiter was very friendly and personable. He brought some bread while we studied the menu. We both really enjoyed the bread. It had a very nice crusty crust, but not too hard or tough to bite through. We ate all of the bread.
To start, we decided to share the Quattro Fromage Dip: spinach in a four cheese sherry blend served with fried pita chips.I really like this appetizer. The pita chips were not too crispy/hard and they weren't saturated with oil from being fried. They had a very nice peppery seasoning - black pepper and what looked like maybe cayenne pepper. Definitely a kick to them, in my wimpy spice opinion, but not too much, while SP said he tasted the 'kick' and really liked that about the pita chips. The dip is deliciously cheesy and had lots of spinach. We ate all the dip! And we ate all but 2 of the pita chips!
SP loves Atria's Sherry Crab Bisque soup, so he ordered a cup of it. Of course I tasted a few spoonfuls! It's very tasty and there were large chunks of crab in it. The server grinds as much pepper as you want over the soup.
He also ordered a House Salad and chose Poppyseed Dressing. This is a lovely side salad. There are chunks of egg and bacon mixed in with the greens and tomatoes and cheese plus some wonderful croutons. Not those hard, overly seasoned, tiny, square croutons but nice big, crunchy but not too crunchy croutons. The dressing was tasty - and not quite what I expected. It had poppyseeds and sesame seeds in it. It was a bit sweet - definitely a dressing to use sparingly unless you love sweet dressings.
For my meal, I ordered my usual Atria's entree (when it's not Octoberfest): the Tomato Vodka Florentine with Chicken. Yum!!! This is a huge bowl of penne pasta with spinach and grilled chicken in a tomato vodka sauce. Very tasty. There is chicken in there - it's mixed in with the pasta plus I had our server grate a lot of Parmesan over the pasta since I love cheese! The grated Parmesan kind of hides the pasta & chicken. I only ate about half of this and brought the rest home for dinner later this week.
SP chose the Seafood Pasta: crab stuffed shrimp with a seared scallop served with tomatoes, red pepper, basil, and garlic served over angel hair pasta. Our server told us that recently, Atria's added clams to this dish, which made SP happy. This dish is marked as spicy. He really enjoyed it. I didn't try any since it was labeled spicy and had garlic. He, too, brought some home for dinner later this week.
We didn't have any room for dessert, but part of the birthday coupon is a free dessert of a brownie with ice cream, a dollop of whipped cream, and chocolate sauce. Our server surprised us by splitting the dessert onto 2 plates and giving us each half a brownie - which was warm - with ice cream, whipped cream, and chocolate sauce. This was a delicious warm, chocolaty brownie. The vanilla ice cream was good, too, but we didn't eat all of it because we were so full and it was cold outside and the brownie was so good we wanted to be sure we ate all the brownie (which we did!)!!!
Atria's is still one of our favorite (local) chain places. As usual, we found ourselves wishing the Robinson Twp Atria's had not turned into Ditka's (which we have never tried). For all that we ordered/ate, the bill was only about $46 including tip (but minus an entree cost and the brownie dessert cost - those would probably add on about another $20 ).
After dinner we went over to Sarris Candies - Yum! All of the Easter chocolates are out and we had a good time perusing the chocolate bunnies and other goodies. Every year at Easter time I get a Sarris Cappuccino Meltaway Egg. They had a Dark Chocolate Meltaway Egg, so we bought one. I can't wait to dig into it, but first we have to finish all of the birthday lemon cake disaster!
We went to the mall after Sarris. The roads were still clear and there's still wedding stuff to get - like some shoes for me. I didn't find any shoes, but I had a fun time at the Clinique counter buying new make up for the wedding. I never bothered replacing my eye shadow or blusher when they ran out a while ago, so I used the wedding as an excuse to have a little 'makeover' and pick out some new colors. SP went to Game Stop and stores like that while I had my mini makeover!!!
When we finally left the mall around 9:30, the snow had started to stick a bit (colder temperatures) but we didn't have any troubles (sticking to the main roads between Mt. Lebanon & Robinson) until we started up the big hill to our house. The road was coated with slushy snow and it was indeed 'slippy' but our little Civic chugged its way up with only a bit of sliding. Once inside, we made some hot tea to warm up. A very nice birthday outing, I think, and hopefully SP thinks so, too, though I know he would have preferred shopping at Best Buy to wandering the mall!