Bistro 55 Rochelle Park, NJ

My husband and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary at Bistro 55 in Rochelle Park, NJ, formerly South City Grill.  www.southcitygroup.net

                                          

Because we have a young son, we made a reservation for 6PM.  It was not very busy when we arrived, but it was steadily picking up when we were leaving, around 7:15.

When you walk in, there is a bar before you and there are two dining rooms, one to the left and one to the right.  We were seated in the right dining room, which was tastefully decorated for fall.

We wanted to share an appetizer and decided on oysters.  Bistro 55 carries east coast oysters, which we are familiar with, and west coast oysters, which we were not. 

West Coast on the left – they were from Washington state, they had a sort of creamy taste to them.  East Coast on the right – they were from Canada, and they had a more “briney” taste to them.  As loyal life long east coasters, we preferred the East Coast oysters, but both were delicious.

My husband ordered the Scottish Salmon, with a glass of Chateau St. Jean Sauvignon Blanc (Sonoma) (I had the same).  It was served with a brussel sprout and potato hash with a dijon sauce.  The salmon was cooked perfectly!

I decided to have the chicken.  It was tough to choose between the chicken and some fish, but the chicken was local and I wanted to give it a try.  It was roasted and was served over corn and chive mashed potatoes and is accompanied by grilled asparagus, which I substituted for with grilled seasonal vegetables, which turned out to be a variety of bell peppers (not pictured).  The chicken was tender and moist and absolutely fresh! Worth every bite!

Finally, time for dessert.  Bistro 55 features a variety of homemade ice creams and sorbets as well as other traditional desserts.  My husband chose the vanilla bean ice cream and coffee, which was served in a french press.  I chose pumpkin creme brulee, which was served with fresh whipped cream and short bread cookies.  Both desserts were sinfully amazing!

         

We found the service to be very good.  Everyone was very friendly, and our server, Tari, was as knowledgable as she was personable and she was ready to make recommendations and give advice on menu selections.  The total bill for our meal was $98.  The menu is eclectic, it ranges from pizzas and sandwiches/burgers (grass fed beef!) to the types of entrees that we enjoyed.

I highly recommend Bistro 55 and if you decide to visit, ask for Tari!!!

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Love of Lattes

Up early and lamenting life without my mocha lattes and frappes. To make myself feel better, I looked up the calorie contents of my favorites. Listed in order of favorite status:
1. Panera frozen mocha – 570 (want a caramel instead? 700 cal)
2. McDonald’s mocha frappé – 560
3. Dunkin Donuts Ice mocha swirl latte w/skim milk -180

Well, now we know why the Dunkin Donuts is my #3, but what a caloric savings, however, that figure is minus the whipped cream.

For now, I’m sticking with the unsweetened ice tea with lemon!

Day Three – Cleanse – Elimination Diet

I think I caught Brendan’s stomach bug, not feeling so well.  The day started out well, but kind of went south after lunch.  I am keeping it liquid for now – I have dinner with my husband tomorrow evening to celebrate our 7th wedding anniversary.  We have reservations at Bistro 55 on Rte. 17, it’s a restaurant that serves seasonal and local produce.  Here are the questions of the day:

I want to embrace vegetarianism gradually, I don’t want to set myself up to fail.  I am thinking of maybe having poultry, it’s from a poultry farm near my house.  I know that veganism is not an option right now, but may be in the future.  I checked the menu on line and they have a few fish dishes. Question 1:  Should I go for the poultry if I really feel like having it, or avoid it?

The elimination diet for the cleanse does not permit refined sugar or alcohol, but when I celebrate, I like to have a few bites of a dessert and a drink.  It was bad planning on my part to start this mid-week, but I sort of forgot about the anniversary dinner. Question 2:  Do I have the drink (just one) and a few bites of dessert or do I stay true to the elimination diet?

Please take a minute and weigh in on my dilema!

No Yoga today, trying to get a sitter so I can go tomorrow morning, I really need a class!

Day Two: Cleanse – Elimination Diet

Made it through the second day! Today’s goal was to decrease caffeine – achieved. Ran a little late this morning, so I went to Whole Foods for lunch and made myself a delicious salad of quinoa, steamed kale, chickpeas and olive oil, then I warmed it up at the office. It was soooo good. Did have a chocolate craving this afternoon, I hope that fades within the next couple of days. Found myself at Panera this evening, since it was damp and rainy, I went with the vegetarian black bean soup. Backtracking just a little, I had a very good whey protein shake, from Tera’s Whey, http://www.teraswhey.com, it was Yumberry flavor http://www.yumberryusa.com.

Tera’s Whey is sweetened with stevia. It’s not very sweet, so if you like sweet, you need to add a little agave. If you are interested in Tera’s Whey, I recommend purchasing the starter pack, so you can try a little bit of everything.

No yoga today, I really miss it when I don’t get to practice.

I have to confess that giving up chicken and turkey has been challenging, more challenging than I thought it would be. 

Goal for tomorrow:  Continue decreasing caffeine.

Cleanse: Day One Elimination Diet

So proud to have stayed on the elimination diet 100%.  If you know me at all, you know that I am a Dunkin Donuts iced latte lover.  Now, I’m weaning off the caffeine, I’m just not willing to endure the brain splitting pain of going cold turkey, so it was really tough going in to the DD this morning and ordering an unsweetened ice tea.  Lately my latte poison is the mocha swirl, I found myself craving it this afternoon, but was able to push the craving aside.  Tomorrow’s goal is to go to a small unsweetened ice tea from a medium.  Also, the headache started to creep up this afternoon, so I kept it under control with a small green tea.

Lesson of the day:  If you want to sweeten your tea with a teaspoon of raw honey, you should really add it when the tea is hot, not when it is iced, otherwise it stays clumpy for awhile and is largely unappetizing, until it dissolves.

Took care of the body and soul this evening, attended my Yoga class, which I  found challenging.  I was able to get a little deeper into the poses, which are still very basic, but I was stretching really well and holding the poses longer.  I was most happy that I was able to transition from pose to pose fairly easily when we were going through the sun salutations.  I must tell you, in all honesty, there is no medication that can bring the peace and clarity of a well taught Yoga class.

      Plank 

Especially thrilled to make the transition from downward facing dog to plamk, which has been my nemesis since the beginning!  Looks easy, but it’s not! So thrilled, I am going to make plank pose the pose of the day!

Prepping for the Cleanse

For my cleanse, I’ve decided to use the diet from eleveneleven wellness’ “Remove” program.  In the past, I purchased the program from www.elevenelevenwellness.com and completed the cleanse. The program includes three shakes a day and supplements, along with a diet that eliminates refined sugar, artificial sweeteners, gluten, soy and other common allergens. It was easy to follow and I felt great.  This time around, I’m applying the principles, but using my own foods.

I am making a conscious effort to embrace a vegetarian lifestyle.  I’ve been leaning this way for about a year, however, I am more drawn toward it since starting my yoga practice. 

I’ve spent the evening at Whole Foods shopping for my staples and getting psyched for tomorrow.  I’m ready, it’s time!

Hello world!

Trying to improve myself mind, body and soul.  I’ve recently started practicing Anusara Yoga.  I am participating in a Stephen Ministry course at my church, I am about to embark on a nutritional cleanse and I am embracing vegetarianism, gradually.  Please join me on my journey.