Sunday, April 14, 2013

Date Night: Mexican Food and Pottery

My husband and I try to have date night at least once a month, which is sometimes easier said than done. But we did it this month! Last Thursday, we made the trek out to Williamsburg after work for dinner and painting pottery (and some ice cream, of course). I'm not too familiar with restaurants in Williamsburg since we don't venture out of the city too often, but good reviews and the convenient location to the pottery place made a winning combination. 

Dinner at Cantina Royal was a quirky Mexican dining experience and we both agreed that we want to go back as there were dishes we were very intrigued by, but couldn't eat them all! When we first walked in, the server was really friendly and let us choose where we wanted to sit (there was only one other couple in the small restaurant). Once we were seated, I started to look around at the decor. This is one of those places were all of the pieces individually clash with one another, but together they just happen to work. From the giant crystal chandelier to the giant pictures of galaxies to the showcasing of liquor bottles and electrical equipment on the walls, it was a fun atmosphere.

We started with guacamole and chips. The guacamole was really well seasoned, but had a bit too much red onion so it left that raw onion taste in your mouth. The tortilla chips were crispy and salty, just the way I like them.

We decided to have drinks (hey, it's date night after all!), sticking with the Mexican theme and ordering margaritas. Matt had the margarita tradicional and I had the cucumber margarita (based on our server's recommendation). It was delicious! I've only had a handful of cucumber based cocktails, but this one was so refreshing. I drank it slowly just so I could savor every sip.

For our main dishes, Matt ordered La Mission, which is a fish filet with jalapeño cilantro mayo dressing, pico de gallo and a flour tortilla. Despite being a small portion, the dish was excellent. The pico de gallo was incredibly flavorful and a great compliment to the fish (which was fishy, but not too much to overpower the other flavors). 

I ordered Enchiladas De Mole Chocolate, three chicken enchiladas covered in mole sauce made using Mast Brothers Chocolate with a side of rice and refried beans. This was my first time having mole so I don't have anything to compare it to, but the mole sauce left something to be desired. When I first took a bite, I tasted a subtle chocolate flavor combined with a variety of spices, but it quickly faded as I began to taste the flour tortilla and chicken within the enchilada. A bolder sauce with more depth of flavor would make this dish great. The rice was so fluffy and I loved the pieces of corn and carrot incorporated throughout. I honestly felt like the rice was my favorite part of the meal, with just the right texture and flavor. The refried beans were so creamy (and I'm not a bean fan in the least) and well seasoned, topped with some crumbled Mexican cheese. 

As we were leaving, the other server (who we actually think is the owner as he was watching over the restaurant throughout the night) came over and gave us each a shot of tequila complements of the chef. It was a really nice touch to end the meal and gave us a little buzz to head over to the pottery place! I can't wait to try the octopus BLT, Mexican pork ribs, and salsa sampler next time.

The second half of date night was painting pottery at Baked in Brooklyn. You choose a piece of pre-made pottery and they provide all of the paint and supplies to create whatever design you choose. Since I'm avid tea drinker, I went for the teacup and saucer. Matt wasn't sure what he wanted to paint so he let me choose. I went with a serving bowl since we can actually use it at home, as opposed to the Angry Birds bank that will just sit there collecting dust (although it was quite cute!). The studio is also BYOB so we enjoyed a few beers while painting. Although our pieces haven't been fired in the kiln yet to get the full effect, here they are!

Matt's masterpiece - serving bowl
My masterpiece - teacup and saucer
On our walk back to the subway, I hinted at getting some ice cream from a shop I saw on our way to the restaurant (I'm always keeping my eye out for dessert!). We stopped at Williamsburg Creamery and shared a cone of the chocolate cabernet wine ice cream. It was creamy, rich in chocolate with a subtle wine flavor that gave a bit of a kick at the end of each lick. Another frozen treat to check of my list - boozy ice cream!

Overall, date night was a great success! We don't try a lot of new restaurants, primarily because we tend to get stuck in a rut with the places we know we like, but it was really nice trying something different and delicious. We both have a bit of a creative streak, so it was nice to get some arts and craft time in (especially when you pair it with beer!). Here's to our next date night!

No comments:

Post a Comment