A Classic Weekend Part 1: Fern Flavors from the Garden

Saturday started with awesome Turbo Kick class at the Dowd Y – Anna Kooiman was teaching and she was on fire! If the class scheduling gods are listening – Please schedule an early morning Turbo Kick next month and going forward! I.WOULD.NEVER.MISS.IT.

After class and lots of green juice later…I headed over to my parents to visit, they offered to accompany me to the mall while I ran errands and caught up with these little guys – my nephews! These boys are so much fun! Check out these little adorable rascals running through the accessory department at Nordstrom trying on hats.

After the mall I picked up my date for dinner out and a movie…

Fern Flavors from the Garden just opened in Charlotte this week and we had to go immediately. I love pure vegetarian restaurants – It’s so nice to have another one joining Luna’s Living Kitchen and Woodlands (my two favorite restaurants in Charlotte)…Normally when a restaurant just opens, we wait a few weeks until they can get out all the kinks…. but Fern is owned by Something Classic, which has been around forever, so we took a chance.

It was a gorgeous night but a little chilly – so we decided to sit inside…

The night started off with some wine – Labeled an “Organic” Malbec from Argentina…This bottle did contain Sulfites – so it’s technically not certified organic – but still made with organic grapes which was nice. IT WAS FANTASTIC. I love deep bold smooth reds – especially with the hearty vegetarian appetizers we ordered… The decorations of the restaurant were simple yet innovative – Lots of dangling lights covered by Ball Jars – I wanted to steal the short fat one for my collection at home :) (I use these jars for green juice storage when I want to make it ahead of time or for on the go)

My date hanging out next to the wall of ferns….nice touch!

We were STARVING when we arrived – so we ordered what felt like everything on the menu! We started with 4 appetizers and shared them all.

1st up – Cannolli with Butternut Squash and Housemade Goat Cheese Ricotta – I loved the fact that they used whole wheat pasta for this – whole wheat pasta has a lot more fiber and is a little less processed.

Then the Squash Blossom Hushpuppies and Caramelized Onion Butter – These were DA BOMB.COM. Probably the best fried thing I have ever put in my mouth. Of course, I asked about what kind of oil they use for frying. They do not use soy or a combination of trans fatty oils.The next dish was very Mexi-Indian! They fried up 3 small baturas (doughy flat bread) and added masala spiced kidney beans to the top with a mexican style flare of lettuce, tomatoes and cheese to make “tacos” – This was a fun dish and tasty.The last appetizer was the Spinach Stuffed Artichokes – The artichoke was just ok – the inside of the artichoke, on the other hand was AMAZING. The spinach was perfect. Btw – I don’t think I am allergic to spinach anymore. I ate all this spinach and had no hives or reactions. This is a story for another time. Our dinner was nice and looooong – I think we were there for 2 and half hours. The Fern staff was incredibly pleasing and the timing of the dishes was perfect. I love these kind of evenings. I HATE to eat and run at any meal. If my schedule allowed, I would have 2 hour breakfasts, 2 hour lunches and 2 hour dinners every single day! :) Sweet Potato Gnocchi with a Spicy Tomato Curry and Cashew Nuts was our main course. The gnocchi melted in our mouth, it was some of the best we ever had. I think a different sauce would have been nicer – something lighter so you can really taste and feel the texture of the gnocchi – it was so good on its own! Then Roy, our server, brought out the Tea Selection – he was hilarious – he knew I wanted just plain ginger tea (sliced ginger in boiling water), but still wanted me to know what other teas they had available. I was surprised that they didn’t choose to include an organic variety…

The coffee that my husband ordered with dessert was fantastic – I took a sip to taste, it’s the same coffee they serve at Halcyon – I am not sure that was organic either. Sadly.

This was my fabulous simple & fresh ginger tea – All restaurants should have this available after a big meal… We ordered two desserts! First up – The Semifreddo with strawberries – Mmmmmm.And then the Blackberry Cobbler with a nice whole grain topping – Yeah!!!! Delicious and not too sweet! PERFECTION! The final word? There is no doubt we will be going back and become frequent diners… Besides my favorite Yoga Studio is right across the street – You better believe I’ll be getting take out on the way home from a hot sweaty session at Yoga One – Can’t wait to order one their Chalkra Juices and the Warm Kale Salad. My mouth is just watering thinking of it…

Have a great week!

Food Babe

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