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The poor guy gave it his best shot. He took off work, researched restaurants, gave me options of gift ideas…and then he got sick. Really sick. But he still tried to make the best out of the day. I let him off the hook, really I did. It was our 3rd wedding anniversary and I was just happy we’re still as in love as we ever were. He has a way of making every day with him quite special and memorable, so when it comes to the important days, I’m really ok when they don’t quite go as planned.

Danny has an impressive immune system. He really doesn’t get sick, and if he does, it usually lasts about 24 hours. Sometimes I don’t even notice he is sick because he hides it so well. This particular day, I could tell he was not feeling great, although he assured me, he was fine. I tried to get him to stay home, but he was not hearing any bit of it. He was determined to at least do something for our anniversary. He also knew we were totally out of food and I was in desperate need of a trip to Whole Foods. So he smiled his best smile and told me to get ready.

Our first stop was The Common Table, a restaurant and bar in Uptown that a friend of mine, Donnelle, mentioned had amazing chicken and dumplings. I am not a huge fan of the dish because it can go horribly wrong, but this recommendation came from the same friend that told me about Smoke, so she is most definitely a credible source. She also knows a thing or two about gardening and organic foods as evidenced by her and her mom’s company, Garden Inspirations.

The decor at The Common Table reminded me of home, as we have a similar color palate of green and orange. There was patio seating, but we chose to eat indoors. I had a wonderful glass of their suggested wine pairing with my dumplings, Duckhorn “Decoy” Pinot Noir. $14 well spent. They also have a HUGE assortment of beers on tap and are quite proud of their extensive selection, as evidenced by the separate menu devoted to them.

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We ordered the Buffalo Meatballs as an appetizer, and Danny was a little apprehensive at first. One look and a taste later, though, he complimented me on the choice (score!).

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Three giant meatballs were covered in marinara and provolone, with lightly cooked onions and peppers topping them. This could definitely make someone a nice meal.

The house salad was lightly, but thoroughly covered in their mimosa vinegrette. The dressing reminded me of the ones that adorn salads at Serendipity and Cheesecake Factory (weight watcher meals’ dressings), which are wonderful.

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Danny ordered the Lazy Ravioli, which included pasta sheets with lobster meat, corn, roasted bell peppers, and scallions in a cream sauce. This was not a dish I would have ordered at this restaurant. I had tried to get him to order the turkey meatloaf with triple cheese mac and fresh green beans, or even one of their many exciting sandwiches, but he had Italian food on the brain and I don’t think he could shake it. It was my fault, as we had almost gone to an Italian restaurant, but I got the hours of operation wrong and they were closed. Needless to say, the lobster was good.

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The star of the meal was my Chicken and Dumplings! Crispy, pan-fried corn fed chicken breast with jalapeño dumplings in a cilantro cream sauce. The dumplings were the perfect texture and reminded me of a firm tortellini. It was not mushy at all. $15 for the best dumplings I have ever tasted seems like quite a bargain.

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The dumplings and the sauce could not have been more perfect. They were so good, that I actually felt bad for the chicken that sat atop such deliciousness below. The only thing that would have made this dish better, is if the chicken would have been pulled apart and able to soak up the creamy deliciousness below. It’s an easy fix, and next time I will dismantle the chicken upon it’s arrival so that it has plenty of time to soak up the tasty cilantro sauce.

If you are planning on visiting The Common Table, I suggest going on a Monday for their date night special….which is a great deal for this restaurant.

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Next, we were off to Society Bakery to select cupcakes that were reminiscent of our wedding cake. Society Bakery made the best wedding cake I’ve ever had to date, and it was only appropriate that a girl that loves dessert the way I do, serve up the best cake I could possibly find. My sisters were in charge of the cake cutting and I remember telling them, “No scrimping on cake slices. I want everyone to get a BIG piece, I mean HUGE.” The rumor is that one of my guests went back six times for another slice of the delicious coconut, lemon, and strawberry layers.

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The cupcakes are amazing! The cake is super moist with a light, and fluffy texture.

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Even the sugar cookies were the best I’ve ever had! Not to mention they are super cute. Danny looked quite adorable with the green frog hanging out of his mouth. Nope no pics, sorry…I tried.

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Coconut with Bavarian cream!

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Chocolate with peanut butter icing, my new favorite! There were chocolate chips baked inside.

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I could go on and on about the day because we packed so much into it. There were chocolates at Corner Market, which is connected to Society Bakery. Yumi-licious frozen yogurt…pistachio and avocado tart (my favorite ice creams are green!). Then a trip to Whole Foods, in which we may have set a spending record for the store…we had nothing left at home…not even peanut butter or jelly. This is only about half of what was in our buggy, by the way.

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Danny got sicker and sicker as the day drug on. When I got back in the car after getting yogurt, I noticed him hunched over the side of the car and thought he might be “spewing”, but thankfully not. Turns out, he dropped the keys under his seat and got his hand stuck and was panicking because he could not get it out. I don’t think he had any strength left. Perhaps he thought if he kept me pumped full of sugar, I would not notice just how sick he was. He could not even move his neck…there was no hiding it.

Thankfully, we got him home. So what does he do? Rest on the couch? No, not him. He decides to prepare a gourmet snack of Oysters Rockefeller with toasted bread and pesto. I couldn’t believe it. This may be the best thing Danny’s Kitchen has whipped up to date. You should find a recipe and make these! Talk about a dish that could impress even the pickiest guest.

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So our 3rd Anniversary didn’t quite go as planned. I married a man that puts me first in his sickness or health…how did I get so lucky?

Where to Go/What to Order:

The Common Table: Chicken and Dumplings

Society Bakery: Cupcakes…I suggest getting at least 6 and having a tasting! My favorites are Strawberry, Coconut, and Chocolate Peanut Butter

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