It had been far too long since I had last seen Mara . November , in fact. We’ve tried numerous times to get together but somehow the 30 miles between us just kept getting in the way. Last night, we decided to change that by meeting halfway for dinner at Blu Fish Sushi Bistro in Park Ridge.
Sushi? Don’t mind if I do!
Mara had a surprise for me when I arrived: a Coffee Cocoaamigurumi ! I have been admiring her crochet talents for a long time and was so excited to receive one of my very own! Isn’t it adorable?
We perused the menu and decided to start the evening off right with a cocktail. We each got a pear-tini, made with vodka and Asian pear juice. These were strong but really hit the spot.
Mara also recommended the house salad, which was served with a creamy ginger dressing (amazing), spiralized veggies and sweet potato crunch on top. I loved the presentation!
For our main course, we decided to share a variety of signature maki , which are available in long (8 pieces) or short (5 pieces) rolls for even more variety. Clockwise from the left we have:
California Sunset: Fresh salmon over snow crab, cucumber and avocado.
Crunchy Muffy: Shrimp tempura, tempura crunch and cream cheese topped with baked mozzarella cheese. Yes, it’s as unique as it sounds!
Green Turtle: Freshwater eel, avocado and tempura crunch topped with shrimp and wasabi tobiko. By far the cutest presentation, and worth ordering the full roll.
Spicy Tataki: Whole jumbo soft shell crab, scallion, cucumber, avocado and spicy Masago Mayo topped with seared spicy tuna orange tobiko. Drizzled with chili oil and eel sauce.
I have to say, my favorite was by far the Green Turtle roll, and not just because of the adorable wasabi turtle head. It was the most flavorful and delicious of all four and I couldn’t get enough. I also really enjoyed the California Sunset with the salmon on the outside. The Spicy Tataki was good, too, but I probably wouldn’t order the Crunchy Muffy again. It has a great name, but the mozzarella cheese on top was just too crazy for my sushi tastes!
Mara and I had a wonderful time catching up on life, so much so that we weren’t ready for our foodie date to end just yet. Fortunately, she knows the area well and decided we should venture into Glenview for a stop at the Dairy Bar !
Mara can attest that I was like a kid in a candy store. There were so many flavors and toppings to choose from, and each person ahead of us left with me wanting what they were having. By the time we reached the window, I had reached a final verdict.
Vanilla cone with half rainbow sprinkles and half cinnamon pecans! Yes, cinnamon pecans – and they were just as tasty as they sound. Also, you can never go wrong with rainbow sprinkles. They are happiness in food form.
My date for the evening held my cone so I could properly show you the masterpiece.
We sat outside and relished every bite, both agreeing that it was beginning to look a lot like summer.
I’m already looking forward to our next adventure! We’ve got some fun ideas planned for the warmer months, so expect more Mara-velous posts in the near future.
TGIF! What are your plans for the weekend?
You all know where I’ll be . Fingers crossed that Chicago has a (relatively) low-key weekend.