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That sounds like a bad way to celebrate my year ahead but that was all I could think of. I am three years away from 30. I even shed a few tears…silly, I know.

27. Twenty Seven. Twenty. Seven.

Heavy numbers for some reason. Maybe because growing up I always imagined life so differently than it is now. Back then, 25 sounded ancient but I feel young and know that my life is only just beginning. Sometimes it’s hard to let go of notions of yourself from when you were little.

My new year at 27 this past December was spent as a mellow day finishing up Christmas shopping (I had gum graft surgery the day after so wanted to get everything for Christmas in order), knitting my sweater that is slow going, and getting ready for a fun celebration with family. We were all treated to a fancy dinner at 2941. Zagat listed it in 2009 as one of the best new restaurants of the decade. Located in Falls Church, VA it features jaw dropping 25 foot ceilings with glass walls. Our night reservation did not let us gaze out at the Koi ponds or waterfall gardens (the waterfalls were completely frozen which was in itself a neat thing to see) but the interior was tastefully adorned with festive Christmas decorations, bright and welcoming.

Image courtesy of the 2941 website

The Chadwick boys got an American Inspired Cuisine 4 Course Dining Experience

butter roll, Nantucket scallop, celery, pee wee potato


wild rice, Black Trumpet, Matsutake, Pinot Noir sauce


bacon wrapped, beef brisket, Shiitake, Savoy cabbage, BBQ sauce


rum raisin ice cream, boston brown bread, roasted apple

And the rest of us each ordered al a carte:

BUTTERNUT SQUASH VELOUTÉ, almond, cilantro, apple compote

ENDIVE & BEET, Robiola cheese, Bartlett pear, walnut oil

SWEET CRAB, golden beet, tangerine, horseradish cream


ROCKFISH,Cauliflower mushroom, Nameko, crisp rice, langoustine glacé

DUCK TRIO, truffled sausage, leg confit, roasted breast, Savoy cabbage, pomme Lyonnaise, apricot glaze


You should be salivating right now. It was incredible!!  We all agreed that my dad was capable of creating some dishes just as wonderful, minus only the 25 foot ceilings and reading glasses tray available….he could use the reading glasses tray at home 🙂 [more to come later on our Dad’s Dishes cookbook we received this year.]

Some pictures from my day.

Family photo after being stuffed

Brad and I

One of our family birthday traditions is to celebrate with a fruit tart from Cenan’s Bakery in Vienna, VA. I’m not sure how long we’ve done this now, but close to over 12 years. The fruit always varies depending on what they have fresh but our favorite of favorites is raspberry and I was in luck! The other amazing pastry is the White Chocolate Mousse Cake, but birthday is always tart. The tarts are the best we have had, anywhere…and trust me, we do testing experiments anywhere we can. The crust is light and never soggy, the filling is the best and what truly ‘makes’ the tart. If I can figure out how to make the filling…well….let’s just say that may be dangerous. If it’s your birthday you get to have the chocolate Cenan’s circle that is so coveted among us all.


Cenan's Raspberry Tart

And of course no birthday tart would be complete without candles. I’m not sure if sparkling candles are considered a tradition, but my mom has been on a kick with them for the past several years.

Blowing out candles

I didn’t take a picture of our other birthday tradition, so pictures of it will have to wait until another birthday. Ever since I can remember you would wake up on your birthday and come downstairs to a table filled with picture frames of you growing up. Some baby pictures would be taken out of their album and placed on the table, family photos over the years stood next to dance recital photos, school pictures, and fun ones from vacations and home. Then with our breakfast we, as a family, would sit around and laugh at all the funny awkward pictures, remember vacations together, and retell old memories. It’s a wonderful way to celebrate someone.

Thanks for all the birthday wishes, goodies, and celebration.

Setting my fears of growing ‘old’ aside, I look forward to a great year at 27.