Birthday Celebration at Woodward

I am now really, truly, officially an adult. I turned 30 last Saturday!

For my birthday this year, there wasn’t any food poisoning involved (remember my birthday post last year?). Instead, I started my day with a run (I’m starting to train for a half-marathon!) and ended it with a fun celebration at Woodward at the Ames Hotel with some of my dearest friends.

I really like going to Woodward; the drinks are innovative and the food is decadent. They also have a great grilled shrimp salad (which I recreated at home) – but because I declared “no seafood on my birthday anymore to avoid any possible chances of food poisoning again,” I ruled that one out.

The food is served family-style and meant for sharing, so we ordered several different things. And I enjoyed multiple glasses of possibly one of the best cocktails ever: Model Behavior, which is made with St. Germain and Hendrick’s gin, topped with Chandon Brut and cucumber foam.

some of my sweet friends

We were at the private room on the second floor and it was exactly what I wanted for a nice celebratory dinner: the room was the perfect size; not so closed off that we feel isolated, and not so exposed that we’ll get too conscious of other diners. And I have to say that the service at Woodward is PHENOMENAL. Everyone, from the first person I talked to when I called to reserve the room, to our lovely server for the night, was so friendly and accommodating.

the room was perfect and we all had a great time!

Mich is my constant companion at Woodward

and Cathy and Anika are fellow foodies

Now that I think about it, almost all my friends are foodies – we all love food! We appreciate everything from street food to fancy-shmancy meals, and are equally happy eating at home or out at a restaurant. It’s true that birds of the same stomach feather flock together.

And now for my top food picks for the night:

crab arancini with spicy tomato sauce

Oh did I say no seafood for the night? Oooops… Creamy crab risotto balls in hot tomato sauce = worth forgetting my aversion to seafood on my birthday.

short rib tortellini with Madeira and truffle butter

If I can only get one dish at Woodward, I would get this. I love truffle butter and when it’s in a dish combined with Madeira wine sauce and tender beef short ribs in soft pillowy tortellini, it is pure heaven.

duck confit flatbread with goat cheese and dried cranberries

Okay, so I picked out the cranberries (still not a fan of fruit on my savory food) but the duck confit was so flawlessly salty, complemented nicely by the tart goat cheese and peppery arugula.

pork belly on a cheddar biscuit

This was everyone’s favorite appetizer. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: While it’s true that many people are repulsed by the idea of eating squishy pork fat, there are also many [including me and my friends] who embrace it, cholesterol-ridden fat and all.

birthday dessert: brownie sundae with peanut butter ice cream and chocolate sauce

Todd and I both had chocolate on our teeth so we did the closed-mouth smile

Then the dancing started, as evidenced by Anika in the background ;)

we ended the night all blurry and happy!

The night was filled with good food and even better company, lots of cocktails, wine, and shots, loud laughter, and fun dancing. It was lovely and exactly what I wanted :)

I felt very special on my birthday, thanks to my family, who called me first thing in the morning, and my friends, who stayed with me till the wee hours of the evening. Turning 30 wasn’t so daunting, in fact it was good reminder of how lucky I am to have so many happy, crazy, memorable experiences in my life, and how grateful I am to be loved by so many wonderful people. I’m looking forward to a bright new decade ahead!

How did you celebrate your last birthday?

Woodward at the Ames on Urbanspoon


25 Responses to “Birthday Celebration at Woodward”

  1. #
    Megan posted January 24, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    Ok, I need to try that Model Behavior drink… and the crab arancini.

    Happy Birthday!!!

    My last birthday was really low-key, but, I too am celebrating the big 3-0 this year, and I’m hoping the celebration will include an amazing dinner!

  2. #
    justcooknyc posted January 24, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    well happy birthday! thank goodness for no food poisoning. that crab arancini thing looks heavenly.

  3. #
    Daisy posted January 24, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    happy 30th! you are so blessed, what an awesome celebration!! The pork belly is drool worthy.

  4. #
    christina posted January 24, 2011 at 11:22 pm

    happy birthday girlfriend! you look gorgeous in your bday pics! :)

  5. #
    Just a french girl... posted January 25, 2011 at 4:17 am

    Looks like the perfect birthday bash!

  6. #
    Elizabeth posted January 25, 2011 at 9:17 am

    Looks like an awesome bday dinner. I haven’t tried Woodward. I totally need to try that PB brownie sundae. Happy belated!

  7. #
    Michelle posted January 25, 2011 at 10:31 am

    This all looks so fabulous! Happy belated birthday!

  8. #
    Emily @ A Cambridge Story posted January 25, 2011 at 10:36 am

    Yay – so glad to see the bday recap after seeing you the next day. I turn 30 this year too (Eeek!) and hope mine is celebrated with as much style!

  9. #
    Jenn @ Frost Bites posted January 25, 2011 at 11:08 am

    Looked like you had a wonderful birthday. Belated happy birthday.

  10. #
    justin posted January 25, 2011 at 11:28 am

    Happy Birthday !

  11. #
    Beth @ The Sailing Foodie posted January 25, 2011 at 11:33 am

    Happy Birthday Pretty Lady! I am so happy I could celebrate with you! It was an amazing night and I will be dreaming about those short rib tortellini’s for weeks!

  12. #
    Dana posted January 25, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    Happy birthday! Sounds like a great start to a new year!

  13. #
    Meghan@travelwinedine posted January 25, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    I had my birthday dinner with my friends at Woodward last year, and it was so fun! I think I even had the same cocktail. It was great to see you for a little bit on Sunday, hope to see you again soon!

  14. #
    blackbookkitchendiaries posted January 25, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    Happy Birthday sweetie… your dinner party looks fabulous!

  15. #
    Alicia posted January 25, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    Happy Birthday Bianca!!
    You’re party looks like a blast. The food looks delectable (i want some of those short-rib tortellini) and you look gorgeous!

    Glad you had a spectacular time!

  16. #
    Heather posted January 26, 2011 at 2:46 am

    Happy birthday, looks like it was a great one!

    My next birthday is in a month, so I’m trying to figure out what I want to do!

  17. #
    MelissaNibbles posted January 26, 2011 at 5:52 am

    That looks like a blast! The duck pizza sounds delicious. Happy Birthday!

  18. #
    Amy at TheSceneFromMe posted January 26, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    Happy Birthday, what a good looking bunch of people!
    I totally agree with you about no fruit on my savory food! I haven’t gotten there yet…

  19. #
    Cynthia posted January 26, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    Happy belated birthday! Looks like a good one. Last year, I turned 30 as well and my husband took me to Los Angeles for a few days.

  20. #
    Lauren at KeepItSweet posted January 26, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    Happy Birthday!!! Looks like a fabulous night and you look gorgeous! What a fun way to celebrate:-)

  21. #
    Amanda L. (Tales From A Kitchen Misfit) posted January 26, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    A good friend of mine works at Woodward! We went there for our 1st breakfast as a married couple (We stayed at the Ames on our wedding night). I want to go back for dinner!

  22. #
    Courtney (Pancakes & Postcards) posted January 26, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY GIRL! This sounds like the most perfect birthday celebration ever! I have to check that place out next time I’m in town… and I’m VERY glad that you didn’t get food poisoning. : ) Which half are you training for??

  23. #
    Bianca Garcia posted January 26, 2011 at 11:24 pm

    Thank you everyone for the comments and birthday greetings!!

    @Courtney – I was planning on running one in NY, but changed my mind and am now registered for the Boston Run to Remember :)

  24. #
    Kerstin posted January 29, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    Happy Birthday!! Glad you had such an amazing celebration!

  25. #
    Tori @ posted January 31, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    My bday this year may be w/ a newborn baby…my due date is 5 days away from my bday! :)

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