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


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