AL FRESCO

As I have mentioned many times, I love a good dinner party. Delicious food and drink mixed with loved family and friends makes for my FAVORITE time ever. With the weather being somewhat warmer yet quite enjoyable this season, it had me dreaming of dining al fresco. The window of opportunity here in Texas for dining outdoors is short as the cold seems to turn directly into HOT! So you have to be on your toes and prepared to get the party started! Of course I would need a back yard (or a boat!) to pull these off, but one can dream! Some of them are actually rather romantic which seems fitting for this national day of love.

Happy Valentine’s Day Y’all!

via pinterest

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Shall we dine?

I am moving to a new place in about 5 months and I could not be more excited. [I know 5 months seems a bit far away but I have to do ALL this on my own and I need to be prepared because I have a bunch of crap!] I am sticking with an apartment [for now] but adding more SQ. FT. The three contending apartments are not too shabby but are all rather commercial and lack a bit of character. [I guess I will have to bring that with me when I move.] I would love to have a place with historical and architectural importance but even if I did find that perfect place, I am sure it would be out of my price range or an hour from work. [Now I’m just rationalizing..]

So over the next few months I will be narrowing down my choices and getting ready for the move. Although the location of my new place has yet to be officially decided, I know that it will have a dining space, which my current layout lacks. I have never owned or had space for a dining table. EVER! And if you know me at all, you would know I LOVE to throw parties, especially dinner parties, which I have never been able to do. [I want a table that can seat AT LEAST 8 comfortably when expanded.]

STORNÄS Table

1900s Boulangerie Dining Table

I have been saving inspiration from the web and searching through magazines but I just can’t make up my mind. I think I have come to an answer for the table itself but the decision of which chairs has left me reeling! I just can’t make up my mind! I guess the reason would be that I would love to have a few different sets of chairs for different occasions and moods. [My mood seems to be always changing..] Of course, that would work better if I had a house or somewhere to store the chairs not currently in use. [Alright I am rambling now…]

Leather? Metal? Wood? Wicker? OH MY!

Eames Wire Chair??

IKEA Chairs

Randoms VIA Pinterest

A VERSION OF A TOLIX CHAIR??

RESTORATION HARDWARE

Imperia {FOOD}

I am always down to try out new restaurants and am always on the look out for exciting + fun new places. I have decided to try and take more advantage of living in Austin and get out there and really experience it since there are so many places to try! (I get lazy sometimes..) I usually drag my friend Courtney with me whenever I go and it is always a good time! I want to track our restaurant hopping (as best I can) and figure the best place would be right here. We have been to many other places prior to today’s subject and I hope to file those trips later on. But for now, may I present IMPERIA.

A few nights ago we ventured downtown for some sushi. As we crossed the street from our $7 parking spot to the restaurant, we could not help but wish we lived in the modern/industrial apartments the next block over. Awesome bars, restaurants + unique retail shops flanked each side of the street and it was almost as if I had just pushed the ‘refresh’ button on my entire day. (It had clearly been TOO long since I had been downtown!)

We were semi-greeted by a semi-snobby hostess who told us it would be a 45 minute wait because we did NOT have reservations. (It was a bit like the scene in ‘Date Night’ where Steve Carell and Tina Fey try to get a table at Claw. HA!) So, we stood off to the side in the non-existent waiting area. As we were finally being seated, our waitress informs us there is a “super long wait” for the sushi bar because they were so busy. While our appetizer came in a flash, our drinks took their time finding their way to our table. We each ordered a roll which took about 30-45 minutes for them to get out to us. We had good convo and drinks, so no biggie. It was worth the wait though as it was very scrumptious! We wanted to try one more roll which took a little longer but it was SO good! At this point it had been 3 hours and we were both ready to get outta there.

The atmosphere was nice and I enjoyed the interior detailing. The lighting was a little dark but I like dark. There was louder music over in the bar area but I could carry on a normal conversation in our dining area. It reminded us both of some of the sushi places we went to in New York. We liked it!All in all it was a good meal and I will probably be back.. with a reservation though!

OUR PICKS

DRINKS
GINGER MOJITO / 10
BACARDI RUM, HOUSEMADE GINGER SYRUP, FRESH LIME + MINT

ASIAN PEAR MARTINI / 9
GREY GOOSE LA POIRE, MELON LIQUEUR, AND SWEET + SOUR

STARTER
FIRECRACKER SHRIMP / 9
WITH SWEET LIME CHILI

ROLLS
RED DEVIL · aka oni / 13
SPICY MARINATED TUNA ROLLED WITH BLACK SUSHI RICE
AND ROASTED RED BELL PEPPERS. TOPPED WITH SPICY MAYO
AND WHITE ANGEL SAUCE.

HAMACHI-POTLE / 13
SNOWCRAB, TEMPURA ASPARAGUS, AVOCADO TOPPED WITH YELLOWTAIL.
WITH CHIPOTLE MAYO.

THE LEADING ROLE / 15
UNAGI, CRAWFISH, AVOCADO AND CREAM CHEESE, SERVED CRISPY.
WITH SPICY TERIYAKI SAUCE.

IMPERIA | AUSTIN