Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Date Night - Audubon Circle and the Lorelei Ensemble

Friday night, Travis and I went on our first date since coming back from Christmas vacation.  Being sick for three weeks really puts a damper on going out, so we were excited to have a nice evening!  Our friend Kim is in the Lorelei Ensemble, who was having a concert that evening at Boston University's Marsh Chapel, so we decided dinner and the concert would be perfect.

About a year ago, I put together a power point presentation for my boss with the pros and cons (mostly pros...) of moving to Arizona (he was trying to convince his wife to move there).  As a thank you, he gave me a gift card to a restaurant down the street, Audubon.  Not much better than dinner on the boss!  :)

We got to Audubon around 6 and had no trouble getting a table (apparently the crowd shows up around 8).  The inside is like a nice lounge - dark wooden walls, metal pendant lights and a cool triangular table down the center of the restaurant for after hours.  Across from the long bar running down one side of the restaurant are the dining tables where we sat.

Since the gift card was for $75, we decided to live large and get an appetizer, dinner, and dessert.  We started with the Grilled Shrimp with Citrus Sauce (which was sweet with a serious kick).

Travis immediately knew he wanted the bowl of Turkey Chili, but I had more trouble deciding on the main course.  It was between the Vegetable Risotto and Pan Roasted Chicken.  I decided that the chicken dish is usually a cop-out, so I gave the risotto a try.

The Turkey Chili was massive and was topped with cheddar and sour cream.  It was thick, "nice and spicy", and great once he added a little salt.

The risotto, on the other hand, was just really bland.  The veggies (peas, asparagus, and mushrooms) were cooked perfectly, but there just wasn't much flavor to the dish.  I decided that since we had more than enough money to cover dinner in the gift card, I was going to order something different (after-all...dinner was on the boss!).   I asked the waitress if I could see the menu again to pick something else and assured her that it wasn't something wrong with the dish...it just wasn't to my taste.

I decided to go with my gut the second time and got the Pan Roasted Chicken with Mashed Potatoes and Mushrooms. It was amazing.  This was no ordinary chicken dish - the chicken was juicy, tender and FULL of flavor.  The mountain of mashed potatoes was rich and fluffy, and paired well with the mushrooms and gravy.  I gobbled most of it up almost immediately and was more than happy!

The icing on the cake was that the restaurant comp'd the risotto (even though we weren't expecting it) for good measure.  You can tell a really great restaurant by the way they fix issues that come up.  Audubon was fantastic.

There was only one option on the menu for dessert, Goat Cheese Cheesecake with an Oreo crust and crumb - but with a dessert like that...who needs a second?

It was tangy, sweet, and chocolaty - everything we could wish for.

At this point we were completely stuffed.  There was, however, one more pleasant surprise (which doesn't happen often around here), which was the BILL.  Appetizer, 2 entrees, dessert, and a beer (Travis was so excited they had a local brewery's Fisherman's Ale) - all for about $55.00.  We handed over the $75 gift card and walked out with some extra cash from the unused value.  We MADE MONEY eating here.  :)

Audubon Circle Restaurant Bar on Urbanspoon

After dinner we hopped in the car and headed over to Boston University's Marsh Chapel for the Lorelei Ensemble concert.  Thankfully we we found a parking spot right outside (which is unheard of), so we didn't have to walk too far in the cold.
Wrapping your entire face in a scarf helps...

The inside of Marsh Chapel is beautiful (as you just saw) and was the perfect place for the concert.  I have to say, this was one of the best concerts I've been to in a long time.

The Lorelei Ensemble is a group of 8 ladies (and their leader, Beth) who performs both new and early music for women's voices.  They perform pieces for the entire ensemble and in smaller groups (solo, 3, 4 or 5 voices).  Friday's concert was titled Lineage, and focused on the shared musical language between sixteen-century repertoire, colonial America, and the new music of today.  It's not often you go to a concert that includes chant, shape note music, lyrical pieces, and works composed just this year, and have it not just make sense, but be a fantastic and inspiring evening!

The concert included pieces by Paul Chihara, John Sheppard, William Billings, William Byrd, Mary Montgomery Koppel, Joshua Shank, Thomas Tallis, and Karin Hoghielm.  The pieces that particularly struck me were Chihara's Magnificat and Joshua Shank's Magnificat for the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo.  Shank's Magnificat takes on the heavy subject of Argentina's "Dirty War", using text from an organization of Argentine mothers whose children had "disappeared".  He took a truly heartbreaking event and paid honor to what the families and children experienced through the settings of their stories.  The piece is not yet finished (they premiered the first 4 movements in this concert), and I can not wait to hear the rest.

The Lorelei Ensemble will be performing with the Harvard Women's Choral Festival in February, so if you're in the Boston area, you should definitely go hear this group!

Such a fun evening out with husband!


  1. It sounds like you had a great date!! Pat and I get a date night in a few weekends for my birthday. When you have a kid they are few and far between - but that just makes them much more meaningful!

    Glad you had a great time!!

    1. Yay! You two deserve a night out - that'll be fun!!

  2. that sounds (& looks) like one fantastic night! thanks for stopping by my blog - now following you back! :)

  3. The dinner (especially the dessert) looks great. I'm glad you chose a different entree rather than be dissatisfied. The concert - being a musician/instructor - you had me drooling with the concert. Beautiful setting and beautiful music after having had a beautiful dinner. You do know how to live life!

    On a side note - I wonder when people see us taking pictures of our meals, etc. if they say, "I bet she has a blog." I know I'm snapping pictures everywhere to post about. Your pictures are always top notch!

    I really enjoyed your Date Night! Reia from www.southcountrysides.blogspot.com

    1. You would have loved it! The space was perfect - the music quite literally surrounded you!

      I wonder that too. Hahaha. Our waitress looked at me kinda funny, but that's ok. :) Doesn't bother me!!

  4. Dinner looks like it was amazing! Josh and I are always looking for new restaurants to try - we will definitely be adding this one to our list!

    1. Wee definitely had a good time. Just stay away from the veggie risotto. :)

  5. Sounds like a great evening! Thanks for stopping by my blog today.