Happy Birthday to me!

I never fail to turn my birthDAY into a birthMONTH celebration.  Any excuse to eat out right?  This year, the festivities did not stretch out over the entire month of July, but were still worth it none-the-less.

Trying to decide where to eat dinner with my friends was a difficult decision.  There are SO many great options in town!   Lucky for me, my friend Crystal Fussell of the Crystal Fussell Duo was playing a live show at one of my favorite places in town for fine dining!  Playing your favorite acoustic tunes that range from country to pop to folk, this girl never disappoints!  Check out her site listed above to find her schedule.

When I found out she was playing at Aubriana’s, the decision on where to have dinner was an easy one.  Situated in the heart of downtown Wilmington, Aubriana’s southern cuisine makes you feel right at home.

I started my night out right with a yummy ta-kill-ya cocktail (that’s tequila for those non-drankers out there).  A light mix of Jose Cuervo, muddled blackberries, and soda water, this drink had a crispness with a slight sweetness that was not overwhelming.

Crystal Fussell Duo!

Grayson and I knew we would have a week full of overindulging ahead of us so we decided we wouldn’t order an appetizer. Little did I know my friend Maranda ordered the tempura fried vegetable appetizer that consisted of lightly breaded and fried green tomatoes and okra and other pickled veggies.  The dipping sauce it was served with was similar to a spicy mayo you would have at a sushi restaurant. The perfect accompaniment.

When it came time to order, my decision would be an easy one.  It’s my birthday and I don’t play around. I ordered the beef tenderloin. It was served with a veggie medley of peas, heirloom carrots, and onions.  I have to admit though, the wild mushroom bread pudding really stole the show as far as side dishes are concerned. Who knew bread pudding could be savory?  It was super soft and had a very earthy, mushroom flavor that I couldn’t get enough of. Just enough moistness so that it wasn’t soggy. I’m dreaming of it now…

If you know me well, you know I prefer my steak rare. The chef did a phenomenal job with the temperature. It was sliced vertically to showcase the beautiful red, chilled center. Presentation really is key for me. I swear it makes the food taste better :P. I couldn’t have been more pleased with my meal!

Grayson ordered the crab cake entree.  The crab cakes were mostly crab meat which can sometimes be difficult to find. I hate a crab cake that is mainly just breading and filler.  These were fantastic and had a yummy flavor. They were served with a sweet corn succotash and a purée of potatoes and leeks, then topped with onion straws. The potato leek purée tasted like mashed potatoes with a little sweetness offered by the leeks. Oh man, his was just as good as mine!

Seriously, Aubriana’s has never disappointed us. We’ve been on a couple occasions when we were celebrating. We always have wonderful waitstaff and the food is always top notch. I def recommend you check it out the next time you’re in need of a fine dining establishment.


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