A Meaty Affair

Good morning!

I can hardly open my eyes this morning after a rude 5 am wake up call, a bus trip to the city and an overwhelmingly long line at Peet’s but, hello!

Don’t you just love airports in the morning?
Today’s exhaustion was surely worth last night’s amazing dinner though!
I tagged along with the KJ folks to a fancy schmancy dinner with all of the managing partners of The Capital Grille.
Kendall-Jackson + The Capital Grille? Yes please. If that’s not a match made in heaven, I just don’t know what is. The dinner was at Freemark Abbey over in “the other valley” and the setting was just stunning. It was one of those nights where I was like yep, this is precisely why I moved to California.
I tasted a bunch of delicious wines, naturally. Someone made a comment that 98% of my posts have to do with wine. You are correct. I plan to dry out in Wisconsin.
Actually, I’m lying. I shipped four bottles of wine to Milwaukee last week so I wouldn’t have to be without. It was my mom’s idea though! I just do what I’m told. Especially on Mother’s Day weekend.
Anyways, I got a chance to meet and mingle with all the Capital Grille guys last night and they were awesome. Everyone was funny and personable and we shared the common love of meat and wine. I’ve been to the restaurant a few times back in Tampa but unfortunately there aren’t any in Northern California yet. I remember specifically the lobster macaroni & cheese being particularly delicious. So if you are at The Capital Grille, go lobster mac all the way. Just do it.
Last night it was actually the KJ team cooking though—
And the rest of us just eating….
I left the oysters to Rocky….I only like them roasted with hot sauce and saltines, Carolina style. 😉
Dinner consisted of a bunch of delicious meaty tapas:
(I had two)
(two more)
(yep, two of these as well)
(one + two servings of orzo)
I love the idea of tapas but honestly I have a hard time with them because I just never feel like I can get completely full. I keep eating and eating and before long I realize that I have seven little plates stacked up before me and a still hungry tummy. I think my favorite dish though from last night was the Justin’s octopus salad (second photo). I love me some squid! ‘Specially when its paired with chorizo and olives. Spanish food reminds me of home!
Time to board…..catch ya in the Midwest!

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  • allison @ thesundayflog
    May 6, 2010 at 9:08 am

    i agree with the tapas. and normally they are pricey, so youre paying a lot to eat very little! my boyfriend played college football and eats a TON, so i always have to make him pregame dinner! looks like fun though!

  • amanda
    May 6, 2010 at 9:13 am

    I love to sample so tapas are the best. Also I heard Capital Grille has some of the best steak ever. I have never been there but have seen them in many locations around the US

  • Heather (Heather's Dish)
    May 6, 2010 at 9:13 am

    i’m the same way about tapas…i love them, but i feel like i could eat a million plates and never be satisfied!

  • Sara
    May 6, 2010 at 9:20 am

    Can we see pictures of your new pretty pink dress? The night looks so fun! I should move to Cali haha

  • Samantha (Food Edu)
    May 6, 2010 at 9:22 am

    Ahh, that sounds like a perfect evening. I love oysters and eat them the same way your friend is in that picture–BBQ’ed eaten with a shot right out of the shell with a garlic-y buttery sauce! Yum! I have yet to sample them with saltines and hot sauce, I bet it’s great!

  • courtney
    May 6, 2010 at 9:29 am

    I second the request for a pic of your dress 🙂 You always look so cute! Hope you had a good flight, and enjoy the weekend (wine and all!!)!

  • Freya @ Brit Chick Runs
    May 6, 2010 at 9:31 am

    I’ve never had tapas – it looks fun to eat though!
    That chef guy with the dark glasses…yeah, he’s cute!! I reckon I would’ve loved that event just for him 😛

  • Sarah @ cocoanutshakes
    May 6, 2010 at 9:31 am

    My problem with tapas is that there’s usually wine around, which makes my willpower completely vanish. That said….after seeing your pics I think I need oysters and wine in my life asap.

  • Ameena
    May 6, 2010 at 9:32 am

    Looks like an amazing night! I haven’t had them as much as I’d like but I do love tapas.

    Have a safe flight!

  • Rachel
    May 6, 2010 at 9:33 am

    Yeah, the idea of tapas is great, because you get a little of everything, but I’ve found that I end up eating way too much in the long run. Something about eating tapas just doesn’t seem to send that alarm to my brain that says, “Well, actually, you’re full. You just don’t know it because you didn’t see all the food you just ate sitting together on your plate.” I also don’t like paying $7+ for each bite of food. Say what?

  • Jessica @ How Sweet
    May 6, 2010 at 9:34 am

    I love tapas – I just eat a TON.

  • Lia
    May 6, 2010 at 9:34 am

    Jenna, I happen to love that 98% of your posts have to do with wine! 🙂

  • Deanna
    May 6, 2010 at 9:34 am

    I with you all the way on the CG’s Lobster Mac & Cheese. SO good! Actually, everything they produce is amazing. Looks like you had a great night!

  • Diana
    May 6, 2010 at 9:35 am

    I love squid! My mom does the best squid. It’s seriously delicious.
    Those tapas look yummy. 🙂
    Have a good day Jenna!

  • Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen
    May 6, 2010 at 9:38 am

    I feel the same way about tapas! It’s usually delicious, and I love the idea of being able to taste a lot of different flavors, combinations, menu items, etc. Yet, I always feel like I haven’t really eaten when I’m through.

    Give me a big ol’ plate of food and let me feel satiated! 🙂

  • Sarah for Real
    May 6, 2010 at 9:39 am

    Ok, this is getting serious. I already have been wanting to move to California and you are making it about a zillion times worse! So beautiful and very fancy-schmanzy!

  • Christie {Honoring Health}
    May 6, 2010 at 9:40 am

    Everything looks so delicious. I can’t hang with the oysters either. Not even cooked.

  • Kathy
    May 6, 2010 at 9:44 am

    I guess the pink dress did not fit as well as you thought because I am sure there would of been a picture. Oh well !

  • Carolyn @ lovinlosing
    May 6, 2010 at 9:45 am

    As usual, you have me drooling at my desk. Have a great flight!!

  • ellen eats beets
    May 6, 2010 at 9:45 am

    I loved living in California for precisely that reason. There is ALWAYS good wine and good food! Have fun in the midwest!

  • Emily L.
    May 6, 2010 at 9:46 am

    Hubba Hubba. That KJ chef is HUNKY! Thanks for the eye candy 🙂

  • Jil
    May 6, 2010 at 9:47 am

    Looks like a beautiful evening and great food (and wine, obvs).

  • alicia
    May 6, 2010 at 9:48 am

    Sorry, but the chef looks way better than the food 🙂

  • eatmovelove
    May 6, 2010 at 9:54 am

    Lobster Mac??!!! Really!
    Why are you heading to the Midwest? I missed something. 🙂

  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie
    May 6, 2010 at 9:55 am

    Mmmm!! The wine looks so good. It’s been nearly six months since I’ve had wine (pregnant) and the other day I smelled some and it was heavenly.haha

  • Kim @ Eat and Be
    May 6, 2010 at 9:56 am

    Great post! I wanted to wish you a happy trip to Milwaukee. I used to live there when I went to graduate school. I am sure you know about this, but if you have time, you must go to the coffee shop by the lake (Alterra) and sample their pumpkin-chocolate chip bread. ? it and miss it!
    happy travels!

  • Shelly
    May 6, 2010 at 9:57 am

    This is totally a “sometimes food” but I have the best recipe for grilled (or roasted) oysters ever.

    The Sauce:

    1 Stick Unsalted Butter, very soft
    1 Pinch Kosher Salt
    1 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
    1 Tbsp Minced Garlic
    4 Tbsp Pecorino Romano
    1 pinch Cayenne
    1 pinch White Pepper
    1 Spritz Lemon Juice
    1 tsp Minced Italian Parsley

    Whisk together all ingredients.

    For the Oysters:

    1 Dozen Large freshly shucked Oysters on the half shell
    1 Recipe of the Sauce, above
    Pecorino Romano to finish
    Minced Italian Parsley for garnish
    Fresh Bread
    Lemon wedges

    Heat a charcoal or gas grill until very, very hot. Place the oysters on the hottest spot on the grill and let them cook in their own juices for a few minutes, just until they start to bubble and the edges curl. Top each with a generous portion of the sauce, enough to fill up the shell. When the sauce starts to bubble and sizzle sprinkle each oyster with about a Tbsp of Pecorino Romano. Let the Oysters go until the sauce on the edges of the shells gets nice and brown. Garnish with minced Parsley.

    Serve while still sizzling with Lemon wedges and fresh bread.

  • M(a different M than the other M!!)
    May 6, 2010 at 9:58 am

    Both the chef and Rocky are handsome!
    (And of course “the boy” as well 🙂
    Happy weekend escape with the grandparents(which side of the family?)

  • laura
    May 6, 2010 at 9:59 am

    oh!! i love milwaukee. my husband lived on the east side while we were dating and we had so much fun. for me, the commute from the chicago suburbs up there, not so fun. anyway, have you ever tried wine from the wollersheim winery? it is up near the dells and is a neat place to tour and taste and maybe you could save on shipping (i loathe paying for shipping). anyway, enjoy!

  • Cynthia (It All Changes)
    May 6, 2010 at 10:00 am

    If mom says send wine…you send wine.

    Enjoy your time with family 🙂

  • Lisa
    May 6, 2010 at 10:01 am

    Hey wine is key to a healthy heart! Drink up! 😉

  • Nora@LiveLifeEatRight
    May 6, 2010 at 10:09 am

    hhahah Rockey is a brave soul. I’ve been dying to try oysters like that…actually can’t believe I haven’t. This looks like such an amazing event, I love reading about all of your adventures!

  • Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin
    May 6, 2010 at 10:11 am

    I love tapas but I tend to overdue it because its all small plates AND theres so many awesome things to try! That event looks so fun, and the chef veryyyyyy cute.

  • Claire
    May 6, 2010 at 10:13 am

    Sounds like a lovely evening lady! Have fun in WI with the grandparents, I know you will with that wine!

    I love tapas but don’t have them too often, just at my fave place in nyc, alta…sooo good!

  • Joanie
    May 6, 2010 at 10:15 am

    Your posts always make me want to visit California. I have never been but it is next on my go-to list! You are so lucky to live and work in wine country and be able to go to all these great events!

    Have you taken photography classes? You have beautiful pictures!!

  • kelsey@snackingsquirrel.com
    May 6, 2010 at 10:15 am


  • Jacquie
    May 6, 2010 at 10:40 am

    I love the different tastes tapas can bring and hopefully on a smaller budget! Plus everything about those looked wonderful… than again, the KJ chef didn’t look too bad either and you can’t deny eating food from a good-looking guy 😉

  • dawn
    May 6, 2010 at 10:46 am

    Ok, I am confused. I thought you were saying
    Rocky is “the boy”–right? Exciting to try to figure
    this out!

  • Renee
    May 6, 2010 at 10:47 am

    Jenna, was Rockey working at the event? Or could HE actually be “the boy??”

    I know, I know, the questions are annoying, but we’re dying to know!

  • runnerforever
    May 6, 2010 at 10:56 am

    Oh man, I hate it when I get to an airport in the morning expect to speed right through only to find a line out the door, whoops haha.

  • carolyn
    May 6, 2010 at 11:00 am

    They used to be in San Francisco…on SPear street and the calamari was the best…and their pineapple soaked in Stoli Vodka.

  • nora
    May 6, 2010 at 11:05 am

    Great dinner!

    ANd the boy is………………………….?

  • Kelly @ Healthy Living With Kelly
    May 6, 2010 at 11:05 am

    I am that way with sushi. I feel like I eat a ton yet I never leave completely full or satisfied. But I can’t say that it ever stops me from trying…haha!! 🙂 Have a great weekend, Jenna!

  • Allie
    May 6, 2010 at 11:05 am

    cuuuuute chef!! looks like a fabulous night!

  • Jenny
    May 6, 2010 at 11:09 am

    So which one of those is the boyfriend?!?:)

  • MMiller
    May 6, 2010 at 11:10 am

    I love Tapas as well! I prefer them to an actual meal! And is that another clue above? I love going to Costco and sampling! And I don’t believe Rocky is “The Boy” because he is not 27! And you recently said it was “The Boy’s” 27th birthday! But both of the Boy’s above are cuties! Hope you have a great weekend with your family! Enjoy!

  • jennifer (take the day off)
    May 6, 2010 at 11:23 am

    I’m totally with you on not being into Tapas! I feel like I’m being jipped! Especially going out for tapas, the prices of those small plates adds up and I leave hungry!

  • Shelbney
    May 6, 2010 at 11:38 am

    love your pics as always. on your last post you talked about childs pose and the instructor pushed down on your feet. i know absolutely nothing about yoga but when you said that pose felt great on your lower back i was intrigued enough to look it up. I can’t figure out how someone could push on your feet because you are almost sitting on them. could you demo or explain for us non yogis? if i have guessed correctly… i think think the beau is from the garden of eden? you are having way too much fun with this already!

  • Shelbney
    May 6, 2010 at 11:42 am

    and #18 Kathy should just go away!

  • Amanda
    May 6, 2010 at 11:43 am

    I’m with everyone else – who’s the boy and where’s the picture of the cute pink dress? We are demanding readers! 😉

  • Corinne
    May 6, 2010 at 11:52 am

    JENNA! We want to see a picture of you in your pink dress! post this please 🙂 🙂

  • hungryforbalance.wordpress.com
    May 6, 2010 at 11:59 am

    I love tapas! Mostly because I can never decide on one thing so little taste of different dishes works out great for me. Seeing your pictures also took me back to my time living in Marbella, Spain and all the wonderful food!

  • Erin (Travel, Eat, Repeat)
    May 6, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    What a spread! I actually am slowly getting used to early mornings after a week of 5:30am wake-up calls. It’s kind of nice to beat the sun and have some extra time in the day.

  • Scargosun
    May 6, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    O M G! Freemark Abbey made one of my FAVE Chardonnays back in maybe 2008. I cannot find AND Freemark Abbey in our pitiful excuse for PA Wine and Spirits stores (ours are state run, Grrrr!). Looks like an awesome event!

  • Wendy
    May 6, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    My husband and I fell in love over a nice steamy ramican of lobster mac’n cheese on our first date ; ) Great post, thanks for sharing!

  • Wendy
    May 6, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    My husband and I fell in love over a steamy ramican of lobster mac’n cheese on our first date ; )
    Great post, thanks for sharing!

  • kate
    May 6, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    I love tapas + squid. Oh ya and I love the fact that you shipped wine to Wisconsin! Enjoy yourself in the Midwest, were having glorious weather lately!

  • Natalie
    May 6, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Sounds amazing!

    And my bet is the cute chef is ‘the boy’ 😉 Hey, it’s interesting too!

  • Staceyhttp://stacey-healthylife.blogspot.com/
    May 6, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    Who’s the man in the chef’s coat, he’s looking good. 🙂

    What an amazing night. And yes we would love to see the pink dress.

  • Beth
    May 6, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    Yum – the Capital Grille is really good – definitly their lobster mac n cheese is the best by far that I have ever had. You can only have a bite or two, it is so rich.

  • Cara
    May 6, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    Jenna pleeeeeese answer the questions regarding the boy !
    Where’s the pink dress ?

  • Anne
    May 6, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    Okay ! The “boy” is Rocky ! At least we got a profile picture to see. Aren’t you glad your big secret is finally revealed?

    • jenna
      May 6, 2010 at 3:49 pm

      Hahahahaha y’all that “hunk” is Chef Ryan….my friend Ali’s boyfriend. I will tell her you all are lusting after her man. 😉

  • Sarah (Oc2Seattle)
    May 6, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    So true re tapas. My husband and I have gone out with friends spent over $150 per couple (wine is involved) and then when we leave, he says “Well, I haven’t eaten, let’s go to Dick’s.” (Dick’s is the Seattle answer to In-N-Out, although not as good).

  • christina
    May 6, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    the guy in the first picture is a hunk. 1. do you know him? 2. can i have him? 3. i hope that’s not your bf bc then i will feel as guilty as i feel when i drunk eat 4 pizza slices and a lean cuisine at the same time…yes that has happened.

  • Renee
    May 6, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    Ohh I missed that the boy is 27! Yes, Rocky is only 22. Hmmm, the mystery continues …

  • Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg
    May 6, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    I agree– I can eat 100 tapas dishes, and still feel like I haven’t had enough to eat!! lol. Have a fun trip this weekend!

  • Claire
    May 6, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    Yeahhhh Milwaukee!!! We’re happy to have you. Its a beautiful day here. Although a bit chilly, but still sunny!

  • shayla
    May 6, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    Hey Jenna! I absolutely love every single one of your posts – I especially love your passion for wine and delicious food! Life is too short to not enjoy the yummy things in life – so please don’t change because of other peoples stupid comments. Your attitude and perspective on life and indulgences is so refreshing – I love it! And let me tell you, I enjoy my fair share of wine and food as well and it’s great to see that you do to! Xoxo

  • Laura @ Backstage Pass to Health & Happiness
    May 6, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    The CG’s Lobster Mac + Cheese is to die for… last time I had it was before a Lady Gaga concert and consumed with a teacup of champagne. Random, I know. That event looks like it was very swanky!

  • Ashley
    May 6, 2010 at 3:25 pm


    It is a book about book recommendations! You’ve been writing a lot about reading lately.

    Also, I love your plugs for libraries! I am going to school to become a librarian. Its good to know people like you still exist! 🙂

  • Carla in Sydney
    May 6, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    Totally agree with you Shelbney – “Comment 18 Kathy” should REALLY just go away! Rude!
    Looks like a wonderful event Jenna! 🙂

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing
    May 6, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    Wow that sounds like so much FUN!

  • Meghan@traveleatlove
    May 6, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    I love Freemark Abbey. One of my bday wines was a 198 Freemark Abbey Cab, so it holds a special place in my heart 🙂
    Have a good trip!

  • Rachel
    May 6, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    I loved your blog before, and I love it even more now that 98% or whatnot is spoken about wine! Hope you, and your bottles arrive safe 😉 Happy travels!

  • Camille
    May 6, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    Everything looks delicious!

  • Carter
    May 6, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    Um. That is one hot KJ chef. Yummy.

  • Liz
    May 6, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    The blog just isn’t the same without the pictures of you in your pretty dresses! And we already know that the boyfriend is ADAM!

  • Salah@myhealthiestlifestyle
    May 6, 2010 at 5:16 pm

    Looks like a great time!!! have fun in the midwest!

  • Salah@myhealthiestlifestyle
    May 6, 2010 at 5:16 pm

    Looks like a great time!!! have fun in the midwest!

  • aldr
    May 6, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    yum! wine, food, napa. love it. looks like a fun night!

  • Tricia
    May 6, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    Hey Kathy (#18), you are unbelievably rude (and jealous, I suppose).

  • Rocky Slaughter
    May 6, 2010 at 9:42 pm

    Yeah, it’s me. Mystery solved!

  • jenny (green food diaries)
    May 6, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    adore tapas. i want olive tapenade now…

  • Shannon
    May 7, 2010 at 4:01 am

    We have a capital grille here in Milwaukee! I’ve lived here all my life, so let me know if you want any tips on where to dine, shop, drink wine, etc. There’s an awesome Whole Foods downtown that you may want to check out!