Last year we celebrated a New England Thanksgiving, so this year it seemed only fitting to also celebrate a New England Easter!
We took the train from NYC to Connecticut and spent the weekend at my cousin Marisa’s house. On Saturday we undertook the most famous of Easter traditions: dying Easter eggs.
We pretended we were doing it for little J’s benefit, but really I think the adults had more fun!
Then that evening, Blair, Marisa, Greg and I decided to do a cousin’s dinner at Ella’s Fine Food & Drink in Westerly, Rhode Island.
Were there closer restaurants? Yes, of course. But we drove over to Ella’s for a reason.
If you remember from this post, this past summer our friends Liam and Yibei hosted Greg and me for a weekend at their Rhode Island beach house. While we were there, Liam suggested eating at his aunt’s restaurant, Ella’s Fine Food & Drink. Greg and I agreed, and planned on politely complimenting the food no matter what it tasted like.
As it turns out, our politeness wasn’t necessary at all. We were blown away at how delicious everything was! Every dish was phenomenal, and Ella’s quickly soared to becoming one of my absolute favorite restaurants! Ever since then, Greg and I had really been missing the food and raving about it to anyone traveling to Rhode Island. So when we were within driving distance of Ella’s, we made it a point to dine there again.
We started with some fun cocktails.
And some fun starters!
We shared the Ultimate Grilled Cheese with house made cheddar bread, cheddar-Swiss cheese and tomato apple jam.
We also nibbled on the House Cut Truffle Frites.
As well as the Parisian salad with frisee, arugula, and shaved aged gouda cheese with a toasted hazelnut black truffle vinaigrette.
For her main course, Marisa dined on the Crabby Scallops which were jumbo lump crab topped grilled scallops with coconut-cilantro infused black rice, bok choy, and mirin-yuzu-apricot buerre blanc.
I had the halibut, one of the evening’s specials.
Blair ordered one of my favorite dishes at Ella’s, the Short Rib Gnocchi with braised rib, mushrooms, and house made gnocchi with a parmesan finish.
Greg enjoyed the Seasonal Scallops which were pan-seared scallops with seasonal squash, risotto, toasted hazelnut-apple brown butter pan sauce and topped with an apple-brussels garnish.
Our dinner was so delicious that we couldn’t pass up an opportunity to also order dessert!
Blair had my favorite dessert at Ella’s, the Gingerbread Ice Cream Sandwich.
I selected one of the dessert specials, the Beignets.
Marisa had the Just Chocolate cake with layers of chocolate torte, chocolate ganache, and white chocolate cheesecake with chocolate sauce.
And Greg enjoyed the evening’s Apple Pie special.
Throughout the meal, Jeanie Roland, the chef (and Liam’s aunt!), kept coming out to our table to make sure everything was perfect. She did this with all of the tables, which was incredibly thoughtful (but also, because the food was so good, unnecessary)!
We were so impressed, that both Greg and Blair decided to get copies of Jeanie’s new cookbook, Butter, Love & Cream.
And just to be clear, neither Jeanie nor Liam asked me to blog about the restaurant. I’m doing it solely because I absolutely love the food, and think everyone should try it!
The next morning, we woke up, dressed in our Easter best, and headed down to the beach for a photo shoot (much to Marisa and Blair’s dismay).
Then we headed over to my aunt’s house for Easter dinner. After we ate, we engaged in another family tradition: Chickenese!
This is what we call egg tapping, where you tap the pointy ends of hardboiled eggs together, and then the round ends. The goal is to crack other people’s eggs without cracking your own.
Uncle Michael was doing well…
Until Blair came from behind and ended up being the last man standing with an un-cracked egg.
Here it is, this year’s winner:
We had a great weekend escaping the city and spending time with family. Here’s hoping your Easter was just as happy!
For all of my Connecticut travel posts, click here.
For all of my Rhode Island travel posts, click here.