Ladies Who Wine :: The Social List

Ladies Who Wine :: The Social List

It’s been a while since we’ve had one of our Ladies Who Wine outings, so there was a big turnout for our visit to The Social List on Long Beach’s Retro Row, those attending ready to be social, and to make lists (of all the food and drink they planned to suck down).

The Social List easily gets your attention if you’re driving by. It begs you to stop in with its pale yellow façade, its bold lettering letting you know you’ve arrived; its patio seating and windowed doors summoning Long Beach inside while the aroma of their perky food, their hearty brews floats out onto 4th Street. Settled on a corner near the Arts Theater and The Center LB, The Social List holds its own with other culinary favorites in the area, like Lola’s and Number Nine.

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This outing’s beverage lesson, provided by Nora, educated the table on beers. Sour beers, which until last night I’d never heard of. They’re made tart from a careful balance of bacteria added during brewing, a risky trick though an oft-practice one in Belgium. The art of developing a pleasingly soured brew has spread to the US in recent years, Nora informing us that sour beers are what all the cool kids are drinking. We followed up our lesson with a practical application, ordering a couple bottles of Silly Sour to share. I adopted one of the bottles as my own once the table had a try at it, the taste reminding me of a cool summer shandy, though not as sweet.

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In addition to beers, we munched on small plates and a couple of entrees. I quite enjoyed my chicken apple cinnamon (!) sausage, a different choice than my usual type of go-to fare. I’d get it again, along with the patatas bravas and the butternut squash and onion jam toast.

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We had a special guest in the form of Kristina’s cousin from Paris, so in addition to sour beer, I got a quick schooling in European geography. And with French, Italian, Spanish, Mandarin, and Portuguese speakers around the table, I was able to practice many a foreign language – and to give my not so pleasant British accent another try. They say it tends to drift toward Jamaican. Despite my likely offense of certain groups, it was another fabulous time indeed with the Ladies, our lesson, and our love of food. The Social List is certainly a place we’ll have to check twice and then some.

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The Social List
2105 E. 4th Street on Long Beach’s Retro Row

Ladies Who Dine :: Bo-Beau Kitchen + Roof Tap

Ladies Who Dine :: Bo-Beau Kitchen + Roof Tap

It’s only been open for a couple of months, but I’ve been craving a taste of Bo-Beau (fun to say, right?) for a long while, ever since spotting the sign announcing its arrival as a construction crew worked to transform the site of previous LBC classics, Smooth’s and Mum’s. I was quick to Google the name, learning about the existing Bo-Beau locations in San Diego and La Mesa, and the owners’ hopes for starting a revitalization of our downtown, bringing an SD Gaslamp District vibe to the area. I can only hope.

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From my first evening here, Bo-Beau seems primed to start a Pine Street revolution. The Ladies had invited our big (tiny) boss to join us for this month’s LWD outing a few weeks back. She’d received an invitation for Bo-Beau’s official grand opening, asking if we wanted to pre-eat there – that’s my kind of boss! The celebratory evening was also a chance to raise funds to benefit Children Today, a local agency that serves families experiencing homelessness. There was to be a sampling of Bo-Beau’s offerings, live music, and hosted drinks, all on the restaurant’s rooftop bar. These and an opportunity to help others? That’s what I call a good night. The Ladies agreed – Bo-Beau was on.

As the date for our outing approached, the synergy seemed to quadruple about Bo-Beau, with folks slowly dismissing themselves from the actual restaurant for the night, Pier 76 (which was okay because my son and I still wobbled our way over to get our fish on – see Dinner Date :: Pier 76 Fish Grill). But that was fine – as LWD Prez, I made the executive decision to make Bo-Beau our July LWD pick.

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And how wonderful it was. The Ladies got their eat on and their drink on, mingling with the seemingly connected crowd (I’m sure the Ladies weren’t writing the biggest donation checks of the evening) and chasing down any staff person with a tray. Our menu for the evening?

  • Lamb meatballs with dill Greek yogurt
  • Wild mushroom arancini with truffle oil
  • Duck fat deviled eggs with cornichon and smoked prapika
  • Salmon tartare with an herbed crouton
  • Chorizo stuffed baked mussels with a lemon aioli
  • Seared scallop with smoked broccoli coulis and balsamic strawberries
  • Caprese skewer with a balsamic port reduction
  • Mini croque monsieur
  • Cherry cheesecake with a snickerdoodle crust
  • Roasted s’mores stuffed pretzel puff with peanut butter

Additionally, they served two signature cocktails:

  • The Bo-Beau Sour: Old Forester Bourbon, Bigallet China-China, lemon, and house syrup
  • Pine & Roses: Peyka vodka, Giffard’s Pamplemousse Rose, yellow chartreuse, lemon, and house syrup

I lost track of how many glasses of Pine & Roses I drank. And how many globes of mushroom arancini I ate. Same with the salmon tartare. I can say with certainty that (unfortunately) I only had one of the s’mores desserts – I’d hoped to lose track of how many of those I ate too. I want to use better adjectives, verbs to make your mouth frothy with envy; to help you verbally taste my experience. But its all a succulent blur now, though the pleasant acridity of the Pine & Roses still gives me flashbacks. I can’t wait to go back for more. It will be harder to lose count when I’m paying for them. But boy will I pay for them; to go along with the fancier fare Bo-Beau serves in its downstairs space, or the bar menu available on the rooftop.

When the party ended, we still weren’t quite ready to call it a night, so we ordered their crispy Brussels sprouts, one of the best I’ve tried. I told executive chef Katherine Humphus this month when I got the chance to say hello to her as she made her way around the festivities. If the rest of their plates are as amazing as the ones we tried at the opening, I’ll surely be spending lots of time and dough at Bo-Beau. Cheers to another LWD outing, and welcome to Bo-Beau – the Ladies are very happy to have you in the LBC.

Bo-Beau Kitchen + Roof Tap
144 Pine Avenue in Long Beach and other locations
(Oh yeah, and they also have 50+ craft beers on tap and a martini bar with over 100 vodkas)

*The Ladies have adopted Children Today as it’s official charity this year. With each outing, we’ll forgo a drink or a dessert or dish and contribute money to a fund that we’ll donate to the organization at the end of the year. Thanks, Bo-Beau, for inspiring us to be the Ladies Who Give!

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Cocktail Tuesday :: Champagne Cocktail

Cocktail Tuesday :: Champagne Cocktail

Of the five wonderful days of work, Tuesdays are the least scheduled in my household. Tuesdays are the only days when I don’t have to shuttle a kid to volleyball practice or dance class or a band concert. Tuesday nights are my evenings off. This truth makes Tuesdays the best weeknight of the week.

This being the final Tuesday in 2013, I’ve decided to launch Cocktail Tuesdays, where I’ll try a new concoction on select Tuesdays with a toast to someone important in my life.

Since it’s a night it’s a night for toasting, this first (of my blog)/last (of the year) drink goes out to my mom, Deloris H. She’s fighting a tough battle right now, which is why this evening’s fizzy flute is for her – a classic champagne cocktail. Like my mom, it’s simple, sweet, effervescent, and keeps you smiling.

A simple way to bring in the new year
A simple way to bring in the new year

A sugar cube (or two), a few dashes of bitters, and chilled champagne. Add a squeeze of lemon and top with a bit of peel, and you’re ready to ring in the new year. Cheers!