Daughter, Jessie, was visiting last weekend, taking a break from her low-budget sailing adventure and lapping up a few days of luxury on Mom’s dime for her birthday. Never one to disappoint, I planned a day of spa relaxation and dining decadence.
First stop? Elizabeth Arden’s Red Door Salon in Bellevue. Mmm, I must confess I expected a bit more luxurious, relaxing and spa-like ambiance upon entry, but the services did not disappoint. My “Signature” pedicure, though pricey at $75, was excellent – relaxing leg and foot buffing and massage, hot wax and lovely polish. 90 minutes worth. My feet loved it. Jessie’s swedish massage was also excellent as was her haircut. She felt spoiled and pampered, and isn’t that what it was all about!
Next stop – right across the landing at Bravern to Mariposa, the gourmet restaurant in Nieman Marcus. Mostly, I went for the popovers. If you’ve never had a popover at Nieman Marcus, go just for that experience alone. Freshly baked, warm and egg-buttery on the inside, crunchy outside and served with strawberry butter. The pear and brie panini-grilled sandwich was also excellent, but served mainly as an excuse to get popovers (which come courtesy with every meal).
Next stop: Trophy Cupcakes, just outside of Nieman’s. OMG. Salted Caramel cupcakes. Rich, moist, melt-in-your-mouth chocolate covered with a sweet and salty caramel icing. Yummy.
Fourth Stop on the deca-lux tour: Victoria Secret. What spa-pampered women can say no to sexy new lingerie from Vicky Pink?! Well, neither could we. Alas, no pictures from this part of our day!
And finally, to top off an excellent day, Randy took us out to dinner at Daniel’s Broiler, which has been on our list for some time now. We chose the Bellevue, not Seattle, location – mostly to avoid rush hour traffic. Surprisingly, it is in the Hyatt building on the 21st floor – a little bit tricky to find, but well worth finding. The view overlooking Lake Washington, the Olympic mountain range and setting sun is lovely. The decor is rich and elegant, yet inviting. On the way to our table, the hostess stopped to show off their display of meats and lobster, huge and impressive.
Daniel’s is known for excellent and large cuts of fine beef, and we were excited to discover veal on the menu, a favorite of ours. Jessie ordered a glazed salmon and finished every bite, declaring it excellent. Randy and I both ordered the veal chops – 17 oz. chops, tender, tasty and cooked to perfection. A definite treat, since neither of us has had veal since moving to Washington. Randy also had the “upscaled” mashed potatoes with lobster, the only portion of our meal that did not meet expectations and were just “ok.”
Dessert took our dining experience over the top. Since it was Jessie’s birthday, the waitress surprised her (and us) with a complimentary birthday treat – a trio of desserts, including a hot molten chocolate cake (irresistable), vanilla ice cream and glazed strawberries. Aah, thank you for that treat… but we also had to try the chocolate chip cookie. Another OMG. Imagine salty sweet chocolate cookie dough almost, but not quite, fully cooked and served in a mini iron skillet. Hot. Gooey. Vaniila ice cream on top, just melting. Scrumptious. Thank you, Daniel’s. Service was prompt, professional, friendly, knowledgeable and attentive. The entire experience from start to finish was thoroughly enjoyable. We will return.