One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish…

by Jenn (eating bender) on May 18, 2012

I couldn’t resist the Dr. Seuss reference.

It had been far too long since I had last seen Mara. November, in fact. We’ve tried numerous times to get together but somehow the 30 miles between us just kept getting in the way. Last night, we decided to change that by meeting halfway for dinner at Blu Fish Sushi Bistro in Park Ridge.

Sushi? Don’t mind if I do!

Mara had a surprise for me when I arrived: a Coffee Cocoa amigurumi! I have been admiring her crochet talents for a long time and was so excited to receive one of my very own! Isn’t it adorable?

We perused the menu and decided to start the evening off right with a cocktail. We each got a pear-tini, made with vodka and Asian pear juice. These were strong but really hit the spot.

Mara also recommended the house salad, which was served with a creamy ginger dressing (amazing), spiralized veggies and sweet potato crunch on top. I loved the presentation!

For our main course, we decided to share a variety of signature maki, which are available in long (8 pieces) or short (5 pieces) rolls for even more variety. Clockwise from the left we have:

  • California Sunset: Fresh salmon over snow crab, cucumber and avocado.
  • Crunchy Muffy: Shrimp tempura, tempura crunch and cream cheese topped with baked mozzarella cheese. Yes, it’s as unique as it sounds!
  • Green Turtle: Freshwater eel, avocado and tempura crunch topped with shrimp and wasabi tobiko. By far the cutest presentation, and worth ordering the full roll.
  • Spicy Tataki: Whole jumbo soft shell crab, scallion, cucumber, avocado and spicy Masago Mayo topped with seared spicy tuna orange tobiko. Drizzled with chili oil and eel sauce.

I have to say, my favorite was by far the Green Turtle roll, and not just because of the adorable wasabi turtle head. It was the most flavorful and delicious of all four and I couldn’t get enough. I also really enjoyed the California Sunset with the salmon on the outside. The Spicy Tataki was good, too, but I probably wouldn’t order the Crunchy Muffy again. It has a great name, but the mozzarella cheese on top was just too crazy for my sushi tastes!

Mara and I had a wonderful time catching up on life, so much so that we weren’t ready for our foodie date to end just yet. Fortunately, she knows the area well and decided we should venture into Glenview for a stop at the Dairy Bar!

Mara can attest that I was like a kid in a candy store. There were so many flavors and toppings to choose from, and each person ahead of us left with me wanting what they were having. By the time we reached the window, I had reached a final verdict.

Vanilla cone with half rainbow sprinkles and half cinnamon pecans! Yes, cinnamon pecans – and they were just as tasty as they sound. Also, you can never go wrong with rainbow sprinkles. They are happiness in food form.

My date for the evening held my cone so I could properly show you the masterpiece.

Ohhhhhhhh yes.

We sat outside and relished every bite, both agreeing that it was beginning to look a lot like summer.

I’m already looking forward to our next adventure! We’ve got some fun ideas planned for the warmer months, so expect more Mara-velous posts in the near future.

TGIF! What are your plans for the weekend?

You all know where I’ll be. Fingers crossed that Chicago has a (relatively) low-key weekend.



{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lindsay @ Running the Windy City May 18, 2012 at 10:07 am

I almost always order a cone with sprinkles when I’m at an ice cream place. The sprinkles are key :)
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2 Jenn (eating bender) May 20, 2012 at 2:25 pm

Yes!! I could not agree more. :)


3 Erica May 18, 2012 at 10:37 am

What a fabulous date! That salad looks awesome, as does the ice cream. Mmmmmm. I need to grab a cone. Be safe this weekend! We have a gym group dinner tonight and tomorrow we’re going out with friends! Making a little announcement on my bloggy around noon today in case you have a minute.
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4 Chelsea @ Designs on Dinner May 18, 2012 at 10:42 am

Mmm…sushi! Your choices look fabulous, but I’m itching to try that Green Turtle maki roll. That presentation is awesome!
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5 Lauren May 18, 2012 at 11:25 am

So sweet that you and Mara are such good friends. :) That sushi looks incredible as does your masterpiece cone. Have a good weekend!
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6 Megan (Braise The Roof) May 18, 2012 at 2:35 pm

That ice cream is killing me! I’ve been craving ice cream/fro yo all day. And I’m surprised I don’t know of Dairy Bar since I’m from the North Shore! Hmmph.
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7 BroccoliHut May 18, 2012 at 6:52 pm

That house salad is so gorgeous!
I have yet to get my first ice cream cone of the summer, but this post is making me want to change that. I really love the small, non-chain creameries. Last 4th of July we found a place in Pittsfield, MA, and I got the most delicious cone–coffee soft serve dipped in chocolate!
Wow, judging by the length of this comment, I need to get some IC, stat!
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8 Mara@ What's For Dinner? May 18, 2012 at 7:35 pm

Love you friend!!!!
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9 Irina @ Chocolatea Time May 18, 2012 at 8:29 pm

I LOVE Dairy Bar! Have you tried the Frace? It’s supposedly “healthier” for you and tastes delicious. I drove by Dairy Bar today actually and *almost* stopped by. Glad you enjoyed it!


10 Jenn (eating bender) May 21, 2012 at 4:11 pm

I haven’t tried the Frace, but was tempted when we were there! Next time. :)


11 Melissa @TryingtoHeal May 18, 2012 at 11:42 pm

Bahhhh!! That sushi looks absolutely amazing and I’m so jealous of you being able to spend some quality time with Mara! I want to come visit…after I get back from Peru? I have to be there in a short 6 weeks! EEK!!!!
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12 Carol May 19, 2012 at 6:18 am

The pictures you capture looks really yum yum yummy!! I love this post!
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13 emily (a nutritionist eats) May 19, 2012 at 10:59 am

What a fun foodie date! Everything looks wonderful and now I’m craving sushi. :)


14 Susan May 20, 2012 at 2:23 pm

Great to talk to you today! I’ll keep my fingers crossed that it doesn’t get too crazy in the ‘hood with all the happenings today/tomorrow. Mmmm…that ice cream cone looks tasty. Rolling cones in sprinkles or dipping them in chocolate used to be one of my favorite parts of working at DQ back in the day (minus the times I dropped the cone in the dip and splattered myself with waxy chocolate…haha).


15 Jenn (eating bender) May 20, 2012 at 2:28 pm

So great to talk to you today and to talk to Bear yesterday – aka the baby computer genius. :) She is flying on that couch! I am jealous of your sprinkles and chocolate duties at DQ. That sounds like a dream job…unless I would have gotten sick of them, in which case I will just continue to live in my fantasy world that sprinkles = happiness. Haha!


16 Biz May 22, 2012 at 10:33 am

I’ve met Mara three times and we have plans to meet again soon at a burger place near her work – so fun! 😀
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17 Jenn (eating bender) May 22, 2012 at 10:37 am

I would love to meet you in person someday, Biz! Mara always raves about you. :)


18 glidingcalm May 22, 2012 at 3:52 pm

:) !
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19 Grace Sevilly May 24, 2012 at 12:57 am

Can I ask what sprinkles are those on your ice cream and where can I buy them?
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