La Vida Rica (The Rich Life)

by Holly on July 28, 2010

in dinner,eating out,lunch,Wisconsin

I wish I could tell you the title of this post refers to the fact that I’ve begun sleeping in a pile of Benjamins (refer to this song) at night or that my sugar daddy (*cough* Jake Gyllenhaal *cough*) finally came to whisk me away for that romantic sojourn to Morocco or that I’m having an illicit affair with a 70-year-old man to collect his multi-million dollar inheritance when he inevitably kicks the can.


My first name may be Holly, but my last name ain’t Madison.

So alas, none of these are true.

Instead, it just means I’ve been eating food.

Lots of it.

Mostly of the rich, I’m-going-straight-to-your-thighs-and-never-looking-back variety.

Since it is Madison Summer Restaurant Week, I had budgeted one splurge for my meager, peasant-like bank account: a dinner out with my friend Brett. However, it is officially Wednesday night, and I’ve successfully eaten at three different restaurant week eateries thus far.

***All my pictures were taken with my iPhone camera in bad lighting environments. You’ve been warned.

The first unexpected restaurant week outing happened at the Capitol Chophouse to celebrate our intern’s 21st birthday. I started with a gorgeous heirloom tomato salad with buffala mozzarella drizzled in a balsamic reduction

Then, things got even better with BBQ pulled chicken flatbread

Devoured (as if you had any doubts).

Dessert made me think of my newlywed homegirl Janetha G: peach crisp with vanilla bean ice cream.

Three courses and a mere $15 later, I left happy.

Very happy.

My intern was officially legal, and my belly was full.

Not to spoil the rest of this post or anything, but it may have been my favorite restaurant week meal of the three. Although, to be quite honest, I don’t know if you can call eating three different desserts a meal.

Yes, three desserts.

They were inhaled at a new authentic Italian restaurant in town called Francesca’s al Lago.┬áTo be truthful, I didn’t eat all three by myself…well, except for the first one: torta di cioccolata.

That would be a chocolate mousse cake with a crackly peanut butter chocolate crust.

No words my friends, no words.

Then, these little buggers started being passed around the table…

The fancy word for them would be profiteroles. I call them cream puffs. Really delicious cream puffs filled with pistachio gelato and drizzled with chocolate ganache. You could also just call them delicious.

If you are going for authentic Italian, tiramisu is simply a must.

There is nothing worse than bad tiramisu, but I am happy to report this one was simply fabulous. Did I mention I washed all this down with two Spotted Cow beers? I did. And I called it dinner.

Finally, in what was supposed to be my ONLY restaurant week experience, Brett and I headed off to Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse to continue the summer restaurant week…

Since I was ready to pass out having not eaten much all day, I ate the bread basket clean.

I blame the fact I woke up full this morning from last night’s decadent dessert dinner. Now, all that bread is currently digesting in my stomach. True story.

For starters, I opted for the crab corn chowder

…continued on with the Almond-Crusted Walleye for my entree…

…added in a side of creamed spinach to up that veggie intake…

(and by veggie intake, I mean my daily cream, butter and artery-clogging intake)

…and finished off with some Pellegrino water, which I thought was free before Brett informed me it was probably about $12. Clearly, fine dining is not a regular thing for yours truly. Determined to get my money’s worth, I drank the whole bottle and ended up only paying $4.95 for it.

I couldn’t even celebrate the joy of knowing it was indeed only $5, because I thought my bladder was going to burst. Let’s just say, I am well-hydrated. Very well-hydrated.

The moral of the story: La Vida Rica clearly doesn’t mean, “Holly is rich and acts that way too,” or “Holly has a really expensive camera,” or “That girl Holly – man, she is one classy broad.” When one has delicious food in the belly, good friends to lean on and a wonderful family to see this weekend, that is all the rich life one needs. Jake Gyllenhaal would merely be an added bonus.


Erica July 28, 2010 at 9:16 pm

I think we should all have a desserts only meal once a week. Fabulous. The heirloom tomato salad looks totally delicious- I definitely would have ordered this. Hope the remainder of your work week treats you well!

Run Sarah July 28, 2010 at 9:26 pm

Everything looks wonderful – and 3 courses for $15?! That’s awesome!

Evan Thomas July 28, 2010 at 9:57 pm

I would like to see more meals that start and end with dessert with a dessert in between.

Madeline - Greens and Jeans July 28, 2010 at 10:16 pm

I am droooling. Sometimes a little gluttony is okay. As soon as I get my job life figured out we need to plan an adventure because I am in dire need of a little excitement in my life. And meals that involve three desserts.

crunchy granola gal July 28, 2010 at 11:25 pm

I am eating out the next three evenings, so i hear you on the immense indulgence factor. Totally worth it when desserts come in threes and protein sources are almond crusted. All of this food looks fabulous! Only a tad jealous of your restaurant week price tag of $15. It’ll run you $35 here. Boo!

Chelsea (Chelsea's Chew and Run Fun) July 29, 2010 at 2:55 am

Oh man, that trio of desserts looks outrageous. While Tiramisu is my all time favorite Italian dessert, I drooled the most over those pistachio gelato stuffed cream puffs.

You’re not only living a rich life, but you have a wealth of humor. That Pellegrino water thing made me laugh out loud, probably because I would’ve done the same exact thing.

Matt July 29, 2010 at 5:36 am

Nothing wrong with dessert for dinner every once and awhile ;)

Lauren July 29, 2010 at 5:54 am

Wait your intern turned 21 and there was no adult beverages at this party? LoL, The food looked awesome though. That peach crisp has me drooling and now so in the mood for a crisp or cobbler.

Love you girl! Have a wonderful day.

Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down) July 29, 2010 at 6:22 am

I love restaurant week!! It’s such a great way to experience new restaurants.

Love tiramisu, by the way! And you’re right. There’s nothing worse then a bad one, but when you find a good one…there are no words. :D

Katie July 29, 2010 at 6:37 am

Gotta love restaurant week!!! Its the time to experience a trio of great foods for a great price, love it!!

The desserts I would of just ate for my whole meal! LOVE me some tiramisu and LOVE when it tastes the way its supposed to and not bad!

The cream puffs look so good too, everything looks good!!

U def saved your money up for a good thing!

Love u! xoxo

Sami July 29, 2010 at 7:36 am

my kinda girl! 3 desserts for dinner? classic.

the tiramisu looks the best, in my opinion! :)

brandi July 29, 2010 at 7:58 am

Seriously. I need to live somewhere that does Restaurant Week. I want all of this! :)

Leanne July 29, 2010 at 8:13 am

SOO jealous! Out of all the restaurants I wanted to try Cap Chophouse the most, but they were booked solid all the nights we were available! It looked amazing.

I’m hittin up Eldorado tomorrow night. :)

Garet July 29, 2010 at 8:51 am

I’ve fallen into the Pellegrino trap before! When you order water in classy places, the wait staff tends to ask “sparkling or still?” so casually that you don’t really know the answer before you give it. Then you see it on your tab. Ah well!

Kacy July 29, 2010 at 9:37 am

That first meal was only 15 bucks? Holy eff that’s a good deal!

Lisa @ I'm an Okie July 29, 2010 at 12:16 pm

15 dollars for all that?! that’s a steal.

Emily (A Nutritionist Eats) July 29, 2010 at 12:28 pm

Yay for restaurant week! Ours is next week, but I’m really going to try to stick to one restaurant!! :)

Emily (A Nutritionist Eats) July 29, 2010 at 12:28 pm

Oh, and ALWAYS stick with tap! :)

Mimi (Damn the Freshman 15) July 29, 2010 at 12:39 pm

I’m sooo excited about Houston’s upcoming restaurant week.

Hehe, three-course dessert sounds delish!

Megan (Braise the Roof) July 29, 2010 at 1:57 pm

I heart restaurant week. I went to David Burke’s Primehouse here during Chicago’s restaurant week and it was AMAZING. There’s something about going to a steakhouse on the cheap that is so so satisfying!

Laura July 29, 2010 at 2:39 pm

The desserts look so tasty!!!! xx

Little Bookworm July 29, 2010 at 4:44 pm

All the food looks amazing in this post, especially the desserts. Restaurant week sounds really interesting as well. Thank you for the lovely comment on my blog! :)

Kate July 29, 2010 at 8:40 pm

there is offically a puddle of drool next to my computer :)

Diana @ frontyardfoodie July 29, 2010 at 8:58 pm

hahahahaha, $5…I would have drank the whole thing too.

Your hips are probably hott with a few extra on there. Don’t get down about that!

Kailey (SnackFace) July 29, 2010 at 11:24 pm

Hold the muthaf*ckin phone. I WANT ALL THOSE DESSERTS!!!!!!!!! Sugar coma, come to me NOW.

I miss you. Already. xoxoxoxoxo

Bekah July 30, 2010 at 10:44 am

Even as a cook in a restaurant, I don’t know what I’d do if I couldn’t go out to eat. Let’s face it, I love spending money! To indulge! All three of your restaurant experiences look delicious.

Money is meant to be spent. That’s all there is to it. We’ll never have enough to get by, and we’ll never have enough to make us happy.. but we do have that little bit that we must spend to enjoy life. :)

Susan August 1, 2010 at 5:37 pm

That pulled pork flatbread looks awesome. Yes, I’ll skip the dessert for some bbq pig and cheese please ;) It’s all about seeing healthy living bloggers living it up with decadent food!!

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