I hope your weekend was lovely. Ours was very enjoyable: good food, good art and a couple of good film festival movies. I love this time of year -- there's always so much going on.
On Friday evening, we ate at our favorite pizza restaurant downtown. They make amazing Neapolitan-style pizzas in a special wood-fired oven -- they even use a particular flour from Naples. The pizzas have a thick, chewy crust that gets blackened in spots from the wood-burning oven. My husband had a pizza with garlic and clams (no tomato sauce -- LOTS of garlic) and I had the cremini mushroom with smoked mozzarella (also no tomato sauce). A bottle of chianti went perfectly with our meal. On previous visits, we've enjoyed a classic margherita pizza, a tomato and basil pizza without cheese, and a red onion, asiago cheese and pistachio pizza. All have been delicious! We're also hooked on the wonderful roasted cauliflower wedge with creamy goat cheese sauce.
After dinner, we walked two blocks to our town's monthly gallery hop, which brings folks downtown to enjoy the galleries and shops that stay open until 10 pm. The evening was beautiful: 75 degrees with a strong breeze that made it feel like we were at the beach. It was the perfect night for a stroll.
At one of the first galleries we entered, we both fell for a charcoal drawing and, after a little discussion, decided to purchase it. We don't buy art very often -- it feel like such a splurge -- but we knew it would be a great piece in our living room. We also love the idea of supporting local artists. The artist who drew this is also the gallery owner. She was quite attached to this piece, telling us that for a long time it wasn't for sale. As we left with the drawing, we told her it would have a good home ... I'm not sure if she was happy or sad, but I'm pretty sure she was choking up. It actually made me feel a little guilty, like we were taking away her baby.
As it turns out, the artist and I are both fans of the painter Franz Kline. I love bold black and white abstract art, and the emotion and energy in this drawing (titled A Way Out) really appeals to me. It's definitely the most modern piece of art we now own, which is a fun departure for us. We love how it looks on the mantel between the antique clock and vintage vase.
On the far right of the mantel is one of my favorite things: a battery-operated Luminara candle I purchased in December. I love this candle with its realistic flickering "flame." It even has a timer. We have it set to come on at 6 pm each evening and it runs for five hours before shutting off. Now that the days are staying lighter longer, I'll take it off timer mode, but in the winter it's so nice to come home to realistic candlelight, and you don't have to worry about blowing it out before going to bed. I'd like to buy one for the dining room, and next winter I may buy another one for the living room. They are a little expensive, but totally worth it.