Monday, April 2, 2012

A Night Out: Firefly, Wauwatosa

Ok - this is long overdue, but I will use the excuse that I moved in the last month and I am finally settled in....for now. So I am going to work ahead and have things to hopefully post to you, my wonderful readers, more regularly. Not to mention with the addition of Pinterest into my life, I have had so many cooking ideas, that I so excited to try. This should be a fun summer. I finally have a full-sized kitchen, with proper equipment and a wonderfully working stove (and very forgiving parents if I make a mess) to cook and bake in.

But this post isn't about one of my cooking or baking experiments; this is about my monthly dinner out with my great friend Kathy.

My friend Kathy and I have decided that we are going to meet about once a month for dinner and drinks to catch up. We are also going to be in a book club together that will meet every 6 weeks and so I'll be able to share some food and wine from that as well. Kathy and I have known each other since Freshman year 2nd period Math with Mr. Staude. We have been thru the ups and downs of life together, but we have always remained friends and because we both knew that we were really starting to get too distant for either of our likings, we decided to start these monthly dinners :)

Logo from
I first found out about Firefly in Wauwatosa about 4 years ago from a former coworker that lived in the Tosa area. Although I never heard of her coming here, the place has stayed on my radar since then. I went to Cafe Hollander in Wauwatosa for a chamber event last year, and that's when I found out where Firefly was exactly located. So Kathy and I set up our February "date" for a Wednesday night there.

Firefly is a really cute, small restaurant and bar. The front two rooms are dining rooms that I snuck a quick glimpse at while waiting for Kathy to arrive. The room on the right was blocked off with a curtain and dimly lit so it seemed like a good sized room for a small, intimate event. The room on the left was brightly lit with cream colors. I'm not sure how to describe the room exactly. It looks very formal at first, but with further observations, it has casual accents. I didn't snap any shots of this area, oops! The host stand and waiting area is in the middle of the restaurant and beyond that is the bar and lounge room that is dimly lit and has a black ceiling.

When Kathy arrived, we chose to start in the bar and see how things go. We were politely greeted by a bartender and she told us about the happy hour food and drink specials that go until 6:30 as well as it was Wino Wednesday and all bottles of wine were $10 off. We each ordered one of the signature happy hour cocktails for $5. I chose the Strawberry Basil Sangria and Kathy chose the "Firefly" which was a mojito.

While we decided on what to do for dinner, a large group of professionals came into the bar and scooped up both of the bartenders attention. When we finally were able to flag one of the girls down, we got our our happy hour appetizers in just before the deal came up. She did apologize for the wait, which we appreciated.

We chatted and enjoyed our cocktails. I never thought of strawberry and herbs together until last fall I had a strawberry lemonade infused with herbs at Divino Gelato in downtown Waukesha. It had a strong rosemary taste in the aftertaste but was really refreshing. The same goes for this drink. The basil really helped leave a refreshing taste in my mouth. It wasn't overly sweet and they make it in-house and have the huge container of it sitting on the bar. Kathy's mojito was hand-muddled too! I hate when I see a bar use mixes to make a drink quickly. We also watched a bartender begin to make homemade Lemoncello behind the bar while we were enjoying dinner. That is a perfect after-meal cordial on a hot summer night!

The food came out at just the right time. We had finished our drinks and decided to take them up on the Wino Wednesday deal. After trying a sample of the R Collection Merlot, we got a bottle because it was pretty smooth and would go with everything we ordered. We ordered chicken lettuce wraps and the lettuce was really skinny pieces that made it hard to "wrap." Also the Red Chimichurri sauce to me tasted almost a little like buffalo wing sauce, so I didn't get the Asian flavor that typically accompanies lettuce wraps. But they were good in their own way.

We also ordered the Roasted Vegetable pizza.. It was absolutely heavenly! Peppers, zucchini, mushrooms, red onions and feta cheese on a thin pizza crust made with beer. There was no sauce and just a little olive oil on the crust. The roasted vegetables were able to shine in all their yummy-ness without drowning in a sauce or cheese. I was very excited when I got to take the leftovers of this home.

Our last appetizer we ordered was a cheese fondue. It was smoked Gouda and cheddar cheese melted together and served in a mini fondue pot over a tea light. Granny smith apples and sourdough bread pieces were served with it. Kathy loved the fondue. I let her dip her little heart out and I stuck to the pizza. I would say that our least favorite was the lettuce wraps, but again they weren't bad, just not what we were expecting. But these three appetizers filled us up with leftovers so we were very content.

By the time we finished eating and chatting, we were invited to stay and play trivia. There was a decent crowd, but the announcer told us that we could play as long or as little as we wanted too. We decided to stay in for the long haul and go for it. I had never played before so we called our team the "First Timers" and its amazing how both of us pulled answers out of nowhere that were right. In the end I think we tied for last place, but it was so fun and I can't wait to play again. I never realized how addicting it is. I see that bars in Waukesha have trivia too on certain nights, so maybe I will have to get a team together and check it out.

I would definitely come back to Firefly and get dinner or drinks. The place is very shabby-sheik, I think that is a good word to use. I think it would be a cute date place or a for a girls night. Either way, I know that I will return.

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