Thursday, October 6, 2011

An Anniversary in Dubuque

Mike and I shared a wonderful 10-year anniversary weekend in Dubuque recently.  Despite being in the throes of a sinus infection, I had a relaxing time.  We kept some costs to a minimum while letting ourselves be free with the pocketbook on others.

And before getting into this, my apologies for the photography - it's pretty clear which photos were taken off of my little Casio and which are products of Mike's Canon. 

Dinner at L. May Eatery

Despite our numerous visits to Dubuque, we don't do much eating there.  I found this restaurant while searching online and liked their menu selection.

7-grain bread with a garlic/sun-dried tomato butter - Mike ate both our slices due to my oat intolerance :(  The salad, however, had a wonderfully refreshing citrus vinaigrette.

For the man of the hour, lobster lasagna - it was gone in about 4 monstrous bites

For the lady with the stuffy nose, a simple tomato, basil, mozzarella pizza with balsamic reduction.  Barely shown in the red dish  - scalloped sweet potatoes that were wonderfully spicy - must figure out what was in it! 
The food was outstanding!  We had not had a good meal on that level for some time (restaurant options in Cedar Rapids are pretty mediocre).

Being our anniversary dinner, we didn't put any checks on our tab.  L. May is the kind of place where if you are careful, you can walk out with a stuffed belly for around $35 for two people.

But if you were us that night and order two beers, a martini, lobster pasta, pizza, an extra salad, scalloped sweet potatoes, bread pudding AND a brownie, you will easily double that with tip.  

We had no regrets :)

Fenlon Place Elevator

This is one Dubuque curiosity we've driven by many a time but hadn't checked out.  It's called a funicular railway and it claims to be the shortest and steepest one in the world. 

We paid a whopping $4 for the two of us to make a round trip.  It was hardship I tell ya ;)

View going up ...

View looking down ...

At the top, we were rewarded with gorgeous views of the city and the River.

Shot Tower

Another unique landmark along the riverfront is the Shot Tower.  A relic of the lead industry at the turn of the century, the structure stands awaiting restoration from the city.  Mike enviously pondered the excellent views that surely could be seen from the top.

Stone Cliff Winery

I'd seen Stone Cliff wines at HyVee numerous times but hadn't been brave enough to commit to a whole bottle.  So we made the trip to their tasting room (bottom right), which is located in a historic brewery. 

Most wineries offer a tasting where you pay $5 to sample 5 wines.  It's a great way to try a variety without paying for a whole bottle.   

Between the two of us, we sampled virtually all of Stone Cliff's offerings.  We also got appetizers to serve as a light lunch.

We quite enjoyed the wines.  Smooth without being fussy - simple flavors that linger on the palette.  There's something very Midwest about these wines.

The price is a bargain - their most expensive bottle is $12!

We made it out after a total of 10 samples, two appetizer, and two bottles of wine for home (a cherry and semi-sweet red) only $40 in the hole.

This ended up being quite the inexpensive outing, given that our bed-and-breakfast was free (review here).  All in all, we spent just over $150 for two days out of town, including gas, food, and wine.  

It was a relaxing and unhurried trip - precisely what we needed.

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