Our Two Year Anniversary Dinner
It’s officially been two years that I’ve been able to call the best guy I’ve ever met, mine. And every single day, I have a hard time believing it hasn’t been longer. For two years, my boyfriend Steven has given me so much daily love, support and encouragement, that I feel like I’ve known him all my life. In such a short amount of time, we have been through so much self-improvement, so many lifestyle shifts and so many life events, good and bad. I cannot say how grateful I am to be able to spend every day with someone who handles life’s challenges with such grace, and brings out the best in me.
Last year for our first anniversary, we enjoyed dinner with a seaside view at Sutro’s at the Cliff House. So this year, I thought I’d take advantage of the fact that our anniversary is in November, a month when San Francisco ironically has such beautiful weather, and dine next to an ocean view once again. This time around, I made reservations at La Mar Cebicherie Peruana, a Peruvian seafood restaurant in the Embarcadero.
I made reservations for the first table I could get, at 5:30 when their dinner service began. I timed it with the 6:00 sunset, which will become apparent throughout my photos.
While we waited for the main dining area to open, we took advantage of happy hour at their bar with some prickly pear margaritas and their complimentary chips and sauce, which we were pleasantly greeted with at our dinner table as well, later on in the night.
I was pleasantly surprised at how light the happy hour bill turned out to be! Here in San Francisco, happy hour “deals” are typically mediocre, but I really felt like I got plenty of bang for my buck.
If you happen to be near the Embarcadero and are looking for a quick snack and drink, the service, quality and prices at this bar for happy hour were pretty great. Plus, their empanadas, which they are known for, are available there as well.
At precisely 5:30, we were seated near the water on their gorgeous patio. If you want a good seat at this restaurant, be sure to either make a note in your reservation that you’d like to be outside, or arrive right when dinner service starts. There were so many parties waiting to get in right when the restaurant opened, and they of course all dashed outside to the seaside seating.
The atmosphere this time of day combined with the perfect November weather, really made for a spectacular view of nearby boats, low-flying aircrafts and of course, the Bay Bridge.
While we forgot to have someone take a photo of us together at the table, we at least got these cute snapshots of each other.
We enjoyed some white wine while we decided upon our meal for the evening. Here, they keep your bottle chilled elsewhere while you eat, and promptly refill your glass whenever necessary. It keeps the table free from clutter, which is very necessary with all the small plates they serve.
The service at this establishment is incredibly attentive. Any time I dirtied a plate or utensil, it was immediately replaced with a clean one. And I never once had to beg to have my water or wine refilled.
This made it all the more relaxing for Steven and me to enjoy the view and talk about our upcoming plans.
As for dinner, Steven and I decided we would opt out of the entrees and go for a family style dining experience, so that we could both sample dishes from each section of their menu. At first, I worried that it wouldn’t be enough food, but as you’ll be able to tell in a moment, I had nothing to worry about.
Our first dish was the California cebiche, made up of salmon, shrimp, avocado and homemade tortilla chips. It was deliciously refreshing, and surprisingly filling. I was having a hard time finishing my half of it, and it was only the beginning of our meal!
Next was a Tiradito verde, which is described on their menu as “the spirit of Japanese sashimi, Peruvian style.” Even though it was our second salmon dish of the night, the preparation, flavor and texture was so different, that I didn’t even notice that our order had repeated a main ingredient. Once again, this dish was incredibly refreshing, making for a somewhat cleansed palette for what was next on the menu.
When I saw their Causa dishes on the menu, I knew that I couldn’t leave without trying one. They had me at “whipped potato topped with seafood.” So we went with the Dungeness crab option, the Limeña. It reminded me of the comfort I get from freshly cracked crab and a side of baked potato. But in a seriously unique presentation and bright color scheme. With a deliberate red plate beneath it, the pink crab, royal purple whipped potatoes, green sprouts and yellow eggs in this dish really popped and wowed us. I’d say if you ever visit this place, do not forget to order one of these for your table!
The remaining photos were taken after the sun had set.
Finally, to round out our Peruvian food experience, we had their well-loved empanadas. We tried both the beef and chicken options, and loved them both. After all the refreshingly cold dishes that preceded this, it was wonderful to have something warm and comforting so late in the evening. The praise over these empanadas that I saw online was actually what attracted me to this restaurant in the first place, as the empanada is one of Steven’s favorite restaurant go-to’s. I was so happy that he enjoyed them.
While there’s no doubt in my mind that this place would have delicious entrees, I am so glad that Steven and I went the direction we did with our dinner, and got to taste so much of their menu. And surprisingly, this was all so filling we had to take half an empanada home with us!
But we of course saved room for dessert, as we always do. I went with the Peruvian chocolate mousse, with ice cream and a bed of caramelize quinoa. Trust the chef here at La Mar Cebicherie Peruana to find a way to make me enjoy quinoa. It was used throughout our meal to give certain dishes texture, and it was actually really good. Steven went with a slice of flavorful, moist tres leches cake.
I’m so glad that all my Yelp and Google research lead me to this place. I can’t believe I went so long living in this city, never hearing about it or trying it out. It’s definitely worth it if you’re ever in the area, as the food and atmosphere are wonderful and the service was very attentive, making us feel very special on our two year anniversary.
But the celebration doesn’t just stop there. Earlier this year, as you may have read in my Valentine’s Day blogpost, Steven surprised me with tickets to Disneyland. And since he’s never seen the park during the holiday season, we decided to visit it when all the decor and Christmas theme ride changes were in full force. So we will be continuing our anniversary celebration at the park for the long weekend, which I will be writing about quite soon. Stay tuned!
To those who are friends or family of Steven’s who have let me into your life in the past two years, I thank you so much. And to my friends and family members who have been welcoming and warm to Steven, I thank you as well. Everyone’e support is very much appreciated by the both of us and we can’t wait to see what lies ahead for our relationship. Until next time!