Houlihan's & Alice in Wonderland!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010 - 
As many of you may know, I've been waiting (so patiently I might add!) for the release of Alice in Wonderland.  My anticipation was so steep...after all, it combines four of my loves: Disney, Alice in Wonderland, Tim Burton, and Danny Elfman

Prior to the movie, friends and I began the evening with some delectable small plates & drinks from Houlihan's.    I had ordered the Wild Mushroom & Arugula Flatbread, and though I didn't expect too much of it, I was blown away!  Their flatbread was the perfect with the right amount of crispy crust ends, but so soft at the same time.  The mushrooms were perfectly sauteed, and blended well with the white truffle vinaigrette that was sprinkled on top.  The arugula left a light peppery taste to compliment...delish! 

I also ordered 'Pickle Fries.'  Now, my love of fried pickles comes from college.  The Amherst Brewing Co. had fantastic fried pickle spears...I absolutely adored them.  And in my quest to match their deliciousness, I haven't been able to find spears.  Almost everyone serves chips...but Houlihan's delivered.  They were perfectly fried, with a crispy coating that wasn't too heavy.  Their size was also perfect, as it a pickle cut until six pieces, rather than quartered.  And the horseradish dipping sauce?!  Divine.  As was the honey mustard (and I am particular about my honey mustard!)

The third small plate was absolutely the best of the night.  Goat cheese and artichoke poppers.  So. Good.  The artichokes and goat cheese were once again lightly battered, so it was a very crisp and not overwhelming coating upon frying.  The goat cheese was the perfect amount, as to not overwhelm the artichokes.  With the pop of lemon zest and thyme, there was a pleasant fresh taste to the fried goodness.  Plated with a fantastic combination of sauces, I slathered them with the trio and gobbled them down.  Of course, hubby had to have a bite...and he doesn't even like goat cheese, but praised how great they were!

After dinner and drinks (I had a dirty martini, which was nothing to rave about, and a chocolate martini, which I was highly disappointed in) and a fantastic dessert (MC was kind enough to let me try her Snickers Crunch Ice Cream Dome, as the N's let me dabble their S'mores Fondue Crock!) we headed over to the showing of Alice in 3D at the IMAX. 

Standing in line with the other fans, I was happy to see many individuals in costumes.  It made me think, "why did I not wear my Alice costume!?" myself, but honestly, we know I wouldn't have.  And of course, the glasses don't hurt the experience!

N's & MC in line...quivering with anticipation of course!

In great seats surrounded by great friends, we enjoyed the whole movie experience.  From the storyline to the music, the artistry and costumes, nothing left me disappointed.  The colors and imagination of it all, the movie was a fantastic theater production of Lewis Carrol's classic novel.

To all those who didn't like it, I would only imagine that you don't really like Tim Burton and his creativity.  I think he is a genius and artist.  I mean really, how could you not?!  Teaming up with Johnny Depp is always great for both of them.  Mia Wasikowska was a fantastic Alice, I look forward to seeing her in the future.  Helena Bonham Carter is always amazing, and when she works with Tim Burton, amazing things happen. As the Red Queen, big head and all, her performance was flawless.   Anne Hathaway, your hand movements were perfect for the White Queen...I couldn't help but smile.  Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum, loved them.  Oh, and I want the Cheshire Cat (note: I don't like cats, but I want him.) 

Costumes, I want Alice's dress when she was in her smallest form.  Loved. It.  I can't even imagine this movie not receiving some form of recognition for the great costume artistry that was had.  Make up was also phenomenal, though at times, I was distracted by the white eye makeup of the Madhatter.  But still, beautiful.  It was a perfect component of the use of color and set during the film.

I can't say enough on how much I adored this movie.  It is a must see.  As for Disney releasing the movie one month earlier than normal, all I can say is thank you.  I look forward to the purchase!