Tiny Mushroom Tongues of the Sea…Or, Insights for How to Expand Your Comfort Zone

Pre-P.S. You’re reading day three of my 32 days of insights, inspiration, and instigation. (Very informal title). Get the full scoop here. ✨


For my birthday the other night, Geoff planned a surprise tasting menu experience at a nearby restaurant. 

If you saw my email about cookies, you know that Geoff and I love tasting menu experiences from time to time.

As I sat down at our table, the smooth, light oak reminded me of my childhood bedroom furniture, but the stone floors and exposed brick wall brought everything together to give off a sophisticated loft vibe. 

Our meal started with the restaurant’s take on a Negroni, and then the plates began coming. 18 of them. 😅

Don’t worry; I won’t share the somewhat pretentious descriptions of all 18. Instead, I’ll tell you about one. 

The restaurant called it “Of the Sea.” I call it “Tiny Mushroom Tongues (of the Sea).” 

Any guesses what we were tasting?

I don’t remember the exact description given to us due to my (currently) elementary Spanish, but it was something like “Sea Urchins in a smoky tomato sauce.”

To be clear, I’m a food lover. I’m even an adventurous food lover. 

While I’m adamantly against the movement to put more bugs on our plates, I happily sampled the crickets served on my plate in Mexico last year and didn’t completely hate them. 

And my one qualifier for picking an excellent restaurant is a menu with things I wouldn’t make at home (which is a hard list to top with how much I love cooking). 

So even though the shape and texture of the sea urchins made me instantly think of tongues, I kept an open mind and picked up my fork. 

After my first bite, I set down my fork and only picked it back up when the next plate came. 

“No. Noooo. Nope. Feel free to have mine.” I said to Geoff, who was happily picking up the last forkful on his plate and chuckling at my reaction. 

Needless to say, sea urchins are forever synonymous with tiny tongues, and I feel no need to try them again. 

However, the thing I adore about tasting menus is that they help me expand my comfort zone.

When ordering off a menu, we tend to choose what’s comfortable or what we’re sure to like. 

With a tasting menu, that option is stripped away, leaving you at the chef’s mercy.

It’s a reminder that there’s life outside our comfort zones. 

And while sometimes we might end up choking down a horrifying bite of food, sometimes we also get a taste of heaven. 

Like the stracciatella ice cream in red wine sauce sprinkled with shredded goat cheese that concluded the night. ✨


I said this in a recent email, but it’s relevant again when we’re talking about how to expand your comfort zone, and bears repeating.

Comfort zones have a way of becoming cages.

Fortunately, these are cages of our own making, so we hold the keys. 


How can you expand a little outside your comfort zone this week?

And before you’re tempted to take life too seriously, remember it can be playful—like a tasting menu, going to karaoke, making something new at home, or sharing a photo you love but have been embarrassed to post. 


Today’s invitation is simple. Leave a comment and tell me how you’re committed to expanding your comfort zone this week.

I’ll check back with you to see how it goes. 

Knowing someone else is aware of our commitment is sometimes the push we need to stick to it. I’ll be that for you this week.

With so much love, 

Alyssa, xx

P.S. If you’re like, “But wait, Alyssa!” I wanted to see the descriptions of the 18 courses. I got you (and I would want the same). Here’s a snapshot of our menu for the night. 

P.P.S. The sun did come out yesterday, so operation natural wedding tan is officially underway.

P.P.P.S. Are you on Twitter? Sometimes I enjoy tweeting fun one-liners over there.

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Alyssa Kulesa

Alyssa Kulesa

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