Happy Valentine’s and Giveaway!

February 14th, 2011

Happy Valentine’s Day!

To celebrate I have a $85 CSN giftcard to give away… not bad!

To enter, please comment below before Feb. 21st and answer this question:

What is your favorite Valentine treat?

I made Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chunk Brownies and cut them into little hearts. Instead of peanut butter, I used Smitten Kitchens chocolate-peanut spread… YUM!

P.S. Please help me out and vote for my sister’s Electric GinGer Button… vote here!

The best steak I’ve ever had!

January 29th, 2011

I know it is a bold statement but I’m not lying… that steak, 55 day dry aged in a salt cave, was amazing! It was tender, juicy and down right delicious!

My brother is visiting Chicago for the first time this weekend… to celebrate his birthday, we went to David Burke’s Primehouse… from start to finish we were astounded by the quality of the food, service and atmosphere.  We were started off with a cheddar popover cooked in a metal measuring cup… a simple and fun presentation.  I love popovers, so of course, I was already happy with this restaurant.

For our first course, we had Wagyu Beef Sashimi served carpaccio style on a himalayian salt block, veal bone marrow and Cesar salad. They make the Cesar salad at the table to our specifics… It was all great. I loved the addition of salt that the Himalayan Salt Blockimparted on the beef.

Our second course was the steak- a 55 days dry aged ribeye and the south side fillet in the bone.  I loved that ribeye!  yum!  Joe liked both.  He kept trying to pick a favorite but failed…he just enjoyed them so much!  I’ve never seen him this happy.  For the sides, we picked the mushrooms and the gnocchi.  I would recommend the mushrooms but not the gnocchi.  They were a little bland.

Finally, the dessert course… Somehow, we managed to eat a little more… Joe picked the banana split with salted caramel chocolate ice cream made on Himalayan Salt Block, caramelized bananas, roasted pineapples and pecans. I had the doughnuts. They also brought us a delicious devil food cake for Joe’s birthday. I would recommend the banana split and the cake… the doughnuts weren’t anything great.

Beside excellent food, I was very impressed with the service- everyone was very courteous and friendly but not overly attentive.  Overall, I would recommend this restaurant for special occasion.

Celebrating Mexico @ Mexique!

December 22nd, 2010

Lately I’m not one for restaurants with modern decor and fancy food, I just want good ole comfort food with good friends, wine and conversation… my evening at Mexique was modern and fancy with some good food and new friends… it was lovely!  I was invited by the Mexican Tourism Board to celebrate the addition of Mexican Cuisine to the UNESCO list.  The chef, Carlos Gaytan, used traditional Mexican ingredients in his beautiful, artistic and modern dishes.  A quick review of our menu…

Ceviche: Ahi Tuna, Avocado Mousse, Chipotle Aioli, Mango Habanero Galette-  The first course was actually my least favorite.  It was good.  I love avocado and tuna but I was underwhelmed.

Mole y Maiz: Jamaica Braised Pork Belly, Mole Teloloapan, Fresh Corn Tamal, Butternut Squash Foam-  This course was great.  The mole sauce worked perfectly with the pork belly.  As always, I thought the foam was unnecessary… does anyone like foam?

Carne Asada: Grilled Flank Steak, Fingerling Potato Salad, Spinach, Asparagus, Roasted Red Pepper Chipotle and Goat Cheese Fondue- The courses just kept getting better.  The sauce was excellent.  I loved that Chef Carlos was very open about how he made his dishes.  I jotted down his recipe and can’t wait to try it.

Tequila: Chef Carlos served tequila as a digestive before dessert.  I unfortunately did not catch the name but it was good.

Chocolate Tamal: Warm Rare Chocolate Tamal, Pistachios, Papantla Vanilla Ice Cream- The grand finale was this amazingly fudgy chocolate cake dessert.  The chocolate was very intense but the vanilla ice cream helped balance it.

Overall, I really liked the meal.  I met some new foodies and saw some old friends.  At times, I would have preferred less promotion so I could really focus on the meal but it was a lot of fun.  Plus they sent us home with an amazing Mexican cookbook… Can’t wait to explore!

Disclaimer: This dinner was sponsored by the Mexican Tourism board and I was invited free of charge.