For my birthday, earlier this month, my lovely SO planned a trip into the city for lunch at Per Se and karaoke [food + singing!].
I love Thomas Keller’s food, work, cookbooks and getting to Per Se has been 9 years in the making.
Without a question, 9 courses for me and 7 for Words.
I can skip through most of the lead-in here because everything was perfect. Staff, ambiance, seating, the FOOD. All of it was great. [and besides who really cares about that other stuff unless something weird happened, like a saw a dead cat or something because that’d be worth noting].
If you decide to dine here, make a res early. Like a month early. We made a reservation a month in advance and by the time we connected to a reservationist person the dinner slots were gone. However, if you are looking for an al la carte, the salon menu - and salon side, is often empty and you can walk right in.
Before our courses started, we had tiny gougeres filled with goat cheese and a little salmon ice cream cone filled with creme fraiche. We just wanted to eat these, all. day.
First course: oysters/pearls - sabayon of pearl tapioca with island creek oysters, sterling white sturgeon caviar
This was rich. Very rich and very delicious. So much caviar. So good. That’s all I can say.
I decided to try the supplemental for the next course…
Second course: Chilled English Pea Veloutee - yuzu scented apples, petite radishes, compressed stonecrop, mint and white sesame ‘tofu’
This was beautiful! We saw all the accroutrements before they poured in the green stuff and wow - so delicately assembled - just to be devoured ha. The soup was very bright, very clear in flavors. Served cold and super refreshing. Also, I asked the SO how it was “it’s soup - it’s good”. Ha!
Torchon of elevages perigord moulard duck foie gras - toasted oats, fennel bulb relish, preserved green strawberries, claytonia and greek yogurt [this came with this fun salt carousel - couldn’t tell you what types of salt was in here but really liked the black salt]
My brain basically exploded over this dish. So velvety and smooth and the flavor of the foie was again, so basic and wonderful. All of the side stuff was good and with each passing bite, a new plate of brioche came to the table. Outstanding. And fattening.
This is also the time that we received the butter [and fresh bread]. Two butters. Both were out of this word, especially the little quenelle one. Some special cows or something. I don’t even know.
Okay BREATH! I was getting food anxiety - thinking - ‘what have we gotten ourselves into’…
Third course: chatham bay cod confit a la minute - greenmarket carrots, green garlic bulbs, heirloom cauliflower, cilantro, mandarin butter
Fish isn’t really my jam, nor is it my SO’s, so this was just so-so for the both of us. It was good but in a lot of ways, it was very one note: just fish. Flavors might have been too delicate for a cod. Or I don’t know, maybe it was really good…for someone else [h8trade].
WOOOOOO. This would’ve been perfect sans olives [too odd]. The broth wasn’t particularly spicy but everything worked really well in this dish and it was a stand out.
Fifth course: buttermilk fried wolfe ranch’s quail - mascarpone enriched polenta, petite onions, pickled green tomatoes, corn mache and applewood smoked bacon jus
I think at this point my brain was overwhelmed and started to shut-down because it wanted a 1. nap 2. a break 3. a nap. This was sort of like a really fancy KFC chicken nub and then doused in some bacon sauce. Because it was a fancy place, I had to battle this with a knife and fork but this is a ‘pick this up with your hands and go wild’ type of dish. It would’ve been more enjoyable eating with your hands. Pfff, restaurants. Loved it!
Sixth course: Degustation of elysian fields farm’s suckling lamb - garbanzo beans, pickled jingle bell peppers, persian cucumber, market nasturtiums and bagna cauda
This was my least favorite course. The meat was too tender [boohoo, poor me]. I would’ve liked it to have more ‘bite’. The trail of veggies was different but nothing seemed to really make sense. Too disparate. There was a weird sausage rolled into the cuke - that was good. And the toothpick housed what I thought was a really wonderful falafel ball but overall, the dish lacked direction - in MyPOV.
Cheese course! Tomme de savoie - marinated artichokes, turnip mostarda, flowering mustard and chickweed
I like cheese a lot - a lot a lot - but I was almost at the point where I couldn’t really enjoy anymore food BUT I was able to let this sit for a bit at the table and finally took the plunge. TDS is always a good choice and the mustard and artichoke pairing was great. Again, I wanted to make a little cheese sandwich with my bread but I maintained the status quo - knife, fork.
Dessert 1: champagne mango sorbet - young cocunut cream, rambutan and coconut meringue
This was our palate cleanser or whatever you want to call it. The mango and coconut flavors were indeed refreshing and welcome departure [because everyone likes on-time departures] from the savory. Just good - nothing too crazy.
Dessert, again: toasted popcorn - salted caramel ganache, chocolate-almond crumble and toasted pain au lait ice cream
This was spectacular! The crunch! The chocolate! The other stuff I don’t even know! Very, very, very good.
Now we have several ‘mignardises’ - a whole box of chocolates, take as many as you want, a semifreddo, nougat things, hot donuts, ice cream sandwiches, more cookies, to-go cookies, cappuccinos, etc, etc.
It was all very delicious and it’s a birthday I’ll never forget. I leave you with the photos…
You’d have to really, really, really love veggies to get the veg course. Like really love them.
Let’s start out with a big sigh. I’m still stuffed from Saturday night’s meal and…it’s days later.
After many years of wanting to actually dine at Le Cirque, with little success, it finally happened last Saturday.
We used savored.com and saved 30% off of our meal - what a nice incentive to really do it up.
Preparing for LC was daunting. Reading reviews made me nervous…the dress code…the sometimes lackluster service if you’re not a VIP…being sequestered to the alleged “back-room’…etc tc etc.
We expected one of these situations..
But nope, we experienced awesomeness.
After a little back and forth, the main squeeze settled on his loafers, jeans [jeans are acceptable!], a collared shirt and a blazer [jacket required].
I decided on my staple outfit choice: black something or another.
(old broke legs)
We arrived right at 630, greeted cheerfully by Sirio’s son, Mario, and after a quick coat check, we were brought to our table: the second banquet on the right - score.
For an awkward 10 minutes or so, we sat side-by-side, trying to investigate the atmosphere without glaring…it was hard to not glare and stare and peer and look.
…waiters moving every which way, couples and 4-somes whispering over wine…ah.
Our waiter, Pablo, was very lovely and incredibly friendly. He was the captain. His waiter pals, in white coats, we’re also super attentive and very pleasant.
Within about twenty minutes, we felt a little more at ease - a sense of, “this is no big deal” came over us and we started to relax.
I ordered a Vioginer - Jaboulet and the sommelier presented the wine, I swirled and tasted, replying in what was probably a whisper; “good”. I was paranoid because I think the table next to us looked at me whenever I spoke…meh, it happens.
I decided to go for the tasting menu because why not
Calf tail and feet Endive and celery salad, mustard, shallot vinaigrette ********* Ricotta gnocchi Braised lettuce, baby carrots, truffles ********* Butternut squash risotto Roasted squab breast - option for black truffle supplement for $20 ********* John Dory Fennel compote, zucchini, bouillabaisse jus ********* Minute steak bordelaise Grilled sirloin, carrots, onion, potato, Brussels sprouts
After we sent our orders in, we received the chef’s amuse bouche: smoked salmon mousse with watercress and a toasted baguette.
(I should mention really before the amuse bouche, we were presented with the bread tray - an assortment of fancy baguettes and whatnot)
The salmon was great and we “cheated” and used our baguettes to scoop up the rest of the salmon haha.
Moments later I received the “tail and feet ” and wow.
It tasted like really awesome pulled pork or brisket. The mustard and celery were a nice pairing. The tail part reminded me of crackling - just fatty friedness. This dish was so perfect and packed with crazy flavors: I wish I could eat everyday.
Next - not in my tasting, was tuna tartare, and again, really fantastic.
The tartare had a celery root taste in it and was super fresh. It was served with little triangle shaped toasty breads served in a warm napkin! How sweet!
At this point, I couldn’t stop grinning with giddiness.
My next dish was the ricotta gnocchi and although good, it wasn’t anything amazing.
The gnocchi basically fell apart in my mouth on contact. The sauce was brothy, like a barley soup. Overall, just okay.
Up next, the squab and risotto. It was seriously rich and creamy and delicious and every bite I said “oh man this is so good”. It may have benefited from truffles but seriously, it was just excellent the way it was.
John Dory fish came next. John Dory is a nice fish [nice man too] - fleshy, soft and firm all at the same time. It had a fennel compote with it and I don’t really dig fennel but this was good. It was almost puréed to a baby food consistency - which worked because I’m a baby, I mean, because the overpowering licorice-y flavor of fennel was almost gone.
It did taste like butter, in the best possible way. It was truly delicious.
Finally! My last course: minute steak aka cube steak. It too tasted like butter except it was much, much richer. The vegetables tasted like butter. Butter, butter, butter….
I was too stuffed to really enjoy this last course - I just wanted my bed and maybe a nightcap…wait was Le Cirque reading my mind?
After the last dish was taking away, Pablo came to the table with the dessert menus.
Stuffed. Soooo stuffed I didn’t even want to punish myself by having some rice krispie treat ice cream peanut butter candy bar thing [say that 67 times fast].
But Pablo insisted. Pablo knew I could push through the insane stuffedness. Pablo was a smart man.
He said “I’ll bring you both something nice”. Okay fine! Fine, bring it on.
Moments later we received an overflowing chocolate souffle and a berry Napoleon. We also ordered some coffees but a sort mixup occurred and they came later that they should have, so Pablo’s buddy brought us some sort of dessert ice wine/grappa something or another.
Muchos gracias! I ate way too much souffle…probably a 1/4 of it was consumed in moments. Moments!
Pablo then brought over their end of dinner “petit fours” and the plate was filled with macaroons, candied lemons and limes, Madelines and moon candies aka chocolate almonds dusted in glold.
The check came and the discount was applied (no awkward “Oh My Words! Where’s the discount?!”) and then after the bill was paid I received a little trinket box with two little chocolates inside, for a keepsake. Que bueno!
We got up - somehow, and wobbled over to the cafe. I like matchbooks (pyro?) so I grabbed two and then proceeded to blankly stare at the wine tower. I was staring - probably - because I was out of it and also because it was cool (it was cool, I think…).
We finally got the strength to leave, with lots of “goodbyes” and even a goodbye from Pablo, who exited the restaurant to make sure he said goodbye, we had a truly amazing dinner.
Overall - wow. It was nothing like the reviews of cold shoulders…nope…only warm, niceness! Warm, gluttonous niceness.
I’d like to pretend that I’ll return but I don’t want to ruin my sweet memories of this meal. Memories.
olive oil or grapeseed, preferably grapeseed=high heat.
Firstly, heat your oven to 400 degrees. Take your pork out of the fridge and let it set at room temperature while your oven heats up [15 minutes? or longer?]. Season your pork with about a tablespoon of the Decatur Poydras pork rub. Have a few sips of wine. In a bowl, mix in the: goat cheese, mozzarella, scallions and cilantro + salt and pepper to taste. In an oven-safe pan, pour in some olive/grapeseed oil and place on burner to about medium heat. Place your pork in the pan and sear on one side for about 3 minutes. Repeat on other side [the sear should be dark, dark brown but not burned]. Pop that into the oven. Have a sip of wine. Cook for about 18 minutes [160 degree internal]. Remove from oven and let rest for minutes. Sip more wine. Chop up the pork to bite size pieces. Meanwhile…….. On a baking sheet, line with aluminum foil then, spray it [or oil it] up. Place two tortillas on there and put about a tablespoon, or so of the cheese mixture on it - followed by a few bites of pork - top that with another tortilla - top that with the remainder of the cheese and then pop that contraption into the oven. Heat until the tortillas [pronounced TOR-tiiiiiill-ahs, emphasis on those ‘Ls’] are cripsy and brown.
I grabbed lunch yesterday in New Haven with my H.S friend Brooke Shields [ha]. She was doing some sorority type stuff for Yale’s Theta chapter and since she was in that area [she lives in Boston], I figured let me finally try Soul de Cuba with her.
Overall, the food was okay, I guess.
Cubano, Media Noche and sampler platter [fried plantains, crab cake and a potato thing] were just fine. Really terrific sangria though!
Anyway, after I left lunch - I went to Ikea - crazy…
And then I got a craving for some ceviche, so I made the recipe below from BON APPÉTIT *I added shrimp to mine* Don’t skip the olives; they really give the dish a little niceness.
1 pound fresh Pacific halibut or other firm-fleshed fish
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 ripe avocados, peeled and pitted
3/4 cup green olives, sliced
1/2 cup tomatillos, diced
1/4 cup onion, very finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 jalapeño, stemmed, seeded, and minced (optional)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Tostadas or torilla chips
To ripen avocados more quickly, place them in a sealed paper bag with an apple or a banana for 24 hours.
Chop fish into 1/2” cubes; place in medium bowl. Add kosher salt; toss to coat. Add lime juice; toss to coat. Marinate until the edges of the cubes begin to turn opaque, tossing occasionally, about 30 minutes.
Dice avocados; add to bowl along with green olives, tomatillos, onion, cilantro, and jalapeño Add olive oil and season to taste with salt.
Serve over tostadas or with tortilla chips for dipping.
Hungry for More? If you have a question about this recipe, contact our Test Kitchen at firstname.lastname@example.org. To see more recipes like this one, check out our Mexican Favorites Slideshow.
One serving contains: Calories (kcal) 244.1 Calories from Fat (kcal) 151.8 Fat (g) 16.9 Saturated Fat (g) 2.0 Cholesterol (mg) 24.2 Carbohydrates (g) 7.8 Dietary Fiber (g) 3.8 Total Sugars (g) 1.3 Net Carbs (g) 4.1 Protein (g) 17.0 Sodium (mg) 472.1
I’m entering this pizza into the Applegate Farms Cupid’s Contest because I love to cook for the love of my life…and when I do cook for him, I try to use the best possible ingredients.
Whenever I make a pizza, I rarely grab specific accoutrements but I made a discovery on February 3rd: Applegate Farms Pepperoni + Whole Foods pizza dough + Decatur Pickled Red Onions + a block o’ Monterey Jack cheese [+ about a tablespoon of classic marinara sauce] = epic pizza party.
This pizza is amazing.
When using ready-to-go dough, I cook it my own way [don’t follow those instructions printed on the bag!]:
Remove dough from plastic bag
Spray glass bowl with cooking spray [or lightly oil it with olive oil] Place dough into bowl Cover dough with dishtowel Let sit, room temperature, for 30 minutes Crank your oven to high-test aka 500F
Prepare for an amazing pizza.
Roughly grate an 8oz block of Monterey Jack cheese [or more if you wish to indulge].
Grab some Decatur Pickled Red Onions [you can purchase it here]…the sweetness from the onions plus the peppery Applegate Farms pepperoni make the perfect combo.
Take out the dough and shape it onto your pizza pan [mine is nonstick with holes on the bottom].
Spread your tablespoon of sauce onto the pizza.
Evenly distribute your grated cheese.
Top – either sparingly or go crazy with the pickled red onions and then top that with lots and lots of pepperoni!
Put it into the oven for about 10 minutes [until it’s bubbling] and serve ASAP.
The pizza is just so good, so easy and did I mention good? Oh it’s good.
My husband and I waited tables at Outback Steakhouse while we were in college and ate our share of Bloomin’ Onions. But the funny thing is we never actually ordered them. If a table ordered a Bloomin’ Onion and canceled the order, the onion would sit in the window until another table ordered one which was usually just a matter of minutes. But every once in a while there would be a lull where no orders would come in and the “Bloom” was pronounced “dead”, meaning it would not be served to customers, and all the servers got to eat it. For some reason we always came to work starving so when this happened we ate our little hearts out.
I don’t know if there are other servers out there but I still have reoccurring nightmares where I’m in the weeds with all of my table - everyone needs a drink refill and all of my orders are wrong. I’m sooo happy when I wake up from that dream!
This naughty Bloomin’ Onion Bread has cheese stuffed in every crack and is cut just like the Bloomin’ Onion from Outback. My family loved this but really it’s enough to feed a small army. It’s a fun way to serve bread because everyone can just pull off a piece of cheesy onion bread. This would be a great appetizer or bread for a meal.
Cut the bread lengthwise and widthwise without cutting through the bottom crust. This can be a little tricky going the second way but the bread is very forgiving.
Place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Insert cheese slices between cuts. Combine butter, onion, and poppy seeds. Drizzle over bread. Wrap in foil; place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Unwrap the bread and bake 10 more minutes, or until cheese is melted.
I’m acclimating myself to new awesomeness but fear not! I’m nearly ready to get things back to regular programming.
Aside from that, I had a small electronic disaster recently that sent my information gathering into a blackhole [it’s nice when content is curated for you vs you attempting to make sense of a food, food world!].
Put your LeBaron in park and I’ll catch you soon.
P.S. In the event you’ve been living in a different solar system [in which case, I want a ticket!], this boring stuff is to clarify that I’m just a girl who eats for fun :-)
I like to make plans. I take time to do extensive research. And when my plans get bamboozled, I get a frown face.
But in the scope of things, it’s not that serious and you gotta enjoy all the moments…all of the moments! [should this be a movie?].
Sooo I’m referring to my ill-fated attempt to eat at The Wren. I was so, so very excited for oxtail marmalade and potted liver! If there’s one thing I love, it’s creamy delicious liver…chicken, duck whatever you got, give it to me.
But that didn’t work out and I ended up at Rare on 26th. I had my 2009 birthday dinner there.
This is how I eat cake on my birthday:
I used to sweat the place, hard.
I like Rare’s food [and especially when it’s gratis!] lot but it was just meh after reading the menu [pdf] at The Wren!
We obvs had the fry sampler and I tried the chicken lollipops for once. They were fine, although wasteful because they frenched them!
Speaking of which, I have a really strange fascination with menus. I love looking at what people ate years ago. [I also have a tendency to pre-plan my meals by strategically stalking the restaurant’s menu – senor Frenchie doesn’t like this game haha].
This site is pretty much amazing and I can spend hours just browsing. Also check this to see the actual menus.
So now that you know that tidbit, here’s a photo of myself with former gov Patterson last night at Rare.
The cookbook is good, albeit, slightly daunting so when I wanted to make gyros – I was surprised how quickly [and easily] they came together [although I barely followed the recipe]!
The key is very finely ground meat. Finely ground, to the point of a paste is what you’ll need. I used turkey ground meat, which is basically paste meat. The meat itself wasn’t flavorful so next time, lamb and pork [as the recipe calls for!].
Recipe transformed [a nice way of saying I did whatever I wanted!] from Psilakis:
*ask butcher to run ground meat through grinder once more for that super fine grind
1 thick slice of Spanish or sweet onion [I used sweet]
extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper
1 pound marbled, finely ground lamb – preferably from the shoulder [I used turkey meat hahahahha]
8 ounces finely ground pork
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon garlic puree [there’s a recipe for this but I used the roasted garlic found in the Whole Foods antipasti bar and just mushed it up…do it!]
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon espelette pepper or best quality chile powder [I used Indian EXTRA HOT chile powder]
2 tablespoon fresh herbs such as dill, parsley, or chives [I used cilantro because I felt like it]
1 whole scallion, minced [I forgot to add this in, so I just topped it with it]
2 large eggs, beaten [I used one]
Brush the onion slices with a little olive oil and season with kosher salt and pepper. On a hot griddle pan or in a cast iron skillet, grill the onion until tender. Separate into rings and chop very finely.
Lightly brush a 7.5 x 11-inch baking dish with olive oil and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F [I just used a small rectangular Pyrex].
In a large mixing bowl, combine the grilled onion, lamb, pork mustard, garlic puree, coriander, espelette, fresh herbs, scallion and eggs [I just mixed this in the Pyrex dish because I didn’t feel like wasting another dish!]. season liberally ith kosher salt and pepper and thoroughly combine the mixture with clean hands [opposed to dirty hands]. Transfer to the baking dish and spread out evenly to the edges, smoothing the top flat. Place the dish inside a large roasting pan and add boiling water to about halfway up the sides of the baking dish [I just poured water in the roaster and put it over heat on the burner to make it boil – just make sure you roaster can be directly on the burner!!!].
Bake for 45 minutes or until the gyro shrinks away from the sides and is quite hot in the middle when pierced with a metal skewer [around 150 degrees F]. Remove the pan from the water bath and cool to room temperature [I didn’t do this; we were hungry so we ate it right away].
Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or ideally, 24 hours to develop the flavors [again, I ate it right away].
Place a large, platter upside down over the baking dish. Turn both over and carefully remove gyro [nope, I just cut it out of the Pyrex!].
I then got some naan + tahini sauce + greek yogurt + feta [made a sauce and smeared it onto the naan]. I sliced some iceberg lettuce and layered that on the naan/sauce, topped it with the gyro meat, sprinkled some scallions on top and VOILA!
I only have one photo because we ate the food in mere seconds! And it’s blurry because I was so excited to eat :-)
rochester, ny is great! it has lots of great food - one of my favorite rocfoods is the garbage plate. a wonky mess of homefries, macaroni salad, a hotdog and/or hamburger and then it’s topped with a hot sauce [sorta like a very fine chili - fine in texture and fine in taste!] plus ketchup…mustard…onions…mmmm.
this recipe takes all of those elements and turns it into a delicious brunch! meat on top of meat! you can’t go wrong.
*meat sauce takes a lot of ingredients and…a lot of time, but it’s worth it!
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon oil – I use Grapeseed
1 pound ground beef – I use 85 organic
1 water [or enough to completely cover the meat]
1/4 cup tomato paste [if you don’t have paste, just toss in about 1/8 cup of ketchup!]
lots - maybe a 1/2 bottle or more of Crystal/Franks cayenne pepper hot sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
a pinch of cumin
a pinch of allspice
a pinch of cinnamon
1 clove clove
salt and pepper to taste
In a large skillet, add oil and saute onion/garlic for about 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and mix well. Add ground beef - make sure you break it up! Once the meat browns, add water. Bring mixture to boil then let simmer. Use an immersion blender to get a fine consistency [no blender? no worries – just mix it up as much as possible]. Add the remaining ingredients. Simmer 1 hour or longer, adding water if necessary to keep it ‘gravy like’.
[apologies for non-precise measurements but I tend to do dashes and pinches and guesses]
2 cups diced potatoes
Place diced potatoes into a medium sized pot. Cover with cold salted [less than a ¼ of salt!] water and bring to a boil. Cook until fork tender, then drain.
Corned Beef Hash
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
chopped onion - I used red onion and Vidalias - about 1 cup
1/2 pound lean kosher corned beef, sliced thick [you can get this at the deli counter in your grocery store]
2 cups cooked potatoes
1/4 cup of heavy cream [I probably used a bit less than this]
salt and pepper to taste
On medium heat, in a large, deep pan/skillet, add butter.
Add diced onions and cook for about 5 minutes – stir them frequently so they don’t burn.
Mix potatoes and corned beef into the onions. Push down on the top of the mix with a spatula and let sit, UNTOUCHED, for about 3 minute intervals.
Stir mixture and repeat above process, continuing to push down the mix.
After the mixture is brown and starts to crisp up, stir in the cream and mix again.
Add salt and pepper as your see fit.
The key is to get the hash to a golden brown hue [I like mine almost burnt ‘burnt’].
Serve with your choice of eggs – I did mine over medium. Add your meat sauce to the plate, pour yourself a mimosa [or 3] and brunch is served.
I drove up to Hartford today to have lunch with my girlfriend CML. My experience with Hartford is…limited. I’ve been to Blue Back Square [West Hartford…had a burger there] and I’ve been to a weird bachelorette-comedy-show-party-weirdness were I threw a tantrum and left because I wasn’t having fun [I was young! Don’t judge!].
Other than that, that’s it.
Before I met up for lunch, I drove around to investigate the downtown but there wasn’t much to see, which was disappointing [sort of desolate…I probably didn’t go to the right area but I literally drove around the entire downtown…].
The capitol building was pretty, so that’s a plus?
Oh well, onto the food!
I must admit that I didn’t really investigate the place – it was on a co-op/community site called Billings Forge, which has it’s own café and kitchen but we decided to eat at Firebox.
We ordered wine: Reunion Malbec and an Alsace blend Riesling.
I ordered the burger with cheese and my friend had grilled cheese with chard.
We ended up splitting our meals because sharing is caring.
The burger was great – although, I ordered it medium well and it definitely came out medium. The grilled cheese was good too, although chard gets weird once it’s cooked. It gets very wet and I think that sort of made it a little funky.
They had cute little bill holders with the CT state on them. The atmosphere was kitschy but austere at the same time.
Anyways, overall, a good choice for lunch in Hartford!
And because I’m a dork, we took a picture of our new bracelets haha [they sell a gold iPhone case for 10k REDONK].
Dear Mexican food, I love you, the end. Just kidding. I don’t love all Mexican food but I do heart Casa Villa.
For a while, they only had one location on West Main in Stamford. It’s probably more fitting for take-out [although they do have a few tables], so when I heard the news that they took over Myrna’s old spot, on East Main, I was super excited to have the full restaurant experience!
We were welcomed to the restaurant for a Friday night dinner and as usual, we left very satisfied.
To start, we ordered drinks: a margarita on the rocks with salt for me and a Michelada for the S.O. Michelada is a beer cocktail with lime juice, tomato juice, a few spices and then you add your beer of choice [Corona works great!].
For an app-a-teaser, a new concept they’re working on – ceviche. I love, love, LOVE ceviche and theirs was really good. Packed with some heat, lots of citrus and fresh fish, it was definitely good…we ate the entire plate, obvs.
My go-to order at Casa Villa is always TACOS! My top three are al pastor, cecina [aged beef], and carnitas [pork-o-la]. I’ve actually had all of the tacos on their menu but those three are my favs.
I wanted to try something different, besides tacos, so I went with the carne asada which turned out to be a great decision.
It was a delicious, tender and well-seasoned thin steak accompanied with pico de gallo, sour cream, guac and rice and beans.
The plate was filled to the brim so I brought half home…and ate it for breakfast today because steak in the morning is a good thing.
The S.O sticks to what he loves and he loves their chicken burritos.
[this burrito vanished moments later…it didn’t stand a chance…]
I went for gold and ordered dessert – I am not a dessert person and almost always pass on this course but the Tres Leches was calling my name.
I haven’t had too many Tres Leches but this one was totally amazing! Rich but light and creamy and just all around delicious…definitely try this.
Casa Villa’s menu is filled with all sorts of delicious – and inexpensive starter favorites like: flautas, gorditas, and nachos [also check out the chilaquiles, epic]
For entrees, it ranges from fajitas to carne asada [amazing] to camarones crema [shrimp in chipotle cream sauce] to my favorite, tacos!
And desserts, like I mentioned, are yummy.
Whether you order online, call them on the phone or dine in, they consistently serve you prompt, fresh and flavorful Mexican food.
i’m making this next week for my little french canadian :)
By The Canadian Living Test Kitchen
Photo: Classic Tourtière Photography by Yvonne Duivenvoorden
Tourtière is the crème de la crème of pies. Lightly spiced and herbed, this pork pie is especially anticipated for Christmas Eve celebrations, but it’s equally tasty throughout the holidays and winter months. Tourtière is completely make-ahead, delicious when turkey or chicken take over for pork and perfectly complemented by a tangy relish such as chili sauce or this Tomato Pear Ketchup recipe.
Makes 8 to 10 servings. Ingredients 1 tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil 2 lb (1 kg) ground pork 1-1/2 cups (375 mL) beef stock 3 onions, finely chopped 3 cloves garlic, minced 2 cups (500 mL) sliced mushrooms 1 cup (250 mL) finely chopped celery 3/4 tsp (4 mL) salt 1/2 tsp (2 mL) each cinnamon, pepper and dried summer savory 1/4 tsp (1 mL) cloves 1 cup (250 mL) fresh bread crumbs 1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped fresh parsley Pastry for double-crust 9- or 10-inch (23 or 25 cm) pie 1 egg, beaten 1 tsp (5 mL) water
Variation: Turkey Tourtière. Substitute turkey or chicken for pork. Substitute chicken stock for beef stock. Omit cinnamon, savory and cloves. Add 1/2 tsp (2 mL) dried marjoram and 1/4 tsp (1 mL) dried thyme.
Test Kitchen Tip: To make tourtière ahead of time, omit pastry cutouts. Wrap and freeze unbaked pie for up to 2 months. Partially thaw in refrigerator for 6 hours or until pastry gives slightly when pressed. Cut steam vents and brush with glaze. Bake in 375°F (190°C) oven for 1-1/4 hours or until heated through and pastry is golden, shielding edge with foil if necessary during last 30 minutes.
Tomato Pear Ketchup (makes 1 serving)
In saucepan, combine tomato, pear, chili pepper, garlic, raisins, vinegar, brown sugar, tomato paste, cinnamon, salt, pepper and 1/3 cup (75 mL) water; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes.
Discard cinnamon stick and chili pepper; simmer, uncovered, until thickened, about 20 minutes. (Make-ahead: Let cool. Refrigerate in airtight container for up