Pardon The Punctuation…Sorry for being short but I’m packing to leave to NYC tomorrow so here it is. Absolutely the best ribs I’ve ever had happen to come from the place with the best wine I’ve had state side…Napa Valley. Rutherford Grill makes the most friggin delicious ribs ever. Worth the wait and then some. If in Napa and you want to go somewhere that won’t break the back give them a try. Also they don’t charge a corkage fee which is a plus plus in my book. Love it!
Pardon the Punctuation…Last week I had the blessed opportunity of sampling some items from the 2014 spring menu at Estérel at the hotel Sofitel in Beverly Hills. First off they’ve got a glamorous dining room with a gorgeous open kitchen. Chef Marius Blin has put together a solid spring menu to satisfy anyone’s tastebuds. His love for sourcing from the local farmer’s market ensures you’ll be getting the freshest of the fresh local produce on your plate. Here’s what I got to taste.
Marrow Bone Gratine: Parmesean gartiné marrow bones with grilled bread. It’s a little on the heavy side so if you’re extra hungry this might be the way to go. Nothing like some fatty marrow to start your meal.
Tuna Carpaccio: with truffled wild arugula and artichoke chips. What an exquisite dish. Fresh thing sliced tuna in truffle goodness. Refreshing and delicious. This is a must order if you’re only having one appetizer.
Brussels Sprouts: charred with apple chutney and bits of lardon. Great combo of savory and sweet. Can’t go wring with the sprouts.
Beef Shortrib: with celery, marrow bone gratiné, brussels sprouts, and carrots. I’m a huge fan of shortrib. These were tender, juicy, and the perfect portion size. You can’t go wrong with ordering this one.
Grilled Beef Tenderloin: A tender medium rare cut of beef served with truffle celery puree, roasted asparagus, comfit basil cherry tomato, and red wine sauce. Every bite was better than the next.
Dessert: Pear tart, cheesecake, and house made salted caramel ice cream. The pear tart and cheesecake were great. I don’t want to take anything away from them but I’ve been dreaming about that salted caramel ice cream all week. Waking up in cold sweats craving that salty caramel goodness. That stuff is so good the Sofitel should open up an ice cream kiosk by the front desk. They’d make a fortune just from me. Imagine coming back to your hotel after a night of clubbing in Hollywood only to find a pint of fresh ice cream waiting for you in your room..a foodie can dream.
Get your butts over there ASAP for a great night of food, drinks, and oh yeah….amazing ice cream!!!!!!!!
Pardon The Punctuation…Was just in KC and let me tell you that place blew my mind. Great food, drink and coffee. It goes to show that you never know…and the minute you think you do…you don’t know sh*t. Kansas City…the home of under achieving professional sports teams has an overachieving food and drink scene. While in town I stumbled on some great spots. Here they are.
Hilton President: Perfect vintage hotel in the heart of downtown. The place looks like something out of “The Great Gatsby.” The classic look of the place is stunning and the “Drum Room” bar has a wide selection of great Bourbon. Life is good.
Latte Land: Some nice single origin coffee and they also make a good gibraltar.
Quay Coffee: Talk about a breathe of fresh air. I usually travel with my Aeropress to ensure I’ll have a good cup of coffee while on the road. After discovering Quay my aeropress never came out of the bag. Located in the River Market area, Quay is the perfect place to go for a single origin pour over or the perfect latte in KC.
Jackstack Barbecue: The smell when you walk in is to die for. Everything is good…I mean everything. If I had to choose one thing it’d have to be crown prime beef rib and the bread pudding for dessert.
Tannin Wine Bar: A great place for a glass of wine and some appetizers or even a full meal. They’ve got probably the best wine selection in town. The staff is knowledgable and will steer you in the right direction. The Jumbo Lump Crab Dip and the local sausage on dirty rice are amazing. They also have a wine club…yup wine lockers and the whole deal. Would be my go to place if I lived in town for happy hour.
The Rieger: Chef Howard Hanna has put together a top notch restaurant in a great KC spot. An open kitchen and old world charm greet you for the best meal in KC. Must haves are the KC strip and the cauliflower. YUM!
Manifesto: The cocktails, service, and ambiance blew me away. This speakeasy located in the basement of The Rieger is the place to be every night. I dug it so much I went there 3 out of the 5 nights I was in town.
If you’re looking for a cool place to check out in the midwest give KC a try. Charm and a good steak go a long way in my book.
Pardon The Punctuation…guys I’m hung over as hell and there was an earthquake this morning so I’m going to make this quick. Here are the highlights from my recent trip to Dallas.
Omni Hotel: I’ve stayed at my share of Omni Hotels and this one takes the cake. The rooms are gorgeous and even have a TV in the bathroom mirror. In the lobby a sports bar called “The Owner’s Box” has kick ass food and drinks.
Weekend Coffee: Also in The Joule hotel. Great coffee shop serving up great roasts. Awesome gibraltar.
Chop House Burger: Great place for a quick bite. The burger was juicy and the fries rocked.
Perry’s Steakhouse: I don’t usually go into a steak house and not order steak. In this case Perry’s has the most massive and delicious pork chop ever. If you buy it share it…it’s a Texas sized portion.
Mi Cocina: Just a great Mexican dining experience. Fresh ingredients and the “Tacos Mi Tierra” are the shizzzzzzzzznit.
Serious Pizza: A great spot for a late night slice. Full of hipsters but real nice Texas hipsters.
Black Swan Saloon: Located in probably the coolest neighborhood in Dallas called Deep Ellum. The owner Gabe Sanchez will make you the most amazing cocktail you’ve ever had and he’ll write out on your napkin the recipe for it. I ended up going there three times and was blown away over and over again. In my top 5 bars in the good old U.S. of A..
For those of you who are afraid of Texas just grow a pair and make your way to all of these dope spots.
Pardon The Punctuation…After spending 12 days in the heart of Chicago’s “Viagra Triangle” I was blessed to discover some pretty cool spots to check out. I’ve listed them here and mad a list on Foursquare so you guys can save it for your next visit to Chitown.
Eataly: For those of you who follow me in instagram you would have thought that I moved into this place while I was in town. Just a great experience every time I went and with so many options I never repeated where I ate in there. My favs were the house made Tagliatelle with short rib ragu at La Pasta, the prime rib sandwich at the Rosticceria and dinner at La Carne. It also doesn’t hurt that they have a Nutella bar and an amazing wine bar for those of you who want quality vino at a fair price.
Emilios Tapas: A solid and authentic tapas place. Great service and the wine is fairly priced. Get the grilled octopus and some Jamon Iberico.
The Drawing Room: Great place for a mixology cocktail. My vote goes for any signature bourbon cocktail they make. Also one of the best caipirinha I’ve downed.
Morton’s: I tend to stay away from chains but you can’t go wrong with the bar menu at the original Morton’s location. During the happy hour grab the prime cheeseburger sliders and crab cake BLT’s. End it with the amazing Godiva chocolate cake. It takes about 25 minutes to bake but worth it. I have to admit that since Landry’s aquired them the quality has gone down a bit. Doing way with the VIP program has turned me off to them a little. That being said, the happy hour menu is still always worth it.
The Bar at the Peninsula Hotel: Just a great place to grab a drink and a bite. It’s not cheap by any means but you get what you pay for. I payed $32 for a delicious Lobster sushi roll that I crave to this day. Get yourself a Midleton Very rare 2012 and have Tim the bartender rock it out with the ice ball maker.
Burkes Bacon Bar: The name says it all. Swing by for some bacon sliders, chili or my favorite the angry bacon with ghost peppers. Yum!
Jimmy at the James Hotel: A speakeasy found by walking through Burkes Bacon Bar. Without a doubt my favorite bar in Chicago. From the cocktails to the service everything is top notch. I can’t wait to make my way back there. Order yourself the Charles Dickens, The Elixir, or the Winter Solstice.
Hope these options help you survive the time you have in one of best places to visit in the midwest. Here’s the link the to Foursquare list so you can save it to your device.
Pardon The Punctuation…mine not hers. A first here at TheYumYumFoodie…I’ve decided to occasionally feature fellow foodies who have something interesting to say. Here is my dear friend and comedian Carrie Long who is allergic to gluten and always looking for great tips on gluten-free options where ever she travels. While in Chicago she discovered this fine example of Gluten Free pizza. For some good laughs and excellent DIY tips I suggest you follow her on twitter. Enjoy!
As a comedian, it is expected I discuss less than socially appropriate topics, like my over-active colon and it’s incredible ability to (*ahem) shall we say, mass produce from any encounter with the devil ingredient, gluten. However, it is no laughing matter sneaky ass gluten keeps me from noshing on REAL (yeah, I said it New Yorkers) deep-dish Chicago style pizza. Have mercy. I lived in Chi-town for 7 deep dish years…try and take my 14 pound 9 inches deep slice of pizza from me, and I’ll gnaw your arm off at the collar bone like crazed beaver. I’ve had “real” pizza full of gluten and all it’s glory…and then all things delicious were taken from me thanks to being diagnosed with Celiac Disease. I’d given up on pizza, especially while on the road traveling. Gluten free pizza that doesn’t taste like a soggy saltine with ketchup AND is readily available, doesn’t exist. That is until Forno, a convention center hotel pizza and salad cafe. A grab and go. A jet-setters snack shop. I strolled in for a quick bite assuming I’d be forced to choke down yet another salad, I half-assed asked if they had gluten-free crust for their fire oven pizza. CUE THE CELEBATORY DOVES…they do! What the what?! It ’twas glorious their gluten free crust and hot damn if it’s not one of the most delicious glutard crusts I’ve ever had the joy of introducing to my taste buds. OH AND DID I MENTION it didn’t make me want to sh*t myself while my intestinal track digested it?! AGAIN WITH THE CELEBATORY DOVES. Celiac nation rejoice. Forno’s pizza may not have been Chicago style deep dish, but it was an impressive gluten free crust loaded with toppings and kicked me in the face with its “real” taste. Above all, it was readily available at a convention center hotel cafe. Wow. Made my week. Double wow. Two thumbs up for this windy city hidden gem.
Pros: friggin’ tasty, almost as good as the real thing, loaded with toppings/cheese
Cons: little pricey at $13, but NO up-charge for the gluten free crust & enough pizza for 2 hungry mouths to share.
Pardon The Punctuation…If you’ve ever been to Detroit in the dead of winter you know that getting around town can be challenging. It’s good to have an idea of exactly where you’re going. I’ve compiled a quick list of my favorite places from my last visit to the Motor City. Best part is you can click FourSquare and save it to your phone.
Slows BBQ: Delicious BBQ right in the heart of CorkTown. Best pulled pork I’ve had north of North Carolina.
Two James Distillery: Awesome distillery experience just a couple of blocks away from Slows BBQ. Go take a tour or just make it to the tasting room for some yummy spirits. Love the Grass Widow Bourbon, the gin, and vodka. Yummy mixology cocktails too.
Joe Muer: Who would have thought you could get awesome seafood in Michigan. Great sushi bar too!
Pegasus: One word…Saganaki! Get your self some flaming cheese and tender gyro.
Pizza Papalis: A Greektown staple and who knew you didn’t have to go all the way to Chicago to get some awesome deep dish pizza.
Astoria Pastry Shop: A Greek pastry shop with the best baklava I’ve ever had. Just amazing.
Roast: From Iron Chef and host of “The Chew” Michael Symon. Old school steakhouse with a new school vibe. Head there Monday-Friday from 4:30-6:30 for the best happy hour in town at the bar. Get his yummy burger!
I know Detroit isn’t usually at the top of anyones travel list. Let me tell you that like the phoenix Detroit is rising from the ashes and coming on strong. This American “Rome” may have burned but it has dusted itself off and is ready to play.
Pardon The Punctuation…We know Detroit didn’t have the best year financially so I can imagine it’s not easy to go out and spend your hard earned money if you live in Motown. “Iron Chef” Michael Symon has put together a happy hour menu that is delicious and won’t break the bank. At his restaurant “Roast” in downtown Detroit you can grab a burger and a glass of wine for under ten bucks. That’s right, monday through friday form 4:30-6:30 you can sit the bar and have select plates for $3 or $4 and beer or wine for $4. I had to check this out while in town and this is what I had.
Bar Burger: A killer burger cooked to order and topped with a fried egg, bacon, and served on a toasted English muffin. This was less expensive than eating at most fast food restaurant and twenty times better. I’ll be having this again before I leave town.
Stuffed Peppers: House made sausage stuffed in a perfectly roasted pepper and covered with a spicy red sauce. Another wonderfully executed dish that they could easily charge $12 for. This was a great recommendation from the bartender.
Mac N’Cheese: I’m a big fan of elevated comfort food. This did not disappoint. A generous portion covered with some crunchy bread crumb. Just a quality dish and an amazing price.
After this experience I’ll be coming back to “Roast” before I leave town. I had those three dishes plus two glasses of wine and my bill was just over twenty bucks. The full dinner menu looks to be my next adventure when I head here next week. If money is tight and you still wanna treat yourself to a great meal give them a try for this happy hour.
Pardon the Punctuation…Call me crazy but the last thing I think about when I’m in San Diego is great Italian food. From now on it will be one of the first things that comes to mind. Hidden amongst a slew of fish taco places and cheesy bars sits Bice Restaurant. This is a chic upscale Italian restaurant that doesn’t break the wallet. Also being someone who’s been to Italy it’s a great feeling when you go into an Italian restaurant on this side of the pond and there are so many Italians working there. Upon walking in we were greeted by Filippo Reitano the charming maitre’D who took great care of us and sat us at a table in their gorgeous dining room. Oh and By the way I love their wine cellar which is visible from the dining room and is like a window into wine heaven. Anyway, our server Filippo…another Filippo..not the same gentleman who sat us down…had some wonderful suggestions from the menu. He told me about their award winning cheese bar and that he’d bring some selections from it along with two different prosciuttos. Since he’s from Florence I trusted his judgement. Here is how it all went down. Started with a glass of the house Barbaresco which was a delicious heavy pour. Food went like this.
Prosciutto duel with Parma vs San Daniele: a wonderful combination of two of the greatest cured meats in the world duking it out for champion of your palate. I’m a sucker for prosciutto from Parma but this San Daniele was a nice contrast in flavor. Shaved perfectly and draped on the plate like tender silk scarves.
1.Burrata-Creamy cow’s milk cheese that to die for. A hint of nuttyness and served on a delectable crostini.
2.Rosso di Langa- made from cow and sheeps milk. It was almost like a milder brie. Similar in texture but easier to down in mass quantities.
3.Cacio di Bosco- I love this firm sheep’s milk cheese because the truffle flavor is not synthetic. Sweet, nutty, and peppered with little chunks of truffle. This cheese is going to be on my list to Santa next Christmas.
4.Fiore Sardo- similar to it’s brother Pecorino Romano this sheep’s milk cheese is richer while less overpowering.
5.Brunet-This young creamy goat’s milk cheese is only aged 3-5 weeks but tastes like a vintage cheese. Would go perfectly with a glass of prosecco.
This is by far the best cheese bar in San Diego!
Grilled Octopus: with baby fennel, arugula, and artichoke salad. Octopus is one of the things that I always order when it’s on a menu. This octopus was so good I could close my eyes and picture myself sitting at a cafe in Cinque Terre taking in the ocean view. The fennel wasn’t too much and complimented the octopus perfectly. A dish that can refresh the palate before the main course.
Gnocchi: With pine nuts and asiago cheese in a pesto sauce. I can be kind of a snob when it comes to my favorite pasta dish. Having worked at the best Italian restaurant in Miami in my teens I can sniff out crappy gnocchi like a hound sniffs out a suitcase full of drugs. This dish on the other hand could be displayed at the louvre. Pasta art and perfection. Could have had 6 plates of it.
Pan Seared “Mano De Leon” Sea Scallops: With crispy vegetable strings, saffron sauce, and squid ink dressing. Perfectly seared and once mixed with the squid ink would turned into a little piece of heaven in my mouth.
Branzino: Fresh “Mediterranean Sea Bass, Cooked on a Cedar Wood Plank and Finished with Grape Tomatoes and a Fresh Herb Truffle Emulsion. Served with Caponata.” I literally just copied and pasted the description from the Bice website. The description says it all. They even cheat by spraying a mist of truffle oil on it. Wow wow wow I’m tasting it now as I type. It would be my go to dish every time Bice was on my agenda.
Panna Cotta: Coconut panna cotta with balsamic strawberry sauce. Great texture and the balsamic strawberry sauce should be illegal it’s so good. Could be poured excessively over pancakes.
Next time you’re in the Gas Lamp district make sure to check Bice Restaurant out. Even if you just swing by for a glass of wine and some cheeses at the bar before a Padres game. Ask for Filippo and he will know exactly what to recommend to accommodate your tasty needs.