Vegetarian No Meat Burgers!!!… and other yummies from the past few days!

Today I tried something new… while I had a beef burger…. oh so yummy, I tried out a special recipe for my mom and her vegetarian friend…. no-meat burgers for them using Beyond Meat product! I prefer Yves non-meats but couldn’t find any at Whole Foods today :[ Bummer.

For 2 Burger Patties:
1 bag of Beyond Beef Beefy Crumbles

1/4-1/2 onion
A few cloves of garlic
Paprika
Salt
Black Pepper
Dried Basil (fresh is probably better and if so, minced)
2 eggs
flour

I first sautéed the minced onion and garlic til caramelized and starting to be transparent and browned slightly. I mixed it with the beefy crumbles. Added S&P, paprika, dried basil and perhaps a few more secret ingredients. I added two eggs and a few pinches of flour to help it bind better – I probably should have added more flour since it was a little too wet. And I grilled them.

For toppings I sautéed onions and mushrooms. Topped the patties with cheese as they were about to be done cooking and put a lid on the pan to melt the cheese. I added a few slices of rings of red onion, sliced tomatoes and some avocado. Some other options (which I put on my beef burger) were jalapeños and cilantro.

And to make the dinner even better.. some kale chips… just kale… drizzled in evoo, s&p I added cayenne pepper… or whatever flavorings you want :]

BTW, this was my BEEF burger haha

Sorry, being “healthy”… even tho the burger was rare *MAD COW DISEASE* haha but I ate my in lettuce wrap….”sort of” ok some of it with fork and knife….

More stuff I made this weekend..

Vegetarian Soup… there’s kale, corn, leeks, mushrooms, onion etc etc… topped with some cheese and cilantro and a “garlic bread” croissant

There were more veggies but I don’t remember

And our pre-Masquerade Harvard Ball dinner

Duck Confit with Leek/Mushroom Risotto and Spicy Broccoli

Just used a tiny bit of white truffle butter, topped with parm and scallions in the risotto, had fresh white truffles.. but forgot to top it… duck confit cooked in lots of duck fat for awhile so super crispy… and then just steamed broccoli with hot pepper flakes :]

吉凡尼的花園 Le Jardin de Giverny in the 美術館 area

Woke up super hungry…… time for some delicious eats at 吉凡尼的花園 Le Jardin de Giverny – I’ve been here before, years ago and it was pretty bad but they changed owners and have definitely improved 10 fold.

I so hangry

We ordered two add on lunch meal sets and two a la cartes to share.

Delicious Fresh Foccacia Breads

[You can actually buy breads and pastries in the front of the house]

You can also buy different vinegar, oils and balsamics in the front as well… yay for dipping yummy warm bread…

Fresh Veggie/Fruit Juice

My clear vegetable soup… which tasted a bit buttery to me so I wasn’t that into it. The flavors were great though.

And of course for my “drink” that came with my meal I got a nice glass of white wine.

Fresh salad with walnuts and starfruit.

Appetizer: Ratatouille

It was absolutely delicious and one of the few times I’ve ever had it.  I’m so glad I ordered this.. it was between this and escargot.

My aunt’s appetizer: A Crab “Tart” which is so not a tart, but it was good and fresh none-the-less

And for her main dish she got the seafood risotto.  YUM.  I had a bite and you could taste yummy saffron…. reminded me of a paella but creamier…

Mama, of course, got the pan-fried duck breast, but which was cooked really well and just fatty enough. So so tender.

My other aunt got the pan-fried sea bass, which was one of my choices….

But I ended up getting, DUH, the spicy seafood stirfry :]

And then we went straight into dessert….

A mini Creme Brulee… which I gave to my aunt since she rarely gets to eat these things….

But I enjoyed my delicious iced coffee…. MMM froth

地址:台中市五權七街58號 (台中綠園道)
電話:886-4- 2376-9755

I ended up staying for tea time as well but while my aunts chatted I explored the area a bit…..

Another FAILED Perm, Tea Time & another dinner at Din Tai Fung

They FUCKED up my perm last time. Yes. Perm. Embarrassing YES. But they fucked it up, so they should be embarrassed.

You know the bigger the boot…

The bigger the foot!

Tea Time @ Afternoon Tea in Sogo

Delicious Corn Chowder….

Duck Risotto with Poached Egg and Salad

Spicy Spaghetti with Grilled Prawns

Chicken Sandwich Salad [yes with buttery toast]

Tons of Espresso alllll for meeeee…

Happy Happy Joy Joy

Banana/Kiwi/Walnut Roll

Lemon Angel Cake

Raspberry Chocolate Mousse Cake

Delicious

… I went back for a nap…and to rest my poor twisted swollen ankle…… afterwards I met up with all my aunts and mama at Din Tai Fung for dinner…

Woodear Fungus with Goji

Dan Dan Noodles – mmmm Spicy and Peanuty

Meat Buns

All this food, ALLLLLL consumed by us ladies…

Xiao Long Bao <3 The loves of my life

I ended up in food coma with Mr. Piggie staring at me til I fell asleep…. icing my ankle

All about the Wine – Sirio

Last night in Vegas and we’re going out in style, with a bang bang bang…

Angel & Devil… or Devil & Angel?!  Who is who?!

I love this girl <3

We headed over to Aria to meet with my college friend Min – and while he gambled we settled at a nearby bar for some drinks.

Drinks  at Julian Serrano Tapas – place smelled good though, got hungryyy fast!!!

Kelly got a nice pretty fruity pear drink

And I got one with ginger bear, cucumber and Absinthe. HORRID. I wanted to die and barely downed a few sips. DISGUSTING. Just say NO to absinthe and bad drinks.

Min met up with us.. also tried my horrible drink and then off to SIRIO to wine and dine!!!!.. Min is a sommelier at Benu in San Fran and knows the sommelier at Sirio so I knew we’d be in for a good wine treat ;D

Another Italian treat..!!!  They also own Circo and Le Cirque … sooooo….. lots to look forward to. But super competition since we had an AMAZING Italian meal already earlier at Scarpetta

Beautiful space!!! And we got to sit next to the windows to watch them make salads and prepare the meats/cheeses, etc…

It took us FOREVER to go thru the menu, it was overwhelmingly HUGE! There was way too many item and sections and made our heads hurt. In addition there was a specials menu AND they offered a Truffle Tasting Menu. ARGH.  Good thing we were greeted with complimentary glasses of a delicious champagne.  Bubbles helped the headache of the large menu.

I was more distracted at looking in the windows.. especially at the guy who just stood there the whole night mixing caesar salads. hahaha..

Bread and EVOO/Balsamic Dip

6 Oysters. 2 of each kind. [4 West Cost, 2 East]

They were super super tiny and the worst shucked EVER.  There was shell and they weren’t even released, we had to do it ourselves. Blah. Not worth it. Severely disappointed.

Yellowtail Tartare…

It was fresh but lacking.  Needed some acid and salt.  It’s amazing what a little salt and pepper can do.  Good little breadsticks tho, I’m a fan.  I found myself wanting to season it myself… and I rarely do that – I like light foods and tend to frown at OVERseasoned things – I think it needed a bit more texture too… frisee worked but there was just like a bite of it to split between us.

Two different Salames, Bresaola, Mortadella and some Parmigiano Reggiano
Salames for the win!!! I loved them.. there was a small one and a big one.  The mortadella was a bit mealy but good, I’m used to “slimier” feeling ones – for lack of better words – which are more bologna like, OK, better explanation, this was a drier mortadella.  It came with walnut raisin bread, grapes, honey.. balsamic?!, breadsticks and flatbread crisps with melted parm.  The parmigiano was delicious.. munch munch munch nibble.

Just the beginning… champagne… red… white :]

And then came our pastas… MMMM carbs… so far so OKAY… nothing amazing.  So we were totally counting on the pastas – it IS an Italian place so it all depends on the pasta!

Min looking good… and ready to get his eat on… 

Can you believe it? One of our last pics together was our sophomore year.. yikes!!! We’re all getting old.. but getting better looking with age ;]  When he was angrier and I was wayyyy nicer… hahaha

“We’re assholes, that’s why we get along so well”

“I don’t remember you being an asshole, you were nice, you were really really nice…”

The last time Min saw me was in AC for my 20th Bday… way back when… and I looked like this… and was blooonndeeeeee – freaking 8 years ago!!!

 And what do you know.. at another Caesars hahahah

Ok back to the delicious food..

We got two pasta specials

Left: Pappardelle with a Prosciutto Sauce and Peas…
Right: Risotto – you could also chose tagliatelle – with Black Truffle

Pappardelle was perfectly cooked and so good. The sauce wasn’t very prosciutto-y but it was really really good. Loved it.  The risotto was AMAZING, creamy, but a bit underdone.  But FUCK YEAH truffles galore… INHALED BOTH! We cleaned the two plates CLEANNNNN

Partway thru I dropped my napkin…

And the waiters walked over it, avoided it and didn’t give me a new one.  I even went to the bathroom only to come back to it STILL on the floor

Excuse me do I have something on my lip?

Min finally gave up and asked for a new napkin for the lady. HAHA “the lady” I’m so not a lady.

Grilled Lamb Chops

These were cooked really well, THERE WAS SOOOO MUCH, the portion looks small here but it was actually HUGE…. not gamey at all… barely a lamb taste – I’ve noticed I like lamb when it’s rarer than when cooked – really really good.

Ossobuco on Risotto

Fell off the bone and had delicious marrow.  The risotto was cheesy and the veggies were nice, crisp and fresh!  It wasn’t amazing or mind-blowing but quite tasty.  We were SO full by now that we could barely eat any more.. which probably affects the taste.

But we got dessert anyway :]

Min: I’m gonna make them do all that Birthday stuff…
Me: YAY
Min: HAHA you LIKE that shit!!!
Me: YEPPPP!!!!

Chocolate Souffle

Amazeballs. I LOOOOVED it – I love a good souffle.

The sommelier and our tray of dessert wines/liquors, YES all of that for the three of us.

4 each.. omg there was some bourbon one that almost killed me.  The housemade limoncello was FREAKING amazing tho. SOOOO fresh and tasty… nice and tart and not too sweet :] *swoon

UMMMM… Fuck it…

I die ;D

While the food wasn’t particularly spectacular.. the company and the booze was FUCKING amazing!  Such a great fun night!!!!!

Happy Mommy’s Day 2012

To the best mommy in the world, who opened me to the world of… everything! And always taught me not to skimp on food.

This made me laugh so hard:

I got dressed up… clad in leather and leopard haha #classy and headed out to brunch with my parents.

Sel de la Terre had a special Mothers Day brunch so we decided to grab a bite and then wander and shop around a bit afterwards.  Coffees all around please. None of us could get up this morning.  It was already 1pm but we were sleepy. At least I was.

Some multigrain bread and foccacia

Bloody Mary for me…

MMMMMMM I feel like I haven’t had one in ages!  SDLT has pretty good ones, altho this one wasn’t mixed too well at first and my first sip was all vodka.  I’m not complaining tho, I love my vodka.

Charcuterie plate with duck liver terrine, pork rillette, whole grain mustard, toasted crostini and chutney

Soup du Jour: Tomato Soup with Cheesey Crostini

It was thick and creamy… had a cheese stank to it, in a good way and in a bad way, I’m actually not that big on creamy soups, esp ones with cheese creamed into it.  It was a good soup for dipping and much bread was inhaled by way of dunking into this orange concoction.  It was still a HUGE portion and I could only finish like 1/4 or 1/3 of it.

Entrees are served!!!

Mommy got the Lemon risotto with Atlantic Salmon, tomatoes, spinach, and smoked salmon 

She does this a lot, get something and then eat everyone else’s food but her own.  She already had a lot of bread, charcuterie – she LOVES foie gras, and some of my soup and then some of dad’s entree so she just kinda ate the salmon and some veggies from this.  She’s also not a big risotto person so…. *shrugs* that’s why I got her bacon and she was SO happy I did.  Anyways there was cooked salmon IN the risotto and smoked salmon on top.  I duno why but I thought it was odd, *double shrugs*

Daddy got the House roasted pulled pork sandwich with SDLT barbecue sauce on brioche bun, frites

The bun was fluffy and the pork was tender.. the sauce was a bit on the sweet side but daddy still loved it.  The frites were perfect as always!  Since daddy’s dish came with frites, this was the first time I wasn’t an ass and asked for my free foursquare frites HAHA.

And I got the Arugula Salad with red onions, beets and spiced cashews with a vinaigrette with a rare steak on top.

Delicious fresh crisp arugula balanced great with my mooing bloody steak. Mom freaked out when she saw how rare it was.  I didn’t expect such a huge chunk of meat so I’m glad I didn’t get more food to go with this.  SO good.  I wish there were more beets in it tho I just had a meesly few tiny pieces/slivers LAME.  There were also some foccacia croutons, garlicky, and the red onions were sliced super super thin.  Very delicious.

And of course a side of perfectly cooked Bacon! Meaty, fatty and perfectly crisp. NOM!

We balled out with a Grand Sampling for dessert…
Bread Pudding, Caradmom Ice Cream w/ pistachips, Lava Cake, Lemon Tart, Truffles, Macaron, Cookies and Creme Brulee

BOMB DIGGITY

When we got home, these were waiting for my mommy at the garage :][ From me!!!

These gorgeous flowers were from W :] Sweetest boyfriend!

Happy Mother’s Day Mommy! To the strongest, stubborn but sweet, intelligent and most beautiful woman I know.

Lunch & Tea Set from Aunt Stella’s

I woke up super late.. exhausted.. especially from being out all day… and night and it was close to dinner time so I knew I needed a quickie snack before hand before I passed out… soooooo….

Aunt Stella’s Handmade Cookies & Cakes

I usually come here just for their waffles and cookies with my coffee/tea but today I needed some savory with my sugary sweet :]

Auntie Stella…

So is this Uncle Stella? Mr. Auntie Stella? TEE HEE…

We both got the Daily Set A which is Entree, Soup or Salad, Drink + Dessert! Perfection!

We waited… sipping on our waer glass.. and then the delicious piping hot bread came…

Smiles all around…

Oops wait, not that one ;] Besides puppy says “I’m NOT Bread!!!” But this is:

Scallion Bread

Crispy crunchy skin with delicious herbs and scallions sprinkled thru-out the innards of the fluffy white bread. OMG YUM!

Creamy Vegetable ChowderCreamy, light chowder with chunks of different garden vegetables and potatoes. YUM!

Garden Salad

Fresh and yummy with a light vinaigrette

燒烤風味牛肉佐南瓜燉飯/Pumpkin Risotto with Beef

Delicious creamy risotto… tender delicious beef and yummy steamed asparagus with a nice drizzle of delicious sauce over it.  Chunks of pumpkin in the yummy orange rice… which was a lot lighter than regular risotto I get in the States, uuber yummy!

凱薩沙拉 烤雞腿/Caesar Salad w/ Roasted Chicken 

Fresh romaine and other greens… crunchy yummy croutons, a nice boiled egg, a sprinkle of parm and roasted dark meat chicken [with skin] – honestly it’s SO rare to eat white meat/chicken breast here in Taiwan lol, Asians love their juicy fatty dark meat – and chicken skin :] TEE HEE.

Super Anchovy Caesar Dressing

Love caesar dressing, love anchovies but all together this was too overpoweringly fishy for me!

Dessert Time…

詩特莉有機咖啡/Stella’s Organic Coffee

咖啡榛果捲/Coffee Roll Cake

Dense with coffee cream and a firm hazelnut spread.  The outter cream had a chocolate nib and coffee sauce drizzled over it.  The cake was way too dense for our liking and tasted a bit like it’s been in the fridge a little too long… so we just ate the cream :] But then after my choice of the pomelo cake, anything wouldn’t taste as good :]

柚子優格捲/Pomelo Roll Cake
SOOOO delicious! This was my very favorite.. one of the tastiest fluffiest creamy cakes I’ve had in awhile :] Full of yummy pomelo flavor. Oh so light. SO different from the coffee cake roll… fluff fluff mmmmm I could eat a whole roll of this <3

Bunnies in my Tummy…

I like bunnies. I like dressing up as bunnies. If they didn’t smell so bad and poop so much, I’d have pet bunnies. Also no one I live with will let me have bunnies…. so once I finally live in my own place again I’ll have bunnies – it’s been awhile and last time I did I had snakes LOL

The first thing that turned me onto Bunnies? Once again Thanks to the Green City Market Chef’s BBQ in ’09 :] If you haven’t noticed…. Chicago did me good, real good… especially my tummy… and getting fat ;D

Grilled Rabbit Sausage, Relish of Summer Fennel, Pancetta & Mustard Seeds

Crofton On Wells, Chicago

SOOOOO DELICIOUS. Tender. Juicy. Popped in my mouth and slid down my throat… chew chew chew meaty, filling, spiced perfect. I love you. *burp*  Honestly, this one was one of the tastiest sausages I’ve had – and trust me I’ve had a lot of sausages ;] #thatswhatshesaid NO NASTY TALK – it was good. That’s All! The End!

And then it was the first time I cooked bunny.. or helped…

Braised Rabbit a la Dash of Stash

w/ Horseradish Mash & Roasted Carrots

Thanks To Stash, I got got to eat bunny – full, whole, tender..MMM, delicious.  I was scared. I remember trying to bite into a leg and slightly nervous.  The reason why people only eat the legs usually IS because that’s where most of the meat is – AND it’s most tender… the rest of the bunny is scarce in meat, and while still tasty, a bit tougher. STILL. YUM!

NOOOOOOW, one of my favorite dishes EVER AND MY favorite rabbit dish!

Confit Rabbit Risottowith Caramelized Onions, Creme Fraiche and Fontiago Cheese

Solera, Denver

I. DIE. I have wet dreams about this dish. Who would’ve thunk…… DENVER, CO would have the mots AMAZING restaurants and dishes… I can’t even BEGIN to talk about this. It was CREAMY, CHEESY, the BEST risotto I’ve ever eaten, even without fresh white truffles and then some, OMG… better than the best sex you’ve ever had – or maybe I’ve just never had good sex – but this risotto was something that would make you cry and turned on and just….. insane ALL at the same time.

Walnut-Stuffed Gnocchi w/ braised rabbit, onion soubise, appenzeller

Mizuna, Denver

Delicious. Comrfort.

You think Chicken Pot Pie is delicious and comforting?! You’ve never had it this way

Rabbit Pot Pie, Fall Vegetables & Sausage on a Stick

Colicchio & Sons, NYC

SO memorable. While the sausage was good the pot pie is forever BURNED into my BRAIN. SOOOO GOOD.  You can get it during Brunch at C&S :]  I daydream about going back but no guy has gone back with me – LAME.  I obviously don’t date enough daring eaters…

Sour Yellow: Steamed Rabbit Leg
Multi-Grain Rice, Eggplant Chutney & Thai Basil

Kinshop, NYC

Chef Dieterle… you are a Top Chef for a good reason, what you make is GOLD. GOLD. This just fell apart and MELTTTTTTTTTTTED….. I can’t even begin to explain how delicious this was… this was the first thing I wanted to order on the menu anyways. AMAAAAZING.

I love Menton for seafood…. and their crossiants… but then their bunny dish? OMFG

No really.

OH. EM. EFFFFFFFFFFFFFF. GEE

Deconstructed Bunny, Rabbit Sausage,Meatball, Kidney, etc

Menton, Boston

All were SOOO succulent, flavorful, not gamey and just OMG… freaking amazing. FUNNILY, the “funkiest” one was the yummiest THE KIDNEY in puff pastry <3 OH.EM.EFF.GEE – GENIUS. Yea and I had like 20 of their croissants :]

And then the last time I had bunny since I’m writing this… My “21st” Birthday ;D

Il Coniglio
Roasted Napa Valley Rabbit Loin wrapped in San Daniele Prosciutto, Polenta ‘sfogliatina’, Roasted Beets, Green Pea Veloute, Rabbit Jus


Circo, Las Vegas

The prosciutto was a bit salty wrapped around it but I ended up just unwrapping and eating the bunny part SOOOOOO GOOD.  The jus and the veloute was amazing. STILL miss my own cooking tho. I’ve only cooked bunny twice, and basically by myself ONCE… braised down and made into a creamy pasta… :] Bunny confit with cream sauce and with delicious tender pastaaaaaa — good right?!  I’ll try to make some soon and make a blog on it :] Play by play on whole bunny!  Hope you enjoyed this and hope you won’t be scared to try a bite of bunny – it literally tastes like chicken. :]

So in Love…. with Risotto…

I’ve had risotto, lots of risotto.. good risotto and bad risotto.. fake risotto.. and some that, to be blunt, I just had NO idea what the *BLEEP* it was.  I don’t remember the first time I ever had risotto but I do remember one of my friends trying to make risotto back in college, it was the fall of my Sophomore year and it was the first time risotto had ever crossed my lips… I remember him complaining that it was underdone and not done right, but to me, it was delicious nonetheless.

I’m Taiwanese… I grew up eating rice.  White rice. Lots of it.  Although, as a child, until puberty, I ate very little.  One of the few things I did love to eat, though, was putting my white rice in my soup [which was served every night after the meal] and fresh warm congee [usually for breakfast or if I had an upset concert]

I remember my senior year in high school I ate white rice and pork floss every meal [like 5 o 6 bowls a day] for like two months straight.

OKAY. Now that you guys know of my love for risotto… back to the arborio rice.  The delicious creamy dish. Two very specific memories of risotto stand out in my head… it was preparation and ingredients and I must say the two VERY best risotto dishes I have ever had.  The first dish I’m going to talk about is the first time I became addicted and the second dish is hands down, the BEST risotto EVER to enter my mouth.

Risotto is everywhere. It’s cool. It’s like ordering gnocchi, cuz everyone else does but rarely do people get it done right. It’s trendy.

“He couldn’t tell one good risotto from another good risotto. It was the scene.  It was the newness of the restaurant.” – Michael Gould

That quote makes me sad, because that’s so true. Nowanddays, food is SO trendy, everyone wants to be a “foodie” it doesn’t even have to be “good” anymore. NOT for me. You can be the world’s best restaurant but if it ain’t good, I’m gonna not like it and I won’t eat it.

The first time I fell completely in love with Risotto was at Daniel… it was New Years Eve 2009 going onto 2010 and the very last meal of 2009 I had was from the hands of  the amazing Chef Daniel Boulud.  Yep, as much as Boulud is grand and trendy and amazing and everyone has heard of the name and the chef, this TRULY WAS the risotto that went in my mouth, down my throat and into my heart.

Simple and true. Risotto with Parmigiano and freshly shaven White Truffles.

Keep it coming sir!  Delicious.  Creamy.  Decadent. Rich and very very simple.  Perfectly made and I did not leave ONE lick or nibble left on the plate.  Forever etched in my brain, my heart, my stomach and my soul.  To this day I will never forget how it felt, how it tasted, the environment, the setting, the mood, the THRILL of all the truffles and how I’ve NEVER tasted such amazing risotto in my life. GREAT way to end 2009.

And to prove how consistently delicious Chef Boulud‘s dishes are… more than half a year later I got the same  White Truffle Risotto dish [minus the foam] at Cafe Boulud – absolutely FREAKING delicious!

Still beautiful and delicious in 2010 :]

And lastly, the most amazingly delicious risotto dish I have ever had and I will forever compare all the risottos I eat to… YEP, was found in, who woulda thunk of ALL places, freaking Denver, CO. I went there, straight from the airport off the plane, to get their all you can eat mussels.. and while everything at Solera was DELICIOUS…. To this day, I can’t stop fantasizing about bathing in their risotto..

Confit Rabbit Risotto with Caramelized Onions, Creme Fraiche and Fontiago Cheese

Beautful isn’t it?  The rabbit confit was PERECTLY cooked down to a creamy tenderness and shredded… then carefully mixed and blended into the creamy delicate risotto. The creme fraiche made the risotto even CREAMIER and it had the most delicious fontiago cheese flavor throughout the dish.  A sprinkling of herbs and the subtle taste and sweetness of the caramelized onions… omg, PERFECTION. NO OTHER RISOTTO has COMPARED to this. I’m not even sure I could go back here and eat it again for fear it just won’t be the same.

I have “recreated” this dish before but only in the form of a rabbit pasta dish… risotto to me, is so black or white [like I’ve said before, just like gnocchi] it’s either good or not.  But isn’t that the same with all foods? I remember the guide from Top Chef Season 7 in Singapore said that too.  Only two kinds of food, good and bad.

Okay. Maybe one day I will take a flight back there sometime and get some :] And more all you can eat mussels.. but mainly for this risotto. *daydreams*

I’m enjoying these third time charms.. this time at Craigie on Main

The first time I was here, I got a tasting, the second time was for a Mother’s Day prix fixe brunch… this time I was SO much MORE excited to come….PLUS we made our own tasting…. [and besides now we could get Pig Tails on the regular menu and not just the bar menu!!!! *psyched*] Z was back in town [woohoo] got in around 9 and so we had a 1030 seating :] AND WE ATE TIL past 1am! We so badass…. of course we started off with some champagne… cuz come on, that’s how I do ;D


Water with a lemon slice and a lime slice is now known as Z water, got it?

The bread… lots of variety.. and tasty, but unfortunately cold…
Z ate some anyways ;D Hahaha.. I patiently waited for my piggie tails…

Six Oysters on the Half Shell

Candied Lemon Mignonette

So fresh and so clean clean….the original oysters were supposed to be Pemaquid but they changed it… so drunkie me doesn’t remember the name of the oysters… They were good, really good.. usually I only like my oysters with tons of horseradish and tabasco…. but these were tasty.. not sweet at all, bathing in their own salty juices… YUM!…. straight down the pipe…

Assiette of House-Made Terrines:
Pate of Quatre Foies, Pate de Campagne, Foie Gras au Torchon


Traditional Accompaniments

These were really good.. while I was most focused on the Pate de Campagne [the most left one] the most intriguing was the Pate of Quatre Foies [on the right end] .. Z and I were debating on what was in it.. definitely foie gas and definitely chicken liver… there was also squab and…. crap I forgot.. but all yumminess :] I usually can’t take TOO much chicken liver on it’s own.. but this pate, I was SUCH a fan of…

Accompaniments included… pickled chantarelles [wayyy too overpowering IMO], a red wine mustard, gherkins, red onion, a grainy mustard.. and ….. yea the rest escapes my mind… I mean, I personally love a good creamy pate on some nice toasted crunchy delicious bread… so I’m not TOO big on adding more to it.

Ragout of Local Forest Mushrooms and Braised Oxtail Pastrami

Farro Risotto, Farm-Fresh Poached Egg, Chantenay Carrot Puree, Herbs

Z being classy popping the yolk…

This was delicious.. Z describes it as a breakfast sandwich in a bite :] It was SOOOO delicious.. and I’m such a sucker for poached eggs [PERFECTLY poached eggs – mind you] and mushrooms <3 Oh I was in heaven….

And then, the reason why we came to Craigie in the first place…

Crispy-Fried Pig’s Tails

Pickled Peanuts, Nuoc Cham, Cilantro

OMFG… HOLY FUCKING A… I can’t.. even NOT say a dirty word to describe this… SO absolutely freaking delicious. [I tried] They’re like… pork belly around a bone… these were so Asian-y tasting too.. but in the most fab NON-fusion kind of way….  Z and I were tearing these apart.. like freaking hyenas from Lion King :] NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM!… and of course some delicious onion strings on top – but who can focus on that… PIGGIE TAILS PIGGIE TAILS PIGGIE TAILS… next time we come back, PIGGIE TAILS x4 :]

The first wine our waitress suggested… was HORRIBLE. Disgusting.. in the words of Z “it feels like I’m in a playground” So we decided to stick to what we love.. Spanish wine…

Then came the piggie head…

And the rest of our dinner…

Confit and Roasted Milk-Fed Pig’s Head

Peking Pancakes, Spicy Pumpkin Sambal, Boudin Noir-Hoisin Sauce

I don’t even know how to begin how amazing this was… the first time I had a pig’s head, in whole, was at Resto and it was amazing, but this time I could go at it without judgement hahahaha…. the skin was perfection…. juicy, crisp… underneath the most delicious fat.. and underneath that the MOST moist meat… we ate it ALL, ALL… Z even got me to split the eyeball with him. YES, Miss Tiffie ate a pig’s eyeball!!! We were halfway thru before we forgot that we had pancakes and sauce to go with it.. so we tried a taco or two.. but just kept on going at it sans all that other extra stuff…

Sidenote: Boudin Noir HOISIN sauce? Probably the only hoisin sauce I’ve never disliked… or been sick of… OMG… BOUDIN NOIR <3 Joy….

Piggie Head Taco

Yea we’re dorks, but Z fed me piggie ear so it’s okay he failed :] We literally ate the whole head clean.. sucked it dry.. I mean COME ON, we ate the EYEBALL and pulled out it’s teeth.. I said I was gona make some badass necklaces for us :]

Bone Marrow is always off the menu here.. so you gotta ask for it.. delicious.. I was sucking and licking them clean :D

What can I say? Perfection… sprinkled with a bit of sea salt on some great crunchy toast? Orgasm much?

Vermont Organic Veal Two Ways: Braised Short-Rib, Roasted Sweetbread

Kasha, Pioppini Mushrooms, Chestnuts, Quince Puree

Out of all the dishes that was the only one that didn’t get our panties in a twist… It was good, but it wasn’t mind-boggling… either way we ated it :] I guess it’s hard to compete with my super awesome 5 Course Veal Dinner

We also got Duck Fat Fried Brussel Sprouts.. but they were meh… I had a picture but it’s lost somewhere in limbo ;D

And we ended the night with my favorite dessert from them….

Sheep’s Milk Yogurt Cheesecake

Matzo Meal-Pine Nut Crust, Plum Jam

Can’t describe it more than the perfectly sweet [but not too sweet] creamy, cheesecakey/yogurty happiness on a plate.. the pinenuts help too :]

And we also got some complimentary delicious chocolate covered almonds :]

Craigie is totally one of my favorite restaurants here in Boston…. you can’t come visit here without coming here as well.. Tony Maws is an absolute genius!!!! So come and eat… or else I’ll make you… bring you, wine and dine you – honestly I don’t mind ;D

Craigie On Main
853 Main Street
Cambridge, MA 02139
617 497-5511

Convivio, Best of the Best

Dear Chef Michael White… you have made me fall in love with pasta all over again. For me, Italian food is something I have to be in the mood for, but I can see me coming to Convivio over and over and over again, just for your food… and your amazing perfect pasta. I haven’t had such amazing pasta, maybe ever [aside from the homeland in Rome], since dell’anima…. and I still keep pushing Scarpetta back… but I think my heart now lies here…. in your creations.

Convivio is the new Southern Italian restaurant from Chris Cannon and Chef Michael White. A restaurant rich in conviviality, flavor and passion, this acclaimed restaurant offers a pure translation of soulful dining—the Southern Italian way. Inspired by warm memories of Italian kitchens and the country’s unforgettable flavors—tomatoes, pancetta, sea urchin, and pesto—White’s menu travels through Italy’s Southern towns and creatively interprets revered recipes. Located in Manhattan’s charming Tudor City neighborhood, in the space of their former award-winning L’Impero, Convivio offers guests an irresistible opportunity to dine leisurely, sensuously and with gusto.

My date arrived later than me so I sat down first and ordered some champagne, a nice bubbly glass of Brut Nicolas Feuillatte NV

Delicious whole wheat bread with a burnt crust and the most amazing extra virgin olive oil to dip it in – EVER…. I was in love and ate at least 4 pieces of bread that night… amazing.. I could bath in that oil and lick it off my toes…. oh wait, TMI?

Delicious delicious wine

2006 Etna Rosso ‘A Rina Girolamo Russo

Round One

Barbabietole
beets, mozzarella, almonds

The creamy mozzarella combined with the earthy roasted beets [cooked perfectly might I add] and then the crunch of the almonds – delicious. I am a sucker for fresh mozzarella… everytime I buy a huge ball of it, it never lasts for more than a day… aside from homemade pizzas and homemade caprese salads… I just eat it like there’s no tomorrow…

Insalata di Mare

warm seafood salad, caper berries, lemon

I wouldn’t call it a “salad” perse but it was a nice light combo of seafood… perfectly cooked shellfish with a nice crusty garlic bread on the side. Didn’t really notice the caper berries or lemon too much but it was amazing nonetheless…

Arancini

saffron risotto croquettes

LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. The first time I had one of these was in Denver at duo… and since then I was hooked. These were even simpler than the duo ones… a light dusting of cheese atop the perfectly fried risotto balls… orgasmic.

TMI ALERT TMI ALERT — A certain someone once suggested me eating a Bahn Mi, drinking bubble tea and getting some loving = Ultimate — tempting but I think these would be even better ;D Hahaha…

Round Two

Zuppa di Ceci

chickpea soup, pig trotters, escarole

Tenderly cooked chickpeas [garbanzos, whichever — you say toe-may-toe I say toe-ma-toe] A delicious thick, but light, blended – super creamy – chickpea soup, almost chowder like, with nice tender veggies, some crunchy buttery garlicky [best word ever] croutons… not sure where the pig trotters were tho… pureed in the soup? irregardless… droool* I licked the bowl clean [obviously]

Polipo

tomato braised octopus, polenta, asiago

I love octopus and while there was more polenta than anything else on the plate, the octopussy was tender… and the polenta was AMAZING… I gobbled it all up!!!

Polpettine en Brodo

pork meatballs, broccoli rabe, ricotta salata

You know I’m obsessed with meatballs….  Obsessed… ;D These were tender, succulent and oh so tasty… love love lovessss… mine are still better tho ;D

Round Pasta [aka Three]

Then came the pasta dishes…. dinner date and I actually ended up ordering TWO more pasta dishes because they were so so tiny…  I’m a growing girl [horizontally] and I need my carbs!!!!…

Malloreddus

sardinian saffron, gnocchetti, crab, sea urchin

MMMM…. love gnocchi, love Sardinia [speaking of which, still need to go to that special restaurant to eat in the wine cellar with that certain someone…… I was stupid not to go last time I was offered to…. sigh*; and then there’s that Sardinia episode of No Reservations when Anthony Bourdain goes to his wifey’s homeland and that SEXY gooey cheesy scene… effing orgasmic…]  and of course, crab + Uni are just……. breathtaking…. the uni was super subtle, whereas if I didn’t know it was already in there, I wouldn’t be looking for it…. but the gnocchi was magnificent and perfectly cooked.

Orecchiette Nero

squid ink pasta, seppia ragu, lardo, broccoli rabe

SOOOO good…. I’m a huge fan of squid ink pasta, maybe it’s just the blackness of it, but I’m convinced the flavor is just as fantastic… and then of course… LARDO.. freaking LARDO… and broccoli rabe…. :D

This is when I ordered another set of pasta dishes.. still hungry for more carbs…..

AHH, this was the special of the day… totally forgot what it was… some squash tortellini – I remember it being a bit too sweet for me….. so I only ate a little bit of it and gave it all to the dinner date….

But then it gave me plenty of time to focus on my gorgeous….

Maccheroni alla Carbonara

pancetta, pecorino, scallion, egg, black pepper

The first time I ever had carbonara was my sophomore year in college… one of my close friends, Dave Choi, made me the most delicious and memorable dinner of my life. This was one one of the first meals that made me really fall in love with cooking… and truly appreciate egg yolk for more than a sunny-side up. This was also the first time I learned about pancetta.. and bacon being the lamer, but still good, substitute… since then, this is my go-to meal when I only have a few simple ingredients to create something wonderful… I even got my dad to fall in love with carbonara… and he hates cheese [except on pizza]

Round Four

My choice, a delicious side of Funghi Arrosto

wild mushrooms, garlic

I could never resist mushrooms.. altho I DO find while getting them in restaurants, they’re often too oily… but nonetheless, while they WERE, they were SO flavorful and there was SO many varieties of ‘shrooms… oh joy <3

Along side it, the “MAIN” course of the night… the duck.. quack quack… I’ve had so much pig that I decided to stick with duck and just duck as the main course [altho now I kinda wish I had gotten the suckling crispy piggie as well ;D hehe… The glutton in me…

Anatra

long island duck breast, grilled sausage, sunchokes, apples

Look at that perfect balance of skin, fat and rare medium rare meat… Delightful… not super memorable, but good

The night ended on a sour note with the date, so I opted to skip dessert… [altho I already had my choices picked out] … I paid the bill and we left in a hussy….

One a side note… when I went to the restroom…

SOOO many rolls of toilet paper to choose from on the wall…. Awesome, yet… why?