Wednesday, February 23, 2011
It sat for a few minutes more than we would have preferred but still delicious and made GREAT steak sandwiches. Yummmmmy-yum-yum!
Friday, February 11, 2011
We also met the baker who makes all the bread and pastries for the restaurant and the cafe. We took a loaf of his fresh bread with us to make turkey sandwiches for a picnic on our drive to the volcano! It was, of course, yummmm.
Overall the trip, and the food, was EXCELLENT! I really can not wait to go again. Aloha!
Thursday, February 10, 2011
I wanted to try something new and "Top Chefy", so all the standards (Ruth's Chris, Mortons, other downtown steak places) were out the window. I returned to the food/restaurant edition of The Reader from back in the fall. After debating the menus of the 3 "finalists" for two evenings, we decided to try Cavaillon Restaurant. Chef Philippe Verpiand was another of the top chefs featured in the Reader, so I was glad to see Cavaillon as an option for Restaurant Week.
The restaurant location was strange, as people mentioned on Yelp. It is in the Carmel Valley area of San Diego, a few miles inland, in a small strip mall smack in the middle of a planned community. We actually parked in front of someones house! The drive seems longer than it really was, since you come through a lot of empty space which seemed to be hiking/jogging/horse riding trails. It was actually kind of relaxing and made us feel like we had gone "somewhere".
The dining area was surprisingly small, although there is outside seating available as well. We chose to be inside. There were numerous tables for two set up, a little too close to each other for my liking, but I understand it can be crowded during Restaurant Week. The decor was sort of a European, old-world style. Rich golds and reds, and dark woods.
Even though there are only 3 options for each course, they all sounded interesting so it wasn't anything to be concerned about. (fall 2011 RW menu here, looks to be the same offerings)
Appetizers - I ordered the cheese tart. This was one of the best dishes I have eaten...well, ever! I told my boyfriend the next time we eat here I could order 5 cheese tarts and be happy. The tart itself was a little small but it combined so well with the small salad. The flavors were perfect. (fourme d'ambert blue cheese tart, poached anjou pears in red wine, wild aragula)
He had pre-chosen the pheasant when we were sifting through the menus. Neither of us knew what "terrine" meant though, so the dish was not exactly what we had expected. Luckily it was still yummy! It was sort of like a small loaf or roll of the ground up meat mixed with spices etc and then sliced and served with complimentary accompanying items. . (pheasant terrine, pickled winter vegetables, celery root salad)
Mains - I had the beef. I knew my boyfriend would have the fish and I didn't feel like going for duck. The beef was extremely tender and flavorful, and the veggies were delicious also! It was a comfort food kind of dish. (braised beef flat iron, pommes mousseline, carrots, red wine demi-glace)
He did order the fish, and it was really good, too. Personally I am not a big fish eater but the bites I stole were great. Cooked well, nice flavors, another hit. (petrale sole, almondine in brown butter, roasted cauliflower, fingerling potatoes and broccolini)
Desserts - Of the three options the chocolate actually sounded the least interesting, but after seeing other people eating it, I now know better for next time! I ordered the Floating Island. It was, beyond a doubt, DELICIOUS, but too light for my dessert needs. It was kind of like a meringue island sitting in the middle of a very light (and maybe a tiny bit too thin) vanilla custard. Still... YUM! Honestly, I can't complain about dessert! (Floating island, Tahitian vanilla custard, caramel sauce)
He had the Profiteroles. Basically 3 small cream puffs (minus the cream), with different types of ice cream spilling out! (pic below) Again, yummy, but nothing very exciting. Next time the chocolate will be on order!!
(full dinner menu here)
It sits here with tons of unfinished projects and no money tree in the back yard.
Mocking us. Punk.
Three things I truly, madly, deeply love are books, travel, and food! So I'm going to focus on what I love. :-) yay!
I came across this world traveling lady a few years ago when I was browsing travel blogs. Based in London, she travels (and EATS fabulous food) all over the world! Also these girls have some pretty amazing experiences. (their food blog is here)
Who - me? Green with envy? 100% yes
So, inspired by these (and a few other) blogs, their wonderful photos and posts, I thought I would take a shot at some food blogging, myself. I may also stumble into travel (when/if i can ever afford to go anywhere again!) and BOOKS!! Are there book blogs for rabid readers? I'm gonna check that out.
I can't claim to be very knowledgeable about food. In fact, I never (really, never) cook. Once every couple months we make a big batch of salsa. (actual evidence seen here!)
My only qualifications are that we (my boyfriend and I) LOVE to go out to eat and I also love to watch shows like Top Chef to try to expand my knowledge. I have been a picky eater for a lot of my life but I have tried to keep an open mind lately, and it is paying off! New posts to follow with details of the last 2 great meals we have had!
Or right here...since, apparently, there is no cutting and pasting on Blogger and I don't know how else to keep the stuff I already typed before deciding it needed it's own post!
ughh...learning curve! I guess there is no question I am still new to this blogging thing!
After poring over the "restaurant and chef" edition of The Reader back in the fall, and then perusing Yelp for a few days, I settled on a restaurant in La Jolla for my birthday dinner back in October. (yes, it was that good, we still talk about it)
The chef, Jason Knibb, was touted as one of the new stars of San Diego cuisine. The restaurant, Nine Ten (named for it's street address) was located at The Grande Colonial Hotel in the old village area of La Jolla. Honestly, I don't remember a whole lot about the restaurant, except that it is small and seemed busy. We had a FABULOUS server, whose name I don't recall. Her husband is a chef (did not think to ask if he was THE chef at Nine Ten) and she was very helpful in making recommendations and answering our questions. We both ordered the Three-Course Market Dinner Special, and I got mine with wine pairings. (pics stolen from NineTen website, I didn't know then that I wanted to blog about it!)
I ordered the foie gras (one of the specials). It was my boyfriend's first time having it and we both LOVED IT! (seared foie gras w/fennel salad, cocoa nibb syrup, tangerine froth, coffee oil powder, crostini) It was paired with a sweet wine (which are my favorite), Sauterns from Chateau Graves. I loved the combo.
He ordered the Jamaican jerk pork belly. It was amazing! This was our first time having pork belly, after seeing it on Top Chef quite often. We were not disappointed. (jamaican jerk pork belly, sweet potato puree, baby carrots, swiss chard, plantains, black eyed peas, spicy jellies). W-O-N-nderful!
I ordered the beef short ribs. With a creamy and rich mushroom puree, it was melt-in-your mouth deliciousness. (port wine braised beef short ribs, roasted baby veggies, smoked shiitake mushroom puree) It came with La Cartuja Spanish Red blend. My boyfriend enjoyed it, I am not a huge red drinker.
He ordered the prime "cap" ribeye. Another hit, though not what we were expecting. We thought "steak" would be...well..a steak! It was closer to the ribs in that it was extremely tender and falling apart. We learn every time we go out! The figs were awesome with the meat. (grilled prime "cap" ribeye steak, grilled figs, brocolli, blue cheese potato foam, soubise, red wine reduction)
I, of course, ordered the "half baked" chocolate cake. Wow...yum! Similar to the volcano style cakes at some chain restaurants, but lighter. He ordered the cheese plate, which we shared, and loved! Our waitress gave us some other cheese recommendations to take home since we enjoyed it so much. Dessert was accompanied by a 10yr Tawny Port. Rich and sweet and just right.
We are looking forward to visiting this restaurant again. Maybe get the "Mercy of the Chef" dinner special! That would actually be quite brave of me!
(menus can be seen here)