Monday, November 12, 2012

My Culinary Weekend - Most of Them Are

This was a diverse and fun-filled weekend. It all started on Friday night with a meal at Maggiano's. It has been several years since my last visit to this "fine" establishment and it will be several more until I return. 

The hostess seemed absolutely absentminded, but in a very weird way. You really couldn't tell what, if anything, she was thinking. You definitely couldn't tell what she was saying as she did not really communicate. She was ready to seat us, but then didn't. Asked us to wait, but then sat us immediately. Anyway. I was confused. Hack, maybe it's me, not her? 

So we were seated in a very busy dinning room. Initially smack down in the middle of the walk path, but I just couldn't let that happen. So we got a quieter table to the side. Our waiter, Alonzo was very nice. He tried to take care of us in every way he could and that effort was very much appreciated. He even comped my Orzo Soup, since after the first spoon full of this thick, liquid-less, beyond salty concoction I threw up my hands and exclaimed  "Done!" No one heard me. Let's move on, shall we?

I won't go into too much detail, but here is what you need to know. The term al dente has never been heard by this restaurant.  The lobster was so overcooked I don't even know enough synonyms for the word rubbery to describe it. The sauces were runny and the meal was sub par even by Maggiano's standards. Couple of silver linings was yet again our waiter and the roast pear bruschetta. Delish!

Don't ask me how, but I ended up at the Colonial Wine Bar for a glass of 2010 Clos Du Tue Boeuf “La Butte” with a couple of friends. One of whom is an avid dessert lover. So of course he ordered a flour-less chocolate cake, which was described to be served with macerated raspberries and alike coolie. Everything took forever, but that's not the interesting part. We got our, or rather, his dessert. Not as advertised! From the first glance I could tell that it was so overdone it was going to taste like a brownie, but I was wrong! It tasted like a burnt brownie and so, we sent it back. I will say that the waitress, who seemed a tad lost for most of the service, was quite nice. She even called the manger, or perhaps it was the owner, who apologized as well. At the time were going to leave, we were brought out another dessert, but we simply could not indulge in it. Our sights were set on something greater! 

You see, my dessert driven friend, who may have been pregnant if it wasn't for the fact the he is male, wanted a Green Tea Crème brûlée at Kura Sushi. 

We arrived quite late, just as they were winding down and closing, but they still gladly served us the dessert. In the spirit of continuing the evening's debauchery we also ordered a hot sake and a green tea ice cream. Oh my god!!!! What is wrong with me?..

Anyway, the Crème brûlée was delightful. Perfectly creamy and not too sweet. It had just the right amount of sugar on top and sweetness inside. I am not sure why, but there was also a delightful smokey flavor to it. I am definitely a fan and will return. Thankfully, this concluded my Friday night. 

On Saturday, just after a short workout, I proceeded with my day. Without going into too much details I ended up at the Artisan in Downtown for a cappuccino. Alas my luck preceded me. First, the order was forgotten, then they were out of milk, then something else happened. Or not. I forget. The point is that it has been forever since I was able to just go to place and not have something go wrong. 

This is why for dinner I decided to cook my own meal. Nothing fancy, pan seared pork loin medallions, creamy polenta infused with thyme, asparagus and a butter garlic sauce with an apple chutney.  Ahh... Satisfaction. The trick is to cook the pork just right. More about that in a later post. 

That evening I ended up on Third Street Promenade. Not hungry, but accompanying a couple friends to Hillstone to satisfy their steak craving. I didn't get a steak, but a few sushi pieces, a bowl of chili and a couple of spoons of dessert later I was definitely full. One thing that's great about this place is consistency. Good food, good service and quite enjoyable atmosphere. Yes, you do have to wait for almost an hour if you come during rush hour, but after a quick walk on the promenade and a few frivolous purchases later it's okay. This just makes you hungrier. So speaking of hunger, get the pressed sushi. Absolutely delightful. Another delight is the chili, most likely would have been better with a cheese toast instead of tortilla chips, but my calorie count was already way up there. The chili had some nice pieces of beef, not ground, but actual pieces as well as being forward with the spice. Maybe a three alarm? Personally, I like spicy food. 

The dessert duo was an Apple Cobbler and a Hot Fudge. Both perfect. Just perfect. I have nothing to complain about. Hack, I'll take it a step further and tell you the the coffee, which is brewed per person per order, was so great that I did not have a drop of alcohol. Wow! Right? 

So now, it's Sunday afternoon and I am not sure what the evening will bring, but I am open to some new adventures. 

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