Saturday, February 27, 2010

PhotoHunt: Daily

An Apple a Day...Taken at the South of the James Market August 2009.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Anokha - Where I Now Go For Indian Cuisine

I had mourned the closing of New India in Lakeside. We were introduced to their great food only to have it disappear. Last week we finally had the opportunity to eat at Anokha. And what a spectacularly delicious place. First of all, when entering the establishment, one would never know that this was the former home of a fast food burrito place. The decor is colorful and sleek. I was even impressed with the women's restroom.

Next, Anokha features a fantastic wine list to pair with its cuisine at decent prices. We ordered a Peltier Station Petit Syrah. Next time we have vowed to pair the food with one of the many whites from Alsace.

We were served plain naan with three different sauces - tamarind-based (sweet and addictive), yogurt-based (not to our liking), and cilantro-mint (very tasty).

To start, we shared Shrimp Madras - Jumbo Shrimp Sautéed in Madras Spice Blend, Served with Pink Peppercorn-Mint Raita. The shrimp were big and meaty. Unfortunately, we did not know that it was topped with toasted coconut. Since I do not like coconut, I was a bit disappointed. If you like coconut, you would really like this dish. My hubby did.

For entrees, my hubby ordered Anokha Special Biryani - Saffron Rice with Shrimp, Scallops, Chicken and Nuts. The serving was huge and tasty. He took half of it home to consume the following day. I liked the fried onions that accompanied the dish. I had the Chicken Saffron - Tandoori Chicken Breast in a Delicately Spiced Saffron Sauce. My dish, while smaller in quantity,  transported me to tastebud heaven. The saffron sauce was magnificent. It was served with plain rice. We also ordered garlic naan to eat with the entrees. Good thing, too. I needed the naan to sop up the extra saffron sauce. Mmmm.

We will definitely return to this place. The food was flavorful, the decor pleasing, and someone took some time in putting together a wine list for the cuisine.

Anokha Unique Cuisine of India on Urbanspoon

PhotoHunt: Cuddly

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Game Plan for Hondo's

On SuperBowl Sunday my hubby and I dined early at Hondo's to take advantage of an incredible deal.

They had sent me a buy one entree, get another entree free. Since they opened the doors at 4:30 PM, we made reservations via Open Table and enjoyed a nice meal before trotting back home to watch the game. On top of that, Sunday is 1/2 price wine night and they let us take advantage of this special as well.

Can you say "WooHoo?"

The interior of the place is a maze of small rooms that can seat regular diners as well as small or large parties. It made for a more intimate atmosphere. And, unlike other steakhouses in the area, Hondo's entrees come with a small salad and choice of side dish.

We treated ourselves to a 2005 Chateauneuf du Pape which was quite pleasant.

To eat, my hubby had Bronzed North Atlantic Salmon - $25.95 Nature's perfect fish. North Atlantic Salmon rubbed with brown sugar and chipotle served with a red raspberry and Merlot reduction and a baked potato. I had Filet Mignon Small (8oz) - $30.95 with garlic mashed potatoes.

While the salad was not really impressive, it did satisfy the small veggie need. Hubby liked the raspberry/Merlot reduction and thought it enhanced the essence of the fish. My steak was very good. It sported herbed melted butter on top and added a subtle flavor to the meat (medium rare, of course).

We then ordered plain cheescake "to go" so we could enjoy dessert while watching the game. The cheescake slices were small and the cream cheese was not totally incorporated into the dessert. I kept getting hunks of cream cheese.

To wrap up - Go on Sunday for 1/2 price wine night. Sign up for email specials and coupons. Enjoy the main dishes. Skip dessert.

Hondos on Urbanspoon

Saturday, February 13, 2010

bonvenu reflections

At the beginning of February, in between snow deluges, we ate at bonvenu.

Gone were the vestiges of The Track decor, including the grass cloth walls (which had given us inspiration for our little office ceiling at home). bonvenu was bright with mod chandeliers that produced fascinating reflections. The female staff also sported great retro print tunics (not so much the male staff).

We began with glasses of sparking. A bit more of an apple bite than I like, but drinkable. The puzzling part was that the menu referred to this bubbly as champagne. While the wine was made in France, it was not produced in Champagne.

We ordered crispy calamari. My hubby thought the breading a bit much. I thought the seafood was very tender - almost melt-in-your-mouth.

We had a bottle of SO Zin which was very tasty.

For dinner, hubby had the Blackened Sea Scallops with celeriac purée, caramelized onion rice & baby bok choy. He really dug the scallops and thought the celeriac a great complement to the meal.

I had Roasted Veal Chop with charred corn, fire roasted peppers & whipped garlic mashed potatoes. The garlic/charred thread tied up this hearty tasty package with a flavorful bow. Each element of the dish picked up essences from each other and echoed back deliciousness.

We felt welcomed and the evening also lent itself to experimenting with reflective pictures...

Bonvenu on Urbanspoon

Subscribe to J. Emerson's Newsletter

If you have not signed up to receive J. Emerson's electronic newsletter, now is the time. The newsletter currently includes an internet only special. This month I got an incredibly sweet deal on a 2004 vintage port.

And they featured a tasting of Pride Mountain offerings last Tuesday. All extremely great wines. And while the Pride Mountain was out of my price range, just the opportunity to taste (for free) and, as Matt puts it, "recalibrate my palate" is golden.

This month they are also featuring 2005 CHATEAU GREYSAC Medoc Rouge (Bordeaux, Franc) for $11.95.

PhotoHunt: Broken

One must break some eggs...

to make something delicious.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Rosy Tangerine Dream

I have fallen passionately in love with Luxardo Maraschino liqueur. We saw this elixir being used for the wonderful bar concoctions at Acacia. I bought a bottle for my hubby for Christmas and we just got around to opening it. First of all, this Italian import smells and tastes more like roses than cherries. An unexpected, yet welcome surprise. And a little splash adds a lot of flavor.

I've been experimenting with different recipes and my spouse insisted that I blog about this one. So here it is:

Rosy Tangerine Dream

6 ounces sparkling wine

2 ounces tangerine juice

Splash of Luxardo Maraschino (about a tablespoon)

Pour the sparkling wine in the glass first, add the Luxardo, and top off with the juice.



Cracked eggs

Leftover roasted potatoes, Italian sausage discovered in the freezer, a shallot, grated Romano cheese, oregano, salt, pepper AND a fairly new non-stick Calphalon pan

Adds up to a frittata


This was my first attempt at a frittata. While I frequently used a non-stick electric skillet, I did not have a non-stick pan for the stove. Until I tried the Calphalon Unison non-stick pan (slide version). So far, I am impressed. And today the pan went from stovetop to broiler and delivered up a scrumptious dish.

For my technique, I consulted Marcella Hazan and her Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking. She never fails me.

PhotoHunt: Average

My average order at Buz and Ned's Barbecue.

Friday, February 05, 2010