Sunday, January 2, 2011

New York- Mark Forgione (reposted from beauty blog)

If you watch Food Network's The Next Iron Chef you will know this chef and this restaurant! Marc Forgione was the winner of The Next Iron Chef this season! Throughout the whole show everything thing he cooked looked so good (he didn't look too bad himself ;)! I was planing on going to NY and was SO excited when I remembered his restaurant was there! 

We had reservations for 10:15. We arrived on time at Restaurant Marc Forgione and they still had people at our table. We went to the bar to grab a drink while we waited.

His- Red Wine
Hers- Sparkling Wine

After we got our drinks we were escorted to our table. After our server shared some of the specials of the night we looked through the menu full of yummy food! We decided to partake in the "tasting menu". Words or pictures can't describe how good everything was, but I'll try anyways! To be honest, I wish I took notes on what I was eating! 

Left- A bite of a potato in the best cream sauce ever. It tasted like a baked potato but BETTER.
Middle- Butternut squash soup. I didn't think I would like it, but the flavor was so sweet and great!
Right- Celery root puree. WOW! I've never had celery root before but I am definitely a fan now!
Very buttered bread with extra caramelized onion butter.

Left- A palate cleanser. It was some sort of herb you rolled on your tongue that made it tingly.
Middle- Avocado mousse and hiramasa, a preview of the next dish.
Right- The BEST potato chip I've had in my life!

Hiramasa tartar. DELICIOUS. It also cleared my sinuses with the wasabi flavor!

Raw scallops with some sort of oil/lemon sauce. 

Raw oyster with BBQ, cheeses, porchetta powder, lime, and a shot of beer. HEAVEN.

The pasta dish. Stuffed pasta with assorted mushrooms (black truffles included), pouched egg, and the best chicken broth. I could not get enough of this!!

Baby halibut, cauliflower puree (my favorite part, it was just soo goood), with a roasted hazelnut and capers sauce. The bones and tail are deep fried which made them edible! The tail had a very smokey flavor but the bones were a little too boney for me (literally!).

Duck with an amazing emulsion of some sort, brussel sprouts, and sweet potato. I'm not a duck fan but this was so good! It tasted like a prime rib!

Aged potato, ribeye, mushrooms, kale, and ginger ketchup. Ginger ketchup should be sold in store nationwide, just saying.

Apple cider sorbet. A nice little light treat before the REAL DESSERTS!

 Peanut butter cake with marshmallow whipped cream and ice cream. By this time I could barely eat anymore but I had to have a bite of everything!

Hot chocolate ice cream sundae with a churro like bite. GENIUS. Hot chocolate on top an ice sundae?! Pure genius I say.

After our meal (actually I think meal is an under statement!) the chef himself, Marc Forgione, came to greet us! He was so nice and just so awesome! We all chatted a bit and asked him about life after The Next Iron Chef and then we got a picture!

Matt, Marc Forgione, Me
Around 1:10 am we left the restaurant full and satisfied! It was a very awesome experience and I can not wait to go back to New York just to go there again!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Pho at Xe Lua Vietnamese Restaurant- Chinatown, New York

Another restaurant we visited in Chinatown, New York was Xe Lua Vietnamese Restaurant. Pho for 5 bucks?! How could we go wrong?!


Iced Vietnamese coffee
Matt's drink of choice in the 30 degree weather.

Hot Vietnamese coffee.
So good and strong!

Pho with garnishes.

Pho with their very distinct green chopsticks.
 The food came out fat and hot! It wasn't the BEST pho we've had before. The beef was a little chewy, BUT for 5 bucks a bowl, we were not complaining!

After we ate we looked around at some of the asian markets. We thought this was so interesting.. bins FULL of various dried seafood..

Dried seafood.
We can't wait to go back to find more interesting foods to eat and try!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Iron Chef Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill

Another restaurant we were excited to visit in New York was another Iron Chef's restaurant. Bobby Flay is a very well known chef on Food Network with many shows. We made reservations for Mesa Grill for 7:00 pm but changed them to 6:00 pm since we wanted to catch an earlier train back to our hotel. 

Our server was very friendly and welcoming. She recommended many drinks and appetizers to start off with. 

Prickly Pear Martini
A pretty pink drink that our server recommended.

Assorted breads including a corn muffin.
Nothing special about the bread. The corn muffin was a little dry and cold though.

Cornmeal oysters.
We kind of disappointed about this. We didn't know the actual oyster was going to be fried. The sauce underneath was kind of bland and really had no flavor. We would have rather had a plain raw oyster with lemon.

Venison with a pumpkin tamale.
This was Matt's dish. Even though it looked pretty it wasn't as good as it looked. The venison was a little too tough and the pumpkin tamale was just too sweet. Not one of the favorite dishes during our NY trip by far.

Wild striped bass with clams and a clam chowder sauce.
This was my dish. It was okay but I really was expecting more. The fish was a little dry and tough. My favorite thing on the plate was the clam chowder sauce which was on the bottom.

In the end we really weren't that impressed by Mesa Grill. The food was okay but not for the price tag. I don't think this will be a spot on our next trip. Even though the food wasn't that great the service (hostess and server) was awesome. They had a very friendly and knowledgeable staff!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Golden Unicorn Dim Sum- Chinatown, New York

Golden Unicorn Dim Sum is not like any Dim Sum place in Tampa! When we first walked in a friendly hostess yelled across the room, "how many? and do you want to share a table?" A little confused we replied with, "2 and sure". We were brought to a table with four chairs. Two chairs where on one side and two where on the other. Unfortunately we never go to experience the sharing of tables :( We thought it was very interesting though.

Hot tea, something with shrimp in it, and steamed buns.
Some sort of sweet bean paste.

Fried something with shrimp in it.. DELICIOUS!

NO IDEA what this was. I think it was some sort of taro mixed with meat something? Matt liked it. I thought it was "aiiiight." 

Sticky rice.

The BEST sticky rice EVER. Stuffed with dried shrimp, chicken, and sausage.

Chinese broccoli with roasted garlic and oyster sauce. 
 The environment was very casual and the noise level was louder than any one we've been to before. It wasn't loud in a bad way though, it just seemed like the restaurant was a place for energetic happy people! The Golden Unicorn in Chinatown, New York was a great place to start off our New York mini vacation!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Homemade Peanut Butter

Matt was making lunch for his kids and one of the items included celery with peanut butter. I noticed we didn't have much left but after watching his kids eat them, I still really wanted some. I looked in our cabinets to see if we had any hidden jars but all I found was a bag of peanuts. Then BAM, the idea to make peanut butter had formed! Luckily, making peanut butter did not call for many ingredients (we ha had not gone grocery shopping yet)!

Peanuts- from a can or in the shell
Smart Balance Oil (peanut oil is ideal)


Put peanuts (unshelled) in a food processor. Blend for a couple of minutes. Add a little bit of honey and a little bit of oil.

Keep on blending. Add honey and oil to you liking for taste and texture. It might not seem like its getting anywhere but you have to mix for awhile to get this texture and consistency.

Scoop it out and enjoy!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Cheeseburger Wontons

We had some wonton wrappers left and felt like experimenting! Good thing for us, they turned out delicious! 


Wonton Wrappers
Ground Beef
Oil (for frying)

Brown ground beef. Drain and put in a bowl.

Add your favorite cheeseburger condiments.

 Mix together, then add cheese. Mix some more.

Place a small spoonful of the meat mixture on the wonton wrapper.

Rim the wonton with water and fold in half. Make sure you press the ends tightly.

In a pot, add enough oil to cover the wontons. Place 3-4 at a time. They are reasy when they turn a light brown.

This is a great recipe for a snack or appetizers! The taste of a cheeseburger in a bite size crispy shell!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Cream Cheese Dip with Radish and Green Olives

Here is a real simple recipe for a yummy and quick dip. 

Whipped Cream Cheese 
Green Olives


Mince radishes and olives. I have a mini food processor that I used. I bought this thing on a whim and it actually comes in handy more times than I thought it would.

Do the same with the olives. We used these ones stuffed with pimiento. 

After they are minced, mix in the cream cheese with a little bit of chopped up dill!

Spread on crackers for a filling snack or spread on cucumber slices for a healthy alternative!