Showing posts with label prix fixe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label prix fixe. Show all posts

Friday, November 24, 2017

Visit the Chef's Playground with Leo's Lab at Tico (Boston, MA)

The best meals are created when chefs get to play around and innovate with their ingredients. Chef Leo Asaro at Tico Restaurant in Boston's Back Bay gets to do every once in a while with a special dinner called Leo's Lab, which happen every 2-3 weeks.

Leo's Lab
For Leo's Lab, guests are seated at the lab kitchen counter, so you can see all the action of Chef Leo Asaro preparing everything. There are only eight seats and only one seating for the night, so it's quite an exclusive experience.

Each Leo's Lab dinner comes with five savory courses, a dessert, and a chef's special cocktail - plus a welcome glass of prosecco for $75. Instead of a server, chef Asaro serves and explains each dish to the guests.

I attended the last dinner, which started with some Bay scallops with autumn berry, pine, and smoked oil
Leo's Lab
It was near the end of the season for Nantucket bay scallops, and we savored it paired with tart autumn berry sauce.

"Wrapper's Delight" - vegetables wrapped with jamon serrano and mole
Leo's Lab
The mole took chef Asaro 2-3 days to make and was very rich in flavors. The wrap filling was also accentuated with some rau ram (culantro).


Hearts of Palm "Carbonara", uni and oyster crema, pancetta, pink peppercorn
Leo's Lab

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Mini Tasting Menu at Journeyman (Somerville, Boston, MA)

Journeyman is a small restaurant hidden in Somerville that only serves tasting menu. They're also one of the few (only?) spot in Boston that uses a ticketing system, and prices for the same menu vary depending on the time of your reservation. If you book a normal reservation, the 9-course tasting menu is $95. If you prepay by buying a ticket, the ticket is $85. But if you want to dine at a non-peak time - say, a Wednesday at 9pm, it's cheaper still at $75.

Journeyman
My friend and I wanted to go for cheaper still, and Journeyman also has a deal for diners who come on Wednesday, Thursday, or Sunday evenings after 8:30 pm. During this time, you can get a 4-course meal for $40! We sat at the counter and our meal started with a nice bread service.
Journeyman

Since it's next to Backbar, they also have a daily milk punch menu.
Journeyman

Our first course: Icelandic char, fennel puree, roasted sunchokes, chorizo oil, apricot gel, mizuna green
Journeyman

I'm partial to char ever since I went to Iceland and had a great arctic char at Blue Lagoon. I loved the crispy skin on this char. The flavors come together nicely in this dish and the chorizo oil added just the right amount of kick.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Ladies' Night Deal at Abby Park (Milton, MA)

Mondays are Ladies' First at Abby Park in Milton, where they are offering a 3-course meal for $30 and includes your choice of beer or wine! I thought it was a pretty good deal, with a generous portion of the entree and a good selection of wines and beers on tap. There are 3-5 choices per course, including a vegetarian option.

The appetizer choices include clam chowder, but we decided to be somewhat healthy and opted for the two salads.

Caprese salad (vine ripe tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil, crostini, balsamic glaze)

Abby Park

Caesar salad (Romaine salad, garlic croutons, shaved parmesan, creamy Caesar dressing)
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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Ten Tables (Cambridge)

I finally tried Ten Tables in Cambridge, an outpost of the original in Jamaica Plain. It's a popular place - the cozy, dimly lit restaurant was completely packed and it wasn't even a weekend night. As with most other restaurants, they serve locally sourced ingredients, but instead of a hip, modern direction, they went with the comfortable, neighborhood feel.

We went with the tasting menu instead of ordering a la carte, which is $55 for 4 courses.

We started with a tile fish rillette

Ten Tables

Followed by Oyster with kombu seaweed, apple, vanilla foam
Ten Tables
I liked this surprising dish. I don't normally associate oyster with a creamy broth and vanilla aroma, but after my initial suprise I really enjoyed how the flavors worked together.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Preview: Dine LA Menu at Loteria Grill

by: guest blogger @iam_robot

Ever since Jimmy Shaw opened the first Loteria Grill in 2002, it immediately became one of the most sought after fine Mexican eateries. Not only the food packs bold flavors and fresh ingredients, Shaw’s cooking technique makes you feel as if you were bequeathed with home-cooked feasts. Incorporating long-cooked stews with contrasting flavors of herb or chilies, Shaw is never afraid to offer specialties we rarely see. While the Lengua De Res En Salsa Verde – Braised Beef Tongue in Tomatillo Sauce – has a certain luscious beefiness, the Pollo En Pipian Rojo – Chicken Stewed in spicy pumpkin seed and Chile Guajillo Sauce – is a cohesive dish with interchanging flavors of savory and heat. Or if you’re a thrill seeker, try their Cochinita Pibil – citrus marinated pork slowly roasted in banana leaf- and wash it down with their vast display of Margarita selections.

Last Thursday I had the chance to taste of some of their current Dine LA offerings. Dinner starts out light with offerings such as Crema de Chicarron (Cream of Pork Rind Soup) or Ensalada de Flor de Jamaica (Spinach salad with Grapefruit and highly addictive Hibiscus Vinaigrettte).  But if you’re like me and have a bottomless hunger, you should start with a heady dish like Tostaditas de Atun 2 ways – 2 Mini Tostadas of Tuna Ceviche with Salsa Negra and Pepper Salsa.

Crema de Chicarron


Ensalada de Flor de Jamaica


Tostaditas de Atun 2 ways


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Lunch Prix Fixe at Mario Batali's Del Posto (New York, NY)

One of the things I love about New York is the lunch prix fixes, allowing you to try some of the city's best restaurants for a lot less money. When I went with my mom and my aunt last time, we tried Del Posto's lunch: $49 for three courses (with an option to add pasta for $10). With three of us, we got to try a lot of things!

The lunch started with some complimentary finger sandwiches and Cauliflower soup

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Bread service
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The menu at Del Posto is seasonal, of course, though you might still find some mainstays like this
Vitello Tonnato (olive crostone, caper shoots, lime cells, lemon basil)
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Vitello tonnato is a Piedmontese dish of veal slices served in a creamy tuna sauce.

Cotechino (stewed pistachios, chopped Preboggion - that's just mixed green leafy vegetables)
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Cotechino is a pork sausage, but the distinction is that this pork sausage is typically made by boiling over low heat for a few hours. It gives a softer flavor than many other charcuterie.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Morel Mushrooms at Curtis Stone's Maude (Beverly Hills)

When Maude opened, I asked the same question I ask about other celebrity chefs: "But can Curtis Stone cook?" I went the first time for the artichoke month and the answer was a resounding "Yes, Curtis Stone can cook, after all". Before leaving for Boston, I went back for the morel menu.

If you're not familiar with their concept: Maude serves only a prix fixe menu, which changes every month. Each month's menu is built around a particular ingredient: artichoke, rhubarb, morel mushroom, pea, and so on. The prices vary, since morel is obviously more expensive than peas.

For starters, Popcorn, Australian winter truffle, and shaved morels

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Popcorn

I loved the next course: Risotto, citrus butter, chicken-stuffed morel
Risotto
I wish I had a bigger bowl of this risotto, but I knew there are many more to come. The light zest of the citrus butter made each bite of the rich risotto feel fresh and new.

Rock Kanpachi crudo with pickled morels, avocado mousse, herbs, passion fruit snow
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I was wondering how they would pair something as earthy as morel with a delicate kanpachi and passion fruit, but pickling it is ingenious decision.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Lobster Deal for Sunday Supper at Vertical Wine Bistro (Pasadena)

Sundays in Pasadena are going to get exciting with Vertical Wine Bistro's newly launched Sunday Suppers! The new Sunday Supper menu, which started this past Sunday, is $25 and includes a whole steamed Maine lobster, among other items. I'm not kidding and it's quite a deal!

The supper starts with an Iceberg Wedge salad with ranch dressing

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Crisp iceberg lettuce to get things going ...

Then, the main attraction: a whole steamed Maine lobster. One of the claws had been used for the lobster and shrimp roll. They come with a cup of lobster bisque and corn on the cob.
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Monday, January 20, 2014

Vegan Sunday Suppers and Carnivorous Comforts at Willie Jane (Venice, CA)

Los Angeles vegans rejoice, Willie Jane has started a 3-course Meatless Sunday Suppers for $26 pp. Chef Govind Armstrong does have vegetables and herbs growing at the urban farm next door, Cook's Garden, so you can imagine how delicious and fresh his vegetables will be.

I tried out the vegan supper one night, and dinner started with a Hearts of Palm and Vegetable "Crab" Cake, miso remoulade, edamame hummus

Vegan "Crab" Cake

This was vegan? Chef Armstrong got the flavors and textures of crab cakes right on point with the hearts of palm. I couldn't even tell it was vegan, and it was in fact better than most crab cakes I've had!

Many people love Govind Armstrong's shrimp and grits. At least for the entree, you can try his grits. The entree is a plate of Anson Mills grits with romanesco cauliflower, "chorizo" aioli, cabbage chip
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It's hearty full of flavor - you won't be missing the meat with the mushrooms around in this dish.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Bibigo Celebrates Hwangap Tradition With Prix-Fixe Deal

Hwangap (or hwangab) is a 60th birthday celebration in Korea. Why 60? Because it apparently signifies accomplishing a "big circle" and coincides with the lunar calendar's 60 year cycle. In Korea, the 60th birthday celebration is usually thrown by the children of the one turning 60. Well, Bibigo's parent company, CJ Foods, just turned 60 so the "child", Bibigo, is throwing the celebration! I thought that was kind of cute.

Bibigo is celebrating by offering a three course prix fixe menu (the first two courses include two dishes each, though) for $45 per two people, which also includes a soju tasting. The menu will be available until Saturday, November 30th.

The first course includes two spicy pork steamed buns and a plate of brussels sprouts.
The steamed buns contain spicy pork, pickled radish and cucumber, lettuce, hoisin teriyaki on Chinese bao.

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With this item I usually worry about the buns themselves being too dense or dry but the ones here were nice and fluffy.
The brussels sprouts are served with zucchini, cloves of garlic, zucchini, chili pepper and dried prunes.
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Of course, the main course has to have Hot stone bibimbap (your choice of protein and type of rice)
Bibimbap

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Mo-Chica's $27 Tuesday OG Tasting Menu

When Mo-Chica was just a stall at the Mercado La Paloma, Ricardo Zarate would do special tasting menus on Tuesdays. They've no revived the Tuesday tastings at the downtown Mo-Chica. The "OG Tasting Menu" offers 5 courses for just $27! A good deal, right?

The menu changes but when I went the 5 courses started with an Heirloom tomato salad, crispy red quinoa, fresh mozzarella, huacatay pesto

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A fun Peruvian twist on the cliche tomato mozzarella with pesto

The next course is a Ceviche trio:
tuna sashimi, yuzu miso, green shiso, mountain yam
Diver scallop, aji amarillo aioli, wasabi, tobiko
Hamachi, jalapeno ponzu, nori lettuce, garlic crisp
ceviche trio
I'm glad they included a ceviche course in the tasting menu, because what's a visit to Mo Chica without some? Because it was more unusual to find, my favorite here was the scallop. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Disappointing Miami Spice Lunch at Restaurant Michael Schwartz

I stumbled into a great Miami Spice deal of a dinner at Tongue and Cheek so I gave it another go at Restaurant Michael Schwartz, his newest venture. The restaurant is at The Raleigh Hotel, with tables scattered outside near the pool.

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When going to a restaurant week (or month, in this case) prix fixe deal, I find that first you always have to look at the menu. But apparently, just finding a menu that sounds good isn't enough. The lunch menu at Restaurant Michael Schwartz sounds great. In fact, it sounds amazing, for a $23 3-course lunch. Lobster salad, seafood stew, beef carpaccio. 

I chose the Lobster salad, toasted brioche, frisee for my first course. 
My "lobster salad" came and it was a bit of lobster on a tiny brioche, with a spattering of frisée on the side. What was this, an amuse bouche? 
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Taste-wise, it was really good. But still ... Don't get me wrong, I wasn't expecting tons of lobster at this price, but a couple pieces on top of a tiny brioche? Can't I at least get more of the "salad" part? A proper appetizer size salad with a bit of lobster would make me more satisfied! Instead of a lobster salad they should've put "tiny lobster roll".

Carina's appetizer was a better deal with a generous portion of Grass fed beef carpaccio, parmesan, preserved lemon, capers, arugula.
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Friday, August 2, 2013

$45 4-Course Menu at Scarpetta, Every Day

Were you excited about Scarpetta's $45 DineLA menu? Are you bummed you missed it? If you answer yes to either of those, you might want to know that Scarpetta's had a $45 4-course prix fixe menu for a while now and is continuing it after DineLA.


I'll say it again: you can get a 4 course meal at Scarpetta for $45 any day.

All meals start with a bread basket that many consider to be the best in LA. Do try the Stromboli (they have a vegetarian version with broccolini which is equally delicious).
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Now, on to the prix fixe menu. There are two options for each course, which will change seasonally. When I went last month the first course option included:
Tuscan Kale, red quinoa, medjool dates, and pecorino romano
Kale
It's hard to beat a well done kale salad, and this is definitely one of them.

The other options is a Braised Short Rib of Beef, vegetable, and farro risotto
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It's certainly a heavier appetizer, but they were both good and will satisfy whichever mood you're in.

The second course is the pasta, or "Paste":
Spinach Pappardelle, housemade duck sausage ragu, morel mushrooms, and ramps
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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Wood and Vine (Hollywood, CA): Monday Market Dinners and ChickenandWaffles

Fact: Wood and Vine has one of the best al fresco dining area in Hollywood. Insist on a table here as long as the nights aren't too cold. It's a quiet escape from the craziness of Hollywood Blvd.

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When Wood and Vine first opened, the executive chef Gavin Mills had to figure out how to work with the tiny kitchen and now he's got it down. The kitchen is so small it has no walk-in fridge! But that just means Chef Gavin goes to the market every morning for fresh ingredients.
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At a recent dinner, I started my night with a Chai Gold Rush (chai and vanilla infused bourbon, lemon, honey, $12). This was a great cocktail, probably my favorite of the night! It's not overwhelmingly "chai"-like, just notes of spices. I hope they keep this one on the menu for a while!

Mondays are good to give Wood and Vine a try with their Monday Market Prix Fixe menu, $18 for 3 courses. There were three of us dining, so we tried one of the prix fixe menu while ordering other items to try.

watermelon
The first course was a Melon consomme with basil.
This was a rather interesting first course. It was cold (good for the summer) but since it's also sweet, it was more like drinking melon juice rather than a consomme.

The entree that night was Shrimp and Grips with Anson Mills grits and house andouille sausage
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The current menu has plenty of Southern items (as you'll see more below, chicken and waffles being one) and he's also doing a Southern Sunday suppers. I lived in South Carolina for high school and developed a liking to grits. I liked the shrimp and grits here, especially the texture of the grits and the addition of the housemade sausage.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Thursday Night Family Dinners at Huckleberry Cafe (Santa Monica, CA)

Huckleberry is always crowded during breakfast and brunch, but not many know about their dinners. Huckleberry usually opens until 8pm on weekdays, but on Thursdays they stay open later serving a family style prix fixe dinners!

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The Thursday night dinners are $30 per person (half price for kids 12 and under) and the menu changes every week. I went on August 30th and had a feast!

Before the "courses", each table got some House Marinated Olives (marinated in orange juice, garlic, thyme, rosemary, olive oil)
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The orange juice was a nice touch.

This wasn't part of the menu, but we also had some guacamole spread on baguette
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I usually also don't pay attention to the beer and wine list here, but in the future I shall. We tasted some good wines that night, starting with a 2011 Red Car, Rose of Pinot Noir, Bybee Vineyard, Sonoma Coast.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

DineLA 2011: Lunch at Napa Valley Grille

The first summer DineLA Restaurant Week started earlier this week, so I thought I'd do a quick post on one of my Dine LA visits from last year. I had lunch at Napa Valley Grille last Fall, and the $22 per person for three courses was a great deal! (The format this year unfortunately does not have dessert for lunch. It is $20 for two courses. Not sure why, I want my desserts!)


I used to go to Napa Valley Grille a lot when I worked in Westwood, but since then I haven't gone as much. The lunch was a pleasant reminder of Napa Valley Grille's good food and generous portions!

Chopped Kale Salad, toasted almonds, golden raisin, lemon parmesan vinaigrette

Very fresh and light! I don't like salads with too much dressing, but this one had a nice light dressing and a lot of the flavors came from the almonds and raisins.

Tahitian Squash Soup, pomegranate syrup, pistachio pesto
The entrees:
Marinated Ahi Tuna Salad, heirloom cherry tomatoes, dry cured olives, anchovy vinaigrette, country croutons
This lighter option still had plenty of tuna to fill you up for the rest of the day.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Pre-Theatre Prix Fixe at Boulud Sud (New York, NY)

Early in the evening, Daniel Boulud's new Mediterranean restaurant, Boulud Sud, has a pre-theatre prix fixe menu, three courses for $55. Since I was going to see War Horse and the restaurant was just a stone's throw away from the Lincoln Center, I thought it would be a perfect time to check it out.

The restaurant was pretty full when we got there, but it was still quiet enough to hold a conversation.

Bread
The "bread", of course, was Mediterranean. 
For my first course, I ordered the Octopus a la plancha with marcona almonds, arugula, Jerez vinegar
Octopus
I liked how the subtle accompaniments showcase the flavors of the octopus itself, which also had a great texture.

My companion ordered the House made lamb kibbeh, swiss chard, feta, pine nuts
Lamb Kibbeh
It was not what he expected, apparently. It was good but I thought it was a little dry and we both preferred the octopus.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Junoon, a Michelin-starred Indian? (New York)

An Indian restaurant with a Michelin star? I couldn't really imagine it with the Indian places in LA, but I'm sure London would have plenty great restaurants and it seems like NYC is trying to catch up with Chef Vikas Khanna's Junoon.

Lunch was a great opportunity to dip our feet into Junoon, with their $24 deal for 3 course prix-fixe (limited menu) or $38 for 3 course a la carte prix-fixe (can order from the entire menu). The spacious and lavish decor is certainly Michelin-star worthy.

I was curious about the dishes on the regular menu, so I had the a la carte prix fixe while my companions ordered the $24 deal. For the appetizer, I went with the Adraki Bater (quail marinated in cumin, ginger juice, and lime juice)

Adraki Bater
These tandoori quail may be my favorite dish that we tried. It was both interesting and very flavorful and moist.

DestinationEats ordered the Piri Piri Shrimp in a Goan chili sauce with avocado and jicama salad
PiriPiri Shrimp
Not as spicy as Indian food can be but packed with spices nonetheless, and the shrimp were well cooked.

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