Tag Archives: Filet Mignon

Winter Restaurant Week 2014

Winter Restaurant Week has now passed, but here is a  sampling of restaurants I tried this time around. Let’s begin with lunches…

City Lobster

City Lobster

Appetizer: Lettuce wedge salad, complete with cucumbers, tomatoes, crispy onions, bacon, and bleu cheese. Even though I’m not a huge fan of ice berg lettuce, I really liked the toppings.
Main:
Fish and Chips were great. The cod was extremely flaky and I would have liked slightly more crispy but the French fries were spot on.
Dessert:
Profiteroles (large cream puffs) with coffee ice cream and chocolate on top. This was delectable. The coffee ice cream inside complements the full sweet chocolate flavor.
Service: Good.
Location:
City Lobster
121 W 49 St
New York, NY

Craftbar

Craftbar

Appetizer: The warm pecorino fondue w/ acacia honey, hazelnuts & pepperoncini, as well as 4 long pieces of crostini, was out of this world amazing— I love the creamy taste of the thick pecorino cheese. The honey and pine nuts worked well with the cheese, while the crunchy crostinis were the perfect accompaniment.
Main:
Lumache Pasta Bolognese. The pasta was cooked al dente and the ragu with the sauce worked together beautifully. I would have liked a little more cheese on it, but overall was a solid choice.
Dessert:
Chocolate peanut butter pie with honey roasted peanuts was yummy. It was light, and had chocolate mousse as well as slight peanut butter flavor. The honey roasted peanuts added a layer of deliciousness.
Service: Very competent and friendly wait staff.
Location:
Craftbar
900 Broadway
New York, NY

Now, onto the dinners!

Rayuela

Rayuela

Starter: Cheesy bread was amazing. We were only given one piece, but I definitely could have had many more.
Appetizer: Garlic shrimp with foccacia bread. The garlic shrimp was extremely flavorful but had some specks of hot pepper so was a bit spicy. The foccacia bread was disappointing, as it seemed to be just regular bread.
Main: Salmon with butternut squash and brussel sprouts was good. The sauce was enjoyable and I liked the crispness of the salmon.
Dessert: Bread pudding with caramel sauce and bananas were okay. It wasn’t bread pudding in the traditional sense, but the pieces were still quite moist and I liked the sauce.
Service: Pretty good
Location:
Rayuela
165 Alllen St
New York, NY

L'Ecole

L’Ecole

Appetizer: Spinach fettuccine with braised duck leg ragu made with tomato jam and carrots. This was well done- Wonderful pasta with plenty of meat.
Main: Braised pork osso buco with risotto Milanese and gremolata was mouthwateringly good. The risotto had a robust flavor and the pork osso buco was perfectly tender and came off the bone easily.
Dessert: Chocolate with apple crisp was light and delightful.
Service: Attentive and thoughtful
Location:
L’Ecole
462 Broadway
New York, NY

Brasserie 8 1/2

Brasserie 8 1/2

Amuse-bouche: Chestnut soup had a nice flavor to it.
Appetizer: Consommé de Boeuf – Short Rib Consommé, Ravioli, Parsnips, Black Truffles
Side: French fries were so good, with just the right amount of crunch.
Main: Filet Mignon – Petit Filet, Potato Croquettes, Espelette Pepper Bearnaise
At first, my filet mignon did not come with the potato croquettes but they made up for it by giving me an extra one. The petit filet itself was delicious enough on its own… Perfectly tender, flavorful, but would have liked more of the sauce. The potato croquettes were decent, but I preferred the French fries.
Dessert: I was able to try both.

The tarte au citron (Meyer Lemon Tart) was pretty good. There was a strong lemon flavor and it was both tangy and sweet. I enjoyed the crust, however did not discern the taste of thyme scented honey and the crème fraiche was tasteless.

Macaron – Vanilla Macaron, Valhrona Chocolate Ganache, Hazelnut Ice Cream
I enjoyed the macaron more. The French Macaron was large, dusted with powdered sugar and had the perfect consistency and chewy texture. The Valhrona chocolate ganache was rich, creamy, delicious. The hazelnut ice cream was very tasty as well.

Service: Not the best and had a long wait time in receiving our meals. We received a plate of mini treats to make up for it: Sea salt caramel macarons, raspberry cookies, biscotti and mini chocolate chip cookies. All of the sweet treats were wonderful, especially the macaron and chocolate chip cookie.
Location:
Brasserie 8 1/2
9 West 57 St
New York, NY

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Benihana Birthday Dinner

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I received a $30 gift certificate for Benihana for my birthday through joining The Chef’s Table (which is free) and had a lovely dinner at the Benihana in Monterey, California. We were seated with another group, which is usually the case at Benihana if it is busy, so it was a little cramped but still enjoyable.  I selected the Samurai Treat entree meal. We started off with a clear mushroom soup, which had a nice light flavor to it, as well as some salad.

Then, since we knew one of the waitresses, she brought over two different plates of sushi: Shrimp tempura with avocado and California roll. The shrimp tempura roll were little bites of yummyness- Slightly crunchy, drizzled with that wonderful brown sauce and great flavor. The California roll was also good, but the shrimp tempura was better.

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After that, our chef, Joshua came out. He was both skilled and personable. He gave quite a show, juggling the utensils and below he is creating the chicken fried rice right in front of our eyes! He shaped the fried rice into a heart and started making it look like it was moving, while flicking the lights on and off. That was pretty awesome. The fried rice was very tasty, with slightly browned chicken, along with onion and other vegetables. There was great flavor and everything combined together wonderfully.

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Then, the chef started on the meal, cooking the zucchini, onion, mushroom and shrimp. He cooked everything with butter and used a couple of different sauces. He served the shrimp first – There were two different types. One was colossal shrimp grilled with lemon and butter and the other was a smaller size shrimp that tasted just as good. The shrimp was juicy, succulent and very flavorful. As for the vegetables, he stacked up the onions to look like a volcano and poured water over it so that it looked like it was erupting. The vegetables tasted fresh with a soft texture.

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The filet mignon, grilled to perfection, completed the meal. It was melt in your mouth tender, rich with flavor and full of deliciousness! I also really liked the teriyaki beef julienne. The teriyaki sauce was divine- The right combination of sweet and salty, and the beef was also incredibly tender. And I loved the sauce so much that I would’ve loved it to coat the filet mignon!

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Our meals came with ice cream, so I chose rainbow sherbet which was a beautiful bright pink and came with a cute little candle. The sherbet was okay, but a little too sweet. I also got to try the green tea ice cream, which was lovely and light. The staff at Benihana did their traditional birthday routine: Singing Happy Birthday in Japanese while drumming. then leading the Happy Birthday song in English.

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This was a wonderful meal…. Quite the visionary and culinary experience!

 

Benihana
136 Olivier St + NYC Midtown location
Monterey, CA
Benihana

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Restaurant Week at Bobby Van’s Steakhouse

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Summer Restaurant Week is in full swing! Bobby Van’s Steakhouse is a classic restaurant in the Financial District that a friend and I went for Restaurant Week dinner. We were seated promptly and given an assortment of bread and multi-grain cracker that was pretty tasty.

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I had the Steakwedge Salad, which actually wasn’t very healthy, but was definitely quite good.. A wedge of lettuce, bacon and fried onion with Ranch dressing (too much of this) and a sprinkling of black pepper.

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The entree was Filet Mignon with creamed spinach and french fries. My Filet Mignon came butterflied because I wanted it well done, and it was delicious… Juicy, full of flavor, tender! The creamed spinach was too creamy for me and had a sort of strange taste to it. The fries were decent. Even though I normally prefer skinny fries, I liked the crispness and flavor of these ones.

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I tried tartufo for dessert, which is an Italian specialty of chocolate and vanilla ice cream covered in a chocolate shell, with a cherry in the middle. This was delightful… Not too sweet, and the combination of the chocolate with wonderful ice cream & cherry worked really well together. Well worth the extra $2.

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The service was quite good, until it came time to receive our bill- took awhile to get it. Otherwise, well done.

 

Location: 25 Broad St

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Hotel Abrego Dining

Hotel Abrego

Hotel Abrego

Recently, I had the pleasure of enjoying a beautiful meal at the not-yet officially opened restaurant at Hotel Abrego in Monterey, California. The Hotel Abrego lobby and dining area is warm, inviting and cozy, complete with brown accents, a stone fireplace and lovely lighting.

The chef, Marc Jones, personally came out to introduce himself and present us with the menu. He was personable, knowledgeable about the food he prepares and concerned with keeping everything sustainable. The menu itself didn’t have a ton of choices, but that didn’t bother me as it normally would, because all the choices sounded so delicious! For an appetizer, we had salad which came with grapes, tomato, fresh lettuce, Parmesan and pepper with a light vinaigrette.  It was tasty and I enjoyed the added sweet flavor of the grapes, combined with savory.

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Salad

I also loved the honey bread which came with the meal. It was perfectly crisp, fresh and warm from the oven, a delightful mix of sweet and a tiny bit of salty. It was something different, but delicious. I couldn’t get enough of these little morsels!

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Honey Bread

We tried 2 different main courses. The first being pan fried Alaskan sand dabs, accented with grilled squash on the sides and mashed potato below. The sand dabs were fried in butter and topped with olive oil. I enjoyed the crispy well done texture of the sand dabs, as well as the yummy flavor. The mashed potato was superb, perfectly creamy and smooth, and seasoned well.

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Pan-Fried Sand Dabs

The other dish was bacon-wrapped shrimp with filet mignon with risotto and mushroom sauce. The bacon worked well with the shrimp, and the risotto had a great appetizing flavor to it, but I think my favorite was the filet mignon. The filet was amazing- Tender, like butter and quite juicy, full of deliciousness.

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Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp, Filet Mignon, Risotto

I will have to come back to try the desserts, calamari appetizer and filet of sole, cooked in parchment paper, with a bounty of in season vegetables.

 

Location:  755 Abrego Street in Monterey, CA

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