Browsing: Food & Travel

Inland New Orleans

September2

We love  New Orleans.  The city, especially the French Quarter is a fascinating place to stay and the eating adventures are unequalled.  So when we were invited to a New Orleans themed party recently, thrown by CN to celebrate the success of the Canadian Women’s Open, we were thrilled to attend.

Upon arrival at a banquet room at the Delta Hotel, we were escorted down a cavern filled with card readers and fortune tellers.    The next stop was to dress up in beads and boas to further set the tone of the evening.  Overhead were persons “of the evening” calling out to us and throwing more beads.  From there we girded up with a cocktail called a  Hurricane, served in impressively tall glasses (but not quite so tall as the ones we were permitted to roam Bourban Street with).

There were duplicates of restaurant fronts reconstructed around the room with cafe tables set out as if out on the patio.  We choose a high bar table by a fountain.  From there we took turns going back and forth with samplings for each other.  There were little brown bags of chips and breaded pork along with sliders and sausages at one;  chicken skewers, jambalaya and cajun shrimp served in a jester’s chalice at another.  Fried banana peppers added some firey pops and BBQ meatballs and ribs made for deliciously messy eating.  For us though, the highlights were the prawn poh-boys, corn bread in a savoury broth, fried bananas in spiced rum sauce and bread pudding with Carmel sauce.  Alas, no oysters on the half shell…..

Saxophone and horn players wound through the crowd and on stage was a band flown in from Louisiana.  It was hard to believe that we were still in Winnipeg when we left the hotel that evening and drove up to the cottage.

Kath’s quote:  “New Orleans food is as delicious as the less criminal forms of sin.”~ Mark Twain

Celebrating Life with Food- Part 2

August30

This year’s theme was Italian and LB arrived in her Italian made shades, shoes and hip hugging skirt.  M came as the barefoot contessa (bare feet are in evidence in the corner of this pic).  I wore a beach cover up that I bought on the beach in Positano.

As we waited for everyone to assemble we had a selection of cheese and Italian meats from De Luca’s.  The next course was a Caprese salad made from tomatoes and basil from LB’s garden.

I was on deck for the pasta course.  I was taught this recipe by my friend Concheta in her kitchen in Sicily.  We asked her to feed us authentic Sicilian recipes but her family there chided her for cooking “peasant” food for us-we were delighted!

Next step was preparing the veggies as D put the Swordfish Siciliana into bake.

M&R prepared the salad course.  A refreshing and colourful salad of fennel and apple.  The leftovers were equally tasty.

By this time my memory of the evening becomes a little clouded but I do know that we moved out to a large table that I had set up in the backyard.  Limoncell0, fresh figs and many kinds of grapes accompanied what was teasingly called hamburger dessert because they were little amaretti cookie sandwiches filled with a sweetened mascapone that resemble little burgers.

I’ve run out of space to include recipes here.  I’ll do so in part 3.  The hilarity continued to the extent that we forgot to put out the intended espressos and anise candies.  The evening was over way too soon…until next summer, my friends.

Kath’s quote: “We dare not trust our wit for making our house pleasant to our friends, so we buy ice cream.”-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ivy-Saskatoon

August27

As I write this snapshot of our time at The Ivy Dining Room and Lounge, I am reflecting upon all the reasons that people gather together to dine (besides the obvious-hunger).  This would be an interesting perspective for servers to think about before they approach a table.  We were pretty wound up.  We were only in town for the day to pitch a very important piece of business.  We had our luggage and presentation materials all around us, so it was pretty obvious.

This building holds a lot of sentimental importance for me as it was the former home of The Keg and I was in the restaurant on opening night.  We had travelled by motor home from Winnipeg in the dead of winter to help celebrate the milestone.  I love that Ivy left the original round fireplace but added contemporary touches that contribute in a calm way to the dining experience.

We sampled crab cakes and the prime rib dip that day.  I “stress” eat and had polished off the shoe string fries before I even knew it.  I do recall that the cakes and sandwich though were carefully prepared and quite satisfying.  Although I could not taste the goat cheese that was promised as part of the topping.  The next time I would like to try the California Baquette.

The Ivy Dining & Lounge on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “Love and business and family and religion and art and patriotism are nothing but shadows of words when a man is starving.” -O. Henry

Rosa Mexicano-Part 2

August26

I also sampled the Ceviche de Atun con Camoranes which was citrus marinated (and therefore not cooked over heat) tuna and shrimp.  This was a delicious attempt although I prefer more lime juice and fresh (never frozen) seafood but I was in NY city not the Yucatan Peninsula so what did I expect?  Both these appetizers were part of the featured 3 course dinner menu.  The other untasted offering was Tortilla Soup.

Main dishes of Chicken Enchiladas and Steak Tacos came next.  Although our gang was underwhelmed by the Enchiladas, the tacos were a huge hit.  The skirt steak was grilled to a perfect medium rare and had been rubbed with guajillo and pasilla chiles, garlic, cumin and black pepper.  The mini cast iron pan that it was served in was accompanied by red bean-chorizo chili, corn esquites, chile de arbol salsa and freshly made warm tortillas.  We requested flour over the traditional corn, which they readily provided.  What made this dish exceptional was the bed of gooey Chihuahua cheese that the freshly carved steak was laid upon.

Under normal circumstances, dessert would not have been requested but since the third course was included in the flat price, we dutifully choked it down (lol).  OMGoodness…Pastel de Queso-cheesecake filled with baked apple-cajeta sauce and pecans and Pinquino-a Mexican chocolate cupcake filled with hazelnut mousse and topped with crème fraiche whipped cream and an espresso-piloncillo-chocolate sauce.

Food before drinks $35.-  a deal anywhere, an absolute steal in Manhattan.
Rosa Mexicano on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “I’ll have my steak medium rare with no pink.”
anonymous restaurant customer

Rosa Mexicano-Part 1

August25

By happy coincidence we were in New York for 2010 NY Summer Restaurant Week which actually goes on for multiple weeks.  The website for the event was very helpful and we could choose our neighbourhood, our cuisine preference, get details about the specific time frame of the offeringsand then even make a reservation on line. 

We chose the haute Mexican restaurant within walking distance of our home away from home Rosa Mexicano.  We were immediately struck by the energy of the place with its high ceilings and open spaces.  The noise level might be considered a hindrance if you were there for a quiet, romantic evening but such was not the case for us (almost six in the city).  We started with their signature pomegranate margaritas and although I have had better at (Miquel’s Moonlight Madness on Isla Mujeres), they were a lovely distraction as we surveyed the menu and the menu choices of surrounding tables.

We are all self-confessed Mexican food groupies that love to discover the Mom and Pop places when we travel, but we were willing to give these swanky digs a chance.  We started with Guacamole en Molcajete made table side by a gentleman, serious about perfecting his craft.  He starts by smashing his ingredients with a pestle and then skillfully pits, cuts and scoops in the fresh avocado.  You can’t get any fresher than this.  Each order is served with warm corn tortillas, tortilla chips, salsa pasilla de Oaxaca and salsa tomatillo y habanero.

Rosa Mexicano on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “Let us go early to the vineyards to see… if the pomegranates are in bloom—there I will give you my love.”Song of Solomon 7:12

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