Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Cloudless Skies

Had a fantastic time this past weekend. Although I think it’s hard to be miserable when the weather is like this.

Met up with a friend late Friday night after work and decided to try the new wine bar in Thornton Park called Aroma. We arrived a bit after 11pm to a moderate crowd and some very drunk people. I’d been waiting to try this place for a few weeks; apparently they have an Amarone that is out of this world. But I was in dire need of a snack, and their kitchen was closed, so we decided to pop on over to Midnight Blue for a quick bite.

I’ve been to Midnight Blue a handful of times with pretty much average results each visit. It’s great to sit outside and the food is decent, but the fact that their kitchen is open till midnight is really a great draw (although we were the only ones dining). My companion got an order of Crispy Shitake Mushroom Spring Rolls, I got the Petit Smoked Gouda Grilled Cheese with Cream of Tomato Soup, and we decided to share an order of the Tempura Hericot Vert with Truffle Aioli (translation=fried green beans).

There really is nothing like the ultimate comfort food of a grilled cheese sandwich. It was of course delicious with the smoky gouda and crispy bread. It even had the crust cut off. I was surprised at the soup however. I figured I’d get the end of the night bottom of the barrel serving, but it was fantastic. Smooth and creamy with not to much acidity, it really hit the spot.

I’d had the green beans before and was amazed with the lightly fried and truffle flavorings. This time was no exception with the perfectly al dente veggies. But the aioli was a bit off, and, quite honestly, we both got stomachaches about an hour later. (Even the thought of it now, days later, makes me curse the fried/truffle combo.)

I also had a glass of Airlie 7, a white Meritage from Willamette Valley. As much as I love Conundrum, this could be my new official favorite white. Check out the grapes:

My bro came over on Saturday night to help me hang some new pictures in my kitchen so I decided to pay him back with a home cooked meal. We had seared Sea Bass (I know, not exactly politically correct, but so yummy), Butternut Squash Risotto and steamed Asparagus. Um, it’s hard to review this meal because I made it, but it was pretty damn good.

Capped off the weekend with a quick brunch at HUE (I even brought the new camera but realized about half way through the meal I forgot to take a picture). It was good; I had one of the scrambles and a couple of mimosas.

Here's to all of our friends up north who, during the summmer months, ask us how we can possible stand the weather in Florida!

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