Friday, April 30, 2010

Orlando Restaurant Week

Orlando Restaurant Week started yesterday, April 29th and goes until May 5th.
Check out the site for the list of participating restaurants and their menus!

Sea Turtle Cake

Here's another fantastic cake from my buddies over at Four 0 Seven. Check out their website for more super cool cakes!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Restaurant August

Oh, how I really wanted to like Restaurant August. Really, who doesn't like Chef John Besh? Handsome and a native to Louisiana, I was looking forward to visiting one of his restaurants ever since we made ressies months ago. But....I realized that Restaurant August is kinda like a fancy Disney of the NOLA restaurant scene.

We started with a complimentary Amuse Bouche of a Truffle Sabayon. It was quite tasty with a rich creaminess and a subtle truffle flavor.

I ordered the Organic Green Salad with Pumpkin Brittle, Bleu Cheese and Pumpkin Seed Oil Vinaigrette for my starter. And it was the best part of the meal. A bit over-dressed, it was a great combination of sweetness in the Vin and savory in the Greens. The Pumpkin Brittle itself was amazing, but it was quite a large hunk to start off the meal.

I ordered off one of the tasting menus for my entree and had the Sablefish in Puff Pastry. It was average. The fish was unusually, well, fishy, and the Puff Pastry really added nothing to the dish. I was disappointed and did not finish my meal.

So here's the thing. This place was ultra fancy. But a few things were We were seated around the corner from the kitchen, which was not a bad thing. Until we kept hearing cheering and clapping every few minutes. We discussed it at the table and figured maybe they were watching a basketball game in the kitchen. No biggie. And we were excited when one of our servers offered us a tour of the kitchen after dinner....we kinda felt like rock stars! Until we realized that all the cheering and clapping coming from the kitchen was all of the other tables getting a tour of the kitchen before us. Great in concept, but it really took the special-ness out of the evening. Also, our front server pretty much disappeared....after I ordered one of the lesser expensive wines. I would say that the service was ruined except for the back server who was personable and really took time with our table.

I'm glad I tried Restaurant August, but I'll never go back. There's way too much great food in NOLA to waste a night at this overly priced restaurant.

Restaurant August on Urbanspoon


I miss New Orleans.

I lived there for four years during college. Realistically, I could never live there now. But I would never give up the time I spent there. And I hadn't been back since Katrina, so it was nice to visit, spend money and support the city.

I'm always telling myself that we have progressive and innovative food here in Orlando. And I believe that, until I do some traveling and explore restaurants in other cities. Picture The Ravenous Pig. But literally ten times more creative in both food and atmosphere. That is Cochon.

Located in the Warehouse district in NOLA, this place was absolutely hopping. All the tables were full when we arrived at 8:30, and all the tables were full when we left two hours later.

For my started I ordered the Mushroom Salad. If you haven't noticed, I've been on a bit of a mushroom kick recently. And this salad really quenched my thirst for the fungi. Tossed with lemons, hunks of fresh mint and parsley and fried beef jerky, this salad was fantastic. I have to admit that I've never thought about how delicious the flavors of beef jerky and lemon could be (really, who has?). But it was freaky good. It was a huge portion and with the rich earthiness of the mushrooms I was only able to eat about half.

I ordered one of the specials for my entree....mainly because the server described it as a "play on pork and beans". Braised Pork Shoulder with Stewed Peanuts. Sounds crazy, yes? It was....crazy delicious! The pork was very tender and a perfect pairing with the soft-ish peanuts. Yum, Yum, Yum.

To be blunt, this place rocked. I loved every bit of it and would recommend that if you're ever in NOLA that you give it a shot.

Cochon on Urbanspoon