Mar 142007
 

For my sister’s birthday, Dennis and I took her and her fiance out for dinner at Aqua. This is one of those popular fancy restaurants that my sister has been talking about for years.
dishes I discuss:
raw hamachi with basil
pea soup
sturgeon with chickpea
skate with portabello
pot roast with prawns
creme brulee
chocolate tart
lemon souffle
poached pears

crappy cameraphone photos from topleft, clockwise: scallops, white sturgeon, beef with prawns, poached pears, soufle, tart

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Jul 232006
 

The Dresden Dolls have become so popular that I don’t think I’ll ever be able to enjoy them at a small-medium sized venue again. They will be performing at The Warfield, but alas, it is sold out. Sadness. Though I am willing to drop $40-50 to see them perform, dealing with scalpers takes so much effort. One the one hand, I’m really happy that they’re moving up and such, but on the other hand, THIS SUCKS SO HARD!!!

And dude, The Rauconteurs for $80 a person? WTF. Their one album is nothing spectacular. I don’t think I have any understanding of what is ‘cool’.

I have tickets for: The Velvet Teen (July 29 at GAMH), Zero 7 (Aug 30 at The Fillmore[btw anyone know what happened to the fillmore and why it directs to live nation now?]), Less Than Jake (Oct 17 at Slims), and Ratatat (Sept 18 at GAMH).
I also _might_ have 1 extra of each (except for Velvet Teen) for anyone who may be interested in joining, though I am perfectly happy picking up tix for anyone. I work close enough to Slims.

Last night Dennis and Erin and I went to Catch To start with positive things, the food was decent. We started with kumamoto and malpeque oysters. I can’t remember which one I had but it was light and sweet. After having gotten over the ‘omg it’s still alive while I’m chewing it’ aversion to oysters (which took me a good 2 years), I’ve found that they can be very tasty. The crab cakes with the apple/raisin chutney was very good. The chutney provided the necessary tartness for the dense meaty cakes. We also tried the butter leaf salad with (fuji?) apples, candied walnuts and pecorino. It also tasted very pleasant, but I won’t get into how no one in the restaurant knew from what region the pecorino came, and the waiter told me ‘from his knowledge of working at an Italian restaurant, that the cheese comes from the northern region’. (Jack must be cringing at this…) My chosen entree was monkfish with a spinach/corn risotto. I liked the sweet corn in the creamy (not overpowering) rice, but Dennis thought it was ‘quite horrible’. The cut of fish was beautiful, but it was a touch more cooked (medium-ish) than I prefer it. Dennis enjoyed the halibut with pea-sized bits of crispy potato, broccolini, and asparagus. I had a bite and it was yummy happiness. Erin had a variety plate that had 3 types of fish; mahi mahi, tuna, and something else I can’t remember. It hit her spot.

All that being said, I don’t think I’ll go there again. I don’t want to be a snob, but being seated 20 minutes after the time that the reservation was made is a big no-no (especially if others are being seated). It shows that the restaurant is not well organized and does not respect their customers. The waitstaff is not horrible (as they are at Citizen Cake), but it was not friendly either.

This afternoon we all went to Maverick’s for brunch. I have written about this place before, and it continues to please. Who could resist $1 blackberry mimosas? (only the 1st one is $1, but that’s usually plenty of alcohol for me). The texan migas is goooooood- crispy tortilla strips, scrambled egg, fresh salsa with a nice bite of cilantro, and cubed garlic/parsley potatoes. It was exactly what I needed to pep me up. Erin’s beautifully made plate of sliced d’anjou pears and strawberries, toast and cheese also looked very appetizing. Andy’s salad was over-dressed, but it wasn’t much of a loss. The chips that came with Dennis’ bbq sandwich were perfectly crisp. After devouring our food, we further stuffed ourselves with dessert. The thought of the bing cherry crisp makes my mouth water. It comes warm, covered with sliced almonds and granola and topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The cherries cannot be from a can because they were so flavorful. We also had cinnamon-sugar donut holes which were light, fluffy, and not oily at all.

May 062006
 

Last night Dennis and I went to Maverick’s for dinner. The place is tiny–seats maybe 30. The food is very ‘american’ (vegetarian unfriendly), but the service is excellent. Dennis is very fond of this place for that reason. (It is also within the allowed 4 block radius of our home).

I started with an apple and celery soup, which, in the classic french style, was pureed and had cream. Taking a slow, long, sniff I was reminded of Thanksgiving. The flavors were very subtle, with only a hint of apple, but well balanced. Dennis had clams with bacon and shallots sans bell pepper butter. He seemed to really enjoy it, but I found the bacon-clam combination a little odd. It probably has a lot to do with the fact that I have only lately begun to consume bivalves. When I was young, I absolutely hated them.

My second plate featured halibut with some sauteed greens. I found the greens to be a bit too tart and salty, which would have been a nice balance to the halibut, except that the greens had too much cream in them. The fish was not overcooked, though, and had a very nice texture. It was accompanied with sliced fingerling potatoes (the trendy new thing in cuisine it seems. Really, I don’t understand why anyone would pay $2+/lb for potatoes) and fresh peas. The peas were sooooo good. They were barely cooked, and so retained their natural sweetness and crunch. Dennis had lamb which he didn’t comment on. I can only assume he enjoyed his rare chunk of meat.

We didn’t have dessert this time, but I remember the last time we went together I enjoyed the apple crisp much more than either the strawberry-rhubarb cake or the chocolate bread pudding.

May 062006
 

Last night Dennis and I went to Maverick’s for dinner. The place is tiny–seats maybe 30. The food is very ‘american’ (vegetarian unfriendly), but the service is excellent. Dennis is very fond of this place for that reason. (It is also within the allowed 4 block radius of our home).

I started with an apple and celery soup, which, in the classic french style, was pureed and had cream. Taking a slow, long, sniff I was reminded of Thanksgiving. The flavors were very subtle, with only a hint of apple, but well balanced. Dennis had clams with bacon and shallots sans bell pepper butter. He seemed to really enjoy it, but I found the bacon-clam combination a little odd. It probably has a lot to do with the fact that I have only lately begun to consume bivalves. When I was young, I absolutely hated them.

My second plate featured halibut with some sauteed greens. I found the greens to be a bit too tart and salty, which would have been a nice balance to the halibut, except that the greens had too much cream in them. The fish was not overcooked, though, and had a very nice texture. It was accompanied with sliced fingerling potatoes (the trendy new thing in cuisine it seems. Really, I don’t understand why anyone would pay $2+/lb for potatoes) and fresh peas. The peas were sooooo good. They were barely cooked, and so retained their natural sweetness and crunch. Dennis had lamb which he didn’t comment on. I can only assume he enjoyed his rare chunk of meat.

We didn’t have dessert this time, but I remember the last time we went together I enjoyed the apple crisp much more than either the strawberry-rhubarb cake or the chocolate bread pudding.