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Friday, May 31, 2013

Thursday Night Dinner

Here's this week's Thursday Night Dinner at Flavors Bistro:

Gamberoni Con Couscous--Grilled Jumbo Prawns, Black Olive-Arugula Couscous served with Warm Shallot & Herb Salsa paired with 2010 Treana Winery Marsanne-Viognier from the Central Coast. The couscous is so flavorful and the shrimp is always perfectly done.

Risotto Con Prosciutto--Arborio Rice Cooked with Prosciutto Di Parma, Organic Escarole & a Trio of Cheeses paired with 2009 Castello di Volpaia Chianti Classico DOCG Toscana, Italia (Organic)

Agnello Alla Griglia--Grilled Local Lamb Loin Chop Garnished with Peperonata & Pesto Potato Puree Topped with Citrus-Herb Gremolata paired with Hope Family Wine Candor Zinfandel Lot 4, Paso Robles. The peperonata was so flavorful. This was one of the best lamb dishes we've had at Thursday Night Dinner. The zinfandel was also very good.

Crostata Di Mele--Organic Apple Galette Garnished with Vanilla Crème Fraiche paired with 2011 Navarro Vineyards "Cluster Select" Late Harvest Riesling, Anderson Valley.

2013 05 30

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Applewood Inn & Restaurant

I purchased a Travelzoo special for Applewood Restaurant. Choose 2 appetizers, 2 entrées and 2 desserts from the menu and receive 2 glasses of Picket Fence Chardonnay or Pinot Noir for $79.

Applewood Inn Restaurant is located at 13555 Highway 116 in Guerneville. It received 1 Michelin star.
There are 19 rooms on the premise and a spa.
Beet salad with Laura Chenel goat cheese. The beets were sweet and how can you go wrong with Laura Chenel goat cheese.

Marin Miyagi Oysters with American Sturgeon Caviar and Fresh Horseradish, Meyer Lemon and Extra Virgin Olive Oil. I thought these were just okay (strong fishy odor) but my husband loved them. I also thought there wasn't enough horseradish flavor and you only tasted the saltiness from the caviar but not much flavor from them.

Tartare of Beef, House Made Potato Chips, Pickled Mustard Seed, Quail's Egg, Monterey Bay Sardine, Pink Peppercorn. I liked this dish. The tartare had nice flavoring.
Pan Seared Diver Scallop, Mendocino Uni, Whipped Yukon Gold Potatoes, Piment d'Espelette. This was by far my favorite appetizer. The smoothness of the uni and potatoes worked well with the scallop. The Piment d'Espelette gave it a slight spiciness but it was not overwhelming.

Miso Glazed Black Cod, Crispy Maitaki Mushrooms, Mustard Greens, Dungeness Crab, Grilled Scallions, Ginger Broth, Toasted Sesame Oil. This was too salty. I also didn't taste the miso glaze. The fish was soft and there were good chunks of crab and the broth was nice but I couldn't get beyond the salt to really enjoy it.
Grilled Beef Strip Loin, Pancetta Roasted Potatoes, Morel Mushrooms, Delta asparagus. The beef was well cooked and my sister-in-law really enjoyed this dish.
Cocoa Nib Crusted Rack of California Lamb, Sherry Braised Chorizo, Sautéed English Peas and Green Garlic, Mint Chimichurri. Nice lamb flavor and a huge portion.

Profiteroles of Peanut Butter Semifreddo, Chocolate and Caramel Sauces, Peanut Crumble. I liked the peanut butter semifreddo but the profiteroles were too crispy.

Vanilla Panna Cotta, Slow Cooked Pineapple, Toasted Coconut.

Three-Layer Chocolate Mocha Mousse, Hazelnut Praline, Espresso Gelato, White Chocolate Crumble.

Meyer Lemon Frangipane Tart, Almond Crème Anglaise, Blueberries, Vanilla Whipped Cream.
Tax and 20% gratuity on the original value of the meal was the final bill so the total cost was $125 for two for the 3 courses, glass of wine, tax and tip. 

2013 05 17

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


We had heard about a great restaurant in the Tahoe area. Some were even comparing it to the French Laundry. Trokay has a prix fixe menu for $60 per person. You had 1 of 2 choices per course.

Trokay is located at 10046 Donner Pass Road in Truckee.
Gougere, Grissini and Biscuit that came at the beginning of the meal. The gougere was filled with mornay sauce, the grissini was dusted with porcini mushrooms and there was a ramp jelly that was served with the biscuit. All so delicious!

Amuse Bouche--Rhubarb served 2 Ways, Shaved & Poached. This was okay. A little too sour for my taste.
A second Amuse Bouche--Spring Garlic Tip with Tarragon Sauce. I loved the tarragon sauce and it was so beautifully presented on a piece of slate.

Bread selection--Walnut Butter Roll, Baguette and Focaccia.
Treviso, Tangerine Lace, Red Sunchoke, Villa Menodori Balsamic--my sister had this and liked it.

Redwood Hill Farm Chevre, Baby Heirloom Beets, Candied Walnut Vinaigrette, Rosemary Bavarois--this was delicious. The beets were very sweet and the beet stripe and powder were reminiscent of Arzak.
Sashimi of Kona Kampachi, Douglas Fir 4 days After Emergence and Smoke of Dying Needles. The dish was presented with a covered dome. As the dome was removed, you could smell the smoke of the dying needles. The kona kampachi was raw but had a smoky flavor.
Soft Shell Crab Special--$22. This was lightly breaded and fried. It was juicy but I liked the soft shell crab dish I had at GW Fins in New Orleans.

Duo of 35-Day Dry Aged Waygu Beef--Ribeye, Short Rib, Creamed Stinging Nettles, Black Trumpet Mushrooms, Pommes Dauphine, Bernaise. This was delicious! The ribeye was flavorful and tasted so good with the Bernaise sauce. The shortrib was very tender.
The other option was Butter-Poached Maine Lobster but none of us ordered it.
Lilliputian Donuts, Blue Bottle Coffee Frozen Latte, Salted Caramel Powder. Loved the frozen latte and caramel powder. The donut was nothing special. 

The other dessert option was Bartlett Pear Caramel, Marcona Almond, Deconstructed Pear Tart, Flash-Frozen Raspberry Sorbet

Mignardise of Chocolate Drizzled Coconut Macaroons, Pineaple Gelee ...

Chocolate Chip Cookies came in another container.
This was a great meal and had touches of molecular gastronomy. Definitely worth the $60.
2013 05 11

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


After our trip to New Orleans, I had to make my own gumbo.
Make the roux in a heavy pot. Stir constantly until it is a dark chocolate color. The darker the roux, the more flavorful the gumbo.



½ cup oil
½ cup flour
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
6 cups chicken stock
4 bay leaves
1 Tbs chopped garlic
Creole seasoning to taste
Shredded chicken
1 lb Andouille sausage, sliced
1 lb shrimp, shelled and deveined
Cooked rice

Make roux by combining oil and flour and stirring over medium heat until dark chocolate in color.  Add onion, celery and pepper and sauté until limp. Add chicken broth, bay leaves, garlic, seasoning, chicken and sausage. Bring to boil then simmer over low heat for 2 hours. In last 10 minutes, add the shrimp. Thicken with file, as needed.

Add spoonful of rice to gumbo.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Dooky Chase

There is a Dooky Chase outpost at the airport. It's before you go through security, near the United and Delta check-in desks. We had heard about her gumbo and stopped in to have a bowl.
Bowl of gumbo--$11. It was very flavorful but also salty. I'm not sure it's worth $11.

2013 05 08

Sunday, May 26, 2013


Borgne is another John Besh restaurant.

Borgne is located at 601 Loyola Avenue, in the Hyatt Regency. It's a 25-minute walk from the French Quarter.

It's a casual restaurant highlighting the seafood of coastal Louisiana.

Fennel-seeded baguette is delivered in a brown paper bag.

Broiled Louisiana Oysters with Spicy Garlic Butter--$17 for a dozen. These were nothing special. Tasted just like breadcrumbs on oysters.

Duck & Andouille Gumbo--$8. It was slightly sweet and I didn't like it.

Every day there is a lunch special for $10. Today's was Rabbit Ragout (actually a Rabbit Sausage) with Orrechiette Pasta, Garlic Tomatos and Rapini. I liked this dish and it was a good deal for $10.
2013 05 07

Saturday, May 25, 2013


We've eaten at Cochon several times in past trips and made reservations to eat on our last night in town.

Cochon is located at 930 Tchoupitoulas, a 20-minute walk from the French quarter.

I've loved these rolls in the past but this time the rolls were smaller and slightly overbaked.

Fried Liver with Pepper Jelly & Toast--$8. Probably our favorite dish of the night but it was not as good as in the past. The pepper jelly didn't have enough flavor.

Chicken & Andouille Gumbo--$7. It was way too salty.

Catfish Courtbouillon--$19. The flavors were good but the catfish was drowned in too much sauce.

Macaroni & Cheese Casserole--$6. Needed more flavor.
Overall, we were disappointed. We had such good meals in the past and this time didn't live up to its past reputation.
2013 05 07

Friday, May 24, 2013

Thursday Night Dinner

Tonight's dinner was quite a treat.
Linguine Alle Vongole--Homemade Linguine, Fresh Manila Clams, Garlic, Parsley, White Wine and Extra Virgin Olive Oil paired with 2011 Salviano Orvieto Classico Superiore DOC, Umbria, Italy. This was my favorite course for the evening. The linguine was well made and cooked al dente and the vongole sauce was delicious.

Quaglia Arrosto--Pan Roasted Marinated Quail, Creamy Cheese Polenta and Garlic-Thyme Sugo Di Pomodoro paired with 2011 de Alto Amo Rioja (Tempranillo) DOC, Spain. The Tempranillo was delicious and at $10.99 a bottle, it was a bargain.
Bistecca Ai Ferri--Grilled Flat Iron Steak Garnished with Ragout of Organic Fingerling Potatoes, Confit of Onion, Pancetta and Sweet Peas & Carrots Served in a Barolo Wine Sauce paired with 2009 Starmont Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley. I was so excited about the dinner, I forgot to take a picture of the entrée.

Tiramisu--Espresso Lady Fingers Layered with Rum Flavored Mascarpone Cream Topped with Cocoa paired with 2011 Bonterra Vineyards Bartolucci Vineyard Muscat, Lake County (Organic)

2013 05 19

Thursday, May 23, 2013


Another of John Besh's restaurant is Luke, a Franco-Germanic restaurant.

Luke is located at 333 St. Charles Avenue, a short walk from the French Quarter.

We went for Happy Hour, which occurs every day from 3-6 pm. Oysters are 50 cents each and they're large and briny. I wish we had discovered this earlier.
2013 05 07