Pier 23 Cafe

I’m not wasn’t a huge fan of oysters and even before we adopted a mostly-vegan diet, I pretty much stayed away from bacon.  Even only having rare occasions of bacon consumption, I can still attest that anything bacon-wratpped does taste better – though it doesn’t always justify the exponential increase in caloric intake.  This past summer before we bought our beloved juicer and all things changed, one of my brothers insisted that we try the bacon-fried oysters at Pier 23 Cafe.  And so we did on a beautiful San Francisco summer day, with perfectly cold Pacificos and a priceless backdrop.


What oyster preparation do you prefer?

-nah

Red Rooster

“Our names are Mr. and Mrs. Harris and we’re cooking show addicts.”

“Hi Mr. and Mrs. Harris,” the crowd warmly replies.

They say the first step is admitting your addiction.  We did.  However, our addiction presented us with a challenge – sample the cuisine of our favorite chefs.  First up – Marcus Samuelsson.  On a recent trip to New York to see A Streetcar Named Desire, we ended our evening with dinner at Red Rooster.  One of my former students, a 4th year NYU student, is a waitress at Red Rooster and joined us on her day off.

Red Rooster
photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago

photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago

photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago

photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago

photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago

Dilemma 1.  What happens when you open the menu and you desire to order every. last. item. listed?  Short of ordering everything and needing to be rolled out of the restaurant, you ask what are the must haves.  Unanimously we were advised to order  the Fried Yard Bird, which is sprinkled with savory Ethiopian spices.  We ended up with 2. *blank stare* Along with a few other items.

dirty rice & shrimp
aged basmati, curry leaves, almond
photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago

cornbread
honey butter, tomato jam
photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago

fried yard bird
dark meat, white mace gravy, mashed potatoes, bread & butter pickles
photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago

mac & greens with salad
gouda, ny cheddar, comté
photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago

Dilemma 2.  What should we do when we’re presented with a complimentary dessert after satiating ourselves?

apple caramel sundae
apple sorbet, bourbon caramel, cinnamon cream
photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago

Dilemma solved.

empty bowl
photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago

We’ll be back!

-nah

Cornbread in Wine Country?

Wine country not only produces some of the world’s richest wines, it also showcases the finest California cuisine.  No trip to Napa Valley County is complete without savoring grilled artichokes, halibut seasoned with fresh herbs, sweet tomatoes, creamy avocado and pungent cheese.  But cornbread?  “Yes, cornbread,” responded Rutherford Grill.  As a couple whose families are rooted in the south, replete with cooks who could rival the country’s best chefs and have perfected the side dish that accompanies any family dinner, you must understand  our skepticism.  That skepticism began to fade when our order arrived in its own cast iron skillet.  Proper.  Ok, maybe they might know what they’re doing.   Sweet and savory; crunchy and soft – this cornbread struck the fine balance between the dichotomies that make a cornbread delectable.  In wine country?!?  In. Wine. Country.

iron skillet cornbread
Rutherford Grill

Rutherford Grill

We still had our artichokes.

grilled artichokes
Rutherford Grill

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Truffle Tater Tots

According to a number of Food Network’s Chopped judges, truffles, be it as a salt or oil, are overused and often misused.  So imagine my thought when we perused the menu at The Henry at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and came across truffle tater tots.  Really?  They’re removing the tater tots from Napoleon Dynamite’s pocket and sprinkling them with truffle salt and drizzling them with truffle oil to make everyone’s favorite cafeteria item suitable for an upscale setting? Really?!?  **cues Jimmy Fallon and Tina Fey for a SNL Really segment**  After out waiter assured me that they were nothing short of delectable, my mom and I succumbed and each requested an order.

photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago
The Henry at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago
truffle tater tots

MY OH MY!!!!!  Crispy, light, delectable, excellent, tasty!  In the words of Pops from the movie Boomerang, “Simply delicious!”

photo courtesy of The Harrises of Chicago
Garden Style Hamburger

Oh, the hamburger was pretty amazing too.

-nAh

p.s. – off to search for truffle tater tots in Chicago . . .