Monday, August 6, 2012

Quinoa Salad with Roasted Zucchini, Green Beans & Goat Cheese

I had a great workout class tonight, and decided to finish the evening with making something healthy and delicious that I can take for my lunches for the rest of the week. I still have some of the giant zucchini, so used that as the base for this recipe. And can you tell that tarragon is my current herb of choice? I seem to find a way to put it into almost everything savory. And the tarragon scent reminds me of herb flavored glace (ice cream) in France... Berthillon has a thyme-citron (lemon) that is amazing. I think that Berthillon or the glacier in Vetheuil would do well to consider making a tarragon ice cream!

Quinoa Salad with Roasted Zucchini, Green Beans & Goat Cheese

Ingredients

1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1/2 lb green beans, snapped into bite sized pieces
saucepan 1/2 full of water
3 cloves garlic, smushed and diced
2 cups zucchini, chopped into thick triangles
3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp dried tarragon
1/2 tsp shallot salt
3 oz soft goat cheese
salt and pepper to taste


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Boil saucepan 1/2 full of water.
3. Mix quinoa and water in another saucepan and put on to boil.
4. Once the first saucepan is boiling, add the green beans to it. Once the quinoa and water comes to a rolling boil, cover and turn the heat down to simmer.
5. Mix 1/2 cup olive oil with garlic, tarragon and shallot salt.
6. Place the zucchini pieces on a cookie sheet (cover with aluminum foil to shorten clean up). Pour oil mixture over the zucchini and bake for about 20 minutes, or until soft.
7. Once everything finishes cooking (about 20 minutes for the green beans, 15 for the quinoa, and 20-25 for the zucchini), mix the quinoa with the goat cheese and remaining 1/4 cup olive oil. Then add in the beans and zucchini. Salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy hot, or this recipe would also be deliciously refreshing cold - tomorrow I plan to add some cucumber chunks (also from the gorgeous upstate garden) to the mix!

here's a pic from my
recent hike in Acadia!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Zucchini Quesadillas

the biggest zucchini ever!
Some awesome friends in upstate New York have a beautiful and fruitful garden in their backyard, and I was lucky enough to sample some of their zucchini and cucumbers. First of all, the zucchinis are the largest I think I've ever seen. I'll get several meals out of one! Here's a favorite:

Zucchini Chicken Sausage Quesadillas

4 corn tortillas
2 tbl olive oil
1 tbl butter
2 cloves garlic, smushed and chopped
1 tsp dried tarragon
1 tsp shallot salt
1/2 cup queso blanco, shredded
1 cup thinly sliced zucchini
2 chicken sausages, sliced
2 tbl sour cream
queso blanco!
2 tbl pico de gallo

1. In a small frying pan, heat olive oil. Add garlic, tarragon, and shallot salt and saute. Add sliced zucchini.
2. In a large frying pan, melt butter. Place tortillas on the pan and sprinkle cheese on them.
3. Once the zucchini is softened, add the chicken sausage to heat through.
4. Portion the zucchini-sausage mixture over the cheese and tortillas and place another tortilla on top of each.
5. Serve with sour cream and pico de gallo (or cabbage if you have any laying around!).

Bon Appetit!
putting it all together!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Saumon Unilateral

I have many favorite foods from France. But this is one of my all-time favorites. I had this dish first at La Grille, that lovely little bistro right around the corner from my apartment in Paris. I'm going back to town the week after next and I'm definitely going to get my La Grille fix. It's called "Saumon Unilateral" because it's never flipped on the pan, just heated from beneath on a dry, salted pan. The heat works its way through the fish, and so the cooking level is stratified in the final piece of fish. You can see on the fish based on the color to cook it to your preference, but I always find that the more rare part at the top center of the piece is creamy and delicious. And, the skin at the base is salty and crunchy.

This dish is incredibly easy and fast to make at home, but it does require a good quality piece of salmon, and the thicker the better. This dish can be served with almost any kind of side, but my favorite is to serve with roasted asparagus with melted parmesan cheese and whipped cauliflower mash.

Saumon Unilateral

2 filets of good quality salmon
1 tbl good sea salt
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp herbs de provence

1. Heat a dry pan over medium heat and sprinkle salt across the base of the pan.
2. Sprinkle herbs de provence on the salmon pieces. Salt and pepper too if you like.
3. Place the salmon filets skin side down on the pan.
4. Let the salmon cook - it will take 8-12 minutes depending on the heat of your stovetop.
5. Remove and sprinkle with olive oil

Plate with sides - below see recipes for cauliflower mash and roasted asparagus.

Cauliflower Mash
1 cauliflower head
2 tsp salt
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp white ground pepper (or regular will do fine)
1 small container boursin cheese

1. Boil water in a large saucepan.
2. Add chopped pieces of cauliflower and garlic. Boil until soft.
3. Add salt, pepper, and boursin cheese and mash with a masher (or my new immersion blender works great for this too!). If you don't add the cheese, add a few tablespoons of milk to make it creamier.
4. Enjoy!

Roasted Asparagus
This was one of the first recipes from the Barefoot Contessa I tried, and I still love having asparagus this way!

1 bunch asparagus
1 cup asiago cheese (or parmesan or pecorino, as you prefer)
juice from 1/2 lemon
2 tbl olive oil
2 tsp sea salt / fleur de sel

1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
2. Place aluminum foil over baking sheet and spread asparagus across it.
3. Sprinkle with cheese, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt.
4. Bake for 25-35 minutes until soft, depending on the thickness of the asparagus.


Put it all together, and ... Bon Appetit!


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Perfect Pesto

I confess to having had a certain disdain for pesto for much of my adult life, but I think I just had a few bad experiences with pestos that were overly creamy or too oily. However, a few months ago, a friend of mine made an arugula pesto that I adored, and then I realized that any mix of greens will do. So tonight, I made a pesto with all my leftovers from my CSA from the past week, since tomorrow's time for the next pick-up. And the result... was perfect. I had a friend to dinner, and this was a fast and easy dinner, which we enjoyed white wine with our fresh pesto and white sole. Even though I used basil, garlic scopes, cilantro, arugula, kale, and spinach, this was just based on what I had in, and this recipe still works great with any combination of these.


White Sole with Pesto and Angel Hair Pasta

2-3 pieces of white sole filet
1 tbl butter
1/2 box angel hair pasta
3/4 cup good olive oil (I used my favorite - Chateau Virant)
3-4 garlic cloves
2-3 garlic scapes
1 large bunch basil
1-2 stems of cilantro
1 small bunch arugula
1-2 kale leaves
1 small bunch spinach
salt and pepper to taste

1. Start your pasta water boiling.
2. Combine and pulse in a food processor - garlic, garlic scapes, basil, cilantro, arugula, kale, and spinach.
3. Put greens in a separate bowl and whisk in olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4. Once the water starts boiling, add pasta and melt butter in a frying pan. The pasta takes only 4-5 minutes, and this fish is thin and cooks quickly. When the butter is melted, add fish and cook, just about 2 minutes on each side, until slightly browned.
5. Add a few ladlefuls of the pasta water to your pesto. This will help it to adhere to the pasta. Combine sauce and pasta in bowl.
6. Serve with piece of fish on top.




 On an unrelated note, recently, I went to one of my favorite bars in NYC - Little Branch, in the West Village. I enjoyed some of my favorite gin and ginger beer based drinks, and then my friend suggested that we have some absinthe. I had ordered absinthe before at bars in London and Paris, but it has always come in a bottle. I had no idea I was missing out on an authentic absinthe experience... a la Toulouse-Lautrec. The eerie green liquid (which did not look eerie at all in the dark bar) is placed in a glass, with a sugar cube above a slotted spoon over the top of the glass. The water tap is turned on slowly to let it drip over the cube, melting the sugar, and dragging it into the glass. The result is a sweet and tangy, licorice-scented beverage that I enjoyed... and I felt like I was doing late nineteenth-century research! :-)


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Roasted Turnips

My farm share started today for the season! I was thrilled to be handed a giant bag of vegetables, some of which I could not identify:

mystery vegetable - garlic scape!
 I walked home, breathing in all the freshness of basil, cilantro, arugula, and kale, and then pulled everything out to see the harvest. I boosted my leftover macaroni and cheese dinner with a kale salad and these roasted turnips, that came out far better than I could have imagined. They were the perfect blend of fresh, sweet, and salt. It was hard to leave leftovers for tomorrow. Who knew?


Roasted Turnips

4-5 turnips, peeled, and sliced into 1/2" roundels
1 garlic scape (if you happen to have one around - this is the green of a young garlic plant), sliced into 1/2" pieces (otherwise a diced clove of garlic will do)
2 tbl vegetable oil
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp shallot salt (a new purchase from the spice shop in Princeton, NJ; without this, you can use onion salt)
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 425 and lay aluminum foil on a baking sheet.

2. Place turnips in a bowl, and add garlic scape, oil, paprika, salt, cornmeal, pepper, and cheese. Mix thoroughly to coat the turnips. Spread out evenly on baking sheet.

3. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until soft. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Prosciutto-Chicken Rolls with Pasta

Even though it's almost spring, since I walked home from work today, I was famished when I returned. So I decided to go for a more wintry Italian dish that I made up in my head at the grocery store - chicken tenders wrapped with prosciutto slices, topped with decadent melted mozzarella cheese. And I made a side of whole wheat pasta with a homemade sauce. It was quick, delicious, and left me with a few meals' worth of leftovers!

 

Prosciutto-Chicken Rolls with Pasta

Ingredients
1/2 pound pasta of choice
1 large can of diced tomatoes
1 tsp tomato paste (easier to buy the tubes instead of the cans so you can use it as you need)
3 cloves garlic, sliced
3 tbl olive oil
1 tsp hot pepper flakes
3 tsp dried oregano
1 small onion
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 pound of chicken tenders
1 small container (5 slices) of prosciutto
1/4 lb fresh mozzarella

Directions
1. Set a large pot of water on the stove to boil.
2. Heat a small saucepan over medium heat.
3. Take each chicken tender and wrap a piece of prosciutto around it at a diagonal.
4. Once the water is boiling, add the pasta and one whole garlic clove. The whole wheat pasta I made called for 11-12 minutes.
5. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat.
6. Apply olive oil and 1 clove sliced garlic to the saucepan. Once sizzling, add onion and 2 tsp oregano and sauté for a few minutes to soften. Add white wine, and let it cook down. Then add can of diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Let simmer.
7. Apply olive oil and 1 clove sliced garlic to the frying pan. Once sizzling, add hot pepper flakes and 1 tsp oregano to the pan.
8. Once the garlic has softened but is not too brown, add the chicken tenders to the frying pan. After about 4 minutes, flip to the other side. The prosciutto will brown slightly.
9. Once the pasta is completed, add 3 ladle-fulls of the starch water from the pasta pot into the sauce. This will thicken it and help it to adhere to the pasta. Drain the rest of the starch water and combine pasta with sauce.
10. Once the chicken is cooked through - tenders are small enough that this will take a maximum of ten minutes - add thin slices of fresh mozzarella and cover to melt.
11. Serve prosciutto-chicken rolls alongside pasta.




Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Lobster Roll Quest Continues...

Lobster Rolls at
the Temple of Dendur
Galina and I have a new lobster roll buddy, Allison, and the three of us have tried two different lobster roll places in the past few weeks. And, serendipitously, lobster rolls were served at the opening of the American Wing at the Met recently! I feel that in only five lobster rolls (Pearl Oyster Bar, Sable's, the Met's opening, Mermaid Inn, and Luke's), I might have become a connoisseur, but I suspect it will take some more sampling to more fully refine my palate.
De-icing the Met's stairs














pretending to be
in Venice with a spritz
aperol
First, we visited the Mermaid Inn on the Upper West Side (http://themermaidnyc.com/uws/). We loved this place! The decor is lovely; I felt like I was near the New England seaside more than in the middle of Manhattan. There were white painted ceilings and lovely candle-lit tables. We went for their Happy Hour special (before 7 PM), which includes tapas-sized seafood and drink specials. We shared plates of oysters, calamari, fish tacos, and of course, the all-important lobster roll. I was curious about the shrimp corn dog, so will have to go back to check it out. The fish tacos were amazing - they took me immediately to those Malibu seaside restaurants again (I'll be heading to LA soon, so will have to go for a fish taco fix again then!). And, as for the lobster roll, these were delicious. It was essentially a large piece of lobster meat without much sauce or flavoring or mayonnaise (unlike the chunky salad with mayonnaise at the Pearl Oyster Bar), and it had a sweet pepper on top. Yum!
fish tacos

mini lobster rolls at the
Mermaid
oysters at Mermaid


Lobster Roll Love! 
Luke's Lobster Roll
Then more recently, the three of us took a lovely lunch break to the more casual atmosphere of Luke's (http://www.lukeslobster.com/) on the Upper East Side. We passed a new chapter of Alice's Tea Cup on the way that we'll have to go back to! But here at Luke's, we had yet another iteration of the lobster roll. In this case, it was a meeting between Pearl Oyster Bar and Mermaid Inn. The texture was more of a chunky salad, as at POB, but there was no binding material like mayonnaise, as at MI. In this case, the lobster is drizzled with butter and spices.

Galina and Allison at Luke's 
Galina with lobster roll!
The hoagie bread at Luke's is particularly nice, with flat sides and buttered as toast. I bumped into a colleague near the museum on our way back, and he explained that with the true lobster roll experience, the roll is as important as the lobster meat. I think I'm envisioning an investigative trip up to New England in the near future!


Lobster roll hallelujah

Monday, January 16, 2012

Skyline Chili

After visiting Cincinnati first when I was about ten, my memories are scant. I remember the riverboat ride and I remember... the Cincinnati chili. I remember being skeptical about chili over spaghetti, but was excited about the mountain of shredded cheddar on top. In the end, it's a great combination! After an awesome meal, we bought a postcard with the recipe on it and continued to have this at home at least once a season.

It's been years now since I've had this chili, but I was recently in Cincinnati for an awesome research week, and went one night to Skyline Chili to taste the old classic. It was delicious, a one-of-a-kind flavor, though incredibly filling.

Since it's winter, I've been diving into all of my comfort foods, and this one is a perfect example. This chili freezes well and is more sweet than spicy.

Cincinnati Skyline Chili

1 1/2 lb lean ground beef
1 29 oz can peeled whole tomatoes
1 14 oz can chopped tomatoes
1 small white onion, diced
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp all spice
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp chili powder or cayenne pepper
1 tbl white vinegar
1 large clove garlic
3 bay leaves

1. Brown the meat in a frying pain. Add onions partway and cook fully. Drain grease.
2. In a large saucepan, place meat and onions along with the rest of the ingredients.
3. Cook over a low heat for 4-5 hours, covered until the last 20 minutes or so if you'd like a thicker chili. For a thinner chili, leave covered.
4. Remove bay leaves and garlic clove before serving
5. Pour chili over a bed of spaghetti and serve with shredded cheddar cheese.



Sunday, January 15, 2012

Cider-Braised Pork (Porc au cidre)

I had a lot of memorable meals in Paris. Luckily for me, many of the venues were just a short walk from my apartment in the 10eme arrondissement. One of my favorites was the understated Le Scherkhan on the Rue d'Hauteville (http://www.gillespudlowski.com/15890/rendez-vous/15890). I went for the first time with my friend Noelle when she was in Paris for research, and then again with two of my fellow Terra fellows from the previous summer, Dominkia and Allie. And a few other times besides. This restaurant is small, chill, and serves delicious food (with a cool old dumb waiter that opens up from the floor to reach the kitchen below). Easily my favorite dish here is the porc au cider, a small Le Creuset pot of tender pork medallions braised in cider. The sauce was as good as the meat, and I probably devoured an entire baguette by myself lapping up the delicious juices. On one occasion, I was raving so voraciously about this dish that the waitress brought the chef out to chat with me. I asked him how he made this dish, and he gave me a great description, which alas did not quite stick to my conscious memory (or perhaps I did not understand the French as well as I thought I had...). Still, I decided to see if I could emulate this dish in my own kitchen. Given the lack of Breton cider here (which is much less sweet than American hard ciders), I could not get an exact match, but I came pretty close.

I discovered a new meat market in the process of collecting the items needed to prepare this dish. I constantly complain about the expense of grocery shopping in New York City, with the Amish Market and a Food Emporium as my two closest grocers. Since they are further afield, trips to the Fairway or Trader Joe's have to be planned. However, neither the Amish Market nor the Food Emporium had a cut of pork that I thought would be suitable for this dish. Pork chops are already so tender that braising them would make them fall apart. I found another butcher on 10th avenue, but alas they did not take credit/debit cards, so I went back to my apartment empty-handed. I fished around on the internet hoping I would not have to take a break-the-bank walk up to the Whole Foods at Columbus Circle. And I discovered what will be a long-term relationship... with the Big Apple Meat Market (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/26/nyregion/26joint.html). In addition to groceries, they have a large meat locker that you can walk through to select cuts of meat that have been just wrapped and placed on the shelves. The butcher that I spoke with was knowledgable and nice as he helped me choose between the larger pork shoulder and the slightly smaller pork butt, both cuts being good for braising which makes them tender. In the end, I definitely overcooked my meat, which left it dry, but the sauce was pretty near perfect. I served this with mashed potatoes and bok choy (blanched and then sautéed with a little bit of salt and nutmeg).

Cider-Braised Pork

Ingredients
a 2 1/2 -3 lb cut of pork
2 tsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, one sliced the other diced
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp cloves, ground or whole
2 bay leafs
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper (I dropped my pepper grinder irretrievably behind my oven, so have been using white ground pepper, which is delicious)
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1 tsp herbs de provence
1 vegetable bouillon cube
1 22 oz bottle hard cider
2 cups of water
1 tbl cornstarch
1 cup water



Directions
1. Pat the pork dry with a paper towel.
2. Make small slices into the meat and tuck slices of garlic into those pockets.
3. Rub salt and pepper and herbes de provence into the pork.
4. Heat a thick pot and place 1/2 tsp of olive oil in it.
5. Brown the piece of meat on all sides over high heat, rotating it frequently with tongs. This will take 10-15 minutes.
6. Remove the meat from the pot and sauté garlic and onion until soft.
7. Add the spices to the mixture. This list is only a suggestion - I put a little bit of many of the spices I have in my cabinet - trying to balance between sweet and savory spices. Without Herbs de Provence, use thyme or savory blend.
8. Add the cider, bullion cube, and 1-2 cups of water to dilute the sweetness of the cider.
9. Once the mixture is bubbling, turn the heat to low and put the meat back into the mixture. Timing is a bit difficult, but it probably should have been about an hour and a half at most for this size meat at a slow simmer.
10. Once the meat is fully cooked, remove it and mix in a cup of water with 1 tbl cornstarch dissolved into it. Turn up the heat to thicken the sauce.
reheating is easy and delicious!
11. Leave the meat for 10-12 minutes to set before slicing.
12. Serve over mashed potatoes with a green vegetable.






Toffee Heaven

My aunt, my mom and I have been making the same toffee recipe for years. And I still love it. But recently I decided to experiment with a different toffee recipe that might even yield superior results. It is based on a recipe meant to emulate Enstrom's toffee, which I've never actually tried. My friend who has had Enstrom's said that this one is quite different, but still delicious! Compared with the sinful toffee bars, the almond toffee is definitely more labor-intensive and time-consuming. So, take your pick, and know that you'll have delicious results either way!

Sinful Toffee Bars
40 saltine crackers
2 sticks butter
1 cup brown sugar
12 oz chocolate chips
1 cup ground nuts (or 1 tsp sea salt)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Then place the crackers edge-to-edge in rows.
3. In a saucepan, bring butter and sugar to a boil, stir for three minutes until thick.
4. Pour mixture over crackers and bake for 5 minutes.
5. Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over toffee.
6. Return to oven for 30 seconds
7. Spread chocolate over crackers and top with ground nuts (or, my preference, large grains of sea salt)
8. Refrigerate for at least two hours.
9. Bring to room temperature for about 15 minutes before reaching or cutting into pieces.

Almond Toffee

 2 3/4 cup sugar
1 lb salted butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 12 oz package of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup powdered almonds (use a blender to grind whole almonds)

1. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add regular salt. As soon as the butter is almost melted, add in the sugar and stir with a wooden spoon using slow, figure-eight motions.
2. Once the sugar and butter have become completely absorbed and smooth (about 10-15 minutes), add the slivered almonds.
3. Continue to stir for another 10-15 minutes until the toffee reaches a dark color caramel. Using a glass of cold water as a tester, aim for the hard crack phase (according to the Joy of Cooking, this has occurred with the droplet turns into a brittle thread into the water). If you have a candy thermometer, aim for 290 degrees.
4. Spread mixture on a large cookie sheet and place on a cooling rack to cool for 30 minutes.
5. After the toffee is hardened, melt half of the chocolate over a double boiler and spread a thin layer over the toffee. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp sea salt and 1/4 cup powdered almonds.
6. Let cool and then flip the toffee over in the cookie sheet (I had no problem with sticking and did not grease the sheet). Melt the rest of the chocolate, and spread a thin layer over this side of the toffee. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp sea salt and 1/4 cup powdered almonds.
7. Place in the refrigerator to cool for at least 2 hours before breaking into pieces. Because this toffee is thicker than the sinful toffee bars, I find that it breaks much more easily while maintaining its layers.

Enjoy!


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Lobster Roll Heaven...

I believe in traditions and love to learn about other people's favorites. My friend Galina has been indulging in a Lobster Roll at the Pearl Oyster Bar (http://pearloysterbar.com/) in the West Village for years, and when she invited me to come along, I jumped at the chance. Having never heard of a lobster roll, I'd skeptically envisaged a Chinese fried egg roll with lobster bits inside. Or like a sushi roll with lobster meat - not so exciting. As Galina and another colleague explained to me what a lobster roll actually entailed - large chunks of succulent lobster meat in a light mayonnaise sauce served in a hoagie - I was much more intrigued. 
Decadent Lobster Roll with
shoe string fries
And, at the Pearl Oyster Bar, I was absolutely not disappointed! We had delicious meal - all three of us ordering the lobster roll - and a long conversation over delicious wine. The lobster roll exceeded my every expectation (especially in comparison to my original egg roll misunderstanding!). And the shoe-string fries were the perfect blend of soft and crunchy and blended nicely with the lobster roll. In addition to being an amazing meal, the servers were incredibly flexible in letting our conversation dwell until they finally were putting out the trash to close for the night. I would happily eat here again!
at Pearl Oyster Bar with Galina and Ally!


Crimson and Clover Cocktails...

Thalia's Crimson and
Clover Cocktail
Almost every day, I walk past Thalia's (http://www.restaurantthalia.com/), and almost every time I notice the big sign in the window announcing $1 oysters... and salivate. Finally I had the chance to check it out, over dinner with my mom to celebrate an early New Year's eve. The decor is lovely with a chic atmosphere with low level lighting. The bar area even has dark black leather couches which look incredibly comfortable. I had a great time with my mom, and had one of the most interesting cocktails I've ever tasted. Called Crimson and Clover, the cocktail is made from beet vodka, with a splash of beet juice and then coupled with goat cheese stuffed olives. To top it off, the glass was not only salted on the edge, but a beet was run along the edge first so each sip was enhanced by a salty, beety flavor. Yum!

beet happy!
great posters!
That said, in spite of the distinctive drink, cheap oysters, and great atmosphere, the food was pretty lackluster. Mom's crab cake had more breading than crabmeat, and my entree, a risotto with Mayan prawns had been kept under the heater so long awaiting my mom's dish that it was crusted over on the top and over done. For the price, disappointing. And the woman next to us ordered the salmon, which I had been considering, and would not stop singing its praises. Mom also enjoyed her lamb, which was very well prepared. In spite of these celebratory responses, my experience concluded that this place is a great spot for drinks and some oysters after work, but I would not return for a full meal.

$1 oysters
Mom with a crab cake

the dining room after it
cleared out

Restroom review: 1 1/2 tiki torches. It was a cool set up with little lights above the doors announcing whether or not the rooms were in use. One would think that the dark lighting and the black everything inside the bathroom would hide any number of sins. However, the bathroom was not well-maintained. The room I entered someone had clearly peed all over the floor. Gross.