Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Peached Tortilla - Restaurant Review


Every once in a while, KH, JI and I get together for a ladies' night out. We always have so much fun!


I started with a glass of La Vida al Camp Cava, Spain ($8 per glass). It was perfect - dry, light, bubbly and absolutely refreshing. I chose it because I knew it would be food-friendly no matter what we ordered to eat.


The first bites that arrived were the Kimchi Arancini Balls (with roasted nori, wasabi, and Sriracha aioli - $7 for 4). We got these the last time we came and liked them enough to order them again. They were delicious, although they felt heavy and slightly greasy to me this time.


We also ordered tacos on corn tortillas (3 for $13). My Banh Mi Taco (Vietnamese braised pork belly, pickled daikon carrot, Sriracha mayo, cilantro) wasn't as good as the last time I had it, perhaps because of the proportion of pork belly to slaw.

We also ordered the Fried Chicken Dinner again (fried chicken - 2 thighs, 1 drumstick, 1 wing), a biscuit, roasted corn-on-the-cobb, kimchi, and southern greens - $15) and it was scrumptious and satisfying.

One of the managers offered us a free dessert  - the Matcha White Chocolate Mousse (with coconut tapioca and cashew brittle - usually $8).  Matcha is a finely-ground green tea powder. The dessert was absolutely fulfilling. We each managed to taste a few spoonfuls even though we were absolutely stuffed!

I wasn't as impressed with The Peached Tortilla this time as I had been last time. It could have been what we ordered. The menu has changed dramatically since its food truck days. I have to say the food truck menu was my absolute favorite. Their Banh Mi Tacos were so different than what they serve at the brick and mortar restaurant, and they offered Truffle Parmesan Fries - so fabulous!

I'll be returning to The Peached Tortilla in the future because I'd like to try some other things on the menu, and because they have plenty of parking (in front, in back, and across the street at Karavel Shoes) and very attentive service.


Sunday, June 26, 2016

Musashino - Restaurant Review


Musashino is my favorite traditional sushi restaurant in Austin! The ingredients are very fresh, and because of that I've always enjoyed the food here. They've just made the move from Greystone at Mopac to San Gabriel and Lamar. I was anxious to try out the new location as the old one was charming but a bit awkward, and could get very smoky because of the small size of the restaurant and the proximity of the kitchen to the dining area.

We headed to the restaurant's new location with MT and TT. The space used to be occupied by Fino, and while the floor plan is basically the same, Musashino has made it their own. They've extended the entryway into the patio area facing west, and the new decor is contemporary Asian.

Our server was young and seemed inexperienced and scattered. She might have also had too many tables to handle on her own as she forgot one of our appetizers and never refilled our water. We were underwhelmed with her service.


We started with drinks. MT and I ordered a bottle of the Prosecco (around $35 a bottle). TT and hubby ordered a bottle of sake (around $33 a bottle) followed later by some beer. The Prosecco was perfect for sushi - light, dry, and bubbly!

For our appetizers, we ordered the Bakudan Mussels (Mussels Dynamite - mussels on the half shell baked spicy mayo and topped with bonito flakes - $13.50). While they were substantial and somewhat tasty, I would have preferred for them not to be drowning in mayo.


We also ordered the Avocado Kama (half an avocado stuffed with shrimp, crab, and the restaurant's special spicy sauce - $8). These are served in a little basket and are good (beautiful presentation, not like the photo above), but again, there's still too much mayonnaise for my taste. It made me think of that ABC Saturday Morning Cartoon PSA spot called "Don't Drown Your Food."


One of our first rolls was the Texas Road Kill (tuna with avocado and cucumber, wrapped with habanero, jalapeño, and smelt caviar with a side of the restaurant’s special spicy mayo - around $17). It was beautiful and scrumptious! You can order it with either salmon or tuna, but since we ordered a different salmon roll, we chose tuna for this one.


We also had the Evil Knevil Roll (fresh salmon, avocado, cucumber, and ooba leaf with smelt roe and sesame seeds on the outside, sprinkled with lemon zest on top - around $17) and the California Roll (avocado, cucumber, sesame seeds, smelt caviar, flying fish caviar, and real snow crab - $19). Both were fresh and tasty! While I don't usually prefer California Rolls, my hubby always has to order them, and the only way to eat them is with real crab and not the imitation crab made out of fish cake (kamaboko).

This Spicy Spider Roll (deep fried soft shell crab claws and smelt caviar roll, wrapped with avocado on the outside served with their special spicy mayo) was really great - just the right amount of crispy in the middle with cool, creamy avocado to balance the deep fried crab.


We also ordered a plate of Nigiri - 2 Sake (Salmon), 2 Tuna, 2 Hamachi (Yellow Tail), and 2 Anago (Sea Eel). They were about $3.50 per piece, fresh, and delicious.

Our bill was about $220 before tip. Even though our service could have been better, the food at Musashino never disappoints!


Friday, June 24, 2016

Juliet Ristorante - Restaurant Review 6/24



We met LC at Juliet for a quick bite before heading to the theater. This has become a favorite restaurant of mine since it opened in the old (slightly cheesy) Romeo's location on Barton Springs Road. 

Fortunately, Juliet is the absolute opposite of cheesy. The restaurant sports MCM decor and the wait staff is impeccably trained. The prices have increased since they first opened, but for the quality of food, service, and ambiance they provide, it's well worth it.


I ordered a glass of Domaine de Fontsainte Grenache Gris Rosé, Corbières, France ($14), and it was simply lovely! Fragrant, light, bright, refreshing, and food-friendly - exactly what I was craving!

For dinner I had the Fettucine e Vongole (littleneck clams in & out of shell, basil, white wine, Calabrese chili, Reggiano butter - $24). The dish was small but very delicious, with the breadcrumbs offering a wonderful crunchy texture to balance out the chewy noodles and clams.

Previously, I've also enjoyed the Lasagne al Forno - (spinach pasta, Bolognese, Besciamella - $21), which is rich and hearty.

Go try Juliet if you haven't already! I've heard that they have a fabulous brunch, too - can't wait!


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Ham Noodle Soup - Recipe




Had some leftover ham so I decided to make some soup. Turned out great so I'm recording this recipe here for the future!


Ingredients
  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 organic onion, chopped
  • 5 organic carrots, scrubbed and chopped
  • 5 stalks organic celery, scrubbed and chopped
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 pound ham, chopped
  • 1 15 oz can organic kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 14 oz can can organic diced tomatoes with juice
  • 2 quarts organic low sodium chicken stock
  • 1 pound pasta (I used Italian tri-color pasta)
  • sea salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste

Instructions
  1. chop all of the veggies and set aside
  2. cook the chopped onion in the olive oil until translucent, about 5 minutes
  3. add the carrots and celery and stir for a few minutes
  4. add the red pepper flakes and stir until fragrant
  5. add the ham, beans, and tomatoes and stir
  6. add the stock and bring to a boil
  7. add the pasta and cook, turning off the heat 2 minutes before the package indicates that the pasta is done
  8. add salt and pepper to taste

Options
  • add minced garlic to taste (after onions are translucent, add garlic for 30 seconds before adding carrots and celery)
  • replace pasta with 1 pound of chopped potatoes (simmer potatoes in the soup for 25 minutes or until potatotes are tender)
  • add 1/2 pound of chopped kale with stems removed (simmer for 5 minutes uncovered to prevent the kale from turning dark (brown or gray)
I've made this soup with all of the above options - all of the versions are all awesome! Enjoy!


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

True Food Kitchen, Ancient Grains Bowl with Tofu - Restaurant Review



Met my friends KP and MS for lunch at True Food Kitchen today. Felt like eating vegetarian, so I ordered the Ancient Grains Bowl with Tofu (and miso-glazed sweet potato, turmeric, charred onion, snow pea, grilled portobello, avocado, hemp seed - $15). The hemp seeds look like quinoa are under the avocado in this photo, and the green pesto-looking sauce in the top right corner was actually made of cilantro, not basil.

I mixed all of the ingredients together before digging in. It was so fantastic! The sweet potato glaze was slightly sweet and had the consistency of honey. The tofu was firm and perfectly cooked. The serving was large that I saved half to share with the hubby. Unfortunately, I accidentally forgot my leftovers at the restaurant.

Next to the Shitake Mushroom Lettuce Cups and Red Chili Noodle Bowl, this has been my favorite dish so far at TFK!


Sunday, June 19, 2016

Antonelli's Cheese Shop - Review


Antonelli's is a cheese-lover's paradise! This compact, friendly store has a huge, beautifully-curated selection of not just the most fantastic cheeses, but also the most wonderful nibbles and sips from around the world, including charcuterie, olives, wine, beer, ale, spreads, crackers, and probably more that I've neglected to mention.


The great thing about the shop is that you can try a bite of literally any cheese in the refrigerated display. ANY of them!

Being lactose intolerant, aged hard cheeses are best for my belly. I chose this 10 year Cheddar from Wisconsin and it tasted amazing! While maintaining a sharp character, it was also nutty and smooth - not extremely mouth-puckering or bitter as I've tasted with other aged Cheddars (namely a 3 year Cheddar which I purchased just once from Costco). At $40 per pound this is a pricey cheese, so I bought just a tiny bit of it.


I'm planning on making a Caprese salad this week with homegrown basil and heirloom tomatoes, so I picked up some of this fresh Maplebrook Mozzarella. Can't wait to try it and will post an update when I do! Update - this cheese made a wonderful Caprese salad! See my blog post and recipe here.

Also purchased some Parmigiano. The cheesemonger told me that is should only be kept for a month in the fridge before its taste starts to deteriorate. I had no idea, as most Parmigianos I've seen have expiration dates several months in the future. I'll start purchasing smaller portions so that I can use up the cheese within a month. Will also post an update when we get a chance to actually taste it.

What's not to love about Antonelli's? Fun, friendly, fit for foodies - it's perfect!


Saturday, June 18, 2016

True Food Kitchen, Tuna Salad - Restaurant Review 6/18


Another visit to TFK, this time to celebrate a friend's retirement after 30 years at the same company!

We ordered a bunch of appetizers to share that I've blogged about previously (Roasted Carrots, Kale Guac, and Edamame Dumplings). Of course I indulged in my favorite sparkling rosé.


For my meal I ordered the Seared Albacore Tuna Salad (with avocado, grapefruit, cabbage, watermelon radish, thai basil, toasted sesame, chili garlic dressing - $18). I enjoyed it a lot, although a couple of the slices of tuna tasted slightly on the fishy side. Overall, though, the salad was excellent with just the right balance of all of the ingredients and a light dressing distributed evenly throughout. I really enjoyed it, and will probably order it again in the future!

The server brought out a Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp (with almond crumble, vanilla ice cream - $7) on the house to celebrate the retirement. It was just enough for us to share as we were all pretty full from the apps and our meals. This was a very nice touch by the restaurant, and one that was appreciated by all six of us.

For 3 glasses of wine, 6 cocktails, 3 beers, 3 appetizers, and 6 main dishes, the bill came out to around $260 before tip. Go try this restaurant if you haven't already! I am eating my way through the menu!


Friday, June 17, 2016

Encore Cafe at the Wortham Center, Houston - Restaurant Review


Before Houston Ballet performances at the Wortham Center, my mom and I have found it extremely convenient and delicious to have dinner at the Encore Cafe in the theater's lobby. The choices are limited (design your own pasta - $15, design your own salad - $9, and panini sandwiches - $12 each), but the food is generally fresh and the portions are large.


When we attended the ballet a couple of weeks ago, my mom ordered a pork Cuban panini, which came with waffle fries and a pickle. She finished the sandwich and pickles but left most of the fries. The fries were fairly greasy and salty. I didn't try the sandwich itself.

I designed my own salad with shrimp on top of spring mix, spinach and a ton of other toppings such as tomatoes, bacon, avocado, cucumber, olives, walnuts, bacon, and citrus vinaigrette. It was really good, despite a few mushy lettuce leaves in the spring mix.


Tonight, mom and I both designed our own salads. Mine is above - similar to my previous salad, but with the addition of carrots, red onions, and croutons. Mom chose both chicken and shrimp for her salad, added cranberries, and didn't add bacon, but otherwise her salad was just like mine.

The service is inconsistent. Some of the food assemblers are friendly and efficient, and some of them plate a mediocre dish. You can also purchase desserts (chocolates and other single serving desserts), beverages (water, soft drinks - quite pricey at $3+), and other drinks such as wine (in single serving bottles at the register, or by the glass from the bartender).

Trays, napkins, and plastic utensils are provided, as are water cups and ice if you'd rather get tap water from a fountain. There are plenty of tables located near the cafe (which spans both sides of the theater), as well as near the large window in the lobby and along the hallways to either side. We've never had trouble finding a pleasant table.

Arriving early for easy parking and dinner at the theater is a wonderful luxury and so convenient, especially because the food is good and customers have a lot of choices.


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Gusto - Restaurant Review


Had a wonderful reunion here at Gusto with LM and her family. We hit the end of happy hour, which offered 25% off bottles of wine and a couple of dollars off of the appetizers.

The service was fine. Our server was training someone and he was a bit more talkative than expected. He was very nice, and they both did a good job with our service.

     
Three of us split a bottle of this Futurosa Piemonte Rosato (a rosé wine from the Piedmont province of Italy). It was listed at $40 per bottle on the menu before the happy hour discount ($30 per bottle afterwards) and is 50% Barbera and 50% Merlot. It was very a very pretty pink color, food friendly, light, and refreshing with slight hints of berry. We all enjoyed it very much!

We ordered a couple of orders of two different appetizers - Arancini Crispy Risotto (with mushrooms, mozzarella, parmigiano, and romesco - $10 per order dinner price, $8 per order for happy hour) and Crispy Brussels Sprouts (with balsamic - $7 per order dinner price, $5 per order for happy hour).

The Arancini were crunchy on the outside and cheesy on the inside with a delicate flavor and just a smidgen of sauce. The order came with 6 pieces which was the perfect number for our group to have one each. The Brussels sprouts were crispy almost to the point of being burnt (just the way I like them) and we gobbled them up!

I ordered the Cioppino (with salmon, shrimp, mussels, calamari, clams, spicy tomato sauce, grilled ciabatta - $23). It was decent, but I've had versions with a lot more seafood, which I expected for the price. The bowl was extremely shallow, so what you see is exactly what I got - a soup in a plate with a slightly deeper middle. The flavors were nice - I just expected a little more substance. The balance of seafood was slightly off, too - a bit too much squid and not enough shrimp, shellfish, and salmon. Not sure if I'll order it again simply because I wasn't sure it was worth the price.

Also had a bite of the Caesar Salad (heart of romaine, creamy Caesar dressing, focaccia croutons, parmigiano - $8), which was delicious featured full leaves of Romaine dressed lightly with the dressing and cheese. The croutons were perfectly crunchy and just the right size. I love a good Caesar!

For the six of us (1 bottle of wine, 2 beers, and 4 appetizers, at happy hour prices; 2 salads, 1 pizza, and 4 entrées at regular price), the bill came out to $200 before tip.

Gusto is a casual restaurant with consistent food and an excellent wine list. It's one of my go-to restaurants in Central Austin and remains amongst the easiest places to stop in with a group of friends for happy hour. Try it if you haven't yet!


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

True Food Kitchen, Crudités and Fish Tacos - Restaurant Review


Yes, I was back at True Food Kitchen today celebrating the lovely SI's birthday!

First of all, the service at TFK continues to be excellent and very customer-centered. SI was running about 15 minutes late (which she never does!), and the hostesses at the restaurant held our reservation until she arrived - so sweet! Then, as we sat down, they brought over a high chair for her toddler and the waiter asked if he should bring food for the little ones while we decided on our meal. They clearly know what they are doing - kids turn into pumpkins if they have to wait too long for their food!


For our lunch, SI suggested the Chilled Farmers Market Crudités (with Tzatziki & black olive dip - $13). This was definitely my favorite dish! The veggies were blanched and served in ice so they were gorgeously saturated with color and refreshingly cool. The dips were thin - more like salad dressing. Apparently they used to be served a little thicker than this, so hopefully the restaurant returns to that texture because these watery dips were very challenging to eat - they slid right off the veggies!

We also ordered the Grilled Fish Tacos (with avocado, Greek yogurt, cilantro, pickled onion, Anasazi bean, Cotija cheese - $20) (pictured top center of photo). While they were fresh with very large pieces of fish, we didn't feel that they were worth $20. Perhaps some fresh pico de gallo or salsa on these would have improved them - they were less flavorful than expected. However, no pico or salsa came with the dish so we assumed that they weren't needed. And I still don't feel they would be worth $20.

As always, TFK serves fresh, healthy food. I'm inspired to prepare crudités at home for the hubby - I know he'd love it! I'll be back soon to try (and review) more fabulous food! Actually, my next reservation is for Saturday! Can't wait!


Sunday, June 12, 2016

Udon with Tofu and Baby Bok Choy Stir Fry - Recipe


I love udon noodles, tofu, bok choy, and Trader Joe's Soyaki Sauce. This is a great way to combine all of them for a light, healthy, delicious meal!

Here's my shopping list - you can always substitute comparable items for these if you prefer.

                 
I purchase this firm organic tofu from Costco in packs of four.


I purchase these organic udon noodles from Costco in packs of six.

              
I purchase this scrumptious Soyaki sauce from Trader Joe's.

     
I also purchased this Baby Bok Choy from Trader Joe's.


Ingredients
  • 2 packs firm tofu
  • Soyaki to taste (I prefer 3 T)
  • 1 pack Trader Joe's Baby Bok Choy
  • 4 packs organic udon noodles
  • 2 T avocado or olive oil
  • a splash of sesame oil
  • more Soyaki to taste (I prefer 2 T)

Instructions
  1. Open and drain both packs of tofu.
  2. Place each piece onto its own plate, and place another plate upside-down on top of each to force the water out of the tofu for about 2 hours. This will make the tofu a little firmer so that it will stand up to the stir fry process.
  3. Drain both pieces of tofu and cut them into 1-inch cubes.
  4. Place all of the tofu in a medium-size bowl and drizzle with Soyaki. Stir and marinate for 20 minutes to 24 hours. If marinating for more than 20 minutes, put the tofu in the refrigerator.
  5. Bring the noodles to room temperature. I do this by leaving them on the kitchen counter for about 30 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, chop the bok choy into 1-inch strips.
  7. Heat a large pot or wok on medium and add 2 T avocado oil and a splash of sesame oil.
  8. Cook the tofu for about 3 minutes, carefully stirring it so that it doesn't stick or burn.
  9. Add the noodles and stir carefully to prevent breaking them. Cook for 3 more minutes.
  10. Add the bok choy and more Soyaki. Stir so that all ingredients are mixed evenly and the bok choy is bright green, about 3 minutes.
  11. Serve and enjoy! Makes 4 servings.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Château de Malleret Cru Bourgeois Bordeaux 2010, Haut-Médoc, France - $17

     

I purchased this wine at Costco for $17. 2010 Bordeaux are supposed to be amongst the best ever produced because of the weather conditions that year.

This wine is rich, deep, and dry with strong tannins and a dark cocoa finish. It's also slightly acidic, which I wasn't expecting. Its 14% alcohol content is higher than I prefer, and you can feel it on the nose.

This wine is fine if you don't mind the strong blowback.


68 Degrees - Restaurant Review


68 Degrees is a new Italian restaurant on Lake Austin Blvd in Deep Eddy. It's owned by Marion Gillcrist of La Traviata, my favorite Italian restaurant in Austin. The name is taken from the temperature of nearby Deep Eddy pool.


The atmosphere is clean, crisp, and calm. The service is attentive. The restaurant is a more casual version of La Traviata, but with comparable prices - there is no complimentary bread and olive oil, and when you request pepper it is brought to your table in a shaker (not freshly-ground). We were a little disappointed.

     
We ordered the Feudi di San Gregorio Aglianico Rubrato 2012, Campania, Italy, which was $36 a bottle. It was more acidic than most Aglianicos that I've had. It is moderately rich with medium acidity and firm tannins, and contains 13.5% alcohol. Food friendly - went well with my tuna.

I love a good Caesar Salad. 68 Degrees serves theirs with anchovy oil dressing (but no actual anchovies), fresh egg yolk, parmesan and garlic croutons for $7.75. It was a really nice version of a Caesar, even though it's not super traditional.

There were several items on the menu that I really wanted to try, but I stuck to pasta because I thought that it would be house-made.

I ordered the Linguine Puttanesca with Yellowfin Tuna, capers, olives, anchovies, and tomato. It was slightly too salty and the noodles did not taste house-made (such a bummer). The delicious tuna was cooked until just pink inside, and there was more than enough pasta and fish leftover to take some home for lunch tomorrow.

Hubby thoroughly enjoyed (and finished!) his Spaghetti Bolognese (pasta with veal, pork and beef meat sauce, spinach and parmesan - $17). Again, the noodles were not made in-house. However, he really enjoyed the dish, and especially the sauce.

For a bottle of wine, 2 salads, and 2 pasta dishes, our total came to $96 before tip.

We will definitely be returning, and next time I'll try a non-pasta entrée.


Thursday, June 9, 2016

Rocca del Dragone Aglianico 2010, Campania, Italy - $15

     

Love this Rocca del Dragone Aglianico 2010 from Campania, Italy! It is listed online for $15 a bottle, and I can't remember where I purchased it.

This is a lovely, food friendly wine! It tastes of dark fruit with a smooth finish. It went well with spinach and cheese ravioli in a marinara sauce.

I'll be checking with Austin Wine Merchant to hopefully purchase this wine again.


The Steeping Room - Restaurant Review



This was my first time to The Steeping Room on North Lamar. It was busy but not packed. We were seated in a booth near the host's table in the middle of the restaurant. The only drawback to sitting facing the back window was that during sunset for about 15 minutes, the sunlight beamed directly into my eyes. I had to shift every few minutes in the booth in order to avoid it. Otherwise, the service was fine and the tea and food were wonderful.

I ordered a pot of Golden Pear Rooibos and Honeybush Tea - it was enough for around 4 medium-sized tea cups and was absolutely delicious! It is also caffeine-free - perfect for evening.

Since we were having a meeting, I also thought it would be nice to have some munchies. I ordered the Mediterranean Plate (dolmas, olives, seasonal hummus, feta and flatbread - $10.50). Everything was fresh and tasty. The hummus was extremely yummy - a little more garlicky than typical, which I really like. The warm pita triangles were slightly crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. We could have used a couple of more pieces to finish the hummus and feta. The dolmas were on the firm side and a little bland, but very fresh. The olives were salty and lent a nice contrast to the dolmas. We finished every bite on the platter!

I'd love to come back here again soon!


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

True Food Kitchen, Quinoa Burger - Restaurant Review


Another fabulous dinner with friends at True Food Kitchen!


I ordered my favorite sparkling rosé from Domaine Chandon (Napa/Sonoma, CA) which is $13 a glass here, and served in such a pretty glass!

For dinner I ordered the Inside Out Quinoa Burger (with hummus, tzatziki, tomato, cucumber, red onion, avocado, feta - $12) and a side of kale salad. The burger was fine and I loved the kale salad. My favorite dishes here are still the Shitake Mushroom Lettuce Cups and the Kale Guacamole.

I'm determined to try most, if not all, of the items on this menu. As I told a friend, I would eat every single one of them. I wonder how long that'll take...


Sunday, June 5, 2016

The Grove Downtown - Restaurant Review


We headed to The Grove downtown for dinner with my mom and my sister (with her hubby and kids). I reserved a table outside because I thought the kids might enjoy being outdoors more than being inside.

When hubby and I arrived, we were shown to our patio table and the air smelled like rotting fish. I didn't want to sit outside, but we thought we'd let my sister decide since she had the kids with her. I've sat outside on the patio before and have never experienced this unpleasant odor, so I'm sure it was an anomaly, but it didn't make it any easier to take. When my sister arrived, it didn't smell so bad so we decided to remain outdoors.

The first thing we did was order the Pasta with Tomato Sauce and Meatball ($6) from the children's menu for my nephew so that his food could come out first - he gets rowdy if he has to wait too long for his food. When the pasta came, there were five orders of it, none of which had meatballs. We told the waiter delivering the food (not the waiter who took our order) that there must be some mistake. Instead of leaving us with one of the pastas and going back for a meatball, he took all of the dishes back inside, and about 10 minutes later appeared with a pasta dish with one meatball. My nephew enjoyed it and ate most of it.


We ordered the Grove Sampler (roasted red pepper hummus, edamame hummus, eggplant caponata on top of olive tapenade; served with cucumber, carrots, grilled pita - $11), which was good. It was weird to have the eggplant on top of the tapenade - I would have rather had them separate. The edamame hummus was too salty for me. We had to ask for extra pita to finish the spreads.

I ordered a glass of Gérard Bertrand Crémant de Limoux Rosé 2013, Languedoc, France ($9.50). I've had this wine before and ordered it because it's light and crisp with just enough bubbles. I'm really enjoying sparkling rosés from this producer - just lovely!


I ordered a starter for my meal - Texas Redfish Ceviche (with peppers, onions, cilantro, avocado, cucumbers, citrus, lime-sea salt,corn chips - $14). It was extremely fresh, light, and tasty - exactly what I wanted.


Hubby ordered the Spicy Ginger Rice Noodles (with snap peas, carrots, bean sprout, shiitake, cilantro, chiles, peanuts, and added chicken - $18). It was much spicier than he had expected - a little too hot even though he likes spicy food. I tried it and it didn't seem overly-spicy, but there was enough heat that it was difficult to taste the many flavors in the dish.


Mom ordered the Miso Salmon Salad (seared salmon, mixed greens, haricot verts, cucumber, carrot, bell pepper, and panko-crusted onion rings in a miso-honey vinaigrette - $16). She really enjoyed her salad, and had about half the salmon left to take home.


My sister ordered the Ahi Poke Tuna ($15) but ended up with the Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna (with marinated cucumber and cabbage slaw, ponzu sauce, wasabi aioli - $14). She enjoyed her dish but it wasn't what she had originally ordered so she was slightly disappointed. However, it took so long to get our food and she was so hungry that she ate the dish because it was close enough to what she ordered.

My brother-in-law ordered the Kobe Burger ($13) which he really enjoyed. It came with a ton of homemade potato chips that we couldn't finish (even though we tried!).

In all, our bill came out to around $130 for 3 small plates, 3 entree-sized plates, a child's plate, 3 glasses of wine, and a diet coke. Service was friendly but inconsistent.

I would come back to The Grove, although I'll sit inside next time because it's not so crowded and I've always had good, consistent service indoors.


Saturday, June 4, 2016

Sushi Zushi Delivery - Restaurant Review


Tonight we ordered delivery from Sushi Zushi, which was easy to do and includes free delivery with a minimum order of $25.


We ordered three rolls, two of which were rolled in thin slices of daikon (turnip). The rolls we ordered were the Dallas Roll (tuna, salmon, yellowtail, snow crab, wasabi tobiko and avocado rolled maki style in a fine sheet of daikon radish and nori - $13), the Summer Roll (tuna, salmon, yellowtail and avocado rolled maki style, topped with ikura [salmon caviar] - $13), and the River Walk Roll (riceless - fresh tuna, salmon and yellowtail rolled maki style in a fine sheet of daikon with spring mix, julienne carrots and asparagus; drizzled with spicy sashimi sauce - $14). Hubby didn't love the rolls with daikon but they were fine with me. I do prefer the riceless rolls from Piranha Killer Sushi.


We also ordered 6 pieces of nigiri sushi - 2 salmon ($5), 2 tuna ($4.50), and 2 anago (sea eel - $5). They were fresh and tasty, although I prefer my anago grilled with eel sauce.

The total was $60 before tip. Everything was fresh and tasty. I do prefer the rolls at Piranha, but Sushi Zushi is definitely better than Whole Foods sushi.