Friday, May 2, 2014

To Try List May 2014

May 2014 To Try List

Every week it seems another amazing restaurant opens in Atlanta. I feel the urge to try them all and often have a hard time keeping up with where I want to go on any given night. I also struggle with revisiting old favorites or neighborhood spots. To remedy this, last year I started a "to try" list so I have go to ideas for nights out. With a new baby at home, we will have to carefully plan our nights out. I am not going to waste a sitter on just any old meal, so I have planned ahead. Here are a few places I plan to go in the coming months:
  • Kimball House- Decatur (I have been waiting to try the oysters and the cocktails!)
  • Better Half- Midtown-I had the pleasure of trying thier supper club, I can't wait to have dinner!
  • St. Cecilia- Buckhead-I love Ford Fry and Mediteranean/ seafood so why not?
  • Ration and Dram- Kirkwood- I have also been waiting on this one until I could have a beer!
What's on your list?

Thursday, May 1, 2014

My Last Supper(s)

The countdown is on... Two weeks from today, Marianna Rose Schumacher will enter the world. Time has gone so quickly the past two or three months. While I feel confident we have finished all of our little projects and that we are ready for her arrival, I am having last minute urges to plan one last night out pre-baby. We spent a long weekend in New York in January as a last fling (more to come on that) but the gourmet in me knows it may be a while before we head out to a nicer date night. So I have planned a few meals to hold me over. So where am I heading?
  • Woodfire Grill- We will be celebrating Mothers Day and my father's birthday here next weekend. They are planning a special pre-fix menu but also offering the a la carte options. I have found that the food here is consistently amazing. I also like that you can have a casual blue jean dinner with friends or get all dressed up for an anniversary or special occasion. The menu seems to match this offering a decadent chef's tasting with wine parings (highly recommended) as well as a reasonable and diverse a la carte menu and wine list.
  • Restaurant Eugene- I celebrated my birthday here in August and knew I wanted to come back often. We will be dining here for our last couples "date night" pre-baby. They epitomise what I think is the new model of fine dining, a lovely setting, impeccable service, creative food and a laid back atmosphere. I have been impressed each time I have visited and am looking forward to spending my last supper here!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

A Much Needed Break

I have been away for a while but with good reason. I am excited to share that a baby girl will be joining our family in May 2014. The past six months have been a roller coaster of emotions and hormones making eating, thinking, or writing about food nearly impossible!

We have had some amazing food experiences that I can't wait to look back and share. As I look forward I know some things are going to change, so in the meantime I am making up for lost time and getting my fill of some great new places and all time favorites.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

San Francisco Favorites

I just helped a friend with some travel info for an upcoming trip, so I thought today I would provide a list of some of my favorite places in San Francisco. I often have friends traveling there and love to give some fun recommendations. Since I don't live there and am only there about once a year at best, I am certainly not the most up to date on the most "in" places, but I have accumulated a few great finds and tried and true places that I visit time and time again.

Great Places to Stay
  • The Fairmont- To me this is the iconic SF hotel. It sits high atop Nob Hill and is just the epitome of old fashioned SF glamour.
  • Cavallo Point Lodge- while this is located in Marin county and not in the city itself they do offer free shuttles into Town multiple times per day making it a great getaway from the hustle and bustle. I highly recommend the spa and splurging for a suite!
  • Hotel Vitale- The location on the Embarcadero is a great launching point for exploring the city and the rooftop view is amazing!
More affordable:
  • The Mark Hopkins- This hotel also sits on Nob Hill just across from the Fairmont. It is the a similar style as a discounted price. The rooms and lobby are not quite as plush as its comparison, but it is more interesting than your typical hotel.
Things to Do
  • Bike or walk across the Golden Gate Bridge. You can ride all over SF and the areas surrounding the bay. This is a great way to get some exercise to earn your dinner for later!
  • Climb the Flibert Steps to Coit Tower. Wind your way through the back yards of some interesting houses as you climb your way up to Coit Tower. Then take the time to see the tower itself. This is a great place for views and for the cool art deco murals inside.
  • See Golden Gate Park. This park is huge and has so much to offer. Pick up a map and pick an area to explore. I like seeing the animals as well as the Japanese Tea Gardens and the Windmill near the beach!
  • Ride a cable car!
  • Be at the Ferry Building for the Saturday morning market. Plan on staying to eat breakfast and maybe lunch. I could spend all day here, but they typically pack up by 1 pm. Go early for the best selection and the most food choices.
  • Take public transportation and or walk. Especially being from Atlanta, I love that even the buses are efficient and clean.
  • Take a Tour. There are tons, but I recommend the following:
Places to Drink
Places to Eat

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

San Francisco Part II: Rich Table

I have found a new favorite restaurant! While in San Francisco, I was lucky enough to snag a reservation at Rich Table.  Husband wife duo Evan and Sarah Rich opened this spot in 2012 in Hayes Valley. In  only one year, they were finalists for the James Beard Award for best new restaurant. The space is warm and inviting as well as unassuming. They pride themselves on being a place where you can casually get an amazing meal without the pretense of a fancy restaurant. We were given a great window seat near the bar and I got excited as we planned our menu choices with some help from the waiter. The menu features several sizes of dishes from bites to mid size plate to large more entree size offerings. We took the opportunity to try several things from each category. Each dish that arrived became my new favorite.

To start we sampled the dried porcini doughnuts. They were light and fluffy savory and doughy with a creamy dipping sauce that I couldn't get enough of.
This was quickly followed with sardines served inside of crispy house made potato chips. I learned to love all things little fish while in France and Spain and this was no exception. This was an amazing flavor with the salty and the softness of the fish paired with the crunch of the chip. It was visually interesting as well, definitely not something you would try at home. 

We marched ahead to the more entree like offerings including the chicken cannelloni. This was such a fresh take on what I often think of as a heavy dish. The flavors were offset by the crisp sweet peas and the salty crunchy chicken skin bits topping the plate. 

Our final entree was a lighter take on the popular pork belly. This dish featured asparagus (the monster flavorful kind that you can only seem to find in Northern CA) and mushrooms. The asparagus balanced the richness of the pork and made an irresistible bite.

We finished our dinner with the coconut pana cotta. This was served with a fresh lime meringue and coconut crumbles. The perfect ending to a perfect meal.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Short Trip to San Francisco Part I

Last month I had the opportunity to tag along for a trip to one of my favorite cities, San Francisco. I love when I have traveled to a city enough times to no longer feel obligated to see any tourist attractions. Its a nice release to give myself permission to just wander and do or eat whatever I want!

We started our weekend at Cavallo Point the location of our wedding in 2011. It was so nice to be there and relax, have some wine on the porch and look at the view of the Golden Gate Bridge. We had a light lunch at the Farley Bar and our dinner at the Murry Circle restaurant who catered our wedding dinner as we reminisced about that great day.

Saturday we headed into the city and started off the night with an amazing dinner at Canteen. Canteen is almost like an incorporated supper club. The chef has two seatings each night at 6 and 8. The menu is 4-5 courses pre-fix with wine a la carte. When we arrived I was thrilled to see the restaurant was located in what used to be the diner like breakfast space of the old art deco Commodore Hotel. This was the first hotel that I ever stayed in when I visited SF. It had been about 16 years since I had been in the space. It is now a dorm for the San Francisco Institute of Art. It was so interesting to see the transformation. The lobby is now the dorm lobby and common area and the bar is currently closed.

Commodore Breakfast Space as I knew it!

Stepping inside we were one of about 20 people lucky enough to have a seat for the night. The chef prepped our food behind the diner style counter. Smells of the warm dinner rolls (which I heard were legendary) wafted through the air.

Our dinner was amazing. Such care and detail was taken with each dish. We had an appetizer of smoked lamb with butter beans. The lamb melted in your mouth and was balanced in richness by the beans. The second course was an English pea soup filled with lump dungeness crab. This was light and fresh and tasted like spring. The entree was halibut crusted in hazelnuts and mustard. To finish was my favorite a rhubarb shortcake with homemade cakes and tart and tangy rhubarb, perfect for the nice spring night.

To extend our evening, we walked up Nob Hill to the Fairmont Hotel. In the basement is the classic and kitchy Tonga Room. It was packed with tourists, locals, wedding parties and bachelorettes. This was so entertaining. For about $20 you can position yourself in this Tiki paradise to people watch, dance, and drink something with rum out of a whole pineapple. I had not been here in over 10 years and its still as entertaining as ever!