New Orleans – 1/19/17 – Latitude 29 and N7

Latitude 29
The perfect start to a long weekend in NOLA!

N7
I have to start with a disclaimer as the photos do not to justice to N7.  It is a bit off the beaten path and our uber driver was somewhat confused.  Behind a tall fence is the most adorable outdoor space which is the perfect location for a dinner with a group of friends.  Loved everything about this place, but like the band that is fantastic live and not so great recorded, N7 is far better first hand.


sake cured salmon tartine, goat cheese, cilantro

escargot tempura, garlic cream sauce

avocado salad, wasabi dressing

can to table

hamachi carpaccio

duck a l’orange

Washington, D.C. – 11/13/16 – Momofuku CCDC & the Dabney

Momofuku CCDC
Much of the improvement in the DC dining scene can be attributed to the opening of branches of restaurants from elsewhere.  And while I try to avoid places that I can find at home, in this case having a Momofuku only a short walk from the convention center was pretty fantastic.

Brisket buns

Momo bap

The Dabney
Once again Bon Appetit’s best new restaurants list has not lead me astray.  The influence of Chef Langhorne’s time at McCrady’s is definitely apparent.  Such a cozy vibe just perfect for a place with only a wood fire.  Everything was wonderful and a repeat visit will certainly be made my next time in DC.


18 month broadbent’s country ham, biscuit & house condiments

Pork rillette, grilled ciabatta, mustard seed, ramps, fennel & herbs

Maryland blue crab, sunchokes, bearnaise & aleppo

Winter squash cooked in the fire, goat feta, walnuts, mustard greens & fresh horseradish

Confit potato salad, broadbent’s bacon, parsley, pickled mustard seed & cured egg yolk

Whistle pig farm pork cabbage wraps – pork loin and shoulder, roasted cauliflower, fermented chili, apple, peanuts, pickles, herbs

Fruit crumble

San Francisco – 9/3/16 – in Situ, Aaxte, Louie’s Gen-Gen Room and Lord Stanley

In Situ
I have to admit that when I first read about in Situ I didn’t get the concept at all and I really had no interest in going.  A restaurant based on reproducing dishes of various chefs from around the world seemed almost like a fad.  But I wasn’t considering the setting and when I finally visited it all made perfect sense. In Situ is located in the SF Museum of Modern Art and it is actually the absolute perfect museum restaurant as it is own museum of rotating dishes from famous chefs and restaurants around the world spanning decades.  The dishes themselves are classic and are faithfully reproduced.  Now I just need to dig back to that old photo of the Clove Club chicken.


Buttermilk fried chicken & pine salt – Isaac McHale, The Clove Club

Summery warm tomato & basil tart – Michel Guerard, Les Pres d’Eugenie

Ketchup fried rice – Roy Choi, LA Son

Aaxte
As our first stop of the evening we sadly had to limit what we ordered.  But I will definitely be back for a full dinner.  An adorable place, excellent service, and some shrimp that I could eat everyday.




Louie’s Gen Gen Room
I didn’t have time to try Lilhio Yacht Club on this trip unfortunately but did have a chance to check out this recently opened subterranean cocktail spot below it.  The space is adorable and the drinks bright and refreshing.  The abbreviated food menu contains a large number of waffle options.  A strange choice I initially thought but they were far better than I expected.




Lord Stanley
It was quite late by San Fran standards by the time we reached Lord Stanley and I felt badly that they allowed such a late reservation as we were the last table seated.  I don’t think I really appreciated how good this dinner was until the next day.  The vegetable preparations are really fantastic and refreshingly different.  The eggplant accompanying my lamb was hands down the best I have ever had.  It has never been one of my favorites and was completely transformed.  I”m looking forward to a return trip for the tasting menu.  Indeed one of the best new restaurants in America!


Onion petals with sherry vinegar

Grilled trumpet mushrooms, garlic and almond

Wagyu beef tartar with chanterelle and summer truffle

Sweet potato with shemeji, horseradish creme fraiche and nasturtium

Lamb loin and belly with charred eggplant, black olive and lemon

Charleston, SC – 6/10/16 – Xiao Bao Biscuit, Bar at the Spectator Hotel, the Ordinary and the Belmont

Xiao Bao Biscuit
After several hours of very warm biking around Charleston we made our way to Xiao Bao Biscuit for lunch.  The Okonomiyaki lives up to the hype and is completely fantastic.  But the pork candy takes it to another level entirely.  This stuff is absolutely addicting.  I have no idea how it is made, but why is nobody else doing this?  Brilliant.  Our other dishes were delicious but admittedly overshadowed through no fault of their own.

Okonomiyaki – Japanese cabbage pancake with pork candy

Pad Kra Pow – minced beef, beans, thai chili and basil over rice with farm egg

Bo Bo Ji – Sichuan style chicken, cilantro, scallion & peanut salad over rice with a roasted sesame flavored sauce

Bar at the Spectator
We stayed at the Spectator hotel which I cannot say enough good things about.  The rooms were absolutely lovely and the service top notch.  Addressing guests by name always makes one feel special and was done in such a warm manner that you immediately felt that you were friends with the entire staff.  Room service breakfast was included in the room rate which I thought was a great touch especially as the rates did not seem inflated to compensate and the choices were perfect.  Butler service was also provided to all rooms and upon arrival our first butler David took my dress to be steamed and returned not only with my dress, but with a bottle of sparkling wine to celebrate my birthday.  I would have been quite happy to move in and cannot imagine staying anywhere else in Charleston.

The bar is beautifully decorated and I had read glowing reviews prior to the trip.  The cocktails were indeed quite good  And as Bravo’s Southern Charm is one of my many guilty pleasures, I was excited to see that Gentry bourbon actually exists and was on the menu.

The Ordinary
I’m still kicking myself for not choosing this for my actual birthday dinner.  The Ordinary is housed in an old bank building and it makes me so happy when these structures are re-used.  It was my mission to overdose on shrimp this weekend and so it makes an appearance here.  An all seafood dinner which at the end of day 2 of Charleston summer temperatures was exactly what I wanted to eat.  And a first for me with wahoo crudo which was a lovely dish.  Unfortunately I have forgotten the ingredients in our desert but that seems bound to happen to me at least a few times per trip.

Ordinary Hawaiian Rolls, Sea Salt Butter

Peel & Eat Shrimp
Jumbo Lump Blue Crab, Grapefruit, Avocado

Wahoo Crudo, Corn, Summer Truffle

Black Bass Ceviche, Avocado, Cucumber

Steamed Snowy Grouper, Porcini Ragout

The Belmont 
A perfect nightcap at the Belmont.  Despite the bouncer outside we only had to wait a few minutes to get inside with seats at the bar.