Wednesday, July 28, 2010

C'est Magnifique Lunch on a Rainy Day

My 3rd anniversary with the boy is coming up next week. Unfortunately, by that time, he'd be halfway across the world already. So we decided to celebrate early. He took me to a little French place on Piedmont in Atlanta called Atmosphere for lunch. The price is pretty fair and the food actually goes beyond my expectation. The place itself is a cute little house with a little bit of a Southern touch and a nice outdoor patio. It was slightly raining when we first got out of the car, so we went for indoor seating.

The server brought us some fresh complimentary bread, piping hot from the oven, which I honestly didn't even touch (I try to do this whenever I'm not that starved). We started off with the cocktail de crabe et avocat, which is crab lump and meat with avocado Napoleon, diced tomatoes, and mango chutney. We were going to order the foie gras poëlé but they didn't have it at the time. But oh boy, our pick was far from disappointing. I had no idea that mango could create such a magical effect when paired with the right ingredients.

My main entree was moules marinières, mussels cooked in white wine, shallots and garlic butter. The mussels were cooked to perfection, very plump, juicy, and flavorful. I really like it when the white wine sauce isn't to buttery sweet and still has the wine flavor that slightly kicks and fully complements the mussels. Perfect balance.

The boy opted for a confit de canard atmosphère, which is duck leg confit with wild mushrooms raviolis, baby carrots, red wine reduction sauce. The duck meat simply falls of the bone. So tender, juicy, and full of flavor. I honestly think that duck meat is one of the sweetest and most savory kind of meat by nature. This dish still maintains a little bit of its sweetness and combine it with flavorful herbs and a subtle kick of the red wine flavor. And oh- FYI, the boy isn't a huge fan of pasta. Want to know what he thinks of the mushroom ravioli? "It tastes like meat," he said. His favorite pasta so far.

The desserts list for lunch isn't all that grandeur, but we went with the server's recommendation of apple tart fine with vanilla ice cream and Calvados caramel. It was pretty good, but not exceptional. And oh- they use real vanilla beans, which is always a plus. The boy actually offered to come back here for dinner but we went to Fogo de Chao instead. Oh well, there's always a next time.

PS: The pictures were taken using iPhone 4G's camera. Apology for them being a little fuzzy.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

"I Know a Place Where the Grass is Really Greener.."

Not sure about that, but I can vouch that the food is better.

This post was prompted by the fact that it was 70 degrees in San Diego yesterday and it was an almost heat-wave like weather here in the South. And also, I haven't gotten the chance to show some of the beautiful things that I encountered during my brief stay in the sunshine state. It was a really short trip actually, one of those over-the-weekends. The purpose of it was to attend my cousin's wedding in Del Mar. But we stayed a couple extra nights just so we could make the best out of our $400 plane tickets.

What I miss so much from California is the constant indulgence my taste buds experience when it comes to food. But I won't explain further. Like they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, right?

Mitsuwa's tonkotsu ramen has always been a winner. It comes with a bowl of rice topped with ikura (salmon roe) and eggs.

I don't know how Mitsuwa (the little stall is called Kayaba) does it, but every broth that they have in each of their soup dish tastes pretty amazing. This one is a very simple niku (beef) soba that most Japanese places would have but theirs is no doubt the best.

What I really like about this katsu don (chicken bowl) is the fact that the chicken is still so crispy on the outside (juicy on the inside) although the whole thing, including the rice, is really moist. A lot of places don't do it this way.

Oh yes, you recognize that logo. The best fast food chain in the U.S, IMHO. During our 4-day visit, we ate there 3x.

I don't think I've had that many shrimp crepes in my life, but this one was pretty good. We had this for brunch at Opera Patisserie which is pretty famous for its desserts. No, seriously, pastries, cakes, tarts, macarons, truffles, in the most delicate form you've ever seen. Don't hate me for not having any pictures of it. I got 2 boxes of macarons in which I ended up giving to others. Ok, back to the shrimp crepes. The baby shrimps were very-well cooked. I know, the crepes don't look very appealing here but the sauce (which I'm not sure what kind) was incredibly subtle but tasty.

A little touch of Spring awakening to go with my shrimp crepes.

Our friend opted for tomato and spinach quiche. It was slightly (note the word slightly) bland, in my opinion, but maybe because it's all veggies. It just needs a little kick, just a little bit. The crust (my favorite part) is very tasty and crunchy. The boy had salmon eggs benedict with perfectly cooked poached eggs and salmon. The hollandaise sauce had the right level of creaminess, I think. I'm not a big fan when it gets too creamy or too thin and lemony.

I only include pictures are that at least decent enough to post here. Most of the places that we went to don't have bright lighting so most of the pictures we took turned quite dark. We went to Ristorante Arrivederci in Hillcrest for dinner once and the boy had black linguini with shrimp, scallops, in a creamy sauce and I had some serious sea scallops with spinach in a white wine sauce. That was delish. We also drove up to LA, had lunch at Orochon Ramen in Little Tokyo, and had Indonesian food at Ramayani for dinner. Hands down to Orochon ramen's chasiu (pork belly) which I think is the best I've had in the U.S. As for Indonesian food, Ramayani is the most expensive one of all the Indonesian restaurants in the U.S I've been to (note that I've never been to the ones in Houston) but so far is the best and most authentic. And yes, I'm credible enough to talk about authenticity when it comes to Indonesian food. I could talk on and on about this but I hate it when I have no photos to show. Anyways, thanks for treating us to dinner there, my amazing fellow alumnus! It was really nice seeing you and your lady.

Check out the boy's blog for more!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

How I Like My Meat: with Rice

Image courtesy of Real Simple (Romulo Yanes)

This past weekend I was just sitting at Seattle's Best Coffee inside one of the Borders around where I live. And oh yuck, that savory herb and cream cheese pretzel was quite a disaster. But the guy who was working at that time looked like somebody's grandpa who looks like they deserve more to be doing some golf outing rather than serving lattes to a bunch of twenty-something bookworms. He's just way too nice and I didn't have the heart to tell him about how even Bess and Russ don't deserve a pretzel with that quality.

Anyways, that was totally irrelevant. While I was sitting down and flipping through the pages of some of my favorite magazines, I found this recipe. It is so easy to make and if you're like me, meaning you love to impress your significant other, this lamb chops and curried rice recipe I found on Real Simple would be a perfect fit. It' summery and still very hearty with the tenderness and succulence of the lamb chops.

You can always substitute the rice with some pantry potatoes with fresh thyme, parsley, and parmesan cheese. As for me, I'm a rice person - can't live without it. I thought of actually testing the recipe myself and taking pictures of it before writing this post, but I have no access to the camera at this moment. Oh well.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Michael Michael Kors and Leola Couture on Ideeli

Michael Michael Kors

Leola Couture

Just stopping by for a quick announcement. Ideeli will be having Michael Michael Kors and Leola Couture on sale tomorrow (Thursday). As usual, the sale starts on 11:00 AM for 1st Row members and at 12:00 PM for 2nd Row members. The sale will run for 40 hours, or until it sells out. And trust me, normally the good ones are gone by 12:15.

Images courtesy of Ideeli

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Burberry Trench Coat Sale!

Image courtesy of Fashion Rules.

So it is summer and the heat is blasting out there. The last thing that you would probably need is a coat. But so what? Burberry is having a sale for their Spring 2010 collection. I could care less about how it's like a sauna out there, I'd find just any reasons so I could show one of these babies off. They are G.O.R.G.E.O.U.S. They would probably be your best investment ever since smart phone!

But remember, early bird gets the worm.