Saturday, July 30, 2011

2011 Summer Restaurant Week Dayton–Saturday

I love having my own personal bartender!! Starting the evening with a Blueberry Gimlet (based on the great one he had at Meadowlark this week).

Dining tonight at The Firefly Building with friends – so not a restaurant at all tonight. Turns out we will have 11 for “family” dinner…wishing I had called Becky or Karen. Oh well, Ellen will be here…she loves to clean my kitchen.

Tonight’s menu:

Cook’s Illustrated “Best Grilled Chicken”

Blue Cheese Crusted Tomatoes

Cucumber, Tomato and PIneapple Salad with Asian Dressing

Macaroni and Cheese

Grilled zucchini with Citrus Salt

Ooops…can you tell I’m cleaning out the refrigerator of my CSA vegetables?

Oh and some wine…yet to be determined.

Friday, July 29, 2011

2011 Summer Restaurant Week Dayton–Friday

It is David’s turn to decide on tonight’s restaurant week restaurant…so we trek off to The Winds. It always seems so far away to me…but heck, David drives from Middletown so what do I have to complain about.

Deciding on dinner is a hard choice. The Winds is offering both their regular menu and their restaurant week menu. Our waiter complicates things by pointing out the Figs, Pigs and Goats appetizer. I was momentarily sidetracked from the restaurant week menu by the Game Hen Limoncello but David and I decide to come back next week for that. (Yes, John will once again be traveling the globe – his loss.) We are all adults…we can handle this. We opt to have the restaurant week menu PLUS the FPG appetizer. Figs stuffed with goat cheese wrapped in peppered bacon…SCORE!

In addition to the restaurant week menu, The Winds is offering $5 off all bottle wine sales during restaurant week with the purchase of a restaurant week dinner. Our first bottle is the Chateau Les Terrasses de Bouey 2009 Bordeaux which was very enjoyable. Our second bottle was the Mustguillo 2008 Mestis, a spanish wine from Bobal, Tempranillo, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot…a little something for everyone. We all agreed that it paired nicely with each of our entrees.

And we got a little sampling of everything tonight. David had the Gazpacho with Crabmeat Couton, Seared Wild Salmon with Lapsang Souchong Team with Sunonomo, and the Blackberry Roll Cake Cake for dessert. John had the Gazpacho, Ohio City Cheese Ravioli with Salsa Cruda and Eggplant Crouton, and Berry Soup with Raspberry Sorbet with Fresh Berries. I had the Grilled Skewered Artichoke Hearts with Romesco and Chorizo Vinaigrette, Grilled Sirloin with Salsa Verde and Creamed Corn (OMG), and Winds Donuts with Vanilla Cherry Compote (think beignets)…John and David shared my leftover steak.

This has been an excellent restaurant week!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

2011 Summer Restaurant Week Dayton–Thursday

Restaurant week is not complete without a trip to Meadowlark. This is their first restaurant week  at the new location. Meadowlark, like Savona, is only offering the special menu…no ordering off of the regular menu this week. Don’t let that scare you as you won’t be disappointed. For $25.11, you get four (4) courses and a choice from four (4) different entrees.

The new location offers a full bar. While waiting for our table, Linda and I ordered the special Watermelon Punch. A refreshing beverage that is guaranteed to sneak up on you if you fall into the trap of drinking it like water. David and John had the Blueberry Gimlet…which John is going to attempt to recreate for me at home…it was so good! Paul opted for a simple Watershed Gin and Tonic.

The first course offered is the Portabello Fries with Garlic Mayo. Definitely a favorite of the table. The second course is the battle of the corn: two of us chose the Fresh Corn Cakes with Red Pepper Cream while the other three chose the Fresh Corn Bisque with Crabmeat. While I didn’t get to taste the Corn Bisque, let me just say one word…BACON. the Corn Cakes were topped with bacon…why would you order anything else. Entrees were the next course and as I mentioned, diners could chose from four choices:

  • Tomato-Quinoa Chile Relleno Pinto Bean Succotash, Guajillo Chile Sauce
  • Sauteed Fresh Fish Summer Vegetables au Pistou
  • Grilled Pork Chop House-made Cherry Mostarda, Polenta
  • Grilled Duck Leg Spanish Garlic Potatoes

Our table ordered two (2) Grilled Duck Leg, two (2) Grilled Pork Chop, and a Tomato-Quiona Chile Relleno. Personally, the duck was my favorite.

Finally, it is time for dessert and there are three to choose from: Goat Cheese Cream Cake with Fresh Cherries and Red Wine Caramel or Crepes with Warm Chocolate Sauce and Chocolate Ganache or Profiterole with Peach Ice Cream and Raspberry Sauce. Our table ordered three (3) Goat Cheese Cream Cake, one (1) Crepe, and one (1) Profiterole.  The Goat Cheese Cream Cake was delicious and rich but not overwhelming. I’m still not really sure what Goat Cheese Cream Cake is but don’t be scared off by it. Definitely YUM!

Our wines tonight were the Taburno Falaghina (Italian White) and Martha’s recommendation of the Dumaine de Pajot (four grapes – a French White).  Definitely worth a try!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

2011 Summer Restaurant Week Dayton–Wednesday

Coco’s was our restaurant of choice Wednesday. John joined David and I. Ashley took great care of us and highly recommended the Barbera on the wine list which was very nice. Funny thing about this meal is that we each had the exact same thing. Well, John and I shared our meal…so David had none of my leftovers tonight.

More blueberries were on the menu with the Local blueberries served on mesclun greens topped with whipped Brie cheese, Captain Morgan spiced cashews and house blueberry balsamic vinaigrette. If you have had whipped brie cheese…you really need to try it. Our entrée was the Char-grilled 4oz center cut with BBQ spice, melted bleu cheese, drizzled with a Worcestershire syrup and cabernet reduction and tobacco onions, served with a chive potato cake. And who could resist the House made Chocolate Mousse Cake.

As always, a delicious meal!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

2011 Summer Restaurant Week Dayton –Tuesday

Everyone needs a friend who is a human garbage disposal. I’m lucky enough to have one! When John and I eat out, we will typically share a meal. The advantage is that it allows us to also enjoy an appetizer, salad, and/or dessert which we wouldn’t be able to do if we each ate a full meal. Unfortunately, John travels a lot…leaving me faced with having to eat an entire meal myself…or have lunch with David. Now what you need to know about David is that he is younger and has a metabolism that I would kill for. David can share and appetizer, eat his salad, and entrée, and still share dessert. And he still has room to finish what is left of my meal.

That was never more evident than Tuesday night at The Oakwood Club. BTW, this was David’s first visit to the Dayton landmark. We each ordered from the Restaurant Week menu. We each started with the Garden Salad with Oakwood Club House Dressing and dry blue cheese crumbles. For some reason, I had never had the House Dressing. Not sure how I missed that but YUM and you definitely want to order it “dry” – which means with the dry blue cheese crumbles.David ordered the pan-seared pork tenderloin medallions served over toasted almond rice with fresh peach chutney. I’m assuming he enjoyed it because he ate it all. I ordered the Char-Broiled Salmon with a Sundried Tomato- Artichoke Crust served over Angel Hair Pasta complemented with a basil beurre blanc sauce. This is where David comes in. I swear they served me a 12 ounce portion of salmon…this thing was HUGE. The sundried tomato-archichoke crust was fabulous and the basil beurre blanc sauce was very nice. Probably could have used more of the sauce for the pasta because it didn’t seem to have anything on it. This is where David comes in…he finished my salmon…isn’t that what good friends are for? We each finished the meail with the Fresh Blueberry Crisp. A spectacular ending…and, yes, I ate all of the crisp myself.

Wednesday Night – Coco’s

Monday, July 25, 2011

2011 Summer Restaurant Week Dayton – Monday

As part of full disclosure, readers need to know that I have a love/hate relationship with restaurant week. I love it because some restaurants do very creative things. I hate it because people who don’t normally dine out are in restaurants seeking “deals.”

Just before I left work, I checked the list of participating restaurants…I so didn’t want to go home and prepare something for myself. In the fine print, I found that Savona, which is not normally open on Mondays, was open tonight. It occurs to me that maybe they won’t be as crowded if people aren’t expecting them to be open. Adding to Savona’s troubles is that the City of Centerville has major construction going on and you can only reach them if you are south-bound on South Main Street. This all works to MY advantage…and it is all about me.

Savona is only offering a restaurant week menu for $20.11 with an option to chose from 2 additional entrees for $25.11. First course is a salad or onion soup. The Onion Soup was my choice and was very nice. Entrees included Trout with Israeli Cous Cous with spinach and a tomato vinaigrette; Beef Tips with Mashed Potatoes; and something else. The upgrades were a Blackened Salmon or Prime Rib. I chose the Trout while my dinner companion chose the Beef Tips. I WIN!! We both agreed the trout was spectacular! Dessert was a choice of Gelato or a Fresh Berry Shortcake. We both enjoyed the shortcake.

In addition, Savona offered a La Playa Sauvignon Blanc for $4 per glass. It was a nice accompaniment to the meal.

Great start to restaurant week.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Out of the Fire Cafe

What a great find! Seriously recommend reservations. And it is byob (iso it possible that PA has crazier liquor laws than Ohio?)

Chef prepared us pan seared scallops with a mango chutney and snow pea sprouts dressed in a champagne vinaigrette.

We shared two entrees:
Pan roasted wild striped bass with vine ripened local hot house tomatoes, crispy zucchini and yellow squash, sun dried tomatoes, saffron saioli, basil pesto

Spiced rum barbecue glazed pork shank: smoked white cheddar grits, chorizo sausage, sauteed sweet corn, crispy mustard greens

With a 2009 Gopfrich Zinfandel

Finished with Pineapple Upside Down cake: spiced rum sauce, blood orange sorbet

Monday, July 04, 2011

2011 Fireworks Party Recap

Thank you for making another party successful! We had a great time visiting with friends and meeting new people…and our generous friends raised $1800.00 for CultureWorks. That’s a lot of toilet paper in the theater!

John spent the night behind the bar disguised as Cocktail Geek (Photo by Taylor Putney)Special thanks to John who worked tirelessly behind the bar all night and truly earned his cocktail geek badge. The big hit was his Ginger Beer Mojito…enough of them to go through 4.5 liters of rum being consumed. In addition, we went through 3 cases of beer and 21 bottles of wine. And as usual, Becky and Sharon  made sure everyone was well taken care of. The menu and recipes are available at

Thanks to Wiley and the crew at Meadowlark for 6 lbs of SHREDDED cheese and providing the asparagus and mushrooms. Rob Leonard who played bar back and made sure there was wine available all night. David Strohscher for producing the ice shards…we are out now so can you please start production again. Dave & Lillian for providing MORE gin. Nik Hunt for bar advice and a great genever Negroni!

Thanks to Taylor Putney and Dan Hursh I actually got to see the roof through pictures. Thanks for the photos! I never remember to take them myself.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

2011 Fireworks Celebration Menu

Igel’s Onion Dip

Mango Chutney Cheese Dip

Meadowlark Meatballs

Grilled Ginger-Soy Marinated Skirt Steak

Grilled Korean BBQ Portabella Mushrooms

Grilled Asparagus & Onions with Balsamic & Blue Cheese

Blue Cheese Cole Slaw

“Everything But the Kitchen Sink” Orzo Salad

Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese – The Kids Version

Chipotle Macaroni and Cheese – Definitely for Adults

Orange Cucumber Salad with Sundried Tomato Dressing

Apple-Pear Salad with Lemon-Poppy Seed Dressing

Lemon Pound Cake with Balsamic-Macerated Berries with Basil

2011 Fireworks Celebration Menu

Igel’s Onion Dip
Mango Chutney Cheese Dip
Grilled Ginger-Soy Marinated Skirt Steak
Grilled Korean BBQ Portabella Mushrooms
Grilled Asparagus & Onions with Balsamic & Blue Cheese
Blue Cheese Cole Slaw
“Everything But the Kitchen Sink” Orzo Salad
Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese – The Kids Version
Chipotle Macaroni and Cheese – Definitely for Adults
Orange Cucumber Salad with Sundried Tomato Dressing
Apple-Pear Salad with Lemon-Poppy Seed Dressing
Lemon Pound Cake with Balsamic-Macerated Berries with Basil

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