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Meat the Vegetarian

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Category Archives: Dessert

FnB is one of the best restaurants I have ever been to.  EVER.  And I have been to some fantastic restaurants.  Let me tell you – it was awesome.

I loved the relaxed atmosphere.  There is an open kitchen in the center of the restaurant with a bar set up around it.  Max and I ate at the “bar”; we loved it so much, we made reservations for the next night too!    Max also is a little mad I am letting this secret out – because with the way the food tastes and the friendly service, I could see this place booking up months in advance.

1) You have to get the Braised Leeks.  This dish has won awards – and may be the best thing I have ever ate.  Braised Leeks, Mozzarella, Mustard Bread Crumbs, and  a Fried Egg.  Max got this as an appetizer the first night, and I got it as my main dish the second night.  (The portions outside of NYC are usually HUGE for me.  I left stuffed even though I ordered two appetizers instead of an appetizer and an entre.)  Long story short – you MUST get this dish.

2)  Fried Green Tomatoes.  I had these as my main dish the first night, and Max had them as an appetizer the second night. They were served with greens and feta.  They knocked my socks off.

3) Falafel… Some of the best I’ve had…

4) Cheese and Nut Bread.  It came with dates and apricot compote.  The apricot compote was fantastic – I don’t even like apricots.  This is the dish I had as an appetizer the second night.  It was really yummy, and probably the smallest (still not small) dish on the menu – which meant I wasn’t too full for the leeks!

5) Roast Jidori Chicken – served with spaetzle.  Max said this was AWESOME.  It looked and smelled yummy.  But, I have no concept.

6) The Steak.  It was really big and it looked good.  But, Max had this the second night, and I was way too into my leeks to remember anything else about it.

7) The first night we were too full for dessert.  The second night we saved room (as best we could), because we kept watching the butterscotch pudding being made and then served.  It looked WAY TOO GOOD to pass up.  Butterscotch pudding, whipped cream, and a little nutmeg sprinkled on top.  Perfect ending to a perfect meal.

We paired all of this with a local wine, called Dos Cabezas.   Umm, FANTASTIC.  The winery is further south than we were, so we couldn’t make it there this time…  Next time, we HAVE to go there.  It was pretty cheap too – especially compared to NYC prices!

Bottom Line:  Get your ass to FnB.  I don’t care if you have to fly there.  If you have no other reason to go to Scottsdale, go just for FnB.

(PS – it TOTALLY makes sense that the Chef had a restaurant in NYC before moving to AZ – just sayin’.)

Interesting Links:

http://fnbrestaurant.com/

http://www.foodandwine.com/articles/10-best-restaurant-dishes-of-2010

http://www.doscabezaswinery.com/tasting-room.html

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Oh my Goodness, this past Christmas Day was the best Christmas Day I have had in a very long time.  Previous years, the day had been filled with the stress of a changing family, but this year everything settled down.

Santa came to my mom’s house.  My brother’s girlfriend was a little confused.  She asked when we all had found out the truth about Santa; we all asked her what she was talking about.  Santa is real, he lives in your heart and in the North Pole.  Santa’s magic comes from a place of giving without the expectation of receiving.  Santa is a reminder that good deeds live on forever in the memories of the people touched by kindness.  How could you ever question that reality?

Anyway, I ate and ate and ate.  It was all sugar.  I started the morning with cinnamon rolls and cookies.  My mom makes the best cookies.  My favorite are a more recent recipe given to me by a fellow blogger.  (Check her out!  http://whitneyandjared.com/)  The are chocolate cookies with a pinch of pepper and then they are dipped in white chocolate.  Holy Moly.  Mom just knows how to make them perfectly!  She also makes peanut butter balls, chocolate chip cookies, and layer cookies.  She makes other kinds too, but those are the staples.  This year,  I helped make some.  I am slowly learning the secrets– including how to make the best candied pecans EVER.

After breakfast, we went to my Nanny’s house.  It is also her birthday on Christmas, so we get together as a birthday party for her, too!  Nan’s house was crazy.  There are cousins of all ages.  I mean all ages- from 33 years to 3 months old.  I caught a cold because I was wrestling with a 2 year old and a 4 year old, and drool ended up in my eye.  It is pure, excited, wild chaos.  Santa was at Nan’s, too.  There were presents and toys every where.  Kids never cease to amaze me, out of all the expensive presents, the easy favorite was a grabber!  It grabbed wrapping paper, small boxes, and even some noses.

My Pile of Presents

After presents, we had a feast, which filled everyone’s bellies.  Even if I only ate mashed potatoes, peas, rolls, cranberry sauce, and beets.  Everyone else had smoked turkey, ham, stuffing, and a bunch of casseroles I really don’t like.  I’m sorry, but string bean casserole looks/smells/tastes like vomit.  Sitting in the car with it for a half hour to Nan’s house made me sick to my stomach.   Any way, I had room for dessert, which meant…. MORE COOKIES!!!!  There was birthday cake too, but all I wanted were COOKIES!!!!

Merry Christmas to All! May this year be filled with delicious treats– like cookies!

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Happy Start of the Holiday Season!! 

Before we jump into Christmas with both feet… we have to pay SOME attention to Max’s favorite holiday, Thanksgiving.  As I’ve said, Thanksgiving used to be one of the WORST holidays for being veggie, until the best ever chef-boyfriend hybrid took it over.  Max created a Thanksgiving that would blow your hair back.

A Set Empty Table, Ready for the Feast

A lot of the dishes were similar to the fakesgiving party, with a few upgrades.  The marscapone-leek mashies reappeared, as did the truffle butter turkey.  Another returning favorite was the butternut squash puree– deeeeelish!!  I have to say, I am very, VERY spoiled.  Due to popular demand (mostly mine), the mustard onion monkey bread and maple thyme biscuits were always on the main table.  (Max makes SOOO much food, some of it stays on the table, and some of it is placed on the buffet behind the table.)  Also on the two tables were: stuffing (veggie and non), cranberry sauce (homemade, of course), green beans, and mac ‘n’ cheese. 

The Back Buffet Table

Max’s mom also made a few of my favorites, including golden beets and over-sized apple pie!!  There was no way to have a small piece of that pie– due to both the height and wonderful taste!!  To supplement his mom’s pie, Max also made a classic pumpkin pie and homemade whipped cream with a hint of vanilla.  Like I said, I am so spoiled.

A "Small" Slice of the Apple Pie

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There is a new trend in parties, and I am happy to announce that Max and I jumped on the bandwagon.  The theme of the party is “fake”sgiving.  Meaning, Thanksgiving is wonderful, but there are no friends involved, because friends tend to have their own families.  Fakesgiving is a time where your faux family (aka friends) get together to celebrate a true American holiday, simply meant for overindulgence.

This year, Max prepared the majority of the fakesgiving meal, with a little help from friends, of course.  The menu included:

-Turkey
-2 types of stuffing (sausage/cornbread and a veggie one for me!)
-a trio of cranberry sauces (yes, one of them came from a can to quiet the Ocean Spray purists, but when they tasted the homemade cranberry sauce… I will just say, there is no room in anyone’s belly for any canned anything.)
-Carrots
-String Beans
-Duo of Mashed Potatoes – one traditional, and one that will make even the biggest mashed potato skeptic fall in love (it happened this year!!), the creme fresh mash.
-Mac and Cheese
-Mustard Onion Monkey Bread (I think this is my FAVORITE thing to eat ever)
-Maple Thyme Biscuits

This meal was preceded by appetizers (artichoke-cheese roll, cheese plate, chips), and then followed my dessert.  I have to admit, I have been too full for the past couple days to have tried them all, but there was:

-Pumpkin Pie
-Apple Pie (with a lattice top… very impressive)
-Pecan Pie (Thanks Cassie!)
-Pumpkin Cheesecake
-Vanilla Bread Pudding (Thanks Rrabette!)

After this food coma, we decided to continue with the theme of overcomsumption, so we moved on to booze.  We did a good old-fashioned gift swap–  in which, all of the gifts were booze.  Some how, during this swap, we ended up with TWO bottles of Hpnotiq!  Also included in the swap were wine, jameo, some really big beers, makers mark, adult chocolate milk, champagne, and some more wine.

Please forgive me if I forgot anything… My memory is a little hazy…

Oh Yeah, then we played kings with all the booze.  That is probably why there are few brown spots in my memory.

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So, unexpectedly, work sent me to Paris!  It was the first time I had ever been, and I think I am in love.  It takes a lot for me to love a city, especially because I LOVE New York so much!  But for food– wow, Paris is the place.  I think I loved everything I ate there… just not how expensive it was…

The Highlight for me was a place called Angelina.  It was way too busy to go in and sit down; people were seriously waiting in line outside.  So, my mom and I just popped in to the take out counter.

Location: Angelina, Paris, France

Difficulty: I have no idea about the food, but the dessert was SO easy to Eat!

Price: 2 Hot Chocolates and 3 outrageously good pastries/desserts was approximately 20 Euros, so between $25 and $30… it was pretty expensive, but well worth it.

Everyone who isn’t Vegan: Will certainly enjoy eating here!  Honestly, the Hot Chocolate is the most AMAZING Hot Chocolate I have ever tasted.  It really tasted like some one melted the best chocolate they could find and put it in my cup.  I also had a Chocolate Croissant, which is my favorite pastry… and it was just almost as good as the Hot Chocolate.  My mom had a dessert that looked like a Chocolate Brain (called a Mont Blanc).  This chocolate covered masterpiece had a whipped cream and a meringue center with chestnuts somewhere in there, too.  After my croissant and hot chocolate, I couldn’t take another bite, so I didn’t try it… but it did look REALLY good.  OH and the Chocolate ECLAIR…  mmmmmmm….

Mont Blanc... Missing a Bite!

Websites:

http://www.groupe-bertrand.com/angelina.php
The Google Place Page

Trio of Tomato

 Cheese is my favorite food group.  I can eat any type of cheese with the exception of petting zoo cheese; it reminds me WAY TOO MUCH of summer vacations with Nan and Jen, when the goats would run you down for your handful of pellets.  Besides cheese that tastes like sheep’s wool, I will even eat cheese plain.  Max always has to comment when I have mozzarella sans tomato and basil.  So, I was in Cheese Heaven when we tried Artisanal, an NYC French restaurant specializing in Cheese. 

Gnocchi with Butter

Location: Artisanal, 32nd and Park Ave, NYC
 
Price: It was a little touristy, so it was a little pricey.  App’s were between $10-$15 and Ent’s were between $20-$30.  But they really got you on the extras.  Cheese plates started at $15, and cocktails were expensive.  Max said they had a reasonable wine list; that’s his job, so I really have no clue. 
 

Difficulty:  Surprisingly difficult for a restaurant specializing in Cheese.  They had a lot of appetizers for me, but not one entre…. which really is frustrating. 

Meat-Eater:  Max went straight up french.  We each had a cheese plate to start, but since I tasted all of Max’s Cheese, I’ll report on that in the “veggie” section.  For Max’s main dish, he ordered steak au poivre, which I understand to be, very basically, steak cooked in butter.  It looked really yummy, but Max replied “Meh, I’ve had better.”  The steak was below the expectation level… 

Steak and frites

Cheese Graveyard....

Veggie:  Although I couldn’t order a main course, I certainly didn’t go hungry.  The cheese plates were pretty de-lish.  I had the “Sparkling Beauties” (Humboldt Fog (Goat, California), Manchego (Sheep, Spain), Comté (Cow, France) ) and Max had the “Blondes Have More Fun” (Valençay (Goat, France), Camembert (Cow, France), Livarot (Cow, France)).  We each tried each other’s and decided we liked our own better.  Mild criticism of the waiter/restaurant:  he tried to explain to us what Manchego and Camembert were… ummm, we chose this place for the cheese– we know SOMETHING about it!  

I had two appetizers for my dinner, and they had some high notes.  The Tomato Variation special presented me with flavors I have never tried before, ie the shot glass of clear liquid that they said was tomato, but I am still not sure I believe them.  The crostini was classic and delicious, and the last component of the dish was guac stuffed in a tomato… meh.  The mexican flavor profile at a french place weirded me out, and missed the mark.  I also had the gnocchi (french-style), which was 90% perfect.  I am a really tough judge of gnocchi, because it is my favorite.  The gnocchi tended to be salty and the butter sauce was a little labored and felt heavier than it should have been.  I mean, it is butter and cream so it is heavy, but it over powered everything that it was supposed to be complimenting…. 

The Best Part of the meal BY FAR was the chocolate fondue for dessert!  That was just perfect.  Chocolate vessels were just as good as the chocolate.  I never had ginger snaps with chocolate fondue, but now it’s all I want. 

Chocolate Fondue... YUM

I recommend Artisanal for the Cheese and Chocolate fondue.  I would save some calories and skip the main course.  But, seriously, chocolate fondue… any girl would melt like the chocolately goodness over the homemade marshmallow. 

WEBSITE: www.artisanalbistro.com  

Like everyone else, I try really hard to eat well.  I try to cut out sweets and “empty” calories.  But, I have to tell you, the calories from this Ice Cream were NOT empty.  They were filled with homemade deliciousness.  I don’t typically like ice cream.  I don’t really dislike like it.  I usually just choose not to eat it.  I never eat the ice cream when it is slopped on top of a cake or pie.  For whatever reason, it just grosses me out– melting and sogging up my perfectly yummy dessert.  But, there was something about a blistering hot afternoon after exploring pieces of New York I had never been to that simply screamed for ice cream.

So, we went.

Location: Sundaes and Cones, 10 St. and 3rd Ave, NYC

Price:  It’s New York, what can I tell you?  $3.44 for a small

Difficulty: It would really stink to be a vegan, but being a vegetarian: a-okay.

Meat-Eater and Veggie:  I don’t think there is a meat infused ice cream out side of Iron Chef, so I thought I would give both pov’s together.  AWESOME.  That’s all you really need to know.  But, if you would like to know more… I had my standard how-to-judge-a-place ice cream, a plain chocolate dish.  Sundaes and Cones passed.  It was delicious and incredible.  Max was nice enough to let me try a small (I repeat SMALL) sample of his Cookies & Cream in a standard leaks-out-the-bottom-no-matter-what cone.  I think they are called sugar cones, but I never know if that’s right.  I don’t usually like cookies and cream (again, not the biggest fan of ice cream), but this was extra good.  I loved the sweet cream ice cream, which completely surprised me. 

So, A++ to Sundaes and Cones. 

Here is their weak website (I guess everything can’t be Awesome): www.sundaescones.com/