Thursday, January 7, 2010

Food for thought

Being in the management program at the Institute of Culinary Education we often talk about our dining experiences. Going out to dinner or for drinks is a huge part of my life, so I usually have a lot to offer although I rarely speak up. Not that I'm shy, sometimes I just feel as if people might not care about my trip to the little trattoria this weekend. But I do want to record and remember these experiences as they happen. Maybe when I open my restaurant I could look back on these blogs and see what restaurants were good and which ones were bad, so that I could use that information so that my restaurant will steer clear of bad practices by of the restaurants I list whether it be food, menu, service, etc.

Recent restaurant visits include Tao, Rub BBQ, Izakaya, and a little italian place called Trattoria.

As you will probably notice, many of my dining experiences will be with Stefanie, the girl mentioned in previous blogs. Our love for food and booze makes us a dangerous couple. Although a great night; the food at Tao fell short of our expectations. Not that we could complain because it was a great experience and connections to the executive chef granted us a free dinner. Well almost free, we took care of the waiters tip of course. Not that he was any good, but I consider myself a good tipper not to mention a comped meal that was probably over $200.

So what did we have? We started off with two appetizers: Spareribs and Chicken Satay. The ribs tasted like my local chinese restaurant spareribs, but thats not a bad thing!--just expected more.
Stef ordered the chicken Satay for her appetizer. The plate consist of thinly cut pieces of chicken on a scure. The chicken was a bright red-orange color which made us think it was going to be spicy. The chicken was not only bland, but lacked any flavor: a real disappointment.

For our main course I ordered the wasabi crusted filet mignon. The filet itself was cooked perfect and was mouth-watering. BUT, the wasabi crust on the meat let me down. Again, I expected spice and was let down. I don't even like really spicey things, but give me a little kick!

I believe she ordered fish, which I think was salmon. She usually orders fish or chicken when we go out. If you read my first blog you know that I use to be a picky eater, but now I try almost everything. Even though I'm not a big fish fan and will probably never order it, I always try it when offered. I believe she enjoyed her fish, but was overly impressed.

We started off with two of their specialty martinis, which weren't half bad. I'm not usually a martini person, but I like to try out specialty cocktails every once and awhile. We then moved on to a bottle of Pinot Noir for our main course. The wine was delicious, but then again I'm not a wine connoisseur. I believe it was a OCD, Marlborough 2008.

Our dessert was the highlight of the meal! We weren't going to get dessert, but we were talked into it. We ordered the gigantic fortune cookie that was filled with a white and dark chocolate mousse. It was so good.

We had a great experience at Tao despite the food letting us down a little. We went on a Monday, which might be an off-night but i'm guessing the food shouldn't really change. But the ambience was great and I had good company so overall a good experience.

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