Saturday, December 24, 2005

Christmas Eve Dinner at Alexis' Parents' House in Seattle

Christmas Eve has always been the big holiday meal at Alexis parents' house, comprised of a smoragbord of deliciousness.

Mixed Olives

Pickled Veggies

Calamari with Jalapenos, Garlic, Basil and Lime

Baked Brie with Homemade Pesto, Ajvar and Sun Dried Tomatos

Green Salad with Vinagrette

Assortment of Cheese
(Iberico, Brie with Mushrooms, Wisconsin Blue and Port Salut)

Tomato, Homemade Pesto and Goat Cheese Tart

Spinach, Cheese, Roasted Pepper and Salami Pie

Roasted Vegetables

Assorted Charcuterie
(2 Kinds of Salami, Sopprasetto, Procuitto, Smoked Salmon and BBQ Pork)

Assorted Breads and Crackers

Caprese Salad

Assorted Condiments
(roasted garlic for bread/crackers and mustard, ketchup with horseradish and sesame seeds for BBQ Pork)

Breakfast at Alexis' Parents' House in Bothell, WA

Fried eggs with Bacon. Same as usual.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Dinner at The Herbfarm in Woodinville, WA

Giao found The Herbfarm on a "most expensive restaurants in the US" list and wanted to try it. Since we were going to be in Seattle, we figured we should (despite the whopping $189/head price--although it did include 6 wine pairings). It was good, but we've certainly had better tating menus for less. And the service left something to be desired. There is only one seating per night and one menu, so there were only 7 servers for the entire resturant and thngs seemed to be served wedding style because of the lack of staggered ordering. We expected a bit more in terms of service, for the price.

The great thing about The Herbfarm is that they really are an herb farm, so all the herbs used are picked fresh for your meal. And all the ingredients are obtained locally and in season from the Pacific Northwest.

Smoked Sturgeon and Quail Egg Benedict with Sorrel (top left)
Was oddly lacking in flavor. Needed salt or something.

Kushi Oyster with Juniper-Lemon Geranium Ice (bottom right)
Not as good as a Kumamoto, but pretty good. The ice cut the fishiness of the oyster well.

Paddlefish Caviar on Sea Urchin Flan (bottom left)
The caviar was tasty but the flan was distinctly lacking the sea urchin flavor.

Rosemary Mussle Skewer with Marjoram Aioli (top right)
The pan fried mussels had a yummy crispness to them and the aioli matched the flavors well.

Celery Root Ravioli with Oregon White Truffle and Chervil Butter
Tender, beyond creamy, and full of celery root flavor.

Basil-Wood Smoked Black Cod with Savoy Cabbage, Quince, Bacon and Dill
The mustard sauce and sweetness of the quince complemented the saltiness of the fish very nicely.

Seared Duck Foie Gras with Carrot Blintz, Tri-Colored Glazed Carrots and Spiced Carrot Sauce
The slightly crunchy tiny carrots offset the richness of the foie gras, while the blintz mirrored its texture.

Douglas Fir Ice
This palate cleanser really did taste like a tree, and was an unexpected and amazing surprise. Apparently they soak the tree boughs in syrup to obtain the unique flavor. Unlike anything we had ever tasted.

Ribeye of Wagyu Beef with Truffled Leeks, Horseradish Potato Gratin, Chard Gratin and Black Trumpet Mushrooms
This American version of Kobe beef was tender and the little sides each added their own bent to the dish, with the exception of the potato gratin which was mediocre at best.

Quillasascut Goat Cheese Tart with Chestnut and Cherry Salad
The sweetness of the dried cherries added a nice balance to the tartness of the goat cheese. The chestnut flour crust of the tart was also a nice touch.

Spicebread Ice Cream iwht Carmelized Pear and Huckleberry Sauce
My least favorite of the desserts, this tasted like cold fruitcake.

Hazelnut S'more Cake with Armagnac Custard
Pretty good.

Chocolate-Jasmine Pot de Creme
Amazingly smooth, jasmine infused chocolate mousse. Very, very good.

Orange-Thyme Madeleines, Cardamom Pommiers, Lemon-Geranium White Chocolate Truffles, Raspberry Gel and Lavender Dark Chocolate Truffle
We aren't really candy people, but the dark chocolate truffle was pretty damn good.

Homemade Potato and Onion Rolls and Multi-grain Baguette with Herb-Infused Butter
Thir bread and butter was sooo good.

Food: 1 (the dishes were a mix of 1's (Ravioli, Cod, Foie Gras) and 2's (Fir Ice, Wagyu Beef), with the tiebreaker being cast because of the temperature problems resulting from the service)
Decor: 0
Service: 1 (refer to service notes)


Breakfast at Alexis' Parents' House in Bothell, WA

Spinach and Artichoke Heart Scramble with Bacon

Procuitto and Pickled Asparagus

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Dinner at Alexis' Parents' House in Bothell, WA

Beef and Onion Stew with Currants

Cous Cous with Peppers and Onions

Spinach Salad with Goat Cheese and Fennel


Peppers Stuffed With Mozzerella

Snack from In n' Out

We stopped at the In n' Out drive-through on the way to the Oakland Airport. It was a very good idea.

3 x 3 $4
Three patties and three pieces of cheese. Animal and protein style. As good as always.

Cheeseburger with Extra Cheese $2.50

The extra cheese makes all the difference.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Dinner at Burma Superstar, San Francisco, CA

We had read about Burma Superstar and wanted to try it. But, as it turned out, it wasn't really worth the hype. Long lines, no reservations accepted, and mediocre food. It was decent, but the portions were not worth the price.

Pea Shoots $8
First off, a vegetable side dish should never cost more than $5. However, these were prepared well and were probably the best dish we had tonight.

Lettuce Cups $7
Too many veggies, not enough pork. And the veggies were a bit too crunchy for my taste. Served with a watered down hoisin sauce.

Riblets $10
A bit sweet, but pretty good.

Chili Garlic Shrimp $11
This dish would have been great had it had any flavor. Sadly, it was not spicy or salty enough. The shrimp were cooked t the perfect consistency though.

Plantha $3
A bit heavier than the typical roti served at Singaporean places, and there was no curry dipping sauce, but good nonetheless. Flaky and delicious.

Health Code Violations

Food: 1
Service: 1
Decor: 0

Lunch at Work

Indian leftovers and soup.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Dinner at Home

Chicken Mahkni
Sometimes called "Butter Chicken", I must say my rendition was pretty good. Buttery, tomatoey, a bit spicy. The chicken definitely benefited from being marinated in yogurt, chili and lemon juice.

Saag with Tofu
Not salty enough for everyone, but yummy.

Balsamic Coconut Tomato Soup

Lunch at Sai's, San Francisco, CA

BBQ Pork $7
Decent, but not as good as Tu Lan's.

Asparagus Crab Soup $9

Catfish Claypot $8
Ditto again.
Previous Post

Breakfast at Home

Fried Eggs and Bacon.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Dinner at Home

Baby Back Ribs
Cooked in the "Set it and Forget it", these were yummy once again.

Asparaus sauteed in olive oil, salt and pepper.

Mixed Green Salad with Tomato, Corn and Onions, with a Balsamic Vinagrette

Chicken Apple Gouda Sausages from Costco.

Fettucine with Homemade Tomato, Olive, Atrtichoke Heart and Basic Pasta Sauce
(For our vegan houseguests.)

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