Saturday, December 15, 2007

Dinner at The Village Pub, Woodside, CA

We'd heard about the food at The Village Pub, and we really enjoyed the chef's food at Spruce in San Francisco, so since we were in the area, we decided to have a quick bite. It was a bit hard to find as the door is unmarked and there is only a small sign, but we made it with the help of a local. Like Spruce, the decor was beautiful, but understated. The restaurant was nice enough to dress up to, but accepted us graciously in our jeans and Crocs. The food was very good overall.

Lobster Bisque Amuse Bouche (gratuit)
Flavorful and just thick enough.

Country Pate $7
Served with a plethora of cornichons and dried cherries, this pate from the bar menu was well priced and quite delicious.

The pate was served with way too much bread.

Oxtail Consomme with Marrow Dumplings $14
The soup was packed with flavor and the dumplings were incredibly tender.

Duck Breast with Foie Gras, Huckleberries and Brussel Sprouts $34
Kind of expensive, but the foie gras piece was quite large. The duck was tender and the skin was perfectly crispy. The brussel sprouts were prepared interestingly, in that the leaves were separated from each other, but not shaved.

Crispy Sweetbreads with a Soft Poached Egg and a Brown Butter Vinaigrette $16
This was a great combo of crispy, gooey and acidic.

An Assortment of Petit Fours (gratuit)
The lemon meringue was good, the rest were just ok.

The Village Pub
2967 Woodside Road
Woodside, CA 94062

Food: 2
Decor: 2
Service: 1

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Lunch at Mochi Day, San Jose, CA

We went to our friends' relative's house for their Mochi Day, where mochi is made by pounding rice with big wooden mallets for a very long time. Then we had lunch.

Soup with Egg
Giao liked this very much.

Tofu Salad, Ham, Hot Dog, Noodles



Friday, December 14, 2007

Dinner at Umami, San Francisco, CA

We had dinner at Umami for Giao's company holiday party. We helped pick the menu and it was very good. We hadn't been back to Umami in about a year and were pleased that the food was still great.

Edamame Hummus
A refreshing twist on an old standard.

Sushi Rolls
All were fresh and tasty.

Green Papaya Salad
This was a refreshing interlude. The pomegranate was a nice addition, but we could have done without the tangerine slices, which tasted canned.

Kobe Beef Tartare
This was excellent and the wasabi added quite a kick.

Tuna Tartare
Tasty, but standard in flavor.

Shaking Beef Tenderloin Filet with Crispy Shallots and Mashed Potatoes
Tender and flavorful.

Miso Black Cod with Spinach
A standard version of a very en vogue dish.

Brussel Sprouts with Mushrooms
These were very spicy, but quite good.

Glass Noodles with Crab
Very delicious.

2909 Webster Street
San Francisco, CA 94123

Food: 2
Decor: 2
Service: 1 (They were nice, but they kept trying to kick us out early.)

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Dinner at Ducca, San Francisco, CA

After the paltry food at holiday party, we headed to Ducca. This was our second visit to the relatively new restaurant and the food was just as good, but the service was beyond awful. The first time we visited the restaurant, we were a few of the only patrons. This time, the place was packed and the service suffered. It was slow and not particularly friendly. It was difficult to find a waiter, let alone OUR waiter. We'd go back, for sure, but early on a Tuesday night when it is unlikely to be busy. Hopefully they'll get their service kinks worked out soon

Venison Carpaccio $13
Served with pomegranate and cauliflower is surprisingly tender and not gamey.

Burrata with Pickled Veggies $9
This was a tasty burrata, although not as good as A16's. You can't really go wrong with mozzerella packed in cream.

Yellowtail Sashimi with Almonds and Raisins $13
Strange and tasty, but too much stuff and not enough fish.

Pan Fried Branzino with Squash Puree and Pancetta Wrapped Green Beans $26
The puree was amazing but there was not enough of it. The fish was very tender.

Papardelle with Lamb Ragu $24
The pasta was not as al dente as we would have liked it, and the ragu was a bit underseasoned, but it was still a tasty dish.

50 3rd St
San Francisco, CA 94103

Food: 2
Decor: 1
Service: 0

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Clear Channel Holiday Party Appetizers

We went to the Clear Channel company holiday party and it was perhaps the lamest party ever. The food was minimal and mediocre. There was a cash bar. AND a domestic beer was $9. AND, you had to wait in line to buy a drink ticket then wait in another line for the actual drink. Seriously. If we were actually employees of Clear Channel and this was our holiday party, we would have been pissed. As it were, we just left after about 45 minutes.

Seared Ahi on a Chip
Tasty, if unoriginal.

Veggies and Dip
Um, what is there to say?

Chocolate Covered Strawberries (ok), Raspberry Tart (too sweet and underbaked), Profiterole (uninteresting).

Salmon Bite


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Frittata with Corn and Carmelized Onions

Alexis accidentally purchased frozen corn instead of peas for something a few weeks ago, so she decided to make a frittata.

-1 cup frozen corn
-1/2 orange bell pepper, diced
-1/2 onion, diced
-1 cup shredded cheese
-10 eggs
-1/2 cup cream
-salt and pepper to taste

Sautee the onions and peppers in a little olive oil until soft and browned. Beat the eggs with the salt, pepper, cream and cheese. Add the corn and the sauteed veggies and stir to combine. Pour into a cast iron pan and bake in a 350 oven for about 25 minutes, until puffy and browned.

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Sunday, December 09, 2007

Old-School Salmon Melt

We got one of those old sandwich makers from Giao's parents' house and were determined to make the tuna melts we remembered from childhood. However, when we got home, we discovered we had canned salmon, but not tuna. We improvised and were successful. We buttered the bread and put some salmon salad (salmon, mayo and a bit of pepper) and some sliced cheese between the bread and close in the sandwich maker. Yum.

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Crappy Wrappy from Salad Works in the Philadelphia Airport

Chicken Caesar Wrap $6
Although this was decently priced, it was sub par in flavor and quality. And although it was called "caesar" the dressing was really Italian.

Food: 0
Decor: 0
Service: 0

Salad Works
Philadelphia International Airport
Terminal A
Philadelphia, PA 19153

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Lunch at Giao's Parents' House, Radnor, PA

Roasted and served with lemon and melted butter. Hard to eat, but very tasty.

Leftover Prime Rib
We sliced and sauteed our leftover prime rib and it was still very tender and flavorful.

Chocolate Cake with Fresh Berries
It was Giao's sister's husband's mother's birthday, so Alexis baked a chocolate cake.

-1 stick butter
-1 3/4 cup sugar
-2 1/2 cup flour
-3oz baking chocolate, melted
-1 tsp salt
-3 eggs
-1 tsp baking soda
-1 1/2 cups milk
-1 tsp vanilla

Cream the butter and the sugar, then beat in the eggs, one by one. Then add the vanilla, then the melted chocolate, then the milk. In another bowl mix the dry ingredients, then add to the wet ingredients. Bake on 350 until a toothpick comes out clean, about 30 mins.

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