January 19, 2010
Another lovely dinner in Positano Coast‘s Sopra Lounge before
boyface flew off for another job….
Steak Bolognese & Whipped Potatoes
September 3, 2009
Obelisk is nestled in between the flashy restaurants and bistros in the lovely Georgetown area of Washington, D.C. If it weren’t for the small overhang with chipped letters bearing its name, you would walk right past it without thinking it was more than just someone’s home. Obelisk has made a home and restaurant, and vise versa. You enter into a small entryway and slide back a tiny door a step right into the restaurant. There is no hostess stand and formalities are tossed aside, you’re immediately welcomed as a guest coming into someone’s home in and shown a seat at one of the fifteen tables.
You’re handed a delicate menu that opens to a folded paper with the day’s menu on it. The menu changes so often they don’t bother printing a menu, and you should never expect certain things. Some things are easier to choose than others, sometimes all dishes offered sound lovely, while others sound a bit more adventurous than you may be comfortable with. The beautiful thing about bringing someone with you is that each course only has three choices, so you can try most of the day’s menu in one meal.
The bread is a great hint at what the meal will be like. You can already tell by the simple yet delicious flavors of such a basic staple of a meal that what will follow won’t disappoint. Even the thing bread sticks, which are kept in the middle of the room in a plain tin bucket, which one of the three waitresses grabs them out before delivering them to you, have a distinctive taste, very suprising for a crispy string of bread.
Very quickly the antipasti dishes being arriving. Like the rest of the menu, I’m sure they change almost, if not, daily. Ours began with a cheese very similar in taste and texture to a buffalo mozzarella. Then came the pickled eggplant, with an intriguing sweet and sour taste to them. Next was one of my favorites of the night, fried artichokes. Crispy, soft, and oh were they salty and absolutely delicious. Next was one of frank favorites, lamb and pork meatballs. Their sauce was sweet and very unique. Next up were mushroom and onion croistinis which did not disappoint.
Frank joked that it was a trying-new-foods-marathon for him. He ate so many things he was never even tried in his entire life and I never thought I’d see him try, just in the first course. The great thing about how quickly new food would find its way onto our table is that we never felt bad for not finishing things. In fact, we didn’t have much more than a bite or two of each dish, really.
For our second course he had the Ribollita and I went with the Beet Ravioli with Walnuts. Ribollita literally means “reboiled” in italian, and the dish takes three days to prepare as its a minestrone with a few added ingredients re-made several times. It was delicious and I had to prevent myself from stealing it from him. My ravioli was very good as well, and reminded me, in ways, of the pumpkin ravioli I had when me and Frank had visited Brassarie Perrier.
The servers were delightful to speak to as well as watch. Only three were needed to keep this place running completely smoothly, and they danced around the small townhouse like well-trained ballerinas, never missing a beat.
Like I’ve said before, Frank is generally not a bit adventurous when it comes to food (although this meal really broadened things) so when he’s already tried something I’m a bit sheepish to try, it definitely give me the push I need. So we decided to share the rabbit with procuitto and pesto wrapped inside, and I must say, it was good. I can’t imagine trying it anywhere else, but it was very good.
All of the restaurants we’ve gone to and neither of us had ever done a cheese-course. Maybe its my allergy to milk, or that neither of us really drink wine, but we’re just not cheese people. It was fun to try though, and the sweet tomato jam served with it was sweet and delicious!
The perfect end to a delicious and satisfying meal. The chocolate raspberry cake with fig leaf ice cream was amazing. The cake was amazingly “fudgey” like a brownie, but without being heavy. I had little idea what to expect with the Plum Infusion with Cardomom Ice Cream, but it did not disappoint. Perfectly sweet without being bulky or heavy, the perfect way to end a meal.
In the end, it’s not a cheap place to eat (at $70 a person without drinks) but I can honestly say it’s worth it. I feel it’s impossible for me to find anything wrong with it. I would make a trip to washington just to visit Obelisk again, and love every minute.
July 23, 2009
The other night me and Frank decided to grab dinner at the last minute so figured we’d stay local. We usually end up going to the Centerton Inn right in Pittsgrove which has pretty good food, much better than any diner or chain restaurant around here, but I had just read earlier on Stephen from The Sweet Life Bakery’s blog mention Lucia’s give a shout out to the use of local produce and how great everything is over there that I suggested that as a break from Centerton.
The truth is that I have been wanting to try it for a while too, the outside looks like a miniture version of an italian village, but Stephen’s mention was enough to remind me to suggest it.
The interior of the restaurant is just as fun as the outside. You feel almost as though you’re stepping into venice or something (not that I’ve actually been there yet, but I like to imagine). It also brought back memories of Disney World and the world showcase with all of the “mini countries” in Epcot (on of my favorite places in the whole park ever since I was a little girl).
The bread they give you at the start of the meal is heavenly. Incredibly soft and super warm. I can be kind of picky about bread at restaurants, usually I only have it if I’m really hungry already because mostly bread is bread. It was a real treat though, a nice welcoming treat and had me excited about the rest of the meal already.
The house salad which came with out meals was delicious as well. It was served with a balsamic vinigarette and a little parmesan cheese. Once again, I usually have salad with dressing on the side and never with cheese (cheese, because of my milk allergy) but I figured I’d try it, they seemed to know what they’re doing so far. It was great. I even talked Frank into trying some miniture bites of vegetables (He generally doesn’t eat vegetables at all besides potatoes really, and even then they’re usually either mashed or fried) which lead to me trying to debate that vegetables do in fact have taste, at least in my opinion.
The entree’s did take a little bit to find their way to us, but there were only two waitresses working which always buys sympathy from me. While waiting, I did notice the only problem I had with the restaurant, the temperature. It would get to the point where it was borderline arctic and then all the sudden become very comfortable and then plummet back down to near-freezing.
But, anyway, the food eventually made its way to us.
Filet Mignon (Franks of course!). As soon as the waitress sat it down I immedietely said I was going to steal the plate. I have a sever obsession with pure white dinner ware in interesting shapes. Taking such simplicity as a clean white plate and not relying on patterns or textures to make it interesting, only shape, ugh it gets me every time (yes, the way to my heart is, in fact, interesting dinner ware). Anyhow… Frank said it was the first great steak he’s had in a while. And I can vouch for the vegetables and mushrooms in saying they were pretty darn good too.
I went with something a little different than the things I normally am attracted to. Parpadelle Carbonara is a ribbon pasta with bits of procsciutto and peas in a sauce comprised of marscarpone and parmigiana cream. It caught my eye firstly because of the prosciutto, which always give things an intriguing flavor I’ve always liked. But what really had me was the marscarpone, I love marscarpone, though I’ve never had it in a sauce before. Oh, it was so good. It wasn’t that foreign of a flavor that I think anyone could enjoy it, but it was still different take on a basic pasta in cream sauce recipe that was something new and refreshing.
All in all I really enjoyed it and would definitely go back again. I know a lot of people around here don’t like to drive far and Philly is way too far for them, but this is right in Vineland, so you have no excuses anymore. And I don’t want to hear anything about prices because, yes its more expensive then the chains or diners around here, but if you skip going to one of them once then you can go here and have truly great food that you can have full faith in has not seen the inside of a microwave (I always joke that it friendly’s takes so long because their microwave breaks a lot).
You can find their website here. Now please go and support on of the few great local businesses in Cumberland County!