I know that I still need to finish my vacation recaps (I haven’t even gotten to the best part yet), but I took so many pictures of food this weekend that I wanted to share. I should warn you that most of the pictures are pretty crappy, but oh well.
Our festivities actually started out on Thursday night when we decided to grab dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, Colicchio and Sons Tap Room. The food and atmosphere are fantastic, the service is flawless and since we’re regulars we always get hooked up with extras. You can’t really best that can you?
We sat at the bar to chat with our favorite bartender, Bennett. After we ordered, we were given an amuse bouche. Generally you only get an amuse bouche if you sit the more formal Main Dining Room in the back, but we often get them in the Tap Room as a perk of being a regular.
Chris was given a scallop crudo with peach. The picture that I took didn’t come out so you’ll have to use your imagination, but Chris reported that the dish was delicious. Since I’m allergic to peaches, I was given an amuse bouche of pickled vegetables which included radish, turnip, carrot and a celery leaf. It was so delish. The veggies were all so crunchy and fresh with the perfect sweet/sour/briny flavor.
For an appetizer Chris and I split the burrata with rhubarb lavender and pink peppercorns. This is a dish they’ve had all through rhubarb season in 3 different slightly different variations and it will be gone soon as rhubarb season comes to an end. We’ve actually had it in all 3 variations and it’s been delicious every time (though we both think the variation with chorizo was the best). The creamy, luscious burrata pairs perfectly with the tart/sweet rhubarb.
Next up Chris ordered the halibut with zucchini and tomato jam and I ordered the skate with Peekytoe crab, citrus and radish. Let me tell you, these people know how to cook fish. Skate is probably my favorite fish and I honestly don’t think anyone does as we’ll as Colicchio and Sons Tap Room. The skate is always perfectly cooked; firm, but never dry and I particularly love this preparation with the crunchy, slightly peppery radish and juicy sweet citrus.
For dessert we decided to split the chocolate with graham cracker crumbs, toasted marshmallow ice cream and raspberries.
Confession: I am in love with a chocoholic. Chris loves chocolate like I love strawberries. Now, if you follow this blog at all you know that I’m “meh” on chocolate. I don’t dislike chocolate, I just don’t get what all the hype is about. To me chocolate is just ok. I like chocolate as an accompaniment to things, but I’m not a fan of chocolate desserts as I usually find them too chocolatey. I was intrigued by the toasted marshmallow ice cream though and I love graham crackers so I wanted to try this dessert. I figured Chris could have most of the chocolate semifreddo part.
O. M. F. G. First time ever that I have loved a chocolate dessert. The semifreddo was so smooth and lush and while it would normally be a tad too chocolatey for me, it was perfection when mixed with the ice cream, which really tasted like toasted marshmallow, and the graham cracker crumbs and raspberries. I’m still dreaming about this dessert days later.
As if all that wasn’t enough we were given a complimentary glass of dessert wine and then another complimentary cocktail when we got the check. They take good care of us!
On Friday, July 4th, we mostly took it easy as it was raining, but in the late afternoon the rain cleared and we hopped on a bus to my parents house in New Jersey. In the summertime my mom puts everything on the grill and what better way to celebrate America than with grilled food.
I had requested that she make a grilled caeser for a starter, but then I forgot to take a picture of it. Grrr. Have you ever had or made a grilled caeser? It’s amazing! You slice a romaine hearts in half lengthwise, brush them with a little olive oil and then grill them until they are just slightly charred. They get that great caramelized and their sweetness comes out paired with that chargrilled flavor. Serve them whole (this is a salad that you have to cut with a knife and fork) with caeser or another heavy dressing, a few croutons and a bit of grated parm.
My mom grilled a ton of veggies throughout the day so that we could pick what we wanted and bring leftovers home. She grilled peppers, asparagus, onions, eggplant and sweet potatoes which are my favorite grilled vegetable.
She also boiled up some Jersey sweet corn because, like all food Jersey people, we love our local sweet corn.
And she grilled steak and sautéed up some Hen of the Woods mushrooms. Phew.
Dessert was all me and I decided to make strawberry dumpling. This is a recipe I got a few years ago from Gourmet magazine and I’ve heard it’s a big thing in the South. Basically you slice strawberries and mix them with sugar, when they give off there juice you bring that to a boil. You mix up a basic dumpling dough of flour, baking powder salt and milk, drop it in to the boiling berries, stir, pop a lid on it and leave it alone for 15 minutes. The dumpling mixture rises to the top and becomes light and airy. You scoop it out and serve it warm with some cold cream poured over it. I love it and it’s the kind of dessert my family loves as it’s light and not very sweet.
After dinner we went to watch the fireworks.
Of course we left with a ton of leftovers which meant steak sandwiches for dinner last night! I sliced the steak and served it on a crusty baguette with honey-balsamic onions, sharp cheddar and horseradish sauce. They were quite delish. I’ll also be eating grilled veggies for the rest of the week. Yum!
I’m a huge fan of food, America and spending time with my boyfriend so it was a great weekend.
How was your weekend? Did you eat anything especially delicious?