Thursday, March 28, 2013

Dixie Grill, Wilmington, NC

Dixie Benedict

I've heard some good things about this place, and from people I trust, so when it came time to have breakfast with my grandson I decided to try it. They were right.

I had the Dixie Benedict, shown above. It is a biscuit with a delightful fried green tomatoe, scrambled eggs and Vidalia onion sauce. I decided to go native and get grits as the side,in lieu of home fries. The benedict dish was very good and I think the grits were good, but since I come from a much higher latitude I don't know too much about grits. 

My seven year old grandson went for the strawberry pancakes. They come in 2, 4 or 6. He had two and inhaled them. 

Overall, good food at reasonable prices with excellent service. Stop by and see for yourself sometime. 

Update- I went back and tried them again, this time I had the Stafford burger (a nice mixture of beef and sausage, both of which are ground in-house) and it was delightful. My grandson had the black bean burger, which he loved. Good food, good prices, good service. 

Stafford Burger

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Angelo's, Harriman, NY

I have to give one caution to this review. When you go, and I really think you need to go, and soon, make sure you bring cash as they do not take credit cards. That said, this is one of those out of the way gems so let's get into it.


My friend Alicia has been raving about Angelo's for a couple of weeks now so when we went down to Woodbury Commons we swung over to try them. We got there at 4:15 and the sign said they open at 4:30. A nice gentleman was coming out, one of the owners, and after he talked to us for a few minutes he told us to go on in. We were seated and another of the owners introduced himself to us and told us a bit about the food. He also asked if we brought our own wine, it is BYOB, and finding that we didn't he suggested some soft drinks. We opted for tap water.

Veal cutlet with pesto pasta.
We started with the fried calamari and it was quite well executed. The calamari was perfectly cooked with a light breading that suggested they were made in-house. I did find the marinara sauce to be fresh tasting, but a bit bland. There was an option to have a spicy sauce (probably more like a fra diavlo) and that's what I'd do the next time. After we finished the calamari, we were brought small house salads with a nice vinaigrette dressing. 

Looking at the menu I found a few things that interested me, but I finally decided on the veal dish shown above. It is veal cutlet, perfectly cooked by the way, with home made ricotta and mozzarella on it with a wonderful pesto on the pasta, and the veal. Quite amazing, wonderful flavor and texture, good portion. I'd offer up more platitudes, but I'm sure you get the point.

Eggplant Parm

Teresa decided on the eggplant parmesan, her 'go to' dish. First of all, the portion was massive. I tasted it and it was really good, light in taste with delicate flavors. I asked her about it and she said it was one of the best she'd had, and she's eaten that dish in dozens of restaurants. She brought more than half of it home, that's how big it was. 

So you see what I mean? Get some cash together (Our bill was $60 before tip) and get there. It might be a good idea to call ahead as it looked to only seat about 30 in the section we were in. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Cuisses de Grenoille a' la Provençal (Sautéed Frog Legs)

The French elevate simple ingredients, some of which may seem bizarre and unpalatable to the uninitiated, and turn them into culinary delights. Think escargot, or frog legs.

I took six frog legs (three pair before snipping them apart) and rinsed them off. Next they went into a bowl and were covered with milk, the bowl was covered, and into the fridge for thirty minutes. 

Next step was to pat them dry, salt and pepper liberally, and coat with flour. Into a sauté pan I put a half stick of butter at high heat until it started to sizzle. I cooked the legs for four minutes, turning once, until golden brown.

Let the legs rest while you wipe out the pan and heat a quarter stick of butter. Put in two cloves of garlic, minced small, some more salt and pepper, and a dash of lemon juice. Cook for about a minute stirring vigorously. Pour some of this over the legs and eat.

If you have never tried frog legs you will be surprised. The taste is a bit like a meatier talapia with a chicken consistency. Of course all that butter and garlic adds a new dimension. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Nu~Cavu, Consistently Amazing.

Lobster Tempura

I was thinking of a place to take my mother-in-law to for her birthday dinner and a few places came to mind. As I thought about it, I decided to take her to someplace I knew well, and that I was certain would not disappoint. Two places immediately came to mind; Beacon Falls Cafe and The Nu~Cavu. Beacon Falls Cafe was a distance to make two round trips, so we hit the Cavu, and it was a big hit.

Service was impeccable, as usual. Nick, a former student of mine, was attentive and knowledgable. Food was amazing, as usual. We started with fried calamari and the special lobster tempura (shown above). The calamari was great, but the lobster tempura was truly great. It came with a tempura sauce and a sweet and sour sauce with garlic and a bot of heat. Perfect. 

Mom (second generation Italian) said the marinara sauce on the Calamari was quite good, so good that she changed her side dish from potato and vegetable to a side of pasta. Her dinner choice was  the seafood scampi and she requested no garlic which they were happy to accommodate for her. I tasted the fish and it was good (okay, I would have wanted the garlic).

Seafood scampi

I got out of my comfort zone (The Pescadore) and ordered the Tuna Ahi and I was glad I did, It was delightful. I chose a side of garlic and oil that was delicious. The tuna was cooked to perfection.

Ahi Tuna
Teresa had the Gnocchi special with shrimp and it was delicious. They added a bot of the fra diavlo sauce which gave a subtle heat that was not over powering. Quite nice.
Carmela sent out desert for us, and had the staff sing for Mom. This is indeed one of my favorites and you really need to stop by and try them.