James Beard Award Winners

So…Los Angeles didnt represent–except for some finalists.  Chicago, who knew there was so much yum there.    Heres a link to the James beard award winners…from open table so you can quickly snag a reservation.  Has anyone been to any of them…let us know

Speaking of James Beard, i was bombarded by emails telling me to watch his documentary….America’s First Foodie!   We havent seen it but here is he Bon Appetit article from last week : Americas First Foodie. The man had a tv show before any of the others but he was before his time…..let me know what you think!

Farm restaurant for dinner, Palm Springs…French inspired fare

While searching on Yelp for someplace for dinner, i came across Farm.  It looked like a great french inspired breakfast brunch place that just started dinner service on fridays and saturdays with a prix frixe menu.  In fact, the website has the owner’s words saying she wants visitors to share the experience of being in the South of France.

Our reservations were at 8 last night on what became a rainy cold palm springs night…i got a confirmation call ensuring that i knew that the night would be cold and they were booked up inside and that i would be dining on the patio.

I wish I would have taken more pics…there is great attention to detail in the patio with french music, colors, flowers, the furniture…it was quite lovely.   We even had Laguiole knives at our place settings, as well as another with my entree.

We started with drinks- the Penicillin and theFrench  Monk–i had two of those! And jim had the Julia Cornell as round two.


While these cocktails were great, i think there is a huge opportunity for an aperitif menu including a Aperol spritz, Campari spritz, Kir, Kir Royale, even some house made aperitifs like the prosecco and blue curacao we had in Paris….

I knew going into it that there would be a prix fixe for the night…and just like in France, we were greeted with a chalkboard with the night’s choices


Being allergic to gluten and sesame…jim was lined up with the beet salad, the salmon with sauce on side, and the glace…while i went straight for the tomato tartar, beef bourguignon, and the crepe.

We received bread with viengar and olive oil after ordering


The small round rolls were perfect!   Crisp on the outside and nice and tender on the inside…i ate them all by myself!

The amuse was a lovely round of asparagus balasamic with feta

Up next were the salads

The salads were both 

wonderful…the beet was more of a carpaccio and I loved the tarragon in the sauce with my tomatoes.

Intermission was a palate cleansing lemon sorbet


Now for the main event:

Boef bourguignon

Salmon with Mandarin Sauce


Both dishes were excellent…the beef was flavorful and fall apart tender with a fork and yummy!

Finally, dessert

Citron crepe

Vanilla ice cream with a shot of chambord

The crepe was perfect…it had these citrus “caviar” flavor bombs (a la molecular gastronomy style) and Jim said that might have been the best vanilla ice cream he has ever had.

Everything we ate was spot on great and the service was impeccable.   My two comments are:

The menu was not what i expected…i was so excited by a southern France experience that I wasnt looking for a curry dish or a teryaki chicken dish…the food and drinks have so much potential to match the space and the atmosphere…i expected pissaladiera, socca, polenta, lapin…

And, if there are only three tables in the patio…really, if you identify yourself as the owner and ask about the experience of one table, it’s glaringly obvious when you dont ask the other two tables.

Overall, we truly enjoyed our food and cocktails…its just wasnt the french experience we expected.

Border Grill Santa Monica

For probaby our final time, we went to Border Grill Santa Monica.  No more day drinking scratch margaritas after a stroll down the farmers market since rhis location is closing after 26 years.
Greeted by the tortilla station:


Having had dinner and apps and drinks before, we made the brunch plunge:


We sampled mimosa and margarita and the great salsa and chips that greet you:

pictured is the cadillac, the blood orange, and a mimosa


And our dishes were:

Jalapeno Home Fries

Carnitas Tacos

Chorizo and Egg Tacos

Yucatan Eggs Benedict Sliders

Peruvian Shrimp and Grits

Waffle with Pork Belly

Oaxacan Pancakes

Chicken Panucho

Steak and Eggs

Churro Tots

We admired the design of the space


And we ate and had good company:

On the plus side…i have a cookbook from Mary Sue and Susan that has several of the recipes from the restaurant…and we can still haul ourselves to the downtown or vegas locations….

Love these margaritas though!  Right at the bar in santa monica…the following are from our stop there two weeks ago

Peruvian Ceviche

Green Corn Tamale


Thats the end. 🙂
#bordergrillsmmemories

El Mirasol–Palm Springs

I think Jim ate here everyday this trip…what can we say?  We love good margaritas and good mexican…and this stuff is pretty darned good!

Make sure tou ask for the spicy salsa in addition to the regular…some nights its so hot we mix the two

Jim loves the strawberry margarita here and i tend to always get the maestro dobel, grande size…and usually drink two especially when the temps are running 110 ish


For a change we started with mini chorizo tacos!  Mmm

One of my favorites–camarones Dona Diabla made with their house dona diabla sauce that they make and sell by the bottle…this is not for those who have a fear of spice

And jims standby—the chicharonnes!  Which are also great!

Literally he at here for dinner wednesday with me, lunch on thirsday and friday while i was at work, and today for lunch with me…we do like it a lot!

Pomme Frites–Palm Springs

Another of our goto places especially on a thursday after walking the street fair in 100 degree heat..so i kicked it off with a Duchesse de Bourgogne for me-our server even asked if i had it before because some people arent fans of the acidic bite…some rose for Jim


For starter–tartare!  Which was very tasty


Entrees–short rib for me and mussles and frites for jim


Another standby for beer number two–Affligem


No dessert for me, but someone got a sampler


The floating cloud and mousse we gluten free but i had to eat the third which was not


We keep coming back.

Dish-creative cuisine in Palm Springs round two

We tried this place for brunch on my birthday in March–the purple steamy fizzy drink place…well we tried it for dinner tonight and it was great!

For the summer they have a prix fixe with many gluten free options


Plus they randomly bring out amuse-bouche throughout the meal.

Instead of bread to nosh while perusing the menu, its hot donuts!  Savory donuts in this case flavored with sage.


Amuse-bouche number 1—a soda that tastes exactly like bloody mary with no alcohol


Amuse-bouche 2–a bite of ceviche with corn, avocado mousse


We each had the Compressed Watermelon –watermelon, baby heirloom tomatoes, feta crumbles, balsamic pearls, pistachio dist, basil granita


A little late, but our cocktails arrived and our server, Spencer, graciously made the untimely delivery completely forgivable.  On the left, Jims brown butter and maple rye, and on the right my Bulleit Bourbon with cherry and campari, and citrus, and bitters.


Next up finds us another amuse-bouche..#3.. A small zuchini fritter with a dill cream


Amuse-bouche 4:  a tiny almond flour muffin with sun dried tomato tapenade


Amuse-bouche 5: grapefruit sorbet


Entrees:

Pasta of the day–shrimp ravioli for me


And a crab stuffed poblano for jim


Amuse-bouche 6: a small push up pop orange and vanilla—very much like a creamcicle


Dessert was crackerjack sundae for jim which has little flecks of brittle in additon to carmel corn and the gelato


And i had a rootbeer float with markers mark in it


We will probably have to return here!

Camachos–it ended up being a margarita friday afterall

After the wiarding world of harry potter, it was rime for friday mexican …

Camachos at citywalk is where i had my first shot of don julio real after a failed attempt to try the 1942.

Jim had veggie fajitas   
Lauras veggie taco (taco minus meat) and cheese enchilada

 
The sweet heat margarita

   
Jims round two was the heart of jalisco 

 
This is my Scratch margarita

   

Calabacitas sopes

    
 

Thats how we wound down friday….

Valentines Day in Palm Springs

Our 18th valentines day…at pommes frites in palm springs    
  A favorite flemish ale:  
  

Prix fixe vday dinner

Beets napolean:
    

Shrimp salad
 
  

A yummy new beer:

 
 

Potato croquettes, filet, shrimp

  

Jims gluten free version with mashed instead of croquettes (the mashed has nutmeg…tasty)

  

Grand marnier creme brulee:

  
  

 🙂