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.

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!

Palm Springs eats revisited In December

 Back to Palm Springs for four days of work…so we eat….this is round one at blue coyote  
  

Crabmeat relleno for me

Carnitas for jim  
  

  
  

Right outside the door

  
  

Back to our fave…el mirasol and we are outside on the patio

  
    

This is a custom dish…it’s a shrimp with tomatillo sauce with Dona Diablo sauce added for some spice    

I think it is carnitas….
  

Flash forward to Wednesday and it’s our love Tropicale and our fav server remember Ed us and my Fiery Dragon low on the sweet

  

And a coconut martini for him of course
  

Gluten free pizza appy 

  
  

She so did not want her picture taken

  

Giant shrimp and a filet on potatoes….the least inspired dish I have ever had here
  

Cioppino 

  

Some crazy ass snickers cake that was gluten free and quite yummy
    

Palm Springs street fair findings….and the sample was seriously spicy
  

Love this stuff

  

After the street fair it’s time for a trip to pommes frites…tres Belgique, non?
  

Always start with the affligem 

  
  

Not for the true vegs!!!!  Tar tar!   But it was yummy:-)

  

Next round saint bernarbus
  

My mussels with mustard cream sauce

  

And of course, the pommes frites with three sauces
 

Today’s eats…gyoro gyoro Encino location

I’m so behind everyone…work insanity, thanksgiving plus out of town work insanity.

But we are back and hit gyoro-gyoro izakaya on the way home from today’s outings.   We have been to the Palm Springs location a couple times…they have 150 restaurants in Tokyo and are venturing into the states….Japanese bar food.  
They are one of the few places that stock echigo rice beer which by default has no gluten

    

Yellowtail and jalapeño are on the daily happy hour menu:-)
    

Scallops
  

Shishito!   On the happy hour menu too!   They are served with a Carmelites miso which was unique 

  

Veggie roll!

Uni hand roll    

Shiitake yakitori 
  

Rainbow roll

  

Kuroboto sausage yakitori and chicken liver yakitori…..and here we popped into meat eater zone.
   

Extra nice that yelp had a check in coupon of 5 dollars off every 25 dollars you spend

Queen Mary Sunday Brunch, Long Beach…definitely a flexitarian Sunday!

we haven’t been here in forever (since like Mother’s Day 10 years ago…) but we had friends in town for another doll convention (thankfully Jim has some limits)  in downtown long beach so the QM seemed like the perfect ace to meet up for Queen Mary Sunday champagne brunch .

   
The queen Mary from the parking lot as we arrived

 
Downtown long beach across the water

   
The dome….it’s just the dome…I have no idea what it’s doing.

Upon entering the queen Mary, you will see the hotel entrance (onboard the ship) , Sir winstons fine dining at the queen Mary, shops etc

The dining room for brunch is ginormous 

  
   
 
The famous ice sculpture dripping shrimp

   
The harpist who is mentioned in every review on yelp

 
Homemade by someone corned beef hash!  For a flexitarian, this was yummy!

   
Food and more food…pastas, Asian, salads, breakfast items, seafoods, a carving station, omelette station…

 
No, we did not get to eat at the captains table..he was busy as you can see

   
    
 
Omelette station

   
 
Four meats at the carving station including pork tenderloin in addition to the usual suspects

   
The desserts kept changing!   Rebecca say my carrot cake and when I went back there was none but chocolate covered strawberries had arrived and when Rebecca went back there was a time chocolate tart that wasn’t there before…

 
  

The price tag for this whole affair is like 56.95 a person plus parking…so this is not a brunch for just any old Sunday…..but the atmosphere is nice (come on!  It’s the queen Mary! And you are eating on the water and there are portholes for windows) and the food is pretty good and there is the harpist:-).  Then you get to wander the ship after.

After a brunch filled with numerous mimosas, you have to look around the ship.
Things like the worlds longest Lego brick model ship    

A Lego Winston Churchill     
Take in the views from the observation deck

    

   
 
(Look at my calves!  Now if I could trim up my waist to match them!)

And play in the phone less phone booths

   
 
Good day with good people…overall it’s a fun splurge …. 

Palm Springs eats

We just wound up four days in Palm Sparings for work and had little time to post much but we did get to eat a lot:-)

Upon arrival on Sunday our room wasn’t ready for check in so we were off to Olive A’sudden and then to a late lunch at Alicante which we have seen before, and have dined at their sister restaurant, but never yet tried.  It’s a blend of sports bar, tapas, and entree portioned Mediterranean/Spanish

   
That’s my blood orange Manhattan and Kim’s house made sangria.

 
I keep thinking I should have tried the smoked bacon Manhattan 

   
Gotta have octopus!

 
Roasted almonds, and artichoke and egg

   
Potatoes brava

 
Remarkably yummy citrus marinated olives.

This place was okay and was not very expensive overall…but it was just a light lunch for us.

Dinner became a new adventure to a place we had heard of but never tried Wangs in the Desert.  

This place is an eclectic blend of Asian cuisines. We were drawn because they advertise having a gluten free menu and a vegetarian menu.

   

Lychee martini for me!
    

This was our jalapeño calamari appetizer
  

Gluten free beef with broccoli

  

Green curry and veggie fried rice
    

Monday night: Tropicale

We always love this place and the fiery dragon and coconut martinis are always a hit

   
 
Big ass shrimp cocktail!  

 Definitely sharable

   
My pork chop with greens and mashed potatoes

 Jim got a huge burger in a lettuce bun

  

We hit Trio with local friends the next night. Where …surprise!  I took no pictures

But I highly recommend the Will Stiles

  

One more Palm Springs spot to describe and share but I’ll save that for another post