Archive for ‘Dining Out’

January 4, 2011

Delicious Cookies Come to You | Rogue Bakery

I love it when someone is creative.  And hilarious.  And can bake a mean cookie.  That’s Carl, who started Rogue Bakery.  He’s been around, delivering cookie happiness to Columbus-ites in the know and I finally pulled the trigger New Year’s Eve to have some cookies delivered on New Year’s Day.  Who knew?

Operating essentially without a net, Rogue lets you order cookies right on Facebook.  Follow Rouge on Twitter to keep in the loop regarding new offerings.  It’s the new social media and it comes with cookies!

Carl himself delivers the cookies right to your door.  Unless you live far away, then the mailman does it.

It’s completely fun.  And the cookies are completely delicious.  I wisely ordered the grab bag so I my hungry family could sample several types of cookies.  Carl doesn’t believe me that Cherub can pack away the cookies, but she can.  She really can I tell you.  And Hades, too.  Face it, we’re all pros.

Delivered individually wrapped and all creative tasty flavors – a spicy ancho peanut butter cookie that you couldn’t even tell was vegan was my favorite.  Holiday spritz cookies were also in the bag, Cherub’s favorite.  Chocolate chip with a bit of sea salt were fantastic as well as a dense chocolate-y cookie that had a hint of cinnamon (this one was vegan, too! – I was shocked, shocked I tell you, that I liked something that was vegan).

I love to bake, but this changes my mind a little bit about needing to do it.  When you can get such a plethora of innovative flavor combinations all at once, why not have Rouge Bakery do the baking for you?   And they deliver.  Rogue 1, Oven 0.

One dozen cookies with delivery, $15.


December 13, 2010

Dining Out | Lunch at Lüke

South Texas has a long growing season, plentiful meats, feathered and furred game, and lots of space to grow and roam.  Why has it been so hard to find it?  I had an opportunity to meet CIA-trained  Chef Steve McHugh after a demo at the Pearl Farmer’s Market.  He may be planting the flag for San Antonio’s late- blooming local-food movement.  Having grown up on a Wisconsin farm, Chef McHugh knows a thing or two about how great local, fresh-from-the-farm produce can taste.  He sources many of his ingredients for Lüke from vendors at Pearl, all of whom are within 150 miles of San Antonio.  The salad he made at the market, which is on the menu, included Humble House baby blue cheese – some of the prettiest I’ve ever seen – snuggled up next to chili-spiced pistachios and candied beets.  I looked over the menus and decided we would cancel our lunch reservations to eat at the three-week-old bistro, Lüke. 

Lüke, on the Riverwalk, is the new sister to the original in New Orleans.  As a John Besh restaurant, Lüke has definite French Quarter flavor.  But there are menu touches here and there that make you remember you are in South Texas.

We started with cocktails, a French “75” for me and a Sazerac for Hades.

To start, I couldn’t resist the pâté de campagne of wild boar.  Served with watermelon pickles, mustard and a gelee, the pâté was luscious spread on crispy olive oil toasts.  Equally intriguing in terms of a first course would have been the fried Texas quail, which I will be sure to try next visit.

Hades ordered from the express lunch menu, which included a cup of soup.  He wisely chose the shrimp and sausage gumbo.

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December 9, 2010

Dining Out | Nosh

I have been meaning to get to Silo and its small plates/bar little sister Nosh for oh, well, forever.  Cue the heroic Zeus and Demeter who, very kindly, took little Cherub to see Yo Gabba Gabba Live.   We are, after all, a rock and roll kind of family. 

It’s lovely to have lots time.   We ordered started early with the cocktail menu and then ordered several times at a leisurely pace from the shared plates section of the menu. 

Nosh turned out to be everything I kind of hoped for: creative, local flavors with a bit of comfort thrown in.  It makes you realize that San Antonio is not all bar-b-que and enchiladas. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.  I will be having and posting about both in the next few days, to be sure.) Nosh is a perfect spot to hit if you’re a foodie from out-of-town.  It’s not far from Alamo Heights and the McNay, it’s got a decent happy hour and a creative cocktail menu.  I love Nosh’s concept of a flight of cocktails.  Especially if several are looking alluring.  Which they managed to do pretty easily.  The service is thoughtful and eager without being intrusive.

We will certainly be back again next time we’re in town, and if we lived here, it’d be a regular favorite.

 

Shrimp “corn dogs”: Tempura battered shrimp on a stick with spicy mayo
November 30, 2010

Giveaway of the Day | Dine Originals

This is, in fact, a cooking blog.  But there are times that even Persephone has to set down the saute pan and back away from the kitchen.  Every once in a while, I like to head out and let someone else do the cooking.  And when I do, most of the time, we head for a restaurant that’s part of the Dine Originals Columbus family.  Fifty-three independently-owned restaurants cover the entire cuisine spectrum from sushi to tapas to sandwiches to steaks.  If you’re in the mood for something, there’s a Dine Originals restaurant that matches your craving.

Dine Originals gift certificates make great presents.  As my final gift to you, dear readers, I have a Dine Originals Columbus $30 gift certificate to give you.  To win, let me know where, of the 53 restaurants, you’d spend your certificate.  Submit your answer in the comments section of this post or send me a tweet with your answer.  You have until tomorrow, December 1 at noon EST to enter.  For full giveaway rules click here.  Good luck and thanks for playing this week!  I’ve really enjoyed all your comments!

November 26, 2010

The Official Persephone’s Kitchen Holiday Gift Guide

The turkey coma is fading, the leftover turkey carcass is simmering on the stove for stock, and now you can start thinking about what to do about your holiday gifts.  ‘Tis the season to be giving!  Perhaps you’ve got a friend or family member that loves all things food, or all things Ohio or all things fabulous. 

Persephone is here with a trusty list that’s sure to have them smiling.  Here are some of the things that will be wrapped and given to our nearest and dearest this year, whether it’s under a tree or lovingly pressed into the welcoming hands of a hostess with a houseful of merrymakers.

For the Baker

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November 13, 2010

Dine Originals Week | Pistacia Vera

Why don’t I live in German Village again?  Seriously.  I think I’ll just move there to be closer to Pistacia Vera.  I will, of course, gain 35 pounds over the course of a week or two because I would be there every. day. Three times a day.

I knew the pastries were good.  I’ve had them before.  The coffee is hot and strong and delicious from Cafe Brioso.  And the shop is so lovely and light and minimalist.  I know all these things.  But today, there was something magical about the perfectly arranged platter of six (!!) lovingly crafted sweets, my tasty Americano and a November day when it’s almost 70 and you can sit in the pretty little side courtyard and close your eyes and imagine you’re in Paris.  I close my eyes and imagine that Cherub is behaving herself, too.  But, alas, I’m a dreamer at heart.

The $10 menu, specially designed for Dine Originals Week included left row, bottom to top: fruit pates (black currant champagne and orange ginger), a mocha praline jaconde, and a mouth-watering cashew caramel.  On the right, two of their famous Parisian macarons (a pumpkin and a maple walnut), their Florentine and the pear ginger frangipan.  I swooned over the cashew caramel.  This has risen to the tip-top of my holiday gift list.  People would kiss you if you sent them a box of these babies.  Which you can

The true beauty of Pistacia Vera is that you can get these creative and inspiring bites, along with tremendous coffee for the same price as your typical afternoon chain coffee stop.  So get thee to German Village for an unpretentious little break.  And when you do, make sure to invite me along.  You know I’m game.

November 12, 2010

Dine Originals Week | Basil

BasilPersephone’s Kitchen was closed tonight.  Basil presented a really extensive Dine Originals Week menu, with four courses no less, for $20.  Having not had the chance to dine there before, but hearing good things, this week seemed the time to give it a go.  I’m glad we did.

A snug little restaurant right between Surly Girl Saloon and The Attic on High Street, Basil was already filling up early.  Seating groups from two to ten while I was there, the waitstaff was quick to take orders and even quicker with delivery of our dishes. 

I tried both the Tom Yum Ground Chicken and the Tom Ka Ground Chicken soups.  Both were very different and both were served very hot.  The Tom Yum was spicy and flavorful with lime and lemongrass.  The Tom Ka was a light coconut soup with a lovely fresh, almost piney balance from the galangal root. 

Our appetizers were the cucumber salad and the vegetable tempura.  The cucumber salad had a very light mirin dressing with grated carrots, red onion and cilantro. It was a cool interlude between hot soup and our main courses.  The vegetable tempura batter itself was a bit heavy but very, very delicious.  The vegetables were tender but not mushy, the tempura crispy and the clear Thai vinaigrette a perfect dipping partner for the vegetables.

Hades chose the Thai curry with salmon and I had the basil over rice.  His salmon was flaky and the coconut curry was a flavor I would bathe in if I could: creamy, sweet and savory all at once.  The basil over rice was ground chicken with lots of Thai basil, green bell peppers, sautéed in a spicy brown sauce.  I have a thing with spicy: if it’s going to be done, it needs to not be over done.  You want to be able to taste the other flavors in your dinner.  You don’t just want straight hot, you want a balance.  You want to be able to pick out the basil or the bell pepper, not just be sweating bullets, sniffing a lot and saying, “Whew, this is hot.”  And you know what?  This was balanced.  I had them make it with a medium amount of spice and it was just right.  Spicy without being overpowering. 

For our fourth course we were each given sweet little pink coupons to be taken next door to The Attic vintage shop to be redeemed for a Bakery Gingham cupcake.  The perfect sweet ending.  And kind of a cool little store with a mix of vintage and new, a few gifts; one I’ll need to stop in again to truly get a feel for what they’ve got.

Basil has some finesse.  I enjoyed dinner and wouldn’t mind stopping in again soon.  You got another day to get your dine on.  Get going!

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