Wednesday, December 25, 2013

On the waterfront: Osteria Morini

Osteria Morini

301 Water Street S.E., Suite 109
Washington, DC 20003 • (202)484-0660
www.osteriamorini.com


Dined on Dec. 14, 2013

Dining at Osteria Morini was like dining at a friend's place. The atmosphere is convivial, the staff pays attention to every detail as they want you to be comfortable in their "home". While the food did not meet my high expectations based on ratings and reviews, I nonetheless had a good and relaxing dining experience. At Osteria Morini you will definitely be taken care of and for this reason I will return and try some of their other menu items, and save room for dessert.
The biggest mistake Osteria Morini makes is having a really large flat screen TV in the dining room. It hangs over the bar, near the entrance, and is visible from the entire dining area. That TV really detracts from the ambiance. My dining companion faced the TV. Even though I wasn't facing the TV, it was fully reflected in the floor to ceiling glass wall, which I faced and the image flashes did distract me a few times. Why do restaurants do this? It's not a sports bar? The volume in Osteria Morini was lively to loud; it was a full house when we went but at least it drowned out TV volume.

My dining companion and I selected our entrees based on what we liked but also with the idea that we would share. We each wanted the Cappeletti (pasta) and the Stracotto (short ribs), so he had the pasta and I had the short ribs.

Cappeletti: Truffled ricotta ravioli, melted butter, prosciutto

Stracotto: Sangiovese-braised short ribs, whipped potatoes, gremolata
 

Must try appetizer: Mare - Adriatic style seafood salad, olives, capers. The seafood was fresh, tasty and there was lots of it-- shrimp, scallop, squid, calamari.

Complimentary focaccia is very good.

I am glad that the Cappeletti was not my main choice; it was not to my liking. The pasta was very soft, fell apart; and had mild to non-existent flavor except for the prosciutto. However, my dining companion is the one who ordered the dish, he said it was fine. He loved my short ribs (Stracotto). We both thought the dish could have a little less salt, and agreed that the whipped potatoes were too salty and barely palatable. The short ribs was a large piece of meat, and it was nice & tender. Perhaps with a little less salt, more of the Sangiovese-wine flavor would come through in the reduction.

We also had a side of Brussel sprouts with pancetta. The sprouts were cooked perfectly--caramelized, firm with portions of crispness.

Yes, do save room for dessert. What we had:
  • Affagato - Cardamom gelato served in a goblet, with cardamaro, and at the table freshly brewed espresso is poured on top. I will return for this dessert.
  • Tortino al Cioccolato - Warm chocolate cake, liquid ganache, espresso gelato; smooth, deep chocolate flavor, not sweet. Yes, get this too.
I recommend the desserts, the coffee, the mare, the sprouts, the short ribs. Overall, the food was just okay, with some standout desserts. I rate it 3 out of 5 stars.

Chow!
food chick

~~:~~
Eat, drink, be merry and validate for parking (TM)


Osteria Morini on Urbanspoon

Season's Greetings



Chow!
food chick

~~:~~
Eat, drink, be merry and validate for parking (TM)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

food porn

View at your own risk.



Chow!
food chick

~~:~~
Eat, drink, be merry and validate for parking (TM)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Tea: drink to your health

click to enlarge image

This tea infographic comes from Sayan Health, and it looks at the health benefits of tea varieties.

Source: http://www.care2.com

Chow!
food chick

~~:~~
Eat, drink, be merry and validate for parking (TM)

Corduroy Restaurant

Corduroy Restaurant

1122 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001  (202) 589-0699
http://www.corduroydc.com/


Quality dining, not pretentious

I dined at Corduroy, on my birthday, which was November 3. It was fate because November 3, 2013 was a Sunday. Corduroy is normally closed on Sundays. Lucky me!

Pistachio bread pudding

I have had the pure pleasure of eating at Corduroy on three separate occasions, each experience has been a spectacular festival of flavors. I love the way they prepare food; they create wonderment. Each food item is scrumptious and memorable. Add to this the impeccable, professional service and that is why Corduroy is my number 1 or 2 favorite place to eat in DC. Corduroy always earns 5 out of 5 stars as a fine dining experience. I highly recommend that you make your next meal out a visit to Corduroy.

Cocktail
Lemongrass cocktails are dangerously delicious, you cannot have just one.

Appetizer
Heirloom tomato salad, with (red and yellow tomatoes) with flavorful basil and a smooth vinaigrette. The best, most tasty tomotoes I've had all year, sweet too.

Crab blintze - jumbo lump crab wrapped in phyllo dough with crisp Chayote Slaw. The blintze is light, tasty pairs well with the slaw.

Main Course
Phenomenal Scallops and grits, with candied onion soubise (like pureed sweet onions): Sweet tender scallops, silky grits, I want onion soubise everything.

Scallops and grits served atop onion soubise

By the way, Corduroy makes very fine coffee. We topped the evening off with coffee and dessert: flourless chocolate cake, which I have had here on a previous visit and it is still my favorite Corduroy dessert. The pistachio bread pudding was very unique. It was done in layers like a cake but with a completely smooth texture, in between the layers were crushed pistachios. Quite enjoyable and a nice change of pace from typical desserts.

I will be dining at Corduroy for Christmas dinner, have not been this excited for Christmas since I was a kid.

The end to a very fine meal.


Chow!
food chick

~~:~~
Eat, drink, be merry and validate for parking (TM)

Monday, December 16, 2013

Filet of sole

Just whipped up a very quick meal for a friend. He exclaimed, "The spinach is tasty." He enjoyed the filet of sole too, "The fish is so good the way you prepared it."

Filet of sole with mushrooms, carrots, and rosemary
served w/ sauteed spinach and
cumin flavored brown basmati rice.

Here's the lowdown on my quick 'n' tasty dinner:

Filet of sole (frozen, thawed) was steamed in saute pan with baby bella mushrooms; organic baby carrots; and seasoned with rosemary and garlic powder. I put about 2 TBS of olive oil in the bottom of the pan then added fish and veggies. After 2 minutes, I sprinkled a bit of smoked sea salt (from Cleo's Fine Oil and Vinegar) on the sole then cooked it on very low heat for 3 more minutes The carrots and mushrooms remained firm, which is great. Total cook time 5 minutes.

The Lundberg Farm organic brown basmati rice was already made. I simply scooped out a serving onto the plate and heated it in the microwave but not before I sprinkled a little bit of cumin on the rice. Once that was done I mixed in 1/2 a pat of butter.


The Olivia's fresh organic spinach was cooked last. I put the spinach, for seconds, in the already heated saute pan. The spinach was on the heat just long enough for it to go limp, and for me to toss it around in 1 tsp. of Lebherz Oil & Vinegar Emporium Honey Ginger White Balsamic Vinegar.

Chow!
food chick


~~:~~
Eat, drink, be merry and validate for parking (TM)

Saturday, December 14, 2013

 I saw the following cooking manifesto in an email I received from food52.com . I do cook but I don't like to cook, therefore, I don't really subscribe to a cooking manifesto but I've my own thoughts on home and hearth, and cooking.


how you eat is how you live


Food52 cooking manifesto

We love spending time in the kitchen, (not me!) and we believe that memorable cooking doesn't have to be complicated or precious. Yes, yes I believe in this.

Because, if you cook:
  • Your family will eat dinner together. - Nope, it's just me.
  • You will naturally have a more sustainable household. - I am easy to sustain.
  • You'll set a lifelong example for your children. - I don't have children...by choice.
  • You'll understand what goes into food and will eat more healthily. - I definitely pay attention to where my food comes from and what's in it. Cooking at home has done this for me. I grocery shop the way I do and eat the way I do for my health.
  • You'll make your home an important place in your life. - My home is already my sanctuary.
  • You'll make others happy. - With my cooking? Not possible. Just kidding. I am a good cook because I am a creative cook. However, I do not like to cook, especially for others. I don't mind making breakfasts.
  • People will remember you. - Not for my cooking they won't.

How you eat is how you live. True. I eat healthily and I live a healthy lifestyle too. The two do go hand in hand.

Chow!
food chick

~~:~~
Eat, drink, be merry and validate for parking (TM)

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Soil...nothing lives without it.

Grow soil--the living skin of non-living mineral, which is the base of earth.


Watch this beautiful, meaningful, educational film trailer. It's short.


Symphony of the Soil Trailer from Symphony of the Soil on Vimeo
.

Film: Symphony of Soil, courtesy of symphonyofthesoil.com, a full length documentary.

Chow!
food chick

~~:~~
Eat, drink, be merry and validate for parking (TM)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Quick 'n' Easy HOT! rice, shrimp, spinach

I have done a good job getting back to my regular diet since the Thanksgiving feast gorge fest. December 8, I created this hot and very delicious meal for my lunch: spinach, wild rice, egg, onion, and shrimp sauteed in garlic and hot chili oil. This dish is full of heat! The rice helps temper the heat.


As usual, I did not really have a taste for anything specific but created the dish out of ingredients that I had on hand: fresh spinach, shrimp, Lundberg wild rice (note to self, you're out of rice), sweet onion, and egg. Seasonings: garlic powder (and lots of it), Asian Gourmet Chili Oil. Once the onion and shrimp are done cooking, add one lightly beaten egg to the pan. Scramble the egg in the pan. Add garlic powder to taste, throw in a cup of fresh spinach (or as much as you like); toss it around in the pan to mix it in and cover it with seasonings. It's done! Serve it on a bed of rice.

Wild rice blend

Sweet onion and shrimp cooking in chili oil with garlic powder


I am especially fond of the Lundberg rices, I have eaten them for years. It used to be only available at specialty organic, whole foods type stores but now you can find the products in regular markets. Not only does Lundberg have a variety of rice they also offer organic and NON-GMO products. The farm is a part of the NON GMO Project; learn more about that here.


Chow!
food chick

~~:~~
Eat, drink, be merry and validate for parking (TM)

Friday, December 6, 2013

Memorable meal: chorizo

My mouth is watering as I sit taking in the aroma of wild rice infused with garlic and basil to finish cooking so that I can make my lunch. Then my mind floated to one of my recent lunchtime creations (or did I have it for breakfast?) Yes, it was a weekend breakfast.

Mmm sooo gooood!

Garnet sweet potato w/ butter. Boiled egg. Fresh spinach sauteed w/ sweet onion, crimini mushrooms, and Hartmann's smoked chorizo.

What are you cooking fresh today?

Chow!
food chick

~~:~~
Eat, drink, be merry and validate for parking (TM)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Yummy-licious Kale

 It's no secret amongst my friends and family that I do not like to cook. But when I do cook something it is usually very delicious, if I do say so myself. I am a creative cook, I don't follow recipes and I rarely have a specific dish in mind. I simply create dishes based on what is in my refrigerator and pantry. Today's lunch followed that scheme.

I created a super yummy-licious lunch: Organic Lacinato Kale, Bay Scallops, Organic Crimini Mushrooms, Pad Thai noodles sauteed in garlic and olive oil then tossed in Blackberry Ginger aged Italian Vinegar.

The kale was divine. I cannot wait to eat the rest of it.


Lacinato Kale, crimini mushrooms and Pad Thai noodles from My Organic Market aka MOMs, Bowie, Maryland
Aged Italian vinegar cleosfineoils.com, Annapolis, Maryland
Bay scallops from Whole Foods, Annapolis, Maryland

Chow!
food chick

~~:~~
Eat, drink, be merry and validate for parking (TM)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Chh chh changes! (and squats)

#30daysquatchallenge


Today I am beginning the 30-day squat challenge (good lord my ass hurts just thinking about that!). In addition, I want to lose 10 lbs in a month, 8 lbs would be satisfactory. I have a pair of black lace hot pants I want to wear for a New Years Eve event. The hot pants are a size 7 and looked great on me one year ago. Sad to say, at present, I can get into the pants but I cannot fully zip them. I have too much hips and ass...lol.
Gabrielle Union in rumba panties

Ten pounds weight loss may seem a little ambitious, it is but I am confident that I can lose 8 lbs. Three to four pounds of this weight is puffy water weight gained in the last two weeks due to my diet. Ugh! Thanksgiving food is yummy but so much of is it completely different from my regular diet. The Thanksgiving food is higher in fat, sugar, and sodium. A week before Thanksgiving I was again eating a lot at my favorite Asian bistro (East Moon Asian Bistro, Bowie, Md); the food tends to have a lot of sodium in the sauces. The food is not salty but if you eat it 3 - 4 times a week the sodium count is high and it affects me--swelling. I can tackle the swelling issue hard by doing the Dr. Oz 48-hr. Weekend Cleanse. I have done it 3 times before and it works for me. In addition, I regularly exercise but I plan on increasing the amount of exercise in order to achieve my weight loss goal: more running, more dancing, circuit training to tighten and build muscle. Most importantly, as of today I have returned to my regular good diet.

Another blogger who has done the #30daysquatchallenge encouraged me to take before photos and at the end of the 30 days take another photo for comparison. Great idea! Yes, I will do this. NO! I will not post the photos.

Wish me success!

Chow!
food chick

~~:~~
Eat, drink, be merry and validate for parking (TM)