Wednesday, May 30, 2012


We went to Zentan last weekend with friends, mostly because, let's be honest, it was pretty much the only place in the area that had open reservations for 6 on a Saturday night two hours before we needed them. That said, it had been on my list since Susur Lee was on Top Chef Masters. So.

Zentan was decent, bordering on good, although inconsistently so. The wine selection was pretty solid, the service was schizophrenic. The Singapore slaw was *pretty* good, could have been great with some lime juice or rice vinegar. Fried calamari was way salty, but tender and crispy.

Friends who got the Hong Kong fish and black cod were happy with their choices, and I concur...both were cooked beautifully and flavors were clean and somewhat subtle. The XO shrimp, scallops, and squid, however (which P and I chose), smacked of Chinese takeout...greasiness included. The Dragon Roll, which we also shared, was AWESOME. This is one you definitely don't want to drench in soy.

Given our somewhat low expectations coming in, Zentan was probably surprisingly good. If you go, stick with the fish and the sushi, and you'll see the resto's good side! (portions x-posted to

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Delicious Amalfi

I am sad to report that we have officially returned from our honeymoon to Italy's Amalfi Coast. Happy, however, to tell you about the deliciousness we experienced there!! 8 days in Italy makes for much eating, so rather than trying to rehash it all (and get even sadder that it's over), I thought we'd stick to the superlatives. And, since I have still been largely remiss at including food porn, some accompanying pictures!

*Best, tender grilled squid: Chez Black (Positano)
*Funniest tasting olive oil on an otherwise beautiful piece of seabass: Next2 (Positano)
*Scariest drive to an otherwise super fun resto: La Tagliatta (Positano...ish)
*Longest line to wait for (really fun and unique) pizza, sold by weight!: Pizzarium (Rome...on the *other* side of the Vatican)

*Worst excuse for true Italian pizza: Les Tres Sorelles (Positano)
*Most perfectly cooked pasta (on the crunchier side of al dente): Da Vincenzo (Positano)
*Smushiest, worst excuse for authentic pasta (and worst house wine): Cumpa Cosimo (Ravello)
*Best bottle of wine: 1999 Radici (enjoyed during our *first* (yes, there were multiple) Michelin-starred resto dinner (La Sireneuse in Positano)
*Best meal of the trip (not to mention one of the best of my life!!!) and hugest ensuing food coma: Il Flauto di Pan (second Michelin-starred resto, in Ravello)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

This week from the farm!

Our CSA with Dragonfly Farms officially kicked off this past weekend, so I thought while we're enjoying the farm bounties, I'd tell you about the recipes we try for dinner in a slightly different format. P says he thinks the main reason we signed up for the CSA is the challenge of using all the veggies each week, so I say, game on!

Our first CSA crate was filled with:
lettuce, spinach, baby bok choi, cilantro, scallions, radishes, tomatoes, strawberries, asparagus, garlic was a lot to wash (good thing we registered for a salad spinner for our wedding)! Incidentally, I had NO idea what the garlic scapes were (see picture below), but thanks to facebook I had help.

Ensuing dinners so far have been:
Apricot veal chops with grilled asparagus and garlic scapes and rosemary flatbreads (Flat-outs, store bought and on sale for half-price!). This was really good and super easy, plus the veggies gave us a chance to use our brand new grill (also a wedding present, yay)! I used veal instead of the lamb in the recipe because the lamb was obscenely expensive and because, according to the nutritional labels at least, the veal was actually way leaner. One mod I would recommend is a bit less preserves and a bit more W-sauce; as-is, it's a bit on the sweet side. But yumyumyumyumyum. And the asparagus and scapes were a delicious, nutritious pairing.

Orange chicken over brown rice with sauteed baby bok choi. The orange chicken was eh. It was a bit bland, but the flavors were in the right place. Perhaps I didn't reduce the sauce enough. The chicken itself was pretty great--tender and almost sweet. It's amazing what a lot of pounding and a touch of butter can do!
The bok choi I chopped, sauteed briefly with some ground ginger, added some water, and put the top on the skillet to steam for ~10 min. At the end I added S&P and some splashes of sherry, burned off the alcohol for about a minute.

Tonight we made use of all *sorts* of our farm bounty: lettuce, tomato, and radish salad dressed with a chile-cilantro dressing and topped with cold-smoked salmon. (In the past I would have just had the salad with a piece of bread, but I'm trying to incorporate more protein into my diet.) Pretty good! Used roasted, salted pepitas, since that's what we had on hand, and just omitted the added recipe salt. Also used greek yogurt in place of regular because, again, already had it. Ditto for the full-fat feta in place of reduced fat. Honestly, with only 1.5 tsp, it really shouldn't substantively impact cals or fat per serving. If you make this, mMaybe cut down on the garlic (since it's raw and thus, uber pungent), or don't eat this before a date or interview.

Left to find uses for this week: spinach and scallions! Any suggestions? (Ate the strawberries with breakfast.)