Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Clarendon: Brunch at La Tagliatella

I have recently become a lover of brunch (I know, I'm a little late the game) so I was thrilled when I was invited to try La Tagliatella's newish brunch-it's been going on for a couple of months but up until now they haven't advertised it. 

Prosciutto wrapped Melon. This is your basic brunch small bite, and pretty hard to mess up unless you use unripe melon or bad prosciutto. La Tagliatella nailed it.  
Pizza di Frutta marscapone, fresh fruit and mozzarella, drizzled with honey and a dusting of powdered sugar. I was pleasantly surprised with this dish. It was light and refreshing-making for a perfect appetizer or dessert. All of the different of the flavors went together perfectly and balanced each other out. Too often in fruit pizzas the cheese base is too heavy, but this wasn't the case here, the cheese was portioned perfectly.  
Smoked Salmon Frittata asparagus, balsamic onions, and mozzarella: The smoked salmon, while delicious on it's own, completely over powered the other flavors of the dish.
Sun-dried Tomato Frittata sun-dried tomatoes, balsamic onions, basil and Grana Padano: This frittata was amazing, you could taste all of the separate elements yet they all complimented each other perfectly. 
Breakfast Potatoes: Good, crispy and soft-perfect combo. 
Brioche French Toast made with egg, honey, vanilla and cinnamon with fresh fruit compote and a dusting of powdered sugar: I am not a huge fan of french toast when paired with the fruit compote it transformed normal french toast into a spectacular dish. I am usually disappointed with french toasts but not here, I would definitely order this again. 
Antipasto Platter prosciutto, speck, bresaola, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Pecorino, Tallegio, goat cheese, roasted red peppers, arugula and pierina bread. This was good, my only comment is that I wish there was a little bit more variety with the meats. Other then that, delicious!
And you can't have a brunch with out drinks. We got to try a whole bunch of fun brunch drinks-including something I've never had before, the French 75. Wow-this was amazing. Their mimosas and bloody marys are also very good. The only brunch drink I was not a huge fan of was the bellini, and that's because there wasn't any peach puree in it which I prefer. While they don't have bottomless mimosas, they offer $3 mimosas and bellinis-pretty darn good, you won't break the bank-and it keeps you responsible.


Would I come back? Yes, for brunch, I would-although they seem to have a rocking happy hour so I may have to try that out. Not only do they have an amazing ambiance but I loved the french toast and sundried tomato frittata.

2950 Clarendon Blvd
Arlington, VA
La Tagliatella on Urbanspoon

Monday, January 13, 2014

DC Winter Restaurant Week 2014 Wonderlamb Competition

Hi Guys!
I have something cool to share with you all. If you didn’t know already, this week is restaurant week in the DC area. If you don’t already have your reservations planned – get moving! They will start to book up fast. I already have plans to go to Restaurant 2941 and Jaleo!
Some other good ones I have been to in the past.
Zaytinya (this is a really old post, but I have been back since 2011, still love it!)
Ambar (didn't blog about it, but the food was great!-service a little slow)
Geranio in Old Town Alexandria
Agora (can't find the blog post, but another good choice!)
Ok, now for the fun news! This year for Winter Restaurant Week DC Chefs are competing in the Wonderlamb Competition presented by Australian Lamb. Finalists have been narrowed down to six competitors and the final dishes for tasting will be featured on their Restaurant Week Menus!!
Not only is it restaurant week so you will probably be trying food you don’t normally, by visiting the finalists restaurants you know you will be trying a dish that has made it to the finals so you know it has to be good (and hello, it's lamb, deeeelicious). I am currently trying to decide from the delicious dishes below to see which restaurant I am going to add to my list for the week!
 
Dinner Entrée:



Table
Australian Lamb Rack with preserved lemon, root vegetables and poblano sauce
Willow
Cassoulet of Australian Lamb with Stachowski’s lamb sausage, braised lamb shank & house-made lamb bacon
Dinner Appetizer/Small Plate:
Indique
Kerala Shepherd’s Pie with Australian lamb, cardamom, coriander, ginger, garlic, & shallot potatoes
La Tasca – Penn Quarter
Cordero al Chilindron stew with braised leg of Australian Lamb, roasted garlic, paprika, peppers, and potato
Lunch Entrée:
Brasserie Beck
Delirium beer-braised BBQ lamb sandwich
Cedar
Australian “LBLT” with Australian Lamb breast, sundried tomato pesto and herbed aioli on rosemary focaccia

 
Check back all this week for my adventures during Restaurant Week!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Pomegranate and Goat Cheese Salad

I have been having major issues with my blog lately so please pardon the major absence. Google was not letting me renew my domain, and in the process of trying to fix that issue some jerk swooped in and bought it. I have pretty much lost all of my traffic and followers and now I am basically starting over. All of my old links are not valid anymore. 

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The idea for this dish came to me while I was perusing an olive oil/balsamic vinegar specialty store located in the Mosaic District in NOVA. I purchased a small bottle of pomegranate infused balsamic vinegar and thought it would be delicious if drizzled over goat cheese on toasted baguette slices (which I have yet to actually try). A couple of weeks later I was at the grocery store trying to determine an easy homemade lunch when I spotted some pomegranate seeds and decided to try a variation of my idea. I couldn't be happier with the combo and it is now my new favorite salad. 

This is an extremely simple, beautiful and flavor rich dish.  A perfect (and quick!) salad to make for a get together (in my case brunch), this salad was a huge hit in my social circle.  One of my friends commented that one of the best things about this salad is that it delivers a delectable palate even without a calorie rich dressing. All you need to create this impressive dish are 3-4 ingredients and 2 minutes to spare!  
There are no exact measurements for this recipe-so be creative and follow your taste buds! If you are planning to make this a main dish, I would add some grilled chicken or top it off with some bacon crumbles. 


Ingredients:
Mixed Greens (This is personal preference however I would suggest avoiding romaine/lettuce. The darker your greens, the more nutrient rich/tastier they are!)
Pomegranate seeds
Crumbled Goat Cheese (Pre-crumbled versions available at your local grocery will work just fine)
Balsamic Vinegar (Pomegranate Balsamic is delicioussss over it!)

Directions:
1. Put mix greens in a bowl (I usually do 2-3 big handfuls)
2. Sprinkle about 1/4 goat cheese over the greens and about 1-2 spoonfuls of pomegranate seeds on top
3. Drizzle a little balsamic vinegar on top and enjoy!

Check out my other salad recipes
Peach and Arugula Salad

Monday, January 6, 2014

Shady Side, Pennsylvania: Mercurio's Gelato and Pizza

I was visiting some family the other day in Pittsburgh when my aunt and I decided to have a girls lunch and shop a little. We decided to hit up Shady Side and both being pizza lovers we ended up at Mercurio's Gelato and Pizza.

To start off our meal we got an order of Bruschetta $6. Toasted Italian bread, tomatoes, onion, ricotta, garlic, asiago cheese, parsley, extra virgin olive oilPretty basic and bland, wouldn't order it again.
Quatro Formaggi $16Mozzarella di bufala, fontina, parmigiano, provolone, extra virgin olive oil. A white, four cheese pizza. Both my aunt and I prefer sauce on our pizzas but really liked this. 
Margherita Pizza $9Tomatoes, house made mozzarella, basil, extra virgin olive oil. Delicious.
I was really impressed with the pizza here. I often don't find pizza that lives up to my beloved Pupatella in Arlington, VA but this comes pretty darn close. One of the better Neapolitan Pizzas I have had. 

Would I come back? Heck yes.

5523 Walnut Street
Pittsburgh, PA
Shadyside
Mercurio's on Urbanspoon



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