Monday, October 31, 2011

1618 Seafood Grille

1618 Seafood Grille in Greensboro, NC, has a great wine list and a menu full of seafood and American fare. We started with the oversized taco appetizer, which consisted of an amazingly seasoned flounder taco and a ground kobe beef taco topped with pico de gallo, lettuce, avocado and shaved manchego.

The pan-seared grouper was cooked perfectly, and arrived on a gorgeously styled plate on top of stone mill grit cakes, with a spicy roasted red pepper sauce, saffron oil and ricotta filled cabbage wraps.

The pork shoulder arrived as thick chunks of pulled pork in a sweet and smoky bbq sauce, with an onion ring as a stand-in for a bun, and goat cheese potato salad with jalapeno slaw.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Pan American

Re-opened after a fire closed them down for most of the year, The Pan-American is a great place for a Latin-inspired feast with locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients. The fresh-made guacamole was a great start, with the unusual addition of corn to the mix for a sweet twist.

The tomato soup swirled with tomato cream and basil oil had a sweet, smoky flavor and came with an adorable trio of mini grilled cheese tortillas.

The spicy blue corn jalapenos stuffed with farmers cheese was nicely complimented with a sweet berry jam.

A thick beef tenderloin was encrusted with chimichurri spices and served over a bed of butternut squash puree with steamed kale and sweet cherry tomatoes.

Dessert was amazing - two slivers of impossible chocolate cake, topped with flan and served with caramel and chocolate sauces, whipped cream and strawberries.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Grub Street Food Festival

The Grub Street Food Festival moved to spacious new digs this year, and hosted a ton of great vendors. I started with the doughnut holes drizzled with caramel sauce and powdered sugar from Wonder City Coffee & Doughnuts.

Moving on to a brief savory stop, Pies 'n' Thighs served a delicious buttered biscuit with a fried piece of chicken covered in hot sauce.

A great newcomer, HS Chocolate Co., made their debut with inventive candy bars like the figgy blue, with blue cheese, fig ganache and nougat in dark chocolate, and chocolate disks filled with peanut butter, maple syrup and roasted peanuts.

A perennial favorite, Stuffed Artisan Cannolis, had a seasonal pumpkin pie cannoli alongside regular flavors like choco loco.

Blue cheese seemed to be a theme, with Robicelli's Iona cupcake - an amazing pear olive oil cake topped with Roquefort buttercream frosting, almonds and a port reduction.

Fatty Cakes NY had a great selection of yummy looking cookies, like the smashing pumpkin and an old-fashioned made with whiskey, cherries and orange cream.

The fried apple pie from Melt Bakery was fantastic - gooey cinnamon apple filling in a crunchy shell coated with sugar...mmmm.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Taka Taka

Taka Taka, Mexican sushi & Japanese taco joint, is a fun new place in soho. There's a full menu with hybrids of the two genres, like the fried soft shell crab roll with avocado and chipotle mayo, but the fun part is the conveyor belt that circulates through the restaurant with various rolls, with numbers for identification and on color-coded plates for prices.

The yakuza roll is delicious, with squid, salmon skin, cucumber and siracha sauce for a little kick.

I loved the spicy tuna tartar roll, coated in a layer of chives.