an egg is an egg...meditating at the Museo Miró in Barcelona

Friday, April 11, 2014


Another birthday luncheon today but not mine; this was for a lovely lady friend. Still the same view, the same wonderful service and an enticing seasonal menu. An amuse bouche of a shooter of spring pea cold soup topped with creme fraiche and a pea shoot was an artistic and delicious way to start a meal. She then started with the Waldorf Salad with hearts of romaine, celery & radish, truffled pear, walnut crumble, buttermilk-cider dressing and I had the Duck liver mousse, sweet and sour onion confit, on rye waffles. The salad was dressed beautifully and my mousse on the waffles was extreme!

My entrée was the braised berkshire pork belly, potato horseradish purée, baby beets, nashi apple and crispy caraway which was crispy outside and succulent inside. She had muscovy duck breast, sweet potatoes, brown butter & spinach spätzle, duck jus and this was a plateful. For dessert the lady had the tira misu and I devoured the graham cracker cake. The meal ended with a presentation of two amuse bouche; one a rhubarb jelly and the other a chocolate pistachio square.

Had a wonderful Birthday Luncheon today at ON20. Yes, another celebration! Keep them coming! There were so many courses, amuse bouche, intermezzos that I have lost track. But here are some highlights:

Starters were Charcuterie: Amish Chicken Rillette, Celery, St. Germain, Walnut and Raisin Crisp and my Agnolotti: Roasted Sweet Corn and Summer Truffle Angolotti, La Quercia Panchetta, Golden Chantrelle
Summer Truffle Agnolotti
The Mains were Salmon: Crispy Parmesan, Lacinato kale, Shaved Salsify, Mushroom Pot au Feu and my Monk Fish: Crispy Filet, Lobster Knuckles, Golden Chanterelle, Brussels Sprouts and Saucisse Grand Mere, Purée a la Badienne

Had a nice glass of Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand but can't find it on the winelist on the website.

Chocolate on Chocolate
The desserts were super: one based on peaches with brioche and the other for me chocolate. Then for a final touch: individual S'Mores which were flambéed table side.

blognote: The dishes were adorned with a new [to me] addition of compressed goodness: Santa Ana melon, cucumber, Granny Smith apple. Little bits of succulent heaven.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

New England Emporium

When the owner comes and helps out with an expired coupon, you know you are in good hands! Haven't been here at New England Emporium for a long time. Ran in today with an expired Groupon to get the face value of $5. Yes I know I am cheap but hungry and cheap go a long way.

Ordered the Grown Up Grilled Cheese herbivore style [$7.95] and it came on parmesan crusted country white with tomato, spinach, red onion, cheddar, American cheese & roasted red peppers. It was very tasty and came with a bag of potato chips. I love potato chips but I hardly ever eat potato chips. These are from Deep River Snacks and they are healthy: all natural, gluten free certified, Kosher certified, non-GMO potatoes, non-GMO sunflower oil, no preservatives, cholesterol free, no trans fat and no MSG!


Great breakfast this morning at New England Emporium right after an eye appointment. With my eyes dilated I ordered one of the daily specials only to find out it was yesterday's offering. I don't think the problem was with my eyes though. Anyway, they still had the ingredients and I lucked out.
This is a crêpe [$8.25] filled with sautéed broccoli, fresh spinach, sweet sausage and ricotta cheese. There was the added baby spinach salad and along with a cup of great coffee I enjoyed it immensely.

bloginfo: This was a buckwheat crêpe so technically a galette.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Masala Indian Restaurant

The Royal Masala restaurant now has a website and the same terrific buffet [$9.95]. Ate here again on a walk from church. The five vegetarian options along with rice is found against one wall and lots of other goodies on the window wall. Forgot to get dessert so have to go back and try the semolina pudding. The room is so beautiful I almost jumped up and did my Bollywood routine!


Walked here to Masala from a meeting downtown in Hartford today. Great luncheon buffet [$11.98]. Lots to choose from and the Tikki Masala was excellent, the Pakora were good but the silky Eggplant Burtha was superb. Actually everything was good and I did try everything. Beautiful room and will try to get here at night for a menu meal.

blognote: Could not find a website; so no link.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

CW’s chops ’n’ catch

Another Groupon ready to expire. Quick jump into the car and drive a half hour to save $10; that's me folks! Had the lunch Salmon entrée [$15] and sautéed green beans as I am so health conscious, maybe. The Organic Farmed Salmon is grilled with and Asian BBQ sauce and comes with a salad [Caesar this time]  and one side of green beans had roasted garlic and lots of good parmesan cheese. Great lunch and the coupon took care of everything except the tip.


Lunch here today with a Groupon. What an exquisite meal; was it the good food or my beautiful companion [or both]?

The guest's choice was from the Starters menu: Steakhouse Style Lettuce Wraps [$12]. A plateful of DIY goodness: Whiskey Steak Sauce, Aged Cheddar, Tender Romaine Leaves, Sliced KC Strip Steak, Blue Cheese Fondue, Fried Onions and Horseradish Slaw. Finger lickin' good.

My lunch was the Lobster Cake Club [$12.75]. A delicious Lobster Cake, Mayo, Lettuce, Tomato, Smoked Bacon, Avocado on a Brioche Roll. This was served with house-made fries and sweet potato/apple slaw. I will travel to Manchester for this any time.

blognote: This came to $3.28 after the Groupon kicked in. Service was great so tip reflected that.

May 22, 2013
Ate lunch here at chops ’n’ catch today. I had eaten at one of their other restaurants, Pastrami on Wry on 8/3/12. The one thing in common with the two sites is the delicious food and the great service. You can’t beat that and will visit the third restaurant Catsup and Mustard soon.

I ordered the Grilled Salmon BLT [$11.50] with lemon aioli on a brioche roll. This was accompanied by sweet potato fries [$1 upcharge] with a cranberry dip along with a super sweet potato/apple slaw and a whole dill pickle. Their sides are awesome. The other entrée was the Cider Cured Sliced Turkey Breast sandwich [$8.75] on toasted Great Harvest Wheat Bread with cheddar, bacon, lettuce and avocado and regular fries.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Brazil Grill

Haven't been back here for a while and have missed the buffet. This time though I remembered to get my fill of meat. Took two friends here [and they picked up the check!] and they sure enjoyed it also. The best thing on the buffet was the white rice and black beans but I sure filled up on the other stuff too. For meat the lamb was the winner as it was so tasty and cooked just right. The pork was juicy and tender but that was on my second plate and most is waiting in the refrigerator at the moment. But that will have to wait for the pork sausages to be put in tomorrow's eggs. Needless to say I enjoyed everything. Had a can of Guaraná to wash it all down; memories of my three visits to Belo Horizonte.


Had a hankering for Brazilian food and found just the right place. The owner is a Mineiro so that is even better as that was the type of Brazilian food I ate in Belo Horizonte. Nice people, clean good-sized restaurant and really good food.

It is a 'pay by weight' buffet. I skipped the salads and went straight for the good stuff. Many of my favorites: baked Pork Ribs [lots of meat. little bone and/or fat], sweet ripe fried Plantains, Chicken Stroganoff [absolutely the best], white Rice with black beans and pork stew or Vegetable Rice. Had a Guaraná to drink; the best soft drink ever [don't even ask how much caffeine]. I [inadvertently] skipped the meat rotisserie but it was early lunch. AND now I can come back for dinner. This fantastic lunch came to $10.98 [$9.10 for the buffet and $1.25 for the drink +tax]. Prices by the pound are Buffet only $5.99, Churrasco/Buffet $6.99, Churrasco only $9.99.

bloginfo: As the brochure says, 'It's closer than Brazil.' Find it at 1996 Park Street.
blognote: Parking out front for about 10 cars but I can see that at dinnertime you might need to park on the street.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Mama Roux's Anew

Went to lunch with a friend and got lost on the way to Mama Roux Anew but finally found it again. It is worth the drive. Had the $6.99 lunch special of Tomato Basil Soup and a Turkey Reuben sandwich. Both were delicious especially the soup. Got a chance to talk to Chef Kim and met her son. He and I are both lovers of Spam [the canned meat not the unwelcome email].

Just a bit of serendipity took me to Mama Roux's Anew today. I went elsewhere for lunch and [as my grandmother would say: 'had my face made up for...] found out there was only buffet available. I wanted to try the new Chicken Guacamole sandwich but to no avail. I had heard that Mama Roux was open again in a new location so 'in a fit of 'pique' went there. Good choice!

I had the above pictured Fried Shrimp Po' Boy [$8.99]. Good big fresh shrimp bathed in mayonnaise and a wicked remoulade sauce and tucked into lettuce, tomato and pickles on perfectly crusty French bread. I had the option of kettle chips, coleslaw or potato salad. Great meal and I will be back.

blognote: was disappointed that Chef Kim was not there as I have known her since she was a kid running around Fong's, her parents' restaurant in Middletown, and then as a chef in the original Mama Roux's in Cromwell center. 

Friday, March 07, 2014

Café 56

After a long meeting I ran into Café 56 for a late breakfast [was too late] or an early lunch. Lucked out with the soup-of-the-day which was Vatapa, a Brazilian seafood chowder. It was fantastic and I took the side salad home so I could just concentrate on the flavors of the chowder.

Also bought a prepared food item [my first] of Lamb Pot Pie [$5.50]. It looks terrific and will heat it up for dinner tonight. Well, I just finished the Lamb Pot Pie and it was delicious. Was going to eat half of it and save the other half; that didn't happen. Lots of tender, moist  well seasoned lamb with carrots and other veggies with a piped mashed potato crust. Yum!

January 11, 2014
As you can see it has been a while since I have revisited Café 56. All who know me understand that I really like to eat [20 thousand+ people on this blog alone]. My taste varies but I have few dislikes when it comes to food. When I don't like something though I will note that on this blog. So here goes.

Today's brunch was pure PERFECTION and this rating does not come easily. Two perfectly cooked poached eggs over delectable Crab Hash with a silky lemon hollandaise accompanied with sourdough toasted bread with a side of onion jam. It does not get better than this!

August 2, 2013

Theme dinner for the month of August was Caribbean Night

Amuse Bouche: Jamaican Jerk Chicken Wings and Corn Fritters. This was a hot, hot and spicy way to start the evening. Along with a dipping sauce the wings and fritters were delightful.

First Course: Crab and Conch Callaloo Soup. The creamy crab and crunchy conch swam in a bowl full of heaven laden with callaloo greens.

Main Course: Grenada Spice Encrusted Dorado with a Barbados Butter Sauce. This white meaty fish with its crunchy spice crust was enveloped with a smooth and elegant butter sauce. Yucca Fries and Hearts of Palm complemented the dish and the Green Papaya shreds added a beautiful finishing touch. This course caused groans of delight from every table.

Dessert: Banana and Sweet Potato Cake served with a Coquimel Sauce adorned with Brittle and dotted with Tamarind Paste. What a way to end a perfect meal.

Next month [second Friday of September] theme is Latin American Street Food and I will miss this dinner!

blognote: I hate photographing white and clear glass plates.

June 14, 2013

Dinner for the Month of June: This month's theme was Southern Spain with a superb menu, the best yet. Another great prix-fixe meal [$25].

Started with Tapas of Manchego Cheese, Salchichon, Aioli, Morrocan Oil preserved Olives and Tortilla Española. Then on to a first course of Gazpacho Andaluz so smooth and creamy with a little kick. Third course was a beautiful Paella mar y tierra made with Arroz Bomba and topped with Chorizo, Chicken, Mussels, Clams, Shrimp and Scallops. Fantastic and made for four with plenty to take home. The rice was the very best.

Dessert was Flan with a Churro for embellishment. What a great meal in such an intimate atmosphere.

May 10, 2013

Dinner of the Month for May. This month’s theme was Peru. The menu was again a wonderful prix-fixe [$25] Here is the menu:

Papa a la Huancaína [potatoes in a Huancina sauce which is a rich creamy tangy delight to spread on baby boiled potatoes. Delicious. We had to have an additional serving of potatoes to use up the sauce.

Peruvian Ceviche: Halibut ceviche with corn and concha. Tangy with a bite and so fresh tasting.

Duck and Chicken for the next course served with white beans and cilantro rice. This dish rocked and worked so well together. The sweet beans and the rice served as a beautiful background for the chicken and the gorgeous piece of duck.

Dessert was Arroz con Leche [rice pudding] with Alfajorres [the shortbread stuffed with dulce de leche]. A sweet ending to a spicy, tasty and well prepared dinner. Loved it all!

Next month’s theme is Southern Spain with Tapas and Paella.


Dinner of the Month for April. This month's theme was Guatemala. The menu was a wonderful prix-fixe [$25]. Here is the menu:

Antojitos: Chojin de Rabano [radish relish] and Guacamole Chapin [Guatemalan guacamole] both very delicious with a side basket of chips.

First Course: Jocon Maya de Vegetales [green vegetable stew Mayan style] hearty and smooth.

Main Course: Tamales de Marrano Guatemaltecos servidos con Ensalada de Berro [Guatemalan Tamales with pork and olives served with a Watercress Salad]. The best tamal I have ever eaten. Was it Guatemala or Chef Sabrina [or a combination of both]?

Tamal on a Banana Leaf

Dessert: Torrejas y Manjar servidas con Almibar de Anbis y Dulce de Leche [Spanish 'French' Toast filled with Pastry Cream and Anise Syrup with Dulce de Leche]. Not too rich, not too sweet, just the right ending to a great meal.

I'll be back next month for the Peruvian theme!

February 18, 2013

Wonderful breakfast this morning at Café 56 with friends. We all took advantage of the warm booth in front of the window and the specials:

My Crab Hash with Poached eggs and chipotle hollandaise sauce was delicious but did not photograph well. A Farmers Pancake: Dutch pancake topped with ham two eggs and melted Vermont cheddar finished with a Tomatillo sauce. Two Omelets: scarmosa cheese and sautéed sopresatta rolled and topped with a spinach cream sauce. Everything was great and Chef Sabrina and Baker Ed are such good hosts.

Farmers' Pancake