Friday, May 23, 2008

what's for dinner?

I have 30 minutes before heading out the house to sit in a classroom for two and a half hours. I should eat something. But what? I take out a few of my favorite ingredients: three stalks of asparagus, two eggs, feta cheese and a jar of fire roasted tomatoes I had been keeping in the fridge not knowing what to do with them.

I trim the ends off the asparagus, place them on a plate, sprinkle some salt, cover the plate with saran wrap, and nuke it for one minute. As the microwave hums away, I crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk it with a pinch of salt. Heating some oil in a non-stick pan, I make an omelette. I usually make three-egg omelettes, but I went easy on the cholesterol intake. I scatter a generous amount of feta cheese on one half of the omelette, fold it over and place it on the plate with the asparagus. Using my hands, I squish a couple of fire roasted tomatoes into a bowl; becareful not to squirt yourself or the kitchen ceiling with tomato juice. Heat the tomatoes in the pan with a squirt of sriracha sauce. The heat from the chili sauce lends a mellow spiciness to the roasted tomatoes. A great, simple sauce; spoon over the omelette and asparagus. A quick and easy meal for me.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

village bistro

After a Saturday afternoon touring the new DC museum, Newseum (everyone should go and experience this place), Que mentioned a cute boutique in Crystal City called Gossip. For those who don't know me, I have a soft spot for boutique shops. So I had to go and yes, I bought an outfit. After scouring the racks, we headed over to Rosslyn for dinner. Shopping makes me hungry.

On a tiny strip on the corner of Rhodes and Wilson, sits a row of restaurants where it's hard to distinguish where one ends and the other begins. After walking up and down the sidewalk, taking peeks at diners' plates, we took a seat at Village Bistro. I sipped a glass of cabernet sauvignon while Que quenched her thirst with ginger ale as we relaxed under the setting sun.

We started off with an appetizer of portobello mushrooms, artichokes, and sun dried tomatoes in a red wine sauce. Earthy, slightly sweet and tangy, it was a perfect way to awaken my taste buds. Also perfect as a topping on the complimentary french baguette. And let me tell you a little about this baguette and its friend, the butter. The bread had a crispy crust and a soft chewy middle; and the butter, oh the butter. Softened to perfection, it was heavenly as I spread the creaminess on a piece of baguette and popped it in my mouth. Another basket please! Definitely the highlight of my meal.

For the entree, I had the grilled scallops with pesto and navy beans. The pesto complimented the beans quite well which was surprisingly pleasant. The scallops, on the other hand, tasted like they had been sitting in the walk-in for a couple of days, definitely not the catch of the day, but cooked well with a nice seared crust. The sauce I assume was a red wine reduction with light cream splashed across the top.

Que had the New York Strip steak topped with sauteed mushrooms served with mashed potatoes and vegetables. The steak was good and tender despite it being cooked well done. The mashed potatoes almost tasted like it came from a box. (I could be wrong.) The vegetables looked fresh enough. Right, I almost forgot, and kudos to our server who was funny, witty, and sarcastic, which made our dining experience enjoyable.

Finally, the raspberry sorbet. Cool, tart, rich and just right to end the meal. The clouds loomed over hinting at a storm but yet another perfect spring day.

Friday, May 2, 2008


Spring is in the air. You can feel it in the cool breeze in the shade, see it in the crimson sunsets at dusk, and hear it on the bustling sidewalks. But most importantly, you can smell and taste it in the food you eat. Shirlington is one of the best neighborhoods to enjoy a beautiful day with its eclectic pool of restaurants serving cuisines from all over the world. If one is full, just walk over next door to find an empty table. I haven't yet tried all the restaurants but I have given myself a challenge to do so this summer and share my experiences with you.

I visited Bonsai a couple of times but it's been years so I don't remember how well my dining experience turned out. I do All I remember thinking was yet another sushi restaurant owned by Koreans; not that that's a bad thing. They usually do a pretty good job I think.

Chu and I got a table outside and was promptly greeted by our waitress in a bright red shirt and a big smile. I pondered over the menu. Chu had told me their Spicy Tuna Rolls were delicious so that was already on the list. I wanted some sashimi so I opted for the yellow tail and salmon. As an appetizer, I chose the yakko tofu which sounded something refreshing and light.

Chu was served a bowl of lettuce with peanut ginger dressing and a small bowl of miso soup. My yakko tofu, "fresh" tofu sliced in square blocks was topped with sliced scallions and grated ginger flanked by a few pieces of ice cubes. I guess to keep it "fresh". With a bowl of soy sauce. I put the ginger and onions into the soy sauce, cut a piece of tofu and dipped it in the sauce. The tofu was firm and tasted like tofu. No seasoning other than the dipping sauce. I do enjoy my tofu, but this might have been too fresh. I felt like a criminal who had just finished her jail sentence and was given her first meal. A Korean tradition I've seen many times on television and in movies but don't know the story behind it. Maybe I should wiki or google it; sounds like an idea for a post in the future. Everything you wanted to know about tofu...

Then came the spicy tuna rolls. And let me tell you were they spicy. About double the size of a Combo pretzel snack, each tiny roll was packed with flavor. When you least expect it, the punch of wasabi hits the back of your throat and fumes up your nose causing you to cry like a girl. There were three pieces each of the yellow tail and salmon. The presentation was beautiful, with the yellow tail fanned up against a green leaf supported by a mound of shredded daikon, the salmon twirled into a shape of a flower and to match, a bloom of ginger. The fish was decent, a bit on the warm side. I do prefer my sashimi to have a bit of a chill. I wouldn't say it was the freshest, but it had a good clean taste.

Chu had the Teriyaki Chicken that came on a hot plate with a few pieces of steamed vegetables and a small bowl of rice. The flavor was slightly bland, felt like something was missing in the seasoning, maybe the presentation was not up to par as the sushi plate. I tend not to order teriyaki anything, but that is a personal preference. Overall a pleasant experience.

And for dessert. Hot Chocolate from Caribou Coffee. The whipped cream and chocolate shavings were the best part. I could have just eaten a cup full of that.