Friday, July 15, 2011

Don't be afraid of the funky food.

Whenever I am eating out, I try to order something a little obscure to help broaden my culinary horizons. Now, there are limitations...but I am willing to try some unusual food combinations in hopes that I discover the next great food epiphany that forever changes my tastbuds.

I went out on a limb this week with a few concoctions that just downright didn't work...but a few others did and alas, I let out a contented sigh. There was a fun little tapas restaurant in St. Louis, Mosaic, that really had a fun approach to food. Order lots of small portions so you get to enjoy more of the menu. Had I not been sitting there with my boss, I would've housed the entire appetizer of hummus and deep fried artichoke hearts. The hummus was topped with fresh tomatoes, olives and goat cheese. Delightful!

I adore hummus, which reminds me that I need to add tahini paste to my grocery list so I can replicate this easy appetizer at home.

My meal started with the goofiest of salads - watermelon topped with goat cheese, black salt, mesculin and radish. It didn't work. I moved on to puff pastry filled with lavendar goat cheese, heirloom tomatoes and crimini mushrooms. It definitely worked. You can put goat cheese on everything but watermelon and it tastes amazing. I so wish I would have taken pictures...but again, sitting with my boss...hmmm. My final course was a seared duck breast with a carrot puree and some orzo bites with Indian spices. Mediocre and odd. It was like hunter meets baby food in New Delhi.

Dessert was the best thing I put in my mouth since the appetizers with a dulce de leche ice cream and cardomom flavored whipped cream topped with homemade almond brittle. Stunning presentation and delicious blend of flavors.

It was a funky meal and I'm glad I took the time to try the obscure. In similar fashion, I recently tried a flounder dish that was perched on top of a citrus and herb angel hair. How amazing was that? I was smitten with the use of the citrus in the pasta - it was the perfect complement to the fish. I was a bona fide member of the "Clean Plate Club" after this meal.

And finally, my summer love is fried green tomatoes - in a BLT! Why I have never thought of this combo before befuddles me, but here it is! There is a restaurant in Charlotte that makes a fried green tomato BLT but you should NOT order it. They serve it on a cheap wheat hamburger bun and it ruins the entire sandwich. It's so apalling, I almost want to give you the $8 to NOT eat it. Stick to a hearty grilled whole wheat toast for the ultimate in BLT experiences like the perfection pictured below.

Before you wrinkle your nose, give it a try. You might have a winner, a loser, or a mediocre non event but you'll never know until you take that bite!

Eat something delicious this weekend and don't forget to go to church on Sunday!

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