Friday, August 29, 2014

Wine and a Movie @ City Winery

 If you're wondering what Mistaken for Strangers is all about, watch this trailer!

"Hey! Do you wanna go see a movie?" My constant response to that question is usually "Meh..." Well, this time, I actually said yes to a movie without hesitation. Karla Fantastic scored tickets to the documentary Mistaken for Strangers, at City Winery My brain automatically drowned out the word movie, and just heard food and wine! Let's do this!
The documentary is viewed through the eyes of Tom Berninger, who's the brother of The National's frontman Matt Berninger. It takes you through Tom's rough journey as his brother's roadie, where you see the stark contrast between awkward, needing to be launched Tom, and his rock star brother. If you're a big fan of The National, you might be able to pick through little details that might add an interesting element to this, where as I recieved it as a flat lined documentary that probably would not have gained such notoriety without it being tied to The Nationals.  There were moments where I chuckled, but they were few and far between...and fueled by half priced wine. K.F. and I discussed that perhaps Mommy Berninger was like..."Matt, help out your brother . Give him a shot."

This was how it looks like to watch a movie at City Winery. Not bad.
Enough with the movie, let's talk taste bud entertainment! 

My Libation of choice was the West Loop White 2013: I picked this wine by way of "When in Rome..." I believe it was a sauvignon blanc / riesling combination. Ok I'm not a wine expert, but my untrained palate experienced sweet, light, and tangy notes. I felt that it could have used a little hint of the refreshing factor, but it did not quite hit the mark. It was not bad for the price. 
I'm going to steal this beaker idea for my next soiree.

City Winery subscribes to the shareable plate movement. Being that it was after work on a Tuesday, I was ready to eat carbs! Lots of it!

Dipping Flight: It's a Pita party, with pools of Humus, Babaganuj, and Muhammara. Is it safe to assume that most Noshers know and have had humus? It's basically creamed up chickpeas. Dippin-licious! Babaganuj or Babaganoush is an Arabic dish made from mushed up egglants. This is my first time eating this! I always thought that the name had a fun ring to it. The Muhammara is a paste of peppers...etc. As my pita took a nose dive into the different dips, I could not really make out the difference from the three pools. I was expecting the muhammara to be spicy, but not so much. I still enjoyed the carb fest enough to not even notice that the pita tasted a little stale until K.F. pointed it out. How hungry was I?

Roast Pork Belly: "sarsaparilla seasoning, savory french toast, maple-bourbon sauce." Holy pig! This amazing! I'm such a fan of sweet and savory dishes, but this one is just a cut above. The french toast was fluffy in the middle, but still had a nice crunch that complemented the buttery pork belly. I wanted more of the french toast to sop up the the maple-bourbon sauce. I can eat this for breakfast...but ER trips for chest pains would totally make me late for work. 
 Braised Duck Tacos: "guacamatillo salsa, cabage salad, white tortilla." When you think duck, you think fat, and possibly greasy. This taco was the opposite of that. It was tender, not greasy. The cabbage added a nice texture, and gave it a fresh flavor. It almost tasted healthy, but the delicious kind of healthy. The guacamatillo was like a guacamole crema. It was a great dipping complement, adding richness to the tacos. It did not leave me wanting spicy salsa.

That's the end? We'll that was how I felt about the movie. With the movie over, it was time to get the party started! Dessert time! 

With it being such a beautiful crisp summer night, it was only appropriate to enjoy dessert al fresco. City Winery's outdoor patio makes me think of how summers are spent in Vino Town, Italy ( Yes, I made that place up). 

Again, "When in Rome..." was utilized with picking my sugar of choice.

 Summer-Time Snowball: "chocolate mouse, marshmallow creme filling, flourless chocolate care, pistachio sauce, pistachio tuile, pistachio gelato, toasted coconut." The long list of what comprises this delicious dome describes it best. I tasted every bit of it with each bite. It tasted exactly how I imagined that list would taste like... but can I have more gelato?

Despite the lack luster documentary, and the not so flavorful dipping flight, the rest of the meal deserve a repeat visit, and who would not want to take another trip to the friendly vineyard of Vino Town, Italy?


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Ohio! Put-in-Bay: Cowabunga Dude @ Frostys Bar

For your hypin' pleasure: Vanilla Ice's Go Ninja Go

From the moment we docked in Put-in-Bay, The Great Dane (TGD) pointed to this unassuming, neighborhood looking bar, and mentioned that they have pretty awesome pizza. Frostys Bar.

Courtesy of Frostys
Ha ha! Funny TGD. I was willing to bet that it's frozen pizza he was trying to trick me in to eating. With our week long vacay coming to an end, it was time to try this pizza! With an excited grin, TGD brings this box over to our table. I on the other hand, glared at it with overpowering skepticism.  

Open sesame! Still sort of unimpressed...but really hungry, and ok, I was salivating at the sight of all that cheese!

Little did I know that the cheese to crust ratio is 5:1 ( I made up this math)!!! Yes my fellow Noshers, this was not a thick crust pizza. It's just simply cheese overload, but in the best way possible. I'm always on the hunt for ooey,gooey,cheesy pizza. Most pizza's I've encountered that claimed to be cheesy, disappoints by only having one layer of cheese that has partially hardened by the time it hits my chompers. Frostys pizza puts all those pizzas to shame! Frostys pizza is not for the folks that are looking for frou frou specialty pizza. It's your good old American, hangover cure, and most likely Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles approved pizza. Go pizza, go pizza, go!
Just look at the cheese stretch! Most of the time, you only see this in perfectly produced pizza commercials or food shows. I think I heard the 3 tenors sing Hallelujah as I wrestled this piece of pizza into my plate. I never thought I would ever get to witness the "cheese stretch" in real life.

As perfect as this pizza is, there is one bone I have to pick with it...WHY ARE YOU 5 HOURS AWAY?! Do you ship? Delivery? Ahhhhh! I guess I'll have to settle with having to arm myself with a thermal bag and drive out to Grand Stand Pizza in Franklin Park, or get my delivery from Peqouds Pizza.

Comment below if you have a pizza place that you think would cure my Frostys blues.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Ohio! Put-in-Bay:Name Game @ The Old Forge Cafe and Creperie

The song that played in my head that day:  Lana Del Rey Moi Je Joue (A little play on Bridget Bardot's version)
When The Great Dane (TGD) is away, this mousketeer will "how to get lost in a 2 mile island." This game starts out with a run. I need to sweat out some of this salt that's making me feel like I'm trapped in a sausage casing!

 I can't remember the last time I ran without music blasting in my ears, but since my cell service has me roaming in Canada (I'm in Ohio!), it left me running to the rhythm of the wind, while forcing me to listen to my huffing and puffing. Wow! I don't sound that miserable...well at least when I run past people. Red alert! People on coming! Smile and nod. After I know they're far enough away, GAAAAASP!!! Need. Air. Lungs. Work! 
I met a few friendly faces along the way that I smiled and nodded to, like this "sleeping" raccoon. Wake up raccoon! The bugs are eating your face!  I also saw a man that looked like Santa cruising along in a jeep, who asked me if I know where the synagogue is... or that's what I thought I heard him say. Synagogue? Santa? Clearly, this is not the jolly old man I know.  The stranger danger alarm in my head screamed " RUN! this is're going to get kidnapped by Santa and be locked up in his cabin worthy of an 80's horror movie...AHHHHH." So with a nervous smile I hurriedly said no, and ran a 2 minute/mile pace. That's it! Call me a quitter, but Im done trying to get lost. Not to mention that there's signs all over telling people to be nice to the water snakes. Snakes?! Ok, really time to bust out of these woods. Time to hunt for some iced coffee.

After I washed the smell of nature and salt off of me, I was mortified to find that one of my little tootsies is missing it's coat of nail polish. Did santa make me run that hard, it blew the paint off of it? As luck would have it, the ONLY spa in this island was able to fit me in for a polish change. Phew! Crisis averted! After she fixed up my tootsies, the lady at the salon directed me to the place across the street for some good iced coffee. The Old Forge Cafe and  Creperie. Coffee and Crepe? Sold! So I waddled on over with my wet toes!

Presenting, the crepe that shall remain nameless! 
I totally spaced out and got way too excited to have iced coffee, and just inhaled this french fluffery, without thinking about my Noshers

Nosher challenge! Find me the name of this dish. Your clue is that this thing is stuffed with chicken, bathed in pesto. The pesto had a good balance of an earthy, nutty flavor and tang. I've had greasy pesto before. This one was not. To add to the heartiness of the crepe stuffing, some sort of cheese joined the party. I believe it was Feta. Need I mention the crumbles of bacon atop this crepe? The overall bite was cheesy and satisfying. It definitely did not trick me in to thinking that I was not canceling out  my run, but it was oh so worth it!  With my plate licked clean, and my tooties dried, it was time to walk back home to hydrate and reclaim the sausage casing feeling. Ha!
Comment below if you know what I ate!