Foodshots

Happy Memorial Day and many, many thanks to all of the amazing men and women who are serving and have served our country. I hope everyone is able to take the day off and spend some time with family and friends today! We had a great weekend filled with lots of delicious food [for a change..] so I thought I’d share some tasty shots.

Friday

Cheese Crackers Wine

Cheese [aged gouda & cream cheese], crackers, balsamic jelly [from Italy], and white wine. Glad I remembered to take a picture before we dug in. We needed a little something to hold us over while this baby was in the oven..

Porchetta

Holy porchetta!

Porchetta Porcini Pasta

With porcini pasta & roasted tomato sauce.

Saturday

Old Fashioned

A pair of old-fashioneds to kick off the night. While trying to figure out where to go for dinner, in the middle of Little Italy and Chinatown, I said “I don’t care, I just don’t want pizza.” So we got asparagus.

Il Casaro Asparagus Parmesan

Oh..

Il Casaro Pizza Broccoli Italian Sausage

.. and pizza. Same place that we went for Nathan’s birthday. Best pizza since Italy. Though the margherita was better than this one.

The Saloon

Wrapped up the night with Einstein and a little live music 😉

Sunday

The best Indian food we’ve ever had for lunch..
Chicken Kathi Kebab Viks Chaat

Chicken Kathi Kebab

Lamb Biriyani Viks Chaat

Lamb Biriyani

Aloo Tikki Viks Chaat

Aloo Tikki – potatoes surrounded by chickpeas and chutneys. The flavors in all of the dishes were so complex and absolutely incredible. Especially this aloo tikki; the mixture of the chutneys gave a variety of sweet and spicy and the chickpeas and potatoes were nice and creamy. We’re definitely going back.

Spiralized Beets Turnips Kale Egg Yolk

I really just wanted veggies by the end of the weekend so I broke out my spiralizer and went to town on some golden beets and turnips. I added some kale and, of course, an egg on top.

Weekly Meal Plan

Sunday – Throw together
Monday – Chipotle cherry chicken & roasted carrot salad
Tuesday – Orange rosemary roast chicken thighs w/ brown rice arugula salad
Wednesday – Leftovers
ThursdayPan Seared Brussels Sprouts w/ porchetta and mushrooms
Friday – Out!
Saturday – Leftovers

Food for Thought

How did you spend your weekend?
Are you enjoying Monday off?

What I Ate Wednesday #63: Going ALL Out!

This past weekend was one for the books. We crossed off a couple more places from the bucket list and then some! It was our second-to-last weekend in the city so we had to take advantage as much as possible and it was so much fun.

Of Love and Regret

Love this place. As I mentioned in my bucket list post, we had been here before but wanted to head back once more and I’m so glad we did. The food is always fabulous and the drinks didn’t disappoint either.

Old Mans Hatten Of Love and Regret Baltimore Maryland MD

The Old Man’s “Hatten” – bourbon, cochi di torino vermouth, aperol, luxardo cherry garnish, rocks

Saison Darkly Stillwater Of Love and Regret Baltimore Maryland MD

Saison Darkly – Brewed with dark malts and burnt sugars then lightly spiced with rose hips, hibiscus, & schisandra berries

Vegetarian Bahn Mi Of Love and Regret Baltimore Maryland MD

Vegetarian Bahn Mi Burrito – seared Asian Pâté (black beans, barley, scallions, & ginger), South Asian slaw, Sriracha sweet chili aioli, fresh basil & cilantro, wrapped in a grilled whole wheat tortilla + a baked sweet potato

Nathan surprised me and sprung for dessert. He usually doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth and this one was delicious.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Of Love and Regret Baltimore Maryland MD

Pumpkin Cheesecake with chocolate sauce and goat cheese caramel

Bluegrass Tavern

Another place that we’ve been to a couple times that didn’t make it on the bucket list post, but I knew we had to go back for Nathan. They make a smoked fried chicken to die for! It’s the perfect combination of smoke and crunch, plus they topped it with crispy brussels!

I was worried my Apple Cobbler cocktail would be too sweet but the bourbon balanced it nicely. I’d highly recommend anything that comes with a bourbon-soaked apple 😉

Apple Cobbler Bourbon Bluegrass Tavern Baltimore Maryland MD

Apple Cobbler Bourbon Cocktail

Charcuterie Sausage Rabbit Terrine Bluegrass Tavern Baltimore Maryland MD

Charcuterie & Cheese Plate – Homemade Garlicwurst, Rabbit Black Truffle Terrine, Sharp Cows Milk Cheese, Pickled Okra, & Chutney

Kale Salmon Lemon Shallot Salad Bluegrass Tavern Baltimore Maryland MD

Kale salad with goat cheese, shallots, fennel, grilled salmon, & lemon vinaigrette

Smoked Fried Chicken Mashed Potatoes Brussels Sprouts Bluegrass Tavern Baltimore Maryland MD

Smoked Fried Chicken with crispy brussels sprouts over garlic mashed potatoes

Lexington Market

FINALLY! Lexington Market is a Baltimore staple. Everyone I know that doesn’t even live in Baltimore has been to Lexington Market so I had to go and it was so worth it! On top of the crab cake, I also had a couple raw oysters [best I’ve ever had!] and a fresh Berger cookie. The chocolate literally melted in my mouth. You should really order some.. they’re worth every penny [and calorie].

Faidley Seafood Lexington Market Baltimore Maryland MD

Faidley Seafood – Lexington Market

This place is no frills. Just the way it should be.

Faidleys Lexington Market Crab Cake

The famous crab cake from Faidley Seafood with pickled beets and cucumber salad.

The Food Market

This wasn’t an official bucket list place either since I was lucky enough to have a catered work brunch, but when my family wanted to get together for brunch, I figured it would be a good choice. Plus, I need to get all the blue crab I can before we go.

Crab Benedict The Food Market Hampden Baltimore Maryland MD

Crab Benedict – Homemade whole wheat english muffin, crab cakes, poached eggs, & potatoes

I guess you could say I really ate my way through the weekend. Every bite was fabulous and so much fun.. though the best part was all of the time I got to spend with my family. It was the perfect way to break up all of the packing!

Food for Thought

What food is your hometown known for?

We Took a Little Trip

Well, maybe we didn’t take a trip for real, but we tried our hardest to have a honeymoon-style date night. And I’d say it was a huge success!

We’ve been wanting to try Cinghiale, a Cindy Wolf restaurant, since we got back from Italy. Hearing repeatedly that it is the best Italian restaurant around, it sounded like we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to taste-test and compare to the real deal we experienced just a few months ago. Luckily for us, restaurant week was coming up; reservations were made and we had a date night upon us!

About two hours before our reservation, we decided go big or go home. Cocktails before dinner at Wit & Wisdom, another restaurant we had yet to check out, and these drinks definitely did not disappoint!

Pisco Punch Wit Wisdom Tavern Four Seasons Baltimore Maryland MD

Pisco Punch – pisco porton, pineapple, fresh lemon, sage syrup

I started with the Pisco Punch. It was perfect for a summer night; the pineapple gave it a little bit of sweetness and the sage syrup gave it just the right amount of savory. Nathan ordered a classic Old Fashioned. It had the perfect mix of ingredients and was possibly the tastiest Old Fashioned he and I ever had.

Sticky Wicket Wit Wisdom Tavern Four Seasons Baltimore Maryland MD

Sticky Wicket – jim beam, fernet branca, smoked maple syrup, soda

Nathan’s drink inspired my next decision to go with the Sticky Wicket. I wanted something with a little more punch and this drink was perfectly balanced with the punch of whiskey, bitters, and smokey syrup. The soda added a little fizz to lighten it up. A definite repeat next time we go!

We saddled up and made our way over to dinner. When we walked in, we immediately noticed the charcuterie and cheese station over to the right. I loved seeing that right as we walked in; if we even questioned ordering a plate of charcuterie, that settled it! As far as atmosphere goes, it was definitely a far cry from the tiny restaurants we experienced on the honeymoon, though it was nice to not be seated on top of other people!

I joked that I hoped the bread would be better here than in Italy; thank goodness it was! We tore through the first little basket of bread while figuring out our orders. I went with the 3-course restaurant week menu and Nathan opted for a pasta dish, knowing that we would be sharing the charcuterie and cheese, my first course, and dessert.

Cinghiale Italian Baltimore Maryland MD Sourdough Foccacia

Fresh focciacia and grilled bread

Cinghiale 75 Cocktail Italian Baltimore Maryland MD

Cinghiale 75 – Hendricks gin, prosecco, fresh cucumber

I rarely get cocktails, but I was really feeling them the other night! [Maybe it’s all of Caitlin‘s fun cocktails I’ve been reading about..] I couldn’t say not to this one; I’ve recently discovered that I love gin. And anything with prosecco and cucumber is alright in my books! The bubbles hit the spot 😉

Cinghiale Italian Baltimore Maryland MD Porchetta Fontina Toma Malga

Porchetta, Fontina, & Toma Malga

Nathan’s quest to find the best porchetta in the states has continued and I’m pleased to say that this was definitely a hit! It didn’t look like much, but it packed a flavorful punch full of rosemary and other herbs. The cheese was great too; the fontina was nice a creamy and the toma malga was a bit firmer. Both had great flavor and complimented the porchetta nicely.

Cinghiale Italian Heirloom Tomato Salad Baltimore Maryland MD

Local heirloom tomato salad, gorgonzola, basil, arugula, Sportoletti extra virgin olive oil

And this is what happens when all the sudden you realize you’ve forgotten to snap a pic.. whoops! I just couldn’t wait to dig in. I love the vibrant colors of heirloom tomatoes and they’re nice and sweet right now. The accoutrements perfectly complimented the tomatoes and I was glad to see that the portion size was just right. I didn’t want to fill up on salad before my entree!

Tagliatelle Lamb Bolognese Cinghiale Italian Baltimore Maryland MD

Hand cut tagliatelle, lamb bolognese, & pecorino

Along with the porchetta, we’ve been on the lookout for fresh, homemade pasta. In Italy, the pasta melted in your mouth; there’s nothing like it and this came pretty darn close! Nathan’s lamb bolognese was more of what we learned to be a ragu, which was just what he was hoping to find.

Bronzino Eggplant Tomato Mushroom Cinghiale Italian Baltimore Maryland MD

Grilled bronzino, eggplant purée, hen of the woods mushrooms, & tomato vinaigrette

My grilled bronzino took me right back to our first dinner in Italy. It was a nice, full portion and was perfectly seasoned and cooked. I love a good, crispy skin! The pairing of the earthy flavor of the mushrooms with the sweetness of the tomato, and the creaminess of the eggplant was right on par.

Panna Cotta Fresh Fruit Cinghiale Italian Baltimore Maryland MD

Vanilla panna cotta with fresh local fruit

Finally, we finished with a vanilla panna cotta. I’m usually one to go for a richer dessert, but when I asked the server for her suggestion, she didn’t miss a beat and I was happy to have a lighter end to the meal. I, of course, stole all of the figs and Nathan all of the nectarines.. at least we know what we like! The fruit was a great addition to the creamy panna cotta and we left feeling satisfied but not overly full.

All in all, it was a great night; the service at Cinghiale left a bit to be desired, but the food was on point. I would definitely make my way back to try some more dishes.

Food for Thought

Are there restaurants around you that you’ve been dying to try?

What is your drink of choice when going out?