Thursday, November 29, 2012

Oopps...I did it again!

Ok... I went out to dinner and ordered Scallops again!  I know I've told you that it is a favorite of mine...and it is my go-to because I love scallops so much...but I need to also try other things!

But, I'm telling the story backwards if I start with that.... so..

Hello Friends!
I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  Mine was a quiet one...well, how quiet can it be with three dogs over 65 pounds?!?  Dave was working, and the rest of the family in three different Mom and I had a lovely dinner with Sam, Lilah...and that gorgeous black boy is Jake!  We had fun... and Grandma got Grandpuppy Kisses (well, what did you expect when you put yourself on their level??)

I could be all sappy and pour over - in my own wordy way - what I was thankful for... but I'll keep it simple.. I'm thankful for my entire family, their happiness, their health...and that some are getting healthier... and I am thankful for my David... because he didn't run when I told him during our first phone call (before we met face to face) that I was the craziest person I know... and now when I do all the crazy things - he still stays and just shakes his head and says "I really thought you were kidding".... He gets me...He lets me be me...and he laughs AT me (which really ticks me off - but it's how he gets through my crazies).

And how fitting Thanksgiving falls just before my wedding!  Dave and I celebrated our 2nd Wedding Anniversary on November 26.  What did we do that day? 

Well - of course on a gorgeous day, we took the kids to the dog park so they could run about like a bunch of loons and get tired out... and then we finished decorating the outside of the condo...  Have I mentioned I married "Mr. Christmas"?  He loves Christmas, decorating, Christmas music...the whole thing!  Look - this is what he created - with only a touch of my help... :)  <Oh help us when we do finally have a house!!>

We decided to go out for a nice dinner for our anniversary - Aperitif in Rockville Centre.  This is a place that Dave and I have talked about going to for a while - since we've been to their sister place - Sage Bistro in Bellmore and were very excited to try out Aperitif!

So - let me start my review... 
They have an amazing menu of appetizers, salads, raw bar, entrees...and a small plate menu as well.  Oh my goodness - so much to choose from. top it off - a menu of specials that just almost adds to the confusion, if you didn't want to try them all so badly!

I started off with a glass of their wine special - and it was FABULOUS!! A new one to me...Chateau Prieure Marguet - described as a bright, deep Bordeaux with hints of red current.  It had such an amazing and rich flavor and it really complimented every single dish that I tasted... and I want more of it!  Grab a glass of this lovely Merlot!

We started with a few "small plates" and a salad...  So...we ordered the Camembert Fondue and the Risotto Fritters ... and the Aperitif Salad... OH.MY.GOODNESS!!!!

This is the Camembert Fondue... a luscious cheese fondue...while I'd have preferred it be a bit thicker...the taste, the flavor was absolutely amazing.  Delicate cheese, with nutty overtones...and it is served with apples and a nutty bread that is drizzled in honey...a lovely touch!!  Dave and I both said, multiple times, that we'd love to pick up this crock and drink the cheese mixture.  This is a MUST GET when you go to this restaurant!

 OK, so yes.. we ordered a salad... we love salad...and Dave loves anything with Figs... This dish, with the figs, goats cheese, the frisee lettuce and the candied walnuts looks so simple... but the depth of flavor was amazing... the figs, oh so sweet, complimented by the balsamic and the champagne dressing... the goat cheese added an amazing tang, and the walnuts, the crunch and sweetness to balance the whole dish.  If I had known this salad was so good...I would have ordered it as my meal!!

And...Lets talk about the mushroom risotto fritters...Simple, right?  Wild mushrooms and fontina cheese... these bad boys were so delicious...I had to steal one off the plate before I could take a picture!  The risotto was cooked perfectly...the cheese, enough to accent the dish, but not overpower it...and the mushrooms...Heck...if you're not a mushroom fan - you'd still LOVE this dish!!

Aperitif has amazing "small plates"... and I'll have to go back to taste more... but - Ok, its time to order dinner... "ooooppps" I did it again... for my entree...I ordered the scallops....I just couldn't help myself!!!  The dish was "Fricassee of Sea Scallops" Sauteed leeks and a butternut squash puree with truffle cream sauce...
Holy Sh*t.  Just about the best scallops I've ever eaten!  I kid you not... Even Dave said so.  The Truffle cream was amazing...and paired with the balsamic drizzle and the butternut shouldn't work the way it does...but it does!  Then they saute the leeks for an amazing flavor...but top it with fried leaks for texture....  I will HAVE to order this dish again, that is how utterly amazing it was.  And of course, I ate the left-overs for breakfast the next morning!!
And while I ordered a full on entree... Dave decided to go with a few more "small plates"...
The Escargot, the Foie Gras and Chicken Liver Mousse, and the Duck Tacos.

Ok... I didn't taste the Escargot... I just can't get past the 'I'm eating Snails" thing... but I will say... our waitress Amy was helping the table behind us...and they were adventurous enough to order and try them.. I absolutely LOVED how she described them... went through the mouth feel... really encouraged them to taste something different...Honestly, if she was my server when I do decide to try Escargot....I would do it, just on her confidence and assurance for the dish.  This was an amazing witness to her tables...Go Amy... (or Ams, as Dave decided to call her!)
I did taste the Fois...I'd have had chicken liver pate before, and ... surprisingly for me... I do like it.. but tasting this dish was like having an amazing pate, but with a rich, luscious texture and after glow...that only Fois Gras can give.  The caramelized onion added a sweetness that complimented the balsamic reduction that was on it... these components gave the dish a very luxurious feel, an amazing taste and a dish that I would order again!
Now...moving on to the duck tacos... I eat duck in tastes and I did try this dish.  Amazing flavor to the duck, the spices and the flavors they have on this dish... Dave and I just loved each and every single freaking bite...that we'd have to go back just for these!  Complex flavor, hints and notes of various spices, and the duck was so amazingly tender.  It really was amazing!
And, of course... we stuffed ourselves with this amazing food that we couldn't even order dessert...(shame on Dave!).  So worth it... the food was fantastic that Dave and I both agree that it blows some of our favorite french places out of the water (Cassis and Sage)..Shocker!!!
I can not wait to go back to Aperitif - we can't wait to bring friends there... Amazing!!

So - my ratings:
Food: with A 

Price:  very reasonable, considering they have small plates for 8-10 dollars...entrees are a usual of 25+ 

Service: I have to give them an A... and simply because of Amy's service, and the teamwork of the bus service.  Amy was completely attentive to all of her tables...and listening to her recommend food, really deliver on those recommendations to other patrons, and even when we asked as well... she knows her menu and is willing to really recommend things that may be out of your comfort zone, but you won't  be disappointed... I would love to have her as my server again.
This is a food Rave - my friends... Go to Aperitif...Ask me to join you!  I can't wait to go back and really dive into their menu some more!!
Until Next Time...


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Brunch at a Favorite

Hello friends!  Sorry for being missing in action for a bit...but here I am!  How are you doing? 
I want to start out by saying that I hope and pray that anyone who has been touched by Hurricane Sandy is regrouping, recovering, rebuilding and staying strong. 
Dave and I were very lucky - we had two days of no power, but that's about it.  Those are the times I appreciate living next door to a fire department!  (Of course - when Sammy is commiserating with the fire whistle - I wish I were far from that noise!)  Some of my family is in the throws of dealing with water damage in their houses, but all in all - we were all very lucky and very blessed not to have more severe damage. 
So Sunday comes around and after a long and trying week - Dave and I decide to go to
Brasserie Cassis for Brunch.  You remember Cassis from Moules Monday, right?  Well, this still isn't a full review...because I need a nice night out and several people with me to sample dishes... but I just wanted to share one of our favorite Brunch spots! 

Classic French Bistro style, Cassis takes you to our own little Paris in Plainview!  We started out our brunch sharing a fantastic and classic "La Soupe a L'Oignon" French Onion Soup!
Golden and bubbly Gruyere cheese covering a flavorful, beefy, sweet broth and the most tender caramelized onions and slightly softened crusty bread...Simply delicious.  An elegant yet pheasant style soup that is just so perfect to start off a lovely meal!

Dave's carnivore!  He ordered the "Sandwich Bouchere"... on a crusty bread - wonderfully delicious sliced steak, frisee lettuce with caramelized onions and melted Gruyere cheese... I mean, look at this thing! 

The meat is so tender and flavorful, added to the sweetness of the onions and the tang of the cheese... this sandwich is an amazing blend of flavors. Added to that, amazing french fries with an herbed mayo to dunk them it - Classic Bistro Food, man...Oh so good!

Now - on to my dish... again a very classic french dish (yes, I know I'm repeating that, but I mean...its a French Restaurant!)... One I've eaten in Paris before... "Crepe Jambon et Fromage" .. a Ham and Cheese Crepe. 

The Crepe is amazingly light and the mix of the ham and cheese is, of course a classic flavor...I usually top it with their home made Dijon mustard and take a bite...Party in my mouth!

We were so full after that delightful Brunch, that we didn't even order our usual dessert of the baby Madeline's! That has to say something to the amazing flavors and the quality (and size) of the meal!

I do promise...soon I will do a full on review ... this place warrants it!

Until Next Time...

Friday, November 9, 2012 back... and Vittorio's

Hello Friends...

I have lots to post, but my first post after this "Sandy" aftermath is... I hope every one has power, gas and a hot meal... 

If you don't ... I have a very little space...and 2 dogs and 2 cats... but my home is open to anyone who needs a hot shower, hot meal, laundry... what ever.  Even if you need a few hours in front of a TV... if you can deal with my fur babies.. Please - call, email, text...Let me kmow...

I will post a lovely brunch and some other things next week... but today - I wanted to give you all this info...
A hot meal is available at Vittorio's and Vero in Amityville - they are fully open for lunch and dinner... They have charging stations if you don't have power...and they have amazing meals to enjoy.... They both are also apart of Long Island Restaurant Week... which has been extended, and both Vittorio's and Vero had extended for their communities!

Now... I will say...Vittorio's...  has a special place in my heart as that is where Dave works, we went there for one of our first dates... and now, very dear friends and Amityville Community Supporters - Michael and Kristy Esposito - who own Vittorio's (and Vero) ... are doing something special and amazing...

They are opening Vittorio's for Thanksgiving this year...

Thanksgiving specials will be served... on Thursday, November 22, from 12 noon until 10pm..  The restaurant will be donating 20% of the proceeds from the evening to help local Sandy Relief efforts.

Michael and Kristy.... AWESOME!!!

The regular dinner menu will also be available however, special items include:

Roasted turkey with cornbread stuffing, giblet gravy, broccoli and cranberry sauce
Crab stuffed salmon
Herb roasted prime rib
Bacon wrapped pork tenderloin molasses demi glaze

For the table
Truffled mac and cheese * Pancetta braised Brussels sprouts * Glazed carrots * Corn bread stuffing Candied yams * Steamed broccoli * Green beans with crispy shallots * Baked sweet potatoes
Butternut squash gratin * Creamed spinach * Whipped potatoes * Roasted potatoes * Braised broccoli rabe

Friends....To make reservations call 631 264 3333

And... Really - with the amazing food at Vittorio's... eat a fantastic meal and be thankful for all that you have!!
I know ... I will!!!

Until Next Time...