Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Julia + English Pub + Thai + Chilean Sea Bass =

Total Confusion!! lol

Hello friends...

Yes - the Emilyverse is just as confusing as my title says - but I promise you...I'm also clever with words and will pull it all together for you by the end of this post!

First - Happy Birthday to MLK, Jr.. (Yes, I'm writing on Monday - but probably won't post til Tuesday!)... I have to say, I remember reading his speech for the first time as an adult, and cried... What an amazing inspiration. 

And Happy Inauguration to President Obama....Democrat or Republican - what ever your beliefs...He is our President for the next four years - and I've no problem saying congrats.

But for me - Most Importantly... my Dave-ager is at it again!!   He had an idea and passed it on and well...that inspired this:  Foodie Kid - Julia's new Blog!!  See... it started the other night as we made plans to go to dinner with Elena, Julia and Mom, so off on Sunday we went to the Lemon Leaf in Hicksville...  (Yes I did go out on Friday - I'll post that below...but I have to go a bit out of order now!)...

Now, let me start by saying - Julia (who's 11th birthday is this week!!!) has been avidly reading for many years - and profusely writing for years as well.  I've read her stories and I think they should go to a children's book editor - seriously!  She has a way with words and a beautifully colorful personality and vocabulary (and a bit of a smart aleck-y way about her, thanks to her Dad!)... When Elena said that Julia was requesting Thai food because she's never had it - Dave was impressed.  He loves that at a young age - she is willing to try new foods - and exotic foods...(I'll never forget when she got back from a family trip to Greece...and she was about 4 or 5 - her favorite foods were the raw sardines and pistachio ice cream....awesome!!)

So Dave suggested to her to start a blog (his Idea was "Kids Table" but in true Julia fashion - she took her own name and ran with it!!  I am very proud!! ) So I hope you check it out - there is a link to it on my own blog because I'll be following and loving I can take my niece out and we'll both post and have such different things to say!!

Alright - Let me start by telling you about Friday night's outing at The Good Life in Massapequa Park with some friends.  Its a cute English Pup style restaurant that has some great food...(most especially I adore their Fish & Chips...their Veggie Burger and their Good Life Burger are awesome...the Clam Chowder Pot Pie - yum!!). 

However, Friday Night - we ordered a bunch of appetizers (my favorite way of eating) and tasted a bunch of items!  Not a full review - but just sharing a great place and some great appetizers!
On the left - Mashed Potato Wontons (mashed potatoes, bacon, sour cream and cheddar cheese... Top Left (almost gone!) Panko Fried Mozzarella... Bottom Right - the best Sweet Potato Tots with a Brown Sugar Mustard (Oh Lordy!)... Top Right were Chicken Fingers with three different sauces...and Top Extreme Right - Mediterranean Platter with Hummus, Roasted Red Peppers, Olives, Feta Cheese and Pita..
A better look at the Mediterranean Platter!

Yummy Spinach and Artichoke Dip with Pita points and Tortilla Chips - really creamy and good... the "best" I've ever had - no, but really good!!

The Good Life has some great food and a nice atmosphere - a huge collection of beer (both on tap and bottles - and things I've never heard of!)... all sorts of cocktails and wine - and most of all (for me) on Friday - awesome company!  Super busy on the weekends - so get their early, friends...and try it out!

Now - on to Sunday - our Thai try out for Julia...and a Thai blog for both of us - here is my version... :)

We went to the The Lemon Leaf Grill in Hicksville to sample some wonderful Thai and Thai-Asian food.  Below - the Spring Rolls...They have in regular (2) or Mini (8) that is filled with fresh, crispy vegetables, a lovely crispy wrapper and a sweet chili sauce (not spicy at all).  I did find the spring rolls quite delicious but just a tad greasy ... I know, that can't be 100% helped in a fried food!

Dave ordered the fried Calamari that had a spicy chili sauce with it... I loved it because there weren't any tentacles!  But the dish was lightly and crispy - the calamari melted in your mouth, so it was cooked perfectly.  The slightly spicy sauce was a perfect compliment to this dish - better than the usual marinara that you get! (though, I could have used a bit more kick!)

Julia ordered a soup for her appetizer... in her words "called Tom Kha Gai. It's supposed to be spicy, but really wasn't. There was two or three mushrooms, and chicken every few bites. It was super delicious-I could've had it for my dinner!"  I do agree....my only comments on this soup was - YUM!  There is the slightly coconut milk flavor added to the veggies and chicken, which was super tender.  I also agree - it wasn't as spicy as I would have liked, but delicious none the less!

 Julia ordered the Thai Iced Tea....Not really sure why its called tea as it doesn't taste like tea at all... hints of maybe papaya or mango...definitely coconut - but I wish I took a picture of Julia's face when she first tasted it (picture a baby tasting Lemon for the first time...) that's what she, Mom and I both looked like as we tasted it.  This orangy-yellow, viscus and thick beverage... Ew.  Get a Beer ... or the Water. Stay away from this stuff.

Elena and I opted to share entrees... The Grilled Jumbo Prawns with Chili sauce and the Pad Thai with Chicken. Dave and Julia also ordered the Pad Thai but with shrimp. 

I have to say - I was a touch put off as the Jumbo Prawns had their heads on - and I never like to eat food that is looking back at me.  I know I'm not the only one!  But Dave de-headed and de-shelled the shrimp and I had a taste - and honestly...the most wonderfully gently smokey tasting shrimp!  The sweet shrimp didn't get lost in the smokey flavor, it was perfectly cooked and tender - the spicy chili sauce was great, but I really felt the shrimp held its own with out any sauce! I'd order it again (and ask for the heads to be left behind!).

Your Welcome...I'm not making you look at their eyes!
The Pad Thai was lovely - gently cooked and tender noodles with moist and flavorful chicken - the ground peanuts add a great texture and of course, add lime for that just needed hit of acid.  In my opinion, you can't go wrong with Pad Thai ... my only 'complaint'... it said spicy and to me - it was very mild.  Regardless - I'd order it again in a heartbeat ... Yes, that good!

Mom ordered the Royal Feast - a non spicy dish filled with fresh stir fried vegetables, shrimp, chicken and beef - all served in a crispy noodle bowl (same as the Pad Thai noodle, except fried) in a light sauce.  It was all very tender, perfectly cooked, not spicy but super flavorful.  Really - after the appetizers, it was a meal that could be split between two!

Our last little addition was dessert - which was very lack luster, in my opinion.  Fried Banana's is pretty common in Asian food - and while these were wrapped in spring roll wrappers and fried - the banana tasted much like a plantain to me - not sweet at all, which is why it was drowning in warm maple syrup and had whip cream on it.  I've been to other places where the Fried Banana was light, delicate and delicious...this one - leave it...eat more of your dinner and you'll be happy!

So - my ratings:
Food: a very hearty B

Price:  very reasonable, appetizers (soups etc) are not higher than 7.95 and entrees are between 9.00 and 21.00 

Service: B ... We were served promptly and efficiently.  I can't really ask for more than that - but the servers did not go above and beyond as I have seen in other Thai places.  Nothing to complain about...but nothing to rave about either.

Would I go back?  Yes - but I'd also like to try some other Thai restaurants on LI first!

And to close this "all-over-the-place-confusing-blog"... I want to share with you a bit of a different fish dish that I created tonight...Dave (of course) was in the mood for steak, so he had himself some yummy rib eye...and I made some great roasted fingerling potatoes that I'll post the recipe at the bottom.... but my fish - Oh Yum!  Even Dave said he'd have that for dinner one night!!  Chilean Sea Bass!!

Let me tell you what you need to have on hand and how to cook this dish...

1/2 lb of Chilean Sea Bass
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 1/2 cups of a dry white wine (and perhaps 1/2 a cup more)
the zest of 1 lemon, and then zest from 1/2 a lemon (keep them separate)
the juice of 1 lemon
1/4 of a cup of red onions
3 tablespoons of drained capers
2 tablespoons of butter

Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees and heat the olive oil in an oven safe pan on Medium-High - you want the olive oil to get hot enough to lightly start to smoke. 

Meanwhile, pat dry the bass and season both sides with salt and pepper.  On one side, sprinkle the zest from the 1/2 a lemon. 

When the oil is hot - place the fish in the pan (lemon seasoned side down).  You want to get a good, crusty sear on the fish - don't touch it!  Let go for about 8 - 10 minutes then check it...if it's nicely browned, flip it over. 

Put into the pan the 1 1/2 cups of white wine to deglaze the pan (oh, look - I just got all chef-y worded on ya!) and then add the rest of the lemon zest, red onions, capers and lemon juice...mix in around the fish - top the fish with the 2 tablespoons of butter and then put the pan into a 400 degree oven. 

You will cook the fish for about 20 minutes and then check for an internal temperature of 160 degrees.  You probably won't be there yet - and if not...add the 1/2 cup more of wine and let cook for another 10-15 minutes (start checking at 10...but it'll be closer to 15).

Take out of the oven, cover with foil and let sit for 5 minutes...then serve!

This was so delicious that Dave ended up eating some - and loving it.  My only addition next time I make it will be to add artichoke hearts, as that was the original intent (but didn't have them in house!). 

As I said above, I served it with roasted fingerling potatoes - so simple to make... I sliced the potatoes into even wedges, covered in olive oil, salt, pepper, 3 cloves of minced garlic and about 1 tablespoon each of minced rosemary and thyme - they baked in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes!  Simple!

I hope you take some time out of your culinary world to try some of these restaurants and dishes...  Just wait til next week - I'm experimenting with some tex-mex things for a Meet Up I'm going to on Saturday...I'll post my successes (and failures, if I have them!).

Until Next Time...

No comments:

Post a Comment