Friday, February 26, 2010

I'll have the Ginawchee.

Mr. Pants can be evil.
He will purposefully embarrass me in the finest restaurants by maliciously mispronouncing words so that I sigh, hunch my shoulders and kick him under the table.

His favorite one to mispronounce is Gnocchi.

"I'll have the GINAWCHEE is usually how he says it, with a smirk. The waitstaff is never sure whether he is joking or not, poor things.

The other night at the Palace Kitchen, I was told by the waitress that I was the first person to pronounce Porchetta correctly. She may have just been being friendly or complimenting me, but it worked, and made me feel special. But seriously the first one to pronounce it correctly?!
Apparently it's not that uncommon, as we hear from the Chicago Tribune's blog The Stew:

Top 10 Mispronounced Foodie Words

The comments on that post are hilarious, too.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day Dinner: Spinasse

It has never been a big thing, Valentine's Day. Mr. Pants has never been one to celebrate holidays in general, let alone one that is so obviously syrupy.

Speaking of syrupy, soon after we first met, we were sitting in a Thai restaurant in Chicago, and they wrote "love" in the peanut sauce they brought over, after watching us have a good time together. I think of these things on Valentine's Day.

I took my man out for dinner at Spinasse this past V Day, since there's nothing like a little white truffle pasta and Affogato to shunt those unemployment blues to the wayside for a little while, at least.

From the amuse bouche to the espresso, it was a fine time. Dungeness crab heaped over an intense, creamy leek flan, and brightened with Meyer lemon. White truffle and cauliflower ravioli was warm, nutty, melt in your mouth good, hitting all those comfort-food needs head-on.

The not-too-sweet-but-perfectly-so Affogato assuaged my dessert fussiness. I fear and loathe overly sweet desserts. With SUCH a sweet dining companion, more sugar would be superfluous.

Highlights: Leek flan with crab, cauliflower ravioli with white truffle. Congenial, knowledgeable waiter.

Mr. Pants: Sweet!

Cascina Spinasse on Urbanspoon

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Best coffee in the states is NOT in Seattle.

I lived in Ann Arbor for a spell with my dad when I was 12 and 13, and lets just get this out now; boy did I take it for granted.

Visiting a couple times since, I've been struck by the cool old architecture, and the huge, spreading oaks.

I remember going to the Borders Bookstore on State St. with Dad. This was the first, the original Borders- multi-leveled, hardwood floors warped and squeaking as you moved through the aisles. We would walk out and eye each other's purchased stack of books. Dad's been ill recently, hence my visit, but he's recovering pretty well so far. Helps to have people doting, I'm sure.

This visit I scarfed down a fantastic and fantastically messy sammich at Zingermans, and slurped some of the best coffee I've ever tasted at a small space called Comet Coffee, in the Nickels arcade building. I'm a sucker for this building in the first place, it reminds me of Europe. Comet Coffee does a great job with hip, genial baristas, a cool space, and most importantly, great coffee. Have to thank my two awesome brothers Sam and Ben for this experience, and for just being cool enough to scout out the best coffee in their hometown. On my first visit I got an absolutely perfect Macchiato, and when I stopped by again, (ok, every day of my stay) the pour-over drip blend from El Salvador was nutty, almost floral, and truly stellar. This is why I drink coffee.

Highlights: Macchiato, pour over drip coffee.

Disappointments: Mr Pants wasn't there to share it with me.

Mr. Pants: Not there!