• Food
  • Clamato {Round Two}

    June 11, 2015

    clamato_010

    Here are pictures from our most recent trip to Clamato just a few weeks ago. Again, I was so impressed by how fresh and creative everything was. This summer my favorite dish was the bulots (sea snails). Just like the pouce pieds from last summer, it’s something I’ve never had (or probably seen) in the states. Also another favorite was the maple syrup tart! Dusty and I don’t usually order dessert because we’d rather order another first or second course but this time I’m so glad we saved room.  It reminded me of a caramel tart, so rich and with the whipped cream it was perfect!

    Chef Bertrand Grébaut and Théo Pourriat are smart men. Clamato has a sister restaurant Septime, located right next door. And then right across the street is their wine bar serving beautiful wines and snacks. Septime is a reservation only place (that books up well in advance), serving modern french with seasonal ingredients. I’ve seen Septime on a lot of “must eat in Paris” lists. And this is why having these three places within a few blocks is so smart. As we sat in Calmato we saw many dinners go to Septime, realize they can’t get in, come to Calmato, get on the waitlist and then walk over to Septime Cave for a few drinks. These three places stay busy!

    clamato_009BULOTS, MAYO CURRY

    clamato_011DORADE GRISE, YAOURT DE BREBIS, POIRE DE TERRE

    clamato_012CEVICHE DE MULET NOIR, RADIS, CORIANDRE

    clamato_013MERLUCHON, BROCOLETTI, ASPRERGE SAUVAGE

    clamato_015POULPE, BETTERAVE NOUVELLE, LIVECHE

    clamato_016TARTLETTE AU SIROP D’ERABLE, CHANTILLY

    septimelacave

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  • lejardin_001

    We didn’t just go to Reims for champagne but also some good food. In Reims there is a group of restaurants of Chateau des Crayeres. The main Chateau is a two Michelin starred affair, classic and French. However, they also have a sister restaurant, Brasserie Le Jardin, nestled in the garden of the Chateau through the woods. It’s more down to earth and relaxed in style but the food is still amazing. We had a three-course meal and each tried something different. If I remember everything from a year ago, our first course included gazpacho, tartare and sardines. Our main course included duck fish, and fish. And then of course there was dessert! It was a gorgeous day so we sat outside and enjoyed the beautiful view! The last picture is of the chateau, which was amazing as well.

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  • clamato_002

    One of our recent favorite restaurants in Paris is Clamato. I’d add it to my Top 8 Places to Eat in Paris if you like fresh seafood and fish! We went last summer and loved it so much it was one of our first stops this year. It’s a small plates seafood and shellfish place by Bertrand Grébaut of Septime. Plates run 7-20 euros. The decor is understated yet warm including a brick bar with high stools. Wines are non-sulfite made by small producers and available for sale across the street at Septime Cave – a popular bar for drinks & nibbles. It’s a no reservations place. Arrive early, sevenish, to get a seat. We had dinner a couple weeks ago on a Wednesday night and got right in shortly after 7pm but by 7:45pm there was a 30 minute wait. The pictures are from our visit last summer in 2014! Our favorite dish last summer were the pouce pieds (aka barnacles). Something I’d never imagine could be good and they were delicious. Texture-wise they reminded me of clams or squid. I’ll post pictures from our most recent trip soon!

    clamato_001POUCE PIEDS DES GLENANS

    clamato_003OUR VIEW FROM THE BAR

    clamato_004RAW OYSTERS & CLAMS

    clamato_005TRUITE SAUVAGE DE L’ADOUR/CONCOMBRE

    clamato_006SARDINE/AUBERGINE/CEDRAT

    clamato_007RISOTTO/GAMBERO ROSSO

    clamato_008COUTEAUX XL AU BEURRE D’HERBES

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  • Restaurant David Toutain

    I’m back at it, sharing some of the delicious food we’ve eaten in Paris. Last summer we went to Michelin 1 star Restaurant David Toutain for our anniversary. Given it’s been almost a year since we went, I can’t give lots of details but it was absolutely delicious. We went for lunch and had their tasting menu with wine pairings. The chef even came to our table to say hello before our meal was over. After we walked to the Camp de Mars (park near the Eiffel Tower) and relaxed before we had to get home to Annabelle.

    Restaurant David Toutain Restaurant David Toutain Restaurant David Toutain Restaurant David Toutain Restaurant David Toutain Restaurant David Toutain Restaurant David Toutain Restaurant David Toutain Restaurant David Toutain Restaurant David Toutain Restaurant David Toutain Restaurant David Toutain Restaurant David Toutain

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  • Caffe dei Cioppi_001

    I’m back at it, posting some of the wonderful places we’ve eaten at while in Paris.  Here’s another hidden-away gem we found in our neighborhood last summer. Caffé dei Cioppi is hidden down Rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine, past discount clothing stores and unmemorable cafes. When you’re looking for number 159, it’s hard to believe that anyone would want to eat in this neighborhood but once you turn and enter the doorway of number 159, you’ll find a secluded alleyway lined with cobblestones. As someone put it, “the unexpected loveliness of it all in contrast to the street you left behind makes it all the more appealing.”

    The place is very warm and welcoming and it’s not big, seating maybe 15. We made reservations just to make sure we could get a spot and got lucky enough to sit outside on this perfect evening.  They have 4 or 5 tables outside the doors that line the alley.  This place is the perfect neighborhood restaurant with good food and excellent service.

    Caffe dei Cioppi_003Mozzarella di bufalo, poivrons rouge, basilic (Buffalo mozzarella, red peppers, basil)

    Caffe dei Cioppi_002Soupe de tomates aux agrumes (Tomato soup with citrus)

    Caffe dei Cioppi_004Gnocchi de pommes de terre, ragout d’agneau de lait (Gnocchi potato ragu of lamb)

    Caffe dei Cioppi_005Risotto a la saucisse, citron et romarin (Risotto with sausage, lemon and rosemary)

    Caffe dei Cioppi_006Sbrisolona, creme au mascarpone (Traditional Italian crunchy tart, mascarpone cream)

    Caffe dei Cioppi_007

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  • Chicken Lo Mein

    May 7, 2014

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    Every couple of months Dusty and I go out for Chinese food or do take-out. Dusty’s go-to is something that has chicken, a dark sauce and no vegetables. I really like chicken lo mein. I scoured the internet looking for the perfect recipe and ended up just combining a whole bunch of them together to create the perfect chicken lo mein that anyone can make at home.

    lomein_002

    Chicken Lo Mein
    Serves 3-4

    Ingredients
    4 oz lo mein noodles or chinese noodles
    1 tablespoon oyster sauce
    2 tablespoons soy sauce
    1/4 chicken broth
    red pepper flakes
    2 garlic gloves, minced
    1 tablespoon canola oil, divided
    2 large chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
    salt & pepper
    1-2 large carrot, thinly sliced
    1-2 large celery stalk, thinly sliced
    4-6 oz mushrooms, sliced
    1-2 cups broccoli florets
    2 green onions, chopped

    Directions
    Cook noodles according to directions on package. We’ve tried a variety of noodles but I really like lo main noodles or chinese goods better than spagetti noodles. Drain and set aside. Combine oyster sauce, soy sauce, chicken broth, and red chili pepper flakes in a small bowl then set aside. Season chicken with salt & pepper then set aside. Heat large skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 teaspoon oil then add chicken and cook until no longer pink in the center. Remove to a plate and set aside.

    Heat another teaspoon of oil in the skillet then add carrots and celery. Cook until slightly tender. Add remaining teaspoon of oil then add garlic, mushrooms, broccoli, and green onion. I like a lot of vegetables so I tend to add more so that’s why I’ve given a range for amounts of vegetables that you can include. If you’d rather it be meaty, add less vegetables and more chicken. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 3 minutes. Add cooked chicken and noodles back into the wok. Pour in sauce, then mix together well, and serve.

    Adapted from Iowa Girl Eats

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  • In my last Paris post I gave my top 6 favorite things to do in Paris but I didn’t get a chance to talk about the best places to eat.  I’m no food expert but we do enjoy trying new restaurants, here are our top favorite places to eat in Paris.

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    La Regalade Saint Honore. For a bit of a nicer night out, not too fancy but fantastic. Classic Paris bistro and a great example of a perfect Paris bistro experience. La Regalade has the best rice pudding you’ll ever have in your life. Never had rice pudding? Think you you won’t like it? Try it! Seriously. You do need reservations for this one but we haven’t had a problem getting them if we call a few days or week in advance. There are two locations so make sure you’re calling the right one when making reservations or getting directions. Located in the 1st. The one we’ve gone to is the one located on Saint Honore.

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    Frenchie Wine Bar. It’s a no reservation, first-come first-serve wine bar across the street from Frenchie restaurant.  Opens at 7pm, go a little early to get a spot. Small plates, fresh ingredients, wonderful wine selection.  We went last summer towards the end of our stay and everything was so wonderful (including atmosphere, food and wine) that I had wished we had tried it earlier in our visit so we could have gone back.

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    Les Cocottes. Great fairly casual but nice dinner place in the 7th. No reservations allowed, so you’ll wait in line for a seat. It’s pretty great though. Everything is served in little pots.

    L’as du Falafel. If you like falafel, perhaps the best in the world. Great place for a cheap lunch in the Marais. Located in the 4th. This street is known for having a lot of falafel places but L’as du Falafel is the standout.

    breizh_006

    Briezh Cafe. Best crepes ever. Make reservations, even for lunch as it’s a tiny place. Totally worth it though. Make sure to get the caramel au beurre salé (salted butter) crepe. It’s life changing. We got lucky one time and went at a random time between lunch and dinner and were able to get a spot in the gift shop (they serve food there too).

    Berthillon. Fantastic ice cream place on Ile Saint-Louis. Draws a big crowd. Located in the 4th. Make sure not to stop at the 10 other shops that sell Berthillon ice cream on your way, go to the original location!

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    Chez L’ami Jean. Super cramped and old, but amazing amazing food. Check out my post to see more of the great food. They have some great rice pudding. Located in the 7th.

    cantinecalifornia_002

    Paris Food Truck, Street Food, or Creperie. It’s not always about fancy French food. And these places are everywhere. Make sure you eat plenty of banana and nutella crepes, kabobs, burgers, etc. If I were to recommend a great lunch place, Cantine California is delicious. They drive to two locations each week. If you’re craving a really good burger and fries or an awesome taco go here.

    There’s also a ton of restaurants that are more difficult (maybe impossible) to get into, but if you can, they’re totally worth it. Fine dining at reasonable prices. A couple really good examples are Septime, Frenchie, and La Chateaubriand. However, if you want the real Paris Bistro experience I can’t recommend La Régalade enough , which I mentioned above.

  • blend_001

    Here’s another quick post about a great spot we had lunch at while we were in Paris last summer.  I’m not a big hamburger fan but after having this hamburger and one at Cantine California food truck, I really started craving a nice quality burger and fresh, homemade fries.  Like Cantine California, Blend uses fresh, high-quality, local ingredients.  Blend must be doing something right because they’ve recently opened up a second location.  Can’t wait to go back this summer!

    blend_002 blend_003 blend_004

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  • Sage Student Bistro

    November 11, 2013

    sage_008

    Another restaurant gem in Omaha that we often forget about and recently had the opportunity to go to is Sage Student Bistro.  It’s a student prepared restaurant serving lunch and dinner at Metropolitan Community College’s Institute for the Culinary Arts.

    Sage Bistro is staffed by students and is part of their curriculum, providing students an opportunity to refine their skills in a real restaurant atmosphere.  One caveat is that the restaurant is open Monday thru Thursday when the students are in session. There’s a standard lunch and dinner menu as well as weekly student designed prix fixe dinner specials ($30 per person), which is what we’ve always done.  They also have a menu degustation, a tasting size portion of the entire static menu including desserts which I’d love to try as well.

    This is gourmet style dining at an unreasonably low cost.  Of course students run the entire restaurant from back to front so you must expect a staff that can be a bit nervous at times.  Even with nerves, the dishes we’ve had at Sage are some of the most inventive we’ve had in town.  The restaurant itself is newly built and renovated.  As you drive up you can actually see into the kitchen and the dining area.

    When we went to dinner this past week we had a wonderful time and enjoyed some delicious dishes.  The two student chefs this week were exploring squash, apple, tomato and corn.  Can’t wait to go again when the next quarter begins.

    sage_001Pork – apple, mustard

    sage_002Three types of bread with sage butter

    sage_003Halibut – blackening, red wine, squash

    sage_004Oxtail – tomato, pappardelle

    sage_005Duck – corn, mushrooms

    sage_006 sage_007sage_009

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  • gyoza_003

    I love having a husband who enjoys food and loves trying out new restaurants.  While in Paris, one afternoon we went for a walk and ended up at this fabulous restaurant known for their gyoza, appropriately called the Gyoza Bar.

    If you don’t know what gyoza is, which I didn’t before going, gyoza are crescent-shaped pan-fried Japanese dumplings, and  in other words, potstickers.  When Dusty said we were going to place that was known for gyoza I thought that gyoza was one of their specialities.  I wasn’t expecting that this was the only thing they served.  I wish there were more place like this in Omaha, a place known for one thing, that serves that one thing to perfection.

    The restaurant is tucked away in the beautiful Passage Panorama.  The space was very small but zen (what I mean is that it didn’t seem cramped like you’d expect, it was very calm and relaxing).  The entire place includes counter seating for 12 around a bar that holds the very small kitchen (although there’s not much cooking going on since there are only three items on the menu).  We also saw people coming and going out a door in the back so I’m assuming there’s a small amount of setting in another room as well but not much.

    The three menu items include rice, sesame marinated bean sprouts and a choice of either 8 or 12 gyoza.  The dumplings are made with ground pork loin from a star butcher in Paris and everything is prepared fresh and in-house.  The dumplings are grilled to order in one of 4 cast-iron dumpling pans.

    I was so fascinated to watch them prepare the gyoza.  There’s a special pan that is oiled, then go in the dumplings, a little water is added, and the whole thing is sealed for less than 10 minutes. Out comes a perfect dumpling that’s crisp on one side and steamed on the other. And then there’s some delicious ponzu sauce that comes on the side for dipping.

    Dusty ordered 12 gyoza, I ordered 8 and we both ordered some rice.  We had a wonderful lunch and every time I see potstickers on a menu I think back to our delicious meal at the Gyoza Bar.

    gyoza_001gyoza_002

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