Saturday, June 15, 2013

Early Summer Food Adventures

My, oh my! It's not even officially summer yet, and I'm exhausted! Chris and I have taken quite a few road trips already this summer, and as usual, I've been super excited about the food we've sampled while on said journeys. Here's a peek at a few of my favorites...so far:

HELLO, HOT DOGS!
If you have a chance, take a trip to Athens, Ohio and visit O'Betty's for The Best. Hot Dogs. Ever. I say "hot dogs" plural, because we tried four of them, plus an order of Chili Cheese Fries. They were amazing, but I'd go back just for the staff alone. They were that nice. And also for their walls filled with hot dog memorabilia and the fact that every hot dog on the menu is named after a burlesque star.

Here's what we devoured:
  • The Tempest: Habanero Salsa, Chopped Jalapenos, Shredded aged sharp Cheddar Cheese, and Sour Cream
  • The Dixie: Homemade O'Betty's Chili Sauce, Fresh Diced Onions, Aged sharp Cheddar Cheese, and Stadium Mustard! 
  • The Syra: Sauteed Mushrooms, Shredded Big Eye Swiss Cheese and Mayonnaise. (We opted for the Veggie Dog version of this one, and LOVED it.)
  • The Sally:  Bacon, Fresh Diced Tomato, and Shredded Romaine Lettuce with Mayo. (Yes, a BLT hot dog!)
We also sampled their homemade Roasted Garlic & Rosemary Mayonnaise and Jalapeno Mustard. Yum.

FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL
Back home, we attended our town's first annual Food & Wine Festival, with each course served up from one of our local chefs and accompanying wines chosen by favorite wine shop, Amanti Vino.  Dee-licious!

Some my favorites from the evening:

Amuse Bouche

CHEF MICHAEL CARRINO, PIG & PRINCE GASTROLOUNGE
Deviled quails egg, cornichon, sriracha,

"PB+J" stone fruit and pistachio butter macaroon

Ahi Poke, avocado mousse, Tokyo green onion

Petite porc pâté en croute

WINE
OCD Riesling 2010 


Fish Course

CHEF ARIANE DUARTE, CULINARIANE
Pan Seared Halibut, Bacon Lardon Corn Chowder, Pea Tendrils

WINE
Capiaux “Chimera” Pinot Noir 2011  
(This red wine went amazingly with the fish!)


Meat Course
CHEF MITCHELL ALTHOLZ, HIGHLAWN PAVILION
Duo of Grass Fed Boneless Short Ribs and Côte de Bœuf with Celery Root Puree,

Brunoise Vegetables and Early Summer Truffle Sauce

WINE
Jean Edwards “Stagecoach Vineyard” Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 


LUNCH AT THE CIA

We also recently took a to the picturesque Hudson Valley for the annual Country Living Fair, and stopped off at the Culinary Institute of America for lunch at the student-run American Bounty restaurant.


Everything was just excellent. Highlights? Chris had a Crispy Portobello Salad that was to die for, and I had a Spring Pea and Fava Bean Risotto that was bright, flavorful and perfectly cooked. For dessert, we shared Blueberry "Pancakes" with Browned Butter Ice Cream and Granola.  The cake, which was filled with what tasted like almond cream was shaped into what looked like a stack of tiny pancakes, topped with blueberry compote. So fun!  I definitely enjoyed the visit, and had to stop myself from applying right then and there. Maybe in my next life...c'est la vie.

NASCAR
For some insane reason, we got up at the crack of dawn and drove to the Poconos Raceway for NASCAR'S Sprint Cup race. It was quite the experience, but at Chez Gourmess, we like to try everything, at least once, so why not? The best part of the day: sharing a Maple Bacon Custard Sundae.  Yes, it was made with bacon bits instead of real bacon, but come on, look at it. Would you pass that up?



I told you we've been busy! But, it's only June, so there are more food adventures ahead of us. 
What's on your calendar this summer? 
Something tasty, I hope!
xoxo


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