birthday, aka reason to eat nonstop

Today was the last day of classes, but also my birthday.. craziness!! I always go through this weird phase of where it doesn’t really feel like your birthday leading up to the day, but then like the day before you really really hope that people will do all sorts of things to make it special, even though you’re really not supposed to expect that people do extra things for you because it’s just a birthday, right??

But anyway, my floor had a birthday celebration last night with cakes from the Swiss Pastry Shop on 19th ( that I read from Chowhound had really good hazelnut cake for birthday occasions. Soo we got that, and cherry cheesecake. I of course looked forward to this cake eating for like a week or so… dreaming of those slices of dreamy, sugar and fat-laden birthday celebration. Unfortunately, I think I had too high of expectations as the hazelnut cake turned out to be not as delicious as I had imagined in my mind… The buttercream frosting was actually quite good, considering I don’t usually enjoy buttercream frosting all that much, but the cake part itself was a little dry and tasteless. Doh!!! The cheesecake was pretty good though…very very dense and thick, which is the way I like my cheesecakes. Cheesecake Factory cheesecake, although the taste is good (Vanilla Beaaaannn!!!), are way too light and mousse-y for me to fall in love with. But, that is deviating away…let’s go back to birthday celebration. So, after I had those two slices of cake.. at midnight, I was surprised with a huge Ben and Jerry’s ice-cream cake, with mint-chocolate chunk (my favorite classic ice-cream flavor) and their new Imagine Whirled Peace (a flavor I have been wanting to try). So yes. I had THREE kinds of cake in one night. My friends know what makes me happy all too well. (I’ll try to get pictures of the Swiss Pastry cakes up later)

Okayyy and tonight, I went to Tinto!! I went to Amada earlier this year for Restaurant Week, and of course, loved it. I loved getting Tapas in St. Louis, but Amada and Tinto are on a completely different level with the ingredients used, the way the food is presented, the different flavor combinations, even the restaurant interior. I was afraid that we would get our bill at Tinto and be sad about the price, but fortunately it wasn’t bad at all… it is possible to eat there with $25 per person and still have a wonderful meal. I went with friends who had never had tapas before. (Yes, I said Never had tapas before!) Oh the tragedy! Fortunately, I was able to fix this dire situation, and show them the beauty of tapas. Here is what we got: (Sorry, no pictures… it was quite dark in there!)
CHIPIRONES EN SU TINTA chiperones, squid ink, crab bomba rice
MONTADITOS DE PATO duck confit, black cherry, bleu de basque
BROCHETAS DE POLLO chicken, garbanzo puree, truffle jus
POLLITO poussin, truffled pochas, shaved carrot escabeche
SOPA DE CASTANO truffled chestnut soup, duck&mushroom hash, fried quail egg, pistachio
ARROZ BOMBA morel mushroom bomba rice, green asparagus, lemon oil
JUDIAS VERDES haricot vert, almonds, dates, orange segments, paprika sherry vinaigrette
+ one item not on the menu: Truffled Artichokes with I think lemon oil and some cheese?? I don’t really remember…just that it was a great savory tanginess to it. ¬†Probably my favorite veg dish tonight.

Okay, I have no pictures, but really, reading those descriptions should make anyone want to dine there… or in my case, go there again and again, ahhh. For the sopa, they brought it out in this cool asymmetric bowl with the hash and egg, and poured the creamy, sweet, addicting soup around it at our table. For the brocheta, the skewers came in these tall shot-glass-type glasses with sauce inside that I doused my chicken in. The duck confit montaditos had a cherry that one of my friends and I agreed, was the best tasting cherry we had ever had. Seriously, I don’t know what they did to that thing… but it was DARN TASTY. I could go on and on, all the flavors were great, all the platings were wonderful… you get the idea. The French influence on the Basque style tapas was actually pretty easy to tell, especially after eating at Amada. The two are pretty different from each other, in terms of tastes. I’m not sure if I could pick one though. I’ll probably have to make multiple visits to finally come up with a verdict. ūüôā

Oh…and…my friends weren’t that intrigued by Tinto’s dessert offerings, so they wanted to go to Capogiro’s after (especially since one of them hadn’t gone at all before). So yes, yet another visit to Capogiro’s!! I should really cut that addiction. But they made meeeee!!! ūüėČ
I got… Thai coconut milk with their dark chocolate, which actually complemented each other quite well. I was pretty proud of myself ūüėõ

A happy happy birthday, filled with food, fun, friends, but mainly food. And I still have more ice-cream cake in my freezer, and a humongous caramel apple from a fruit bouquet gift to devour. Aging really does come with a lot of responsibilities!

Published in: on April 29, 2008 at 10:46 pm  Leave a Comment  

my love of gelato

Seeing as how this blog is new, I figured I should backtrack a bit over some of the things I have eaten in Philadelphia and love dearly. ¬†One of those is Capogiro’s gelato. ¬†Although I haven’t gone to Italy to have authentic gelato, I imagine it couldn’t get much better than this (and it is actually much better than gelato in St. Louis…). ¬†Besides their high quality gelato, it is just so much fun to go with your friends or family and have like five samples of their unique, fresh flavors that they keep coming up with (just to give a few examples, one time I had Lemon Opal Basil sorbet, Sea Salt gelato, Rosemary Goat’s Milk gelato…). ¬†Besides Bacio (the love of my life), I also really like their “Cioccolato Scuro” (dark and somehow fudgy chocolate) plus their Blood Orange, Turkish Coffee (a delicious variation to normal cappucino/coffee), and Saigon Cinnamon. ¬†Another reason why Capogiro’s is amazing is because the flavors they offer changes daily and they put them on their website so you can check obsessively like me. ¬†And that’s why I am now really sad that I cannot go to Capogiro’s today to try their Menta-Menta Stracciatella (mint chocolate chip), Amarena (Fior Di Latte Swirled With Imported Black Cherries), okay the list goes on. ¬†So basically, if you haven’t gone to Capogiro’s yet… GO NOOOWWW!!! ¬†(Or at least check out their website and dream of gelato with me!)

Published in: on April 24, 2008 at 9:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

a voyage to fuji mountain

I had heard¬†great things about Fuji Mountain, so I was pretty excited to finally be able to go for the Dine-Out Japan 20% off promotion tonight.¬† The restaurant itself¬†has¬†a very warm and comforting interior.¬†¬†Most sushi restaurants I have visited have either a complete lack of care when it comes to decoration and ambience, or it is trying too hard to be trendy…but Fuji felt just right. ¬†I felt like with the promotion I could be a little more adventurous with what I ordered, and got the “Take for Two,” which comes with 10 pieces of sushi, 10 pieces of sashimi, and some crazy spicy trio roll.¬† As fun as it was going through the pieces, I had a sad realization at the end of the meal that the only fish that I really, truly love, is tuna.¬† The other ones (especially salmon) leave a weird buttery flavor in my mouth that makes me sort of unhappy after I eat it.¬† I wish I could have a fine appreciation for each fish, but in the end, all I really want is my tuna.

After getting back, I have been reading Garlic and Sapphires.¬† It’s only 11:40pm on a Friday, and I’m suddenly quite sleepy.¬† So being the loser that I am, I think I’m going to go to bed now.¬† Goodnight!

Published in: on April 19, 2008 at 3:48 am  Leave a Comment  

here we go!

So a new blog begins!¬† I haven’t had a blog in quite some time… I guess after reading all the amazing food blogs led me to believe that I didn’t have experiences¬†to blog about, no lyrical, creative way to present my thoughts.¬† And I probably still don’t.¬† BUT, I have had a sudden random desire to blog again, hooray!¬† Plus, I want to document my eating adventures and experiences¬†for all of time! I adore all food, but as the title of my blog indicates, I tend to have gluttonous habits with desserts, but I focus more on¬†the¬†evolving¬†meaning of gourmand, which is that I have a deep appreciation and discerning palate when it comes to anything sweet.

So, to start off my blog…today I did a bit of food shopping¬†in an effort to¬†revive my currently¬†listless soul.¬† I am currently a student in Philadelphia, and when not having to study I am left to my own thoughts too much…which is a little unhealthy.¬†¬†I set off¬†towards Metropolitan Bakery under the warm afternoon rays, hoping to find a great chocolate chip cookie I¬†have been fantasizing about¬†for the past week.¬† After I got into the store though, the oversized cookie behind the display glass looked like the dry, crunchy variety that simply wouldn’t do, so I looked on.¬† Nothing really spoke out to me, except when I saw the canneles, I felt like the¬†tiny burnt-brown¬†treat would restore my spirit.¬†

Taking Metropolitan’s cannele out of the bag, I could tell the crust was not as it should have been, and I knew it would not live up to the canneles in France.¬† But, that wasn’t the point.¬† I wanted to be transported back¬†to the carefree, wonderful time I had in Paris, and that’s what it did.¬† I had my first cannele during my first trip to Paris this spring…it was a surreal moment, sitting on¬†the bench outside of Boulangerie Bechu, which I had read as having¬†one of the¬†best chocolate croissants in Paris.¬† Despite the¬†hotel breakfast we had just¬†consumed¬†(that had included a chocolate croissant),¬†we feasted on chocolate croissant,¬†with a side of¬†chocolate brioche (which sadly paled after the croissant),¬†topped off by cannele.¬† It was¬†crusty on the outside, custard-like on the inside, just as I had read¬†about so many times.¬†

Biting into Metropolitan’s cannele, I¬†found the¬†creamy richness that reminded me¬†of my wonderful trip, full of discovery and excitement, and thus encouraged me to trek on… at least, until¬†my next sweet.

Published in: on April 18, 2008 at 2:20 am  Leave a Comment