Archive for the tag “pasta”

An honestly good time at Onesto! (Did ya catch that?)

How about party of one at “ONEsto“?  I’m feeling pretty punny today, friends!

Some people do not enjoy dining alone, but I have never really had a problem doing so.  I think having to travel for business so much throughout my career taught me to feel comfortable as a “party of one”.  Back in the day, I would bring a book with me and sit at the corner two-top table at which hosts and hostesses would inevitably seat me.  I’d read and casually eat my food while servers seemed to try to rush me out.  I never really knew if it was because they were feeling uncomfortable for me, or if they were just trying to turn the table – probably a bit of both.

Nowadays, let’s face it. I have my nose stuck in my iPhone – either playing “Words with Friends”, checking social media sites, returning emails, or taking photos to include in blog posts like this.  I really do feel that my “smart phone” has had the opposite effect on my intellect!

Anyhow, onto the story of my experience at Onesto, which opened last summer.  My first adventure on Sunday was to finally get out and see Next Act Theatre’s final show and final performance of the season… “Ten Questions to Ask Your Biology Teacher about Evolution”.  A WONDERFUL show, and it featured local actors I’ve come to know, as well as a Chicago-based actor whom I had as a houseguest for the first two weeks he was rehearsing the show.  So, you know I really did want to see Kyle in the lead role much earlier, but business travel and personal issues delayed my seeing the show.  (and, many thanks to my Next Act crew for giving a(n unnecessary) special mention in the program!)

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I loved hearing the remarks from audience members, both at intermission and after the show.  As a board member, I found that folks really appreciated providing me their points of view, their personal experiences, and the reactions to the theatre space in general.  It was a great afternoon!  But, I was hungry by the time the show ended!  That’s when I decided to head over and try Onesto (which was mentioned to me by my favorite gal at AJ Bombers).

When I walked up to Onesto, I was greeted with “Ker?” by the gentleman at the door. Simply amazing to me since I am just barely coming up on two years in Milwaukee!  Matt and I met at AJ Bombers a while back, and we know each other over Twitter, but I didn’t really think he would recognize me out of the blue!  What a warm welcome!

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And, a cool spot!  Check out the artwork that’s for sale when you stop in!

It was a gorgeous day, so I sat at the last seat at the bar, near the open windows facing N. Broadway Ave.

As he walked me to my seat, Matt gave me a few recommendations (Mussels with Linguini, Bolognese with meatballs, Butternut Squash Ravioli), but he also mentioned that Jason (behind the bar) would “take good care of” me. So, as Jason greeted me, I promptly greeted him back and handed him my blog card.  Jason verified that he understood the “instructions” and quickly went on his way.

He served me a glass of the featured wine:

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Then, I was served up a happy hour special – free Honey Roasted Bruschetta (roma tomato, basil, housemade ricotta) – and I bonded with Jason over his pronunciation of the word “bruschetta” – we both learned to pronounce it with a hard “k” sound rather than a “sh”.  It’s the simple things, folks!

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When my entree was delivered, it was actually one of the dishes Matt had mentioned during our brief chat.  I was served the Bolognese (housemade spaghetti, topped with brisket) and served with two pork and grass fed meatballs (Oh My Goodness!  I thought I was completely in love with the au gratin potatoes (served under the grilled beef tenderloin) at Millioke, but I now have to share my heart with these meatballs!)

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I mentioned that I was hungry that day!  I hadn’t eaten anything substantial until I went for this late lunch / early dinner.  This was a LOT of food, but it was so tasty!  Homemade spaghetti and meatballs – with brisket to boot!  I was absolutely full by the time I was finished.

That didn’t stop Jason from bringing me (another free of charge item) a decadent dessert!  Flourless chocolate olive oil cake with pistachio brittle (perhaps the best new discovery of recent times!).  Y’all, this cake…it was almost like eating pudding!  So smooth and creamy.  But, the brittle was the true hero, in my opinion!

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I advised both Jason and Matt that I would be sending the bill for my gym membership after having this meal!  It’s a miracle I had the energy to walk Riley and then do some work that evening.  I probably should have given into a carb crash and called it a night!

It was a perfect Sunday afternoon, and I thoroughly enjoyed dining solo while catching occasional conversation with both Jason and Matt throughout the afternoon.  They’re just lovely men and very friendly.

To sum it up: great service + great food + great atmosphere = a great time!  I’d love to know if you’ve been to Onesto and if you have a favorite dish!

Cheers!

Ker

Two Big Thumbs up for Local Three!

Hi friends! It’s been far too long since I’ve written a proper “She Ordered What?!?” post, and I’m soooo glad to be back to my mischief! 

On Tuesday, after flying into Atlanta in preparation for several meetings in that local office, my coworkers and I went out for a team dinner.  Our (relatively new) teammate, Christina, took the lead in making plans for the team.  She knows that a few people on the team (not me!) are “foodies”, so she was quite nervous about making our reservations!  Her choice was to take us to Local Three Kitchen and Bar, a place she’d been wanting to try, but hadn’t yet had the opportunity to visit. 

She chose VERY WELL!

We entered a beautiful office park (which we all not-so-secretly admitted that we’d LOVE to be the home of our new office – sadly, ain’t gonna happen), and walked along the sidewalk until we met up with a lovely young woman and her seven month highly energized pup.  As we played with him a bit, she asked if we were looking for Local Three – in her words, “You have that look!”, and she proceeded to instruct us in. 

What was waiting on the other side was not only a cool atmosphere (The Big Lebowski paintings and a waiter wearing a Kelly Kapowski t-shirt), but also an almost endless amount of deliciousness!  I snapped a pic of our team as they were sitting down…

The team at Local Three

My former boss, Bob, is the resident wine expert.  As he usually does, he chose two fantastic wines for the table.  His picks: “Relative”, a Zinfandel-based blend and “Del Rio Claret”, a Merlot-based blend

When asked which wine I would like, I advised our server, Patrick, that I would like him to choose my meal for me, and therefore, choose the wine which would best pair with the meal.  He quickly glanced at my blog card, tucked it in his pocket, said “Okay, cool! Let’s start you with the Relative, and switch you over to another wine during the main course.” And, he said it all with a big smile on his face!  Ah, how I’ve missed trusting the experts with my meals!  

Meet Patrick! He provided stellar service that evening.

 So we sipped on wine while we waited for the appetizers to be delivered.

The appetizers… ahhh…

We shared: duck fat fried Brussel Sprouts – yes, Ker, you are back in the South!  🙂 

Brussel Sprouts & Cheese Charcuterie board

We also shared the cheese tasting and accompaniments plate (with the most delicious Le Bleu cheese!) and “The Notorious P.I.G.” – a Charcuterie sampler with accompaniments.  Both had amazing flavors! 

The appetizer plate.

And, seriously, y’all, Local Three found a way to use bacon grease (officially known as spreadable pork fat), serve it up as a condiment, charge for it, and make you ask for more!

Additionally, my coworker, Ann, ordered the “El’s Beef Tartare”, and offered me a bite.  It had wonderful flavors, and a subtle bite to it.  It was delicious!  Turns out, her husband is an accomplished chef, and she knows her food!  She wasn’t even one of the folks Christina was originally worried about, but Ann is indeed a foodie!

I was delivered the “Braised Niman Ranch Short Rib” as an appetizer.  It was served over celery root-potato puree, pearl onions, coffee (ack! coffee!), and chocolate.  The meat…was. so. tender.  Unbelievably so! I couldn’t possibly finish it all, knowing that I was awaiting a hand-picked entrée, so I shared what was left with Bob.  Total consensus…the short rib was perfectly prepared! (others had it for dinner and whole-heartedly agreed)

Then came dinner.  It’s fun when restaurants use team serving.  Someone lays a plate down in front of me, assuming I know that it’s mine, and I have no clue!  When a dish of pasta was laid down in front of me, I looked around to see what I had been served. 

In swooped Patrick to explain that the chef had prepared the Spicy Tybee Island Shrimp Fusilli (with Escarole, Preserved Lemon, and Sweet Peppers).  Before I even had a bite of the shrimp, I was in love with the flavors of this pasta.  The citrus undertones with a slightly spicy bite to it…magnificent!  And, Patrick brought me a glass of Olivier Lefaive Les Setilles Chardonnay to pair with it. 

Prior to serving the dish, he had mentioned that either red or white wine could compliment the meal he was planning to bring me.  He was right.  I could have easily stuck with the “Relative”, but the Chardonnay complimented the dish really nicely.

I couldn’t finish the main course either, but that’s no reflection at all on the food.  It’s simply that we ordered enough food for ~20 people, although we only had eight people at dinner! 

Did that stop some from ordering dessert?  Nope!  I did pass on dessert, but my coworkers sampled a few things.

This is the caramel apple dessert, about which Patrick said “the presentation is amazing!”.  Yes, it looks great, but honestly, nobody was particularly thrilled with the taste or texture.  Buried deep inside were baked cinnamon apples, which were tasty, but the rest lacked flavor. 

Christina ordered the banana bread pudding.  It was not quite as “wet” as other bread puddings I’ve had, so the texture was a bit off, IMO. Regretfully, I neglected to capture a picture of the bread pudding.

And, Ann ordered a maple & something (I stopped reading when I saw “maple”) flavored milkshake served with chocolate-filled macaroons.  It does LOOK good, but I wouldn’t get anywhere near the actual shake! 

When all was said and done, we were in complete agreement that our dinner at Local Three Kitchen and Bar was outstanding!  The food was a hit with everyone, the wine was fantastic, and Patrick and the rest of the staff provided excellent and friendly service!  Thanks to the staff of Local Three for a terrific dining experience, and thanks to Christina for organizing the evening.

If you’re in the ATL, please give Local Three a shot.  And, when you do, please let me know how your meal was!

Cheers!

Ker

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