Archive for the tag “salmon”

Viva l’Italia – Vincenzo’s, New Jersey

It’s been a couple of weeks since I went to New Jersey to visit with a customer whom I had been wanting to meet for a long time. I’ve heard great things about this company, and I know we have opportunities to partner on some good things!

So, my colleague (and now frequent road trip buddy) and I set out to Middlesex, NJ to have a couple of meetings as well as a nice dinner up the street at Vincenzo’s with our customers.

Foolishly, I only brought my small Clemson clutch with me, which funny enough, my dear girlfriend who lives in New Jersey gave me as a gift earlier this year.

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Anyhow, the point being that I forgot to bring my blog card with me. Thank goodness for mobile phones. I called it up from the blog page itself!

I had been warned that this dinner and our dining companions were going to be fabulous, so I came hungry! In addition to fabulous table mates, our server, Carlos, was perfect. He was professional, yet was equipped with a biting sense of humor. The best of both worlds!

Carlos started us off with several appetizers: calamari (two ways: fritti and with an “Italian hot sauce” – which everyone at the table claimed was Thai sauce!), escarole and pignoli nuts, and sausage and peppers. To be honest, I was full by the time we worked our way through these delicious plates of apps!

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A mesh of apps! Calamari, sausage and peppers, and escarole. 

And then came this salad… I think it’s one of my favorite salads – ever. The tri-colore insalati. The mesh of flavors – and that cheese! Heaven on a plate.

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Tri-colore salad made of European blend, tomatoes, pepper, and parmagiano cheese.

I’d say finally, because it really should have been the final set of bites, but it wasn’t. This is the penultimate dish.

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Grilled salmon over escarole and served with roasted potatoes.

Without flinching while reading the blog card, Carlos had chosen a popular dish that evening – salmon over escarole with roasted potatoes. The salmon filet was enormous, and cooked to perfection. Those who know me know that salmon is not my favorite seafood, but when cooked well,  I really do enjoy it! I loved that there were some greens on the plate and just a few potato bites.

It was  a simple, delicious dish and light enough not to pain me after all of the appetizers!

It was then that our customer insisted that we all have dessert. What?!? How was I going to fit one more bite into my mouth and belly?

Here’s how:

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Chocolate banana pie with fresh whipped cream, strawberries and mint.

I mentioned “heaven on a plate earlier”. This banana chocolate pie is heaven on a plate served by singing angels! I could have eaten two or three slices (but I didn’t!).

Our dinner lasted a marathon four hours, but the time flew by. We did indeed have a wonderful time with our customers and we really enjoyed the ambiance, the service, and the FOOD at Vincenzo’s! I’m still working off those glorious calories. 🙂

Since I’m not a huge connoisseur of salmon, I’m curious to know your favorite way to prepare it. I’d love to try more recipes at home. Please leave a comment if you have a recommendation.

Cheers!

Ker

 

 

Tria, Inspired American Cuisine, Dearborn, MI – Categorize this under “I needed that!”

So, for any of y’all that read Jerod’s memorable guest post, you’ll likely recall that he was so energized by his evening that he sat down and wrote the post well into the latter part of his night.  (he emailed it to me around 12:30AM!)  After a long week, poor sleep, and finishing week two of the Brazil Butt  Lift workout, I am ridiculously exhausted – as in – I need toothpicks to hold my eyelids up exhausted!  However, I had such a thoroughly enjoyable dining experience at Tria (inside the lovely Henry Hotel) tonight that I couldn’t resist writing this post.

To start, I had the privilege of being served by two incredibly nice, conversational, attentive, and interested women – Audra and Alicia.  Alicia was the first to approach me as I sat at the bar inside this gem of a spot in Dearborn.  She asked if she could get me anything, and I responded by letting her know that I would like a glass of wine, but whatever wine she felt would accompany the dinner I would have her choose for me.  I handed her my “SheOrderedWhat?!?” card, and she read it, conferred with Audra (out of earshot, as I pleaded that they not tell me what I would be served until it was presented to me), and simply clarified – “seafood is okay, just not scallops?”.  I replied affirmatively, knowing she had tipped her hand a little, but was perfectly okay with seafood tonight (as any night!), so all was good.

Then, Audra, intrigued by the card, came over and asked me a few questions about the blog.  She said she thought it was a very cool idea, and she was happy that an “excellent chef is back there – we’ll come up with something great”!

They asked if I cared for a salad or soup to start, and my reply was “I’m not super hungry tonight, but if you feel a salad is appropriate with the meal, okay.  If not, just the entrée is fine.”

First, I was served a delicious white wine.  While a wine-consumer, I’m not a wine connoisseur!  I thought it tasted a bit like a Pinot Grigio, but I wasn’t sure.  It was light, crisp, with slight fruit undertones (and, that folks, is about as fancy as I get!).  Perfect for a warm spring evening.  Then, I was served their delicious bread and crackers.  I only picked at a few things, because I couldn’t resist. The crackers are AMAZING!  I have friends who will be happy to attest!

Fresh bread, and the best cheese crackers around!

At this point, all I knew is that I was served a delicious white wine.

Then, came the meal…  A different employee brought out a colorful plate and placed it before me, saying “Salmon for you, ma’am?”.  Why, yes, I guess it was salmon for me!  I have to admit that some time back, I had decided that salmon was my least favorite type of fish.  I think I had been served “fishy” pieces a couple of times.  It’s just not the fish I would order off the menu.  However, after tonight, my attitude changed!  There were three (rather large!) hunks of salmon on the plate (“hunks” makes it sound a bit low-class, but the food was plated beautifully – see below!), over a gorgeous zesty, chunky tomato sauce with Kalamata olives (which I later found out is “tomato ragout”, fennel salad, and aioli).  As my girlfriend Jenny would say “a party in my mouth”!

My “salmon” dish.

Audra and Alicia checked in to see how I liked the dish, and I assured them that they had made a terrific decision, and that the light, smooth wine paired perfectly with the wonderfully flavorful dinner.  I learned that the wine was “Sancerre”, and that I was pretty spot-on with my dissection of flavors/layers!  Though, it was not a Pinot Grigio, but rather a Sauvignon Blanc.  I fail the Sommelier test! 🙂

Chateau de Sancerre Sauvignon Blanc (they only set the bottle out so I could see what the ONE glass of wine I had was – I didn’t drink the bottle!)

I also thanked them for wisely choosing to forgo the soup/salad, as I couldn’t even finish my dinner – no reflection on the taste – it was simply too much food!

We also chatted about how the clientele at Tria has been changing – more younger folks are coming in, rather than just the standard hotel-guest clientele.  Folks, here’s the reason, IMO: the food is superb (whether small plates or entrees), the drink selection is great, and they are VERY reasonably priced (e.g. wine is sold by flight, 5oz or 8oz pours, and at retail by the bottle), and the service is tremendous.   Locals…please spread the word!

After I had handed my not-quite-finished dinner plate over to Alicia, she asked whether I’d like to try dessert or not.  I was full, but she sold me on the fact that Tria also offers dessert by the flight – so to speak.  They offer “mini-bites”, as singles, or in sets of three or five.  I requested she choose three minis – as long as I could also take them home, knowing I could not possibly finish them.  All the while, she sweetly topped my glass of wine off for me.

Alicia brought me a trio of small bites:  Tiramisu (a personal FAVE!), a dark chocolate and peanut butter pop (think Buckeye – only WAY better!), and a coconut raspberry bar (as delicious as it sounds!).  I promise, I only took a bite or two of each, and the rest sits in my fridge – awaiting a sweet-tooth attack!

From left: Tiramisu, Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter pop, Coconut-Raspberry bar.

I’m telling you, this dinner was devine!  Really delicious.  Friends, when you come to visit, we’re heading to  Tria.  And, I hope we see Alicia and Audra again. I could not have possibly stumbled upon more accommodating and wonderful servers!  Alicia and Audra were absolutely awesome – and just what I needed on a night that found me tired, hungry, and looking for a positive ending.  Thank you so much, ladies!  You made my night!

And, probably my tomorrow!  😉

The delightful “to-go” container.

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