Sunday, October 25, 2009

10/25/09-Besito, West Hartford, CT

I have been looking forward to trying this restaurant ever since I heard about it. Luckily, Sheri and I were due to have lunch and she had recently asked for tequila recommendations, so I was more than happy to suggest trying this place out.

Located in the old town hall at Blue Back Square, the high ceilings and chic decor really give it a great ambiance. It was pouring rain and the lunch crowd was sparse when we arrived, hence we were seated quickly and servers were right on top of their game. Glasses of water and a basket of chips and salsa were brought to the table and our drinks arrived shortly thereafter--Sheri had the Besito Tequila Mojito, a different taste than the traditonal mojito but a very smooth flavor; I had the Besito Patron Margarita, which was unlike any other margarita I've ever had, with the tangerine and pomegranate flavors that gave the drink a light fruity taste, very pleasing. For our appetizer, we chose the Flautas de Pollo--two crispy flautas topped with crema and queso fresco, nicely done. For our entrees, Sheri chose the Ceviche del Dia, which was shrimp--served in a small martini glass surrounded with plantains and tortillas for serving--the ceviche seemed to have mango in it, giving it a nice sweet flavor. I had the Enchiladas de Mole Poblano--best I've had since Mexico. The mole sauce was spot-on authentic, the chicken tender and the queso fresco on top just added to it all. This meal really made me miss being in Mexico. At least, now I know where to go when I need my enchilada fix!

At the end of our meal, complimentary cinnamon sugar churros were brought to the table, warm and in a simple white paper bag. We were also given "worry dolls"--tiny little figures that our server told us we were to tell all of our worries to before we went to bed--a nice touch. In all, the best Mexican food I've had since Mexico and probably one of the top restaurants I've been to. I would not hesitate to recommend this to anyone looking for great Mexican food.

Monday, October 19, 2009

10/17/09-Nick's Restaurant, West Swanzey, NH

Day trip to New Hampshire and on our way to the destination, we passed by this restaurant with a huge inflatable crab spread out covering the rooftop. Well, if that wasn't an attention grabber....from that moment, my sister's friend was hooked and insistent that we go to dinner there on the way home and so we did.

Nothing overly special about this place, average food at reasonable prices. Definitely not a place for a romantic date in my book, a casual outing would be more appropriate. We all started with the salads that accompanied our meals and rolls and butter (not in-house made). For the entrees: Justin had lazyman lobster--he felt he may have decided wrong because the portion seemed much smaller than what he normally pulls out of a lobster; Lauren had baked stuffed shrimp, which she enjoyed but was disappointed that they would not subsitute a side for a soup; Tom had baked stuff haddock (his stomach was not well, so he did not finish but said it was good); I had a strip steak-the grill hatch marks seemed fake, too perfect, which makes me wonder but alas, it was decent; all of our dishes except Lauren's was served with a potato side dish. A nice quick dinner but I think we'll seek out other options next time we're in the area.

No website, located on Rt. 10 close to Keene.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

10/10/09-J. Timothy's, Plainville, CT

We have been to this restaurant numerous times over the years and I do enjoy it very much, but I have yet to figure out why it is that this place is so packed every weekend--it's like no other restaurants in Plainville exist! I digress.

After a long day of painting at our friend's new house, we had gone here for dinner to celebrate and relax and what better way to do that but to order a bucket of "dirt" wings to start! They were excellent--even better than I remember! For the non-wing eaters at our table, there was also an order of calamari--everything was devoured--hey, we worked hard!

Lots of entrees to go through so here it is: Tom, Cory, Dan and Jeff all ordered burgers with various toppings of their liking and in true man form, they enjoyed the burgers wholeheartedly. The ladies ordered actual entrees--Jill had the Andouille Mac and Cheese-gemelli pasta, 2 cheese sauce, andouille sausage, peppers & onions topped withlightly cajun spiced bread crumbs--I stole a bite and found it had an interesting taste but not one that I would enjoy for a whole meal, but Jill loved it. Leigh had Portabello and Spinach Ravioli-with a shiitake and spinach marsala cream sauce and I had the Pomegranate Pork Filet Mignon-twin pork tenderloin medallions wrapped in bacon and finished with a pomegranate balsamic glaze, over mashed potatoes and garlic spinach--I believe the "filet mignon" referred to the size of the pork because it was tiny! If I had not had the wings to start, I swear I would have been starving afterwards! The pork did taste great with the pomegranate sauce being an excellent addition, the potatoes were good but the spinach was overdone. Overall, it was a good time with friends--best part was the wings! I think next time I'll order a burger.

10/9/09-City Steam, Hartford, CT

After a crazy week, we finally got to relax with a night out with my friend Gina and her boyfriend. They wanted to go to City Steam, which works for me because I wanted to check out one of the restaurants participating in CT restaurant week (although this was not my choice place for CTRW, nothing else worked out this week!).

We arrived at 730 and there was a 20 minute wait, so we went to the bar. The boys decided to start their evening by ordering a pitcher of the Naughty Nurse Ale, which is Tom's favorite of their beers. Shortly thereafter, we were brought to our table. Our waitress was very prompt, bringing us drinks (Naughty Lemonade for myself and Gina) and bread. For appetizer, we started with nachos with grilled chicken and the plate was huge! Next for our entrees--Gina ordered the Cheddar Chicken Sandwich with waffle fries which she really enjoyed (and it looked great!); her boyfriend ordered a rack of Baby Back Ribs with waffle fries, mashed potatoes and vegetables; Tom ordered the Top Sirloin Steak served with sauteed mushrooms, french fries and vegetables-he seemed to enjoy it very much; I ordered off the CTRW menu--started with the Fall Back Salad-with mesclun greens, gorgonzola, mulled local apples, charred red onions, toasted cashews, cider vinaigrette and sweet potato strings--all the pieces of the salad were great but the salad was a bit overdressed. My entree choice was Brown Sugar Brined Pork Tenderloin with smashed Yukon potatoes and braised spinach finished with a bourbon butterscotch glaze--the pork was plentiful and very sweet with the glaze--excellent! I was not a big fan of their mashed potatoes because I prefer mine to not have chunks of potato (I know, weird) and the spinach was decent. The boys had also ordered another pitcher, this time of the Octoberfest, which they weren't thrilled with. Our waitress also stopped by with a glass of the White Rabbit beer that the bar mistakenly poured--tasted very similar to Blue Moon--very enjoyable.

We were all stuffed after our entrees but I still had dessert coming, which I gladly shared with the table--White Rabbit Napoleon-with strawberries macerated in our own Belgian White Rabbit beer, vanilla bean ice cream and crème patisserie layered in puff pastry-drizzled with basil syrup--sounded interesting but honestly, I don't get the basil syrup part--you got used to it after a few bites but it really threw the whole dessert off for me and the rest of my party. In all, it was a great night--good place to hang out with friends and relax.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

10/3/09-Somewhere in Bangkok, Southington, CT

Out to lunch today with Lisa and she suggested Thai, which I was super excited about because I haven't yet had the opportunity to eat Thai. This is a relatively new place on Rt. 10--very small inside, probably holds about 40 people or so, with a modern decorated interior that would have been nice enough for a date night out but was very comfortable for our lunch date. She's had takeout from this place before and recommended the beef pad thai, which she always gets--and that's what she ordered today! I should have stolen a bite because it looked very interesting! I have heard things about "drunken noodles" and I am not really sure why they have that name, but they were excellent--a good amount of heat in the sauce without being overpowering with egg noodles, chicken, broccoli, onions and peppers. I would definitely order that again and hope to come back soon! Prices were very reasonable and I was full leaving the table. It was a nice lunch and I hope we do it again sometime!

No website, but located on Rt. 10 in Southington.