Anna’s Foodie Reviews

September 25, 2010


Filed under: 5 Stars!,General Chatter — by annarichmond @ 4:24 pm
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Victoria Jean Richmond graduated with honors from Eastview High School on June 5th, 2010. On July 9th, she went on a trip to St Maarten/St Martin for said graduation. Her parents got to go with! One on one time with your parents,when you have 3 siblings is a rare thing. Now, she was forced to spent 8 days of quality time with good old Mom and Dad. We bonded over beach time, pool time and great restaurants.

Victoria on the beach

St Maarten/St Martin is a small island that is governed by two countries in the Caribbean. We stayed in St Maarten, aka the Dutch side. St Martin is the French side. I, as always, did my research and picked a few of the many amazing restaurants on this duel nationality island. We obviously wanted to experience the amazing French restaurants in St Martin, and we did, but more often, we stayed with choices on the Dutch side. For Saturday night, I picked Temptation.

Chef/owner Dino Jagtiani is the first St Maarten  born son to graduate from the Culinary Institute of America. Opened in 2002, Temptation quickly became known for what Chef Dino coined as nouveau Caribbean. Since that time, he has been awarded many awards and accolades.

We were greeted by Chef Dino’s father, who immediately fell in love with Victoria. He kept telling her how beautiful she was. The hostess is Chef Dino’s mother, Asha. She was also very delightful, and also thought that Victoria was beautiful. The restaurant was very quaint, with white table cloths and low candle light. Ricardo was at the baby grand, and played for us all night long.

Victoria, being almost 18, was allowed to have Champagne on the island. She is her mother’s daughter, and enjoyed it. We both ordered the Caramelized Georgia Vidalia Onion Soup as our palate teaser. This soup, spiked with Heineken, Hennessy, honey and thyme, than baked in the oven with gouda and gruyere cheeses was simply the best French Onion Soup I have ever had. The flavors where perfect. When I told Dad how much I loved it, he made sure that I received a copy of the recipe! You should be very jealous, because I am not sharing.

Caramelized Georgia Vidalia Onion Soup

Tom, who has been known to enjoy Foie Gras had the Seared Foie Gras PB&J. Yes, a peanut butter and jelly Foie Gras. The Foie Gras was seared and served with red wine poached pears, and melted peanut better in a puff pastry basket. This sounded questionable to Tom at first, but the sweetness of the jelly and the light peanut better taste, played well with the fattiness of the Foie Gras. He really enjoyed it.

Seared Foie Gras PB&J

For the main course, Victoria, who has always been an adventurous eater, dove into her Red Wine Braised Veal Osso Bucco. This was served with shiitake mushrooms and pine nut risotto, and polenta croutons. She loved it.

Red Wine Braised Veal Osso Bucco

Tom went with the Rack of Lamb with Truffled mashed potato, sauteed spinach, and a peppercorn demi-glace. The lamb was done superbly.

Rack Of Lamb

I had the 4 hour braised certified Angus Beef Short Ribs with a red wine- caramelized shallot glaze, au gratin potatoes, and asparagus. The ribs were very tender and the glaze was delicious. The potatoes were on the al dente side, but I forgive them. It was very tasty.

4 Hour Braised Angus Beef Shortrib

During our dinner, we had told Asha that Victoria was with us for her graduation trip, and that she was off to college in the fall to study vocal music. She brought her a caramel ice cream dessert with a sparkler in it, and asked her to sing with Ricardo. Victoria graced us all with her rendition of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”. She had Asha in tears.

Happy Graduation!

Our dinner was so good, we knew that we had to return and dine next door at Chef Dino’s newest restaurant, Rare. We did.

PS, Here is the video of Victoria singing. Her proud Dad took it on his cell phone, so it is a little dark, but well worth a listen. Cheers!


September 2, 2009

David Burke Modern American Cuisine

Filed under: 3.5 Stars,General Chatter — by annarichmond @ 7:30 pm

I have been inspired by this years Top Chef Las Vegas and my acquisition of the beautiful Bouchen cookbook by über chef Thomas Keller to finally get my act together and post about a recent trip to sin city.

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, but the food needs to talked about. I had a quick weekend in sin city with the girls, and we did what we do best… shop, drink, and eat!

Tracy Glenn, Kim Gerkin and me starting dinner with Kamakazi's!

Tracy Glenn, Kim Gerkin and me starting dinner with Kamakazi's!

My BFF Kim had been working in Vegas for 6 months. She was closing banks, not stripping! Tracy and I decided to keep Kim company for a weekend. We stayed at the Venetian, in a gorgeous suite, and had a great time. On our first night, we decided to dine at David Burke’s, located in the Venetian. Good choice!

I loved the basil oil

I loved the basil oil

As in all the best and yummiest restaurants, the chef, Dan Rossi, sent out an amazing amuse bouche of cream of leek soup with basil oil. Delightful!

Crisp and Angry Lobser Cocktail

Crisp and Angry Lobster Cocktail

Kim and Tracy shared the scary sounding, but amazingly tasty Crisp and Angry Lobster. This sucker was seasoned up and deep-fried and then impaled in spikes. No wonder he was so angry! Served with crispy basil and lemon, the juices on the bottom added a little more heat. They loved it.

Goat Cheese Agnolotti

Goat Cheese Agnolotti

I went with the Goat Cheese Agnolotti. Agnolotti is a pasta pocket, in this case filled with goat cheese. They were served with crispy chicken “oysters”, arugula, wild mushrooms, and a Parmigiano butter. The crispy chicken “oysters” come from the back of the chicken. They are two little pockets of dark meat, shaped like oysters and very moist. This salad was great, one that I will try to duplicate at home.

Braised Beef Short Ribs

Braised Beef Short Ribs

For the main course, we picked from all over the menu. I had the Braised Beef Short Ribs, with corn and lobster risotto, and a black truffle mousse. This was a very large portion. The ribs were a little on the sweet side. I enjoyed the risotto, but it was very rich. I can’t imagine anyone being able to finish this dish. My entree was nothing compared to what Kim ordered.

Bronx Style Filet Mignon of Veal

Bronx Style Filet Mignon of Veal

Kim tried to scale the Bronx Style Filet Mignon of Veal. This piece of meat is huge! Very tender, it fell right off the bone. It was served with  a creamy mascarpone polenta, chipollini onions, with a tarragon jus. Kim was able to save the left overs for lunch for the next week!

Mustard Crusted "White" Tuna

Mustard Crusted "White" Tuna

Tracy stayed with the seafood and enjoyed the Mustard Crusted “White” Tuna. The tuna, that I think was yellowtail, was rolled in a mustard crust and seared and cut to look like a sushi roll. It was served with bok choy, sticky rice, and Napa cabbage. Tracy was very happy with her choice also.

Smoked Gouda Croquettes

Smoked Gouda Croquettes

The side dish that we choose to share was a decadent smoked Gouda croquette. Who doesn’t love fried cheese? This was several notches above your basic state fair cheese curd. We loved them.

Popovers with sweet butter on Pink Hawaiian Sea Salt

Popovers with sweet butter on Pink Hawaiian Sea Salt

Oh, I almost forgot to mention the hot, flaky popovers that come to your table straight from the oven. Served along sweet butter, presented on a pink Hawaiian Sea Salt slab, you feel very guilty eating the whole thing, just like you should- this is sin city, Baby!

A Cheesecake Lolipop tree

A Cheesecake Lollipop tree

We decided on the cheese cake lollipop tree for dessert. Who could pass up a lollipop tree? Chessecake dipped in strawberry, dark chocolate, and milk chocolate, served with a bubble gum whipped cream. Very Fun!

a nice choice for dinner

a nice choice for dinner

Oh, yeah, we paired all this sinful fun with a bottle of Shea Vineyard’s Pinot Noir from Oregon. Good choice, great pairing for all. We loved our staff, who were very playful and knows that people are there for a good time. All around, a great first night for our girls weekend.

May 1, 2008

Vincent – A Restaurant

Filed under: 3 Stars,General Chatter — by annarichmond @ 11:57 am

Saturday night, before seeing Earth, Wind, and Fire rock the Pacer Center Benefit at the Minneapolis Convention Center, Tom and I dined a Vincent – A Restaurant, on Nicollett Mall in Minneapolis. Opened in 2001 by Chef /Owner Vincent Francoual, this French restaurant is very lovely. We had eaten lunch there a couple of times, but this was our first dinner. We were very pleased to see a tasting menu offered, and ordered it with the wine pairings.

While enjoying our pre-dinner cocktails, Champagne for me and a gin and tonic for Tom, our server brought us a wonderful, small espresso cup of curried carrot soup. It was very tasty, with a little sweetness to it. I wish it had been a bigger portion, but it did the job of an amuse bouche, to tempt your tastebuds, just as it should.

I finished the Curry Soup before we took the picture!

Our first course was an Endive and Arugula Salad, Oranges, Serrano Ham, Marcona Almonds, Manchego Cheese, and Honey Vinaigrette. This plate had many tastes, but they all worked really well together. I loved the almonds and the cheese, taming the bitterness of the endive and arugula. The wine paired with this was a Coteaux d’ Aix en Provence, commanderie de la Bargemare 2006. Alone, I found this light pink wine, very faint in taste as well as color, but all the flavors from the salad really brought this wine to life.

This salad had many flavors that blended well together

The second course was a choice between Pan Seared Scallops, Leeks, Fingerling Potatoes, and Orange Sauce, and Pan Seared ABC Farm Foie Gras, Whipped Yukon Gold Mashed, Diced Butternut Squash, and Balsamic Vinegar. I chose the first option, which was one perfectly seared scallop topped with an orange slice in an orange sauce with the sauteed leeks and potaotes. The leeks added a nice sweetness to this dish. It was paired with a Hugel et Fils, “Gentil” Alsace 2005, a Riesling, Pinot Blanc,and Gewurtatraminer blend.

A Perfectly Seared Scallop in Orange Sauce

Tom, of course, had the seared foie gras. He loved the foie gras and thought the potatoes were good, but that the butternut squash was under cooked and that the dish would have been better with a sweet fruit of some kind. He ordered a Sauternes, from Chateau Myrat, 2003, to go with it. A very good choice.

Pan Seared ABC Farm Foie Gras

Next came Roasted Arctic Char, Black Lentil Ragout, Braised artichoke Hearts, in a Shallot and White Wine Reduction, with Mixed Micro Herbs. This was nicely paired with Chateau Haut-Pasquet Bordeaux 2006, a Sauvignon Blanc, Semillion blend.

Roasted Arctic Char

Pan Seared Beef Tenderlion, Oyster Mushrooms, Salted Pork, Oven Dried Grape Tomatoes, with Chickpea Fries, in Green Peppercorn Tarragon Sauce was our fourth course. I found this whole dish a little too salty. I liked the chickpea fries, better than polenta fries, which would have been an obvious choice. The big bold Ladesa Vineyards, Napa Valley, 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon was really wonderful.

Seared Beef Tenderloin

A decadent Louis XV Chocolate Cake, paired with a Pineau des Charentes Chateau, an organic sweet dessert wine with a cognac flavor, was a great ending to the meal.

Louis XV Chocolate Cake

The restaurant was quite busy, there was even a large table of prom goers dining across the room. We were seated upstairs, which was a little more quiet, and very good for people watching along Nicollet Mall. Our server was very busy, but very good and really took the time to explain the dishes and the wines. We will visit again.

April 1, 2008

Dining in my own back yard: Bank

Filed under: General Chatter — by annarichmond @ 10:34 am

I love to visit fantastic restaurants when we travel, but we don’t have to go too far to enjoy some amazing eating establishments, right here at home in the Twin Cities. Tom and I have been season ticket holders to both the Ordway and the Hennepin Theater Trust Season for over 15 years. When we get the opportunity, we like to dine out before the show. Over the years we have had many favorites, and some one-time only visits. Here are some of the restaurants in the area that we visited in the past year.

There are not many photos to accompany my reviews, being that unlike on vacation, where I carry my camera everywhere, I often forget to bring it with when dining with friends, or just celebrating some alone time with Tom.

The first restaurant on my list is Bank. Tom and I dined there recently with my brothers Chris and Joe and my sister Theresa. Bank is a newly opened place, (with great reviews,) that is located in the lobby of the new Westin Hotel. The building used to house the Farmers and Merchants Bank on 6th street in Downtown Minneapolis, giving the eatery its name. The old teller counter is now a long bar where you can sit at and watch as the kitchen prepares your food. The old bank vault is now the unique home of the great wine vault. The space is wide open and very comfortable. The real reason to visit Bank is the food. Executive Chef Todd Stein has put together an amazing menu that has something for everyone. Our party tried many things on the menu, including the roasted baby beet salad with golden raisin-cashew pesto and yogurt, and the romaine heart caesar salad, that came with large serving spoons filled with all the garnishes, so you only put on what you like.

The best thing on the menu,( in my opinion) and the reason I can’t wait to go back, was the wild mushroom risotto. There was maitake, shitake, and oyster mushrooms, with creme fraiche and parmigiano. Wow!! I had to share with everyone, but next time, it’s all mine.

We also had the beef carpaccio, and salt and pepper fried calamari, that we shared around the table. Theresa and Joe each had the seared walleye with butter-poached lobster, brussel sprouts, and butternut squash puree. Tom went with the wasabi pea crusted ahi tuna, with haricot verts, black tapioca,in a red wine syrup. Very nice spice, and very fresh tasting. Chris enjoyed the chili and fennel rubbed wild acres chicken, with roasted asparagus, tuscan kale, lemon-thyme reduction.

I ordered the short rib lollipop with sweet potato hash, horseradish emulsion, and natural jus. This was great. The tender short rib fell right of the bone and had such a great natural flavor. I really enjoyed my whole meal.

Bank also has a great bar and wine list. Tom started with an Old Cuban, Theresa and Joe sampled some of there many house martinis, Chris went for a beer, and I enjoyed a glass of Whoop-Whoop Shiraz from South Australlia. The first time I order Whoop-Whoop, it was because the name was so fun, but I really liked it and order it when I find it on a wine list. Bank has a great wine list with over 20 by the glass choices and bottles from vineyards all over the world and at every bodies budget. Great bottles for around $30, to the high end upwards of $250. For dinner, I got to pick the bottle and we enjoyed a wonderful, smooth Rubicon Cask. It is a real treat for those nights that you just know that life is good and family makes it better.

So, Bank tops my list for favorite new restaurants, and I can’t wait to go back. More local favorites to come soon!

February 3, 2008

Chez Paul

Filed under: 4 Stars,5 Stars!,General Chatter — by annarichmond @ 10:48 pm

Every year on our drive from the Kahului airport to our condo in Kahana, we pass a roadside restaurant about 7 miles outside of Lahania. Every year we look at each other and wonder why anyone would drive to the middle of no where for French food on Maui. Well, it may have taken us 11 years, but we finally figured it out. The food is amazing.

This was the year we decided to give Chez Paul a try, and we are so pleased that we did. This quaint bistro has been owned by Chef Patrick Callarec since 2000, but has been an island institution since 1968. People have always told us good things about it, and they were right.

The Amuse Bouche

We started the evening off right, a glass of French Champagne for Moi, and a mai tai for Tom. Our server brought us a small portion of their Soupe Glacee Vichyssoise for an amuse bouche. This chilled leek and potato soup with fresh chives is on the regular menu, as an appetizer. It was nice to be able to try one of their regular items. I really enjoyed this chilled soup. It was very creamy, but not too heavy. It was garnished with slices of almonds for a nice crunch.

Wild Mushrooms and Brie in Puff Pastry

I started with the Pithiverier De Champignons Sauvages, Fromage De Brie, Sauce Au Vieux Porto. This dish of wild mushrooms and Brie cheese is baked in a flaky puff pastry and served with a vintage port wine sauce. What a beautiful presentation. It was as delicious as it looked, with it’s rich port wine sauce.

Foie Gras

Tom was very happy to see Foie Gras Frais De Canard Saute Aux Fruits De Saison. He loves foie gras. This preparation of sauteed fresh duck foie gras was in a raspberry-vinaigrette and accompanied by poached pears. Tom paired it with a glass of Dolce. He was very pleased.

A Happy Tom!
Mahi-Mahi in Champagne Buerre Blanc

For our entrees, I choice the Poisson Des Au Champagne. This is Chez Paul’s classic preparation of fresh island fish, in this case Mahi-Mahi, poached in Champagne with leeks and capers. It was plated with mashed purple sweet potatoes and asparagus. The champagne Buerre Blanc sauce was creamy, but not heavy. The whole dish was very French, and oh la la… C’est Magnifique!

The Perfect Rack of Lamb

Tom decided to forgo the fish this evening and ordered the Carre D’ Agneau Paniolo Chutney De Fruits Exotiques. In English, this Rack of Colorado lamb accompanied with a paniolo marinade and exotic fruits chutney, was done to perfection. Tom said that this ruined him for all lamb to come; this was the best he ever had. Paired with a Pinot Noir, and he was a very happy man.

Yes, It was that good.

We capped off our evening with the vanilla creme brulee. It is caramelized in a pineapple, and served with fresh fruit. A very Hawaiian twist on a French favorite. Being that these are our two favorite places, no wonder we loved Chez Paul.

February 2, 2008

Aloha, Maui!

Filed under: General Chatter — by annarichmond @ 4:12 pm
A Double Rainbow From Our Beach Chairs

Tom and I just got back from our yearly visit to paradise, the island of Maui. We have been visiting since 1997, when we purchased a time share at the Sands of Kahana. It is our home away from home, for one relaxing week a year. In the past 11 years many things have changed on the island. It has gotten much more crowed, with an increase in visitors and it has lost some of it’s “small town” feel, but it’s still the one place that can slow Tom down to what we call “Maui Time” and he can just relax. We do a lot of laying on the beach, or by the pool, just reading all the books we don’t have time for in the real world, or just looking at the ocean, watching for a whale to breach.

The other activity we partake in is the dining. We love to eat on Maui. We plan our week around the restaurants that we love to eat at and the new ones we want to try. Some people come to Maui to enjoy the golf courses, or the sport fishing, not us. Give us a wine list and the fish of the day, and we are happy.

I have reviewed many of the island restaurants already, so I tried to order something new at our favorite places, so I could give a new opinion. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it.

We arrived early on Saturday, so we had a “bonus” dinner. We walked up the street from our condo to Roy’s Kahana Bar and Grill. Last year I reported that Roy’s had lost some of it’s charm since our first visits. On this visit, we were satisfied with our food and service and decided that it is a good place to recommend to the traveler who wants a nice meal, with nice service, at a nice price. Roy’s is no longer the 4 star restaurant that it once was, the linen table cloths are gone and there are more tables in the dining room, but it still puts any seafood place on the mainland to shame.

Try the seared ahi, or the mahi-mahi, and always order the chocolate souffle. Roy’s has it’s own wine label and they are reasonably priced, nice California wines, so enjoy a bottle and celebrate being on “Maui Time”.

March 6, 2007


Filed under: 2 Stars,3 Stars,General Chatter — by annarichmond @ 8:39 pm

Once upon a time, all those many years ago, I watched Chef James McDonald on “Great Chefs, Great Cities”. He prepared a beautiful dish and I made sure that pacific’Os was one of our first stops on our trip to Maui. Tom and I were not impressed enough with our meal for a return visit the next year. We have tried this award winning restaurant since then, and still, we were not real impressed. This year we decided to give it one last shot.

We had 7:00 reservations, and arrived at 6:55. The hostess at the front had seen too many episodes of Sex and the City. She apparently thought that she could yield her power over guests like the hostesses in the hot spots of Manhattan. There was no one else around, and plenty of open tables. She informed us that she would come find us at 7:00, “when your reservation is”. OK- we had a seat at the bar and ordered a glass of wine when, at 7:02, she graced us with a table. I don’t expect royal treatment or special favors, but in Hawaii, I expect a smile, an “Aloha”, and just some pleasant Island treatment. We did not see a hint of any of these things.

This evening was slow at the restaurant, due to the unfriendly weather, so there was only 2 servers. We got our orders in a timely manner, but did not see much of our wait person.

I will say that pacific’Os has the most beautiful presentation of it’s dishes. The plates are fun and funky with lots of bold color. It is very pleasing to the eye.

Prawn Won Ton

I started with the Won Tons. These have won awards at the Taste of Lahaina. A large prawn and basil are wrapped in a won ton, deep fried and served with a spicy sweet and sour sauce and Hawaiian salsa. The won ton were very heavy with oil. The Prawn was good, and the sauce was nice.

Yuzu Divers

Tom had the Yuza Divers. These crispy coconut rice rolls with seared diver scallops, arugula pesto and zesty yuzu lime sauce won Best in Show at the Taste of Lahaina in 2001. This dish was beautiful and the scallops were done well. There was a whole lot of extra stuff going on with the plate, which was a little distracting.

pacific’Os has it’s own organic and bio-dynamic farm upcountry, near Kula. O’o Farms supplies all the fresh, local produce for pacific’O, it’s sister restaurant, I’O and The Feast at Lele. So, with this in mind, we did try the house salad. Tender greens garnished with Bleu cheese and bacon crumbles, with a soy citrus vinaigrette. It was very nice and fresh.

Roast Rack
Tom’s main course was the Roast Rack. A tahini and tamarind seasoned New Zealand spring lamb, fresh mint demi and roasted garlic aioli accent. I’m sorry, but again, not fabulous. The bite of it that I had tasted very burnt! I think the spices were burnt. And so many competing flavors…just too much.


My fish dish was not any better. I had the nightly special, an Ono marinated in balsamic vinaigrette, grilled and served on black and white jasmine rice, with asparagus, tomatoes, mushrooms and basil relish. So many competing flavors and none stood out. The Ono was dry and over cooked. It could have used salt, but we did not have any on our table. (Looking around, other tables did have salt and pepper, ours was just missing.)

Banana Pinneapple Lumpia

Tom had the Banana Pinneapple Lumpia for dessert. This, he enjoyed. Banana, pineapple and creme cheese puree in flaky pastry served with homemade ice cream. It reminded him of banana’s foster, one of his favorites.
All in all, I’d say we won’t be returning to pacific’O. Three strikes and you’re out. We have never been to I’O, but I have the feeling it would be very similar, having the same chef and vision. The dishes have too many flavors and things going on to be able to really enjoy anything. I feel that in a truly great meal, the dishes are simplistic in flavors that are matched perfectly in taste.

February 13, 2007

The Maalaea Waterfront Restaurant

Filed under: 3 Stars,General Chatter — by annarichmond @ 3:22 pm

On our trip to Maui in 2005, Tom and I were looking for a new restaurant to try. We had decided that Mama’s Fish House had lost it’s magic, and it was time to move on. On Maui, Channel 7 is the visitor channel and a man named Jim Kartes has been talking about his dining experiences on Maui for as long as we have been visiting the island. Of course, he has only the best things to say about every restaurant, but I like to watch and get ideas for new places to try. I saw him talk about the Maalaea Waterfront Restaurant and it’s many awards that it has won, and we decided to check it out. We really enjoyed our dinner that night. We watched a beautiful sunset, had a lovely dinner and a great bottle of Silver Oak from their very impressive wine list.

We were very excited to return to the Waterfront this year. On Tuesday we had 6:00 reservations to watch the sunset, unfortunately, the weather was not very nice and there was no outside seating. The dining room has a very old New York night club feeling. It’s very comfy and cozy. The staff has been around for a long time and seemed to know the menu and wine list well.

We decided on a bottle of Larkmead Cabernet Sauvignon 1998. Our server broke the cork and it had to be pushed into the bottle. She decant the bottle, but we still had cork floating. The wine tasted fine, but at $90.00 a bottle, she should have brought another bottle, or we should have asked for a replacement. I am not one for confrontation, so we drank it. It was a nice wine and I would pick it up in the store for a special dinner at home.

Tom loves his Island Ahi

Tom started with his favorite, the Fresh Island Ahi, always a winner. I had the Scallop and Shrimp Crepes. I was expecting something different. The description was very inviting: Chilian shrimp, bay scallops. oyster mushrooms, Maui onions in a crepe topped with sherry and lobster cream, Gruyere, Swiss and Parmesan Cheeses. Sounds very French, no? No! It looked and tasted like lasagna. I like lasagna, but that is not what I was expecting. I don’t know where the tomato taste came from.

shrimp and scallop crepes

We both ordered the wonderful Ceaser salad that is prepared tableside. Our server mixed EVOO (that’s extra virgin olive oil for all of you who are not Rachel Ray devotees), anchovies. garlic, djion mustard, worcestershire, lemon, parmeasean cheese and coddled egg yolk. Fresh Romaine lettuce is tossed in and it is a true Ceaser.



the table side Ceaser Salad

For the main course, Tom ordered the Ono, Island Style. Ono means “good to eat” in Hawaiian. The fish , also known as Wahoo, is a delicate, sweet tasting lean fish. It was broiled with Chilian red bay shrimp and a scoop of calrose rice, sauteed scallions, carrots, and shitake mushrooms finished with lemon grass, ginger and coconut milk jus lie. Here was a dish that was good, not spectacular. Tom thought it was a bit dry and would have liked more of a sauce.

I had the Opakapaka En bastille. The pink snapper was “imprisioned” in ribbons of fresh angel hair potatoes, sauteed in “Meuniere” sauce of white wine, lemon, garlic. butter and capers, than topped with mushrooms and tomatoes. Again, this was something that had my name all over it, but when it arrived , instead of flavorful and fresh, it was heavy and bland. The potaotes were very overwelming and I didn’t get that fresh island feel. I took off the potato and added salt. All the other flavors sort of blended together. Not stellar.

We went for dessert. Tom chose the old stand by of Taihitian Vanilla Creme Brulee and I tried the coconut creme pie. We liked it, but were not floored.

All in all, I think our dinner reflected our surroundings. It was very heavy and rich with an old New York feel, rather than a fresh island flavor. The Maalaea Waterfront is known as a great place for steak and for it’s award winning wine list, which I think is one of the best and most affordable on the island. I think we will try it again in the next couple of years and hopefully we can recapture the beauty of our first visit.

February 1, 2007

Aloha from Maui

Filed under: General Chatter — by annarichmond @ 2:55 pm

Tom and I are here in paradise, on our 10th trip to the enchanted Isle of Maui. Over these many visits, we have dined at numerous restaurants on the Island. Some are no longer open, and some probably shouldn’t be. In the decade that we have made our yearly pilgrimage, we have learned about great food, discovered a love for wonderful wines, and have turned into full blown foodie snobs. We tend to plan our trips (here and elsewhere) around where we are going to dine. On our first trip to the Island, we knew nothing of fresh fish. Being from Minnesota, I knew Walleye, Sunnies, lutefisk, and if you got lucky, Northern. We took it slow, adding new island flavors with every meal. I truly think that Maui is where we began our appreciation of a really fine dining experience.

Our first visit, we took many suggestions, and tried what was “the best on the island”. Before the Food Network took over my viewing habits, I would watch a show on PBS called “Great Chefs, Great Cities”. I had seen Roy Yamaguchi, of Roy’s, David Paul Johnson, of David Paul’s, James McDonald, of Pacific’O and Alex Stanislaw, of The Plantation House Restaurant. I had to try all of these places on our visit. We rounded it out with a luau and a trip to Mama’s Fish House. Over the years, we have left some behind, given second chances, found a few new gems, and held tightly to our favorites. I will share our experiences on this trip, and in a few cases, long for the meals of years past. Aloha!

January 24, 2007

Dining on Maui

Filed under: General Chatter — by annarichmond @ 2:03 pm

Tom and I are off for a week in paradise on Saturday, which means that I get to eat at some of my favorite restaurants. Maui has many world class restaurants, and Tom and I enjoy revisiting them every year. Top on our list is David Paul’s Lahaina Grill and The Plantation House. I will be posting what I am sure will be high praises all next week. Aloha!

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