Saturday, May 13, 2017

Lela Wine Dinner - April

Every month, Lela's at the Sheraton in Bloomington, MN, has a wine dinner. Basically, it's an opportunity for their chef, Stewart Woodman, to play.
We've been to a bunch of these now and, with the exception of a very misguided grilled cheese sandwich, the food has always been excellent. Woodman has a really great sense of pairing food with wine, and he's not afraid to be dramatic and interesting. The first one we went to, he served Elk Tenderloin and it was just stunning.

Conveniently, the dinner in April happened to be on my birthday, so it was pretty easy to insist we go. Here is the menu:

So first off, Sea Urchin on Rhubarb Sorbet

This was... interesting. I love Sea Urchin. I like how it's delicate and fatty and sweet and unctuous. This rendition was good, but I feel as though there was a ratio issue. The Rhubarb Sorbet was so cold and tart. I think the flavors worked well together but would have rather had a piece of Sea Urchin with a few blobs of the sorbet. The urchin got lost in the noise.

Next we had Salmon with Tobiko in broth:

This was light, bright and pretty. My Tobiko fell into the broth and I didn't really get to taste it that much, but one of my dinner companions said it was fantastic and I believe her. Delicate, savory, enjoyable. This was a good dish after the sea urchin. It wasn't mind blowing, but it was tasty.

I didn't take a picture of the Lobster Bisque (and honestly until I just looked at the menu to get the order down, I forgot we had it). Woodman's Lobster Bisque is really nice. I've had it before and it's just the right amount of creamy and fishy and meaty. It's a winner every time.

And then, of and then, we had the Berkshire Pork Chop.

This was beyond the star of the show.

It looks unassuming, right? Almost simple? It wasn't. It was absolutely gorgeous. The beurre rouge was great, the puree was lovely, but that green stuff on top? That is a ramp chimichurri. Ramps, if you're not familiar, are wild garlic. They are most commonly found in spring time, and I have never even thought to put them in a chimichurri before. The balance was fantastic. The portk was cooked perfectly, the Emmolo Merlot that paired with this was delightful. Best dish I think I've ever had at one of these dinners.

We had short ribs too.

But they weren't the sumptuous deliciousness of the pork chop, so, you know. That happened.

Now I have to figure out how to get my hands on all the ramps in the world so I can make that sauce.


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Because.... Zoe

I know, I know. A dog. How cute.

No.... a dog! How cuuuuuuuuuuttttteee!!

I'm not going to lie, I love this face. Zoe is awesome and ridiculous and a pain in my bum but I love her so very very much.

The weather is doing that weird Minnesota thing where it is being changeable and prickly, then at times beautiful and unexpected. Living here is still unexpected and hard to grasp.

When we moved in to Ferngully Farm, the first thing we did to the house was put up a six foot cedar fence. This house is on a corner lot, backing up to a busy road, so the fence was necessary not just for out privacy, but so the pups could run around out back as they chose.

It's rained a lot here recently, and Zoe has these weird territory "feelings". She doesn't like people, or strollers, or people with strollers, or other dogs, or kids on bikes. She runs back and forth along the fence line just in case they might try and get in. She's run back and forth so many times that she's compacted the dirt into a channel and when it rains, there is a very long pond against the fence lie.

So yesterday when she decided to run back and forth she did so in the middle of a very very muddy pond... and then she came in the house.

Y'all, I have spent more time cleaning up paw prints over the last 6 months than I have sleeping.

This time though, she looked like she'd been through a tough mudder. I had to coax her gently, and then when that failed, dramatically manhandle her into the bath tub to rinse her down. The water was beyond black and she was just yucky. And now, she's clean and stuff. For the minute.

Minnesota strikes again

Monday, May 1, 2017

On Drinking in Airports - MSP

I've been living in Minnesota for about 9 months now and whilst it is.... interesting, it's been tricky to make it feel like home.
The Husband (oh yeah by the way I got married!) and I are constantly searching for different methods to make it feel more like home.
It seems that I have recently dived into the "absence makes the heart grow fonder" method quite deeply. I'm traveling a lot. Any excuse really. Be it a girls trip with either my best friend or my sister, a random business meeting across the country, or the need to help out with a three year olds birthday party, I'm on a plane every chance I get.

I don't know why, but I really really love drinking in airports. There is something about it that makes me feel sophisticated, like the high flyer I'm really kind of not.

It's also really interesting to me how different airports have different options. I actually get a bit excited when I fly Southwest out of MSP, because that means I'm heading to Surdyk's for a sandwich and some Cava... this sandwich in particular.

It's their Pecorino and Prosciutto sandwich with La Quercia Prosciutto, Pecorino, rosemary-apple jelly, red onion and arugula on a ciabatta roll. Now, it can vary from day to day based on how generous the person making it is with the cheese, but it is always quite delightful. I tend to pair it with just a nice glass of Cava, because, you know, bubbles.

So if you're in Minneapolis St Paul Airport and hanging out in Terminal 2.... know that this sandwich is waiting for you. And me. Definitely me. Probably in July.