Posts Tagged ‘Soup’

Donna’s Birthday Supper

September 21, 2009

Tomorrow is Donna’s Birthday but many of the top end restaurants are closed on Mondays so we went out this evening to celebrate her birthday.  We took our own advice from the Best of Bucks County – Special Occasion/Anniversary Top 5 list and went to the Centerbridge Inn to celebrate Donna’s big day.  We have eaten there before, had great meals and I play poker with Chef Pete Jones and owe him money (LOL).

Cocktails at Centerbridge Inn

We started the evening with cocktails (surprize!). Donna went for the Singapore Sling and I went for the Vodka Martini. It was encouraging to see that the bartender didn’t need to look up in a book how to make this classic cocktail. He did a great job on this gin classic. My Vodka Martini was pretty straight forward but still well executed. Both drinks were great and the way to start a special meal.

Prosciutto with Melons, Peaches and Mozzarella at Centerbridge InnDonna started her meal with the Prosciutto with Melons, Peaches and Mozzarella appetizer.  The salty and thick prosciutto was a great match for the sweet melon and peaches. The fresh Mozzarella Balls were great texture contrasts for the fruit and the dense meat.  The dish was dressed by a Thick Balsamic Reduction that despite being a vinegar was thick and sweet. The main ingredients were enough but a salad of Micro Greens completed the dish.

French Onion Soup at Centerbridge InnI went for the French Onion Soup as my appetizer. Donna warned me about eating it because of the long cheese strings the soup often produces but I went it for it anyway.  What a great decision it was.  The Giant Portion was full of flavour and actually hard to get to get a spoonful of just broth. The rich soup was full of sweet Onion, Cheese and Croutons.  It was not overly salty as many onions soups I have had at other places most likely cause they used stock instead of those salty bullion cubes. It was excellent, so excellent that I brought half of it home. It didn’t make it past 30 minutes before Ryan had found it and heated it up for a snack. LOL. It was great soup and no stringy cheese on my clothes. LOL.

Caesar Salad at Centerbridge InnDonna and I decided to share a Casear Salad as our second course.  We are Caesar Salad snobs because we have made this salad so many times and we think we have the recipe down pat.  I have posted about our recipe here on the blog and other have tried it liked it too. The version at Centerbridge Inn was very good. Crisp Lettuce with a tangy Garlic Dressing. We had the option of Anchovies but we past given Donna’s sensitivity to fish. The split portion of salad was the perfect size for the second course. Refreshing and with great garlic taste.

Grilled Pork Chops at Centerbridge InnDonna went for the Grilled Pork Chops as her main course. The one giant Bone-in Pork Chop came with Roasted Potatoes and Grilled Asparagus.  The grilled pork chop was surounded by two generous pieces of Pancetta making a giant pork sandwich.  The actual chop was cooked perfectly and was thick, very moist and sweet. The asparagus was well cooked and tasty.  The potatoes were a little el-dente and could have roasted a few minutes longer for my taste but Donna like them as they were presented.

Poached Halibut with Potato Crust at Centerbridge Inn

 I went for the Grilled Halibut with Potato Crust and Wild Rice and Grilled Asparagus. The thick potato crust kept the flaky halibut flesh moist and delicate.  I love halibut but it has a very delicate flesh that carries a subtle flavour. The potato crust acted like an insulation keeping the fish protected. The wild rice was a nice change from other starches and was well cooked. Asparagus is one of my favourite veggies and the staff nailed it with a great grilling. The dish, well presented, was delicious.

So if you are looking for a great meal to celebrate a special occasion, check out Centerbridge Inn.  Make sure you ask for Chef Pete Jones and he will hook you up with a great meal.  Happy Birthday Donna.

Centre Bridge Inn on Urbanspoon 

Centerbridge Inn -Route 32, New Hope, PA 18938               215-862-2048


Lunchtime Apps at Mediterra

August 20, 2009

Facebook friend and Social Media expert Jay and I met for lunch this week in Princeton at Mediterra. Jay has been working with online communities since the early days of the gated AOL communities so he knows alot about how best to make them work and the issues you have to deal with if you decide to sponsor one and want to make it work.

Beet Gazpacho Soup at MediterraI learned a lot that day but let me share my review of our appetizers. Jay had the Beet Gazpacho Soup special and I went for the Charcuterie. The beet soup is presented with the veggies and croutons in the bowl and the broth poured into the bowl table side. Very nice. Jay liked the soup. Although it looked very thick to me, Jay thought the consistency was very nice. He found a mild Beet flavour coming out of the puree, Cucumber flavour coming through too and a good but not strong Gazpacho Spice in the soup. The Croutons added some crunch to the soup. Good looking soup, well presented and good flavours.

Charcuterie at MediterraI like pate and here in the US, it rare to see it on the menu so when I saw that the Charcuterie came with pate, I had to try it. The menu describes the dish as being “Artisanal salumi, cured meat & pate, mustard, olives & cornishons” . The actual Pate was very nice with ground chicken livers, spices and pistachio nuts.  Nice consistency and nicely spiced.  Two different breads came with it, slightly toasted and really crispy. The cured meats and salami included store-made versions of Spicy Salami, Genoa Salami, Prosciutto and Capicolawere delicious. Each slightly different than the others. The spicy salami had  some heat but not overwheling, the Genoa salami was slightly salty but the pork meat was sweet making a nice contrast, prosciutto was mild and slightly fatty, and completing the set was very mild capicola. The Ground Mustard was hot and Pickles crunchy making a great appetizer with the different combinations of meat, pickles, breads and mustard.

Jay has a side-line business of taking wedding photos so it made sense for me for him to take the photos and I thought he did a great job.  Let me know if you need a good photographer.

I have been at Mediterra a few times and here is the link to an earlier post that describes some other appetizers I had there.  The info is towards the end of the post so scan thru it.

Read other reviews about Mediterra here, here and here.

Mediterra on Urbanspoon

Mediterra, 29 Hulfish St, Princeton, NJ 08542-3741              609-252-9680

Bowman’s Tavern Lunch

July 29, 2009

I had lunch with Digital Marketing Guru Amy today at Bowman’s Tavern just south of New Hope.  I have been a client with Amy when she was at three different major agencies and she is a leader in the multi-channel space. It was a great lunch and she gave some great advice about my current projects.

 002While we talked we enjoyed a very nice meal and great service from the  hostess and waitress.  For starters, Amy had a cold Yellow Tomato Gazpacho soup and I had their French Onion soup. It was a perfect day for a cold soup as it was actually hot and didn’t rain until late afternoon. The waitress chased down the chef for us and let us know the soup contained Yellow Tomatoes, Cucumber, Cilantro, Garlic, Yellow Pepper, Onion, Orange Juice and Seasonings. The overflowing bowl of soup was dominated by the Strong Orange Flavour. The soup had pieces of diced Yellow Tomato, Yellow Pepper and Cucumbers to give some texture to the pureed soup.  Amy liked her soup and wondered why she did make this at home more often.

Bowman's Tavern French Onion SoupI went for the French Onion Soup despite the heat because I heard it was very good. When it came I found that the Sweet Broth, from the caramelized onions, chicken stock and some white wine, dominated the soup. I have had way too many French Onion Soups that were way too salt because broth was made from bullion cubes but this broth was perfectly seasoned and sweet to the taste. The Croutons and blend of Melted Cheeses added texture to dish. The combination of sweet broth, croutons and melted stringy cheese made this a very good French Onion Soup.

Double Lamb Chop SaladAmy went for the last Daily Special Lamb Chop Salad.  This colourful salad came with three Double Cut Lamb Chops and a variety of veggies. In addition to the crisp salad greens the dish came with Tomato wedges, slightly caramelized Onions, Yellow Peppers and Feta Cheese in a Balsamic Vinaigrette. The crisp veggie textures contrasted nicely with medium rare Lamb Chops and the creamy Feta Cheese. The meaty chops contrasted well with the slightly salty Feta and the sweetness of the Balsamic dressing. A great salad and I could see why Amy got the last one that day.  Perhaps when you go, they will have one ready for you.

Reuben Sandwich at Bowman's TavernI went for the Classic Reuben Sandwich for my main. The individual components of the sandwich blended into one great taste sensation. The tender lean Corned Beef, the crunchy tangy Sauerkraut, sweet slightly melted Swiss Cheese and tangy Russian Dressing, served on toasted Rye Bread was potentially the best Reuben I have ever had.  The crispy fries and pickles were a bonus for the dish. Great sandwich.

Amy and I both liked our salad and sandwich at Bowman’s, but we want to know what your  favourites are. So take the Food Surveys and tell us your Favourite Salad and Favourite Sandwich are.

 Read other reviews about Bowman’s Tavern here, here and here.

Bowman's Tavern on Urbanspoon

Bowman’s Tavern, 1600 River Rd, New Hope, PA 18938 (215) 862-2972

Kosher Sushi

July 15, 2009

 I had lunch today with co-workers Kara and Ayala in New Brunswick, NJ. Kara is a Vegan, Ayala eats only Kosher and I’ll eat anything, so where could we go to eat? Ayala found ShuShan Grill & Sushi Bar. It is Glatt Kosher restaurant with lots of Israeli/Middle Eastern favourites and a pretty full sushi menu. Just no dairy or shellfish.

Vegan Salad Combo at ShuShanKara went for a combo of salad and appetizers. She got Humus, Babaganoush and Turkish Salad. The humas was very creamy with a slight garlic taste. The normal olive oil seem to mix into the chick peas.  The eggplant babaanoush was well spiced, The three dishes were perfect for a Vegan.

Appertizer Combo at ShuShanAyala and I shared a special Appetizer Combo plate that I think the Chef created just for us. The combo included veggie Moroccan Cigars, Pastels, Kuba, Falafel balls and Humus. The Moroccan Cigars and Pastels had crisp fried coating hidding the yummy potato filling in them.  Ayala and I both dipped them into the creamy humas (everyone spells this differently LOL). The Humas had a slight garlic taste with a great creamy consistancy. The Kuba appetizers had a mushroom ragout on the inside of it’s fried goodness. We both thought it was like a Middle Eastern egg roll with the crispy coating and veggie inside. The fried chick pea Falafels were perfectly cooked and even more tasty when we dabbed more humas on them. The combination of apps was very nice giving us different textures and tastes.

 Soup at ShuShan  I didn’t think the Appetizer Combo was going to be filling enough, I was wrong, so I ordered the Soup of the Day. It was a beef vegetable soup with carrots and a few different lentils in it. Honestly, it  kind of tasted like chicken broth with big chucks of very tender beef in it.  I also found there were little blobs of fat floating around in the soup which reminded me again of chicken soup. The little blobs of fat gace the soup some extra flavour and weren’t big enough to cause any mouth feel distress. It was very good soup, I wish I could find the name of it but haven’t been able to. Ayala do you remember the name of it?

Pita Bread at ShuShan

We all tried the warm Pita Bread that was refilled a couple of times.  The pita bread are covered with Zahatar spice which I never tried before. Come to find out Zahatar is a combination of other spices and depending upon the maker of the spice blend it can be made of ground dried thyme, oregano, marjoram, sesame seeds, and salt.  Some varieties may add savory, cumin, coriander or fennel seed. I thought the spice added some extra flavour to the sometime bland pita bread.  Nice touch.

We enjoyed the outside dining at ShuShan as it was such a nice day. BTW Ayala tried the Salmon Avocado Sushi Roll and said it was great.

Read other reviews about ShuShan Grill here, here and here.

Shushan Grill on Urbanspoon

ShuShan Grill, 304 Raritan Ave., Highland Park, NJ 08904              (732) 249-0609

PVT – Bucks County Landmark

May 26, 2009

The Pineville Tavern has been a landmark in Bucks County since 1742 and the place is haunted but the food and fellowship are very good. We visited PVT as part of our Memorial Day Weekend Best of Bucks – Burger search. We have been there many times before and enjoy the ambiance of a country tavern.  It’s really casual there and family friendly.  I always think of Nalts when we go there. Kevin was always a fan of PVT and got us to go there for the first time. Thanks Kevin, you are going to do great doing online video consulting full time. Thanks for introducing us to PVT.

Pineville Tavern Chicken Wings

 Donna and I ordered the PVT Wings as our appetizer.  We had the choice of regular, suicide, plain or BBQ. We went for the regular as it sounded close to Buffalo Wings without the danger of suicide. Waitress Madeline brought the wing order quickly and we dug in.  The wings were mild in heat and skin semi-crispy in texture. The actual chicken flesh was moist and tasted more like roasted chicken than fried chicken.  The wings were accompanied by blue cheese dressing and celery.  That was the “whitest” Blue Cheese dressing I have ever seen.  Madeline said the chef made with sour cream, mayo and blue cheese crumbles. I got to believe there was a lot of sour cream to make the colour so white. The Celery was fresh and crispy, making it easy to find the many pieces of blue cheese in  the dressing.

Pineville Tavern Hamburger with Swiss cheese

For the Memorial Day Burger Search, I ordered the Hamburger with Swiss cheese.  There is only on burger on the menu but you have the choice of adding 4 different cheeses; Swiss, American, Provolone or Cheddar. The burger arrived accompanied with Beefeater Fries and burger garnishes; lettuce, tomato slices, red onions and a dill pickle spear. The actual burger patty was cooked to order – medium and must have weighted 6 oz.  I put the burger together and went for a big bite.  The bite revealed, crunchy onions, pickles and lettuce, sweet tomatoes and Swiss cheese and a moist burger. Although the burger patty was cooked to the correct temp and moist, it came across being a little bland.  I think it needed some seasoning perhaps even just more salt and pepper.  Not terrible but a little of seasoning would have taken this from a good burger to a really great burger.  I hope the chef reads this and makes the adjustment in the next burger I eat there and I am going back for sure.

Mashed Potato Pizza with Cheddar and BaconDonna went for one of the Specials of the Days, Mashed Potato Pizza with Cheddar Cheese and Bacon.  PVT has great daily specials so always check the chalkboards for that day’s specials.  Donna does not like normal Italian pizza but loves potato in any form so she went for it. Waitress Madeline brought the pie along with some Ranch dressing as that’s the way she like the dish when she eats it herself.  Great suggestion Madeline.  The crust was very dense and unfortunatelylooked store bought rather than the normal pizza dough you get  with other PVT pizzas. The pie fillings of mashed potato, cheddar cheese and bacon pieces were simple and straight forward.  Donna enjoyed the fillings but felt the mashed potatoes could have used some garlic, scallions or even parsley to kick the flavours up a bit but the potatoes were well cooked and slightly buttery.  The Ranch Dressing was a great suggestion as the pizza dipped in the dressing was a great combination.  Net-net, when I asked Donna if she would order the pit again she was 100% sure she would.  So a great recommendation from her.

One dish you should try when you go to PVT is the Snapper Soup.  The first time I tried it I didn’t know it was turtle soup.  I doubt I would have ordered it if I knew what it was.  I have a soft spot for turtles since I was a kid. (Any Canadians remember Howard The Turtle from Razzle Dazzle TV show from the 60’s on CBC?)  But don’t let that stop you so try the soup, it’s very good.

So we enjoyed our meal at PVT and will be back. 

The Pineville Tavern, Route 413, Pineville, PA 18946  – (215) 598-3890