Friday, January 15, 2010

New Year of Reviews

So the New Year picked right back up where last year left off…lots of restaurants and lots of classes to attend and review!

Thanks to a Groupon (http://www.groupon.com), I got invited to try Jade (http://www.jadestl.com), a sushi restaurant located downtown. The restaurant is beautiful inside and there is a parking garage directly across the street. We had great service and my favorites were the Rainbow and Alaska rolls. I also go to try hot Sake, which I think is much better than when served cold because it seems a lot less potent when served hot. Hehe

The Food Adventure Club was supposed to go to Quintessential on St. Charles Main Street but I got a call the day before from the manager that they were going to close the restaurant for a staff meeting during our Sunday 5pm reservation. That’s our prime time for meeting so who knows if we’ll get to try it. It’s a really snazzy place, more like a lounge, and there is a bar area upstairs from the restaurant.

I was really disappointed about the cancelled reservation but Curt and Amy came to the rescue by picking out HuHot (http://www.huhot.com), which went into the spot vacated by Ruby Tuesday’s in West County. It’s Mongolian BBQ, which we have done before, so I didn’t have high expectations, but I was really pleased. They use much smaller bowls than other places but you are allowed to go back as many times as you want. The selection was MUCH better so there is something for everyone. Although this was a problem for me because I wanted to try everything!

My first bowl, I loaded up with all kinds of meats so that when I went back the second time, I did mostly vegetables. They have sauce suggestions with the amount of “heat” clearly labeled. VERY clean and good service.

A FAC meeting wouldn’t be complete without ordering dessert and I got to try the Khan’s Cake (chocolate) and the Molten Muffin. The muffin had hot fudge coming out of the middle and that was the better of the two. Curt and Amy had the Cheesecake Rangoons and we’re all hoping to go back sometime to try the Sweet Victory S’mores. How much fun would it to make your own at the table! Hehehe

Last but not least, the demise of the Whole Foods Galleria (http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/st-louis/storecalendar.php) classes was greatly exaggerated and their first of the year was their famous seafood class! Curt has also become a convert now as well.

We started off with Oysters Rockefeller and yes, if it’s covered in cheese, it’s going to be fantastic! The oysters were followed by Panko-encrusted Sole with White Wine Butter Sauce. The best item of the night was the Ciopino Stew, which used tomato paste from a tube! None of us had seen anything like it before but they sell it at Whole Foods under the brand 360. The stew was amazing because it had so much quality seafood all mixed together: crabmeat, mussels, clams, squid, scallops, and cod. Several people ask for seconds on the stew because it was so good but I knew better and saved room for the last fish.

Chef Matt showed us how he cut the tilapia almost in two separate wings…but left them still attached at the very bottom. With one “wing”, he cut it down the middle, but just in the center. This way it could be folded on top of the other “wing” to form a pocket to hold the stuffing!

Unfortunately, the tilapia was a little fishy for me on a couple of bites but the stuffing really helped wash it down.

And the best thing about seafood class? Almost all the wines are white with one red at the very end.

Unfortunately, the cheese class at the Wine Merchant was cancelled for this month but I still have more classes coming up this month.