Il Mulino NY in Orlando, FL

rigatoni con funghi

Il Mulino NY
Walt Disney World Swan Resort
1200 Epcot Resorts Blvd.
Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830

The Swan and Dolphin hotel at Disney World

We were stayin at the Swan and Dolphin hotel at Disney World Resorts and after spending so long in the car, we wanted to eat nearby as in the lobby of our hotel ( I know, we’re so lazy).  When I called to make a dinner reservation, I was told there was nothing available at all that night. So we made a reservation at another restaurant and when we came down at our other reservation time, we walked by this place and saw empty tables! What the heck! I figured since this was our first choice, we would go here and cancel our other reservation.

complimentary eggplant and salami

Our complimentary eggplant dish was ruined by the extremely loud family at the table next to us. Their kids were so young! Why would you bring such young kids to a fine dining restaurant? This was literally the only family in the place with kids and they were super obnoxious and rude!

complimentary bread

I loved this focaccia bread, but when we asked for a refill, we had to ask 3 different waiters who all ignored us until a busboy went to the back for us and then came out and told us that they had run out of bread. Unfortunately, this turned out to be a pattern and not a one time thing (the crappy service).

carpaccio di carne

The carpaccio is a thinly sliced Tuscan-styled beef served with arugula, extra virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice and the house carpaccio sauce. Appearance wise, the carpaccio didn’t offer much. The carpaccio itself didn’t have much flavor except for the pieces with the house sauce.

rigatoni con funghi

Rigatoni with wild mushrooms, spicy cherry peppers, garlic and truffle oil. The only flavor from this dish was from the mushrooms and truffle oil. When the waiter brought it out, it looked like the plate was just pasta (where’s all the other ingredients?!) This cannot be a genuine Italian restaurant (store bought pasta from a box! gasp! the italian gods of pasta are weeping)

spaghetti carbonara

spaghetti with pancetta, cheese and egg. So not only was my spaghetti pasta way overcooked, this dish had zero flavor at all. What, did the cook have a cold or something? What was going on with our meal? When I read reviews online, people were going back and forth between the food was too salty or the food was too bland. Unfortunately for us, it was way too bland.  I had to ask the waiter for some parmesan cheese, and it still couldn’t remedy this dish.

complimentary limoncello

This was probably the best thing of the meal, the free sample of limoncello. It was delightfully sweet and so refreshing after a stressful evening.

Il Mulino New York Trattoria on Urbanspoon

Yogurtland in New Orleans, LA

my creation

Yogurtland
4903 Prytania St.
New Orleans, LA

the front

Well look who’s finally joined the New Orleans frozen yogurt scene! Welcome, Yogurtland! I’ve been expecting you!!

ambiance

This is like the more affordable version of frozen yogurt done right! When we walked in, we were handed several sample cups (most stores are super strict on limiting the number of samples you get). Joe and I had enough to sample at least one of each flavor (there are like 10? 12?)

lots of candy options

Don’t forget, you can put as much frozen yogurt and toppings as you want, but they will charge you by the price. Now I am pretty used to my order and expect it to come out to about $10 at Red Mango (at Pinkberry, they control how much frozen yogurt you get and how much of each topping so they can’t really be compared to these self-serve places) so imagine my shock when I went to ring up my order and it was only $4!!! Hello, Yogurtland! Goodbye, Red Mango (that is all the way in Baton Rouge).

lots of fresh fruit options as well

The service was friendly, the place was uber clean (just opened up 3 weeks ago) and the toppings looked amazing. On top of that, the flavors were delicious. Not too much tart.

Joe's creation

Joe went for the chocolate milk shake flavor frozen yogurt with mochi, cookie dough, chocolate chip and honey.

my creation

I went for the red velvet cake batter (that’s right!!) with mochi, twix (uh huh!), and toffee bits. Heaven! I’ll definitely be back.

 

 

Yogurtland on Urbanspoon

RECIPE: Giada’s Bruschetta with Shrimp and Arugula

shrimp bruschetta

Ingredients

fresh shrimp

Toasts:

  • 1 (1-pound) loaf ciabatta bread, trimmed and cut into 14 (1/2-inch thick) slices
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • 1 garlic clove, halved

Topping:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large or 2 small shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 pound extra-large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon leaves
  • 1 packed cup arugula, chopped
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature

Directions

For the toasts: Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

slicing up the garlic ciabatta

Arrange the bread slices in a single layer on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Bake until light golden, about 10 minutes. Cool for 2 minutes. Rub the warm toasts with the cut side of the garlic. Set aside.

For the topping: In a medium skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until soft, about 2 minutes.

shallots and garlic

Season the shrimp with salt and pepper, to taste, and add them to the skillet. Cook until the shrimp are pink and cooked through about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the shrimp and chop into 1/2-inch pieces. Set aside.

cookin the shrimp

chopped up shrimp

In the same skillet, add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook over medium-high heat until the tomatoes start to soften, about 4 minutes. Turn the heat to high. Add the wine and scrape up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.

sauce

Cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the stock and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add the tarragon, arugula, mascarpone cheese, and chopped shrimp. Stir until the mixture is creamy.

creamy

Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Arrange the toasts on serving plates and drizzle with the sauce. Sprinkle with salt and pepper before serving.

shrimp bruschetta

 Some other seafood recipes:
Honey ginger grilled salmon
Lobster
Salmon cakes
Salmon in chipotle sauce
Spicy Korean fried shrimp

Korean Barbeque and More in Tallahassee, FL

pork BBQ

Korean Barbeque and More
2624 W Tennessee St
Ste E
Tallahassee, FL 32304

menu

Driving from Orlando to New Orleans is no easy feat and thank God for this little nook in between. Joe saw this place online and we decided to stop in for dinner. Every table was taken! But the turnover time is really short and so we looked over the menu and then waited for a table. Another nice thing was unlike most other Korean restaurants where you need to hold up fingers to express how many are in your party, here they speak fluent English.

miso soup

Both of our dinners started off with miso soup and kong-na-mool-gook (bean sprout soup). It was alright.  Pretty good deal, a meal for only $8.

spicy beansprout soup

pork BBQ

Joe had the pork BBQ. They give you so much rice but at least they also match it portion wise with the meat. Joe said that his was really good. My bulgogi was also very good. The meat quality is great and the flavor is like bam! From the outside, this doesn’t look like much but the online reviews have been substantiated!

bulgogi

Korean BBQ on Urbanspoon

Ye Olde College Inn in New Orleans, LA

fresh catch of the day

Ye Olde College Inn
3000 S. Carrollton Ave
New Orleans, LA

the front

I’ve heard of this restaurant from countless friends but I never had the chance to dine here before tonight. The wait was pretty ridiculous even with our dinner reservation, we were seated about 20 minutes after the reservation. We were so hungry we were on the verge of going to Felipe’s for dinner instead but then the hostess came over to let us know our table was ready. I guess one perk to eating late was that we were the only table for our energetic waiter and so we got a lot of excited descriptions about the items on the menu.

ambiance

I like the ambiance, it’s a mix of sports bar and old fashioned pub depending on which section you sit in. We got to sit in the old fashioned pub area with our wooden benches.

oysters bleu

we started off with the oysters bleu which were delicious. Joe said too much blue cheese but in my opinion, you can never have enough blue cheese. The fresh oysters are flash fried with the perfect amount of batter and then topped with blue cheese on a bed of iceberg lettuce.

the famous cheeseburger

Joe was indecisive between a po boy and the cheeseburger and so we asked our informative waiter for his expert onion and he could not stop raving about this burger. “I don’t want to gross you out, but this hamburger was mooing 2 days ago. That’s how fresh it is.” And somehow, that line sold Joe and he had to try this burger. Ye Olde College Inn has their own farm in Louisiana where they grow fresh veggies and raise cows for their restaurant (a real farm-to-table kind of deal).

fresh catch of the day

Our waiter had the fresh catch of the day for lunch and so when I asked him to describe it, I could tell how good it was by how he illustrated it. He said that the red fish was very fresh and then prepared in various methods (grilled, braised, baked with garlic) on top of corn maque choux which was heavenly. The fish was light and flaky and the corn was sooooooo flavorful.

bread pudding po boy

Our waiter was nice enough to bring out this dessert on the house. He called it “the lovechild of a beignet and a bread pudding.” The top was flaky and the bottom was moist and delicious. It’s obvious why this dish won “Best of Show” at the 2nd annual po boy fest.

Ye Olde College Inn on Urbanspoon

RECIPE: Bulgogi (Korean BBQ)

eat it while it's hot!

Ingredients: (TS = tablespoon)
1 lbs of Sirloin tips sliced
3 TS of soy sauce
1 TS of sugar
black pepper
1 chopped scallion
1 TS of minced garlic
1 ts of sesame seeds (teaspoon)
(1 TS of Mirim – rice cooking wine, you can use red cooking wine or none)

Directions
1. Mix all the ingredients by hand (wear a glove! duh!). Be sure to massage the meat. Then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Marinade the meat

2. Heat up a frying pan and add a little bit of oil (the meat also has fat that will release oil), once the oil moves around freely on the pan, add the raw meat.

fry the meat

3. Remove from heat when the meat is a nice light brown.

eat it while it's hot!

Bulgogi (불고기)

The Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade (HARRY POTTER!)

Turkey leg

The Three Broomsticks @ Universal Orlando Resort
6000 Universal Blvd
Orlando, FL 32819

the sign out front

No visit to Hogsmeade is complete without visiting the local tavern! I had read online that the lines get ridiculously long so when we arrived at 11 AM, we went straight to lunch. A lot of other smart travellers did the same (great minds think alike).  While we were waiting in line, an elderly couple in front of us told us about the AAA discount which is awesome because my AAA membership has never gotten me discounts before.

ambiance

They really did strive to make this place look like the movie. It all looked like the real Three Broomsticks. The line was so efficient, there were 5 cash registers where you ordered and there was a worker who sent people from the line to each cash register. Then you go to the corresponding window to pick up your order.

Turkey leg

Joe had the turkey leg which he said was juicy and a little hard to chew. I took a bite and it was delicious. It was like moist jerky. This thing was huge!

Ribs

I had the ribs because of the reviews online that raved about this. Joe couldn’t believe that I was ordering ribs at the main eatery of Harry Potter world (instead of a more English dish like the cornish pasties). My ribs were finger-lickin’-delicious and juicy just like the reviews said. There was so much, I couldn’t finish mine.

frozen butterbeer

This was the thing I was looking forward to the most on this trip. My first refreshing sip of delicious frozen butterbeer! It was like a cream soda.

Three Broomsticks on Urbanspoon

Moo Modern steakhouse in Boston, MA

sirloin steak

Moo Modern Steakhouse
15 Beacon St.
Boston, MA

bread rolls

My family came here for dinner for the 3 courses for $35. When we arrived, the valet drivers were quick to jump out and assist us from the car. I found out that the valet drivers are paid by the restaurant and insisted that we don’t tip either. When these bread rolls came out, they smelled like salty bread! These just melted in your mouth.

house salad

This place was super hyped up and won Best of Boston overall excellence category of restaurants.  Service was pretty slow for a group this large. It was shocking really. Maybe it was cause we all ordered from the 3 course menu except for my sister.

lobster bisque

This was probably the star of the night, the lobster bisque sang! It was amazing. The flavors were just popping! And it was perfect hot soup for this freezing weather.

sirloin steak

Four of us got the sirloin steak as our main entree. This was super tough to chew. It’s like the meat was actively resisting getting ingested. Our meat also had a ton of fat on it. I was surprised to see how much meat was left on my table when I had cut off all the fat. I wouldn’t say this is the worse steak of my life, but I don’t think I’ll be returning.

bone marrow butter served in a bone!

I did like how that garlic butter came out in a carved out bone. It freaked out everyone else at the table but I loved it. It gave our meal a paleolithic spin to it, like eating with cavemen.

salmon

my mom wasn’t in the mood for steak and so she ordered the salmon which she reported was good.

filet mignon

My sister had the filet mignon (she broke the cardinal rule of eating with the Foodographer by taking a bite out of her food before I took a picture of her dish), but I stole a bite of it and hers was really good. Very soft texture.

creamed spinach

I had the creamed spinach as my side dish. This was very creamy. I thought the cast iron little pot was a cute decorative gesture.

B & B mushrooms

brownie sundae

This was a creative smore deconstructed. The roasted marshmallow on top of a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top of warm brownie. This was soooooooo delicious and the different elements going on, chewy of marshmallow vs. crisp of brownie, warmth of marshmallow and brownie vs. frost of the ice cream.

white chocolate cheesecake

the white chocolate and cheesecake combination sounded good on paper but when it came to fruition, not a winner. I don’t know how to describe it, the taste just would not settle on my tongue. I ended up trading Joe for his brownie sundae.

Mooo on Urbanspoon

RECIPE: The Ultimate Beef Wellington

so delicious

By Tyler Florence

Ingredients

For the Duxelles:

For the Beef:

  • 1 (3-pound) center cut beef tenderloin (filet mignon), trimmed
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 thin slices prosciutto
  • 6 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves only
  • 2 tablespoons TRUFFLE BUTTER
  • Flour, for rolling out puff pastry
  • 1 pound puff pastry, thawed if using frozen
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • Minced chives, for garnish

Directions

cutting up mushrooms

To make the Duxelles: Add mushrooms, shallots, garlic, and thyme to a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add butter and olive oil to a large saute pan and set over medium heat. Add the shallot and mushroom mixture and saute for 8 to 10 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool.

making the duxelle

To prepare the beef: Tie the tenderloin in 4 places so it holds its cylindrical shape while cooking.

I've never tied up meat before


Drizzle
with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper and sear all over, including the ends, in a hot, heavy-based skillet lightly coated with olive oil – about 2 to 3 minutes.

searing the sides

Meanwhile set out your prosciutto on a sheet of plastic wrap (plastic needs to be about a foot and a half in length so you can wrap and tie the roast up in it) on top of your cutting board. Shingle the prosciutto so it forms a rectangle that is big enough to encompass the entire filet of beef.

shingle out the prosciutto

Using a rubber spatula cover evenly with a thin layer of duxelles. Season the surface of the duxelles with salt and pepper and sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves. When the beef is seared, remove from heat, cut off twine and smear lightly all over with TRUFFLE BUTTER.

I love truffle butter!

Allow to cool slightly, then roll up in the duxelles covered prosciutto using the plastic wrap to tie it up nice and tight.

wrapping up my steak

Tuck in the ends of the prosciutto as you roll to completely encompass the beef. Roll it up tightly in plastic wrap and twist the ends to seal it completely and hold it in a nice log shape. Set in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to ensure it maintains its shape.

everything rolled up

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the puff pastry out to about a 1/4-inch thickness. Depending on the size of your sheets you may have to overlap 2 sheets and press them together. Remove beef from refrigerator and cut off plastic. Set the beef in the center of the pastry and fold over the longer sides, brushing with egg wash to seal.

beef inside the pastry

Trim ends if necessary then brush with egg wash and fold over to completely seal the beef – saving ends to use as a decoration on top if desired. Top with coarse sea salt. Place the beef seam side down on a baking sheet.

cooked yumminess!

Brush the top of the pastry with egg wash then make a couple of slits in the top of the pastry using the tip of a paring knife – this creates vents that will allow the steam to escape when cooking. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until pastry is golden brown and beef registers 125 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove from oven and rest before cutting into thick slices.

how yummy does that look?

so delicious

 Some other beef recipes:
Beef Stew
Boeuf Bourguignon
The Perfect Burger
The ultimate meatballs