Bricco in Harrisburg, PA

Bricco
31 South 3rd Street
Harrisburg, PA 17101

A Mediterranean restaurant in Harrisburg. the ambiance was fancy and upper class and dim lighting (ugh).

calamari

We started off with the calamari with bacon chili dip. This was the big chunk type of calamari which isn’t my personal preference but some people do like the big pieces. I was disappointed that the special hot sauce was more like bacon flavored BBQ sauce w some sort of spicy kick.

The reason why we came here was because they have their own butcher shop and cheese shop.

porterhouse steak

I had the 20 oz porterhouse steak w creamy Mac and cheese and Parmesan garlic French fries. I was so excited for the 1st bite of steak and I almost spit it out because it was SO salty! It made eating the rest of the steak painful (my lips got chapped and they couldn’t refill my water glass fast enough).

The Mac and cheese was so watery and disappointing.

mac and cheese

The Parmesan garlic French fries tasted good but were so soggy which was really unfortunate.

garlic parmesan french fries

Joe had the 16 oz new York strip steak with mashed potatoes and spinach. Joe noticed that his steak was way too salty too. Nothing spectacular about his sides.

NY strip steak

I read on the menu that this restaurant is a collaboration with a culinary school and so for this reataurant’s sake, I hope tonight was some student’s first night in the kitchen…..

Bricco on Urbanspoon

Anna's Taqueria in Boston, MA

Anna’s Taqueria
236 Elm St.
Somerville, MA

Anna’s Taqueria is an authentic Mexican food staple in Boston. This place is well known for how quickly  your food is ready and how delicious it is for only $4.55. If you’re looking for some good cheap Mexican food, look no further!

Anna's Taqueria

It was hard to find a place to sit so we took our burritos to eat at home. We got here around 11:30 and there wasn’t a line. As we were waiting for the gentleman in front of us to order, a super long line formed behind us. Eek!

burrito!

My mouth salivates as heat radiates from the aluminum foil surrounding the burrito. The grilled veggie burrito came with an assortment of vegetables; very nice.

Veggie Burrito

the steak burrito was awesome!!! the steak was flavorful, staying true to inherent beef flavors. Even though it’s like an extra $1 for guacamole and sour cream, it’s totally worth it. The size may seem daunting but considering other restaurant chains that serve burritos (Chipotle and Qdoba), this burrito is on the smaller side. And much more authentic tasting!

steak burrito

Anna's Taqueria (Davis Square) on Urbanspoon

Top of the Hub in Boston, MA

Top of the Hub
800 Boylston St.
52nd floor
Boston, MA

So if you park at the Prudential center parking lot, this restaurant will validate your parking so that the first 4 hours is only $12 which is a steal for this area (unless you can find street parking). Once our family was inside the Prudential center, we walked to the Prudential tower to check in for our restaurant reservation.

go to the top of the prudential tower

once getting cleared, we got to take the elevators to the 52nd floor (my ears popped!) and stepped off to have our coats checked and shown to our table.

Restaurant

we sat by the window and this was the view.

The view from our table

we all started off with some bread as we poured over the menu to decide what to eat. I was pretty disappointed with the cold bread.

cold bread

My dad ordered a bottle of wine for the table. He went with a cabernet sauvignon.

cabernet sauvignon for the table

The tartar of yellowfin tuna was beautiful in presentation with avocado and cilantro. The texture was great too for tartar; sushi-grade quality. When you got a bit of everything on your fork, it was amazing.

tartar of yellow fin tuna

my sister had the beet tartar with Humboldt fog goat cheese, red wine vinagrette, candied walnut and aged balsamic. This was delicious!

Beet tartar

I had braised shortribs with potato gnocchi, porcini mushrooms, and bechamel sauce. The portion was surprisingly small but very delicious when you combined the gnocchi and shortribs.

braised shortribs gnocchi

my brother had the Vermont Misty Knolls chicken which he devoured within minutes which must mean it was delicious.

Vermont Misty Knolls chicken

my sister ordered the 2lb lobster which was stuffed with crabmeat. It was pretty good expect I mostly tasted the breadding.

native 2 lb lobster

my mom had the crusted tuna steak with coconut lemongrass rice and miso truffle butter. this sauce was so good! i would eat the sauce by itself if I could. the tuna steak was good too but made so much better with the miso truffle butter.

Furukake Crusted Tuna Steak

my dad had the grilled tenderloin of beef with blue cheese on the side. The beef alone was great but when combined with the blue cheese, the flavor really popped.

Grilled Tenderloin of Beef

the braised lamb shank was so tender that I could barely lift it with my fork without breaking it. it was succulent and so delicious. Most people at the table were not lamb eaters but when they had some of my dish, they all agreed how good it was.

braised lamb shank

my sister ordered a plate of cookies for the table to share. They were so warm and crispy on the outside while chewy in the middle.

assortment of cookies

my brother had the creme brulee which was pretty standard.

creme brulee

I had the warm black cake (theyre not joking!) when I opened it, a hot chocolate liquid poured out onto the plate. When I combined it with the blackberry ice cream, it was so delicious I couldn’t stop eating even though I was already full.

Valrhona warm chocolate cake

blackberry ice cream

not bad for a $500 meal

Top of the Hub on Urbanspoon

Mr. John's Steakhouse in New Orleans

Mr. John’s steakhouse
2111 St. Charles ave.
New Orleans

Outside of Mr. John's Steakhouse

If you’re lucky enough to get a window seat, you get an amazing view of St. Charles ave (great for people watching). Thank you Living Social Deals for another opportunity to eat out at a restaurant that is out of my normal budget for food!! I love the old school feel to the place. The maitre’d walking from table to table, asking people how is their meal and can he get them anything. It was great! Especially as we were walking out, he ran ahead of us to get the door and told us to watch out for a step! (very insistent)

complimentary garlic bread

As we sat pouring over the menu, we were promptly brought ice water and garlic bread. I noticed a lot of bigger parties here (family lunch? On a Friday? Oh yea, this restaurant only serves lunch on Fridays). So it was a bit chaotic and so I think all the waiters were running from table to table instead of divying up the tables and sticking to their stations. Which was nice because we almost always had service immediately when needed.

amuse bouche aka classic Italian meatball

After placing our orders, an amuse bouche arrived from the chef. Classic Italian meatballs! What is Julia’s favorite meat? The kind that falls apart at the slightest touch of my fork! It was DELICIOUS!

stuffed mushrooms. $9

To take full advantage of our coupon, we had to spend $50 on our bill. We were sad to see that all the steak prices were the same from dinner prices (the lower end steaks were at about $37) which was when we decided to take a look at lunch entrees not available at dinner time.  We started off with these stuffed mushrooms.

crabmeat stuffed mushroom broiled with butter and romano cheese

The crabmeat gave it a wonderful fluffy texture while the butter and romano cheese satiated my taste buds. It was an amazing dish, with all the flavors complimenting each other for buttery goodness.

seafood cobb salad. $16

My fellow foodie had the seafood cobb salad filled with boiled Gulf shrimp, crabmeat, bacon, hard-boiled eggs, bleu cheese, tomatoes and avocado served over a spring mix salad with Creole mustard vinagrette. I stole a bite and the salad dressing was so refreshing! The shrimp was boiled to a perfect crisp texture. I liked how colorful this dish was.

Paneed pork chop

I thought the paneed pork chop which was pounded thin and panko crusted, topped with a petite salad of baby spinach, grape tomatoes, and bleu cheese with a side of mashed potatoes sounded wonderful. I was shocked at how huge it was! When I cut into it, I realized that my pork chop was cut butterfly style, probably so that it was thin enough to cook all the way with the panko covering.  So although it was very wide, it was super thin which I prefer because you can appreciate the flavor more. I love Japanese bread crumbs! It has a bit of its own flavor that enhances any meat you coat it with.

creme brulee $6

To reach our $50 mark, we ordered the creme brulee. The caramelized sugar was still hot but the cool custard brought it to a luke warm on my tongue. I loved that the sweetness wasn’t overkill. Delicious! And this meal cost me and my fellow foodie about $16 each including tax and tip. Boo-yah!

I think the thing that shocked me the most though was the time. My friend and I left two hours after our reservation! We were trying to think where did the time go, we really did not feel like there was a lag in our meal except for maybe from garlic bread to stuffed mushrooms, or entrees to dessert.  But the meal did not feel like it was dragging on at all! Good Job, Mr. John’s.

Mr. John's Steak House on Urbanspoon

Prime Rib in Philadelphia

Prime Rib
1701 Locust St.
Philadelphia, PA

As much as I love meat, I wouldn’t actually go to a steak house because I think I would fine it just too monotone. I know I occasionally will order steaks but I try to see what the chefs are capable of doing besides the usual put a slab of meat on a grill.  I came here for restaurant week. I found this sign hilarious:

hilarious

I like my steaks medium-well, medium at the most uncooked. I find the sight of blood on what I’m eating to be very unsightly. I just can’t deal with it. Unfortunately when I ordered from here, the waiter said the most cooked I could have it was medium-rare. I guess there’s a first for everything.

medium-rare

my delicious creme brulee

creme brulee

Prime Rib on Urbanspoon

Capital Grille in Boston, MA

Capital Grille

359 Newbury St
Boston, MA

our family came here for a special occasion. My father and brother got the 3 course dinner special, but the quality of beef that came out was super disappointing. My sister and I had the filet mignon which were amazing. My favorite side was the creamed spinach. Our desserts were out of this world too. Tons of street parking was nice!

salad

appetizer

steak

medium rare

dessert

Capital Grille on Urbanspoon

Restaurant August in New Orleans

Restaurant August
301 Tchoupitoulas St.
New Orleans, LA

http://www.restaurantaugust.com/

I love you, John Besh! This was an exquisite meal! Each dish was prepared with a lot of attention to detail. There were some that I did not like, and some that I LOVED. Parking in the area as relatively easy for street parking, so don’t worry. Also, if you’re going to a John Besh restaurant for dinner, then you’ve already decided to sacrifice an arm or a leg to pay for dinner. Tonight was no exception. But it was WELL worth it. We started off our night with three appetizers: the gnocchi was out of this world, the figs were ok, and the organic greens were alright but the brittle and blue cheese combination was amazing. It’s like they were doing a dance on my tongue, going back and forth between sweet and salty tang. The sourdough bread was freshly baked and the butter was delicious and creamy and easy to spread. Then we ordered three appetizers: the redfish, sugar and spice duck, and the special of the day. The redfish had come with shrimp that was a little too salty. But the sauce that was poured into the plate when it arrived at the table was special. The sugar and spice duck’s presentation was not at all what I had expected for the duck, it was better. The duck was amazing and apparently, the spinach was surprisingly delicious. The cowboy special was a HUGE ribeye steak which was fantastic! I was iffy about ordering a dish as common as steak at such a special restaurant but I figured they had to do it right and they did! I’m not sure exactly how it was prepared but it was tender to cut and chew (which can be a challenge for ribeye). Also the marinade with different blends of mushrooms was incredible. The jalapeno-corn souffle was a surprise, it was super spicy and super creamy, an interesting combo. We finished our night off with four desserts: the goat cheesecake, banana rumcake, chocolate napoleon and berry cobbler. Nobody at the table like the berry cobbler, unfortunately it just fell below our expectations. The banana rumcake had a hint of banana, and was definitely too dry to be a rumcake (hardly any rum). The goat cheesecake was amazing, with the honey undertones mixed it, it was incredible! And the chocolate napoleon was rich but was very delicious. Definitely coming back, hungry for more!

fresh sour dough bread

complimentary egg custard with some sort of fish

handmade potato gnocchi tossed with blue crab and black truffle

cane syrup roasted Louisiana figs w fresh cheese, pimenton candied almonds, and Pedro Jimenez Sherry

my delicious Cowboy rib eye with corn-jalapeno grits

redfish courtboullion, persillade crust, jumbo shrimp, blue crab and sauce borride

sugar and spice duckling w McEwen's stone ground grits, roasted duck foie and local peaches

my pretty steak

napoleon of nougatine: valhrona chocolate bavarois, salted toffee ice cream

warm berry cobbler: ruston peaches and buttermilk ice cream

Pere Roux's banana rum cake with creole cream cheese icing

Goat's Milk cheesecake: Algiers honey ice cream, almonds and balsamic caramel

complimentary pralines and chocolate bites

August on Urbanspoon

Luke restaurant in New Orleans

Luke restaurant
333 St. Charles Ave.
New Orleans, LA 70130

http://www.lukeneworleans.com/

I love John Besh restaurants! Too bad my wallet doesn’t agree with me. Luke’s is on the more moderate priced range for John Besh restaurants in New Orleans. They also offer a fixed course supper for $23 which was quite a nice deal but because we went on a Sunday, the only option was veal which neither one of us eat.

We did start off our meal with 2 cups of soup, one was seafood gumbo and the other was corn and crab bisque. The gumbo exceeded my expectations because it didn’t have a strong bitter taste like a few other gumbos I’ve experienced, plus it was loaded with sausage. The corn and crab bisque fell below my expectations. I thought it would be creamier but instead it seemed to be heavily based on mushrooms which did not go well with the corn and crab (hardly any).

We also ordered the Jumbo Louisiana Shrimp en cocotte with grits, and entrecote grillee au frites with jumbo lump crabmeat (grilled steak in a butter sauce with french fries). The shrimp was delicious and the grits were amazing! (I think it was old bay seasoning).

The ribeye steak was great (ribeye usually isn’t my favorite because of all the fat trimmings) but this was one terrific with the butter sauce. The spoonful of jumbo lump crabmeat on top was definitely not worth the extra $10 though. And not sure why someone told me these are the best french fries in New Orleans (they reminded me of Wendys fries). But overall, this was an awesome meal.

Lüke on Urbanspoon

Mimi’s in the Marigny

Mimi’s in the Marigny
2601 Royal Street
New Orleans, LA 70117

So three foodies and myself checked out this place and was surprised by the downstairs which turned out to be the bar. Thank God! We ventured upstairs to the restaurant where it was very dimly lit! (A photographer’s nightmare! Thankfully TK had a iphone 4 with a flashlight on it).
We started off the meal with the beef empanadas which was delicious fried yummyness with beef. It was a perfect amount of crispy.
Then the goat cheese croquetas came out which were crispy on the outside and very creamy inside (luckily, goat cheese is one of the more milder cheeses so it was very delicious and well-balanced especially with the sweetness of the honey).
The patatas bravas reminded me of chili fries. The potatoes were cooked a little too long.
The calamari con chorizo was delicious, but very few pieces of calamari for such a big tapas bowl of cream soup.
The salmon mousse would have been way to airy if it weren’t for the chives which gave it a slightly bitter kick.
The Chef’s Surprise dish is called Trust Me. which you do because the only preference you get is if it comes out hot or cold. The chef brings it to your table himself (a cute little emo man), and explains what he did with the dish, for us it was flank steak in a mushroom cream sauce.
We had actually ordered the mushroom manchego toast as well and he expressed his concern that the two dishes would be too similar, but luckily the manchego toast added a bit more salt to the dish and so it tasted more of mushrooms whereas the first dish was more cream.
The grilled flank steak was OK, it was prepared with herbs but it was a bit on the chewy side. Probably my least favorite thing about this place, after the stale bread that crumbled (which was terrible for those of us who wanted to dip into the excess sauces and creams of each dish).
We ended the night with the Spanish cheese dish which ended up being the manchego cheese and goat cheese from earlier in the night.
S’all good. Overall, this place was definitly 2 thumbs up!

Mimi's in the Marigny on Urbanspoon