Well Dined

5May/160

Miami Pt 2 – Fontainebleau Signature Restaurants

Well Dined | Fontainebleau Miami

image courtesy of Fontainebleau Miami

In my last post about our Miami trip, I talked about the Fontainebleau Miami Resort.  But I didn't talk about any of the (numerous) restaurants on the property.  There are a number of casual spots on the property, which I will talk about later.  Then there are the four upscale "Signature Restaurants", which are the subject of this post.

First up is Stripsteak by Michael Mina, the most upscale restaurant at the resort.  We are fans of Bourbon Steak (also by Mina) here in DC, so we were pretty excited to try this out.  The space is pretty and modern, with a really cool glass wine room (and a really good wine list to go with it).

Well Dined | Stripsteak Miami

Like Bourbon Steak, Stripsteak serves buttery truffle rolls as it's complementary bread.  So friggin good.  Just give me 8 loaves.  Also like Bourbon Steak, like the appetizers are on point.  We ordered a burrata, asparagus, and duck prosciutto salad; a trio of oysters with salmon roe, paddlefish roe, and uni; and seared foie gras with strawberries, pickled fennel, and macadamia nut.  They were all delicious, especially the foie.

7Dec/151

Local Favorites – Chantilly, VA

I wanted to give a quick shout-out to a couple of my favorite local establishments in Chantilly, VA.

Well Dined | 5T*Ice

First up is 5T*Ice, an Asian dessert shop at Dulles Landing.  I used to frequent Tutti Frutti, owned by the same people, but 5T opened much closer to where I live. Yay! In addition to frozen yogurt and gelato (including hard-to-find durian), they serve Patbingsu - shaved ice topped with ice cream, fruits, and syrups.  I really like the coconut and ube bingsu with coconut shavings, sweetened condensed milk, and ube ice cream.

Well Dined | 5T*Ice

They also have bubble tea, smoothies, milkshakes, and other various similar drinks.  I really like the Che Thai - a Vietnamese drink with coconut milk, grass jelly, coconut jelly, pomegranate jelly, lychee, jackfruit, and toddy palm.  It is crazy good.  If sweet is not your thing they also have steamed pork buns, sticky rice with Chinese sausage, and other goodies.  And, no, I don't know what the name means - no one I know does!

20Nov/140

Atelier Crenn – San Francisco

While we were in San Francisco visiting family, Jasper and I wanted to have a nice date night to ourselves to try one of the many Michelin rated restaurants.  We choose Atelier Crenn, a 2-star restaurant with a seasonal and locally sourced menu written in the form of a poem.  Yes, it is a little bit silly and pretentious to present your menu as a poem, but chef/owner Dominique Crenn seems to have some reasons for doing it.  Crenn hails from Versailles, France, where her father had a painting workshop (called an "atelier").  She considers her restaurant to be her own artist's studio (hence the name), with the plate as a blank canvas, and the ingredients as the paint.  So perhaps we can consider it to be more artsy than pretentious.  And it did provide a fun game to try and figure out what would be in the next course based on the poem.

From the website: "Poetic Culinaria: Atelier Crenn, a painting. An empty white canvas. With tools... a brush, paint and a vision, creativity is given its breath. Here, from this place, the artist can suggest emotion. A lasting moment from childhood... little drawers of heartbeats."

Crenn seems to be inspired by her childhood and her father, whose paintings decorate the restaurant.  Playfulness and nature are the overriding themes of the menu we received, which I have copied below:

Summer has come and is full of sweet surprises
Under the midnight glow, I can taste the sweetness of the sea,
hear mellow serenades of colors licorice and orange
I touch the earth and play
Where the broad ocean leans against the Spanish land,
I remember an oceanic feeling
Here, the earth proffers its juicy, vermilion gifts
and above, the half moon floats, silky and smoky
In its cool, milky light,
the forest still radiant with possibility
Nature rejoice! chasing childhood memories
Feeling the black sand under my toes, I dreamed of
these creatures' languid movements
Walking deep in the woods, as the earth might have something to spare
bird song, see the water rippling from their visit
a token of the summer
Summer has come, the sea beckons
sweetness, bounty, thanks

7Dec/130

Bend, OR Restaurants

In addition to our awesome holiday meal (read more here), we also ate out a lot while we were in Bend, OR last week.

We ordered breakfast from room service at our hotel, The Oxford, a few times and it was really good.  The french toast with berry compote, in particular, was awesome.  Right next door to the hotel is a brand new doughnut place (as in they opened their doors for the first time the Saturday after Thanksgiving) called Luvs Doughnuts.  They make small batches and sell the day-old doughnuts for 50 cents!  I had a glazed-yeast raised and Jasper had a chocolate-dipped blueberry cake doughnut - they were pretty good!  I also enjoyed my chai latte from there - nice strong flavor.

We also ate at a local breakfast/brunch institution - Chow, which is open every day from 7-2.  They focus on local vendors and sustainability and accommodate pretty much any diet.  They are happy to make up a unique dish just for you if nothing on the menu suits you.  They also have some killer guava mimosas (or man-mosas if you want a bigger drink).  This is the only restaurant I thought to take pictures at, so enjoy!

Well Dined | Chow

Blurry - sorry!

 Bagel with cream cheese, pickled veg (celery, carrots, green beans), salmon, and sprouts.

Well Dined | Chow

Chow has a number of signature egg dishes.  This one is the blackstone - with poached eggs, cornmeal crusted tomatoes, spinach, bacon, and bearnaise over polenta.  Super yummy.

Well Dined | Chow

This was the omelette of the day with house potatoes.  They make their own hot sauces here, and from what I heard the Carrot-Habanero was amazingly hot and tasty.

22Oct/124

Kata Robata, Paris Crepe, and Rice’s Centennial – Houston, TX

I recently returned to Rice University, my alma mater, to celebrate their centennial - 100 years since the founding!  There were all kinds of events - a football game (which we won!), parties, galas, picnics, speeches, lectures, you name it!

And our first President - Edgar Odell Lovett - finally got his own statue!  About time!  William Marsh Rice (Willy) may have provided the money for the institution, but Lovett provided the vision for what it should be.

For something really incredible, click HERE to see a video of the Spectacle - an amazing work of art combining architecture, history, and technology into something the likes of which I have never seen before.  Seriously - watch it.  For real.

Ok - moving on.  Most of my food was provided for me at the events, but I did have the chance to eat out one night and was fortunate enough to go to Kata Robata - a sushi restaurant and Japanese grill.  Headed up by Manabu Horiuchi (aka Chef Hori), my favorite sushi chef from college, the concept is Japanese tapas and the food is AWESOME.  The service is pretty incredible, too.  Our server, Thai, was very knowledgeable and comfortable making suggestions.  The pacing was good and we always felt like we were being taken care of.  I tried to order a good balance between sushi and tapas to get a really good idea of the place.

25Jun/120

Cannon Beach, OR

So sorry for the break - we have been on vacation in the gorgeous coastal town of Cannon Beach, Oregon where my husband grew up.

While we were there, we stayed at the Stephanie Inn and I highly recommend it to anyone planning a visit.  The rooms are fantastic (especially if you get one with a giant jacuzzi tub and a beach view), the staff are some of the nicest people I've ever met, and the amenities are stellar.