Well Dined

10Jan/170

Try The World – Spain Box; Tapas

Well Dined | Spanish Tapas

I've had to pause my Try The World subscription, because I have been so slow to go through the boxes, plan a meal/blog post, make it, and write it up.  Oops!  So I've made a goal for 2017 (I don't like the word "resolution") to work on 1 Try The World post per month.  This month I made tapas with the Spain Box!  So much food!!!

Well Dined | Try The World - Spain

The Spain Box came with El Navarrico salsa tumaca con ajo (tomato sauce with garlic); El Avión paprika; Oleum Hispania extra-virgin olive oil; and Espinaler canned white tuna - all of which were used to make the tapas.

Well Dined | Try The World - Spain

It also contained P. listo jasmine floral jam; Ines Rosales cortadillo citrus crumble cakes; and El Almendro turrón (almond candy).

10Jun/161

Try The World – Argentina; Steak with Chimichurri, Fingerling Potatoes with Green Olive Paste

Well Dined | Try The World - Argentina

I am so far behind in my Try The World reviews, you guys, I am so sorry!  Let's talk about this Argentina box: Bake Love Koo! coconut butter cookies (these were gone in like 2 seconds, so good); Dulcor dulce de membrillo (perfect for cheese plates); Chamana and Inti Zen teas (the dulce de leche with red fruits was really good); Memories of Patagonia Malbec wine marinade (I just spread this on crackers with mascarpone, yum); Doña Magdalena dulce de leche; Vanoli chimichurri; MQA Gourmet green olive paste.

Well Dined | Steak with Chimichurri, Fingerling Potatoes with Olive Tapenade

I decided to make a meal using the chimichurri and olive paste.  I tossed roasted potatoes with the green olive paste; then I broiled skirt steak with some of the chimichurri sauce, and added more on top.  Simple, easy, delicious.

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.

14Apr/160

Miami Pt 1 – Fontainebleau Resort

Well Dined | Miami Beach

The husband and I just spent a week in Miami Beach!!!  He went for work training and I tagged along.  The training didn't get approved until 1 week before, so we booked everything in a rush and, I have to say, I kind of loved it.  I didn't have time to over-analyze everything, over-plan, or over-book.  I just did a quick check on what seemed like the best restaurants, booked those, and that was it!  No time to stress about anything.  It also worked out that it was just after all the Spring Break madness, so it wasn't too crowded and reservations were easy to get.

Well Dined | Fontainebleau Miami

image courtesy of Fontainebleau

We stayed at the Fontainebleau Resort in Miami Beach (which is also where Jasper's training was).  It is huge, and gorgeous, and reminded us of Las Vegas (which is apparently what they are going for, so good job).  On one side of the hotel is the pool complex and the beach.

Well Dined | Fontainebleau Miami

image courtesy of Fontainebleau

The other side of the hotel is the, also beautiful, marina.  There are four towers of rooms, and we stayed in the tallest one - the Tresor.  This was actually a complementary upgrade given to us at check-in, because it was our first time in Miami.  Check-in was super fast and easy and the employee who we dealt with was incredibly friendly and helpful.  Major points to service, there.

28Jan/160

Try The World – Paris

Well Dined | Try The World - Paris

Try The World is an international food subscription service that I have written about before (first post here).  The first box that I received was Marrakesh (post here), and it was awesome.  The second box I received was Paris, France.  The items included were: La Mere Poulard sables (butter cookies), Maison D'Armorine salted butter caramels, Domaine Des Vignes whole grain mustard, Le Palais Des Thes fine teas, Le Saunier De Camargue fleur de sel, Maison Peltier artisanal honey, and Charles Antona fig jam.

Well Dined | Try The World - Paris

Unlike the Marrakesh box, these items were less suited to a single recipe, but they were some of my favorite items that I've received so far.  The honey and fig jam went on to many a cheese plate, the mustard and sea salt went on to everything, and the cookies and caramels were gone the first day because they were ridiculously good.  For more information on the Paris box, click here.

One Year Ago - Apple Galette with Salted Bourbon Caramel
Two Years Ago - Butternut Squash and Kale Pizza with Smoked Mozzarella and Bacon
Three Years Ago - Broccolini and Feta Tart
Four Years Ago - Sourdough Pancakes
Five Years Ago - Spiced Pumpkin and Lamb Tagine; Thai Pumpkin Soup; Spiced Carrot Soup

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!

27Sep/151

Yelp Event – Tupelo Honey Cafe

Well Dined | Tupelo Honey Cafe

I am on the NoVA Elite Squad this year, which means that I get invited to awesome events!  Back in July (I'm so far behind on posting, lol) - I was invited to a tasting event at the (then) new Tupelo Honey Cafe in Arlington.  We got to hear about the menu and try several dishes and drinks.  It's a really great way to get an impression of a restaurant without having to visit several times in order to try a lot.  That's our fearless leader, Gretchen, in the photo there (check out her blog here).

I thought the location was really cute, on a corner near Ballston with a nice patio.  The decor was warm and inviting, and the staff handled the madness of the event quite well.  We got to try several drinks, starting with the happy hour special of sparkling sangria.  I actually did not like that drink, though many others did, because it tasted more like a vodka and soda than a sangria.  After that, I ordered the Violet Beauregarde (props for the cute name) with vodka, St. Germaine, blueberry puree, fresh mint, fresh lemon, and sparkling wine.  I LOVED that one.  I also loved the non-alcoholic blueberry spritzer that they passed around, but not the rosemary lemonade (too bitter).

Well Dined | Tupelo Honey Cafe

As for food, we tried the Goat Cheese Grits Poppers with Jalapeno Apple Salsa (4:00, my favorite); Fried Green Tomatoes with Grits (1:00, also really liked); Country Ham Wontons with Shaved Brussels Sprouts (10:00, very good); Pecan Crusted Goat Cheese with Apples and Figs (not pictured, pretty good); Salt Roasted Beets with Goat Cheese and Pesto (6:00, disappointed with this one); Pimento Cheese Dip (too spicy for me); Mac and Cheese with Cajun Shrimp (also too spicy for me).

My takeaway was that this is Southern food, get the fried stuff and the cheesy stuff and the grits - if you try to go healthy, you will be disappointed.  Everything we tried was from the small plates menu, so I would like to return to try an entree.  Or better yet, bunch - I hear the brunch is fantastic.

My thanks to Yelp and Tupelo Honey Cafe for their generosity!  You can read more about the event here.

You may be interested in: Yelp Progressive Brunch at Springfield Town Center

11Sep/152

Try The World Marrakesh

Well Dined | Moroccan Stew with Couscous

Earlier this week I talked about my Marrakesh box from Try The World, and what I did with the sardines from it.  Now I'd like to tell you what I did with the rest of the items, which was to make this beautiful lamb and couscous dish!

Well Dined | Moroccan Stew with Couscous

First I took cubed lamb and tossed it with some of the kefta rub, then browned it in batches.

8Sep/151

Try the World Review, Sardine Butter

Well Dined | Sardine Butter

I really want to tell you guys about this delightful sardine butter that I made with lemon and fresh herbs, but first I need to tell you how I happened to acquire some sardines.  (Also -check out my delicious Seeded Peasant Bread in the photo, there.)

Well Dined | Try The World (Marrakesh)

I recently signed up for a subscription service called Try The World, which sends me a box of international goodies every other month.  The boxes are themed, so that everything in each comes from one country - my first box was Marrakesh (Morocco).

Well Dined | Try The World (Marrakesh)

Lemme walk you through what it is like to get one of these boxes in the mail.  You open up the cardboard cube, and inside is an adorable print and your beautiful box.

3Aug/152

Launch Pad Culinary Entrepreneur Competition

Last month, I wrote about a competition that I was invited to attend as a media person, and the breakfast meet and greet that went with it.  Well, the finale event of the competition was 3 weeks ago, and it was wonderful!  I apologize for the delay in writing about it, but 2 days after the event I flew to Texas to keep my mother company while she recovered from surgery, and I just got back!  So let's talk about this thing!

Well Dined | Launch Pad Finale

As I mentioned before, Launch Pad is a competition sponsored by Mess Hall, Ris, and Union Market to give culinary entrepreneurs a jump start.  The winner of the competition would take over the Ris stall in Union Market for 6 months.

Well Dined | Launch Pad Finale

I had never been to Union Market before this, so I got there early in order to wander around.  This place is so cool!  They were having a farmers market outside, with live music, and inside is a series of stalls with all kinds of food.  What a foodie dream!

Well Dined | Launch Pad Finale

I really wish that I lived closer to this market, because it is really cool.  I hope that you DC dwellers are appreciating this!

Well Dined | Launch Pad Finale

The Launch Pad event took place in Dock5 - the event space at Union Market.  It really is a big industrial loading dock that you can set up any way that you like for your event.