Showing posts with label Restaurant Reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Restaurant Reviews. Show all posts

Monday, February 20, 2012

Sweet as pie

Welcome to a new addition on the West side of Maui, Leoda's Kitchen & Pie is so adorable I could seriously move in tomorrow! Both the hubs and I were attracted to the green vertical siding, butter yellow doors, railings, & corrugated metal roof, I could envision a beautiful plantation style home done in similar colors/materials for us, one day.

When you walk in you are greeted by the amazing staff and wonderful treats that will make you say 'One of everything please!', and the multicolored reclaimed wood wall by the bar seating is so fun and beachy...the sand on your toes will feel at home!

The bathrooms are located to the left of the order counter and the photo collage makes your mind wonder to a time when Maui was no more than a small island not yet disturbed. And how adorable is that bathroom door?! Temped to incorporate something like that into one of my Altadore jobs, I think it would a bit quirky and fun for a kids bath, no?

Just past the bathroom is a larger seating area, compiled of picnic style seating, booths, and chairs, all of the white, the beams, the lighting, all of it please add to my wish list for my future Maui home. Separating the kitchen from this seating area is a service station where they keep glasses, cutlery, and even spices in mason jars, it just has THAT feel.

On the front veranda they have beautiful sculpted iron corbels that have a great contrast against the green siding...could have stayed here all day.

We have one week left on this beautiful island, is is seriously one of those places that we could call home, and one day we hope to make that a reality. Here are a few more Instagram (my latest addiction) images from the past week...

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I do wish you the best week, as I know we will be making the most of every single second we have left here on this amazing island. Be sure to check in as I have two more amazing guest post for you all to read and enjoy...until then, aloha!!! Mel xo

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Review: é by José Andrés Las Vegas

So I sent out a tweet to a friend of mine in Calgary, the biggest foodie I know, and one whos opinion I trust. I simply asked if he could eat ANYWHERE  in Vegas where would he go. His first pick was é, but he doubted we would be able to get in. After searching the Internet to find out more about é I was obsessed...because I couldn't find anything about it. No website. No phone number. No information. The only thing I found was a review on Yelp with an email address

So off whet the requested and I waited for the reply. A few days later I got the notice, we were in for dinner. After filling out paperwork, sending in a deposit, and then receiving our golden tickets we were set to experience a dinner that is unlike any other. é is located in the Cosmopolitan Hotel & Casino in the back portion of Jaleo. It is so discrete the doorman didn't even know what I was talking about. They only have 2 seating per evening and each accommodates 8 people. We were lucky enough to have a party of 4 bail at the last minute, so it was just us, one other couple, 3 amazing chefs, and 2 servers that were hands on and a wealth of knowledge.

22 courses in all, come along with me as I share a few of my favorites (and yes, it will be picture overload). 
We can start with the first course, a Gin & Tonic. But not any G&T, this was made with nitrogen in front of us. There was white smoke filling the room as the concoction was whipped into a frozen delight.

Moving on to our second course of Beet Jewelry that was dusted with silver & gold. This girl likes things that sparkle so this was right up my ally. We were told to place it on our finger like a ring and to enjoy it that way, I may have admired mine for a bit longer than everyone else.

 Our third course was Spanish 'Clavel', an edible flower served on a mold of José Andrés hand. It was light, airy and sweet. Followed by Caramelized Pork Rinds that were amazing, seriously, I could have munched on those all night long.

Apple 'Brazo De Gitano', a savory sponge cake that I can't even describe, once it hit your lips it melted, filled with a blue cheese that lingered in your mouth and made you want more.

 Crispy Chicken Skin in Escabeche. At first I was not sure how I would like this dish with the chicken oysters...but oh yummy! Both Rob & I were licking our fingers after this one!

And to take a break and view more of the small space we were being entertained in, I asked about the corset since it was so striking. Stephanie informed us that there is a local artist in Las Vegas that called showgirls from the 1950's & 1960's and asked for some of their old outfits so they could be turned into sculptures. If only it could tell some stories from back in the day!

Next up was José Taco & Artichoke with Caviar, again, a delight filled with textures and surprises. The Artichoke may have very well been one of my favorite bites of the evening.

Bocata De 'Calamares', a traditional Spanish sandwich that is served with calamari. To mix things up José served this tiny fried brioche roll with uni and a runny, messy, lick your lips sauce. Stephanie told us his main concern was having the sandwich 'messy enough'. Well José, you succeeded, my napkin was put to good use. 

OK, so this was my favorite of the evening. The Ajo Blanco, the Spanish white version of gazpacho made with almonds. The textures in this dish played off of the temperatures of the different items as well. This was savored and loved.

All of the food is prepared in front of us with such precision, it was a highlight of the evening, watching the chefs create edible art for us dish after dish. Below the Lobster with Citrus & Jasmine was being put together. The Hubs thought he was being slick since he was cutting all of the lobster bites in half, making it last that much longer.

We did do the 'wine' pairings with our meal. It really helped to give us the full experience for the evening. And no, it was not all wine. There were pairings of sherry and beer included throughout the meal. I asked Stephanie for a list of the beverages and then I heard the 'clack clack clack clack' of the typewrite behind me. Another example of every detail being thought of.

Chickpea Stew with Ibérico Ham, or as I like to call it, the party in your mouth dish. When you placed a chickpea on your tongue and touched it to the roof of your mouth it would pop, a mini explosion of flavor. How was this done? I don't remember all the details but I know alge, a syringe, and steady hand were all used to make those little party balls happen.

 The catch of the day, for us it was Black Cod with Citrus Pearls and Black Garlic. It was light and flaky, the cool temperature of the citrus pearls were booming with flavor and brought the dish together taking it to the next level.

Rosemary Morels in Papillote, aka yummy bites baked in bags. Served in copper pans tied with a subtle gold ribbon, once cut open they were topped with foam before being gobbled up.

Secreto of Ibérico Pork, a 100% acorn fed pork that had a nutty flavor that was so tender your could cut it with a spoon. José has this meat flown in raw from Spain since keeping it as true to Spanish tradition as possible was key.

 Finally a couple of the deserts that we were treated to, and honestly, by this point we were stuffed but we had to eat what was put in front of us!! On the left is the Fizzy Paper, it was tart and not too sweet. On the right is the 25 second Bizcocho, dusted with silver and gold and filled with a yummy cream. Also on the plates was saffron infused chocolate & chocolate 'air'. So as you can see, there was a lot of food that we had the opportunity to sample & we left full, very very full.

At the end of the evening we had to get a group shot in the 'kitchen' area.

After dinner you are asked to sign a book and given a dinning number, I was 1346 & the Hubs was 1347. I can honestly say that this was one of the most amazing culinary experiences that I have ever had and I hope to be able to go back again when we return to Sin City. Yes, the $700 price tag doesn't work with all budgets but we opted for this rather than a show of some kind...but it turned out to be the best show of all! Thank you to all at é, you made our trip to Las Vegas even more memorable, hope to see you again soon! Mel xo

Friday, February 11, 2011

Fridays Favorite - Hali'imaile General Store

Today's favorite comes to you from Maui, it is one of our favorite restaurants on the island, Hali'imaile General Store in Upcountry. It is a must do if you are visiting the island, worth the dive from any is a treat all around!

It is owned and operated by Bev Gannon & her husband Joe. The first of now 3 restaurants that they have opened up on the island. The food is phenomenal; from the appetizers of Oysters 'Rockefeller' with Kahlua Pork & the 'Famous' Crab Pizza to the O.M.G. sooo amazing lobster & avocado salad with kaffir lime & coconut vinaigrette finished off with Big Island hearts of palm & purple sweet potato chips, I think I will need to venture back just for that salad once more before we leave!

We also dined on the Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi with tropical fruit salsa, mashed purple sweet potatoes, and mango lilikoi butter sauce along with the Opakapaka sauteed with bok choy in a pineapple coconut curry sauce.

And how could we leave without having desert!?!? My selection, the Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie and the Hubs went for the Lilikoi Brûlée and Almond Brittle Cup...both will treat you well!!

While we were having our dinner Bev's husband Joe sat for his meal at a table behind us, we ended up chatting a bit and I told him how much I love the decor & design, the overall feel of the restaurant. I felt at home, I was planing my own General Store one day, I was inspired. He explained that he took Bev's vision and along with set designer Jeremy Railton they created this oasis that is a local favorite to all.

All image my own

I am going to miss the amazing restaurants here, my waist on the other hand will be happy to get back to a regular routine. If you are planing a trip to Maui and want any info on amazing restaurants, beaches, and secret locations let me know. We do consider this our second home and one day we hope to have the virtual home I have designed in my head as a reality. Mel xo
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