Advertisements
  • Subscribe For Free!

    Get my monthly email newsletter that includes all recent posts SIGN UP HERE!

    Or Bookmark Bay Area Foodie
  • Still Hungry?

    See my 300+ reviews on
    Yelp Bay Area Foodie
    Latest: Lyfe Kitchen (Palo Alto),The Melt (Palo Alto), Patxi's Chicago Pizza (Campbell)
  • $15 OFF COUPON

  • Leftovers (Archives)

  • Popular Entrees

  • About Me

    © 2008-2017 Nicole (a.k.a. Bay Area Foodie)
    =

Absinthe Restaurant

Ever since I saw Jamie on Top Chef I’ve wanted to try Absinthe. Even after her departure the restaurant remained on my radar. We finally stopped in for dinner. Everything was good but of note were the pretzels which were really little bite size garlic rolls. Insanely good. I could have eaten a dozen. The mussels/clams were also delish and a steal for $15!

IMG_1211

SOFT GARLIC PRETZELS
Vermont cheddar Mornay

IMG_1209

FRENCH ONION SOUP GRATINEE

IMG_1214

PEI MUSSELS & MANILA CLAMS
andouille sausage,roasted bell peppers, lemon-chardonnay sauce, spiced crostini

IMG_1216

COQ AU VIN
red Burgundy-braised Mary’s chicken,
bacon, roasted crimini mushrooms, crostini, persillade

Rating: drumstick ratingdrumstick ratingdrumstick ratinghalfdrumstick

Website: http://www.absinthe.com/

Advertisements

Luke Restaurant

lukesign
pasta fish This was my overall favorite dinner in New Orleans. John Besh’s Lüke is a French brasserie paying homage to NOLA’s past. The decor is bright & simple with a business casual vibe. We were seated in the back room in front of the kitchen. The menu reminded me of Thomas Keller’s Bouchon (which is a good thing). Lots of hearty bistro dishes with a Louisiana spin. Many entrées were calling to me (mussels, steak & frites) but I went with the redfish amandine since it was a more local ingredient. Mike decided on the nightly 3 course special. His meal began with a crawfish bisque, a light and flavorful soup. Then came lamb shoulder in a giant house made ravioli with a tomato sauce. It was delightful. My redfish had a light, flaky, salty crust and a wonderful almond butter lemon sauce. It was perfect. We finished the night with Mike’s third course a pecan bread pudding with vanilla bean ice cream. Simply scrumptious. The only thing that was a little off during our visit was our server. She would come and ask if we needed anything but you could tell her head was somewhere else and she was not really listening to our response. No big deal. I would return in a heartbeat.

Rating:
Website: http://www.lukeneworleans.com/

Lüke on Urbanspoon

Bouchon Bakery

bouchonbakery

If you can believe it we have never been to the Bouchon Bakery. Since it’s located across the street from NapaStyle we decided to stop by and grab some sweets and breakfast for the following morning. It’s a tiny little shop with many french bakery items to choose from. We purchased the following:

bouchongoodies

Nutter butter, coffee cake, walnut roll, Thomas Keller oreo cookie (TKO), blueberry muffin, chocolate bouchon (not pictured)

Everything was very good and even tasted fresh the next day. My favorite was the blueberry muffin and the TKO. Mike’s was the coffee cake and the Nutter butter. I think this will be a regular stop on future Napa trips.

Website: http://www.bouchonbakery.com/
Bouchon Bakery on Urbanspoon

Le Papillon

For our 2 year wedding anniversary Mike and I dined at Le Papillon. Mike’s parents had given us a gift certificate for Xmas and we decided this would be the perfect occasion to use it. Le Papillon opened in 1977 and was one of the first fine dining French restaurants in Silicon Valley. As we were seated at our table the first thing I noticed was that the restaurant was unusually quiet. Although the room was half full you could hear a pin drop. I guess everyone was deeply enjoying their food. I whispered to Mike “Are we allowed to talk?” This would soon change…

The moment we ordered a well organized food parade began. Starting off with THREE Amuse bouches: first cheese and duck, second shrimp in a citrus vinaigrette and third a tomato gazpacho. Three blissful bites. Next came our starters. We chose to share the Pan Seared Maine Day Boat Scallops with Hazelnut Polenta and Preserved Lemon. It was simply fantastic. I then moved on to my Lobster Bisque with Sweet Corn Timbale and Mike dug into his Baby Lettuce Salad. When I have ordered this bisque at other establishments it’s always a light shade of pink this time it was a deep brown. It was super rich and flavorful. Hands down the best bisque I have ever had.

For our main courses we both chose fish. We attempted to keep things light because we knew we were having dessert. I chose the Braised Sturgeon and Mike the Grilled Turbot. Again, both dishes were magnifique. Cooked and presented perfectly. Then came our two beautiful desserts. The Soufflé Grand Marnier with Fresh Berries and the Banana and Chocolate Torte (pass up a banana dessert–no way!) We r-e-a-l-l-y over ate.

The food and service was superb. The only negative for the evening came at 7:30pm when a large family arrived with two kids under age 4. This was a recipe for disaster. The tykes were tired and restless. They spent the night running around the table, clanging dishes and whining. I don’t hold the restaurant responsible for the unruly children but instead of a sign at the front door that says “No cell Phones” maybe it should say “No children under 8”. I like kids but when you are paying $140 per person you don’t expect to view an episode of romper room.

That aside, Le Papillon was an extraordinary eating experience and a grand way to celebrate two years of marriage. I’m sure we will be back for future anniversaries.

Note: Sorry for the lack of pictures but I took the night off…

Rating :

Website: http://www.lepapillon.com/

Le Papillon on Urbanspoon

Cocola Bakery

You may have passed by the Cocola Bakery in Santana Row and drooled over the delectable pastries, tarts and cakes on display. Many don’t know this, but they also sell a handful of specialty sandwiches. My favorite being the turkey breast with cranberry sauce and brie cheese on a fresh baked baguette. It reminds me of Thanksgiving. It’s a bit on the pricey side at $9.90 but a nice treat every once in a while. For a more affordable bite try the ham and cheese croissants. They also have great beverages…on cold mornings I will sometimes pick up a banana hot chocolate. Really good stuff!

Cocola Bakery on Urbanspoon

Picasso

picasso

For our “Big” night out in Las Vegas we decided to dine at Picasso which is located in the Bellagio Hotel. Mike had always wanted to go. Picasso named after artist Pablo Picasso serves elegant French cuisine with a Spanish influence and is prepared by chef Julian Serrano. The award winning restaurant has paintings and ceramic art by Picasso throughout the dining room. When we arrived for our 6pm reservation (the first seating of the night) we were offered the option to sit outside on the terrace. Since it was a gorgeous night (mid 70’s, no wind) we said yes. I love dining al fresco. We were ushered to a 4 table balcony overlooking the Bellagio Fountains. Every 30 minutes we viewed an amazing water/light show as relaxing music played throughout the night. If you ever have the opportunity to dine at any Bellagio restaurant and sit on the terrace…go for it. It really is an experience to remember. As we sat and enjoyed the view we opened the menu and SURPRISE we saw 2 prix fixe menus. One with 4 courses the other with 5. We didn’t realize you only have two menu options. After we made our selections we were promptly served an amuse – bouche which included potato leak soup and a smoked salmon spear. It would be a waste of time for me to go through all 8 dishes that followed and describe what we liked because we loved everything. ALL the food was wonderful and prepared perfectly. The service was impeccable. The only negative thing we can think of is the wine menu. It is EXTREMELY pricey. One of the cheapest half bottles was $70 and a glass was $22. When you are having a dinner like this you have to have wine. It really enhances the flavors of the food. The wine in conjunction with the 4 courses is what actually made this the most expensive meal of our lives (so far), but well worth it.

Since we sat outside we didn’t get to see much of the art so as we left we quickly checked out the paintings inside. After completing our 2 hour excursion I don’t regret making the decision to come to Picasso and if I am in Vegas, and I hit the jackpot, I will go again! As we left the hostess handed us a gift box. Inside were 2 cinnamon pastries. I am not sure why we were given this but they were great in the morning and a little reminder of our fantastic night.

Check out the slideshow of our evening below. Cue the Andrea Bocelli music…

Menu (Nicole):

Pea Soup
with Mint, Shrimp, Creme Fraiche

Kobe Beef Spheres
with Lentils

Veal Chop
with Mushrooms, Potato, Beets, Dash of Horseradish, Pinot Reduction

Chocolate Fondant Cake
with Espresso Toffee Ice Cream


Menu (Mike):

Crispy Squab Salad
with Micro Greens, Beets

Salmon
with Cauliflower Mouse

Sautéed Medallions of Fallow Deer
with Caramelized Apples, Zinfandel Sauce

Banana Walnut Torte
with Banana Ice Cream

Website: http://www.bellagio.com/restaurants/picasso.aspx

Rating:

(If the slideshow is not running above, click the PLAY> arrow in the bottom left corner)

Picasso (Bellagio) on Urbanspoon

%d bloggers like this: