Tag Archives: brunch
Yufei and I celebrated Valentine’s Day on the Monday after this year, and it was fantastic! I made us brunch with pancakes, eggs, toast, and chocolate covered strawberries in the morning:
Yufei got me flowers. Aww…
And at night we went out to Dixie for dinner. We had a voucher for a 5-course dinner with wine pairings for two, which was a great deal. The restaurant is located in the Presidio, surrounded by trees. It was dark when we got there, but I can imagine that it’s a pretty setting. The interiors of the restaurant was warmly lit. It was also really spacious, which I liked, and we got seated in a booth.
The kinds of food they serve I guess can be classified as new American with a southern twist. We started off with some canapés, which included hush puppies, deviled eggs, cured ham, and pickled okra.
The first course was a sunchoke panna cotta with smoked oysters, crispy fried brussel sprouts leaves & dandelions. Since Yufei does not eat shellfish, they made his without oysters. We were a little disappointed that they did not substitute something for the oysters, but oh well.
It was an interesting dish, unlike anything I’ve ever had before. I liked the crispy brussel sprout leaves, which kind of reminded my of kale chips. It was an interesting blend of textures and flavors. In the back of the photo you can also see their bread service of the night, a wild rive lavash flatbread served with black eyed peas. It was really good!
The next course was acorn grits with a soft poached egg, duck skin crackling and sea urchin butter. This time they replaced the sea urchin butter with regular butter for Yufei.
I should have taken the photo a few second earlier before the butter shavings all melted. They looked really pretty. It was a pretty good dish, not too memorable though.
Here are the first of the two wine pairings, a sparkling wine and a sherry. The last wine we got was a Malbec (not shown).
The next course was my favorite, the chicken fried quail with king trumpet mushrooms, spiced pecans, and bourbon butter. It was crispy and delicious and left me wanting more. But it was a 5-course meal after all so I guess the serving size was perfect.
And the final savory course for the night, grass fed beef with a red wine, mushroom & coffee sauce.
This was Yufei’s favorite course (not surprising since he’s a big fan of beef). I don’t really eat a lot of red meat but the portion was small and I enjoyed it. It was tender and pretty flavorful.
After the savory courses, we were presented with a small citrus granita palate cleaner before dessert. I kind of wanted a full serving of this, haha. So sweet and refreshing!
The dessert course, a banana foster soufflé with malted milk chocolate ice cream.
It was a nice light dessert to finish the meal. The little espresso cup the soufflé came in was too cute!
The meal overall was very good. The food was great and the service was very attentive. We tipped generously and even with the voucher, it was a pretty expensive meal. Everything was great, but I’m not sure if I would pay full price to come again.
After we got back home, we exchanged our presents for each other. Yufei got me chocolate truffles and these super cute foldable figures of us from foldable.me! Aren’t they adorable and funny? (Foldable Yufei is even wearing the same purple shirt as in the previous picture!)
Thanks to Yufei for spending this awesome day with me celebrating our 5th Valentine’s Day togehter :)
Oh dear, I’d been putting off reviewing all the restaurants we’ve been to in SF and now there’s too many racked up! So I will just do a few of the more memorable meals here.
I made a reservation there for Yufei’s birthday back in August. Yufei loves steak and Yelp helped me find this place. It’s on the top floor of the Marines’ Club building and there were excellent views of downtown SF. Very reasonable prices for the food and service. Very classy place – they had a live piano player! There were mostly older patrons though, but I guess that was expected. Good place for a special occasion dinner.
2. Slanted Door
A modern Vietnamese restaurant. I’d been wanting to come to this place since I found out about it during my SF visit last summer (I went to their sister restaurant Out The Door last year). We were at the Ferry Building one afternoon and decided to have an early dinner there. There was a line as soon as they opened for dinner, but we got a table pretty quickly. I liked the space a lot, very modern and simple with plenty of sunlight from the windows looking out into the ocean.
We got a couple of cocktails to start, which were both pretty good. (The pink girly one is Yufei’s. It’a actually hilarious how more often than not te drinks he order end up looking girlier than mine.)
For food, we got the daikon rice cakes for appetizer. They were pretty good, nothing too special for $14 though.
I got their famous cellophane noodles with dungeness crab for my entree. It was really delicious! A really simple dish but done well.
Yufei got the stir fried chicken with cashews, walnuts, and raisons. It sounded boring but actually was very good. The chicken was nice and crispy and the nuts and raisons complemented the meat well.
Overall a good meal but really a little too expensive for what you get.
A little French Bistro not too far from where we live. Yufei went there for brunch with a friend of his and said that it was really good, so we went again for brunch a few weeks ago. We sat in the back garden, which was nice (if on a nice day). Those tall umbrella things are actually heaters, which was very necessary for the cool SF summer.
We got a bottle of sparkling lemonade to share. Yufei ordered the Un, Deux, Trois: 1 buttermilk pancake, 2 eggs, and 3 strips of bacon. I got one of their many eggs benedict specials, the La Mer, which was served with dungeness crab and avocados (as you can see, I really like crab!).
My dish was really good. Eggs and crab and avocados and Hollandaise sauce sound really rich together, but it was just right and not too much. I love eggs benedicts and would love to come back and try some of their other varieties!
That’s all for now! Now I have a question for anyone who’s been to SF: are there any good, cheap Korean restaurants in the city? Like a bibimbap under $13? We’ve been to a couple but they were really pricey. Maybe I’ve just been spoiled by 4 years of Mill back in college. Anyways, if anyone knows, let me know!
Lunch at Tbar Steak & Lounge
Yufei and I decided to get lunch here before Restaurant Week ended! Tbar was a cute little place on the UES with lots of green in its decor which I loved. Highlights from the meal:
My cauliflower soup:
My Irish grilled salmon:
Yufei’s fillet mignon:
Desserts – chocolate mousse for Yufei and and banana parfait for me. The banana parfait was amazing! Definitely the best part of the meal:
Overall it was good experience, but I don’t know if I’d come back it it weren’t Restaurant Week. Although if I’m ever in the neighborhood, I would consider dropping by just for the banana parfait!
Brunch at Le Monde
A French restaurant near campus with really great brunch food (their dinner is okay but not as good as brunch in my opinion). I had an eggs Benedict and Yufei had the country breakfast:
Dinner at Gente
I had a voucher for Gente so we decided to go there for an early celebration for our 40 month anniversary and Valentine’s Day. The voucher was for a 4 course meal with wine pairings, which was great. We both got the tasting plate to start, which included a mini pizza, bruschetta, sliced beets, buffalo mozzarella, tomato and aged parmigiano:
And it came with prosecco:
Next came the pasta, and I got the shrimp and asparagus risotto and Yufei got Kobe meatballs with angel hair pasta (pictures weren’t so great so I won’t post them), and they were paired with pinot grigio.
Then for the entree, I got the sea bass and Yufei got the veal Milanese. This was my least favorite course; kind of wish I had gotten a chicken dish instead. But the Sangiovese chianti it was paired with was delicious.
And lastly, for dessert, I got the tiramisu and Yufei got the pineapple carpaccio with blood orange sorbet:
Overall great meal – loved the wines, the food was good, the dessert was excellent!
My first ever 4th of July spent in the US was amazing! Yufei came to visit for a few days and we had such a great weekend here in Nashville, which, of course, included lots of awesome food.
On Saturday night Yufei treated me to a delicious dinner at Sunset Grill, a neighbourhood restaurant not far from where I live. I think it was the best meal I’ve had – and probably will have – in Nashville yet! We started off by sharing the Sweet and Sour Smoked Duck, which came in a scallion pancake and was served with creme fraiche:
For our main courses, Yufei had the Angus New York Strip:
And I ordered the Shrimp and Grits because I was seriously craving seafood:
The dish was so so good! The shrimps were perfectly seasoned and the grits were so delicious and buttery. Even then I still couldn’t finish it since the serving was huge, and because I needed to save room for dessert! We opted for the Small Trio, which included 3 half portions of desserts. We chose a Rhubarb Crisp with vanilla ice cream, the Butterscotch-Habanero Bread Pudding, and the Death by Chocolate Cake:
They were all very yummy and we definitely stuffed ourselves that night. I really liked the restaurant a lot: the atmosphere was great, at least where we sat in the airy open area with glass windows and ceiling, our server was great as well, and the food was heavenly. I’m going to try and go back before I leave Nashville!
Then on Sunday, for lunch we picked up food from Panera and had a nice picnic lunch in Centennial Park. The frozen strawberry lemonade was so good and I’m obsessed with their potato chips. We also got ice cream and sweet tea – Yufei’s first ever! – at McDonald’s after. Then for dinner we went to P. F. Chang’s. We don’t often to go big chain restaurants but I wanted nice Asian food and that was a scarcity in the area around Vanderbilt. We had the prix-fixe four course dinner for 2. We each had a hot and sour soup and shared the lettuce wrap appetizer, which was really good, but I found the soup a bit salty.
Then for entrees we had pretty standard fare, sweet and sour pork for Yufei and sesame chicken for me. My chicken was actually very good, it had a nice ginger kick to it and I really liked it.
Then for dessert we had 2 of the mini desserts – the Great Wall of chocolate and the red velvet cake – which came in little glasses and were the perfect size after a pretty big meal.
Then came Monday, the 4th of July, and we headed downtown for the festivities. We had lunch at Jack’s Bar-B-Que which was yummy as always, and then bought ice cream before getting more free ice cream samples, free Cherry Dr. Pepper (Yufei was very very happy about that) and free McDonald mango smoothies. Dinner was the unhealthiest combination ever: sweet potato ribbon fries, nachos, and fried chicken on a stick, with a huge lemonade made from real lemons (pathetically the healthiest part of the meal). But to be fair, healthy options were pretty much nonexistent among the food stands in the park. Ah – gotta love America.
Tuesday was Yufei’s last day here in Nashville, and we had to go to The Pancake Pantry before he left.
It’s a so-called “Nashville Tradition” and I’d heard enough about the place that I was pretty curious about it myself. We went at around 11:45 am, and there was a line out the door. I was warned about this so it wasn’t so unexpected. We waited about half an hour before we got seated – in one of the booth seats by the window – score! After looking at the menu, Yufei decided to get the sweet potato pancakes and I got the Swiss chocolate chips pancakes, and we also got the Cook’s Medley to share.
The pancakes were fluffy and warm and scrumptious as expected, but I also seriously loved the Cook’s Medley – crispy hash browns with onions, peppers, tomatoes, and ham, with melted cheese on top and 2 fried eggs, served with spicy salsa – so so good. I was a lot of food for the 2 of us, and we wished that we’d only gotten 1 pancake serving to share, but oh well, everything was delicious!
And that about wraps up our food adventures this weekend in Nashville! Ahh… it was divine.
After three midterms and a test over the last 4 days, I really needed a day off (even though I have an entire book to read AND a paper on it due Thursday). So Saturday began with a delicious homemade brunch with Yufei which consisted of bacon, potatoes, sunny side up eggs, and orange juice.
Then later in the afternoon, we decided to go to the Empire State Building. I’ve come to realize that when you know you’re going to be in a place for the next 4 years, you tend to put off visiting a lot of places, thinking that you’ve still got plenty of time. So here I was, 2 years into my stay in NYC, and I still hadn’t visited the iconic landmark. So it really was about time. There was a lot of lines to get through, but most of them moved pretty quickly, so we were at the observation deck not long after we arrived. The day was fairly clear, and the view of the city was beautiful.
Brownie points for whoever can find Columbia in this picture!
They had the cutest King Kong stuffed animal in the gift store!
After our visit to the Empire State Building, it was already nearing dinner time. We had brought with us a LivingSocial coupon for an Indian restaurant named Cinnamon not too far away, so we set off for the place. When we arrived, we were the only customers in the small restaurant. It made us a little skeptical, but it was still rather early for dinner. The decor was chic and modern, and everything looked super clean and immaculate. We were warmly greeted and seated, and were immediately served water and crispy papadum with 4 different sauces. For drinks, Yufei ordered a mango lassi and I got a mango juice, both of which were full of flavor.
We ordered samosas to start, I decided on chicken tikka masala for my main course, and Yufei ordered the lamb roganjosh. Both of the main dishes were delicious, the sauces especially, and I really liked that the lamb was nice and tender.
Halfway through our main dishes, we realized that our samosas still hadn’t come. We asked about it, and they immediately went to the kitchen to check on it. The hostess came over and apologized that she had forgotten. But a few minutes later, we were presented with 2 large, fresh samosas. They were so fresh, in fact, that they were too hot to handle, and we had a wait a few more minutes to have them.
After we had finished everything, we were so stuffed that when they asked us if we wanted to see the dessert menu, we said that we really have no room. However, after they cleared everything away, a waiter came over and gave us a free dessert on the house.
It was called rasmalai, a yummy cheese dumpling soaked in this sweet creamy sauce, and it was very very good. It was definitely an awesome meal: the food was excellent, the service was friendly and gracious, and I loved the look and feel of the place. If it weren’t so far away from Columbia, I would definitely come back often.
After dinner, there was still a good hour and a half left before the movie we were seeing that night, so we went to a nearby Border’s to kill time. They had nice comfy couches in there, and I cozied up with a graphic novel I’ve been wanting to read for some time now (my Art/text workshop has really piqued my interest in them). It’s titled Blankets by Craig Thompson, a moving, beautifully rendered coming-of-age autobiography. I only made it halfway through, but I really want to finish it sometime soon (as a poor college student, I’ll probably find another bookstore to do that).
Then we went to see Red, which was a fun and entertaining film, not too thought provoking, but I think I preferred it that way as my thoughts were already provoked enough the previous week. And that ended our lovely day out, and now I feel sad that I have to get back to school work for another week. Fall break needs to get here faster.