Tuesday, December 16, 2014

GW Fins--New Orleans

What an Evening of Wonderful Dining!

Made our reservations via Opentable many months ago for a pre cruise dinner in New Orleans.  We were sailing out of the Port of New Orleans on the Carnival Elation for a five day trip to Mexico.  
As we arrived early, our greeters immediately seated us at a perfect table.  

GW Fin presented us with their signature biscuit..no dinner rolls here.   They were light, fluffy and very good.   Something you wouldn't expect in a fine dining restaurant.  

Ryan, our server began our enjoyment with the perfect martini with bleu cheese stuffed olives...boy...they were good.  

Our next presentation were the salad course....a great Caesar Salad and the Triple Iceberg Salad.   It was divided into three segments each topped with Shrimp/Basil, Tomato/Thousand Island and Bacon/Bleu Cheese.  So good!

On to our appetizer course....Grilled Oysters on the Half Shell and Yellowfin Crudo.   The oysters were the best I have ever enjoyed.  The Yellowfin Crudo featured beautiful Yellowfin....and accompanied with Tempura fried Avocado....just a very interesting presentation.  Loved it.  

Oysters on the Half Shell

YellowFin Crudo
...and on to the entrées!

Wood Grilled Redfish with Blue Crab Fritters

Red Snapper with Lobster Butter

Ryan outdid himself with the suggestions....I have never had a dish presented that didn't need table seasonings...my dish was perfect.

To complete our evening.... fabulous desserts!
Salty Malty
The Ban-illa!!
What a treat to dine at GW Fin's....I would recommend this place to anyone!!

Rated #3 restaurant in New Orleans by TripAdvisor  

GW Fins on Urbanspoon Click to add a blog post for GW Fins on Zomato

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Citico at WindRiver

This has to be worth the drive from anywhere.    
Citico's at WindRiver was the BEST!  

Citico's At WindRiver is located in beautiful Lenoir City at the WindRiver Golf Course. The restaurant is located in a gorgeous mansion by one of the many rivers here in East Tennessee.   The mansion has remained as the original owners had created six years ago. The only change made was the complete kitchen installed in the two car garage.  


The PERFECT Martini with Bleu Cheese stuffed olives  

Our waiter suggested that we begin with a sharing plate of Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pork Belly...the best combination of flavors served with a sweet chili sauce.    

Beef Pot Pie Soup
As we moved to our entreés...Mark suggested the Venison Osso Buco and Smoked Quail with Succotash.  The Venison was perfectly cooked and plated.   Loved the butternut pureé. My Smoked Quail was moist and very flavorful.    The sommelier suggested the wine paring was was most enjoyable.  

Venison Osso Buco

Smoked Quail and Succotash

Chef Robert surprised us with Cornmeal Breaded 
Calamari with dipping sauce  

The wonderful meal was completed with 
two great desserts.....very enjoyable but 
they were NOT light and fluffy....very dense
chocolate stuffed with great flavor.  

Citico's is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings by reservations only.   You can book with OPENTABLE and get immediate confirmations.   I would highly recommend Chef Robert's beautiful restaurant.....top notch Food, Ambiance and Service.  All of the staff was so helpful and immediately able to provide any request.    After dinner, our Hostess, offered a tour of the mansion.  Loved all the interior design that was retained with the purchase of the mansion.   Well done, friends....well done!  

Citico's at Windriver on Urbanspoon

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Dead End BBQ--Knoxville

The Marquee says it all....The Search is OVER!    Finally made it to a place I have wanted to visit for a long time.  Stopped in for lunch at Dead End BBQ.  It was close to 130PM and the place was still hoppin'!  The entire restaurant was not what I was expecting...this place is is classy in an "Buckhead Atlanta" style.  Clean, sharp design.   But on to the BBQ.  

Immediately seated and was presented with the extensive menu featuring Speciality Sandwiches, BBQ plates and very interesting appetizers.  My server, suggested many things...but I wanted her to surprise me.  Very quick service and she brought the Wednesday daily lunch sandwich, Philly Cheese pulled pork with the Mac and Pimento cheese.  Loved the sandwich...and I could have eaten another one!  


I will be back......with all my foodie friends!   
Next time will be enjoying a beer too.  

Dead End BBQ on Urbanspoon

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Chattanooga Trip

The weather has been beautiful for the last few days....sunny and 60F plus.  Time for a day trip to Chattanooga, TN.   Our destination was the Tennessee Aquarium, but we just HAD to eat somewhere.

Near the Aquarium, you have more choices than a mall dining court.   Everything is available from cocktail lounges, grilles and smoothie shops.  I was hungry for BBQ and Buffalo Wild Wings was right in front of us.   Never been to BWW before and always looking for a foodie adventure.  

We arrived at lunch time and the place was moderately busy.  We decided to sit at the bar and had the full attention of our bartender and server.  After figuring out how to order, the rest was easy.   While waiting for our food order, I ordered a Fat Tire Draft.....thought it was VERY expensive at $7 per glass.  That was one of the middle priced beers and they offered more higher priced draft beers. It's draft beer after all!

We ordered Garlic Parmesan Wings and Cole Slaw.  Also, the boneless Honey BBQ wings with a house salad.  Everything was great...but I learned my ordering lesson.   Order your salads to be delivered with the wing order...then you can put the boneless wings on top of your salad for a BBQ salad.  They included at least 4 stalks of celery with the order..I maybe ate two pieces.  

House Salad with Bleu Cheese Dressing

Boneless Honey BBQ Wings

Garlic Parmesan Wings with Cole Slaw

Our Evening Meal was reserved with Open Table reservations.   Love that service and the mobile app is so handy while traveling.     It was my best friends birthday and we always have a yearly tradition of getting the best steak we can find for birthday celebrations.  Last year was on the Carnival Cruise ship The Legend in the Golden Fleece Steakhouse.  This year was going to be Bald Headed Bistro in Cleveland, TN.   Who could have guessed that this gem would be located here.  

Our server, let us enjoy browsing the menu.  We chose the Shrimp/Calamari appetizer with our martinis.  
Calamari and Shrimp Appetizer
Sad to report, but this was the ONLY picture that I could save since my batteries just up and died during dinner....I was MAD!    

We enjoyed the Bacon Extravaganza...a small filet wrapped in bacon, a wonderful scallop wrapped in bacon and a quail breast stuffed with Boursin cheese wrapped in bacon.   Great dinner with the roasted Brussels Sprouts.     I had my server surprise me with their choices which was the bone in filet mignon and mashed potatoes.   Really a great steak...perfectly prepared.  

For dessert, we had to have The Bread Pudding with Pecan Ice Cream and candied bacon garni.   Very good...and also the Elk Track Ice Cream Pie.  Both were perfect ending to a great day of traveling.  

Since Cleveland, TN is only 60 miles from where I live..Bald Headed Bistro will by my Great Restaurant destination in the very near future!   

Buffalo Wild Wings on Urbanspoon

Bald Headed Bistro on Urbanspoon

Chandler's Deli--Knoxville, TN

I don't get to East Knoxville much...but when I do...

we head to Chandler's Deli!

Stopped by today and was greeting by a packed restaurant at 130 PM.  Thought I might have to order take out...but a couple of tables opened up.  They were not clean..but I grabbed it anyway and wiped it down with the paper towels.    

Chandler's BBQ is so good...love the smokey flavor and the meaty ribs.   Today was a pulled pork sandwich, french fries and slaw.  

Everything  made at Chandler's is great...and they even are Knoxville's Award Winning Soul Food restaurant many years in a row.  

Cafeteria Style Ordering

One of my favorite things is the pulled pork sandwich.   Love the pork but the "white bread bun" just doesn't hold up...falls apart and you end up eating your sandwich with a fork.   Doesn't matter since its all good, no matter how you get it in your mouth.  

Seasoned Fries..made to order!

Creamy Cole Slaw

The famous Pulled Pork Sandwich
Love the food...but the entire dining room is a little messy.  But...that being said, you soon forget about that and dig into some of the best.    Never got to the fried chicken...and everyone raves about it.   Never had had the chicken...but there will be a "next time" real soon.  

Busy Place....all the time!!  

Chandler's Deli on Urbanspoon

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Brazerio's Churrascaria--Knoxville, TN

As we entered, we all commented on how many different restaurants had occupied and failed at this location. Brazerio's Churrascaria appears to be a successful tenant in a building that really was tainted.  I will not go to a new restaurant in Knoxville....they need to be around for six or more months to see how they do.  Most do not make it.  

Upon entering with our reservation in hand, we were promptly seated and greeted by a few servers.  It appears the servers work in teams to expedite your enjoyment. Cocktails were served while we examined the wine list and enjoyed the cheese bread appetizers.   They had the texture of a choux dough with a slight flavor of cheese.  They were very good. Drinks arrived and we were invited to the salad bar to help ourselves.  The Salad Bar was well stocked with very fresh ingredients including:

Fresh Steamed Asparagus
Manchego Cheese
Italian Salami
Large Fresh Tomatoes
Potato Salad
Romaine Salad
Brazilian Heart of Palm
Fresh Mozzarella
Apple Salad
Mixed Salad
Artichoke Bottoms

Nice Cheese Choices

After the Salads, we began our meat eating adventure.  Each guest has a large poker styled chip...with one side being red and one side green.  The green chip is showing when you are ready for the gauchos to start serving.  All the individual choices are served table side.   You choose what and how much you would like to be served.   Then, turn your chip over to red while you enjoy your selections.  They will not approach until you are ready to turn your chip over.  

Too Much to Enjoy

My choices included Top Sirloin, Pork Ribs, Sausages, Bacon Wrapped Chicken and Chicken Legs.  All were very good but I did find they to be a little over seasoned with salt.  Our servers were always near by but I found they kept some of the more expensive items away.   I had to ask for the Lamb Chops about four times before I received one.  Brazeiros also offer Leg of Lamb but I didn't try any.  Served family style were mashed potatoes, polenta and sautéed bananas offered in most Brazilian churrascarias.  

And on to the dessert choices.   One of our guests wanted the flan.   I asked my server to surprise me with a great dessert.  He really surprised me when he delivered two flan to the table.   Looks like he wasn't that interested in suggesting any of the other desserts.  Also, NY Cheese Cake, Creme Brule, Chocolate Eruption Cake were also available.  Brazeiros have a large selection of after dinner drinks but we were never offered any.  I would have expected the server to sell the menu but it appeared they were just interested in getting the table cleared for the next seating.  While we were enjoying our evening, we witnessed four separate tables be seated, dine and race out the door.  Dining really can be a fun evening of cocktails, conversation and enjoying each others company.  

I would return to Brazeiros but it will remain a special event as I couldn't eat like this on a regular basis.  They are open Tuesday-Friday for lunch and every evening for dinner.   Full Bar Available.  

Brazeiros Churrascaria on Urbanspoon