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Levon's Obsessions

A gal whose obsessions lie within fat, sugar, carbs, caffeine, and beverages that could strengthen the heart or seal up a womb.

Archive for the tag “lobster”

Minton’s Playhouse – Harlem

After going to the Minton’s Supper Club reception the other week in Harlem (ok fine, I’ve slacked, it was several months ago..) it was a no brainer where I’d be heading that perfect Saturday evening in Harlem with my number one guy. The food presentation from the reception never left me, nor did the owner’s full historical recap, not-to-mention revival tale of the landmark location.

mintonsreceptionThe intrigue re-emmerged at our 8:00pm reservation that evening, and I was still a bit shocked about how such a rich history at this foodie gem had remained hidden until I discovered it a few months back.  Well the secret was definitely out, and Chef Banks White and Executive Chef Alexander Smalls now both have a face to go with these impeccably plated creations.

That night all the mouth-watering hors d’oeuvres from the previous Minton’s Supper Club re-opening came full circle.  The biggest hit being the mini crab cakes, with the prosciutto wrapped asparagus not at all being short of flavor, and the spicy Cajun prawns immediately punching you with intensity.

Saturday we started with the Grilled Shrimp and Charred Okra, and the delectable and nearly orgasmic, Smoked Gouda and Gruyere Mac and Cheese.  Out of the one million and five mac cheese combinations, this is truly my favorite.  It was incredibly moist and flavorful, which really leads me to believe there was possibly some truffle oil involved.  But I guess I’ll have to keep guessing and experimenting in my kitchenlab to figure that one out.

We then went with the Cremolata Crusted Grouper…mintonsfish

…and the Smothered Lobster and Shrimp Casserole.

mintonslobster

The Lobster Casserole was simply everything.  I had to take several pauses to truly absorb what was happening at our table.  The magic in that plate was indescribable.  I tasted my FPIC’s grouper, which had a nice texture and vibrant presentation, but in all honesty the lobster completely overshadowed and stole the fish’s moment.  It was the showstopper.

With the old skool crowd, the old skool band, and even the old skool “jackets only” rule, it truly was reminiscent of Old Harlem and what I’d imagine the Renaissance feeling like. It made me step back a few decades, but the food unquestionably crossed over into the now.  Minton’s Supper Club aka Minton’s Playhouse is certainly making its resurrectional mark in this age of Harlem gentrification.

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Addams Family Meets Old West Bordello – Cowboy Ciao, Phoenix

Someone at Cowboy Ciao in Phoenix must have a hook-up with Amy Farges -aka- Aux Delices Des Bois and therefore went absolutely bananas with the grocery list when they concocted this mushroom infested dish.  None-the-less my psychologically-induced decision to beeline to their take-out counter from my terminal inevitably cost me $26 as opposed to what should’ve been $3 for a bottle of water.  I had every intention of grabbing a Fiji or Pellegrino from a nearby newsstand and heading straight to the gate since I still harbored all the shame and guilt from Thanksgiving.  Unfortunately my food obsession clouded all airport judgement and rationale, and therefore my sound reasoning was destroyed within seconds.

Minutes later I found myself drawn to this “Addams Family Meets Old West Bordello” restaurant and was completely engulfed in their menu.  Or at least that’s how one of their guests described it.  Interestingly enough, out of all the considerably decent menu selections, yours truly landed on the one menu item that had about a hundred different types of mushrooms in it.  The Exotic Mushroom Pan Fry…Image

It consisted of a perfect blend (or entirely overwhelming, depending on your level of obsession) of cremini, button, oyster, cepe, lobster, black trumpet, shiitake, morel, and yellow foot mushrooms in ancho cream over double-cooked polenta, topped with grilled portabellini, avocado, Roma tomato and cotija cheese.  Lucky for me, I have a vast appreciation for mushrooms.  Seriously.  I do.

The words that I would use to describe the sauteed mushrooms would probably segue into a link to another type of site where you would probably be forced to click on your birthdate… I’ll just play it safe and say it was Napa Valley on a plate for mushroom lovers and enthusiasts.  It was truly a mushroom lover’s fairytale.

Initially my unwillingness to negotiate the pairing of anything else with this fungi extravaganza made me skeptical.  Tomatoes, avocado and cheese? Will it be loose polenta or formed?  And exactly how much of this triangular polenta will be swimming at the bottom of this sea of caps?  These are the questions that bounced around in my head as I looked once and then twice over the menu, ultimately knowing in the back of my mind that it would boomerang directly back to the shroom dish.

So approximately 2.5 minutes later I placed my order.  Within 7 minutes my Exotic Mushroom Pan Fry came out, in addition to the bottle of Fiji water that was supposed to be my meal. And just to keep the “why stop here” caloric party going I had the lovely cashier throw in a slice of their famous Birthday Cake cake to satisfy an imaginary sweet tooth that I somehow developed in the midst of my mushroom excitement.  The exotic mushroom dish was expectedly bold in flavor due to all the various shrooms, the garnishes were surprisingly complimenting, and the polenta definitely added a bit of texture for a fitting balance overall to the entree.  The Birthday Cake left me feeling shameful and guilty, however stimulated in all the right foodie areas.  I quickly washed down all the evidence with my bottle of Fiji water and headed to my gate for my next adventure.

So there you have it folks, Old West Bordello and an exotic mushroom carnival at an airport terminal near you (Terminal B of Phoenix Sky Harbor Int’l Airport more specifically). If you are a lover of mushrooms and all things unexpected yet good, you should probably come here.

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