Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Pinthouse Pizza

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Pinthouse Pizza is a great find! Their pizza is amazing and wood fired, and their beer is really good too!

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Be sure to ask what seasonal beers they have on tap. They’ll even pour you a little shot to try them if you want. We picked out 5 for a sampler – Cousin Eddie, Oatie Man, Bearded Cereal, Luscious, Pilot IPA #7. And by the way I loved their chalk board idea on the front of the sampler so it’s easier to remember what you ordered.

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We settled on a glass of Cousin Eddie and Bearded Cereal. Let me just said the cereal one sounds strange, but it was amazing and not a normal thick heavy stout it was nice and light.

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Oh and for the pizza we went with a traditional medium Pepperoni and Basil $13.50. We also added on a side of jalapeno ranch for 50 cents. All are made to order and tasted really fresh.

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They have a great lunch special - 10” Personal pizza, a side salad and a drink
or Pizza roll, full salad, and a drink for only $9.50* *Upgrade To A Beer For $2.75. Next time I’ll give this a try because their salad looked really good.

Can’t wait to come back!

Tiny Pies

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What’s not to love about a cute little shop called Tiny Pies? Even better I can eat a couple and not feel guilty about it right? We happened to stop in right before Thanksgiving and what they had in stock was almost slim pickings.

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We got a 6 pack which was $24. Now it’s a little pricy and the pies are good, but not sure if it’s an OMG you have to stop place. I’ve had good pies at other places for less. The crust is a little on the thick side for me. Otherwise they look amazing and smell amazing. They tasted pretty good too, a little on the rich side, but not life changing. We went with the Pecan, Chocolate Cream, Coconut Cream, Pumpkin with Chai, Key Lime, Chocolate Pecan, TX 2 Step.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Antonia’s Italian Restaurant Wine Dinner

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We had been to Antonia’s a handful of times, but this was our first wine dinner there. They have 3 locations around Houston, so be sure to stop in if there’s one near you.

I appreciated that they had a mini cocktail menu display for each person, one side had the menu with the pairing and the other they offered a chance to buy a bottle you liked or mix and match a case. This isn’t something I had seen before and gave you  a chance to take something home. The manager was really welcoming and fantastic. He was very attentive and not just floating around, you can tell he cared about everything going on. For $72 a person the dinner and wine is a great value with personalization of items not on the menu. That being said I would love to have the roasted pepper bisque recipe….hint hint!

We where greeted with a welcome cocktail which was a raspberry prosecco. Bubbly with not to much raspberry it’s a nice way to kick of the night.

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The wine expert was a great speaker, the only complaint I had was he seemed like he was late for another event and bolted right when they served dessert. I‘m glad I got my questions in earlier in the night.

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First Course – Octopus and calamari salad (Marinated and grilled baby octopus and calamari cooled and mixed with julliened bell peppers and bermuda onions tossed in a citrus olive oil with fresh herbs) paired with Castagnolo Orvieto 2014 $36.68 a bottle. I have to admit I was nervous seeing this as the first course. It could be really good or really bad. A huge relief it was stunning! The calamari and octopus where so tender and full of flavor. I can’t tell you how many bad dishes I’ve come across I know there has to be someone cooking it right. The wine complimented the dish spot on. D isn’t into white wine, but this one stuck out to him. Not too dry and not too sweet, it’s great on it’s own and with the meal.

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Second Course – Roasted pepper bisque (Purred red pepper seasoned with the finest ingredients) Paired with Costa Del Nero Pinot Nero $45.62 a bottle. Love love LOVE this bisque! I’m a texture freak when it comes to bisque. This one is smooth as can be with shallots, parsnips, red pepper and chicken stock. Oh how I wish I could take a pot of this home. The pinot paired well with the dish. I didn’t expect it which was a nice surprise. Also as a fun fact Nero is Italian for black. You don’t see this on many bottles unless it’s a true Italian wine. The darker black wine is rich and creamy with great consistency finishing it off.

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Third Course – Ciopino (Seafood stew with fresh ingredients – scallops, fish, shrimp, calamari, and clams in a saffron broth with tomato, capers and olives) paired with Mormoraia Chianti Colli Seniesi 2012 $35 a bottle. I like this chef he’s ballsy! Swordfish isn’t one of my favorites, due to everyone overcooking it. This chef cooked it perfectly with a nice crispy crust yet kept it flaky. Not to mention every piece and I mean every last one was cooked perfectly. I did find the capers a little over powering, but all and all this was another winner. The wine has red and blackberry flavors with a smoothness you wouldn’t believe. The reason why is the grape used doesn’t need to age as long which makes it generally more smoother than others.

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Fourth Course – Rack of lamb (Marinated lamb pan roasted finished with a rich demi glaze, served with creamy polenta) paired with Pruno Sangiovese Superiore Riserva 1998 $93 a bottle. Oh man oh man where do I start with this dish. The wine came first I couldn’t stop smelling it! Sounds crazy, but there are certain triggers in life that bring memories flooding back. I remembered our trip to Italy and felt like I was sitting in one of the old wine cellars again. Another sniff and I’m transported back to California on our wine tour there. I wanted to instantly book a trip and relive all the great moments we had! ok ok how was the taste. Oh wow!!! Every sip the wine transformed and took on another layer. The wine guy said if you left it in a wine glass overnight it’ll taste completely different.IApparently this particular one comes from Bolonia and not Tuscany like most. Bolonia is known more for their cattle and cheese. This wine is bottled and aged 3 years before it reaches the market. It really did change with every sip and not in a weird way, in a did you like that well you will love this way. The lamb was cooked perfectly. I’ve given up worrying at this point, I know it’ll be good and it was. The New Zeland lamb was glazed in a reduction of the wine paired with it along with veal stock, butter and raspberries. Gone are the days of the cheesy mint glaze. I only wish I had bread I would have soaked up all that glaze and not left a speck on the plate. The polenta had notes of rosemary and parmesan cheese and it was so creamy I’m glad I didn’t have to serve myself or I would have looked like a pig.

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Fifth Course – Tiramisu (light lady fingers soaked in espresso and liquor layered between mascarpone and cream) paired with Icardi Moscato D’Asti. Ok this is my favorite dessert. Fingers crossed this has to be good! O…M…G…..Yes it’s so creamy and light and just the right amount of everything! Why can’t more people get it right like this?! Normally we are not moscato fans, but this one wasn’t overly sweet and really paired well with the tiramisu. Looks like I have some more taste testing to do to expand my knowledge of moscato.

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Everyone from the wait staff to the speaker to the manager where all very well informed of all the details, including what ingredients are in the dish. I appreciate a well oiled machine especially at an event like this. The timing was spaced really nicely and all the food was hot and not sitting out. Other events I’ve attended make you want to drink more or wish for extra bread because it takes so long. This dinner just had a really great vibe and flow to it, not to mention perfectly paired food. The night really did make me feel like I was on vacation.

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Chef Elmer was fantastic and his food is spot on. The establishment is lucky to have him!

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Looking forward to attending future events here!! Be sure to get on their mailing list, it sounds like the next event will be in February.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

BJ’s Brewery Beer Dinner


If you have a BJ’s Restaurant near you, make sure you get added to their email list. They do a quarterly beer dinner all over the nation which is a fantastic deal. Even if you don’t drink beer it’s a heck of a deal. If you sign up in advance it’s $35 or the as a walk in it’s $40.

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I don’t have many notes on the beers, but you can check them out on the menu above. As for the food we had started with their clam chowder. It’s really nice and thick and I recommend trying if you like clam chowder. Our friend with us doesn’t do seafood so they swapped it for chili. They loved it, I thought it was ok like a can of chili jazzed up a little to make it their own.

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Second course was Root Beer Glazed Ribs. I loved the spice on these. The sriracha cole slaw was a nice touch just a little too much dressing on it.

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Course 3 was a Sprimp and Asparagus Penne. Ehh I would pass on this not much flavor. The best part was the hot fresh roll. I’ll swap my bowl for a basket of bread please!! I should have stuck with our friend who had them swap this for chicken alfredo!

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For dessert it’s always gonna be one of their famous pizookies. They served an oreo flavored one and it was crazy good!

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As always it was a great time and I can’t wait for the next one!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Jupiter Pizza & Waffle Co.

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It’s not very often we head out to Sugar Land to grab a bite to eat, but when we do we always say it’s closer than we think and how come we don’t do this more often? I’ve had Jupiter Pizza & Waffle Co. on my list to try since they opened.

Walking in the restaurant is really open and loud. I forgot to take a picture. I’m not sure if it’s because we had a kid with us but we got seated in the very back behind a partitioned wall. The waiter seem super overwhelmed and forgot about us on several occasions. He had a line about them being a craft brewery outlet, yet didn’t know any of the seasonal beers on tap nor did they have a beer list.

For my son we ordered a kids pizza $6. The waiter brought him a cheese one instead of a pepperoni. The portion size was good and he really enjoyed the flavor.

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Hubby and I both did their lunch special for $12 each. You choose an item for 3 courses.

I went with the House Salad (spring mix, arugula, strawberries, dates, buffalo mozzarella, candied pecans with an herb balsamic), Speed Dating (dates filled with goat cheese, wrapped in pancetta bacon served on belgian waffle triangles sprinkled with powdered sugar with a side of maple syrup and balsamic reduction) and Southern Belle (Crispy fried all natural chicken breast served over a Belgian waffle topped with  our homemade maple cream)

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The salad was good, it just lacked some dressing, but I liked how big and fresh the strawberries where. The speed dating was out of this world good. That balsamic reduction was life changing good. I really wanted to hoard it and lick the bowl. As for the chicken and waffles their waffles are really fluffy and the flavor isn’t cakey or too sweet. The chicken was melt in your mouth tender and moist and the seasoning in the coating was really good. Eating a bite of the chicken and waffle really took away from each other which I was sad about, so best to try on their own.

D ordered the Chix (spring mix, arugula, curried grilled chicken breast, gorgonzola
cheese crumbles, candied pecans, bacon and dill honey mustard), sweet potato fries (add cheese for $1, bacon or pulled pork for $3) and Meat Hugger Pizza (tomato sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni, italian sausage, and pecan smoked bacon)

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The salad was ok, the potato fries where really good with the truffle oil they served, but the waiter forgot the add on of bacon and just brings a plate of bacon out. It was kindof random and not what we expected. The pizza was large in size and we took home half for another lunch.

Would we come back? Depends on who you ask. Hubby said no, I said yes. The prices are reasonable and the food seemed to have a lot of flavor. Yes it’s loud, but go when the weather is nice and sit outside.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Nagoya Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar

Tonight is ladies night and we headed to Nagoya to feast in sushi! I really love this place, it’s always fresh and I love all the rolls here.

This time we started out with an appetizer the Crispy Calamari $6.50 (Panko crusted calamari served with sweet chili sauce). It was cooked perfectly and had great flavor with the chili sauce.

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For the rolls we ended up ordering a little too much, but our eyes are bigger than our stomachs.

The Bunny Roll large $13.95 (Shrimp tempura, blue crab meat & avocado topped with crab, grilled lobster tail, masago, wasabi tobiko, scallion & cilantro butter mayo) This roll is pictured on the left.

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The Black Forest Roll large $12.95 (Spicy yellow tail, cream cheese, snow crab & avocado wrapped with big seaweed, tempura style - served with spicy mayo & eel sauce) I could eat a whole platter of this it’s one of my new favorites. This one is pictured on the right.

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The Nagoya Roll $ (Snow crab, avocado, spicy yellow tail inside, deep fried, spicy mayo, eel sauce & masago on the top)

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The Sunshine Roll small $7.50 (Snow crab, avocado, crabstick inside, topped with salmon - served with eel sauce & spicy mayo) This is on the left. I would order this one again it’s good and simple.

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The Tweety Roll small $7.95 (Shrimp tempura, cream cheese, jalapeno inside, salmon and yellow tail on the top) This is on the right. It’s a nice refreshing roll, but that jalapeno was HOT and overpowered the flavors.

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We also got a roll that was on special for $12 called the Henry. I don’t remember what was in it, but it was huge.

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