Mega love! – Omega Ouzeri

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I love tapas because they offer you the opportunity to try a variety of dishes at the table without getting too full. It’s family style, with 7 more dishes, with the advantage of still being able to go by yourself. Tapas are Spanish small plates, dim sum is Chinese small plates, and mezethes are greek small plates. The only reason I even know about mezethes are because of Jose Andres, who opened Zaytinya’s, in D.C., and t0e used to rave about the restaurant. I’ve never even had mezes small plates before, until I went to Omega Ouzeri.

omega ouzeri - SPANAKOPITA

SPANAKOPITA – the standard spinach and feta with crème fraiche and dill; this isn’t how I imagined spanakopita, this was closer to an empanada, but it’s more delicate and oh sooo delicious; the dill gives it an extra zing and the olive oil it’s resting on is lovely

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Nutella Zeppole – Cantinetta Bellevue

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My mom was leaving for Taiwan, so I wanted to take her out to dinner before she left.  We needed good food on the eastside that wasn’t too fancy, but my mom knows good food (yes, that’s where I get it from). She likes Italian, and I had really like the Wallingford Cantinetta when I went a few years ago, so I thought we could try the newer outpost in Bellevue. Cantinetta is upscale Italian at its finest.

catinetta - steak tartar

steak tartar – with pomegranate syrup, pretty basic steak tartar, and badly missing crostini to prevent the sliminess of the tartar from being overwhelming, though the chunks of meat were fairly substantial and not completely ground

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Let the Good Time Roll – Roux

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Although I’ve reviewed Roux before, I don’t think I did it justice. Mike Robertshaw, the head chef, is headed to Arkansas on a new adventure, which meant we had to get into the restaurant one last time before he left. Although the Black Knight and I didn’t see him behind the counter that night, Roux served still served some amazing dishes.

roux - beet salad

beet salad – with endives, pomegranate, puffed rice, and blood oranges; sweet, tangy, crunchy and full of beets! this is probably one of the more original beet salads that I’ve had (note, there’s no cheese paired with the beets)

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Dancing Taste Buds – Delancey

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On a Saturday night, after a long hard run, I wanted pizza. The Black Knight had never been to Delancey’s, which some say, is the best pizza place in town. Well, on a Saturday night at 6:30, we were going to find out.

delancey - spicy salumi pizza

spicy salumi pizza – flavorful with fresh ingredients, but the magic of this pizza is the crust which has a great chewy consistency throughout. IT’s chewy and crunchy, but not so chewy to make your jaw tired and still a little fluffy in the middle. The pillows of fresh mozzarella only highlight the textures of the pizza. The char bubbles on the crust are not my cup of tea, but most people says it adds the bitter dimension and increased texture.

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A Tribute – Hommage

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Salumi and I chose Hommage because much ado and hype has surrounded this replacement for the lovely Book Bindery. My fondest memory of Hommage was our introduction to the hanger steak – a marvelous cut of meat few restaurants serve. In its place, the owners had hoped to build something more accessible, but make no mistake – this is still a foodie stomping ground. The open bar in the middle of the restaurant serving intriguing cocktails, the white of the room make the restaurant more trendy and youthful, but it is no less ambitious when it comes to food.

hommage - foie gras torchon

foie gras torchon – rich, mixed with pistachios and dabbed with pomegranate syrup, it had all the trappings a foie gras dish should, in the right proportions, though it probably could have used another slice of brioche. :)

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Driving me Locco – Local Burger

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My BFF and I had the idea to grab dinner and then buy supplies for holiday crafting. I had heard of a new burger joint in Bellevue, by the team from Local 360, so we decided to give it a try.

My friend had the peanut butter and jelly burger, which she was apprehensive about order, but ended up loving. I’m not really a PB&J kind of girl myself, so I can’t really say one way or another.  I do like the combination with foie gras occasionally, but I prefer my peanut butter and jelly as stand alones. As you know, I love my foie gras, so it’s no surprise that I ordered the Farm House burger.

local burger - farm house burger

farm house burger – juicy, great quality meat; it’s a smaller patty, maybe 8oz, topped with foie gras terrine; the foie gras flavor was faint, and felt like it was running away with the juices of the burger, which is quite delicate; the bun holds together though without getting too soggy; the French fries are on the soggier side, but I like that since the overly crispy ones tend to taste more burned when they have skins

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Excited for Espresso – Starbucks Roastery

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The first Starbucks is a tourist attraction and this new bean to cup roaster is going to be their next stop. While there are quite a few other bean to cup roasteries, like Vivace, Ladro, and Stumptown, none of them turn the art of roasting beans into a spectacle. And this is exactly what the Starbucks Roastery is – grand spectacle. Like the Cirque du Soleil of coffee and worth the time spent watching and admiring.

I’ve been on roaster tours in Hawaii, but none have the copper, the library, or the wiz bang of Starbucks. Starbucks is also roasting beans on a massive scale, so their equipment is twice as large and twice as shiny for display. Of course you have to try the coffee while you’re here, along with the pastries, and to really make an event out of it, stay for Serious Pie pizza. Even if your palette isn’t sensitive enough to tell the difference between the different beans, you can still enjoy the experience here in learning about how beans are roasted and partaking in the coffee ritual.

If you’re a coffee connoisseur, they offer a brew flight and a bean flight. However, unless you can drink 32 oz. of coffee in a sitting, you might want to share with a friend.

starbucks roastery - the line

expect to wait about 45 minutes to order your coffee; skip the line if you just want to walk around the roastery, go to the store, or go to serious pie

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