Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Ultimate Comfort Food

On today's menu are a few 
of our favorites. Over the 
years Frank and I have 
been served by some 
truly amazing people.
They made our lives better, and we will
never forget them.


While living in Columbus,
this joint was one of the few things I liked. Great steaks and an ice cream roll to die for! The atmosphere was a smoky mix
of Rat Pack and Miami Vice. Food and decor aside, great service kept us coming back.

"Vi" our waitress was a cocktail clairvoyant!
Our eyes met, she winked, and presto - 
A Knob Creek Manhattan on the rocks!

Last year, after serving memories for over 65 years, The Clarmont closed. Just another reason to never return to Columbus again!

The first time we dined at this cafe' on Second and 50th, we were seated in a cozy booth. On the wall hung a picture of the owner in a place that looked oddly familiar. When we queried Ernesto about where it was taken he said -
"That is my most favorite place 
 in the world... Mont-taanaa".
And at that moment we had made a
new friend in Manhattan! Turns out
that every fall Ernesto goes to nearby
Geyser to hunt grouse. Small world!

Le Mediteranee became one of our favorites. Ernesto's warm welcome was the perfect appetizer.  The gentleman playing standards, always a piquant side dish. But the soft shell crabs provencal (in season) were the ultimate entree'! Lightly floured, perfectly sauteed, they could make you cry!


One day Frank dragged me to concrete monolith located at the far (and isolated) end of Chicago's Wentworth Avenue.

Thank God he made me go in.
Because it was there that we met a waiter named "Ken". A savvy server who immediately sensed that we were foodies willing to eat anything.

Thereafter, Ken did all the ordering. And in doing so, taught us to love Chinese cuisine. No "American", instead options only served to Chinese patrons

Addictive bitter melon
Crispy shrimp with head/shell
Tender beef tendon.
Pea pod tips (Leaves)
Delicate, fragrant lily bulbs
Giant oysters with black beans
Luscious chicken feet
Ken truly changed 
our lives forever.


In 1980 I took my first trip to Dallas and dined at the newly opened Mansion.
Who knew that 30 years later it would become one of my favorite haunts?
Yes, it's posh. Absolutely, totally, and completely posh.
But it's also just about the most friendly place I've frequented.
Our last night in Dallas we dined on the veranda.

Ryan, the director of the restaurant as always was there to welcome us.
Not only is he an elegant and cordial host, he truly cares and connects.
Kindly remembering our names and tiny details about our lives.

Stephanie, our adored waitress (and friend) tearfully cared for us. What can I say beyond "FABULOUS"? Intuitively she knew I preferred brandied cherries in my Manhattan. That Frank adored the Cauliflower Panna Cotta with Caviar! And... that we would both opt for the fresh Dover Sole Meuniere.

These are but a few 
of the many who have made our lives better.

You can get great food, drink, and atmosphere many places. 
Even Lewistown, Montana!
Mary, Brad, and Maria always make dining at The Mint a pleasure.
Quality people, who really care, are the reason we come back.