Restaurant Review: Bavette’s

I’ve decided to start doing restaurant reviews again. I used to do them when I first started this blog and for some reason I stopped. I love recommending restaurants to my friends and family. I am usually raving for days if I go somewhere new or had a great experience. Soooo, why not rave on here? Let’s get started.

Screen Shot 2013-10-30 at 9.21.39 PM Same owners as Gilt Bar, Maude’s Liquor Bar and Au Cheval & Doughnut Vault

Screen Shot 2013-10-30 at 9.20.18 PM

Ambiance: Sexy! Dim lights, glass chandeliers, and cozy red booths. I took J there for his birthday and we sat in a intimate booth downstairs.

Service: Excellent. Our waiter was super knowledgeable and described the dishes on the menu so well that my mouth was watering. He was personable but not too overbearing. He was totally on top of everything.

Food: Honestly, the first time I went was for J’s birthday and it was awesome! We ordered shrimp cocktail (huge shrimps), salmon tare tare, and warm goat cheese. For dinner we split a bone in filet and a sweet potato. UNREAL. The sweet potato tastes like candy. The second time I went with my family and I thought some of the dishes were just fair. For example, we ordered the white fish caesar salad. I LOVE the salmon caesar salad from Gilt Bar. I figured white fish would work just as well. The salad was really fishy tasting and I was disappointed. We ordered the rib eye this time for our entree to split. Even though it was full of flavor it was SO fatty and SO salty. I should have known better, rib eye is a fatty cut of meat. Our amazing waiter sold me on it, I was convinced! J and I were left thirsty and bloated.

Anything else?: You should definitely go there at least once. The service and the ambiance make for a great dining experience. Don’t order the rib eye if you don’t like fat on your meat (even tho it was super flavorful). Stay away from the white fish caesar salad and you will be golden!

Restaurant Week: A fancy lunch with co-workers

I got the iPhone 4GS  when it first came out but I never took advantage of Siri until this week when my Dad told me he uses it constantly. I fell in love as you can see below. I guess Siri and I need to get to know each other better before she loves me back.

Wednesday afternoon, I had a delicious lunch with my co-workers at GT Fish and Oyster. I’ve been dying to try it. It was the perfect little lunch where we ordered from a three course tasting menu to try a bit of everything.

the girls!

top left: shrimp bruschetta, top right: scallops, bottom left: herb crusted white fish, bottom right: carrot cake

Everything was delicious and the portion sizes were perfect for lunch. We were full and satisfied but not to the point where we wanted to sleep at our desks when we got back to work.

Are you going anywhere special for restaurant week?

Dinner with my Sis

My sister Samantha and I went to Topolobampo for dinner the other night. It’s always fun to have sisterly bonding time and since we both love to eat, dinner is our thing!

Samantha and I before dinner

top: old navy, jeans: seven, purse: marc jacobs, necklace & bracelet: spike the punch, watch: borrowed from my Dad

incredible margaritas

yum!

mini tacos

lobster

Carne asada- the most amazing sauce!

Such a great night!

Where I’ve been

Good morning, Happy Monday! I apologize for being a terrible blogger but I have tons of stuff to share with you!

Last week I was at a conference in Shaumberg, IL for work to kick off 2012. It was a great experience. I saw speakers such as Al Gore, Madeleine Albright, and Rudy Giuliani. I will share more of those details later this week.

Here are my weekend highlights!

I babysat for my family's dog Chloe over the weekend. She is too cute for words.

I babysat for my family's dog Chloe while my parents were out of town. She is too cute for words

At Paris Club wearing my "hippie" outfit. Wide leg jeans, flowy top, wavy hair, and my favorite leather bomber jacket.

cocktail bling

My college roomate sent me this throwback from 2008 when we were seniors at IU. So funny to see old pics!

I want this

Texas boy and I at a friends bday party

Sunday morning brunch at Prasino. Their entire menu is organic and has gluten free and vegan options.

Banana bread french toast

Lobster stuffed avocado

The Austin Texas

they even brew their own kombucha!

Dinner: flaming cheese from Greek Islands

Tiramisu

Girl & The Goat

Saturday night I went to Girl and the Goat with my family to celebrate my Dad’s Birthday. This restaurant is impossible to get into, I made this reservation 4 months ago and I have to admit it was worth the wait.

I loved the ambiance of the restaurant. It was very comforting and welcoming. The second we walked in we were greeted by the friendly host and hostess who lead us to our table. You can definitely get away with wearing jeans or a dress. I wore cords and a simple top.

 The menu had a variety of dishes ranging from veggies, fish, chicken, steak, and goat…yes, goat. They change their menu every so often to make sure it’s up to date with the seasons. There are some very exotic items on the menu (like goat) but our waitress was very knowledgeable and made sure we ordered the yummiest dishes.

I loved the open kitchen. Half way through dinner my Mom and I switched seats so I can watch for myself.

So entertaining!

Their plates are designed to share so we ordered a TON of dishes and tried everything.

We started with warm raisin bread with carrot jam and a yellow raisin & walnut butter

 chickpea fritters

seared scallops with fried brussel sprouts, pomegranate, spiced pecans, in a pumpkin sauce

luna azul tequilla, saint germain liquor,  and lime juice

Saint germain liquor is made out of an elder flower so it had a sweet and unique taste. It’s my sister’s favorite!

 sauteed shrimp with spaghetti squash

 wood fired walter’s chicken

fried pickles, two different types of sauces, and grilled naan

 We took the ingredients above and made a little sandwich using the naan bread. The fried pickles reminded me of Snooki from the Jersey Shore lol

 sauteed green beans

chorizo flatbread

 smoked goat empanadas

We took the plunge and tried goat, recommended by our server. I was a little scared at first but it was delicious!

 roasted cauliflower

beef ribs

 doughnuts!

All in all, we had a fantastic dinner and most importantly, my Dad was SO happy.

We had a wonderful dining experience and I can’t wait to go back!

 Happy Birthday Daddy! We love you!

Italian Dinner with the Girls

Good morning! I am in BAD shape today….not only did I over sleep but I am battling a nasty cold/sinus/cough whatever it is! Fortunately, I had the privilege of dining with my high school friends last night at Enoteca Roma a cute Italian neighborhood restaurant in Wicker Park.

We sat in the back patio which was very open and spacious. I loved the ambiance of the entire place. They had an extensive menu with tons of yummy options to choose from. We ordered a bunch of plates to share.

Since my throat was killing me, I started with the garlic lentil soup.
It was delicious! I almost took another cup to go for my lunch today.
Their menu had a variety of bruschetta options. We were able to mix and match.
My favorites were the goat cheese and roasted red pepper and the apple, honey, and brie.
Refreshing salad to share…mixed greens, onions, dried cranberries, gorgonzola, & granny smith apples.
Their rustic roman style pizzas have a thick and crunchy crust. 
We ordered the Dragona, tomatoes, olive oil, basil, and burrata cheese.
no words
LOVE at first bite.
Pear ricotta ravioli with a walnut cream sauce and Gorgonzola cheese.  
Not pictured: spaghetti in a spicy tomato sauce with shrimp, cherry tomatoes, garlic, and a white wine sauce.
My fatass plate
The restaurant is connected to Letizia’s Bakery (same owner). 
Obviously we had to stop into the bakery and check out the goods!
heaven!
OMG…giant peanut butter cookies sandwiched with chocolate fudge
i love my friends.

You can take the girl out of chicago…

…but you can’t take Chicago out of the girl!

This post is a special treat from my bestest friend in the world, Jess. We’ve been best friends since we were 5 years old and have remained closer than ever. After college, Jess moved to LA to get out of the Chicago cold and has fallen in love with the restaurants, nightlife, and culture. I am thrilled to have Jess as today’s guest blogger! Not only is she gorgeous, but she is one of the smartest people I know and an incredible writer. I hope you enjoy this article as much as I do!

I am honored to be featured on Newtrition. As a Los Angeles transplant there are definitely days that I long for a Chicago dog, deep dish pizza, and an Italian beef sandwich. Sometimes I even dream about Lou Malnattis. However, I am really lucky that LA has some of the healthiest restaurants in the country. My eating and exercise habits have immensely changed since moving to the west coast. There are some places that I would truly miss if I ever moved back to the Midwest. For those who are taking a trip to LA, I recommend you visit the following places.

Real Food Daily – For those of you who cringe at the thought of eating vegan, I challenge you to try the RFD nachos. This place has made me love cashew cheese much more than the dairy option. It’s also much better for allergies. I also was introduced to the wonders of blackened tempeh here. This meat alternative is delicious and spices up any salad. I am not a fan of eating chicken in restaurants as I have no idea what hormones and antibiotics it was fed. Blackened tempeh is a yummy, healthy option that everybody should try. http://www.realfood.com/
True Food Kitchen – Who doesn’t love farmers markets? I shop at the Brentwood Farmers Market almost every weekend because there is nothing better than farm to plate food. True Food Kitchen is a new Santa Monica restaurant that is centered on the principals of Dr. Andrew Weil’s Anti-Inflammatory Diet & Food Pyramid.  To them, “sustainability means taking the time to locate the very best produce, meat, and seafood partners in each community”. Since the products are locally grown, the menu changes frequently per season. http://www.truefoodkitchen.com/

Pressed Juicery – I am a juice fanatic. Pressed Juicery now has two locations in Malibu and Brentwood and sells 100% raw and unpasteurized juice. My personal favorite is the apple, lemon, ginger. Many people in my office have also tried their juice cleanse. Their website offers a quick test to determine which level cleanse is right for you.  For those of us who don’t have the time to make our own fresh juice, this is the place to visit. http://www.pressedjuicery.com/

Maha Yoga – I have always been a huge yogi, but sometimes class was more relaxing than hard. Not the case at Maha Yoga. Steve Ross, founder of Happy Yoga has built a place where “happy yoga” is practiced. If you’re lucky you might even get a back massage during class. Some may call this practice yogaerobics or hip hop yoga. Each time I walk out of the breezy music filled studio, I feel like I just jumped into the ocean. These classes are not for beginners and are extremely vigorous. For those who want to stretch and sweat, Maha is your place. Check out instructor, Tom Morley on Exercise TV. http://mahayoga.com/

Runyon Canyon – This is the place to see and been seen in LA. I know a girl who will go there every morning just to check out Alexander Skarsgard. One should not visit LA without taking in a glorious and sweat inducing hike. The dog watching is also as great as the people watching. There are three trails and one even includes a hike past an abandoned mansion and a farm completed with horses. You can see the entire city all  the way to the ocean on a clear day. Yoga is offered in the park on the weekends. http://www.yelp.com/biz/runyon-canyon-park-hollywood

Have a great weekend!

BBF and stuff…

Good morning! Look what I won….
I won the Barre Bee Fit Facebook contest and got this awesome long sleeved tee.
Thanks to all who referred me! 
see the BBF logo?
I love waffle shirts.
Speaking of love, I am obsessed with this new scented candle I bought this weekend.
I don’t want summer to end and this candle smells like the beach…no joke.
Last night I went to Zella for dinner and drinks after a photo shoot at Barre Bee Fit’s Lincoln Park location. Myself and some other fabulous ladies are going to be featured on their new website they’re launching. I’m so excited to be a part of it!
chips & guac…mmmmmm!
I ordered the buffalo chicken wrap
It was the perfect night to have dinner outside with some lovely ladies. Great times with the BBF crew!
Have a great day!

Brunch at Sable Kitchen

I love brunch so much! For my friend’s birthday I had the pleasure of dining at Sable Kitchen & Bar Sunday morning. I’ve been dying to try Sable Kitchen and I’ve heard nothing but good things. I checked out the menu before I went and noticed they had an extensive brunch menu with tons of yummy items.

I started off my brunch with a mimosa normally I’m a bloody mary girl but I was in the mood for something fruity
my sister and I saw these warm apple cider donuts on the menu and had to get them with a side of caramel dipping sauceno words
whole wheat honey pancakes with a mixed berry compote cured organic smoked salmon plate with a toasted bagel and tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, capers, and cream cheese side of home fries  well done and crispy!
The food was awesome. Everything was delicious and came out piping hot. What I wasn’t so pleased with was the service. Although the staff was very pleasant, they seemed to be very unorganized. We didn’t know who our server was and it seemed as if the wait staff was constantly disappearing. I am not sure if they were under staffed that morning but whatever was going on made our dining experience disappointing.  
…but I was really happy my sister was home from college to join my girlfriends and I for brunch  I love my sissy!
Since I have heard so many positive things about Sable Kitchen (celebrities such as Bethanny Frankel dined there not too long ago), I will give it another shot and try it again for dinner.
Would you dine at Sable Kitchen?

Canyon Southwest Cafe, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Last Friday night I ate a fantastic meal at Canyon Southwest Cafe. Although they don’t take reservations it was well worth the wait…actually my parents waited while my siblings and I hung out at the hotel until a table was available. This quaint small cafe has a cozy atmosphere, great service and may I also add the food was DELICIOUS. If you are ever in the Fort Lauderdale area I highly recommend you dine at Canyon.
Prickly pair margarita  their signature drink  tuna tar tar with crispy tortillas, wasabi cream & chili sauce  chicken quesadillas with jalapeno jack cheese, roasted corn, charred tomato and cilantro pesto  spiced bison medallions with a corn salsa  white truffle manchego cheese potato chips  ‘canyon’ mac and cheese topped with panko bread crumbs  panko crusted chicken milanese with smoked mozzarella, marinated tomatoes, over baby greens  pan simmered grouper with marinated tomatoes, jumbo lump crab, over sauteed green beans  white chocolate bread pudding over a berry reduction sauce  chocolate mouse pie
We have a birthday in the house…  HAPPY EARLY BIRTHDAY BUDDY!Jan looks so happy in the background :-)
how fab are my sun burnt legs? I swear I wore spf 30 everyday!
Have a great day!

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