Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Restaurant Week, etc.

Halloween is only three days away, and while there is a cute family of pumpkins on the front porch, I haven't bought any candy yet. This could be the most exciting Halloween of my post-trick-or-treating life though, because it will be the first time I'll be able to legitimately hand out candy at my own house.

The last round of CSA veggies produced some noteworthy meals: a soup with turkey sausage, carrots, and broccoli rabe, along with two rounds of Swiss chard side dishes that we ate alongside various odds and ends. We had a few of the sweet potatoes with marinated pork tenderloin and roasted broccoli, and still have three or four left to enjoy.

I've felt the same mix of relief and disappointment both years after the CSA ended, and Davy and I are trying to decide if we want to do it for a third year. There is the possibility that our hypothetical garden will supply us with enough produce in the spring and summer of 2010, but we don't have a lot of experience with a garden and aren't 100% sure of our backyard conditions. Part of the fun of a CSA is also getting familiar with uncommon vegetables, and not knowing exactly what's coming each week. That element of surprise would most likely be the reason that we'd sign up again.

One thing that I don't want to be surprised about, however, is Thai takeout, and Davy and I have since corrected the Mom's Siam incident by ordering from Ginger. Twice.

October 26th-November 1st is Restaurant Week in Richmond, and on Monday night we went to
Stronghill Dining Company for their $25 three-course offering. I had the oyster mushroom and duck confit miso soup, which was unusual but very worthwhile. Davy had the salad, which was topped with Manchego cheese and roasted pumpkin seeds.

Our main courses weren't very big, but they were rich and not at all disappointing. My butternut squash gnocchi were fluffy and sweet, and the accompanying leeks, pecans and oyster mushrooms complemented them with pronounced flavors and textures. I didn't try the flatiron steak, but Davy was impressed with it's tender bite as well as the potato parsnip mash and roasted asparagus.

Unfortunately the restaurant had run out of one of its two dessert options, a pumpkin apple pie, so we were both stuck with the espresso chocolate torte. This was not a problem for me at all, and while the torte was a worthy chocolate treat, it didn't blow me away.
The decor alone is worth a visit Stronghill - it's an eclectic mix of upscale and factory chic in an unexpected location. While it is an interesting addition to Richmond's restaurants, and I was intrigued enough to want to go back, I don't think you'll find me there before I've eaten takeout from Ginger several more times.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Back to the Grind

Fall is definitely in the air, and the change of seasons has brought to light some notable events. Tuesday was the last CSA pick up, and it was a plentiful one:

- broccoli rabe

- radishes

- swiss chard

- sweet peppers

- sweet potatoes

- cilantro

- basil

- carrots

I decided not to get beets, and there was a bin of arugula that was optional and I completely forgot about it until I left. Fertile Crescent will have a stand at the South of the James Market for the rest of the month in case I need a fix.

News about Gourmet folding was released on Monday. Even though I had a feeling it was coming, it's sad to see more and more print publications dying out. Gourmet was also the first food magazine I ever subscribed to, and I love Ruth Reichl's writing.

Davy and I officially crossed a Thai restaurant off of our list of options last night. We wanted a quick meal at Mom's Siam, and were unfortunately both disappointed with the pad see ew. Maybe it's because we've been getting it from Ginger for too long, but it didn't have much flavor and neither of us felt great after dinner.

The wedding went off just as it was supposed to, and the food was amazing. The first course was roasted red pepper risotto with shrimp, and the main course was grilled beef tenderloin with frizzled onions over greens with a horseradish dressing. I had known the cake I wanted at my wedding since I first tried it while working for Olga, and her Italian Rum Cake didn't disappoint. We had plenty of leftovers, which was lucky considering I only had the bite that Davy shoved into my face during the cake cutting. There are a few pictures below, courtesy of the lovely Shannon Lentz, and I should be able to post regularly again now that the wedding is over. Enjoy!