The Mission

August 8, 2015 § Leave a comment

The Mission restaurant in Scottsdale. A luxurious, romantic setting with dark wood and rustic furnishings with glittering chandeliers and glass fixtures. It’s a beautiful atmosphere. Any pretension evaporates with the warm greetings and friendliness of the staff. Expect to spend the time to enjoy your experience. And in case you can’t get enough, the chef has two other restaurants in Scottsdale, Zinc Bistro and The House Brasserie.

Tableside Guacamole
Chunky haas avocado, jalapeño red onion, fresh garlic, sea salt, lime, tomatoes, chipotle puree, cilantro, cotija & roasted pepitas

Duck Carnitas Empanada 
Duck confit, foie gras, orange habanero glaze, oregano, mushroom & queso Oaxaca

Roast Corn Gordita
Roasted corn, squash, zucchini, mushroom, gordita & huitlacoche crema

Chorizo Porchetta
Pork shoulder, house made chorizo, rosemary, cotija, white bean puree & sweet garlic crema

Poblano Grits
Tennessee grits, poblano & horseradish

Pumpkin Bread Pudding 
Pumpkin bread pudding, scotch, pepitas & pomegranate

Guatamelan Chocolate Pastilla 
XO tequila, fig and guajillo glaze, tres leches ice cream & spicy cocoa nibs



Stephan Pyles

May 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

An elegant oasis in the arts district of downtown Dallas, Stephan Pyles is a fine dining experience you will be talking about for years after, and possibly rearranging travel for a repeat visit. If you appreciate food, you must treat yourself to dinner here, and ask to sit at the ceviche bar. Don’t expect to be in and out in a rush. This is food to be savored. Required dress code: Business Casual. Shorts permitted at lunch. No jacket or tie required. Shorts not permitted at dinner.

Ceviche Bar
Ahi Tuna with Passion Fruit and Coconut, Red Snapper with Smoked Corn and Chili Pop Rocks, Lobster with Basil, Papaya, Pine Nut and Tamarind. Get the ceviche sampler and pick three to try.

Bay of Fundy Salmon
Bay of Fundy Salmon with Lemon-Ginger Polenta, Smoked Bacon Caldo, and Crisp Jonah Crab Albondigas.

1807 Ross Avenue • Dallas, TX • 75201
Hours: Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30am-2pm • Dinner Mon-Thu 6:00-10:00pm • Fri-Sat 6:00-11:00pm


The Dining Room at 209 Main

January 6, 2012 § 1 Comment

Nestled in a charming restored building on Main St, Monticello, The Dining Room is a hidden gem of Wisconsin’s culinary treasure trove. The menu changes with the seasons, so if there is something you’re craving, check the website. After one visit, I would trust anything Chef presented. One unique feature is the display of local textile art, hung throughout the restaurant. I like the community connection and atmosphere it nurtures. 

Appetizer: Smoked Rainbow Trout
served on three miniature cornmeal pancakes, with creme fraiche, tobiko and caramelized fennel. Yum. This was a delightful way to start the meal. This perfectly-sized portion is a wonderful balance of flavors. The strong smokey trout is foiled with the creme. The light anise of the fennel will make you look at the vegetable in a whole new light. Enough to split between two without feeling deprived.

Entree: Grilled beef tenderloin filet
with worcestershire glaze, blue cheese cream, fresh asparagus and mashed potatoes. The beef was cooked perfectly, medium rare unless you say otherwise. The sweetness of the glaze and tartness of the blue cheese cream made a tongue-tingling combination. The asparagus was just lightly sautéed, enough to keep the bright green color and crunchy middle. I could eat this every time.

Entree: Sautéed veal cutlets
with a white wine lemon and caper reduction sauce, mashed potatoes, fresh asparagus and a creamy crab and shallot compote. The veal was fantastic, but for me it was all about the sauce. The sauce was rich, intriguing and addictive enough to make you want to lick the plate. The crab and shallot was an exciting grouping, a great balance to the sauce. The vegetables were delicious, but bring me more sauce.

Dessert: Crème Brulée
Pamper yourself with this fantastically light, creamy and heavenly dessert. For those of you on the quest for the perfect crème brulée, this one must be put to the test. The top crust is ever so thin, and more delicate than an eggshell. The crème is smooth with lovely specks of vanilla bean seeds in every bite.

Dessert: Sticky Toffee Pudding with toasted pecans
They say this dessert is the best dessert in the world. They say this dessert, if shared with a loved one, will test your relationship. This dessert is all that and more. It is a must for first-time diners. If trying more than one dessert, have this one last because it will overwhelm your palette and send it into ecstatic raptures.

The food was so amazing from start to finish, we bought the cook book for the sauces, and so should you.

209 Main St • Monticello, WI • 53570
Hours: Wednesday – Saturday


Chanticleer Guest House

June 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

Chanticleer Guest House is a haven of relaxation and charm. Built on a working sheep farm, there are eight luxury suites in the renovated barn and stables and four luxury cabins across the road.  Every room has a queen or king bed, double whirlpool bath, gas fire place, and rustic-chic decor.  The garden is full of blooms and birds, worthy of a painter’s canvas.  There is a heated pool and sauna available, with beach towels to borrow.  There’s a common room with fresh fruit, cookies and coffee.  Four days here made me feel like two weeks had gone by.  Book early because they fill up fast.  I can’t wait to go back.

Breakfast at Chanticleer Guest House is a feast of homemade goodness. There are perfect portions of fresh baked fruit breads or muffins in a basket, fruit with whipped cream, herb and Parmesan eggs on occassion, an urn of fresh brewed coffee, and bottle of orange juice. This is all delivered to your door in a huge wicker basket. I could totally get used to this.

4072 Cherry Road (CTH HH) • Sturgeon Bay, WI • 54235
Open Year Round

The Whistling Swan

June 15, 2011 § Leave a comment

On the main road through Fish Creek, WI is The Whistling Swan restaurant, a haven of culinary delight. This place was recommended by a friend, and I would recommend it to everyone else who goes to Door County. If it’s not your first stop, at least make it a part of your plan. The dining room is the reclaimed porch of the Whistling Swan Inn, brought into the modern age with pristine black and cream paint. Tall windows line the entire room, giving an airy, refreshing atmosphere.

Steamed Mussels and Clams
This is a classic sauté in white wine, shallots and garlic, really the only way to eat mussels. Fantastic!

Grilled Hawaiian Marlin
Served with a salad of black lentils, tat soi, and asparagus, topped with miso almond milk sauce and pickled ginger. The marlin is just lightly seared, leaving it raw in the middle.  If you love seared sashimi tuna, like I do, you’ll love this dish.  The combination of unique flavors makes it irresistible.

Housemade Pork Shoulder Ravioli
This dish is so cool in so many ways. First off, it’s made with goose-egg dough.  Secondly, the sauce is a reduction from the pork shoulder. Along with the sauce and delicious ravioli is spinach, shitake mushrooms, hazelnuts, and horseradish.  This is a rich, amazing dish that must be tried.

4192 Main Street • Fish Creek, WI • 54212


Nostrano – Closed

April 3, 2011 § Leave a comment

Update: This restaurant is now closed. 

This boutique dinner spot is one of Madison’s gems on the Capitol Loop. Rustic wood furniture contrasts with the sophisticated and stylish atmosphere. Reservations might be necessary if you want to guarantee a place in the small seating area.

Sea Scallops, Risotto
Serving only local and seasonal foods, Nostrano is an adventure for the culinary explorer. The scallops were perfectly cooked and melted in the mouth. The risotto was fluffy and divine. This chef knows his stuff. The menu is vague, but do not let that intimidate you. Take a leap of faith, it’ll be worth it.

111 S. Hamilton St • Madison, WI • 53703
Hours: Monday-Wednesday 5-9pm • Thursday-Saturday 5-10pm


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