Saturday, August 14, 2010

HRW 2010: 17

In case you haven't heard, it's Restaurant Week in Houston. This is where my gluttonous self comes out. Also that's where I go broke...

I love this time of year because not only do you get to taste the yummiest food around town. You get it in a prix fixe format. On top of that, $5 of each meal goes towards theHouston Food Bank. You get to eat well and do good... why not?

One feature I love for this year is that more and more restaurants are offering lunch for $20 and dinner, like last year is $35.

So, the first place we went to was 17. We went last year where the executive chef had first arrived. The best thing I remembered was the deconstructed beef wellington. This year, having the year under his belt, things are significantly more casual.

This is what I had:

17 Crab Cake, Tomato Broth
This was one of their signature dish. I must say, they weren't lying. It was easy to love, and the tomato broth I wish I can dip everything it in.

Texas Peach Braised Pork Shank
Corn and Barley Compote, Pork Lacquer

The pork was truly delicious. It was so good that the meat fell off the bone. The compote was more like a pasta than cous cous. I am, however not a big fan of corn, so I did pick around it. Haha.

te Pound Cake
Walnuts, Hazelnuts, Orange Anise Glaze

The dessert was a little misleading and not as good as I'd thought. Even though it said it is a chocolate pound cake, the amount of orange zest and glaze around it, really empowered it towards more orange taste than chocolate taste. I wish they have more of a balance.

17 at Alden Hotel
1117 Prairie St
Houston, TX 77002

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Peninsula, Chicago

So, it's been a month's time since I posted, but I wasn't done w/ the Chicago eating venture; so here's the last post on the Chicago trip.

The last day of the trip I've made a habit of calling up the room service. I know that sounds snobby, and usually takes 40 mins to get the food, but it's very time efficient. I know that's silly but I usually try to capitalize the last day and run whatever errands. Usually up till the shops closes which also means that dinner at normal restaurants are also done. I do have occasionally go to the reverse-happy hour and get good deals. Mostly, I have it down to a science to order room service and use the remainder of the time to pack.

Since it's usually late late late dinner for me, it's helps to not have a big meal. Plus, what you see here, as little as it is, it cost about $50. Yep, you read that right... $50.

So, let's see what I ordered...

Sliders w/ fries... yes, that cute little cup contains fries... I think there's about 6 fries in there... All 3 mini sliders are different. One is plain burger, one is w/ blue cheese, and one is with cheddar cheese. The meat of the burger is top notch. You're probably thinking it'd better be. And it is... the plain one is just that, meat, bread and pickle. Since I'm not a pickle person, it's really meat an bread. The buns are also yummy, must be buttermilk of some sort, definitely made in house... no doubt about that.

Lastly, I always order their creme brulee. You just know that they will use real vanilla beans to make this. I'm not sure about that rolled up cookie thing, but mixed w/ the diced applies it's brings up the sweetness of the brulee.

For their brulee, they do change it up by season. Once I ordered the creme brulee without reading the description, turns out it was pumpkin brulee... It tasted fine, but that's what I psyched myself up for... But this is not bad if you ever get a chance to try it.

Also not to neglect that the hotel itself has some wonderful restaurants in-house. For instance, they're known for their afternoon tea service. You do have to make reservation ahead of time. The Shanghai Terrance is not bad and yes, you do need a reservation. Another great place at the hotel is the Pierrot Gourmet. They have great breakfast, and lovely to sit out at the sidewalk and do lunch. Dinner is not bad either, except they do close early. The wine pairing with the dinner is lovely. You don't need a reservation for that.

Peninsula Chicago
108 E. Superior St. (at Michigan Ave)
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 337-2888