Showing posts from July, 2010

Napa Country Cuisine

The drive to our next destination in Napa Valley was breathtaking.Miles and miles of vineyards spreading over hills and valleys and a cool summer breeze.All reminded me of Tuscany.

I was in good company....some sort of a laughter club what with Pat,Brendan and Kavita having me in splits!

We drove to the Culinary Institute of America,world's premium culinary college and headed for their Wine Spectator Greystone restaurant.We chose to sit outside..on the deck as it had a fabulous view of the vineyards.

This is an institute that trains chefs,conducts cooking and wine appreciation classes for the public and also houses a museum. They grow their own vegetables which the students pick.No wonder the food was so fresh!

While we were going through the menu they served us bread,balsamic and three different types of olive oil.

We took the sampler of starters which looked like tapas plates and had bites of mozarella and shrimps.They were divine!

The P.E.I Mussels were next.....of different sizes…

Moroccan Night

Marakeesh is one more of Viral Thakker's exotic recommendations.It's a restaurant that specialises in Moroccan cuisine.Morocco lies in Africa,quite close to Spain.Food here has lot of spices and fruits. The restaurant had a large tent and several lamps.The tables were low set.The bar looked like a gold and glass display. We started our meal by washing our hands,a tradition that has Jewish roots.

Every Moroccan meal has bread.Ours was fennel spiced,warm and soft.Few can resist the aroma of freshly baked bread! In Morocco,bread is used as a utensil for a meal.

The Harira Soup was a heartening thick lentil soup with garbanzo beans,tomato and garlic.We were given lemon wedges to squeeze on top and had to drink it off the bowl.Very nourishing! Did remind me of Masoor Dal at home.

The salads were next.A plate of marinated eggplant, chopped tomato-cucumber and spiced carrots

Next was the Bastilla,a wafer thin pastry filled with chicken,eggs,almonds and cinnamon topped with powdered sug…

Just Bagels

Bagels originated in Europe and were brought to America by the Jewish people.They are so popular that there are now chain outlets for them such as Bruegger's. Bagels resemble doughnuts and are breads that have a hole in the center.They are boiled and then baked,a process that makes them crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside. The first one I had was in London several years ago by Rashmi aunty who made mine with salmon,cream cheese and capers.That's why I tried that here too. and it was good's the last picture. The other flavors of bagels were Sundried Tomato (2nd Bagel picture),Jalapeno and Cheddar Cheese,Cranberry(3rd bagel picture) and Whole Wheat( 4th bagel picture) The second last picture is the bagel sandwich made at home by my sis-in-law Dee with green chutney,tomato and onion.....Indian style. Plain Bagels (picture with 3 bagels) go well with just cream cheese too. Bruegger's makes their's New York style,i.e with malt and salt whereas the Montreal styl…

Cyrus: A Symphony of Flavors

When my friend Kavita first suggested we go to Cyrus,being from the other end of the world,I had no idea about the gastronomic journey that was in store for me.Cyrus has been named the best new restaurant of the decade by Zagat,has two Michelin stars and several awards to its credit.It's a classy,sophisticated but not stuffy (as Brendan puts it)! It serves luxury contemporary cuisine and is the brainchild of master chef Douglas Keane and Maitre d' Nick Peyton who met at the restaurant Gary Danko.Set in the idyllic surroundings of three valleys,it is the perfect place for fine dining in Healdsburg,Sonoma Wine Country with the Napa Valley not far away.

Here Douglas Keane comes forth as a painter and magician and Nick Peyton as the conductor of a magnificent orchestra and together they produce an unforgettable experience! We were guided into the restaurant by Nick himself,past the bar into the elegant dining area.

Then began the journey.The service was impeccable.The stewards and s…