Category Archives: Restaurant Reviews

Tortolla 2012: Hello 2013

Photo of tortolla 2012 for blog post, "Tortolla 2012: Hello 2013," on www.SATgourmet.com, by author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T., Charis Freiman-Mendel.
We recently got back from a vacation to Tortolla! Though I now realize that I am not so fond of Caribbean food (two restaurants  proved to be exceptions to this general rule as you’ll see below), everything else on the island was fantastic. The weather was reliable, the beaches were clean, and the water might just be the clearest and most PULCHRITUDINOUS shade of blue I have ever seen. I snorkeled from the morning to the evening  for six days and was so content to just explore the fish and wide-open ocean for hours at a time. If I needed a break from this, I stayed on the beach and INDULGED in some quality relaxing, or as the locals DUB it, “limin.” If you ever have the chance, explore the island of Tortolla, mingle with some of the welcoming locals, and dive into the fresh water!

Photo of paddle boarding in tortolla for blog post, "Tortolla 2012: Hello 2013," on www.SATgourmet.com, by author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T., Charis Freiman-Mendel.

Paddle Boarding in Tortolla: trying and failing miserably.

Photo of snorkeling in tortolla for blog post, "Tortolla 2012: Hello 2013," on www.SATgourmet.com, by author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T., Charis Freiman-Mendel.

We snorkeled at Brewer’s bay and Carrot Bay. Though most of the reefs were dead, the diverse fish life was a show!

Photo of snorkeling at the baths in virgin gorda for blog post, "Tortolla 2012: Hello 2013," on www.SATgourmet.com, by author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T., Charis Freiman-Mendel.

My favorite place to snorkel was in Virgin Gorda at the Baths.

Photo of tortolla 2012 for blog post, "Tortolla 2012: Hello 2013," on www.SATgourmet.com, by author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T., Charis Freiman-Mendel.

Making faces with the brother!

Photo of Anegada for blog post, "Tortolla 2012: Hello 2013," on www.SATgourmet.com, by author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T., Charis Freiman-Mendel.

We also took a ferry to Anegada. The clear water and vibrant fish life was incredible to see at Loblolly Beach.

Photo of loblolly beach in Anegada for blog post, "Tortolla 2012: Hello 2013," on www.SATgourmet.com, by author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T., Charis Freiman-Mendel.

Loblolly Beach with mom!

Photo of Loblolly Beach, Anegada for blog post, "Tortolla 2012: Hello 2013," on www.SATgourmet.com, by author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T., Charis Freiman-Mendel.

Photo of conch fritters at Pam's kitchen on menu for blog post, "Tortolla 2012: Hello 2013," on www.SATgourmet.com, by author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T., Charis Freiman-Mendel.

Conch fritters and fresh lobster were among the delicacies served at the seaside restaurant in Anegada, Pam’s Kitchen.

Photo of lobster at Neptune's Treasure for blog post, "Tortolla 2012: Hello 2013," on www.SATgourmet.com, by author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T., Charis Freiman-Mendel.

My mom, dad and brother all agree that the fresh lobster served at Neptune’s Treasure was the most tasty and fresh shellfish we have ever had!

Photo of tortolla 2012 for blog post, "Tortolla 2012: Hello 2013," on www.SATgourmet.com, by author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T., Charis Freiman-Mendel.

We will miss you Tortolla. Christmas in the Caribbean is the way to do it.

Happy New Year, let’s make 2013 the best yet!

Charis

  • PULCHRITUDE =beauty
  • INDULGE =to allow oneself to enjoy the pleasure of
  • DUB =to give an unofficial nickname

NYC Restaurant Week 2012

Photo of nyc restaurant week 2012 for blogpost, " NYC Restaurant Week 2012," on website, www.SATgourmet.com, by author of Cook Your Way Through S.A.T., Charis Freiman Mendel.

NYC restaurant week, summer 2012.

For foodies like me, restaurant week in New York City is the perfect opportunity to sample dishes from three-course menus at upscale restaurants, relatively inexpensively. During the event, lunch and dinner are offered at fixed prices, $24.07 and $35, respectively.

Butter Restaurant week 2012 appetizer menu for blog by Charis Freiman-Mendel, author of "Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T."

We recently made the heirloom tomato salad at home, substituting raspberries for the strawberries

The name “restaurant week” is a MISNOMER because this period of reduced prices at select restaurants actually lasts for 20+ days. Restaurant week allows one to explore new restaurants and cuisines that otherwise would cost hundreds of dollars. The portion sizes are on the small size (to fit the price,) but I never left a restaurant feeling hungry.

As we have done every summer, my mom and I decided to SEIZE the opportunity to experience restaurants including Butter, Nobu, Petrossian, and Craftbar. We set up a five day plan of  “attack.”

Photo of amish chicken at craftbar for post on restaurant week 2012 by charis freiman-mendel, author of "cook your way through the s.a.t."

Craftbar offers Amish Chicken with pomme puree, sweet pea, thumbelina carrot and braised morel

I was glad to have tried New York’s “fine dining” at its best, but I found most of the food overrated. There was too much of an emphasis on fussy food and not enough on flavor. Dishes only need to be complicated when Chefs can’t allow their ingredients to speak for themselves. I really enjoyed the food at Craftbar, where everything down to the bread in the bread basket celebrated chef Tom Colicchio’s EXULTATION of the simple.

Happy eating,

Charis

  • MISNOMER = an inaccurate name
  • SEIZE = to take hold of
  • EXULTATION = celebration, joy

Restaurant Review: Chez Marie Louise (Paris)

Photo of Chez Marie Louise for blog post, "Recipe: Sweet Cornbread," on www.SATgourmet.com, by author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T., Charis Freiman-Mendel.

Chez Marie Louise is an oasis of fantastic and authentic Parisian food.

I’ve been back from France for three weeks and since I probably won’t be visiting again soon, I find myself REMINISCING by looking at the photos I took. Of all the cities I visited, my favorite was Paris, which happened to be our last stop.

I had been to Paris 2 years ago and was less than satisfied with the food and the people. I was on the receiving end of one too many of those INFAMOUS “French stares.” So, with bad memories and a very unimpressed stomach, I VOWED never to set foot on Parisian soil again. Never going back to Paris would be too soon for my taste.

Look at how well that went for me: Our flight from France back to America took off from Paris and I had to make the best of a short day in the City of Lights. After a whirlwind David Lebovitz tour of Paris, we had dinner at Chez Marie Louise, a Trip Advisor recommendation.

The restaurant was reasonably priced, and the food was exquisite. We ate outside and the ambiance was enhanced by the buck naked neighbor watching the diners from his terrace across the street. Delightful.

Cancel that previous vow I made. I can’t wait to get back to Paris.

Photo of chez marie louise menu for blog post, "Restaurant Review: Chez Marie Louise," on www.SATgourmet.com, by author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T., Charis Freiman-Mendel.

The menu at Chez Marie Louise consists of traditional Parisian fare.

Photo of Chez marie louise for blog post, "Restaurant Review: Chez Marie Louise," on www.SATgourmet.com, by author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T., Charis Freiman-Mendel.

“Cuisine Traditionelle” is hard to come by in Paris. Seek and you shall find.

Photo of salmon tartare for blog post, "Restaurant Review: Chez Marie Louise," on www.SATgourmet.com, by author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T., Charis Freiman-Mendel.

I’m a sucker for all fish tartares, and the one served at Chez Marie Louise is prepared simply with a squeeze of lime juice, toasted baguette and fresh lettuce.

Photo of avocado, shrimp, and grapefruit dish for blog post, "Restaurant Review: Chez Marie Louise," on www.SATgourmet.com, by author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T., Charis Freiman-Mendel.

This dish consists of a halved avocado, shrimp and grapefruit segments and is served with arugula and a creamy sauce, a surprisingly delicious combination.

Photo of eggplant dish for blog post, "Restaurant Review: Chez Marie Louise," on www.SATgourmet.com, by author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T., Charis Freiman-Mendel.

My mom ordered this tower of roasted eggplant which is served with a house-made sun-dried tomato sauce, ricotta cheese and a pesto sauce that has a slightly smoky flavor.

Photo of steak dish for blog post, "Restaurant Review: Chez Marie Louise," on www.SATgourmet.com, by author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T., Charis Freiman-Mendel.

I also love steak, so it was a no brainer for me when I saw a steak dish on the menu. This steak sits in a thickened red wine sauce and is served with “pommes frites.” Oh La La.

Photo of fish dish for blog post, "Restaurant Review: Chez Marie Louise," on www.SATgourmet.com, by author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T., Charis Freiman-Mendel.

My dad picked this fish dish which proved to be the best thing on the menu hands down. It consisted of fish served in a creamy sauce with creamed spinach (I swear this was so incredibly tasty. It was anything but your grandma’s bland creamed spinach) and potatoes.

Photo of banana dessert for blog post, "Restaurant Review: Chez Marie Louise," on www.SATgourmet.com, by author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T., Charis Freiman-Mendel.

The waiter convinced us to try the banana, caramel and ice cream dessert which was an out of this world, amazing, tasty, crispy, smooth, sweet and satisfying treat.

Photo of Chez Marie Louise owner for blog post, "Restaurant Review: Chez Marie Louise," on www.SATgourmet.com, by author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T., Charis Freiman-Mendel.

The charming and enthusiastic owner of Chez Marie Louise made the dining experience special and hilarious.

Revoir Bientôt, Paris,

Charis

  • REMINISCING = recalling the past
  • INFAMOUS = notorious
  • VOW = a solemn promise

Guest Blog: What The Funk?

Photo of cheese assortment at Auberge De Launay for Guest Blog: What The Funk? on www. SATgourmet.com, a blog by author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T., Charis Freiman-Mendel.

The garçon at the wonderful restaurant, Auberge De Launay, in Amboise, France, offered us a selection of cheeses from the region, which ranged from mild to funky.

France is known for its cheese. For Americans — us ugly American, francophile wannabees — we like the idea of IMMERSING ourselves in foreign culture, so you can imagine my excitement when presented with a cheese tray last night, after a marathon meal in Amboise. Following a dinner of GASTRONOMIC delights, including white asparagus and pig’s trotter, the garçon arrived with an attractive platter of cheese. He explained our selection, the smell and taste of which ranged from funky to what the funk. We opted for both the standard — brie, goat’s cheese — and the unusual — garlic and beer aged cheese.

Photo of beer cheese for Guest Blog: What The Funk, on www.SATgourmet.com, a website by author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T., Charis Freiman-Mendel.

Beer cheese proved to be the funkiest thing I have ever tasted.

Of particular note, the beer aged cheese had subtle notes of ammonia, perfumed with the aftertaste of something INEXPLICABLY rotten. In an attempt towards cultural PREENING and self AGGRANDIZEMENT, I convinced myself that my palate could stomach, and even enjoy, such obviously disgusting food. Only after I had brushed my teeth that night and removed the smell RESIDING under my fingernails did I have a chance to determine that I’m happy with RUN-OF-THE-MILL, non-experimental, at times Wal-Mart produced and processed, cheese.

  • IMMERSING = Involve, submerge, dip
  • GASTRONOMIC = Of or relating to food and cookery, especially the art of good eating
  • INEXPLICABLY = Unable to be explained
  • PREENING = Devote effort to making look attractive
  • AGGRANDIZEMENT = increase power or reputation, enhancing
  • RESIDING = Be present, situated
  • RUN-OF-THE-MILL = ordinary

What is the funkiest thing you’ve ever tasted?

Ross Freiman-Mendel