Category Archives: Restaurants

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

David Lebovitz’s Paris

 Photo of The Eiffel Tower for blogpost, "David Lebovitz's Paris," on website www.SATgourmet.com, by author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T., Charis Freiman-Mendel.

I’m finally home from my vacation in France, Amsterdam and Berlin, and as with any trip I’ve ever taken, I am experiencing some mixed emotions about being back. I try to lessen these FLUCTUATING feelings by living by  my mom’s MAXIM, “It’s great to travel and it’s great to come home.” I was able to finish off the trip with a short, but oh-so-sweet stop in the city of lights. I spent one week in Paris two years ago and wasn’t as impressed as I had anticipated. During that entire trip, I RELENTLESSLY tried to convince myself that I was as obsessed with the city as most Americans are. I am proud to say that thanks to my most current trip, I am a CONFIRMED Parisian-Lover, and the half-a-day I spent in Paris was, finally, as lovely as I had hoped.

I have one tip for ASPIRING travelers: Before you depart, read a book/s about the places that you are going to visit. During this trip, I read The Sweet Life in Paris, by food-blogger, David Lebovitz. At the back of this fantastic book, Lebovitz recommends restaurants, boulangeries, fromageries, e.t.c in Paris. Coming from someone who has lived there for over a decade, I trust his advice and made a point to stop at some of his holy grail Parisian places.

First Stop: Da Rosa

Photo of Da Rosa for blogpost, "David Lebovitz's Paris," on website www.SATgourmet.com, by author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T., Charis Freiman-Mendel.

Restaurant Da Rosa offers traditional and authentic French fare.

Second Stop: Poilâne

Photo of Poilâne bread for blogpost, "David Lebovitz's Paris," on website www.SATgourmet.com, by author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T., Charis Freiman-Mendel.

Bread offered at Poilâne bakery has gained the reputation of “best bread in the world” and is inscribed with a cursive “P.”

Photo of Poilâne apple tarts for blogpost, "David Lebovitz's Paris," on website www.SATgourmet.com, by author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T., Charis Freiman-Mendel.

David Lebovitz recommends these “deceptively simple” and incredibly delicious apple tarts from Poilâne.

Third Stop: Ladurée

Photo of Ladurée macarons for blogpost, "David Lebovitz's Paris," on website www.SATgourmet.com, by author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T., Charis Freiman-Mendel.

The rose infused macaron I had from Ladurée  was the single best dessert I have tasted. They definitely live up to their reputation.

Photo of Ladurée pastries for blogpost, "David Lebovitz's Paris," on website www.SATgourmet.com, by author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T., Charis Freiman-Mendel.

The pastries at Ladurée looked just as divine as the macarons.

Fourth Stop: G. Detou

Photo of G. Detou for blogpost, "David Lebovitz's Paris," on website www.SATgourmet.com, by author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T., Charis Freiman-Mendel.

G. Detou, which translates to “I have everything,” offers specialty foods ranging from chocolate to mustard. David Lebovitz says, “If G. Detou didn’t exist, I couldn’t live in Paris.” Please Note the E. Dehillerin bag in my Dad’s hand.

Charis

  • FLUCTUATING = rise and fall irregularly
  • MAXIM =  a saying
  • RELENTLESS = incessant
  • CONFIRMED = established
  • ASPIRE = hoping to achieve

Pictures from France: Part Trois

Photo of baguette for blogpost, "Pictures from France: Part Trois," on website www.SATgourmet.com, by author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T., Charis Freiman-Mendel.

The greatest GLUTTON can top off a baguette all by himself.

Photo of hiking in Chamonix for blogpost, "Pictures from France: Part Trois," on website www.SATgourmet.com, by author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T., Charis Freiman-Mendel.

Our two hour PEREGRINATION through mountains surrounding Mont Blanc proved to be much easier than the twelve day tour we did two years ago.

Photo of prosciutto and melon for blogpost, "Pictures from France: Part Trois," on website www.SATgourmet.com, by author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T., Charis Freiman-Mendel.

I IDOLIZE prosciutto and melon, my favorite appetizer. The one I sampled in Provence was possibly the best I’ve tasted yet. Slate plates are very typical in the region and add a rustic touch.

Photo of kayaking in the Dordogne River Valley for blogpost, "Pictures from France: Part Trois," on website www.SATgourmet.com, by author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T., Charis Freiman-Mendel.

I am a kayaking ZEALOT and enjoy canoeing just as much.

Photo of fresh radishes for blogpost, "Pictures from France: Part Trois," on website www.SATgourmet.com, by author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T., Charis Freiman-Mendel.

The PIQUANT taste of fresh, spicy radishes can be complemented with a sprinkling of Fleur De Sel, a french salt.

Charis

  • GLUTTON = greedy eater
  • PEREGRINATION = journey, adventure
  • IDOLIZE = worship
  • ZEALOT = fanatic
  • PIQUANT = sharp, biting

Pictures From France: Part Deux

Photo of Mont Saint-Michel for blogpost, "Pictures From France: Part Deux, on www.SATgourmet.com, by author of "Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T," Charis Freiman-Mendel.

CHIVALROUS knights once roamed the streets of Mont Saint-Michel.

Photo of Mont Saint-Michel for blogpost, "Pictures From France: Part Deux, on www.SATgourmet.com, by author of "Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T," Charis Freiman-Mendel.

The gusting wind outside of Mont Saint-Michel is anything but a ZEPHYR.

Photo of Nutella for blogpost, "Pictures From France: Part Deux, on www.SATgourmet.com, by author of "Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T," Charis Freiman-Mendel.

I have a PREDILECTION for all things Italian, especially Nutella. In France, it’s easier than I thought to get your Italian fix.

Photo of dinner dish for blogpost, "Pictures From France: Part Deux, on www.SATgourmet.com, by author of "Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T," Charis Freiman-Mendel.

The fish dish at “Auberge De Launay” in the Loire Valley was ADORNED with an edible flower. What a wonderful touch!

Photo of oil and vinegar decanter for blogpost, "Pictures From France: Part Deux, on www.SATgourmet.com, by author of "Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T," Charis Freiman-Mendel.

You can’t help but MARVEL at this innovative and space-saving oil and vinegar decanter.

Photo of McDonald's happy meal for blogpost, "Pictures From France: Part Deux, on www.SATgourmet.com, by author of "Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T," Charis Freiman-Mendel.

“La moche Americaine” AKA The ugly American AKA The REPUGNANT American.

Jordane, owner of Hotel Mas De La Croix D'Arles, St. Remy De Provence, France

At Hotel Mas De La Croix D’Arles, Etan, the PROPRIETOR’S hunting dog, is surprisingly lovable.

The adventure continues!

Charis

  • CHIVALROUS = brave, valiant
  • ZEPHYR = light breeze
  • PREDILECTION = preference
  • ADORN = decorate
  • MARVEL = to be astonished
  • REPUGNANT = repulsive, obnoxious
  • PROPRIETOR = owner

Pictures From France

Photo of Monet's garden for blog, "Pictures From France," on www.SATgourmet.com, a blog by Charis Freiman-Mendel, author of cookbook, Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.

First stop: Monet’s Garden. Me, Ross and my dad among the ANGELIC lily pads.

Photo of Gold Beach, Arromanches, France for blog "Pictures From France" by Charis Freiman-Mendel, author of cookbook, "Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T."

On June 6th, 2012 we visited Arromanches to COMMEMORATE the events that occurred on D-Day, ironically, June 6th, 1944. Me, my mom and brother in front of Gold Beach, one of the numerous beaches invaded by U.S. soldiers decades ago.

Photo of cod dinner at Au Bouillon Normand, Honfleur, France, for blog "Pictures From France" by Charis Freiman-Mendel, author of cookbook, "Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T."

Cod served with whipped potatoes, vegetables and an ETHEREAL sauce at Au Bouillon Normand in Honfleur. All of the ingredients were “du marche,” meaning, “of the market.”

Photo of McDonald's in France for blog, "Pictures From France" by Charis Freiman-Mendel, author of cookbook, "Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T."

McDonald’s, the ESSENCE of America, chez France.

Photo of Kitchen at Château de Chenonceau in the Loire Valley, for blog, "Pictures From France," on www.SATgourmet.com, by Charis Freiman-Mendel, author of cookbook, "Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T."

In the kitchen at Château de Chenonceau, baking bread was a QUOTIDIAN activity.

Photo of French riverside picnic, for blog, "Pictures From France," on www.SATgourmet.com, by Charis Freiman-Mendel, author of cookbook, "Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T."

HONING your inner French self made easy with riverside picnic.

Photo of stevia leaves growing in gardens at Château de Chenonceau, for blog, "Pictures From France," on www.SATgourmet.com, by Charis Freiman-Mendel, author of cookbook, "Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T."

I LOATHE the artificial sweet taste of stevia leaves.

Charis

  • ANGELIC = divine
  • COMMEMORATE = remember
  • ETHEREAL = heavenly
  • ESSENCE = spirit, nature
  • QUOTIDIAN = daily
  • HONE = sharpen
  • LOATHE = hate