Friday, April 28, 2017

Egelhoff Wine Dinner at Brandani's


Brandani's Restaurant and Wine Bar hosted a dinner last week featuring Egelhoff Wines. It was my first time to attend a multi-course wine dinner here but that did not seem to be true for most in attendance. The house was full and the guests were meeting and greeting over passed hors d'oeuvres paired with a private label Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc when we arrived. The mini crab cakes and the lobster mango tostada bites were fresh and delicious and perfect with the wine.

While Brandani's is a small Missouri City restaurant, the crowd was a mix from Houston and the
neighboring suburbs and most that I spoke with talked of faithfully attending every special dinner that Claire and Ron Brandani present. Once we were seated in the main dining room, we were served a ricotta ravioli with morels, ramps and spring peas with the Egelhoff Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2013. This was a winning combination and plates were scraped clean.

Next up, Durac pork cheeks with pork belly risotto paired with the Walton Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2012.

Our final savory course was a smoked buffalo ribeye with crispy tobacco onions and hand cut Kennebec potatoes served alongside two vintages of
the Egelhoff Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2009 and 2010. My husband has continued to talk about this course for the last week. Both wines were delicious and very similar though the 2009 was a bit smoother and fruitier.

We ended the night with Bananas Foster bread pudding with dulce de leche ice-cream paired with Walton California Tawny Style Port, a sweet ending for an incredibly tasty evening. The dessert is not pictured because I got overexcited and spooned into it before taking a good photo.

In the last six month, Brandani's has quickly become our favorite restaurant on the southwest side of town. We've eaten dinner here too many times to count in that short time period. Although this was my first and only wine dinner here so far, I am highly recommending anyone that enjoys wining and dining to get on their email list to learn about their future events. As I was repeatedly told by returning guests that night, you don't want to miss out on any of these!




Wednesday, March 29, 2017

La Table is Patio Season Ready

If you read this then you know I am a fan of La Table on Post Oak near the Galleria in Houston. Last week, I went there for a media event where they were showcasing their newly renovated patio. I can assure you that they are ready for the season, not that it ever really ends, in Houston.

They have opened up the downstairs indoor space by adding large windows which look out onto the patio making the bar brighter and more airy feeling. The patio itself was strategically designed to offer adequate afternoon shade, which, along with large fans and cooling greenery makes for a pleasant place to enjoy an evening drink or wile away an afternoon with friends.

Check out pictures of some of the light and delicious dining options that La Table is now offering. From the crudités plate pictured above through the sweet madeleines and macarons on the bottom, everything you see pictured is flavorful and truly patio-worthy!







Monday, March 27, 2017

Pairing of the Week - Verdicchio and Grilled Lobster Tails

I recently reviewed two sample wines from Ciù Ciù on Wine-Thoughts.com. While both wines are very table-worthy, the white wine, in particular, will be a great addition for my spring and summertime meals at home.

The white is a Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico which means it is a wine made from Verdicchio grapes in the original or classic section of the Castelli di Jesi region in the Marche in Italy.

Very balanced, rich and flavorful, my husband and I enjoyed the Ciù Ciù Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico 2016 at home with some small simply grilled lobster tails and vegetables, absolutely delicious and highly recommended. Locally, you can find this wine at Spec's for approximately $15.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Brunch and Lunch at True Food Kitchen

I finally went to try the True Food Kitchen restaurant by Dr. Weil in Blvd Place by the Houston Galleria. Though it has been open for over two years, I have totally ignored it. This trip was intended as penance for all of the rich and delicious food that I was fortunate to enjoy over the holidays. It turns out that I did not feel punished or deprived in any way and I have already been back a second time in less than two weeks.

My first visit was for the Saturday brunch. Our table shared the Edamame Dumplings made with dashi, white truffle oil and asian herbs for $9. It was light, fresh and delicious. For my entree, I had the Huevos Rancheros which were prepared with organic corn tortillas, roasted chile, organic sunny side up eggs, pinto beans and cotija cheese, also for $9. It was flavorful and quite filling.

I washed my meal down with a Scratch Bloody Mary made with organic tomato, cumin, cayenne, onion, garlic, lime and organic vodka, spicy and good for $11. Everyone at the table enjoyed their selections as well. I will definitely be including this restaurant in my Saturday brunch rotation.

This week, my daughter and I went back for a Meatless Monday lunch. We shared the Shiitake Lettuce Cups which are prepared with tofu, jicama, sambal, thai basil and cashew for $10. They served it with Romaine lettuce which made for one of my neatest lettuce cup/wrap eating experiences as we were able to fold them more like tacos.

We followed this up with a Margherita pizza made with organic tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil for $12. The crust was thin and crisp just like we like it. There was a clear drink option for this internationally influenced meal, a Chenin Blanc by Sula from Maharashtra, India. My first Indian wine and a great deal at $7 a glass or $28 for the bottle.

I am looking forward to eating here again, it's not just good for you, it's tasty, too!