Friday, April 16, 2010

Dinner Out 04.16.10

We did end up going out for dinner but staying in the neighborhood. You all know by now that means Ian was involved. The restaurant was booming tonight which is odd for a bad weather evening. Another quick storm rolled through while we were at dinner. Fortunately we were under the roof and were able to get the best of both worlds dry but yet still outside.

As usual we started with our personal favorite the Middle Eastern Plate for an appetizer. It comes with hummus, caponata, house-made pickles, olives, pepperoncini and whole wheat pitas. Seriously what is not to love here? This has been one of our favorites for years. It is just a vegan plate of deliciousness, in our opinion that is.

To wash this down there were many pots of green tea. We have to have those antioxidants to go with our meal.

Next we ordered the gazpacho which normally comes with crab or shrimp on top, so it is easy to make vegan without any difficulty. Next time we need to remember to ask if Ian has any habanero in the kitchen since we are big fans of heat. We think finely diced habanero would be great in this.

To go with the gazpacho we also had Ian’s version of fattoush. He makes his with cucumber, tomato, garlic, romaine, and mint which he tops with sumac and serves with warm whole wheat pitas crisps. If you haven’t had sumac it is a ground dark red berry that has lemony flavor. It can be hard to find locally I order mine on-line from Zamouri.

For our last course we had a special order which included gnocchi with thinly sliced fennel, julienned carrot, thinly sliced onions, garlic, fresh tomato, portabella mushrooms, shitakes, and fresh baby spinach. The mushrooms gave the dish a very meaty flavor without meat. Ian was worried this dish didn’t have enough flavor but we thought it was wonderful like all his food.

Here is a shot of the specials from this evening. The specials always give me inspiration of things I want to veganize so I wanted to share in case they do the same for any of you.

We were chatting with Ian this evening as he was leaving for the evening. He is going to be adding whole wheat pizza to the options and wanted to know if that was something that we would be interested in. While we don’t eat much flour at home, we will certainly be interested in having that occasionally. There are so many veggie options I can think of for vegan pizza from what he has in the kitchen for other dishes. Whole wheat pizza crust will open up the veggie options for us.

This is going to be my last post for tonight. I will chat with you all tomorrow. I will probably make bibimbap (vegan of course) for dinner tomorrow. It was my back up plan for dinner this evening. My tofu should be very tasty by tomorrow since I started marinating it this morning.

I hope you are all having a great evening.


  1. hi Alicia,

    everything looks amazing, and you got to eat outside while it was storming(if i got that rightm thats sounds amazing!)? cant believe he thought that that gnocchi might not have enough flavor, it looks AWSOME!! thanks for showing the menu, its a pretty amazing one. we went to a new Italian place the other day and it was touted as a healthy place, i was disapointed when they didnt have whole wheat pizza, (or pasta) but they did use hummus as an alternative to cheese on there pizza, it was really good, the hummus dried out a little and had the saltyness of cheese.well i just got on so i think i have a few of your post to go look at

  2. Michelle,

    You got it right we were outside but not in the rain. Some of the outdoor tables are under a roof and others are under umbrellas. We sat under the roof.

    The gnocchi dish was very flavorful. Ian would have added veal demi to this if it weren't for us, that is why he didn't think it would have enough flavor. ;-)

    I love hummus on pizza. My favorite is hummus topped with roasted veggies. I precook the crust and veggies separately. Then put it all together and broil it for a few minutes to heat everything.

    talk to you later,

  3. i also love looking at menus for inspiration. specials are great b/c they usually use local, seasonal veggies.

  4. Quick question for you, Alicia. About green tea--it has caffeine, right? I buy decaf, is that OK? Or does that change the benefits?


  5. The Actors,

    We always go to the specials menu first as well. At this restaurant we know the chef and he does use seasonal ingredients in his specials. Fiddle heads should be arriving soon!


    Green tea tends to have 1/4 the caffeine level of coffee (about 20mg per cup). I have read a few articles that suggest that the EGCG levels are reduced during the process of removing the caffeine. Also, caffeine can be reduced using either water or chemicals. For those reasons we drink green tea with caffeine.

    When at home we drink Japanese green tea (more EGCG), brew for 10 minutes (to get the maximum EGCG), and consume with vitamin C (to keep the EGCG bioavialable longer so we absorb more of it). We also try to drink 6 cups a day. This amounts to the caffeine in 1 1/2 cups of coffee which doesn't see excessive to us. Please let me know if you were looking for something else.

    I hope you are having a great weekend,

  6. So, are we going to Ian's when we get out that way?

  7. I thought you might end up there. :)

    It must have been fun to eat outdoors in a storm...I love that sort of thing.

    Looks good!

  8. Blessed Mama,

    If you get out this way we will definitely have to stop by and let Ian make dinner (probably more than once). ;-) You would adore him, he is not only a talented chef but is a great guy too. He does struggle with our veganism but it is nice of him to accomodate us even though it is way out of his "comfort zone". He prefers to stay in his omni world since that is what he knows.


    It was a good bet wasn't it? Since Ian makes it so easy for us to get vegan food albeit not directly from the menu it is hard not to end up there.

    We do love that half of the patio is under a roof. There have been many evenings that we had dinner outside while it rained.

    I hope you both are having a relaxing weekend.


  9. I thought that's where you guys might end up! I can't say I blame you. I am so jealous that you have such a fantastic option like that. And yay on adding the pizza ;-)

  10. Heather,

    We are so predictable sometimes aren't we? I suspected we would end up there too. Ian does make it difficult to go elsewhere since he is sweet an accomodating. We are very lucky to have him in the neighborhood, I completely agree with you.

    I was also happy to hear about adding whole wheat pizza dough to the menu. He makes a great sun-dried tomato spread that I would love on whole wheat pizza dough maybe with a few roasted veggies.

    I hope you had a great time at the ball game last night.


  11. Okay, great! Well, eat vicariously there for me for the time being. I'm afraid of flying, so that's a big obstacle, isn't it?

  12. Blessed Mama,

    Fear of flying is a small problem since we live on opposite coasts. I will continue to share our adventures. Every time we go he comes up with something else (always omni) that makes me go, "Oh I can make a vegan version of that." Eating his food really has done more for my ability to cook than anything else. He doesn't believe me but is true.



Related Posts with Thumbnails