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Everything posted by RonV

  1. OK, we're home and recapping the night. Probably better to wait until morning, but what the hell. Amada - Very nice, relaxed. Sat out at curbside, but didn't feel like we were sitting on the street. Couple pitchers of sangria. First order created a bit of a weird mix - Baked goat cheese (which was exactly what you'd expect) along with the nightly special of copper river salmon with crab meat in a corn chowder. This was fantastic. The small lumps of crab had a taste unlike I've ever had, more like steak than any seafood. The corn chowder was a bit awkward to eat, but since sharing a spoon was no trouble was very good. With crab on the brain we went with the crab stuffed pepper which were fantastic. The blend of crab and cheese was unlike anything I've had and made a beautiful dish. String bean salad was nice with sweetness to offset a lot of the other dishes. Then we headed to Ansill, and wow! Every bite blew away Amada. We stuck with what the board seems to like best. Started with heirloom tomatoes that had a parsley unlike anything I've ever tasted. It was the perfect start after a somewhat heavy "pre-dinner." Following that was the osso bucco sandwich. The meat had a flavor that was tender, sweet and just unreal. It was amazing how the garlic toast just worked so week with it. However, as much as we loved that, the hangar steak was the most flavorful I've ever had. Along with the house shiraz (for me) and a small bottle of champaign (for her) we really loved dinner. We closed with a "fog" cheese which was definitely a different type of close than the typically sweet dessert. I'm sure I'm not breaking any new rground here, other than to say these two spots made for great dining. Southwark was closed for the holiday, and Ansill was quite quiet. Amada was full by 7.
  2. OK, so Tuesday is the very rare night that the girlfriend and I both have off work, so we're going all out. With the great forecast we thought we'd start with happy hour outdoors somewhere. Then Amada for dinner. After calling for reservations, the only thing available was 5 p.m., so we changed gears and decided we'd hit up their deck (fingers crossed we'll get a seat outside) for some sangria and a few small plates. Had the chef's tasting last time so we've got a good idea where to go this time. Not wanting dinner at 5 p.m., we made reservations for Ansill at 7:30. Seems a bit weird to go from tapas to tapas, but on the other hand we're banking on it being a "theme" night, and Ansill is one of the places the board seems to love. Now the big question is the finale. Originally the plan was to head to Mosulu's outdoor deck for dessert and drinks and wrap up the night there with cocktails under the stars, but it's only open until 10:30, so I misunderstood it to be more of a bar than it actually is. So, doesn't anyone have any suggestions for an outdoor space that would serve as a nice wrap of the night? Looking more for a bar than restaurant, but nothing that will feel like a frat party. Also, any suggestions to make the most of the Amada-Ansill double header? I'm figuring lighter fare at Amada, but my real question is the role of the cheese course. Is it best between certain courses, or types of food? Sounds like some eat it after a meal, which I guess makes it dessert? Guess too many Thanksgivings at mom's make me think of the cheese wheel as an appetizer next to the celery and carrot sticks p.s. I spelled Ansill wrong in the header and can't tell how to fix it. Sorry about that.
  3. Thanks so much for all the replies. I'll take all these tips into consideration. I think half the battle with the produce is figuring out what they're selling to be eaten that day, and what's best to ripen at home for a few days. As for the rest of the market, it seems pretty easy to find old standbys (I notice Bob seems to hit up a lot of the same places each week) but even after 20 or 30 trips I'll walk in a different door than normal and it's like a whole new place. Last Friday I walked past a case of cold cuts at Dutch Country Meats and couldn't resist. Not something I'd go out of my way for, but just a nice surprise and turned into a nice lunch of roast pork and sharp american cheese. So many times I would walk into the supermarket and walk the same route, buy the same ingredients and be on my way. At the RTM I feel like I've got an open pallette and can just go with whatever I'm drawn to. One question I've had though is how the quality of the seafood stacks up. That's the one area I've yet to hit up, but considering I've been on a hell of a seafood kick (Little Fish got that going) it seems crazy. I just don't trust myself when it comes to knowing what to look for. I know the basics (no 'fish' smell, clear eyes, no give to the touch) but I'd be far more comfortable with a fish monger offering his/her suggestions. Anyone want to recommend one of the merchants ahead of the others with that in mind? Any tips to keep in mind? Thanks again. It's funny how nice it is to finally start posting after months of lurking and reading. Hoping to get past all the questions and start contributing soon!
  4. Having recently moved to Chinatown, I'm finding RTM to be a wonderful place to pick up lunch nearly every day. I have to admit that my first few trips before I lived in the area I was a bit turned off by what seemed like a "dirty" market. Now I realize I was just so used to the sanitized/corporate supermarkets that are far dirtier in ways we can't see. Anyway, I now find myself stopping at Iovine's almost daily for fruit salad and checking out their fresh produce. This thread has taught me so much about the market, but I find myself getting into a rut, and I'm having a hell of a time finding the fruits and melons that are at their prime. For instance, the precut fruit salad will range from magical (especially the watermelon) to nearly inedibly bland and/or mushy. Two weeks ago I picked up peaches that were almost as crunchy as apples. I think I just failed to let them ripen, but still, I'm struggling. On the other hand, yesterday's strawberries were some of the best I've ever had and they were only $1 a crate. So while I'm normally thinking that "you get what you pay for" they proved me wrong there. Can anyone offer some suggestions for wading through the volume of stuff they have there? Maybe some ideas for trying something new (that's easy to deal with at work since that's where I eat most of my meals). I'm trying to diet and the accessibility of fresh fruit is what's helping me the most. But I'm finding that while nothing is better than fresh, good fruit, nothing's worse than improperly selected fruit. Thanks in advance for any help. I've got lots of other RTM questions that somehow linger after hours spent on this thread. But I think this is enough for my first post.
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