Archive for the 'New American' Category

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Two Boroughs Larder – Charleston

Two Boroughs Larder - Charleston, South Carolina

Lien insisted that I dine at Two Boroughs Larder while in Charleston. She visited the city a few months earlier and fell hard for this restaurant slash marketplace. In fact, she was so smitten that she came in twice—a sure sign of a very special place.

Two Boroughs Larder - Charleston, South Carolina

Husband and wife team Josh and Heather Keeler opened Two Boroughs Larder in August 2011 in a part of town known as Cannonborough-Elliotborough. Hence the name, Two Boroughs.

The walk to the restaurant, located a short distance from Charleston’s tourist hot-spots, offered The Astronomer and me a glimpse of life away from the hubbub of carriage rides and gargantuan properties. The neighborhood’s mellow and quiet vibe was welcomed.

Two Boroughs Larder - Charleston, South Carolina

The New American menu spans the globe but remains grounded in Southern ingredients from regional farms and waters.

Even though it was just The Astronomer and me this afternoon, we ordered two “smaller plates,” a charcuterie board meant for four, a side dish, and dessert, too. The menu was just too enticing to resist.

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Orsa & Winston – Los Angeles (Downtown)

Orsa & Winston - Downtown - Los Angeles

I don’t know what’s gotten into me lately, but Los Angeles’ fine dining scene is appealing to me more than ever before. Maybe Chef Ludo spiked my champagne when I dined at Trois Mec a few weeks back? Really though, what’s not to love about pretty plates, perfectly paced? Just feelin’ fancy…that’s all.

Orsa & Winston - Downtown - Los Angeles

My most recent fine dining explorations took me to Chef Josef Centeno‘s Orsa & Winston, which is “named after two little dogs” according the the restaurant’s website. My date this evening, the lovely D Takes a B, and I settled in for a five-course menu comprised of Crudo, Soup, Grain, Meat, and Sweet for $60.

The 20-course Super Omakase for $195 will have to wait for an occasion when I’m feelin’ fancy and flush.

Orsa & Winston - Downtown - Los Angeles

To start, a refined cheesy broccoli situation consisting of taleggio, broccoli panna cotta, and crispy bits of rye bread. This amuse bouche certainly amused.

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Trois Mec – Los Angeles (Hollywood)

Trois Mec - Hollywood - Los Angeles

To celebrate my recent birthday, I asked The Astronomer to take me to Trois Mec. I’ve wanted to dine here since the restaurant opened last year, but my busy schedule and the restaurant’s tough-to-snag tickets kept me away until now. It was definitely worth the wait.

Trois Mec - Hollywood - Los Angeles

The “three friends” behind Trois Mec are Chef Ludo Lefebvre, who takes care of the food and beverage program, and Vinny Dotolo and Jon Shook of Animal and Son of a Gun, who manage the front of the house. While service was on point this evening, I quite missed having Krissy run the show a la LudoBites. Ah, memories…

As a nod to their partnership and the restaurant’s name, Trois Mec’s logo features the letters “L”, “D”, and “S” intertwined.

Chef Ludo Lefebvre at Trois Mec

After years of popping up ’round town, making due with others’ dining rooms, kitchens, and equipment, Ludo at last has a permanent space to call home. As a longtime fan of the chef, I was absolutely tickled to see him finally settled and in his element.

The Astronomer and I were seated at the bar overlooking the kitchen, which meant we had front row seats to watch the evening’s cooking and plating action.

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Cooks County – Los Angeles

Cooks County - Los Angeles

I am currently writing from Cook County, Illinois. Chicago, to be exact, where I’m spending the week ever so delicately balancing work commitments and gastronomical pursuits. As timing would have it, I’m overdue to write about my mom’s birthday dinner at Cooks County. What a coincidence!

Cooks County - Los Angeles

Opened in late 2011, Cooks County is a sweet ‘lil neighborhood spot serving up seasonal fare that comforts and delights.

The kitchen is headed by Chef Daniel Mattern. He spent time at Campanile, Lucques, AOC, and AMMO here in Los Angeles, and Clarklewis in Portland, before opening Cooks County with his partner, Pastry Chef Roxana Jullapat. She also spent time at Campanile, Lucques, AOC, AMMO, and Clarklewis. What a coincidence!

Cooks County - Los Angeles

We started off the night with four appetizers. The first to arrive was the Spretzel ($3) with mustard dipping sauce. Made of spelt flour and garnished with coarse salt, the pretzel was good but not outstanding. Had it been baked to order, the pretzel would’ve really been something. The mustard, on the other hand, was excellent.

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