Posts Tagged With: Restaurant Review

Taverna – A Personal Favorite

Restaurant Review, Food, Italian, Dallas, Pasta, Risotto, Tortellini

A view from our table into the quaint restaurant.

My love of Italian food doesn’t really work well with my waistline, but there is just no way I’ll ever give up pasta and pizza for the sake of a thinner frame. NO WAY.

One of my favorite Italian restaurants in Dallas is called Taverna. My obsession with Taverna started years ago when my friends and I would go for Sunday brunch almost every weekend. They offered $5 bottomless mimosas, which is a great pull for a young crowd! Coupled with their fabulous eggs Benedict, Taverna carved out a small hole in my pocket once every couple of weeks.

Another interesting fact about Taverna – Matt and I had our very first dinner date there. We enjoyed a scrumptious meal followed by ice cream at Paciugo. Matt’s also been a fan ever since!

After the angst of the missing kitten came to a close, Matt and I decided that we needed to unwind and enjoy a night out together. All of those hours at home, worrying about the General and searching the neighborhood, Taverna was just the ticket to kick the icy temps and for a much needed romantic evening.

Restaurant Review, Food, Italian, Dallas, Pasta, Risotto, Tortellini

My tortellini – I wish it wasn’t just a special!

Since moving abroad, Taverna moved locations from the little cottage on Armstrong to a larger space on Knox. Located just next to Toulouse (same owners) by the Katy Trail, Taverna’s popularity is evident by its much larger patio and more spacious interior. Though they’ve opened up and made more room, they certainly have not killed the cozy atmosphere. The decor is very much the same and the ambience is very intimate – low lighting, glowing candles, etc.

The only downside to the space, one that hasn’t changed from the original location to the new, is the area left between tables. At times, Taverna can feel slightly claustrophobic, especially for a large guy like Matt. When they went to seat us the other evening, we asked to be moved to the heated patio because we noticed there was slightly more room. However, Matt and I spent quite a bit of time in Italy, and this setting certainly matches the Italian feel – limited space included!

You know what makes up for the space, though? The food. Matt stuck to his tried and true Fiocchi al Gorgonzola e Pera, which is gorgonzola & pear filled pasta with walnuts, arugula & a dolce latte cream sauce. Matt always enjoys it and our date night was no different. I decided to stray away from my favorite (Paglia e Fieno, green & white tagliolini with chicken, wild mushrooms, truffle oil & cream) and try one of their specials. Boy was it special! My meal consisted of tortellini stuffed with a ricotta and porcini mushroom filling, and was served in a white wine marinara with Italian sausage and peas. The combination of flavors were spot on – the spiciness of the sausage, the delicate sauce and rich filling all worked perfectly together.

To celebrate our evening out and the return of our kitten, we enjoyed a champagne apéritif and with dinner I went with an Italian chianti. Our spirits were so high after the stressful weekend and the food was so delicious that it truly made for a perfect evening out. I’ve recommended Taverna to many friends and family, and can assure you that I will be back; the service is always impeccable and the food on point. Whether it be pasta, pizza, seafood, risotto or the chef’s focaccia, if you are ever able to make it to Taverna, I hope your meal is fabulous!

Taverna – Dallas
Address: 3312 Knox Street, Dallas, TX 75205
Phone: (214) 520-9933
Reservations for 6 or more

Restaurant Review, Food, Italian, Dallas, Pasta, Risotto, Tortellini

A truly Italian feel.

Restaurant Review, Food, Italian, Dallas, Pasta, Risotto, Tortellini

It’s dark, but here is a closer look at my delicious meal.

Categories: Food, Nightlife | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Perfect English Muffin

Marbella, Spain, cafe con leche, eggs benedict, breakfast, brunch, English muffin

Enjoying a cafe con leche at Pan & Mermelada in Marbella.

My hiatus is officially over. I wish I had a really cool reason as to why I haven’t been blogging…like, I’ve been on an African safari or jet-setting around the world writing for a travel magazine. Alas, I’ve just been very busy at work and planning the wedding, so I let some of my extracurricular activities slip.

However, with the Spanish summer officially upon us and some fun things happening in our area, I figured now was a better time than any to do what I love doing the most – sharing some of our cultural experiences that make living over here so unique! What a better way to start that than to tell you about a little gem we found in Marbella over the weekend…

I wish I could take credit for finding this amazing spot on my own. However, the discovery was made by a co-worker and relayed to some of the other foodies in the office (ironically, the details were shared over lunch), which really, is an even better way to discover amazing restaurants – word of mouth. Pan & Mermelada is a Canadian-owned restaurant, located about 45 minutes up the coast in Marbella, and on Sunday, I dragged Matt there upon rumours of eggs Benedict with real English muffins! Be still my heart.

Marbella, Spain, cafe con leche, eggs benedict, breakfast, brunch, English muffin

Just a little peek at the quaint atmosphere.

See, one of my favorite breakfast meals is eggs Benedict. The problem over here is that I can rarely find it on a brunch menu and when I do, it is not served over an English muffin, my favorite breakfast “grain.” If you are able to find eggs Benedict on a menu, it is often served on a “bap,” which is really just another word for hamburger bun. Bleh. So you can imagine my glee when I heard that this restaurant made eggs Benedict the proper way.

And boy were they worth the drive! I ordered mine with bacon instead of their usual ham or salmon, to which the owner declared, “great choice!” Served with potatoes and a salad, these eggs Benedict really hit the spot. Salty, creamy, with runny yolk and the most wonderfully toasted English muffin on the bottom. Matt enjoyed a breakfast burrito complete with scrambled eggs, bacon, avocado, Monterey Jack cheese, fresh lime, tomato and sour cream. He devoured that burrito in minutes. And because they are Canadian, the buttermilk pancakes are served with traditional maple syrup – enticing enough to go back next Sunday!

The food isn’t just wonderful at Pan & Mermelada – the setting is delightful as well. An eclectic taste prevails with interesting art, rustic birdcages and lanterns, smooth wood finishing and large open windows that let you enjoy an outdoor atmosphere even if you are at a table inside. We spoke a bit with the owner (it is refreshing to hear an accent so similar to ours) and she encouraged us to come back on Friday evening when there would be live music. Based on the photos I’ve seen on their Facebook page, I’m pretty sure reservations are required to secure a spot to enjoy what looks like an equally delightful dinner menu and the cool music.

I highly recommend this spot to anyone in the Marbella area. With outdoor seating, the perfect breakfast menu (I’ll keep you posted once we’ve done dinner!) and a wonderful atmosphere, I know we’ll be back.

Marbella, Spain, cafe con leche, eggs benedict, breakfast, brunch, English muffin

Trust me – they tasted as good as they look.

Categories: Food, Nightlife, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Camuri – A Restaurant Review

A couple weekends ago, Matt and I finally ventured out of our little area of Spain to sample the nightlife and cuisine located up the coast. It’s just too easy to become a creature of habit – we typically stick to local places when it comes time to decide where to have a dinner out. Many of these places you’ve heard of multiple times on this blog, Pura Tapa and La Finca being the most popular. However, in the winter season La Finca closes, and Matt and I have discussed trying to get up north a little more. So that’s exactly what we recently did.

On a low-key Saturday night, we wandered up to Laguna Village, an outdoor shopping area about 20 minutes up the coast with fabulous restaurants. We’ve eaten at Terra Sana, also located in Laguna Village, many times and enjoy it so much that we’ve brought most of our visiting family and friends there for lunch. This night, however, we chose to visit Camuri, an oriental restaurant with a fabulous menu. Located right on the beach, the floor to ceiling glass walls open in the summer, but with the cool winter temperatures, they were closed for our visit.

Laguna Village, Camuri, Food, Cuisine, Restaurant Review

Not the best picture I’ve ever taken, but you get the drift. The sushi is in the top left, the chicken wings just to the right of it, the crab roll close to me and the beef tips in the far right of the photo. {Click to enhance}

As for the food, we decided to choose from their “to share” menu so that we could sample a few dishes. We enjoyed crab spring rolls with a ginger dipping sauce, beef tip skewers, chicken wings in an oriental sauce, and a Nobuko sushi roll comprised of seared beef fillet with rocket leaves, crunchy tempura and a hot chili sauce. Their menu includes traditional sushi rolls like the California roll, but the appeal for us are those unique to the restaurant. When we go back, we plan on trying the Age salmon maki, which is a fried salmon roll with two sauces – orange tobiko and mango. The words “sushi” and “fried” together sound quite tasty!

I’m glad we stepped out of our comfort zone for once, because it ended up being a lovely evening. We will definitely be going back to Camuri, especially in the summer months when the doors open to the beautiful Mediterranean. We’ve also decided that this will start our “tour of the coast.” We plan on continuing our exploration in an effort to find more hidden gems like Camuri!

 

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The Lemon Crepe & Coffee Co.

Lemon, Crepe, Coffee, Co., Savory, Sweet

The Lemon Crepe & Coffee Co. - a definite must-eat for anyone travelling through Dublin.

I am one of those “eat now, workout later” type of people. When I eat, I want my food to be delicious. I mean, we only have one life to live, so why waste it on foods that leave your taste buds feeling forlorn or mistreated? Now, I’m not saying one should overindulge or overeat, or even disregard healthy foods. Matt and I cook plenty of foods that contain our fruits and vegetables, and for the most part, I’d consider myself a pretty healthy person. I’m also a foodie who loves to try new things, so today I finally ventured into the Lemon Crepe & Coffee Co. on Dawson Street.

It is actually sort of crazy that I’ve been living in Dublin for almost a full year now and I’ve never eaten here. With it’s bright orange decor, situated on one of the busiest streets in the city – one that I walk down almost every day to work – it just screams, “eat here!” It’s always busy, probably due to the fact that it’s seconds from the Trinity College campus, or partly because the food and coffee is, to say it simply, awesome. I met my friend Caroline today at the Lemon Crepe & Coffee Co., for somewhat of a bittersweet lunch. She is moving back to New York and also had never eaten at this delectable spot, so we needed to check it off her bucket list. At the same time, it’s no fun saying goodbye to a friend. What a better way to do it than with savory crepes in a festive atmosphere.

Neither Caroline nor I are big sweet eaters, so we both chose a savory dish for our lunchtime treat. I ordered the Mexicano crepe, which included mature cheddar, streaky bacon*, guacamole, chili sauce, and tomato. Exactly what a Texas gal needs, right?! Caroline’s crepe was filled with egg, spinach, swiss cheese, and mushrooms. Both were piping hot, straight off the skillet, and oozing with goodness. In fact, my crepe was one of the most delicious things I’ve sunk my teeth into in a long time. All of the flavors were perfect, each bite just as good as the last. I would even go as far as to say that I’d go back for a sweet snack; maybe something with chocolate, or banana, or coconut, or maple, or strawberry. You name it, they’ve got it. Along with their long list of sweet crepes, their savory list includes a Philadelphia beef crepe, breakfast crepes, a smoked caesar crepe, and ingredients from tuna to pastrami to chili. Wow.

We didn’t sample one of their many coffees, but you can bet I’ll be back soon for one. If you’re travelling through Dublin, Lemon Crepe & Coffee Co. is a must. Whether it be for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a quick snack on the go, it is vibrant with energy and great food, right in the heart of the city!

*For my American friends back home, streaky bacon here is more like the bacon we eat in America. In Ireland they have “rashers,” which is one of their forms of bacon – it’s a bit thicker and fattier.

Lemon, Crepe, Coffee, Co., Savory, Sweet

Lemon, Crepe, Coffee, Co., Savory, Sweet

Lemon, Crepe, Coffee, Co., Savory, Sweet
Lemon, Crepe, Coffee, Co., Savory, Sweet

Lemon, Crepe, Coffee, Co., Savory, Sweet

And like a good foodie, I am now off to the gym!

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