Ruths Chris, a birthday wish

My beautiful Jen took me out last nite for a birthday dinner to Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. Now I have never been there but always heard good things about it.  Jen made reservations for 7:15.  We arrived at 7:05 and were promptly seated.  The server, came over quickly and took our drink order. Jen ordered a Mojito and I ordered a chilled Martini with 3 anchovy stuffed olives.  When the drinks came they were exactly the way we liked them. My martini was strong yet smooth and the anchovy olives were chock full of salty goodness.  Now even though I do not like Mojitos, I tried Jens drink.  The mint was super fresh you could smell it from across the table, as if someone just picked it from a garden.

When it comes to ordering at an upscale steak house, one has to be careful because everything is usually a la carte. However, they had special three course dinner where you can order a starter, an entree, a side and dessert.  So we both ordered this. Jen and I both ordered Caesar salads to start with. Jen ordered a filet and mashed potatoes and I ordered a ribeye  with creamed spinach. The dessert that came with the meal was strawberry shortcake. But because it was my birthday, I would be allowed to upgrade my dessert free of charge.

The salad was quite large and very good indeed. The dressing was just a wee bit tangier than I like, but Jen thought it was perfect.  When the steaks came, the server, Christine said that the plates would be hot because the steaks are cooked at a temperature of 1800 degrees. 1800 degrees I said, that’s almost as hot as her as I pointed to Jen. The sides were plentiful enough to share. The potatoes were smooth and creamy with the right amount of garlic.  The creamed spinach was good but I felt could’ve used a little more salt. Jen disagreed with me, she thought they were perfect. The steaks were cooked exactly like we wanted with exceptional flavor and tenderness.

Surprisingly, Jen and I were both full and still had dessert coming. As I mentioned before, Jens meal came with strawberry shortcake but I upgraded mine to the chocolate duo.  This consisted of a chocolate lava cake and small side of chocolate mousse. As I confirmed my dessert order with Christine, I told her to make sure the chef makes my dessert as sweet as Jen.

My dessert was fabulous, so rich and decadent, just oozing chocolaty goodness.  And the presentation was equally whimsical,with happy birthday written on the plate with chocolate syrup.  To sum up, Ruth’s Chris may be pricey, as any fine dining establishment is but definitely well worth it.

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Green Lantern is indeed a super hero

Last night, to celebrate my Dad’s return back home after a lengthy stay in a rehabilitation unit (long story) we decided to take him to Green Lantern, as it is his favorite pizza joint (as it is most of ours).  I don’t really feel a blog is necessary, as everyone I know already knows and loves Green Lantern, as it is a local Madison Heights hangout, but as there may just be one person out there who hasn’t been there, this blog is for you.

Green Lantern, has clearly one of the best pizzas I have ever had. The crust is crispy and doughy, and the sauce is like none I have ever had.  The cheese and toppings are fresh and plentiful.  The pepperoni, are those special crispy round delights, that curl and allow pools of artery clogging grease to form.

Last night, we inadvertently ordered the deep dish, now mind you, I hate to veer from the norm as it is so good (which is just the regular round with pepperoni). The deep dish (I am told, I didn’t eat it) was delicious, and super filling.  My Dad managed to out-eat my brother and Omar!! I didn’t eat it because they ordered mushrooms on it, which I find appalling.

I however, ordered a personal sized BLT pizza.  Yes, this pizza had lettuce and mayonnaise on it, and bacon and tomatoes.  I think Green Lantern was one of the first to serve this pizza (at least the first I heard of it and that is the story I am sticking with). Sounds weird I know, but it is really delicious. Like an open faced sandwich on really good flat bread.

The new candied bacon they added to the menu comes out crispy, both sweet and spicy with a combination of brown sugar and cayenne. I know everyone lately has been on a bacon craze so we had to try it.  I didn’t think it would be as good as it was but it really is a must order.

Their antipasto salad is decent. Nothing super notable. It has fresh ingredients and comes with some simple but yummy garlic bread.  They put a hard-boiled egg on it, which is different and I like that addition, but yesterday sadly, my salad was lacking the egg. The mound of shaved onions on top is a bit much, but easy to remove.

Although I didn’t order one yesterday, which by the way is really unusual for me, I must take a sec to discuss their Italian sub.  The sub is Italian lunch meat on a great Grecian roll. They thing that knocks this simple sandwich out of the park is the amazing coleslaw.  It is vinegar based and adds a bite, both with a crunch and with acid to the sandwich. It is really good.

Lastly, I must add that Green Lantern has expanded their beer selection to include craft beers, which is great. Omar’s and my favorite? Mill Street Vanilla Porter.  Comes ice cold, with a frosted glass.  The beer is rich, robust with a thick, creamy head (out of context that sounds bad – LOL). Leaves that trail of painted off-white lace on the sides of the glass as you drink the beer down.  It is, as its name implies, vanilla-y and malty, with overtones of caramel and hint of chocolate. This beer is definitely creamier that other porters I have had and Yummy!!

To wrap this up, Green Lantern is good food, simply done.  The way food is supposed to be.



More valleys than hills

I decided to try something different for dinner tonite. My beautiful hottie (Jen) and I went to Tre Monti in Troy.  Now I scoped it out on line and they had a cocktail hour from 5-7 Tuesday -Friday.  Now most places that tout some type of happy hour, have a  limited number of items and drinks on special. This place was no different. When Jen and I arrived, at 5 pm, it was clear that they just opened. The staff seemed confused as to where to seat us. I said, we are here for happy hour can we sit on the patio and we were told no because there was a wine tasting party later. So, we sat at the bar instead. Then just as someone handed us a menu, they said that we could sit outside after all. So we got up and were escorted to the patio.

Now, the patio was very spacious and resembled a courtyard with lots of flora including an abundance of Hydrangeas. We were the only ones out there. The waiter, David came over quickly and took our order. Jen and I wanted to stick with the cheaper happy hour menu. Jen asked for a Mojito but David said that they don’t make those. So she then switched to a Dewars and ginger ale. I asked for a chilled gin martini with 3 anchovy stuffed olives. Now, when the drinks came, we couldn’t wait to sample cuz as y’all know it was hot today. Jens cocktail tasted odd and looked watered down. My martini was equally disappointing. It bordered on a being a flavorless mixture of average hooch just thrown together. Certainly not the punch of the Bombay Sapphire Gin that was touted to be in it.

Now came our entrees/apps. We split a small Caesar salad that was served in a Parmesan bowl. I believe all you Italians call this Fricco. Its kind of a cheesy cracker. Now that was damn good, while the salad was tasty but not worth the 15 dollars.  Jen ordered  a meat ravioli in a Bolonese sauce,while I ordered the prime burger. Now I asked the server David, how big was the burger and he said 10 ounces. Of course I knew that a burger for 9 dollars on a happy hour menu wasnt going to be 10 oz. And when it came I was right, more like 4 oz. This prime burger came topped with spinach, pancetta and Gorgonzola all on a toasted bun. Sounds interesting right? It actually was a cacophony of dissonant flavors that didn’t work at all. The cheese over powered everything, couldn’t taste the meat much, and as we all know, the star of any burger should be the beef patty.

Jens ravioli was just okay. Now I am not Italian, but no way in hell Nona would let that leave her cucina. Less than enamored with our first cocktails we decided to switch to beer. So we ordered two Peronis, a good Italian pale lager. David took our order and then came back saying that they didn’t have any, even though he suggested it. We asked about any draft beers and he said they don’t serve any. He then suggested  a different Italian beer, Menabrea. This beer is similar to Peroni, beautiful Jen and I both agreed it was good.

In summary, the ambiance was wonderful,the beer was good and the service was excellent. The food was mediocre and even though we ordered off the limited happy hour menu, it doesn’t mean the taste has to be limited as well. I have been to plenty of places that have upscale happy hours and basically, they serve their same food just smaller portions at reduced prices. We probably wont be returning anytime soon, unless we feel compelled to drink beer and look at a nice garden. But I guess we can do that in our own backyard. Buona sera paisanos!