Monday, July 27, 2009

review: chez raegan & other food news

I confess, I'm a slacker. Can you believe how much has happened since my last post? After I was so excited about Palin's running feature, she announced her resignation as governor, and now she officially has resigned as governor of Alaska. Man how time flies!

I felt compelled to blog again because yesterday I had THE BEST salmon I've had all year. And I didn't have it at any restaurant...I had at my new favorite Sunday lunch spot, Chez Raegan. Hehe. My sister-grandma Raegan had Ryan & I over for lunch after church on Sunday. She got some wild Alaskan sockeye salmon on sale at the Fresh Market and fried it up in a grill pan with fennel, lemon, salt, pepper and oil. I had one filet and then went back for another half, I just couldn't stop eating it! For the sides, she made an awesome salad with fennel and homemade dressing, and sourdough bread with brie. Mmmm. It was a great summer meal and I told Raegan that she could cook for me every Sunday and I would gladly pay her. And it was so good I had to blog about it, plus she asked me today why I hadn't blogged about it yet :) I wish I had pics but I was just so hungry and into the food that it was all gone before I thought about taking any pictures. She also inspired me to start cooking again...I mean, I try to stay home and cook to save money but I haven't been very creative lately. But Raegan, hats off to you. I want to be creative like you :)

In other news, I've had the pleasure of trying 2 new hotspots: Varasano's & Morelli's.

First Morelli's.

This place is just awesome. They have all your standard sweet ice cream flavors, and then they have all kinds of exotic & savory flavors, like corn! When I lived in Puerto Rico for a summer, my weekly indulgence was corn ice cream with cinnamon on top. When I asked for cinnamon on top of my corn ice cream at Morelli's, I got more than one puzzled look. But I promise, it's good. It's not quite as good as my corn ice cream in PR, but it's the closest I've found in the US. Also, they have some of the best waffle bowls I've ever had.

Next up we have Varasano's. I read about Varasano the man a couple years ago. He was on a quest to find the best NY style pizza. He would throw pizza parties at his house and rig his oven to do crazy things in order to achieve the perfect char & crust. He also kept track of all the best pizzerias and had a pretty intense ranking system. Of course, I disagree with him because I think Grimaldi's is the best pizza I've ever had, and I always, always crave it. But of course, I haven't been to quite the number of pizzerias he has, so I'm probably wrong.

Anyway, the first time we went, we did the Slice of Heaven promotion, which was all you can eat pizza for $13? Something like that...I think it was so popular that now you can only do it late at night one day of the week. I can understand why...I thought the kitchen was going to crash, pizzas were flying out by the minute and still there were hungry tables clamoring for more (including ours!) It was so great though, every pizza we tried was deeeeelicious. The only one I didn't care for was a caramelized onion. It was good the first time, but the cheese was very pungent and thick, so I didn't care to eat more than one slice. Unfortunately that was the flavor of pizza we saw the most that night! haha. I liked the crust, but sometimes it was a little too sour for me, and not enough char. My favorites that night ended up being Nana's - classic mozzarella, tomato and special sauce. My other favorite was something that looking at, I thought I would hate. But once I took a bite, I scarfed it down. It was the Chica Bella - arugula with lemon on top of ricotta & mozzarella cheese. We're talking so good that Ryan & I tried to replicate it many times at my apartment afterwards. Sooooo good!!

The second time we went, it wasn't quite as crazy and this time we knew what our favorites were. We all settled for Nana's pizza. And this time the crust was pretty darn near perfect. I felt like I was almost back in Grimaldi's.


I'm kinda craving one now, aren't you?

1 comment:

Alexander said...

Were you successful in replicating the chica bella pizza? How did you do it?