Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Salty, Squishy Goodness at Santa Monica's Herringbone

A couple of weeks ago Edible Skinny was lucky enough West of Lincoln to experience all things mollusk at Herringbone, Santa Monica.   Our date: the delightful Miss Katie Johnson!

Chef Brian Malarkey opened the company’s third ocean-to-table location a little over a year ago at the Seychelle 310 at 1755 Ocean Ave.  The space quickly become an aquatic dining hotspot.

Photo Marie Buck
Inspired by The Taste alum’s passion for expertly crafted coastal cuisine infused with seaside whimsy, the restaurant features dishes that evoke his signature “Fish Meats Field” philosophy alongside new, market-driven offerings that are unique to its beachside locale.

Herringbone first opened its doors in San Diego’s coastal community of La Jolla in spring 2012.  The acclaimed restaurant has since been awarded “Best New Restaurant,” “Best Atmosphere” and “Best Chef” by San Diego local newspaper, La Jolla Today, as well as “Best Design/Atmosphere” by San Diego Magazine and most recently was one of two San Diego restaurants to be named in OpenTable’s 2013 impressive “Hot 100 Spots to Dine in America” list.

Miss Katie and I started off our lunch date with a couple of complex cocktails.  I partook in the Jalé Berry ($11) with a delightful one two punch of sugar and spice compiled of Strawberry jalapeño Infused tequila, lime, agave.  Our bartender informed us it was one of the most popular drinks on the menu and I was delighted to discover the masses had made the right choice.  Miss Katie went with the Grow A Pear ($12) Cucumber infused gin, cilantro, jalapeño, pear, lemon.  I have to say I don’t enjoy gin, but I enjoyed that drink…

Photo Marie Buck
Herringbone has a Salt & Brine Bar offering the fantastic choice of an Oyster Sampler ($32).  I being the Veg, Miss Katie volunteered as tribute to consuming a variety of crustaceans from a variety of countries and providences.  Included in this Wild Bunch was Fanny Bay (British Columbia), Raspberry Point (Prince Edward Island), Wildcat Cove (BC), Holliewood Zen (BC), Hood Canal (California), and Malpeque (PEI).  From creamy to complex the mollusks were “salty, squishy goodness.”

After oysters we dabbled with health food greens with two of Herringbone’s summer salads.   The first was their Stone Fruit Salad ($16) a composite of Mizuna, Burrata, Smoked Almonds, and Oregano Vinaigrette.  The smokiness of the nuts balance beamed the creaminess of the cheese for a perfect 10.  

Katie entrée-ed with the Albacore Poke ($15) a mixture of Tuna, Ginger, Soy, Spicy Mayo, Avocado, Nori Chips.  “The chips are what makes the dish,” she squealed with delight! I dined on veggie pasta dish that was hearty yet not too heavy as to feel overwhelmed.

We girls finished off our lunch with the delightful Herringbone Sundae ($11) composed of Chocolate Ice Cream, to die for Sea Salt Blondies, Marshmallow Cream, Caramelized Cocoa Nibs, and Creamy Caramel.  It was an absolute delight in our mouth. 

Photo Marie Buck
FYI, along with lunch and dinner, Herringbone is open for Oyster Hour (Herringbone’s take on happy hour) where oysters are a $1 a piece!

So here’s to life being delicious and all your bites being salty, squishy goodness.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Bubbly and Bubble Machines w/ Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne at Tales of the Cocktail

Edible Skinny was lucky enough to be in New Orleans for Tales of the Cocktail this year and we had an absolute blast getting tipsy as Hell!!!  One of the highlights were our attendance of not one but two Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne’s parties at Tableau. 

Located cattycorner to the popular tourist destination of St. Louis Cathedral on picturesque Jackson Square, Tableau is Dickie Brennan’s newest restaurant (others include Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse, Bourbon House, and Palace Café).  Tableau is a restaurant that showcases regional ingredients and classic French Creole dishes with a unique twist.  The restaurant’s architecture includes a grand staircase that spans three stories connecting private dining rooms, balcony dining, and courtyard seating, for an authentic New Orleans dining experience. 
On Wednesday we attended the Nicolas Feuillatte Dynamic Duo Happy Hour in said courtyard (plus numerous tiny bubbles from a second story bubble machine).  The event featured a friendly Champagne cocktail competition between Mixologist Lynnette Marrero, Owner/Co-Founder DrinksAt6/Speed Rack, New York City, and Tableau Beverage Director Barry Himel as they competed to create the official 40th Anniversary Champagne Cocktail for Nicolas Feuillatte.

Nicolas Feuillatte is the No. 1 Champagne in France and No. 3 worldwide with 10.8 million bottles sold worldwide and is available in 96 countries worldwide.  Founded in 1976 by Monsieur Nicolas Feuillatte, this year the brand is celebrating its 40th anniversary.  And thus the dueling Happy Hour in said bubble filled courtyard.

The champagne Battle Royalé included the Fete de La Fraise concocted by Ms. Marrero (Mint Syrup, Strawberry Shrub, Sherry, and Nicolas Feuillatte Rosé Champagne) and Jamie’s Cryin’ crafted by Barry Himel (Soju, Watermelon Juice, and Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Champagne).  Both recipes are below for those who want to recreate the perfect NOLA champagne cocktail!  Turns out both as the result was a straight down the middle tie.  

And on Thursday Edible Skinny escaped the bathtub humidity heat and returned to Tableau to check out Nicolas Feuillatte’s Champagne Lounge.  A speakeasy-inspired event was located in the upstairs drawing room and balcony of the restaurant and featured select complimentary Brut and Rosé (alongside a donut selfie station).    To gain access we had to have a must have password (in case you were wondering it was “Nicki Fu”) and then it was onto the bubbly options in the balcony.  All were fantastically delightful!  Along with bubbles galore were pink colored sunnies and some of the best brie of my life!

At the end of the week Edible Skinny was delighted in Nicolas Feuillatte’s ability to toast the magic and mystery of Tales of the Cocktail (and life in general). 

Here’s life being delicious and every day involving both bubbly and bubble machines. 

James Cryin’  - Created by Barry Himel, Director of Beverage of Dickie Brennan & Co.
½ oz Soju
½ oz Genever
2 oz Watermelon Juice
½ oz Lime Juice
2 oz Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Champagne
Mint compressed watermelon, compressed watermelon rind for garnish.
Shake the first five ingredients with ice, then strain into a coupe.   Top with Champagne.  Garnish with a speared cubed watermelon and watermelon rind.  

Fete de la Fraise  - Created by Lynette Marrero, Owner/Co-Founder DrinksAt6/Speed Rack, New York City
¼ oz Mint Syrup
½ oz Strawberry Shrub
1 oz Fino Sherry
3 oz Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Rosé Champagne

Combine all ingredients except Champagne into mixing glass over ice.  Strain into a glass over ice and top with Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Rosé Champagne.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Best Donuts of Our Lives with District Donuts in NOLA

Let the Good Times Roll!!!   Edible Skinny was lucky enough to be in New Orleans for the last two weeks!  We had a fabulous time there and the extra pounds to prove it, much of which is the result of District Donuts.   Now, I openly proclaim that normally I don’t even like donuts.  I think they’re a ridiculous breakfast food that murders your blood sugar before the day even starts… but I’m now eating crow as all that changed with a Big Easy intro to District Donuts.
District Donuts located in the heart of the Garden District, far from the winding lines of the French Quarter, hands down make the best donuts I have ever had in my life.  Yay, that’s right I said that Café Du Monde (which I made sure to cross off my list of NOLA food activities… look for a post on that to come).  It’s an even bolder statement coming someone who has sampled sugar concoctions from the donut greats such as Voodoo Donuts in Portland and Kettleglazed Donuts in Los Angeles.
At District every calorie has been placed in their food with dedicated intention.  They do everything from scratch, down to their sprinkles!  Seven options are available daily, each more creative than the next, from Vietnamese Coffee (with Boba inside of it), Maple Sriracha, and Brown Butter Pistachio. 
District is also committed to micro-batch roasted coffee.  Their coffee partner is the Atlanta based 1000 Faces who only ever roasts less than 20 lbs at time.  Through a technique called profile roasting, individual coffee beans are roasted to find their sweet spot, a special profile of time and temperature variables are created and adhered to that offer their interpretation of perfection.  This means that they don’t use traditional terms like light, medium, and dark roasts.  (How cool is that?  They’re so cool they’re above classic coffee systemization…)
District opened in October 2013 focusing on creative donuts and sliders, the latter includes Fried Chicken with Sweet and Spicy Slaw and Candied Jalapeno, a Pork Belly sandwich on a Waffle Bun with Garlic and Anise-flavored Creole Mustard, and a Lemongrass Chile, Tofu, Cucumber, Campari Tomato with Sweet Soy Glaze (which BTWs is fantastic!).  A year later, the team opened District: Hand Pie & Coffee Bar on upper Magazine Street selling sweet and savory versions of the portable filled pastry. The team are set to open a new location in Lakeview this summer.  That will be the third brick-and-mortar for the company in three years.
District also has taken the ubiquitous concept of a food truck flipped it Crescent City style.  Their mobile wheels look like a New Orleans streetcar, but it’s really aStrEATcar.  Along with offering District’s donuts and sliders, there’s milk on tap.  In addition to serving great food, the strEATcar serves another strategic purpose, to help connect New Orleans children and teens in foster care with families.  100% of the profits from the StrEATcar go to support Crossroads NOLA, a local non-profit serving children in foster care.  This really is a streetcar you’ll desire.
So here’s to life being delicious and encountering the best donuts of your life!