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belgian

Gourmet Pot Luck

Potlucks do not have to be about beanie weanies and salsa dip. They can be gourmet as well! M and E hosted a high class gourmet pot luck, and somehow, I was invited. Some lovely champange cocktails. Way to start this thing off!
This beet dip is just about the most beautiful color in the world. And it tasted just as beautiful. Who said dip couldn’t be healthy? Especially when it’s served with cucumbers.
M’s mom and P made these ganderi kebabs made with ground chicken, herbs and spices. It was served with a mango chutney and these chicken balls were a hit!
We talked about how beautiful the beet dip was but look how beautiful this cold squash soup is! It looked great and tasted just as great. It wasn’t just the food that looked attractive. M outdid herself with the tableware and decorations.
Onto the real gourmet stuff! Coq au vin! Made with a pressure cooker and all! It was super moist and tender.
Rabbits are adorable but they’re also incredibly tasty. This was a rabbit stew with prunes. This was definitely my favorite meat dish of the night.
Some gorgeously stuffed chicken.
Don’t worry, it wasn’t all just meat. There was also this pesto pasta that D brought. She made the pasta by hand!
There was even this brussel sprout salad. And it was amazing. It was vegetarian for the most part, except for the large hunks of ham.
To keep it gourmet as well as local, M made some eggless eggnog using Snap liquor. Dangerously delicious snapnog!
Tiramisu from wegmans!
Me and gourmet cooking don’t go well together, so I took the easy way out and brought a mocha cake from the korean bakery. Everybody loved this because well, it’s freakin delicious. Thanks to M and E for hosting another fantastic dinner!

Starlight Cafe – Greenville

starlightinside

For my last dinner in Greenville, I finally got a chance to go to Starlight Cafe in downtown Greenville. It had gotten fairly good reviews everywhere I had checked and my server at Plum Tree had recommended it. I had high hopes. Boy, was I disappointed. It probably also did not help that I had dined at Chef & The Farmer the night before. That’s a tough act to follow. But even if I had eaten at, oh, let’s say, Applebee’s, I would have probably still been disappointed with this place. The place is interesting on the inside. They have two main dining areas and one area was sectioned off for a private party on the night I was there.

I sat at the bar. This was probably my first mistake. There was a baby of an employee yakking next to me. I mean there’s nothing wrong with babies, but I don’t need to have to be forced to hear them when I’m eating at some place nice. If I’m ordering a $29 entree, and sitting at the bar, I shouldn’t have to listen to random baby yelling, should I?

starlightsalad

Their menu has a combination of southern, seafood, and european, particularly belgian, dishes. I wanted to get the soup of the day, the corn chowder, but after deciding on my entree, I decided on a house salad instead. Boy, did this salad suck it. It was a pile of mediocre greens, with a few strips of carrots, a few slivers of red onions, some cucumbers, and 3 teeny tiny croutons. The apple cider vinaigrette was rather blah, and this entire salad was extremely blah. There was nothing interesting about it. In fact, the best part was the cucumbers. I worked really hard getting every bit of carrot because I was desperately searching for flavor. The complimentary bread was just ok, but the olive oil that came with it was actually quite good.

starlightscallops

My gut told me not to get this scallop dish, but the server recommended it. She said everyone who orders it loves it and wants to drink the broth. I decided to go with it anyway because I just love scallops so damn much. This was a belgian style scallops dish, with the scallops being simmered with potato, leeks, celery, and littleneck clams. This wasn’t bad, but it was so bland! It was like a watery clam chowder broth with some scallops, potatoes, and clams thrown in. I tasted no leeks at all. Now there were a lot of scallops in here, and a few clams, but it was also seriously overpriced. This was much more expensive than my entree at Chef & The Farmer and that just doesn’t seem right. The quality of the food, the presentation, the ingredients, the service… none of that compared to what I experienced at Chef & The Farmer. Greenville, you are being robbed!

The service… oh the service… where to start? So I sat at the bar, and was waited on by two people. But I don’t think they were aware of each other. One would ask me if I was ready to order, I would order, and then the other would come by and ask me what I wanted to order. Same with the drinks. Then one would ask if I wanted my check, and then the other would come by and ask me if I wanted my check. It was super annoying. And the guy who was waiting on me, he came by, and while dropping off a pepper grinder asked me how my salad was. But he wasn’t really asking me. He didn’t even stop in front of me or look at me as he asked, it was just more of temporary slowdown as he dropped off the pepper grinder, and he had no interest in if I would have an answer. It was so distasteful. It’s obviously you don’t give a crap what I think of my salad, so don’t bother asking! Overall, I was very disappointed with my meal. I had read some good reviews, so I had some decent expectations going in. I was disappointed in both the overpriced and blah food and the service. I do not consider this place fine dining in any way. They might consider themselves this way due to the pricing, but boy, have they go it wrong! They need to take a look at Plum Tree and Chef & The Farmer and take some lessons!

Starlight Cafe on Urbanspoon

Frjtz At Frjtz

Frjtz is a belgian fries, crepes, and mussels joint in the Mission. They also have another location in Hayes Valley. It’s a casual place on Valencia. You order your food, get a number, and they bring it out to you. They have beers and booze and other food too.

A grimbergen. We all agreed that this beer was super tasty. It’s belgian, and I believe this was a blonde, but as we can all see, it’s quite brown. And yummy.

They provide carafes of water so you can hydrate yourself. A enjoyed a hoegaarden while I took advantage of a passion fruit soju mixed drink. Fruity and strong. Yeeha!

The frites! Extremely thick cut, which surprised me. Hot and crispy. With the large, you get your choice of two dips. Amongst us, we picked thai chili ketchup, white truffle artichoke ketchup, parmesan peppercorn ranch, and spicy yogurt peanut. Here’s the low down… thai chili – ok and spicy, artichoke – amazing, ranch – eh, it’s ranch, and the peanut – thick and peanutty. I think we all agreed that theh artichoke was the best of the bunch. These freis were great. And not greasy either. I was picking the crumbs…

A got the mussels, the thai kind. She loved it. And the leftover broth was enjoyed by all. She even got extra bread to sop it all up.

The rest of us got sandwiches. The sisley – roasted pear, cheddar, gorgonzola, chipotle remoulade, and avocado on focaccia.

The rest of us got sandwiches. The basquiat – grilled chicken, pesto mayo, caramelized onions, swiss, avocado on focaccia.

The velasquez – prosciutto, mozzarella, roasted pineapple, roasted pepper mayo on focaccia. All sandwiches were served with a spring mix salad. Good food with good friends. Not exactly cheap, but worth it! I probably drank too much… ha! Ok, not here, but definitely at Gestalt where we spent the rest of the night…

Frjtz Valencia on Urbanspoon

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