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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Capital Grille

OMG. My little sister is married, y'all! They didn't want to have a ceremony or anything. And actually eloped when they were on a trip to Spain... but decided to have a dinner with family once they returned. They chose The Capital Grille at Crescent Court. A great choice... I've never had a bad experience there (or the one in Plano).

The Capital Grille
500 Crescent Ct.
Dallas, TX 75201
(214) 303-0500
Price: $$$$+

This was the first time both sides of the family met...can you believe it? It's been almost 7 years. haha. We had a long table in the first dining area. The party had about 16 people or so. Our waiter was super cool. Gave us time to do our greetings and introductions and everything before all sitting down to look at the menu.

The table was too big so I couldn't get photos of everything but trust me it all looked and tasted great!

We started with some appetizers for the table.

Prosciutto Wrapped Mozzarella (with vine ripe tomatoes) $16~ These were large pieces.. I only ate a little because I was looking forward to the entree!!

Lobster and Crab Cakes $19~ These had so much lobster and crab inside. Sooo good.

Bread Basket. I always like their bread baskets... a lot of variation. Some sort of raisin rye, cheese bread, and some type of lavosh cracker thing. Put the prosciutto mozzarella on the lavosh... now you're thinking! hehe.

Some people ordered salads to start. I got the Butternut Squash Bisque (cup) $8~ 
Love me some butternut, so I had to get it. It was really good. There were little cubes of apples in there which added a crunch and tartness. Oh man.. I'm already getting full!

My parents decided to share the Sliced Filet Mignon (with cipollini onions and wild mushrooms) $48~ 
The mushrooms and cipollinis were amazing. Really great flavor. The steak was also spot on. I'm not a fan of filet mignon though, not fatty enough. ha.

I got the Porcini Rubbed Bone-In Ribeye (with 15 year aged balsamic) $50~ 
A-mahhhh-zing!! First of all, it is massive! And then cooked perfectly medium rare with pockets of fat throughout. That rub on it had soooo much flavor. Loved it. My dad said it was better than his. haha. I actually made it through more than half! Proud. :P

My fiance got the Sushi-Grade Sesame Seared Tuna (with gingered rice) $44~ 
He has a soft spot for Ahi tuna. And also he knew we were getting dessert later so he wanted to pace himself. Giant piece of tuna, perfectly red in the center. I loved the gingered rice. Super yum.

We also had some shareable side dishes for the table.

Lobster Mac N Cheese $17~ Totally the winner. Just look at the lumps of lobster sticking out of the cheese. The pasta texture was great. Loved the bread crumbs on top.

Sam's Mashed Potatoes $10~ This is pretty standard. I decided not to waste any stomach space by eating too much potatoes. haha.

We also got Brussels Sprouts too (forgot to take a picture). Was a little disappointed. It didn't have that char that Brussels sprouts need to have.

It was a great dinner. The steak here is always on point. And seems their seafood is too. The waiter surprised my sister and her husband with a dessert tray. We got to sample a bite of that dessert. I think it's coconut cream pie... it was pretty outstanding. We were going back to their place for dessert and drinks so I didn't get to browse the dessert menu... next time, I guess.

Definitely a great spot for a special occasion. I actually noticed a lot of other tables celebrating for different reasons. They decorated the tables, and the ladies all got a single red rose. How sweet!

Congrats to the newlyweds. And good job for picking a great place to celebrate!

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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Public School 214

2 weeks ago, we were attending the Fashion X Dallas event downtown. A friend of ours was showing some of her work for the runway show! :) We don't go to that area as often as I'd like, so I took the opportunity to plan an early dinner in uptown. Public School 214 has been on my radar since they opened at the end of 2014. They had one dessert that was the deciding item for us to choose this place. And you'll see it at the end of this post.

Public School 214
3700 McKinney Ave.
Dallas, TX 75304
(214) 599-6234
Price: $$$

The fashion event starts at 6PM, but the runway show starts at 8. So we decided to get an early dinner so we can get to the venue around 7-7:30. The place was pretty empty still so we got a table immediately. The decor is eclectic but definitely has a school theme... globes, periodic table, and year books lined the walls. And super cute notebook paper napkins!The place was bigger than I expected. The bar was almost the same size as the dining area.

Our waiter greeted us with waters and was super friendly. He gave us a quick run down of their drink menu... they have a lot of specialty beers, and told us we can sample as many of them as we want. Uh oh... choices.. haha. While we were narrowing down options (by we, I meant him... I don't drink beer. haha) our waiter went ahead and brought us 3 samples to try. 
It's like he read my fiance's mind because 2 out of the 3 he brought were the ones he wanted to try. The samples were so cute! We ended up getting the Rubaeus by Founders Brewing Co (nitro raspberry ale with a rich depth of flavor both sweet and tart) $7~ I actually kinda liked it. I've yet to find a beer I liked... not even ciders. I can't drink a whole thing of this, but I sipped on it throughout the meal.

We ended up taking way to long deciding on the drink. haha. But finally we ordered.

He went with The Temptress Stout Short Rib (shaved horseradish yukon mashed potatoes, caramelized onion au jus) $23~ 
It was a sizable dish. I loved the actual plate the food came in. hehe. It was yummy. The short rib was off the bone and pretty tender. Not completely fork tender but still good. We both liked the horseradish in the mashed potatoes, added another layer of flavor. He finished the entire dish... it was a lot.

I got the BBQ Bison Burger (grass fed, whiskey bbq sauce, emmental, pepper bacon mushroom topping; with side of kale & brussels slaw) $17~ 
I was a little hesitant to order this at first, because I'm iffy about BBQ sauce in a burger. Sometimes they just put too much. The waiter assured me that they don't put too much. And actually... I wish they had put more!! The sauce was great! It was a good burger. The meat was cooked nicely pink, and it was juicy, unlike how bison can sometimes be dry. Definitely not the best burger I've had in Dallas, but was still satisfying. The slaw on the other hand... was the star. I was a little shocked by the amount of sauce on the slaw...but it didn't even matter. It was so good...the two of us fought to eat it all. haha. It paired well with the burger.

We were both pretty dang full. But no.. we came for the dessert!! So we must order the dessert! :P Nutella Cookie Sandwich (bacon brittle, chocolate chunk cookies, vanilla bean ice cream) $6~ 
Oh em gee. This thing was massive. A giant chocolate chip cookie sitting on a huge dollop of nutella, topped with a scoop of vanill ice cream, topped with ANOTHER dollop of nutella, then capped with an equally as large chocolate chip cookie. It's enough for 3-4 people to eat I think... But there was just the 2 of us. And we keeeeeeled it!! We did ask for a glass of milk. haha. And the waiter brought us a giant glass of whole milk. Oh my. Talk about extra richness. We had to dilute it with water. The ice cream sandwich was sooo rich and sooo decadent. 
The cookie wasn't as soft as I'd like, but still damn good. We also did not detect any bacon.. oh well. And our waiter did say that this usually doesn't come out this big. So we got lucky? Tell that to our overstuffed stomachs as we sit back in pain. haha. But a good pain right? I regret nothing!! I'd totally get this again, but maybe next time I'll start with the dessert and if I'm still hungry, then I'll order something else. hahaha. The dessert did not disappoint. We had to take a stroll around the area to try and digest some of the dinner. :P It was pretty epic.

This seems like a cool place to hang out with friends and grab a beer. Their brunch menu also seems pretty good. Our waiter, Moses, I believe, was great. Friendly and attentive. I'd go back in the future.

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Monday, September 21, 2015

Amazeballz Cake Balls

This is a recent discovery of mine. Thanks to Instagram! I'm obsessed with IG since I post food pics all the time, but then I also find out new places from other people's posts. I noticed that @amazeballz_cakeballs was following me so I clicked into her link. Apparently they have a shop in downtown Plano! AND... I just happen to be going to dinner in downtown Plano that weekend! AND the store closes right before our dinner reservation!!! This is meant to be. I made sure we had extra time to get to downtown Plano to swing by Amazeballz.

930 E 15th St #200
Plano, TX 75074
(214) 223-8044
Price: $

We got there about 20 minutes before they closed at 6PM. I got to meet Jaime, the owner. She was super nice and gave us the run down of the flavors. They've only been in that space for about 3-4 months and business is already booming. They also have "boozeballs" btw... inflused with liquor. Wow. :P And their cake balls are slightly bigger than I've seen in other places.

We got a Dozen Cake Balls $20~ 6 for ourselves, and 6 for my friends who are having the birthday dinner later.

From top left, clockwise to bottom left.
S'mores, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Oreo, Lemon, S'mores, Oreo, Italian Cream Cake, Chocolate Raspberry, Birthday Cake, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Cherry Vanilla, Chocolate Maple Bacon (flavor of the month).

The cake balls in general are all super super moist. And beautifully decorated. The S'mores one is super cute!! My personal favorite was the Flavor of the Month: Chocolate Maple Bacon
The ratio of savory bacon to sweet cake was perfect. The bacon bits were quite large but not greasy. And it was so big! I tried to savor it so I took small bites. I got like 8 bites outta that thing! My fiance and I also loved the Chocolate Peanut Butter
So rich and peanut buttery. Actually, everything was good. There wasn't one that we didn't like....just some even more than others. And kept in the fridge a few days, they still tasted like new. :)

Next time I'm in the area, I'll definitely hit them up again.

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When friends come to town, it usually means good food! My friend from NYC was here Labor Day weekend so we got a group together to go check out Remedy for dinner. I've been dying to go. I've done there brunch which is pretty good, but mainly I really really wanted one of their epic sundaes. hehe.

I'm really loving all the new places in Lower Greenville! There are so many spots I still wanna try. Just parking is quite lacking... We went on Friday night at 6:30PM. The place was already pretty packed. It's a small restaurant though, so make sure you get reservations! Some of our friends were there early so we were directed to the table as soon as we got there.

2010 Greenville Ave.
Dallas, TX 75206
(469) 294-4012
Price: $$-$$$$

Our waiter greeted us quickly. He was super friendly. I think his name was Christopher. Shout out to the great service! He brought us waters and ome people ordered drinks.

Old Tom Pink Lemonaid (gin, grapefruit, juice, lemon juice, sugar, soda) $10~ A pretty drink. My friend said it was pretty good. And the paper straws are super cute, but not really that functional cuz they get kinda soggy after a while.

RX Painkiller (white and dark rums, tropic thunder soda, orange juice, coconut flakes) $10~ Also looked fun. I'm not a fan of shredded coconut, but it was pretty much just decoration. The drink itself was quite tasty. My friend really liked it.

Man.. it was so hard deciding what to order. All of us wanted to try everything... After a longggg time scrutinizing over the menu, we were set.

We started with an appetizer. Jalapeno-Chive Hushpuppies (NC hot sauce butter) $9~ 
It had a slight kick to it. I wished it was spicier. Not the best hushpuppies I've had. I thought the outside was over-fried. It felt a little greasy to me. The flavor was ok though.

A couple of my friends brought their baby girl so they got this for her. Grilled Cheese (Cottonwood River cheddar, charred TX tomato on griddled sourdough) $11~ Choice of Hand-Cut Fries. It looked really good. I got to have a fry which was yummy.

He got the Brown Sugar-Cider Glazed Dry Aged Duroc Pork Chop (jalapeno sweet potato hash, mustard greens with roasted peanuts in hot sauce vinaigrette, crispy onion rings) $26~ A super thick, bone-in pork chop. It was cooked really well... juicy and tender. Everyone who tried it, loved it.

She got the Open Faced Beet Cured Salmon (house-cured Scottish salmon, smashed avocado, marinated cucumber, TX tomato, pickled red onion, arugula, on griddled ciabatta) $15~ with Mixed Greens. 
Another friend ordered the same but with Cream of Tomato Soup. 
Such a vibrant dish. The beet color on the salmon was amazing. I normally don't like smoked salmon, but this is nothing like it. It doesn't have that smoked flavor. The fish was very fresh, and it was quite light with the cucumber/tomato/arugula combo. The avocado added a richness to it.

I recommended this to a friend. I had it during brunch. House Filet O'Fish (panko breaded TX redfish filet, American cheese, shredded lettuce, tartar sauce on a griddled challah bun) $15~ Choice of Cream of Tomato Soup. He loved it. The fish was tender and flaky. A solid choice.

Summer Goat Cheese Dumplings (white corn broth, caramelized cipollinis, anise-pickled lemley's peaches, brown butter baby zucchini, crispy squash blossom, cilantro) $18~ This was the only dish I didn't try. The portion size seemed fairly small plus I don't like goat cheese. So it would be wasted on me. My friend enjoyed it though.

I got the Cheeseburger (Kansas City Kobe Beef, American cheese, house dill pickles, sweet onion, shredded lettuce, TX tomato, creamy mustard on a griddled challah bun) $13~ Choice of Mixed Greens. 
It was between this or the BLT, and the waiter highly recommended this. I'm glad I took his advice. A solid burger. Simple, no exotic ingredients like some gourmet burgers these days, but just good. The meat was super juicy. I especially love their challah bun... soooo soft and buttery but still holds everything together. I would definitely go back and have this again. I didn't feel greasy or heavy after eating this. And I thought I'd have leftovers, but I ate the whole thing. :P So much for saving room for dessert... ha!

We also got some sides to share for the table.

I chose the South of TX Style Creamed Corn (grilled summer corn with red and green chiles, scallions, cream, hot sauce, cotija cheese) $7~ 
Their sides are quite sizable btw... We didn't expect the portion size to be so "healthy". hehe. Loved this. So much flavor. A slight kick from the hot sauce. And not super creamy like it's doused in heavy cream. Yum!

Cheddar Bacon Grits (hickory smoked bacon, aged cheddar topped with marinated baby tomatoes, green onions) $7~ 
I already knew their grits was good from my brunch experience. Also a big portion. It's soooo good. Texture and flavors are all spot on. A big hit with the entire table. A waitress tried to take it away with one bite still left and we all basically jumped on her. hahaha. No waste!!

We were all pretty stuffed, but I was here for the dessert so I had to get some. At first we all said we were gonna share, but with this group, we love food too much and almost everyone got their own. :P

A friend and I shared The Brian Corn Luscher. Specialty Sundae. (summer corn ice cream, port-soaked blackberries, goat's milk cajeta, cornmeal shortbread cookies, whipped cream) $9~ 
I don't like goat's milk, so we asked for the cajeta, which is kinda like a caramel sauce, on the side. The sundae was massive!!!! The summer corn ice cream sounded so interesting. But it was very light. For the first half, I could barely taste the corn because the blackberry sauce and shortbread overwhelmed it. The blackberry sauce was awesome though, so I didn't mind. And the shortbread was good too, added a much needed crunch. After we ate through most of the toppings, then I was able to finally taste the corn ice cream. It's really good. We had help eating this too, but we were beaten. We could not finish... since everyone else got dessert too.

Coconut Cream Pie (sweet coconut cream, toasted meringue, candied coconut flakes, traditional flaky crust) $8~ Very pretty and tasty too.

Lemon Blueberry Pie (lemon curd swirled with fresh blueberry jam, topped with whipped cream, grape-nuts in brown sugar-oatmeal crust) $8 Plus A la Mode +$2~ Kinda pricey for a slice of pie and ice cream but they're both really good. This pie was yum-o! The lemon wasn't too tart and the pie wasn't too sweet. I especially loved the grape-nuts/oatmeal crust. Never had that before. So awesome.

Nancy's Butterscotch Pie (butterscotch cream, toasted pine nuts, caramel, rosemary-infused traditional flaky crust) $8 Plus A la Mode +$2~ This was a super rich and thick pie. A little too sweet for my friend who ordered it so I took it home for my fiance (who loooooves butterscotch). The pine nuts on top elevated the whole thing, in my opinion. It was a great combo.

It was a great dinner. Great company, delicious food, attentive service. I will surely be back soon. I need to have that cheeseburger again! We also got some complimentary mints with our checks.

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