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Monday, May 29, 2017

True Food Kitchen - Legacy West

True Food Kitchen is officially open in Legacy West in Plano and I cannot be more excited! I freaking love this restaurant and now I have 2 locations to dine at! This is literally 5 minutes from my parents' house. I may just go visit them more! haha.

I was fortunate enough to get a sneak peek last week for their Friends and Family night. My friend and I arrived on Friday at 6:30PM. The new Legacy West center is huge btw... this was my first time driving through. So excited for everything that's happening there. And the new True Food Kitchen location is beautiful! It's much bigger than the one in Dallas but it has the same overall feel and colors. It's so bright and open, I love it! And lots of patio seating too.

True Food Kitchen - Plano
7601 Windrose Avenue, Suite F100
Plano, Texas 75024
(214) 291-9591
Price: $$$

--- I want to specially mention the service that night. Everyone was super friendly and accommodating. I know they are still training and had a few mistakes here and there but they were quickly fixed so I was very impressed. Also, when I arrived, I had a bag with me with perishable food inside. I asked if I could put it in the fridge in the back. Adrian? (I think that was his name) was super helpful. Not only did he put my bag in the fridge he also put a note on it with my name and table number. He also said he would remind my waitress at the end of the night so I won't forget it. Sure enough, I forgot about it, but he personally came and reminded me and grabbed the bag for me. :D Like I said, super accommodating. Keep up the good work, y'all! ---

I was seated quickly and greeted by the waitress. She brought out some waters while I waited for my friend to arrive. I perused the menu... even though I had just been to the Dallas location a little over a week ago. hehe. While waiting, I also asked a few questions about the menu and the waitress was very helpful.

Once my friend arrived, she ordered a Hangover Rx (pineapple, orange, honey, coconut water) $5~ It's so pretty and definitely refreshing. It tasted ike a lighter, healthier version of a pina colada.

We got a couple appetizers to start.
Chioggia Beet Bruschetta (vegan almond ricotta, amaranth, arugula, pomegranate molasses) $9~ 
This is a vegan dish. One big reason I love True Food Kitchen so much is they make healthier foods taste so good! And they're also great at accommodating dietary restrictions. I cannot believe this is completely vegan. I loved the almond ricotta. I loved this whole dish! I think the hippy nutty bread really completes it. So much texture. The nuttiness of the bread with the creamy ricotta and tender sweet beets... this was one of my favorites of the night.

Kale Guacamole (pink grapefruit, cilantro, roasted poblano, sunflower seeds, pita chips) $10~ 
This is also a vegan dish. My friend and I were both intrigued by the addition of grapefruit in the guac. I have to say, it's a nice little addition. Although there were segments of pink and yellow grapefruit in it and one of them was really sour. haha. When you get a bite of the sweeter one with the guac, the combination is really fantastic. However, they did not segment the grapefruit well so it was a little difficult to eat. The 'skin' was still on the segments so it took a little effort to cut those off. We weren't sure if this was their version of pita chips, or they just decided to change it for that night... but I really liked it. It's thinner and nuttier than your typical pita chips and went really well with the dip.

Daily Market Soup - Sweet Potato and Poblano $7~ 
I love sweet potato so the soup sounded really good. I expected it to kind of be like a butternut squash soup. However, it was surprisingly sour... not sure what component of the dish make it that sour but I didn't care for it. The texture of the soup itself was good but I wanted it to be creamier. I think this is the first thing I've ever ordered here that I didn't really like.

Scottish Steelhead (smoked onion farro, arugula, roasted beet, cilantro pumpkin seed pesto) $23~ My friend ordered this as her entree. Everything on this dish sounds fantastic. And it was! The fish was cooked well and everything tasted fresh and flavorful.

Sustainable Seabass (broccolini, sugar snap pea, roasted mushroom, ancient grains, umami sauce) $26~ 
I ordered this. But I subbed the snap peas with snow peas and the roasted mushroom for roasted beets. I love both of those ingredients but I recently I found out I'm allergic to them along with several other "healthy" foods. Sigh. I asked the waitress if they are ok with substitutions and she said "of course!" The dish came with mushrooms... but they quickly remedied it and were very apologetic. It was a beautiful dish and the subbed veggies paired well with everything. And that umami sauce... it sure was umami! I wanted more!

We were getting pretty full but they asked if we wanted desserts... Well, if you insist. :P

Key Lime Pie (coconut chantilly) $7~ 
This is vegan and gluten free. We did not see a dessert menu so we didn't really know that it was vegan and gluten free. You can tell from the custard that it's more translucent instead of creamy. The pie on its own is a little too tart for me. But when paired with the coconut chantilly it was perfect. I loved the coconut chantilly. It was just slightly sweet enough to round out the lime in the pie. The crust is made from almond flour and has a lighter texture than normal. It did not feel like it was loaded with butter. We enjoyed it.

Coconut & Chia Seed Flan (caramel, mixed berries) $7~ 
This is also vegan and gluten free. Neither of us thought this should be called a flan... it's not the same texture, not eggy or bouncy enough. (Maybe closer to a Pot de Creme?) But it was goooood. I liked this better than the pie. The coconut flavor was perfect and light. I thought the caramel was a little too sweet but I've been cutting back on my sugar intake so my tolerance for sweets has gone down. Whatever they may call it... order it. It's delicious!

*The meal was comped but all opinions are my own.*

Quality of Food: 



Value: (comped)

Overall Experience: 


Thursday, May 25, 2017

Chelsea Corner - Media Dinner

Two weeks ago I got invited to a media dinner at Chelsea Corner. It was my first time there. This place has so much history and it was pretty interesting learning about it all. The original Chelsea Corner opened in 1974. Since then, the space has changed hands and renamed several times. But earlier this year, the space was restored, renovated and re-opened with the original Chelsea Corner name. The owners want this place to be the neighborhood spot, where people of all kinds and ages can come hang out. The restaurant/bar's decor is very eclectic. They have different rooms where you can hold private parties and events. I especially loved the back corner where it looks like outdoor patio seating, but it's inside! 
They also recently opened up an actual outdoor patio in the back. This is also a sports lovers dream, as the entire place is equipped with 16 large HD screens.

Chelsea Corner
4830 McKinney Avenue
Dallas, TX 75205
(469) 726-2211
Price: $$-$$$

As soon as I arrived, the bartender presented me with a Margarita. What service! 
I don't really drink but the other bloggers told me it was good. Before dinner, we got a tour of the whole space and hear the owners' ideas and inspirations behind the business. They told us everything is made from scratch in house. I love that! You definitely wouldn't expect that in a bar setting... We were seated in the front of their open patio area. It was a beautiful day too, wasn't too hot or cold.

While we waited for everyone to be seated, they had a large platter of cheeses and meats. There was one cheese, the Red Dragon (whole grain mustard, sharp cheddar), so good. I love whole grain mustard. The other was a Havarti with dill.

We started with Deviled Eggs (Southern style with crispy pancetta and house pickled red onions) $3~ per piece. 
The chef explained this was like grandma's recipe. It was absolutely delicious. I love deviled eggs and the filling in this one had a nice velvety texture. Loved the crisp texture of the bacon. After everyone had photographed the plate, I casually asked if we can eat those too. Score! :P I can probably eat a dozen of these.

Fish Tacos (blackened Mahi Mahi with Asian slaw) Normally comes with 3 to an order. $15~ You can also choose fried fish as well. 
This was served on corn tortillas which I've never been a fan so it was just ok for me. The overall taco was a little dry. However, we all loved the sauces that came with the tacos. The green one was my personal favorite. I just slathered that taco with it.

The Barnyard (pepperoni, canadian bacon, ricotta, mozzarella, spicy italian sausage). $15~ The crust is made with yeast dough with honey and from scratch. It had a really good texture and added a hint of sweetness to all the pizzas. I thought all the meats made it a little too salty, but I also try to eat less sodium these days so my standard is probably different than most. Everyone loved the pizzas.

Big Daddy White with Chicken (fresh ricotta, oven dried roman tomatoes) $14~ +$2 for chicken. This was my favorite out of the two. I generally like white sauce vs the tomato based sauces. It was lighter in flavor but you can appreciate all the ingredients more, I think. Really yum!

Steak Sandwich (grilled beef tenderloin, brandy butter, caramelized onion, manchego cheese) $22~ 
You get 2 sandwiches with fries per order. This was literally a tender steak between 2 pieces of super soft bread. It was amazing. I'm glad you get TWO because one surely isn't enough!!
Image provided by Chelsea Corner

3 type of Fries: Original, Parmesan Truffle, Texas Ranch Dusted. Sorry no picture because it was really dark by then. But all the fries were well fried. I loved all the different flavors. I basically just mixed them all together.

House Made Warm Chocolate Chip Cookies. $4~ 3 to an order and you can add a glass of Ice Cold Milk for +$1~. 
I was so full but these cookies are BOMB!!! Warm and thick and full of melty chocolate chips. A really really solid cookie... Dang, I want some right now! :P They also brought me a glass of milk. It's perfect, makes me feel like a kid again! I was able to get a 2nd cookie to go, so I totally scarfed down the rest of my first cookie. :P

It was a good dinner. I can see every one of these dishes pair well with a beer, cocktail, or wine. It's great hang out and drinking food. If I lived closer, I'd be there all the time for those cookies. haha. I have to give a shout out to the wait staff that served us. They were great with our large party. I mentioned to one of the waiters of my mango allergy and he specifically went to the kitchen to reconfirm that mango wasn't in any of the dishes. Our water glasses were consistently refilled. And they had a positive attitude the entire night. Thank you, Chelsea Corner, for having me!

Here are some info of the space and weekly events from their press releases:

"The 4,500 square foot space can host 180 people for seated dinners, with plenty more room at the bar. There’s a game room, just like at the original, and large garage doors that open to the climate-controlled patio. Wednesday through Saturday nights, rotating DJs will take over at 10PM with a sound system that rivals New York City night clubs. And if there’s a game on, just look toward one of the 16 HDTVs that pepper the interior.
The large venue includes multiple spaces that can be reserved for private events, making Chelsea Corner an ideal spot for Super Bowl parties, showers, corporate functions, birthdays and dinner parties. And the TVs and sound system are at guests’ disposal to ensure their audio/visual needs are covered."

"Chelsea Corner has live Jazz every Tuesday from 8PM - 11PM, live music every Thursday 8PM - 11PM, Live Video DJ’s every Friday and Saturday 10PM - 2AM"

"Brunch will be served Saturdays and Sundays from 10AM to 4PM"

*The meal was comped but all opinions are my own.*

Quality of Food: 



Value: (comped)

Overall Experience: 


Monday, May 8, 2017

Dallas Fish Market - Menu Tasting

I recently got invited to check out Dallas Fish Market. I was pretty excited because it's always been on my list of restaurants to try but just never made it out. This past Saturday, my husband and I paid them a visit. We had a really early reservation at 5PM, right when they opened for dinner service. Upon checking in, the hostess knew right away that I was there for a menu tasting set up by their marketing department. She sat us right by the window... where there was the best light. Was that a conscious choice on the restaurant's part? I'd like to think so! (It was definitely smart!) :) And the lighting was perfect that day. (The rest of the restaurant was quite dim if you like a more intimate setting.)

Dallas Fish Market
1501 Main St #100
Dallas, TX 75201
(214) 744-3474
Price: $$$$+

The hostess gave us some menus to peruse but also explained that the chef was just going to send stuff out, so the menus were just for references. Soon after, we were served 2 glasses of champagne to start and some cucumber waters.

The first course came quickly after... Crab BLT (colossal crab, bacon jam, Thai basil). 
This was a cute little amuse bouche. OMG, it was so cute! Not only did it look good, it was yummy! The biscuit was buttery and flaky. The crab had great texture. And oh the bacon jam.... Yum! I also loved the use of Thai basil instead of Italian basil. It gave a sharper fragrance to the bite. Once the BLT was served, the chef, Chef Triptow, came out to greet us and kind of explained how the dinner was going to work. We basically sit back and let him surprise us with whatever he wanted us to try! Works for me! This way I won't have to choose between all the delicious sounding dishes. hehe.

We started with the Market Clam Chowder (little neck clams, smoked bacon, potatoes) $8~ 

I love a good chowder. And I like really creamy and hearty chowders. I'm usually not a fan of brothy soups. This hit on all my requirements for a good chowder. It was rich, hearty, and full of ingredients... Definitely lots of clams in every spoonful. It is a very rich soup. I'm glad we got to share it. Because if I had finished that on my own, I would've been full.

Steamed Prince Edward Island Mussels (lemongrass, red coconut milk, thai basil) $14~ 
I feel like the chef is reading my mind. So far he's sending out all the things I would've ordered on my own. I had been eyeing the mussels from the start. I absolutely LOVED it! It's less soupy than most mussels I've had. Just an observation, not saying either way is better. But that sauce was amazingggg. It was creamy and flavorful... I can definitely taste every ingredient. I loved the combination with the grilled bread and the sauce. The mussels were cooked well and were nice and plump. This was one of my favorite dishes of the night.

Housemade Biscuits (jalapeno, cheddar, maple syrup butter, sea salt). 
This was an unexpected little bonus between the starters and entrees. The biscuits were buttery and flaky and warm. I was intrigued by the maple whipped butter. You can definitely taste the maple syrup. And the addition of the sea salt intensified that sweet and savory combination. Loved the savory biscuit with the slightly sweet butter.

For the entrees, we got Scallops with Cauliflower Three Ways (cauliflower puree, roasted cauliflower, raw cauliflower salad) $34~ 
Again... reading my mind? I love scallops, but I rarely order them at restaurants because most place tend to give you only 3 tiny pieces are sometimes disappointing. The last time I ordered scallops at a nice restaurant (I won't name names), it was expensive, small, and the scallops were gritty! This was not the case at Dallas Fish Market! It's still a pricey dish, but you get FOUR good sized pieces of scallops. And it was cooked to PERFECTION. I have not had scallops this good in a long time! Perfectly seared, perfectly tender and the plating was beautiful. 
All the presentation so far have been great, but we really start to see the artistry with the entrees. Also, I love cauliflower. I eat it weekly. The puree was creamy and luscious. The grilled ones were my favorite... cooked with browned butter, it had added so much flavor to the dish. I just wished there was more of it. And the raw cauliflower florets added a slightly crunchy texture. I also have to point out the grapes. I've never had grapes with scallops before and it was genius. Just slightly sweet, it paired so well with everything. I started cutting them in half just so I can have a bit of grape with every bite. A+!

Fennel Coriander Crusted Ahi Tuna (mushrooms, sugar peas, serrano, black bean paste, mustard miso) $34~ 
The chef obviously read my husband's mind too because Ahi Tuna is like his favorite thing. Gorgeous plating, once again. That black bean paste was so bold in flavor. We've seen a lot of Asian influences so far and we're loving it. The tuna was tender and that crust was my favorite part of the dish. My husband really enjoyed the sauce and all the veggies in it. The serrano added a nice heat but wasn't overly spicy. The entrees didn't look that big, but were both quite full at this point.

I knew there was going to be dessert but wasn't sure what we're going to get because desserts weren't listed on the menu.

The waiter brought out these cute little Black Sesame and Yuzu Ice Cream Cones (truffled honey, toasted quinoa). 
My eyes lit up as soon as I saw the black sesame ice cream. I'm obsessed with it and I'm sad that you can't really find much of it in Dallas. But what? We're at a non-Asian place and were served black sesame ice cream?! I'm officially impressed now. Biting into it, I also tasted something like lemon. So I asked the waiter what else was in it and he asked the chef. The chef actually incorporated Yuzu into it. Another ingredient I absolutely love but is really lacking in the Dallas food scene. NIce! The waiter also told us that this is not on the menu, and the chef decided to make it specially for us. Awww... He definitely made it for the right people because we love all these flavors. It was the perfect little bite to end the dinner.... Or so we thought...

But wait. There's more! (Of course! haha). My husband's eyes got really wide when more desserts came because we were both so full.

They brought out a Molten Chocolate Souffle (creme anglaise). 
The creme anglaise was poured at the table. The souffle was so hot, you could actually see the sauce pulsating inside of it. Since it was a molten souffle, the inside was a little denser and molten-y than a typical souffle. Which I enjoyed because I like denser desserts. Sometimes I find souffles too light. haha. Have you noticed I like things with more substance and heft? I also loved the top crust. That's usually my favorite part of a souffle. The chocolate was dark but not bitter. And it wasn't overly sweet. :)

The chef came back out when the desserts were served to see how we were doing and introduced the desserts. We found out then that he had just returned from a trip to Japan. His first time! We talked for awhile about our experiences as well as his. This is where the idea of the black sesame yuzu ice cream came from. He also said that he discovered more flavors from his trip that he's going to try and incorporate into future dishes. He's already got some ideas. That's really exciting. My husband and I both loved Japan and we look forward to what Chef Triptow brings to the table in the future. If he's already incorporating a lot of Asian flavors, his trip to Japan would definitely bring more creative ideas into the menu.

The last dessert was a Beet Ice Cream (citrus buttercream, chocolate crumble, candied beets) $8~ 
It was absolutely gorgeous. Basically art on a plate. The chef said he wanted to do a more savory dessert. This dish is actually not on the menu right now. They will debut it on the Mother's Day Brunch coming up this Sunday 5/14 (you can find the menu on their website). And then after that, I believe it will be added to the regular menu. The dish looked like a beautiful spring garden. The chocolate crumbles (made with hazelnuts, almonds, and peanuts) is the earth, and it's covered with bold colors of pinks, greens, and yellows. The beet ice cream was so good... you can definitely taste the beet but it wasn't weird. We both love beets so we inhaled this dessert. My favorite part on this dish though... that citrus buttercream. It's bright and creamy. I kinda want the Chef to create another dessert just around that citrus buttercream. So good!

What a wonderful dinner. I'm kicking myself for not going to the Dallas Fish Market sooner... it's been around for a long time (since 2007)! For a city that's not close to the ocean, I have to say that Dallas has some great seafood restaurants! We loved everything that the chef chose for us. I actually like being surprised like this. It takes the pressure off of me to choose what I want. Because I always want everything! haha. And the chef and I were totally on the same vibe because I probably would've picked everything he sent out anyways. The quality of the ingredients were top notch. The presentation was also great. And we had fantastic service. Multiple people waited on us, perks of going early when the restaurant is not full yet! Our water glasses never got past half empty (which my husband REALLY appreciated), and the timing between each course was just right. I would totally recommend it for a date night or special occasion. And a huge THANK YOU to Dallas Fish Market for having us out and filling our bellies. :) Can't wait to come back in the future.

*The meal was comped but all opinions are my own. Plus, always tip your wait staff even if you get a free meal!*

Quality of Food: 



Value: (comped)

Overall Experience: