Johnnie’s Hideaway

28 09 2012

Earlier this week, I was in Orlando for work. All day meetings= lots of time sitting down inside with no windows. Ugh.

I feel like I was in a constant cycle of eat, sit, eat, sit, eat, sleep. I went out to lunches and dinners with my coworkers, and most of the meals I had were just okay, as we hit up the big chains in the area: Friday’s, Planet Hollywood, Chevy’s. However, on Tuesday, we hit up a new-to-me restaurant, Johnnie’s Hideaway.

Johnnie’s is part of the Talk of the Town Restaurant Group– they own Charley’s Steakhouse, FishBones, MoonFish, Texas Cattle Company, Vito’s Chop House & Johnnie’s Hideaway- and their motto is “Think Globally, act locally, dress casually.” I like it!

We went in with the original plan to hit up happy hour and snag some cheaper appetizers. Unfortunately, we sat in the dining room, where happy hour didn’t apply 😦

Our waiter was great, giving just detailed enough descriptions of his favorites, which led me to order the Truffled Portabella Fries for the table.

Battered in a rice flour and flash fried, they were outstanding! The white truffle flavor wasn’t overpowering, and the portobellos were cooked perfectly. Oh, and did I mention they were served with a gorgonzola fondue?

Topped with bacon and scallions. Yes, this is what sold me!

Our waiter also served us some of their house-made pickles.

 

They were sweet like bread and butter chips, but had a little kick at the end from the hot sauce they were made with. Yum!

We were also served the cheesy buttery bread which was served warm and tasted oh so good. I didn’t nab a picture, I was too busy scarfing it down!

I had arrived at Johnnie’s not super hungry, so I opted to order something light as my entree. I looked to the raw bar menu and ordered the lump crab cocktail.

It was loaded with crab, and hit. the. spot!

I had also ordered the sauteed mushrooms to share with one of my coworkers. Apparently I was in a mushroom kinda mood?

They were tasty, but we didn’t even get through half of them!

All of the other food on the menu sounded delicious and my coworkers enjoyed their meals too. I wanted to try it all!

Oh, and the dessert table was outta control! There was a slice of chocolate cake that could have fed our table of 6! We actually had a slice of their piña colada cake to share to celebrate a coworker’s birthday. Again, delicious!

I was very pleased with the service and the food and was already wondering when I could come back, when our waiter brought us the checks.  With them, he handed us a card with a number to text which would walk you through a 3 question survey about your dining experience. For taking the time to complete the survey, you would receive a $25 gift card. Well that’s easy enough! It’s not like I needed any extra motivation to make a return visit, but I certainly won’t turn down $25 to use on that visit!

Thanks for a great meal, Johnnie’s! I can’t wait to come back!

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Calypso Blend Pasta

18 05 2012

I realized that this was the last recipe I posted. That was over a month ago! So, I’d say I’m WAY overdue for posting a recipe!

I haven’t been living on takeout since then; in fact, I usually eat in. However, recipes that require the oven are incredibly challenging for me to photograph. The challenge comes because of this:

My smoke detector buzzes pretty much EVERY TIME I try to cook something in my oven. It’s SO ANNOYING because I’m not burning my food! I spend my time going back and forth between fanning the smoke detector and checking on my food to make sure it really doesn’t burn. It’s hard to throw in some picture taking in the middle of all that.

Anyhow, I have a recipe for you that doesn’t require the oven (just the stove top!), thank goodness.

Let me back up. On the first Sunday of every month, the Fresh Market (not the store) comes to Hyde Park Village. This was actually the first time I went to the market, and I met up with my running friend there. After getting some produce, we wandered around the market, and stopped a vendor who was selling homemade pasta. Now I’m not talking your every day spaghetti and ravioli. Pappardelle’s  makes some of the most unique pasta flavors I’ve ever seen. Chipotle Black Bean Tagliatelle? Orange Szechaun Linguini? Chocolate and Raspberry Gemelli? I was SUPER intrigued and decided I had to have some. (Seriously, check out the Pappardelle’s site to see all their flavors!!)

I purchased a quarter pound of the Supreme Orzo (Fire Roasted Red Pepper, Porcini Mushroom, Saffron) and the Calypso Blend (Lime Gnocchi Shell, Mango-Peach Sea Shell, Red Southwestern Chile Lumache). A fruit flavored pasta paired with a chile pasta? SO interesting!

I also didn’t realize until I had purchased it that they give you a recipe with it!

This recipe had my name all over it. I love those flavors!

At the market, there happened to be a man selling seafood as well. I inquired about his shrimp selection, and purchased a pound of wild caught gulf shrimp.

The shrimp was frozen but was apparently caught locally. 🙂  I had actually planned on making the pasta dish that night, but I had leftovers that needed to be eaten. I kept putting off making the pasta until last night, and now I wish I had more! Unfortunately, Pappardelle’s doesn’t have a store front (yet) so you either have to order more pasta online or find them at another market. I think I know where I’m going Sunday, June 3rd!

I loved the flavor combination in the marinade and sauce, and would totally make the sauce again, even without the fun pasta. Combined with the calypso blend, this dish was out of this world delicious! The pasta by itself (before adding sauce) was also really good. It was full of real flavor, but it wasn’t overpowering. I feared the fruity pastas would be weird or taste artificially flavored, but they had a perfect balance and tasted REAL.

So without further ado, here’s the recipe for Calypso Blend Pasta with Coconut Shrimp and Mangoes
(for two; one really hungry person; or one person and leftovers 🙂 )

Adapted from here

Ingredients:

1/4 lb. Pappardelle’s Calyspo Blend Pasta
dash of cayenne pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1 inch ginger, peeled and grated
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 lime, zested and juiced
1/2 cup light coconut milk
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined

Garnish:
1 mango, peeled and sliced
1/2 lime

How to:

First, create the marinade. Combine garlic, ginger, brown sugar, soy sauce, lime zest, lime juice, coconut milk, basil, olive oil and salt in a bowl. Add the shrimp and let marinate at least 30 minutes, refrigerated.

When you’re about ready to start cooking the shrimp, bring a pot of water to a boil for your pasta.

After shrimp have marinated, heat a nonstick pan over high heat and add just the shrimp, leaving the marinade behind. Cook shrimp until done.

Transfer cooked shrimp to a plate. Add the reserved marinade into the pan and bring to a boil. Cook until slightly thickened.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in pot of boiling water for about 8 minutes, or until cooked through. Drain and rinse with cool water.

Pour the pasta and shrimp into the pan with the sauce and stir until evenly coated.

Serve with sliced mangoes and a squeeze of lime.

Enjoy!





Mussels Not Muscles

4 11 2011

Look who is actually alive!

Last night, Chloe, Lauren, Emily and I met up at Bistro Du Coin in Dupont Circle. Lauren is back on the east coast for a little bit before her Ironman, so we got together to catch up.

I was really excited when she suggested Bistro Du Coin. Since living in DC, I’ve always heard great things about it, but for some reason I never went!

Upon entering, I immediately was reminded of my 2009 trip to France. I felt like I was in a French Bistro (except without all the smoke and people speaking French), and I was ready for some cheese and wine.

Can I go back to Paris please?

Le sigh. Maybe some day.

Bistro Du Coin’s menu was a little overwhelming (4 pages, but 2 were for drinks), but they offer a bunch of options that you can order as half or full portions. The half orders are perfect for sharing, especially when you’re with bloggers who love to eat good food.

We decided to go with the French cheese plate (duh).

Lauren requested that we had at least one vegetable, so we obliged and ordered a salad to split. The Salade d’artichaut et asperges fit the bill: Baby artichoke, grilled asparagus salad and parmesan cheese.

Yum!

And, we ordered a few half orders of mussels:

Moules Catalanes: Steamed Mussels in white wine with onions, peas, peppers, tomatoes and chorizo

Moules au Pistou: Steamed Mussels with pesto, prosciutto and French ham



Moules Bretonnes: Steamed mussels with lobster bisque, lobster meat, shrimps, mushrooms, celery, diced tomatoes.

That one was definitely my favorite. It was so rich, but the seafood was outstanding! I’m pretty sure I ate half a loaf of french bread on my own to sop up all the delicious bisque. Lauren also dominated the bread basket. A bread basket and mussels don’t stand a chance against an Ironman in training (even one who’s tapering!)

It’s been so fun to get to know these ladies in real life. We had a fantastic evening chatting about life, boys, work, blogging, and whatever else came up.  It was a great way to spend a Thursday evening!

Question of the day: Have you ever had mussels? Love em? Hate em? How do you prepare them?