September 6, 2008

Thursday Night Grub - Olive Vine

Thursday night, MB and I headed to the Olive Vine Cafe on 7th Ave between Lincoln and St. John Place with a couple of couples - Chuck & Lilla and Kwami & Abbie. Olive Vine has a few other locations in the area, one on 7th Ave at 15th St. and another on Court St. between Degraw and Sackett, but we'd never eaten at any of the locations before.

The ladies

The Mediterranean menu is simple, straight forward, and very afforable; none of the entrees are more than $12. Plus, it's BYOB, which makes for a very cheap evening. That said, "You get what you pay for," as Chuck likes to say. Our waitress, who was very pleasant, brought us paper cups for our wine. When we asked for real wine glasses, like the ones we saw being used at other tables, she tried to tell us that they didn't have any. Eventually, as other patrons left the restaurant, she managed to round up 6 glasses but it was definitely strange they didn't have enough place settings for the entire restaurant.

To start, we split two orders of zatter bread and some pita bread; we tried to order some spinach pie but they were out. It was entirely too much food to start the meal but we were all starving by the time we were able to put our order in. As for wine, MB and I brought a Gewurztraminer and the other couples brought a pair of cabernets, one from Cali and the other from Australia.

For entrees, MB had a Olive Vine pizza and I had a an ouzi. The 10" pie, one of nine on the menu, features zucchini, eggplant, garlic, onions, cilantro, mozzarella and a homemade, Med-style sauce. The ouzi is a huge phylo-crust pie filled with chicken, rice, raisins and spices. Mine was a little dry but the yogurt sauce accompanying the dish did the trick.

Candle-lit Olive Vine Pizza

Chicken Ouzi
Read Full Entry

September 4, 2008

Internet Explorer Issues

As I continue to adjust the layout and appearance of this blog, I've noticed a major sidebar issue when the site is viewed in Internet Explorer. I think I've been able to resolve the issue but if you notice anything unusual, please send me an email or leave a comment. I'm also aware of the "Read More" issue which appears at the end of each post despite the fact that there is often no additional content. This is a known issue but I haven't been able to find a solution. If you know of a fix, keep me in the loop.

(Author's Note - As for the new issue with the tiny text in the sidebar and the main body halfway down the page, I have no idea what the issue is and I'm giving up for the evening. As a short-term fix, do yourself a favor and grab the new Firefox 3.0 browser)

(Author's Idiotic Note from Later in the "Evening" - Fixed the tiny-text issue) Read Full Entry

September 2, 2008

Tunes @ Work; Opus 1, No. 12

Read Full Entry

September 1, 2008

Meat Fest '08: Part 3 - Duck and Fig Pizza

Sunday morning, we awoke to another beautiful day in the Slope and headed back over to Union Market. Huevos rancheros and bellinis were on the menu for brunch but Paul, MB and I hadn't come to any conclusion as to what we should do for dinner. We knew we were going to use the duck, we just weren't sure how we should prepare it.

The bellinis didn't work out quite the way we intended. I guess I should say we didn't end up making bellinis at all. There were a few extra grill-roasted peaches from the night before and I was hoping to puree them and add a little champagne to the mix but no dice; the liquor store was closed. Instead, I ended up pureeing the peaches with a mix of rums - Goslings Dark and Captain Morgan's Spiced - and peach juice and then topped it off with Sprite. The end result? A foamy, sweet brunch cocktail with just a hint of the roasted flavor from the night before. As for the huevos rancheros, we did them on the grill, the same way we did them back in June.

Any ideas for a good name for this rum/peach concoction?

Chefs Mary and Paul

As for dinner, we came up with something on the fly. And by "something" I mean the most decadent meal of all time. It all started as we were tossing ideas around about how to use the duck when we passed Pizza Plus, the joint where we grab dough for our grill pizzas. I half-jokingly said, "What about duck pizza?" and the next thing I knew, we were listing off ingredients that would work with the duck. In the end, we decided on a mix of dates, figs, pecans, black truffles and chevre.

Earlier in the afternoon, I marinated the duck breast in some Stonewall Kitchen Fig & Vidalia Onion Sauce. Once the duck was on the grill, I cut the dates, figs and black truffles while Paul smashed the pecans and MB separated the chevre into small chunks. When the duck was a nice medium rare, I pulled it off the grill, sliced it into bite-sized pieces and tossed it with the date/fig/truffle/pecan mixture and a little black truffle oil. This mix went on top of the dough which I'd coated with more of the Fig & Vidalia Onion sauce. As you can imagine, the meal was extremely rich...but that didn't stop us from having 3 pieces each. We paired the pizza with some Blue Point Summer Ale; weird that the first time I sampled their summer brew was on the last day of summer.


Read Full Entry