Thursday, October 14, 2010

a sprocket found in the backseat - 10/14/10

a sprocket found in the backseat

speaking of sprockets - oh excuse me sprickets. It's National Chocolate Covered Insect Day. That's right ladies and gents I said chocolate covered insects. The more I delve into this the more I begin to think of other things that could be covered in chocolate and suddenly considered a delicacy to us simple Americans.

-chocolate covered twinkies
-chocolate covered pretzels
-chocolate covered potato chips (haven't heard of them but I am sure they exist)

-while the rest of the world see insects as protein and a vitamin source we only eat them if dipped in chocolate and perhaps having a touch of mint. This time when I say grasshopper I don't mean the keebler elf kind.

i may sound bizarre but this is strictly due to my obsession with food. be it chocolate covered or just plain delicious like the grilled wahoo with squid ink pasta that chef was putting out tonight.

right as the cavaliers wait for their homecomings out chef (he's a clemson man) puts a wahoo on a plate and grills it. let's hope this isn't foreshadowing of what is to become of us when UNC rolls into town this saturday.

until next time - wahoowa

Monday, October 4, 2010

autumn is a time of harvet, gathering together - 10/4/10

Autumn may be a time of harvest and gathering together but it is also time for a heartier food and new menus. That being said we went head first and created a great new menu to keep everyone's summer bodies warm and cozy as we head to the windier days and nights.

small plates $4

crab toasts
house made soft pretzel with violet mustard
duck rillette and cherry compote
bacon caramel popcorn
kite's ham with coffee aioli
deviled eggs topped with white anchovies


roasted beets, mesculin, asian pears, candied pecans, local goat cheese and mustard
vinaigrette $8
grilled octopus salad with white beans, arugula and caper vinaigrette 49
butternut squash soup with spiced creme fraiche $6
olive oil cured tuna salad with boiled eggs and black truffle sauce $8
fried calamari with preserved lemon sauce 49
prince edward island mussels with white wine and garlic sauce 411
duck confit, braised red cabbage and pickled cherries $10
fried house made mozzarella with marinara $8

composed plates:

braised halibut, gnocchi, brussel sprouts, cippolini onions and cider/balsamic jus $24
seared scallops, cauliflower puree, roasted cauliflower, pistachios and caper/raisin brown
butter $21
sauteed crabcakes, celery root mashed potatoes and old bay/bacon butter sauce $22
grilled escolar, braised white beans, sauteed calamari, arugula and olive tapenade $19
pan roasted chicken, cheese grits, mustard sauce and cherry mostarda $18
braised veal cheeks, black garlic egg noodles, baby fall vegetables and veal jus $21
8 oz wagyu skirt steak with potato/caramelized onion gratin and house made steak sauce $22
house made egg noodles with local mushrooms, roasted tomatoes, twin oaks tofu, and
garlic sauce $17

Never being one to disappoint I also wanted wanted to fill you in on this day in food. October 4th is celebrated around the country - it's National Taco Day.

With national taco day comes a need for more information about the wonderful food we know and love as a taco. therefore i give you:

a taco history:

The taco predates the arrival of Europeans in Mexico. There is anthropological evidence that the indigenous people living in the lake region of the Valley of Mexico traditionally ate tacos filled with small fish. Writing at the time of the Spanish conquistadors, Bernal Díaz del Castillo documented the first taco feast enjoyed by Europeans which Hernán Cortés arranged for his captains in Coyoacán. (Note, however, that the native Nahuatl name for the flat corn bread used was tlaxcalli. The Spanish give it the name tortilla.)

Taco lovers all over the world look forward to this day and work diligently in preparation for it. In Dallas Taco Cabana rolled out a new taco in honor of their favorite holiday.

Taco Cabana's Street Taco

While Blue Light doesn't specialize in tacos - we know a place that does. Celebrate tacos the old fashioned way, go see my man Mike Lewis at Mono Loco he'll make you a taco you'll never forget.

In Vegas free tacos are flowing at Tacos and Tequila

Thursday, September 23, 2010

9/23/10 - Thursday - hello old friend

In the hustle and bustle of what has become a warm and busy fall I forgot about the loyal followers of fish food; good news is that I am back and just in time to say goodbye to "healthy september"

September was to be a month filled with fresh veggies, heart healthy options and good old plain down to earth home cooking - minus the butter and all the fixins of course. When people decided to make September a month to be healthy they forgot about the wonder of Labor Day and barbeques or baseball stadiums with hot dogs and beer galore. It makes it just a little too hard to stay on track. While falling off track this month (I think its safe to say that the rest of society may have hit a few bumps (ie. delicious donuts, falafel, burgers, etc) along the way) we found some pretty crazy eats to try.

In New York there are dinners for bugs - that's right edible bugs. Why not give it a try next time you are having guests over for your monthly book club dinner party.

Insect Dinners!

In Chicago they're making burritos as big as your head and hot wings so hot it takes a medical waiver to give them a try - there might not be recipes for these but I am sure they are easily replicated - give it a go and let me know if your tongue is still burning hours later.

Outrageous Chicago Eats!

Goat: the other red meat - well maybe in Houston. Around the world goat is the most widely consumed red meat - in America that's just not the case. Slowly but surely this is about to change. Why try it? - goat is delicious, lean - with a flavor between lamb and beef. Give it is try and when you aren't sure how to cook it take a peek at one of these recipe options.

Goats Goats Goats!

In Charlottesville we are branching out but doing it one slow step at a time - starting with a little fall veggies and other local ingredients.

Need a little local flavor - check out:


-we tried their prawns - top notch, delicious in a scampi form!!!

yummy yummy yummy

until next time:

Celebrate National Pancake Day!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

8/31/10 - Tuesday - All Hail the Queen of England

Another history lesson provided by yours truly:

August 31st 1900 - Coca Cola began distributing in none other than Great Britain. That's right - years after the Revolutionary War and the start of the great nation of America we gave the British what they had always wanted - a pure sugar mouth watering soft drink that would continue it's popularity for the next century and beyond.

The Brits may still be blaming us for the tea party - but really they should be giving us a pat on the back for making them addicted to what we so fondly call "pop"

now for the specials:

va bay

to start:
house made duck prosciutto with honeydew melon and saba drizzle

taylor bay scallops on the half shell with house made mozzarella and chorizo

roasted chicken legs with truffled cheese grits, local oyster mushrooms and roasted tomatoes

grilled mahi with fingerling potatoes, local oyster mushrooms and roasted tomatoes

chocolate fettuccine with white chocolate creme anglaise and fresh berries

cream puffs filled with fig puree and chocolate sauce

caramel and vanilla ice cream with berries and chocolate sauce

sidenote: the cream puffs are to die for - - like a fig newton but better

Monday, August 30, 2010

8/30/10 - Monday - chocolate pasta to die for

Upon arrival at work today I had a severe craving for chocolate - little did I know that chocolate fettuccine was waiting for me. Not just any old chocolate fettuccine but house made and topped with white chocolate creme anglaise. Talk about all your wildest dreams coming true

since my head is at the sweet end of the meal let's start backwards today


chocolate fettuccine with white chocolate creme anglaise and fresh berries

lemon tart with berry coulis and whipped cream

house made cream puffs

real plates:

pan roasted snapper with cheddar/fresno chile grits and green tomato relish

chicken carbonara: confit chicken tossed with house made fettuccine, house pancetta and parmesan cheese - topped with a quail egg and local basil buds

small plates:

house cured duck breast prosciutto with honeydew

taylor bay scallops - grilled with chorizo and house mozzarella


va bay



Monday, August 23, 2010

8/23/10 - Monday - give me that monkfish

Been craving monkfish lately and Chef must have read my mind because before I knew it he was offering up some Monkfish Scaloppine. I hadn't even really thought of monkfish as a scaloppine option - it seems to always be veal or chicken when that word is involved. This however is worth the curiosity - its delicious. A thinly sliced piece of monkfish breaded and pan seared with braised fennel, creamy polenta and a little bit of lemon. Thinking about it takes me back to the polenta just melting delicately in my mouth after a forkful of mighty monkfish went in.

this ladies and gentlemen is a dish that must be tried:

i thought a little knowledge quest about monkfish might be in order so I took a little detour to my ever favorite wikipedia and a quick drive by of zeuscat

monkfish has many monikers including:

those are all viable options but the allmouth version doesn't bring good things to mind.

it appears that there are vicious rumors going around that monkfish are in direct relation to angelsharks - ask any monkfish they will quickly divert your attention and tell you that is not the case.

i leave you with a little julia child imagery and of course today's offerings

raw bar:
va bay

to start:
crepes with smoked trout and sweet corn - with a bit of cucumber salad to top

herb marinated leg of lamb with mashed potatoes, mushrooms a la grec and roasted tomatoes

monkfish scaloppine (as previously stated)

to end:
chocolate pots de creme with whipped cream
fried fig turnovers with vanilla gelato
bruleed green tea tapioca pudding

as julia would say: bon appetit!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

8/17/10 - Tuesday - Oink Oink

Since we're major pig lovers here at the Grill - I thought I would impart this bit of knowledge on you.

Today (August 17th) in history, 1986 to be exact a bronze pig statue was unveiled at Seattle's Pike Place Market.

Oink Oink Rachel - we salute you

today's agenda:

raw bar:
malpeque - prince edward island
stellar bay - vancouver
va bay - chincoteague

sugar toads with tartar sauce and pickled slaw
- lots of people find sugar toads to be a mystery, myself included until Chef granted me with enlightenment in that department. sugar toads are non-poisonous blow fish akin to the chesapeake region of the united states. it gained its nickname (real name "northern puffer") due to fisherman of the region stating that it was "sweet at sugar and ugly as a toad (most likely due to its crazy googly green eyes).

-don't be afraid to lick the sugar toads-

pan seared cobia fillet with potato gnocchi, pancetta, escarole and roasted red peppers

grilled porkchop with cippolini onions and pancetta/potato gratin

herb marinated leg of lamb with harissa spiced couscouse and cucumber feta salad


warm bread pudding with peaches, vanilla gelato and a bourbon/thyme caramel sauce

chocolate tart with whipped cream and blackberries

oatmeal raisin cookie ice cream sandwich with coffee raisin sauce