February Food Find Reviews:
Cantina Tortilla Grill, Abhi Eatery & Bar, Bottega, and Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe
Tacos Two Ways
Cantina offers lettuce wraps as option for all tacos.
By Jan Walsh
Trying the Keto diet for the new year? Cantina Tortilla Grill is here to help.
The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates. So, to accommodate your dietary needs, Cantina has now added lettuce wraps as a new option for all of their tacos, in addition to the soft flour tortillas or corn tortillas.
Today I tried the keto chicken taco, Taco de Pollo, with lettuce rather than a tortilla. Kev, however, would not give up his beloved soft tortilla. So, we had tacos two ways. My basket is lined with romaine leaves but with the same ingredients as the tortilla taco: tender and tasty tequila marinated, grilled chicken breasts, with cilantro mayo, grilled green onion, and bright and flavorful salsa verde and pico de gallo. The fresh lettuce adds color, and an extra layer of crunch—think taco salad without the tortilla bowl.
And tomorrow is National Margarita Day. So, we celebrate it early with two luscious margaritas: Peach ‘Rita and Guava Rita.
View Cantina Tortilla Grill Profile
Cider, Coconut, and Curry
Discovering new dishes at Abhi Eatery and Bar
By Jan Walsh
Sometimes I get into culinary ruts. I find delicious dishes at a restaurant, and on the next visit, I stick with the tried and true. But today I am not going to order my “go to” favorites at Abhi—well, maybe just the momos. Otherwise I am discovering new options.
We warm up with Hot Bourbon Cider. Never had cider like this… Woodford Reserve, Laird’s Applejack, and Abhi’s house-made cider makes a deeply flavored, hard cider and (by far) the best we have ever tasted.
And we pair our meal of Chicken Sizzler, and brand new to the menu Coconut Curry Soup and Bangkok Penang with a beer tasting of all the beers on tap.
The first taste of the coconut curry soup wows us. Today is its second day on the menu, but it is already the best coconut curry soup in town.
The chicken arrives sizzling and remains hot to the last bite. I order a side of Abhi’s jasmine rice to sprinkle among the tender, spicy chicken, onions, and peppers. Foodies who like it hot, such as myself, will love this dish.
The Bangkok Penang is a generous curry bowl with a salad to the side of a bed of rice, topped with red peppers and strips of chicken. If color were a flavor, this dish would be golden with crimson highlights. Deep layers of distant lands speak to the palate, in a savory synthesis, with no foreign interpreter needed. Highly recommended!
I will be back for more of this deliciousness… sense a new culinary rut coming!
View Abhi Eatery and Bar Profile
Valentine’s 2019 at Bottega Restaurant is a memorable meal.
By Jan Walsh
Kev and I go to a different restaurant each year for Valentine’s Day. And tonight, we choose Bottega Restaurant’s special three course Valentine menu.
We start with a French wine we recently enjoyed at Bottega Café —Crémant de Saumur Grenelle Brut Rosé—while nibbling on their divine bread and visiting with Frank Stitt. He catches us up on his spring planting plans for Paradise Farm, adding a touch of spring fever to the night.
For first course, Kev enjoys their classic, creamy Parmesan soufflé, with mushrooms and prosciutto. And I start with a scrumptious salad of winter lettuces with beautiful blood oranges, black olives, red onion, and pecorino.
We both agree on the Spaghetti with lobster as our entrees… Oh, my! Generous bites of pink, succulent lobster, enveloped in ribbons of spaghetti in a creamy pink sauce, is topped with parsley and chili. Lobster, pasta, and a touch of heat—what is not to love?
And for dessert we both order the strawberry tart. And to our surprise it is paired with glasses of Vino Spumante Scarpetta Brut Rosé MV Friuli, on the house. The wines strawberry color and notes marry well with the light and luscious tart, making a sweet ending to our Valentine’s Day.
View Bottega Restaurant Profile
Bottega Cafe's pesce del giorno is ever changing, and always fresh.
By Jan Walsh
Saturday lunch at Bottega Café makes the week go away. Kev and I try to be the first ones at the door, before 11:00 a.m., to get our favorite table. Today the hostess opens to door, saying, “Don’t stand out there. Come on in. You’re family.” And we take our seats as the bread is taken hot from the oven—another benefit of being early. Today both Frank and Pardis Stitt stop by tables greeting guests, making them feel like family too.
We ask for the “big” wine list. And we order a lovely French wine from the Loire Valley, Crémant de Saumur Grenelle Brut Rosé. The peach colored wine arrives well chilled and is poured in fine Champagne stems by Stölzle Lausitz… Stemware matters. I always notice. The crémant’s fine effervescence and strawberry notes get lunch off to a happy start.
Kev is back for the pork chop that he had on last visit. I, as always, want to hear what the pesce del giorno (fish of the day) is before ordering. Today it is tile fish with roasted vegetables and olive salad. Enough said. If you are not familiar with tile fish, it is a colorful fish also known as “clown of the sea.” My generous filet looks like grouper—white and milky on the inside. But it has a sweeter flavor, more like lobster. Each tender bite melts in the mouth. The fish is further enhanced by the texture and earthiness of the array of roasted root veggies. And the divine olive salad is a mix of Castelvetrano, Liguria, and black olives, which balances the plate adding a nice astringency to the fish.
View Bottega Café Profile