Thursday, December 13, 2007

Bolo in Manhattan: definitely a tilt to tantalize

charcoal grilled octopus with grilled lemons, fresh oregano & garlic Oil

DEAR READERS,
Bummer news.....since this post, I recently found out that BOLO served it's last meal December 31, 2007 and has since closed it's doors after something like 15 years of service :( !!!

Yours truly,
Girl About Town


I was on a quest for tapas done right when we arrived to New York.

Often times, I found myself disappointed with what is identified as a TAPAS restaurant or TAPAS menu to be utterly nailed over the head with pre-game fixings (regarding NE Florida - not elsewhere)......

BOLO is located in the Flatiron District on 22nd Street. Once inside, it was as vibrant and becoming as I had imagined with an elegant ease. Service was relaxed, yet impeccable. The bar master was more than versed in the variety of Spanish wine offerings that rolled into an evening that became quite lush.

I had dined at MESA GRILL a couple of summers ago when shopping in the Union Square area. Thereafter, I found myself leaving with 'that' pretense of disappointment. Yet, at present no plans to go forward with a profile since my usual stance is to dine twice if the first try didn't hit the mark.

BOLO was a sensation that I was not expecting and I found myself not in any haste to leave.

The flavors were enlightening.

The visual presentation both keen and dimensional.

In entirety.....I found the evening to be blissful yet challenging to my senses.

The charcoal grilled octopus is a definite invite. When this appetizer arrived I was overwhelmed with its sight and well...........with its size.

I had never seen tentacles that large and intact.

Now I wanted to see the whole thing. You see..........it just NEVER STOPS for me!

It has been a while since I have had octopus as sweet and soft. The tenderness combined with the marinade alone would be enough to convince any person that is an 'anti-tentacles' type of eater to imbibe at least with one bite forward without toes curled or breath held back.......

The first bite down is pillow soft. Then to follow, is an amount of resistance that makes it fun to chew, plus amped with the citrus notes of the grilled lemon and fresh oregano; it was a treat alone to realize this just may be the last high note of our short stay.

But it wasn't.



Tentacles never looked so good



salmon tartare on crisp chickpea polenta cake with red pepper pesto & lemon-chive oil

Whenever I order salmon tartare; I leave the plate with my last bite thinking "Why the heck did I order this? I'll never order this again......."

I always do.

It's either boring - boring - boring - or something along the veins of; hey do you remember those tight jeans during the '70's that had that huge #$(*)%#$ rainbow stitched from the bottom of the cuff, then it arched all the way across your cr*tch area; then back down to the opposite cuff? Well; the salmon tartare appetizers remind me of something awfully contagious yet should be well forgotten.

It's okay to ask me WHAT ROCK, I've climbed from under........

Well, this one was not revived - it must have been re-invented, remade or just plain introduced to society.

Doesn't it look like a painting alone? It reminds me of Mondrian meets Chagall on a sunny day type thing.

And yes - it was just as DIVINE.


from the top: seared sea scallop with hot cherry peppers, piquillo pepper stuffed with raw tuna salad, sauteed squid & bacon with garlic oil

These little tapas style dishes were from the tapas menu. The tapas menu invited the diner to choose 4 of the pretty plates from a selection 13 tapas. Other tapas mentioned: artichoke heart with quail egg & caviar, twelve layer potato with caramelized shallots as well as pan fried duck liver with sherry vinegar, honey & black pepper.


Lamb sausage on oven baked flatbread & black olives

Our dining buds ordered the flatbread. I think everyone; under the conditions of this evening; were being quite covetous about what we ordered. I didn't try this; but it did look inviting.......well essentially, my honey and I were *lambed* out. We scaled down Times Square the other night about midnight and found an all night gyro grub spot SAHARA GRILL and went crazy with a killer gyro.

They even had the audacity to allow fresh cucumber chunks and lettuce intervene....oh.....too welcome of a surprise.


milk chocolate, fig & hazelnut tart with vanilla fig ice cream


This was another dish I didn't try, but it sat coyly across from me saying 'hey girl......'

I just adore figs.

Figs remind me of California. Figs totally remind me of Northern California.

I have always had this fantasy of sitting under a fig tree and eating the figs off the tree right as they are falling off. Then I know I would be able to indulge in the merriest of figs.



frozen chocolate almond mousse & rioja cherries with marscarpone mousse



layers of delight



Check out momofuku and you'll see why i crazed: hot steamed buns with shitake mushrooms just got me going........

This is another story: Oh and momofuku is another must tell. We sat at the bar overlooking the kitchen....literally overlooking the prep work. These buns were coming out freshly packed.

I bit into my bun. Remember when you have a freshly made GOOD steamed bun the first combined scent & taste is of literally what? - - - rice wine..........remember?

momofuku is the next post.

DEAR READERS,
Bummer news.....since this post, I recently found out that BOLO served it's last meal December 31, 2007 and has since closed it's doors after something like 15 years of service :( !!!

Yours truly,
Girl About Town


BOLO
23 East 22nd Street
New York, New York
Tel 212.228.2200

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

eating in new york city: was it Prometheous....gluttony or the Greek template that set mundane taste buds free?

@ Rockefeller Center a tad touristy but had to see it.....

It was just a four day jaunt to one of my favorite cities. Alongside NYC is San Francisco my home base, but Manhattan will do just fine as my east coast stomping ground to revive my senses again.

I still haven't grown to the taste of 'sweet tea' since living in Florida. Something about syrup over ice: it just doesn't settle well. It's suppose to go well with anything fried. Been there, did that and it still doesn't make the mark for me.

Sort of like uni.

Before we left to New York, I had to map out exactly where, when and what I was going to eat. With the little time I had; I did a few Google searches, made a few phone calls and we were well on our way to extending our palate limitations. When traveling; especially short trips - I prefer to have some sort of general itinerary so I am not idling in confusion about my whereabouts. I have tried letting go and arriving with no destination in hand with more time wasted than enjoyed. Now don't get me wrong - I love spontaneity but I think any well managed traveler will tell you it doesn't hurt to have a few destinations in mind before setting foot. The thought of any organized tour in large hordes absolutely makes me shudder. I would be completely embarrassed to be in an organized tour of any sort. What I do prefer is meeting up with the locals or even a solo tour guide would do just fine.

We had been to Manhattan previously and I was abhorred with all the tourist traps. So this time around I did my darnedest to avoid places and especially dining destinations that housed tourists gratuitously.

This was a last minute trip and I frantically searched for a bed and breakfast or a short stay flat of sorts in the Union Square - Flat Iron district for our stay. Unfortunately to make a long story short we ended up in Times Square which is in the heart of tourist central. Eventually everything worked out and thank God for the subway that was literally next door to our hotel.

My first quest was to dine at one of Mario Batali's more than seeping handfuls of restaurants. I didn't realize how many restaurants he had in New York. I was ultimately grateful that they were not cookie cutter chains (oh so of course not!) and that each one had an intensely soulful identity of it's own. I am just saying this since I reside in chain restaurant haven. Actually, I heard Orlando Florida is the chain restaurant haven in the states, so Jacksonville may be second runner up.

As tried and trued as I could - and I even called a whole month in advanced....they were booked. Both BABBO and LUPA, my top honored choices to revel in his mastery were both: BOOKED.

By chance, and by sheer luck I was having one of those moments when everything just fell into place: I was able to getting dinner reservations at 7:00 o'clock in the evening at Bobby Flay's ever so smokey BOLO. There's more to read on that as I am slightly.....well more than slightly impressed with BOLO.


Farmer's Market @ Union Square Park

Also on my primary list was the Greenmarket at Union Square Park. I had anticipated going to this for so long since I missed the timely and abundant farmer's markets of California this was on top of my wish list during our short visit.

It was the first morning of our stay and I gladly took the subway leaving Times Square for Union Square Park.

I walked up from the subway and found the sun greeting me at the top of the stairs. I had arrived right in the middle of the Greenmarket as anticipated.....

There were rows of gallant apples and pears greeting me.

There were bakers and a glorious bread stalls with freshly baked loaves. More vegetables, hot apple cider, pastries and a rows of more stalls to follow.

Everything from hand sewn bags, to knock off designer duds, leather, gemstones, jewelry, toys, it was an infinite souk of delight.

There were fine artists and musicians.

It saddened me that very little of this is supported in the Jacksonville area that I live.

I was glad to be back in the city.


the sweetest carrots ever....


I bought a bunch that survived the trip home....my kids looked at me like; where are the souvenirs?

Another destination was Whole Foods Market. It was located right across the street from the park. I made my way through the bazaar and enjoyed an awesome lunch there. The endless buffet was welcoming as hardly anything was fried. What a relief I thought to myself.


chicken and rice soup at Whole Foods Market

Pre-made soups always tend to be too salty. This chicken and rice soup was perfectly seasoned. An added plus were the shitake mushrooms.


greetings from the Whole Foods salad buffet o'rama.....

Sprouts, baby peas, sliced fennel bulb, red beets, chinese dumplings, hearts of palm, itty-baby octopus and calamari to name a few.

My *love just had to see Rockefeller Center. It was a perfect stroll at least to knock off some calories.

Prometheus greeted us at the Rock

Okay, I have to take a breath now. I wasn't expecting to be coiled in too deep by BOLO.....but it happened.

DEAR READERS,
Bummer news.....since this post, I recently found out that BOLO served it's last meal December 31, 2007 and has since closed it's doors after something like 15 years of service :( !!!

Yours truly,
Girl About Town


BOLO: oven baked flatbread with lamb sausage & kalamata olives was a plus....

We had dined at MESA GRILL a couple of summers ago and left slightly perplexed.

So I thought to give it a second try at BOLO, since I have been seeking tapas with that untimely twist anyways.....

Tapas that are eventful and something to 'walk about' for.

I was seeking tapas that were hot.

Tapas to write about.

Tapas that would delight into another incarnation of tastes perhaps.....

Well this was quite a becoming surprise.


BOLO: Charcoal grilled octopus with grilled lemons, fresh oregano & garlic oil

More words to follow about BOLO and about outrageous eating in New York in sucha short time.....

Bolo
23 East 22nd Street
New York, New York 10010

Tel. 212.228.2200

Friday, December 7, 2007

bb's.......always pretty & always good to chew: beyond the song & dance

a weekly habit: bb's tuna tartar.....extra horseradish on the side please....


a lunch time special: swordfish steak made us linger...


smokey sausage hangs well with shrimp and penne.....


bb's in San Marco has been my stand by restaurant when I just gotta get out and don't want to be disappointed or go home with a wretched stomach after gallant dining expeditions in the city of Jacksonville.

I have had on 'my never ending list' of places to post about; like forever......so finalement, here it is.

The occasion I arrived for dinner to cover this post - I left slightly miffed at the server. I did not leave miffed at the establishment or the other service that is for the most part highly well quipped as ever and applies fine dining with an ease filled elegance as if I am in my own dining room sans the wreckage of my great room of course.

Case in point:'the server' asked as soon as I sat down if I have ever been to bb's before. That's not what bothered me; since I am a regular there and this guy was obviously new. What annoyed me #*%#@ outta moi; was his arrogance as he served us. His suggestions off the menu were specifically what we needed to go by and if not; he made us feel it with a brush of silence and all the forget-me-nots a scorned woman may vibe off in slight utterances....

Anyhow, case in point again: At least they had my favorite cheese bread sticks available. At least they had my favorite tuna tartar. They also had decent Viogner by the glass; which made everything all right at the end.

Okay - so beyond this 'girl' moment I was having; bb's has been a main stay to local elegant dining in a relaxed setting. I always feel like I am at 'home' there and many of times and usually all of the time; the service, food and hospitality is a notch way above others.

I just came back from nyc.

I forgot what it was like to SAY WHAT YOU MEAN.

I forgot what it was like to go out 'dining'.

I have this 'thing' about customer service. Exceptional customer service was everywhere in nyc - and if it wasn't they TOLD IT LIKE IT WAS, and there's no second guessing. Man, I like that so much. Takes my brain energy away from nonchalance. When I worked in Bev Hills - yes I did; back when rental off Wilshire Blvd. in Beverly Hills the 90210 area was like $800 for a cool looking one bedroom apartment. I had an awesome apartment back then. Way better than Melrose Place. Not as dramatic goings on though.

Back to nyc stuff: The clients I worked with in the Bev Hills office were in nyc or from ny. Boy - they TOLD IT LIKE IT WAS.

Oh - nyc: the food.

That's my case in point for the next post: real food & nyc.

bb's
1019 Hendricks Avenue
Jacksonville, Florida
Tel 904.306.0100

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

ultimate pumpkin roll: bulging at the seams....literally

the ultimate pumpkin roll as if faint with pixie dust....it was THAT good.


It appears I am on 'blogger' hold or perhaps 'blogger's block'.

This can't be, thus true while I have a stock pile of photos and posts from dining about town and luscious moments of slicing, dicing and cooking as it should be an ultimate covert operation in my own kitchen alongside my laptop sashayed with brown sugar, hauntings of nutmeg, smudges of ginger and remnants of cinnamon as pixie dust.

Korean duk mandu soup: rice cakes n' dumplings......my very own recipe....refined


Well, with that said.......I so much appreciate your readership and patience. As I get through this moment of p a u s e to break for Thanksgiving.

My moments have been spent amplifying the half dozen and one hats I've committed myself to wear as well as my mode to perfect the feast of all feasts, relenting to this boggish weather, placid pale skin - gone is the tinge of sunkissed summer skin, elastic waist band pants will do just fine and thank you very much, pumpkin rolls, pumpkin pies, my mother's caraway seed stuffing, making the brine with purified water so the brown sugar and Kosher salt will dissolve in its own abyss, finding that neckbone in that frozen cavity of it all and leaving the gravy making for my beloved.

this was from LAST SUMMER: my FAVORITE tortilla soup....cali-girl style via mission district....


Can you tell it's been a long day....a long month?

I hope these little tastings from my library of 'to posts' are inviting enough.....that I will be back....for more postings & merry making that is.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone and I will see you next week.......

Friday, October 19, 2007

northeast ohio: apples, dining, insight

apples, more apples, apple cider, apple butter, a vast array of apple options...


indian corn too...


the freshest corn....ever....


Sages Apples in Chardon Ohio

Many loves about Ohio include the apples and corn that are grown lusciously there. Forget about the overwaxed dull supermarket apples - ever since we left Ohio we've been left to scrounge for styrofoam filled mounds disguised as the 'apple'.

*My love* went back for a recent trip out yonder to northeast Ohio for his grade school reunion. Who has a grade school reunion? It's absolutely unheard of where I come from - but actually it has been an often time tradition for *my love*'s grade school to catch up on each other's lives. And of course they always meet at the same spot......

Btw, the apples from Sages Apples are to write home about.

Hmmmm, that is so sweet.....: *My love*, the apples, grade school, grade school reunions, the midwest - back to grade school; how do you even remember names???

*my love* with childhood friend are 'off to the reunion'


The Cabin's mascot: The Cabin in Willowick Ohio has been the annual locale for THE grade school reunion*


The Guys, The Reunion, The Cabin....


I didn't attend this last one; but went to one about 8 or so years ago at The Cabin. I recall many of the wives/spouses were at this one and we all hit if off well. Yet I also recall the evening went into the wee hours and as the former classmates were still rocking the house; many of the spouses disappeared and their were a few of us sitting to the side twirling our drinks with a straw clockwise then counter clockwise: repeat. Well at least the boys were having a good time....!

*My love* mentioned this year he noticed less spouses in attendance or maybe he just didn't notice them at all in the midst of 'catch up' with his classmates and old teachers....

Of course the food - the food at The Cabin via their menu appears to be classic Continental steakhouse flair with a slight Italian twist. But it's definitely one of those places that have been there for years; loyal following and what you would call a neighborhood 'institution'. I didn't see it on their on-line menu; but I recall walleye perhaps on their specials during my first and only jaunt to The Cabin for the first reunion. I never heard of walleye until we moved to Cleveland and I recall their walleye hit the spot.....alongside their prime rib which is my usual staple anywhere they offer prime rib. And they offered the gallant sliver of standing roast with au jus, horseradish sauce AND grated horseradish much to my glee.

I recall my approximate five years of living in Cleveland; aside from the sweet memories of sleet slapping against my neck and my knuckles freezing to the bone while I pushed the baby stroller stock full of kids over an iced asphalt parking lot to the Great Lakes Mall just to get outta house. I do recall good food and dining experiences (outside of the mall that is). There were always those neighborhood 'institutions' and other off the beaten track finds especially in Tremont and Cleveland Heights.

I came across a great read from my often time visits to Cleveland based food writer and food blogger Michael Ruhlman's blog. He's a born and raised Cleveland-ite and for those of you that are watching Food Network show The Next Iron Chef; he's one of the judges as you prob know. Which btw you prob know ANOTHER Cleveland-er is in hot compete on the show is chef Michael Symon of Lola in downtown Cleveland and Lolita in the historic Tremont district.

Anyways; I came across a great read on Mr. Ruhlman's blog about THE BEST BAR IN THE WORLD aka The Velvet Tango Room located in historic Ohio City. The photos on this post are classic (there's sunlight)as well as the mention about the author's wife 'suffering' from living in Cleveland (which I can relate; yet do know there are aspects about the n.e. OHIO I cherish - that's why I've dedicated this post!); hence he would take her to The Velvet Tango Room. I had never been there; but perhaps because I was *expecting* the whole time I was living in Cleveland.......

After the reunion, *my love* ventured for dining in the 'burbs and came across NOOSA Bistro......good pix below for a newborn foodist:

located in the 'burbs on Mentor Ave.....

can't go wrong with the lure of Ginger Snap Crusted Calamari: a loving partner of lemon aioli, cilantro & marinara alongside

and mussels once alive alive - oh......


Soy-Ginger Glazed Salmon with asian slaw, toasted sesame seeds, tobiko aioli & sticky rice

don't yu luv when rice & soy sauce marry like that???

Another great find: *my love's* classmate makes pasta! Check out Ohio City Pasta....

a gem like**

find at**

Ohio City Pasta**

Sages Apples
11355 Chardon Rd.
Chardon, Ohio
Tel 440.286.3416
www.sagesapples.com

The Cabin
28810 Lakeshore Boulevard
Willowick, Ohio
Tel 440.943.5195
www.thecabinofwillowick.com

Noosa Bistro
7418 Mentor Avenue
Mentor, Ohio
Tel 440.953.1088
www.noosabistro.com

Ohio City Pasta
Stand E3
West Side Market
1979 West 25th Street
Cleveland, Ohio
Tel 216.696.3388
www.ohiocitypasta.com
check out other locations here

*photo courtesy of The Cabin of Willowick
**photo couresy of Ohio City Pasta

Thursday, October 18, 2007

wild meanderings, foraging recipes and another dining out venture: Heirlooms Bistro

weak in the knees with tuna tartare


duck ravioli reprised


swordfish and grits come hither


triage me lovely with crab cakes, beef tenderloin, potatoes and onion rings galore


a song of salmon, spinach and pasta


It was a Saturday evening and the boys were gone camping - so what's a girl to do other than *girls night out*: that's what!

Florida in October is the perfect month often reminding me of the perfect summer weather for this sfGirlbythebay back then and when: the sun's a shining - mellow warm with just enough heat and zippo-minus any humidity. Yes and that was what it was like that come hither evening in northeast Florida.

So we found ourselves walking about at the new Bartram Walk shopping center. Whenever I visit there or any other 'planned' Florida shop & walk sort of contraption it reminds me of a Ray Bradbury short read from Martian Chronicles.

'Ya know the idyllic setting sort of scenario, the perfect family in the 'burbs,the perfect evening out, with the perfect set of friends 'ya really have known forever and then...............

The only 'and then..............' scenario for me that evening didn't reveal in martian form or anything quite hideous other than my wallet that is still recovering from an expensive haircut, shopping, dining and dessert that was totally unnecessary. At the end of the day that becomes an exhausting effort for this Girl About Town, consultant, writer, critic and wandering forager of recipes vaulted soon to be released sort of girl that I am.

It's either the meanderings or excessive exercise on my part that is effecting my postings as of late. But I really think it has something to do with the surprises found here and there in northeast Florida tapping at my taste buds and challenging my motives.

Useless rant I know.

I'll blame it on the weather as my fixation for stews, dumplings and cobblers begin to intensify once the leaves start turning and my foraging instincts begin to prevail.

Heirlooms Bistro
104 Bartram Walk, Suite 101
Jacksonville, Florida

Tel 904.230.3999

You know when I ramble like this and bear not too specific that something went askew.

I have more chewi-licious pictures from OHIO soon to follow.

Monday, October 8, 2007

National Pizza Competition: Joseph's Pizza of Jacksonville

everything is always good*

pre-flip pizza photo*

I received a press release a few weeks ago with a fabulous announcement from Joseph's Pizza of Jacksonville.

Joseph's has always been one of those pizzeria's that have been 'word of mouth - you gotta go there; they have great dinners too.....and they are the sweetest family....let's go meet and eat.....' seriously; there are a handful of those places known for their 'comforting' atmosphere and its often passed down via 'word of mouth' ayknow.

Joseph's is on my list of dining destinations once I eat past about a half dozen more places.....pause.....swallow.....write.....post.....pause.....repeat.

According to the press release, Joseph's Pizza earned 2nd place by the United States Pizza Team at the PMQ National Pizza Competition in Orlando Florida.

Here's a penchant from their press release dtd September 19, 2007:

"Joseph’s daughter, Sabrina Bateh, stunned the crowd at the PMQ National Pizza Show and Best Pizza Competition in Orlando, Florida on Saturday, September 8, 2007 when she tossed a pizza that delighted the judges and earned 2nd place. For a first time competitor, Sabrina, representing family owned Joseph’s Pizza, not only tossed a pizza that nationally ranked, but she also earned many accolades from the judges about the unique combination of ingredients and overall quality of the pizza."

Joseph's Pizza
30 Ocean Boulevard
Atlantic Beach, Florida
Tel 904.270.1122

7316 North Main Street
Jacksonville, Florida
Tel 904.765.0335

*photos courtesy Joseph's Pizza

I will be posting more shortly. Thank you for your patience. So much to eat.....so much to write......so much to post.......so much to dance off........yum.....

Monday, October 1, 2007

museum dining: cafe nola @ moca jacksonville

shrimp & grits: Mayport shrimp, white wine sauce, fresh wild mushrooms & bacon served with smoked cheddar grit cakes and sun dried tomato crostini dinner menu)

Last week was back to back dining adventures. I couldn't stop eating and had very little time to process my photos and post.

honey rolls with peach butter

I revisited Cafe Nola @ MOCA Jacksonville and enjoyed my meal as much as I did this past summer. Earlier this year the restaurant management had changed and I'm delighted to experience once again that Cafe Nola has not drifted into some sort of mundane fry me friendly bland expose know for this part of town and especially downtown J.

soft shell crab BLT: tempura soft shell crab, applewood smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato & avocado aioli on fresh baguette, house salad, balsamic vinaigrette (lunch menu)

I went to lunch with a gal pal soon to be *expecting*. I had forgotten what is was like to eat when you have a *bun in the oven*.

Her taste buds were as elevated as mine (and I'm not *expecting*); and I found it quite fun and refreshing to eat with someone that was as crazy about the visual antics of presentation as well as the savory taste of food.

chocolate mousse pyramid: sweet indulgements

Pregnancy has a way of heightening everything from your taste buds to your waist line; and since my hey day - my taste buds have never ever settled back to what they were before. It took me quite a while to shrink the state of my stomach too - but I think it has rubber banded back into that bottomless abyss recently: especially after the last two weeks of eating & wandering & eating from one place to another.

sweet potato crabcakes

For lunch, I ordered the soft shell crab BLT. Anytime it says BLT or bacon or avocado I am SOOOOO THERE! This was no exception - they make a tasty take on BLT and that crab was both crunchy and tender.

It was also definitely minus the heavy oil factor and the tempura batter was as delicate as a whisper.

The crabcakes were definitely pretty to the punch. But I am a hard-lined crabcake eater and have only come across ONE set of crabcakes that settled to be the amuse croquette they might have been contrived to be.

I was at a wedding YEARS ago in Boothbay Maine. The reception was catered in the bride's family summer home overlooking Boothbay Harbor.

The crabcakes were formed to the size of a dollar coin and about three quarters of an inch thick. With one fell swoop it was crispy on the outside. To the bite its resistance was perhaps a reminder of biting into the graphite of center earth (but sweeter with that savory taste memory crab meat always provides to linger): very whole crab meat driven, thick and packed with a sockdolager finesse.

No mush factor at all.

To this day: I have not met a crabcake that could stand up to that experience.

Meanwhile, back in Jacksonville Floria at Cafe Nola - I did find their dinner menu of exception as well.

Last summer we dined there with the kids on opening night for dinner. The wait staff were quite pleasant with the kids and the white craft paper on the table was a perfect palette for them while the adults lounged over a glass of wine prior dinner.

I ordered the shrimp & grits reluctantly - only because I love Mayport shrimp to support the local shrimpers; yet grits are not the california girl thing.

Yet, as a food blogger I make myself adamant about trying things at LEAST a dozen times; because you never know!

The shrimp and the grits were graciously combined. I found the dish savory, soothing and sultry enough for recent dreams of returning for more.

'ommercial break and tasteless ranting: check out my updated ABOUT TASTEMEMORY page with photo insert of yes: MOI.

I was thinking not to include the entire big head photo and maybe just the smile but that looked kinda creepy. As I know not all food bloggers want to be via front page type photo - but this is what I'll start with for now.

contemporary caesar salad: we asked for the cheese and dressing on the side since this was an order for the kids. Check out the greens: so gorgeous, clean and not a wilt in sight! The chef has an awesome inspection program down!

fresh tuna & hearts of palm: this one had issues.....


flat bread with cheese: perfect.....

I did try calling Cafe Nola to get the facts straight about some of the dishes and details for this post but found it a slight conversation from the other end. I tried to get titles and details about their succulent rolls and savory butters they serve upon seating. Well; it must be a guarded 'name & ingredients' type of thing as I just wanted details details details of what everything was and it ended up being a bit difficult. I'm a details girl btw though 'tis the best I have!

hmmmmm....I may have called when they were pulling their greens from the garden. With that said; everything there is so *fresh*

Cafe Nola
MOCA Jacksonville
333 N. Laura Street
Jacksonville Florida
Tel 904.366.6911 x2311

www.mocajacksonville.org/cafe