One post, two healthy meal ideas, thank you very much!

After my cheat-y weekend in Princeton (cheeseburger, beer, salt bagel & lox; not in one meal!), it’s time to get back to business. I’m figuring my daily yard raking is a good activity, even though I question where all of those damn leaves came from – I raked in the fall…what’s up with that? Not to mention the pinecones! We spent a lot of time complaining about this past winter; I think my trees were doing the same, just in a different way; every pine tree in my yard (and there’s a lot) seems to have ejected every single pinecone from it’s branches.

I got some juice back into my system, and am on my way…last night’s dinner was a winner for sure. I had an idea for marinated fish kebabs and a chick pea masala-type dish. My local Hannaford doesn’t have the hugest selection of fish, so I usually go with an open mind and buy what looks best. Yesterday it was swordfish, which I generally don’t eat; it’s been years since I’ve last had it, but it looked good, so there you go. I whipped up a quick marinade of greek yogurt, lemon juice, Penzey’s Turkish seasoning, Savory’s Moroccan Tan Tan seasoning, salt & pepper, tossed that into my fish, which I cubed, and let it sit for an hour or so.

Next up, my chick pea masala. I hadn’t shopped in a week, so I had to use what was on  hand; I sautéed up a half an onion, some red bell pepper, and 3 cloves of garlic, then added a can of drained chickpeas & cut up a few kalamata olives and threw them in too. After they melded together a couple of minutes, I deglazed the pan with a little apple cider vinegar (maybe a tablespoon, tops), and added some spices; Turkish seasoning, Moroccan seasoning, smoked paprika, Penzey’s roasted garlic, salt, & pepper. I turned the mixture to low & let it simmer, figuring the longer it cooked, the better it would taste.

Mike G. got the grill going, and we got our kebabs going; after about 5 minutes a side and a quick baste with leftover marinade, they were grilled to perfection. Served up with squeeze of lemon, a little parsley, a chopped salad and the chickpea masala (topped with some scallions), it made a hearty, yet light-feeling meal…healthy and satisfying!

I still had more marinade, so tonight I marinated a couple of boneless chicken breasts in it & cooked them in my George Foreman. For a side/vegetable, I made my new favorite thing, roasted cauliflower and garlic puree. So simple…take a bag of frozen cauliflower and a few cloves of garlic (I think I used 5), toss in a little olive oil, salt & pepper, and roast at 450 for about a half hour, or until the cauliflower is getting caramelized and the garlic is softened up. When it’s done, add to a blender with 1/4 – 1/2 cup of chicken stock and a tablespoon of Parmgiano cheese & puree. It’s a vegetable that thinks it’s a side dish, and it’s great. The only problem is that you could easily eat an entire bag of frozen cauliflower by yourself, and I have a feeling that might not be a good thing.

Advertisements

A Triumphant Meal

Funny thing,  I just read an article naming Saratoga Springs as one of the best college towns for food; with the abundance of great restaurants in & around Saratoga, I can’t disagree. But also named on the list was Princeton, where I happen to go to several times a year to visit my favorite (and only) daughter, who attends school there at Westminster Choir College. It’s concert season, so I’ve been to Princeton for 2 of the past 4 weekends, and maybe because I’m spoiled by living in Saratoga, I’ve never been all that impressed with the food. Admittedly, I do have some pretty high standards, and since I’m not going to any of the 3 or 4 $$ restaurants on the Yelp scale right now, to impress me, you need to show me some great, moderately priced food to impress me. While I have found a great bagel place outside of town in Plainsboro (Bagel Street Grill), the local spots just weren’t thrilling me; they seemed to be either geared towards students with the munchies (a hoagie with chicken tenders, mozzarella sticks, fries, and fried macaroni & cheese – yes, all on the bun @ Hoagie Haven) or to the parents of the trust-fund crowd (sorry, I’m just not looking a burger garnished with fiddlehead ferns & fish roe)

My second trip of the season this past weekend might have changed my mind about Princetonian fare. Mike G. and I had several hours to ourselves, and the weather was gorgeous, so we took to the streets. My daughter says Princeton is like Saratoga on crack, and there’s definitely truth to that. Where Saratoga’s main downtown consists of about 7 blocks (5 on Broadway and one each on Phila & Caroline), Princeton’s downton is roughly 4-5 times that. I don’t think there are as many restaurants/block in Princeton as in Saratoga, but if you keep walking, especially down the side streets, there are more than I had previously realized.

We pulled into town Friday night, cranky from our drive down 287. Mike G. had been yelping for the past hour of the drive, but nothing was standing out. We decided to try Triumph Brewery, which had been on our list to try for a while, but somehow the timing was never right. After walking down the entry ‘tunnel’ off of Nassau Street, you emerge into their main space, which if it weren’t sub-divided into several sections, would be a cavernous room; instead the soaring ceiling made it airy, and the double-decker bar, side room, and mezzanine seating areas gave it definition. The gleaming fermenting vats & some exposed brick gave an industrial, but cozy look.

It was busy, but we were seated right away. After quick review of the beer offerings, we knew what we wanted; the ’95 Pale for me, and the Bengal Gold IPA for Mike G. After the perfect first sip of crispy coldness, we finally started to relax. The menu is upscale pub fare, with some surprises, like duck confit, tuna tartare, and bahn mi, but we stuck with burgers. Perfectly cooked grass-fed burgers with cheddar cheese and local bacon. They were great. I got mine with salad – a fresh choice, and more thoughtful than usual, it included chick peas and some pickled onions. Mike G’s fries were just average, but for his usual side of mayo he was given an option of regular or chipotle, and that chipotle mayo really worked with both the burger and as a dip for the fries.

What really impressed us at Triumph was the service; our server answered all of our beer questions knowledgeably, and when she couldn’t (about the bacon), she asked the kitchen and got the information for us. We had a nice surprise when she presented us with two tokens for a free pint after we payed which made Mike G. wonder if a $50 bill had snuck in with the $20’s he had paid with, but not to worry – we didn’t over pay, just got a little gratitude back for our gratitude. Triumph is doing a good thing by giving their customers good food, good service, and a little love, which is sure to get us to come back. Oh, and their coasters feature the chemical composition of beer, which is just cool.

When life gives you lamb, make a curry.

And so, it’s almost Passover, and Jews everywhere are getting ready for our week-long exile from the bread aisle. In upstate New York, we’re lucky if we get and end-cap of dedicated Kosher for Passover victuals. It’s ironic that I’m still put out by this, since I haven’t even eaten any bread or grains in over a week, and to be honest, haven’t really missed them that much. But somehow, during Passover, it will still feel like I’m being denied, and I’m sure I’ll wake up with an overwhelming craving for pasta, bagels, and pizza.

During these last few days before Passover, we start prepping for the Seder and all of the many traditions and rituals that go with it. I’ll be blogging about various aspects of the ‘chosen food’ over the next week, my first being the lamb shank.

The Passover Seder plate is comprised of several symbols of the story of the Jew’s bondage and ultimate freedom from Egyptian tyranny and slavery. One component is the roasted lamb shank, a symbol for the mark of lamb’s blood the Israelites were instructed to leave on their doors so their houses were ‘passed over’ (get it?) so they did not have to bear that most awful of all the plagues, the smiting of the first born. We never ate lamb in my house growing up, so sometimes we cheated on our ‘lamb shank’ and used a chicken bone (sorry, mom). But this year, I’m having the Seder, and I’m lucky enough that my significant other, Mike G., is also preparing a Seder plate to display at his biz,, Thunder Mountain Curry, so yippee – I get a lamb shank! And even better, we got to make a most delicious lamb curry with said lamb. What started out as a tagging quickly morphed into a tagine/curry hybrid, with a tang of lemon, ginger, cumin, coriander, cayenne, cloves, and garlic. A little tomato paste tightened up the sauce, and some saffron rice accompanied. A great wine was found by the name of ‘A Proper Claret’, which was perfect for this rich, savory dish.

Rich & Savory Lamb Tagine-Curry

(adapted from Food & Wine’s recipe)

            Marinade:

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • One 3-inch cinnamon stick
  • Kosher salt

Mix above, and pour over:

  • 5 pounds boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 1-inch pieces

Marinate for 4-6 hours 

Add above to pot and add

  • 2 cups water
  • 6 large carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 1 t Penzey’s Balti blend
  • 1 potato, cubed & par-cooked in microwave (optional)

         salt & pepper to taste

Cook on stove top for ~ 1 hour.

 

Saffron rice:

1 chicken stock

½ cup rice

pinch saffron threads

 

Add saffron to stock & cook rice as directed.

Enjoy with a Proper Claret!

2015-04-01 19.14.132015-04-01 19.29.10

How about some chili?

Wow – I’ve never gotten so many views of my blog – how cool! So, I’ve been to the Y four days in a row now, and have been eating some really healthy options, and I must say. I feel pretty damn good. Not just in body, but in spirit also. I haven’t really seen the scale move much yet, but I know that can take some time to kick in. I feel much more in control, and that’s a great feeling. My urge to snack has actually diminished; something I didn’t think would happen so quickly. I’ve been keeping a bottle of water by my side, which has been great – keeping me hydrated AND fulfilling my need to put something in my mouth (this might be weird, but I’m finding that my Camelback water bottle is my favorite one; biting down on that little spout thingy is very satisfying).

It looks gorgeous out, so I think today I’ll head outdoors for a nice walk instead of the Y. It’s good to change it up a bit, and I’m hoping to find some signs of life in the still semi-frozen Saratoga tundra.

I’ve decided to share some recipes that I’ve been making while on this journey. I don’t share anything that isn’t worthy, so if I share a recipe, I think it’s a good one. I made this  Pork & White Bean Chipotle Chili because I took out a container out of the freezer that I thought was a couple of boneless chicken breasts. Oops, nope. It was 4 boneless pork tenderloin pork chops. OK then, guess I’m not making chicken salad. If you don’t eat pork, this recipe would work just as well with either turkey cutlets or chicken, or for a vegetarian option, pump up the beans (red, black, or garbanzo), sub the beef broth with veggie, and add some mushrooms to vegetables for some umami flavor.

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 medium carrots, chopped ~.5 cup

2 medium celery stalks, chopped ~.5 cup

1 pepper (green or red), chopped

2 large garlic cloves, minced

2 chipotle chilis from can with sauce ~2 T total

12 oz. pound pork sirloin cutlets, cut into 1/2-inch dice

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 teaspoon chili powder (or to taste)

1 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled

1 cup beef broth

1 14 1/2-ounce can peeled tomatoes (undrained)

1 15-ounce cans cannellini or Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained

Yields 5 1 cup servings.

Serve with fresh cilantro or scallions on top.

Prep:

Heat 1 tablespoons oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion, carrots, celery, pepper and garlic and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Add chipotle chilis & sauce.

Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large skillet over high heat. Pat pork dry. Add to skillet, season with salt and pepper and cook until browned, stirring frequently, approximately 6 minutes.

Add pork to vegetables. Blend in chili, cumin, and oregano and stir 3 minutes. Add broth to skillet and bring to boil, scraping up any browned bits. Stir into pork mixture. Add tomatoes with liquid and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until pork is tender, stirring occasionally, approximately 1 hour.

I ran this through a nutritional calculator:

Nutritional Info:

Calories: 314

Fat: 13g

Carbs: 15g

Fiber: 8g

Protein: 26g

Sodium: 661mg

Spring Cleaning

It’s long overdue. I’ve been struggling with my weight since I moved out of NYC and stopped walking everywhere I went. That was 25 years ago. Since then,  I’ve gained weight, had a baby, gained more weight, lost some, gained some, lost some more, gained some, got divorced, lost some more, gained a little…you get the idea. I need to lose about 60 pounds to be in a happy place for me, and for the last 20 years, I’ve lost and gained the same 20-30 over and over again, never quite getting to my pre-pregnancy weight (which was overweight, btw.) This bought of recent unemployment has not been my scale’s friend. That, combined with the winter from hell and my absolute loathing of the gym, has made for one couch-bound potato throughout this winter. BOOM! That 20 lbs. I lost last year? Gone. It’s time for some Spring Cleaning for my mind and body.

It’s hard to diet when you love food, but I know that’s an excuse. Boyfriend a chef? EXCUSE. Too cold to go to the gym? But I’ve got great cholesterol/blood sugar/blood pressure? Oh, shut me up already! As anyone who has gone shopping with me knows, I am the queen of rationalization, but I need to be dethroned.

Over the past few days, a coup d’etat has taken place. I’ve gone to the Y three days in a row, twice in Mike G., and today on my own. Doesn’t sound like much, I know. But everyday I go is like a little victory for me and my knees, which are the only part of my body that my weight seems to affect (well besides the obvious things like my hips, thighs, etc.!) I actually only hate going to the gym when I don’t go the gym. Sort of vicious circle/Schrodinger’s Cat scenario; if I am in the gym I no longer hate it.

As for food, well, my biggest hurdle is correcting some really bad behaviors. I have a snacking habit that I’m ashamed of. I’m a sucker for those so-called healthy snacks, like quinoa chips, lentil crackers, etc. I guess they are healthy in their way, but not when you eat the whole bag! A big part of being successful for me is cracking that snack habit. Like a closet drinker, I snack alone.  Admitting to it is my first step, so here it is – I am powerless against snacks. I will no longer buy lentil chips or Ritter hazelnut bars at Ocean State Job Lot, no matter how cheap they are. I’m going to stop eating at night, and will eat with intention, not casually and absent-mindedly.

I’m going to talk about what I’m going to eat rather than what I’m not. I’m going to eat delicious, high-quality food. Lean protein, eggs, high-quality carbs such as quinoa, sweet potatoes, wild rice, and beans, vegetables, fruit, eggs, yogurt, and yes, even some butter. Once in a while a bit of chorizo might add some flavor to a dish. For the past couple of months I’ve been experimenting with alternative flours; coconut, almond, quinoa; when I bake (and I will, a little), these will be my ingredients, and my sweeteners will be stevia, applesauce, honey, maple syrup, and dates. I can’t wait to start finding new recipes & making up my own!

Some dishes I’ve made over the past few days: Kale-Quinoa Kugel Cakes, Roasted Red Pepper Sauce, Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Puree, Butternut Squash with Tahini Sauce, Almond-Yogurt Fruity Smoothie, and my go-to easy breakfast, Herby Mashed Eggs.

I was going to take a picture of my dinner with Kale-Quinoa Kugel Cakes with Roasted Red Pepper & Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Puree, but it was so good that Mike G. & I ate our beautiful looking plates before I remembered to take pictures. But here’s a recipe for the Roasted Red Pepper Sauce I served with the Kugel Cakes. It’s delicious. Try it on a piece of fish, chicken, as a dip, or as a sandwich spread.

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce/Dip/Spread

3-4 cloves roasted garlic **

12 oz jar roasted peppers, drained

1-2 t good EVOO

¼c toasted slivered almonds or pine nuts

1t smoked paprika (Penzeys)

Moroccan or Turkish seasoning (optional) – I’ve used Tan Tan Moroccan (Savory Spices) or Turkish Seasoning (Penzeys Spices)

Drizzle of a lightly flavored balsamic vinegar; I’ve used pomegranate, raspberry, cranberry, fig, and white balsamics – all are good.

Salt

Black pepper

Season lightly to start & adjust to your taste; I like might like more seasoning than you! Also experiment with your favorite spices & blends; this is versatile!

Put all in a food processor or blender & process until smooth but slightly textured from the nuts.

This looks beautiful & is great on fish, chicken & vegetables as a warm sauce, as a dip with pita & veggies cold, and as a sandwich spread as a mayo alternative.

**To roast garlic, place unpeeled cloves on a piece of foil, drizzle with olive oil & loosely wrap the foil around them, making sure they’re covered. Roast in toaster oven @ 400 degrees for around 30-40 minutes, or until they’re nice and soft. If you want to roast a whole head (which I advise, since you’ll want to use your roasted garlic on everything), remove the loose outer layers of skin, cut the ‘stem’ side of the head off, and place the garlic on the foil. Drizzle with olive oil and bake as above.

Pea Green with Envy

It seems pretty appropriate to be cooking pea soup on St. Patrick’s Day, after, it does have a shade of green named after it! My freezer’s supply of soup left over from ‘Seven Days of Soup’ has finally dwindled away, and my soup pot is calling…what soup do I get requests for the most? That’s right – that most humble, unappealing looking soup of all, pea soup. I bring it frozen to my daughter in college, my resident chef adores it, and what’s not to like? It’s hearty enough for a meal, and almost as comforting (maybe even  more!) as a bowl of chicken soup. My basic recipe for this relies on a ham hock, but I included some ideas for a vegetarian option. If you have a few hours, throw this on your stove & let it simmer. It’s also a great soup to make with all of your leftover farmer’s market veggies when they’re getting a little old. You’ll have soup for days for almost no $$, and the house will smell great!  Be careful & watch the pot – I’ve had a pot of pea soup boil over & it isn’t pretty!!!

p.s. – I estimate my entire pot of soup cost about $6 & makes about 8 servings.

Here’s what you need:

1 lb split peas (I use Goya)

1 or 2 ham hocks (mine were from Fred the Butcher this time, I also like to get from Oscar’s Smokehouse)

1 T chicken or vegetable soup base

2 stalks celery, chopped

1 onion, chopped

1 leek, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

2 bay leaves

8 cups of water – or as much as you need to cover everything in the post by at least 2 inches.

to taste: salt, black pepper, thyme, smoked paprika (I like Penzey’s)

  • Pick over & rinse the peas.
  • Put everything in the pot & get up to a boil.
  • Reduce heat & simmer for ~ 2 hours.
  • Remove ham hocks from pot & let cool until you can handle.
  • Meanwhile, use an immersion blender to smooth out soup. If you don’t have one, let soup cool a little & puree in blender (you may have to do in batches) & put back in pot. Adjust seasonings to your liking.
  • Remove meat from ham hocks, chop into small pieces & add back to soup.
  • Enjoy with a crusty bread!

Update: its now about 2 1/2 hours later, and my soup is still on the stove; my ham hocks didn’t yield all that much meat, so I a chopped up a kielbasa link I had in the freezer & threw it in, along with more seasonings. It’s going to stay on the stove another hour or so to let everything meld together. In my view, you can’t cook soup enough; it just gets better and better.

**For vegetarian soup, up the amount of carrots & celery, and add a mix of of potatoes, celeriac, parsnip or other root vegetables. I would also add more herbs to amp up the flavor – dill is nice, maybe fennel, even cayenne if you like some spice). Puree to desired consistency, or remove some of the veggies before you puree so you can have some chunks.

Restaurant Review: Mingle on the Avenue

I’ve been carrying around one of those ‘Double-Take’ restaurant coupons that I purchased for Mingle on the Avenue for a few month now. $40 worth of food for only $20!! Those coupons are a great way to try a new restaurant, but also kind of an addiction…the Mingle coupon was the last one of several bought in a flurry of ‘try it, you’ll like it’ hopefulness in the hopes of finding new venues beyond my standbys of Saigon Spring and The Merry Monk. And so, on Saturday night, Mike G. and I ventured out for dinner before my Mingle coupon expired. I had tried some of their fare at a couple of Saratoga street events, and enjoyed the tastings of the ramen bowl and the  kimchi chowder (chowderfest!), which was why I got the coupon. I called pretty late for a 7:30 reservation, and there were only lounge tables left…Mike G. and I generally like the lounge atmosphere anyway, so that was fine with us.

The vibe of the place is as I expected…it’s kind of hip in a nondescript way. We were shown to our hi-top in the lounge and given a beer & wine ‘specials’ menu. The larger list of alcoholic offerings was on the dinner menu, which came a bit later. The bar stools require mention here. I was on a banquette seat, which was fine, but Mike G. was on a bar stool with one of the largest seats we’ve ever seen. It reminded us a little of Lily Tomlin’s little girl sketch with the big chair. Admittedly, Mike G. is somewhat height-challenged, but I think you need to be at least 6′ to comfortably sit in those chairs. Took a minute or so, but after scooting to the edge of the chair, he found a position that allowed him to not feel like a 6 year old at the adults table.

Got the dinner menu, did a ‘draft choice’ of our dinners & wondered if there were specials. Ordered some drinks, even though I usually like to hear the specials first. Mike G. got a Pinot Noir that he wanted to get with the rabbit pot pie, and I was in the mood for a nice cold beer, so I went with a Lagunitas, which I’m always happy to see. I thought I heard the waiter next door mention specials to his diners…our waitress (who turned out to also be a bartender) came back & I had to ask about the specials; she mentioned the $1 oysters available in the lounge, but had to go check on the other specials, since at least one was sold out. Too bad Mike G. didn’t know about the $1 oysters before he ordered that wine…he can’t resist the oysters, but really wanted a beer with them, so Lagunitas #2 was ordered, and his wine put aside for dinner. Our bartender/waitress finally came back with news of the specials, (an 18 oz. ribeye, pretty much the same as the one on the menu but the XXL version), and an appetizer special I can’t remember. Eh – we passed.

The $1 oysters were beautifully presented, and Mike G. slurped them down with my beer, and eventually his. I don’t do oysters, and I glanced to the tables to the right  & left and noticed they were munching on some biscuit-looking things – rolls, perhaps? Those would have been nice to nosh on with our beverages! Were they included? Did you have to order them? That remained a mystery.

Rabbit Pot Pie

Rabbit Pot Pie

Chap Chae

Chap Chae

Our dinners arrived pretty speedily, so I momentarily forgot about the mystery rolls. Mike G. got the rabbit pot pie ($16) and I got the Chap Chae ($26). The pricing in this place confuses me a bit, but more on that later. The Rabbit Pot Pie was presented nicely, although as Mike G. noted, not exactly a ‘pie’. It was a lovely rabbit stew with puff pastry on the top and bottom – more like an open sandwich. Whatever – it was hearty & tasty, and the flakiness of the puff pastry was perfect with it. It went perfectly with the Pinot. My Chap Chae (glass noodles, soy broth with shiitake mushrooms, zucchini, carrots, red bell peppers and spinach) was good, but had way too much soy sauce, making it a bit too salty for my tastes. If this was a dish over rice, it might have been fine, but the glass noodles just don’t neutralize the salt that well. In case my readers don’t know, Mike G. is the owner/chef of Thunder Mountain Curry, so there’s a lot of Asian cooking going on in our little corner of the universe; neither of us are low-salt eaters. Diluting that soy broth with a little water would have helped a lot. Despite the saltiness, it was a good dish, I just wish I could have enjoyed it more.

Around the middle-end of our meal, we started to realize that we hadn’t seen our bartender/waitress in a while. Our water glasses were empty (they had never been refilled), Mike G.’s wine was gone and our beers were down to their last sips (we were never asked if we wanted a 2nd wine or beer).

Sad glasses

Waiting for a refill

The lounge tables surrounding us didn’t seem to have that problem; they were served and bussed throughout their meals (and of course, they got the mystery rolls). Was there something wrong with Mike G. and I? Did we somehow not rate a water refill? Maybe we just weren’t hip enough?

Oddly enough, right after I took this picture of our sad glasses, someone (manager, maybe?) came over to fill our water glasses & ask how our food was. We were honest; said the rabbit was great, but mine was a little salty for my taste but good. Waitress/bartender was right behind him, and proceeded to clear our table. Never mind that she still didn’t ask us if we wanted another drink – I guess we were done!

A few minutes later, the owner came by; a very personable, nice guy. He apologized for the saltiness of the Chap Chae, and explained that as a Korean, he grew up with soy sauce, and was pretty immune to the salt factor. He offered to take it off of our tab, which we declined. It was a very professional gesture, and saved what was becoming a pretty grim experience. Our meal suffered mostly from bad service; something that could be an isolated incident. The only misstep we found in the food was a slightly too-salty Chap Chae. The rabbit – delicious. We will try Mingle again; maybe for a beer & appetizers, which looked pretty tasty.

The pricing, as I mentioned, did confuse me. I thought the Chap Chae was very overpriced; it’s a lot of glass noodles, veggies & some protein – a dish like that is generally under $20. I would not have ordered it without the coupon. The rabbit, on the other hand, seemed like a bargain. There seems to be an upcharge on the Korean dishes here; are they charging more for the ‘exotic’ factor? Korean food isn’t exotic to me, so that’s lost on me. Maybe I should have gotten the Branzino.

Out of 5, rabbit: 5, chap chap: 3, service: 2.

I hope next time we go service improves. The bartender/waitress combo was not ideal. And after a quick Google search, I did find out that we were supposed to get the rolls. Apparently they’re gluten-free rolls with chive butter. I love chive butter.