All Reviews by alienlovechild

  • Primizie Osteria 1000 E 11th St, Austin, TX 78702 (512) 236-0088

    5 stars Posted on 07/09/2008 05:00pm

    Provided by Citysearch

    Dinner started out with one of the best Nero d'Avolas I have ever tasted--deep, dark, and plush. The appetizer of the day sounded interesting, so we tried it. What showed up was vanilla and red chile-infused grilled barracuda over perfectly al dente carnaroli rice with a bacon, plum, and mint salsa that may have been made by Mario Batali as part of an Iron Chef competition. What an amazing dish!!! A perfectly balanced symphony of flavors on the palate. Wow! Our pasta entrees were as good as the best trattorias in Florence, Sienna, or Montepulciano--the rigatoni with salsiccia pork sausage, sweet red peppers, and a spicy arrabiata-style tomato sauce simply melted in my mouth; the taglitelle with Bolognese sauce was very light and delicate, somewhat surprising since that pasta tends toward the heavier side most places.\r I'll definitely have to come back and try the pizza and try out the desserts...\r Primizie is nothing short of amazing food at a ridiculously affordable price! Loved everything I tasted here!
  • India Palace 227 Don Gaspar Ave, Santa Fe, NM 87501 (505) 986-5859

    5 stars Posted on 04/20/2007 05:00pm

    Provided by Citysearch

    Who came up with the 8.5 rating? I'm a very proficient chef and I have not found an Indian restaurant anywhere in my travels that could equal the saag paneer of India Palace. I have many Indian friends and have been to Indian restaurants in most cities in the U.S. Every time I pass through Santa Fe, I make it a point to eat here and The Shed at least one night. The chicken tikka masala is also wonderful and the naan is light and crispy. This place should rate at least a 9.5!!!
  • The Woodlands Restaurant 1716 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704 (512) 441-6800

    3 stars Posted on 02/23/2007 04:00pm

    Provided by Citysearch

    Starlite, Starlite...not exactly stellar tonight! At least not while we were waiting in the Woodland. Showing up on South Congress at 9:30 on a Saturday night, you'd hope that the dinner rush was at least receding. Since the wait at South Congress Cafe was 45 minutes, we decided to try Woodland when we were told that there was ""no wait""...Hardly!! Thirty minutes after placing our order, we commandeered our waiter (who seemed to be conveniently unavailable at the time) and asked if he knew anything about our food. He said that the kitchen had been slammed by two large parties ahead of us (even though the place wasn't at all packed!) and admitted that he should have come by and said something sooner...at least he was cordial. The manager stopped over a few minutes later and asked how everything was...everything consisted of my date and I staring across an empty table at one another and wondering if the statuesque tree was at all edible! The food finally showed up after about 40 minutes and was so-so. I had the meatloaf, which was a little dried out and the texture was somewhat chewy. Next time I want meatloaf, I'll stick with Blue Star Cafe or Portabla. My date had the slightly overcooked pork chop (no hint of pink) and a somewhat bland butternut squash puree which had no identifiable seasoning. As far as ambiance, this is probably one of the LOUDEST restaurants you'll ever find...I've been at NFL football games where the crowd wasn't this loud. So, forget it for the romantic date night as you shout across the table at your dining companion. The decor is a somewhat kitschy portrayl of forest greens with an artificial tree sculpture in the middle of the room and comes off as more drab than comforting...like being trapped in the woods and wondering when and if your next meal is going to come or if you're going to get desparate and shoot Bambi yourself!\r Didn't try the desserts, so don't know. The food was adequate, not bad, but certainly not worth the wait!
  • The Painted Lady 201 S College St, Newberg, OR 97132 (503) 538-3850

    5 stars Posted on 11/12/2006 04:00pm

    Provided by Citysearch

    Back in Oregon wine country again this fall...but the best part of the trip is dining at The Painted Lady. Every time I return, the consistency and attention to minute details is evident. Chef Allen perfects his seasonally amazing concoctions and dazzles you with flavors and technique, not trendy juxtapositions. The Painted Lady should easily make the list of Top 5 Restaurants on the West Coast.\r The herb-crusted Albacore tuna on Mediterranean salad was cooked medium-rare and seasoned perfectly. The divers scallops were seared, succulent, and sitting atop a puree of butternut squash to highlight the nip of fall in the Oregon evening. Jessica's chocolate tart was excellent...only suggestion would be to lose the toasted marshmallow on top...ganache didn't need it...maybe a few toasted hazelnuts for an accent.\r Wine list has all the great Oregon Pinots and at maybe $20 over the actual price of the bottle!! Try finding that in a Napa restaurant!\r \r Year after year, Allen and Jessica present a level of culinary achievement you'd be hard pressed to find in the most expensive Michelin-rated restaurant in any city in the world...all right in Newberg. Why haven't the James Beard folks noticed this little gem? Because it is so dazzling they can't stand to look in this direction...
  • Le Panier Very French Bakery 1902 Pike Pl, Seattle, WA 98101 (206) 441-3669

    5 stars Posted on 10/25/2006 05:00pm

    Provided by Citysearch

    Le Panier reminds me of the French bakeries in Old Town Geneva. The croissants are etherially light, buttery, and flaky. The palmiers are buttery and slightly soft on the inside while really crispy on the outside...I'd love to know how get a cookie to do that!\r \r Try the napoleon with luscious French pastry creme between the layers of pastry.\r \r A breakfast fave was the croissant filled with ham and gruyere...delish!!!\r \r As a previous reviewer mentioned, the lattes are smooth and luscious.\r \r Also, try the hazelnut and chocolate chip cookies...and the pistachio macaroons!\r \r You won't be able to pass by the buttery and wonderful smell on the corner as you walk by.
  • Andina Restaurant 1314 NW Glisan St, Portland, OR 97209 (503) 228-9535

    5 stars Posted on 10/25/2006 05:00pm

    Provided by Citysearch

    Andina was the best Portland food find during our visit. Great mix of inventive drinks--try the one with roasted ginger-infused rum with grapefruit juice, lime, and a cardamom-sugared rim.\r Atmosphere was hip, drinks were smooth, flavors were bold! Get a seat near the fireplace in the bar for a great vibe.\r \r The piquillo peppers stuffed with quinoa, cotija cheese, and Serrano ham were our favorite! The cheese plate with the quince jam was also interesting. Loved the marinated chicken kabobs...try dipping them in the passionfruit-habanero sauce that comes with the bread! The habaneros have had their seeds removed so the sauce isn't really very hot, just great flavor.\r \r If you love experimenting with tapas, you'll love Andina!
  • Corazone At Castle Hill 1101 W 5th St, Austin, TX 78703 (512) 476-0728

    5 stars Posted on 10/14/2006 05:00pm

    Provided by Citysearch

    Castle Hill is aptly named...a culinary fortress towering high above the other Austin restaurants. Christopher Lyttle is one of the most inventive chefs I have encountered anywhere...his knack for inventing bold flavor combinations that are strikingly intricate and multilayered far surpasses any other chef in Austin...without even a hint of trendiness. It's all about the food, Mabel!\r \r In New York, D.C., or Los Angeles, you'd have to pay double the price and settle for half the food quality that Castle Hill consistently delivers time after time. The menu changes bi-weekly and the only sadness is that you may have to wait for your favorites to rotate back through.\r \r The current menu (Oct 15, 2006) features an amazing sole filet cooked en papillote (in parchment paper) basking in a subtle blend of mint, basil, butter, and house-made crystallized lemon peel resting happily on perfectly cooked zucchini rounds...without the sweetness of the fish being overpowered by any ingredient.\r \r Also featured is a chicken and pork filled Asian-style dumpling with a homemade spicy hoisin glaze--that's right, they ferment their own soy beans and make the hoisin sauce from scratch!\r \r Chris's chicken mole poblano enchiladas may be the finest I have ever tasted, and I consider myself a major mole afficianado. Manuels' mole has been dropped a notch to #2. There's a subtle balance between the heat of the ancho, pasilla, and guajillo peppers, the toasted and ground sesame seeds, and a slight fruit component (traditionally raisins) yet to be identified.\r The flavor is bold and spicy with some chile heat balanced by sweetness and a smoky sesame quality.\r \r I am not easily won over by a restaurant, being a talented amateur chef on my own...trust me, the food quality and flavors will win you over as well...not to mention the exceptional service and cozy atmosphere.\r \r I dare any restaurant in Austin to touch this place...at even double the price!
  • Kiko's Mexican Food Restaurant 5514 Everhart Rd, Corpus Christi, TX 78411 (361) 991-1211

    5 stars Posted on 06/22/2006 05:00pm

    Provided by Citysearch

    I live in Austin and found this place on here on Citysearch. When locals confirmed my research, I decided to check it out. This has to be one of the best Mexican places I have ever tried (and I'm a serious foodie and chef!). Highly recommended is the Kiko's platter with a cheese enchilada, 2 beef fajitas with lots of grilled red bell pepper, a chalupa, beans and rice. I'll bet you can't finish the whole thing! Queso is also very good. Be sure to ask for the homemade corn tortillas, otherwise you get the standard kind. The place is huge and was packed on a Friday night a half hour before closing, but the service was really great and speedy. I can't say enough about this place...don't pass it by!! I'll be back...
  • Osteria Del Figo 1210 Howell Mill Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30318 (404) 351-3700

    5 stars Posted on 12/27/2005 04:00pm

    Provided by Citysearch

    Osteria del Figo is a sparkling gem of Tuscan dining nestled behind a coffee house on Howell Mill Rd. My date and I started out with the Caprese salad, which was excellent even though ripe plum tomatoes aren't exactly abundant in late December. The fresh mozzarella was wonderful and not overly salty. Deciding on a main course selection was difficult considering the many variations of pastas and sauces on the menu, futher complicated by daily specials like lobster in a pink vodka sauce with pasta or beef-filled ravioli in a sage and butter sauce. I settled on spinach and ricotta-filled ravioli with an Arrabiata sauce. The ravioli were cooked perfectly al dente and the Arrabiata sauce was zesty with tomato and spicy with red pepper without being overdone...if I closed my eyes, I could easily flash back to a wonderful trattoria in Siena or Montepulciano! This place is THAT good!