Friday, December 11, 2009

Managing Expectations for the Peep Show (aka Peep Soho)

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Remember the first time you went to a strip club (ok...we're girls - but we've all gone ONCE), you had these somewhat glamorous preconceived notions and images in your mind of what your experience would be like …but then you walk inside the “joint” and come to find out that its nothing like you imagined – kinda greasy, a little dirty, with some highlights (read: alcohol), but all around awkward. That’s kind of how I felt at Food Club’s first Thai restaurant, Peep…

This subtly lit, Lady Gaga-Gothic style restaurant is tucked away in the Village on Prince Street. After you walk past the rubber-band bar stools (that Anne swore her ass would get stuck in) you get a feel for a trendy nightclubish VIP scene before you hit the restaurant area. "Subtly lit" being the key words, some of us wished we had our Owl Lites to read the 12 menus that were on our table (one for specials, one for drinks, one massive one for all the food stuffs). I’m not complaining about the selection but c’mon, if you’re going to use size 4 font with Pantone color PMS-1485 (aka light peach), then turn the lights up a tad!

But I digress, the “highlights” of the evening were the fact that it was DD’s bday and we had some delicious cocktails! With names like Split, Faint, and Flirt they were the perfect after-work de-stress mixtures and went down a little too fast! After the drinks we were feeling saucy and asked our waiter if he could wipe down our table which was really sticky…he proceeded to bring us a dry napkin – guess you have to work for it at Peep ;)

On the main event, the food - we opted for curry chicken puffs, a teriyaki-like crispy duck salad, delectable beef rolls in a super thin outer shell and an old-time fav, Thai spring rolls. For our second plate, we put Peep’s Thai-ness to the test and went with a traditional Pad Thai with chicken, shrimp, peanut and egg. It was the piece de resistance – spicy, sweet, sour, delish!

I should probably just stop my review there because the main plates were nothing to write home about and honestly, pretty disappointing – a braised half duck that was too gamey for our taste and a five-spice pork chop that was super fatty and a little bland (we think they only used about two spices!). Surprisingly, we were too full for dessert so just downed the rest of our Pinot Noir (which was V. average) and called it a night. But before we end this adventure, one interesting characteristic about the restaurant to call out was the bathrooms that we found out you can kind of see into. When you are inside (we had to try them out!) you can see everything that is going on outside, but from the outside you can see in a little (again, this fact was tested) contributing some awkwardness to the evening. Overall, it was a good experience, but similar to how I felt after my first strip club, I do NOT have the desire to ever go back...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

FC Nibble Part 2 – Martha’s Vineyard Field Trip

Pin It Ok – now to part 2 of my Martha’s Vineyard culinary extravaganza. We had 2 great meals at restaurants that came highly recommended. But just because you expect greatness doesn’t mean you enjoy it any less!

Our first night – a cold rainy one in October – we went to the nearly empty Restaurant Détente. It’s a very cozy (read: maybe 11 tables) restaurant tucked back off Water Street in Nevin Square.

To celebrate our vacation, we kicked off the meal off with a bottle of 2003 Gramona, Gran Cuvee Cava – a sparkling rose wine from Spain. It was the perfect start to the meal. The bubbles seemed to sparkle away the stress of the nearly 6 hour ride to the Vineyard! We then shared an appetizer of creamy croquettes and savory olive tapenade.

My dinner of braised short rib (no knife necessary) was nothing short of fabulous – but by far the star of the show was the wine. We decided to splurge - and on the recommendation of our (kinda snotty) waiter – we ordered the 2007 Emeritus Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley. It was by far one of the best bottles of wine I’ve had in a long time - - and it was liked by everyone at the table – always a bonus!

The only place that Détente fell short was dessert. We shared the Nutella Pot de Crème with hazelnut cookies. And – look – as many of you know – I am a dessert whore - - -errr…I mean maven. So pretty much anything with Nutella is OK in my book - - but it was a strange cold, crumbly, chunky consistency – like it should have been warmed and creamy. But I think that the meal itself was so outstanding that perhaps we were just “wow”ed out at that point.

The next dinner that’s worth blogging about is our experience at Alchemy. An island staple that usually has a wait over an hour long and a line out the door – was perfectly empty. This was the night where my brother Kevin and his girlfriend Pam went to Atria (which is totally on the list for my next MV adventure) – and my mother and I had a girls night at Alchemy.

Our waiter – Matt was too cute for words and he took great care of us! We shared a great bottle of Cabernet - - but nothing compared to the wine at Détente! I had the special of beef tenderloin with chorizo puree, peas, mushroom and balsamic reduction. Soooo - I tried to be good and write down what I was eating into my blackberry - and I must have been a little tipsy because I wrote that my dish came with “a side of potato au gratin thingy”… clearly the food coma was kicking in…..

‘Till next time - - Chow down!