Sunday, April 27, 2008


ZenCha Tea Salon... the name drives me crazy, along with their okonomiyaki & fruity tea spring blend. Although I didn't picture it, make sure you hit up ZenCha brunch on weekends from 11 to 2PM ONLY, and go early, for their waffles & OKONOMIYAKI! It's my recent addiction. Savory pancakes, cabbage, onion, grilled chicken or seafood, kewpie mayo and okonomiyaki sauce (similar to tonkatsu). Very insanely addictive. ZenCha pleases me because their presentation is always spot on, appealing to the eye and the mouth. For me, for sure, a definite part of eating is the sensory detail. Plating is a big deal. You can make even horrible food "taste" better if you plate it nicely. Fortunately, they don't have that problem at ZenCha because most of their food is ALSO pretty tasty. Behold.

Venus- white choco genoise, berry & choco mousses

Don't remember.. don't hit me

Some sort of chocolate hazelnut thing...

Spring Blend Fruity Tea made w/ black tea

Smoked Salmon Salad

Fig and Parmesan Salad

Last but not least... DUMPLINGS!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

A mad craving for dumplings.

Dragon art tea

Sometimes, quite inexplicably, I am struck with a rather intense desire for dumplings. I'm not sure what exactly it is about the little bundles of joy that I love best - perhaps the chewy skin, or the luscious fillings. I just know that from time to time, I would cut off my leg for some dumplings. Maybe I'm weird.

I've been on a quest to find some delicious dumplings in Columbus, and recently I've been hearing good things about Ying's Tea House & Yum Yum, in Clintonville. Seeing as how Clintonville is a mere 10 minute drive from our humble abode, and I was having one of my bouts inspired by Anthony Bourdain's trip into Shang Hai (oh god, soup dumplings... does anyone know of a place to procure good soup dumplings? Talk to me!), we made a trek down and enjoyed a lovely afternoon full of delicious dumpins!! Mmmm, Nom Nom Nom.

Steamed Shrimp Dumplings

I chose an assortment of dumplings - Steamed shrimp dumplings, San-xian dumplings, and steamed pork buns. They were all delicious, with perfect skin and supremely tasty fillings. Not to mention that Ying's is extremely adorable in every sense of the word- attractive oriental furnishings and lovely classical music playing attributed to a great dumpling experience.

San-Xian dumplings

And for the record, I also cannot resist a custard of any sort. From panna cotta, to creme brulee, to the humble Chinese egg-custard tart. When I realized that Ying's had these yummy morsels available, well, you can imagine my excitement. Dumplings AND egg-custard?! ZOMG!

Egg Custard Tart

These were quite good, in a standard probably previously frozen sort of way. Still, a nice way to finish off.

We had quite a nice lunch for less than $30 for the two of us, with Danny ordering sweet & sour chicken which he proclaimed to be better than average. I'd recommend this place for sure for those maddening dumpling cravings... I can't be the only one, can I?

Ying's Tea House & Yum Yum
4312 N High St
Clintonville, OH
11-8 M-F
11-9 S&S

Here's to half year anniversaries.

First and foremost, let me make a heartfelt apology for the recent lack of activity on my part. My grandpa has been in the hospital, and I've started college so I've been running short on the time department.

Secondly, let me just go ahead and raise a toast to celebrating half year anniversaries. Both my boyfriend and I have been drooling over the menu at Rosendale's every time we walk by, so he surprised me with flowers and a text message suggestion of "Rosendale's on the 27th?" last month. To be honest, I was really confused and trying to figure out if I missed an important event or something of that sort, but luckily I have a sappy and equally food oriented love who apparently likes to celebrate 4.5 year anniversaries. Yay!

So we dressed up real good and trott
ed off to Rosendale's post work on that very rainy evening in March, prepared to taste some pieces of heaven. We did not try the tasting menu, instead reserving judgement of this dinner to justify the expense later on. Let me say now, I'm itching to go back already. Here's our evening, in pictures.

le Popcorn

Romaine heart salad with creamy Goat Cheese emulsion, marinated Grape Tomatoes, Basil oil

Chef's soup - Tomato Soup with Parmesan Croutons

48 hour Short Ribs, Crushed Parmesan Potatoes, Red Wine froth, Rosemary Steeped Beef Jus

Short Ribs, ver 2

Honey glaze Pork Loin, Southern fried Spoonbread, Braised Greens, Sweet Potato Puree, Crispy Pork Rinds, Smoky Pork Jus

Pork, ver 2

Lemon Curd with Ginger Ice Cream, Toasted Meringue, Crushed Raspberries, Almond Streusel

Everything we had was just insanely delicious. If any complaints, I'd say that the popcorn was a tad bit soggy as though it had been sitting there just a few minutes too long. The pork was also just a tiny bit dry, but other than those tiny details the whole meal was just really, really good. To be fair, I went in expecting to be less than impressed because of all the good reviews but I understand them. Richard Rosendale knows what he's doing.

My favorite part of the evening? That ridiculously delicious, ridiculously complex lemon curd. It was an explosion of flavor and texture with every mouthful, from the tart curd to the sweet, marshmallow-y meringue on top. It was sublime.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Death by Macaron.

on Gift Box ($15)

Although Pistacia Vera (the bakery formerly known as Pistachio) has been around for a few years, there are still too many Columbusites that are ignorant to its existence. As a macaron-addict, and yet again proud Columbus foodie, I see it as my frank and honest duty to break this ignorance. From coworkers to friends, no one has escaped my fanatical love of these little beauties. I have spent way too much money on savoring the flaky, butter-y goodness. I shudder to think of how many pounds I have put on doing this, in fact. It's best not to think of it. Maybe I should get some more to help numb the pain.

A list of flavors in this box: Caramel Pecan; Rosewater Raspberry; Chocolate Chai; Gianduja; Apricot and something else I cannot remember; and Pistachio Lemon. This box was taken to a coworker's house after she so politely invited my best friend and I over to invade her space with jello shots and complaints about men. These make lovely presents to take for any occasion. Bring me some and I may love you forever. ;)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Nutritional expenditures.

Behold Vaughn!

Lately, thanks (or no thanks, depending on your point of view) to a lack of working stove and groceries, I have spent entirely too much money on the fine art of... dining out. Now, I've had a lot of experience in this delicate task so believe me when I say: Short North has some incredible eateries. Incredible, people. So many brilliant and unique culinary perspectives available in a matter of minutes. No, I'm definitely not regretting my decision to move. Starting from the eve of this grand new year to this very night, I have experienced some very, very delicious meals. Is this luck? Or is this just some sort of fluke, wave after wave of culinary brigade aimed to numb my brain and tease my senses? I'm not quite sure but either way, I know without a doubt that I will not be leaving with an empty stomach.

As you will no doubt come to know me through this blog, you will also come to understand that my love for Japanese food runs to a level so deep, it may seem inane. I could happily eat pork tonkatsu and sushi rice every day for the rest of my life. Speaking of which, am I the only crazy person that prefers a nice bowl of vinegar-y sushi rice to normal rice??? Say it ain't so!

As it happens, I tried two Japanese restaurants in the last month. Zen Sushi+ more is across the street from the convention center, and was patronized by me twice. Once, the weekend of Ohayocon in the company of two lovely Bostonian friends. The sushi was yummy, the company was great. Rewind to NYE- I seem to remember 6 of my beloveds gathered around a Japanese table low to the ground, our stockinged feet tucked underneath us and our chopsticks tucked into plate after plate of fresh sushi, crunchy tonkatsu and creamy mayo salmon. This place is quite delicious, fresh and fair priced.

Chicken Teriyaki


Spicy Salmon Roll

Also, I am quite addicted to these tasty morsels of joy. Spicy salmon rolls are a new love for me, but it's already very intense. I'm fond of intense love affairs- what's the joy in being bland? ;)

Now, because I am a proud Columbus foodie who takes the greatest pleasure in sharing deliciousness with others, I fed my Bostonians quite well on the 4 days they stayed before they left me on their little Skybus flight back to MA. I feel that I might have caused at least a 5lb weight gain for each of them. Sorry, loves! Before their flight home, I took them to a little restaurant almost synonymous with the Short North... Betty's! What can I say about Betty's? I'm in LOVE! We had these beautiful, beautiful Potato chip nachos... topped with melt-y cheese and served with a mountain of sour cream. The person who came up with this idea is a genius. I bow down to your greatness. Also eaten were: garden veggie pasta, cheesy hashbrown soup, beer brats, and some noodles. Seriously, I bow down.

Home made potato chip nachos

Beer brats

Also worth mentioning, I am ridiculously in love with Tip Top Kitchen's sweet potato fries. I crave them every day, and cry maniacally when I cannot grasp my greedy little fingers upon their sweet, golden, crunchy perfection. I sound a bit obsessed. I'm NOT. Promise. Don't sue me, please.

For a quick bite to eat, my darling Danny and I met up with beloved Vaughn and Thomas, and went to a little Thai restaurant on the corner of King in Grandview. I cannot remember the name, but apparently it took over the spot of a Tim Horton's. There's your trivia for the night. Quick bites of panang, pad thai, and curry made our tummies happy! Refer to beginning of entry for picture of teh rican.

The last gorgeous, beautiful meal I leave you with was devoured at Due Amici. Darling and I took some of my beloveds to dinner tonight, and after leaving the restaurant I was so inspired that I wrote this entry! Thank god for small miracles! As soon as my eyes landed on the Butternut Squash Ravioli- roasted root veggies, spaghetti squash, cranberry sage butter, I was a goner. I'm a nut for anything Butternut (ha ha, get it?? ... I apologize.) and this just called to me. Do any of you experience this when dining? Certain things just sing to you, taunting you with seductive whispers in your ears, lavishing with you with their... well, you get the idea. In any case, this was a gorgeous dish. It worked, and oh dear, I may be dreaming of it tonight. The rest of our meal included: Grilled Salmon, Chicken Parm, Chicken Alfredo all of which were pronounced quite lovely. For the record, Due Amici may have THE coolest bathroom in Columbus. Just sayin'.

Apologies for the horrid picture, lighting was pretty low. Order this!
Butternut Squash Ravioli.

Til next time!