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Posts Tagged ‘clam chowder’

The best meal we had in Chicago a few weekends ago was the last one. Thanks to my awesome cousin who rules Chicago and her suggestion, we went to GT Fish & Oyster. It’s a gorgeous and fun setting, the service was fantastic and the food phenomenal. Easily the best meal of the year so far. Thank you, Chicago!

The menu is made up of small plates so it’s best to order a few. Or five thousand. As we did. Our server was so awesome and he made it really fun for us as we told him we were celebrating Nora’s birthday. Also – he could have sold us a plate of salt if he wanted to. He had us in the palm of his hand. If he suggested we try one more thing, we did. If he suggested we get more drinks, we did. Dessert to split? Yes, please!

So we ordered a lot. I am showing approximately four percent of the dishes that actually came to us. Starting with the clam chowder as you see above. Isn’t it cute how it was presented? And it was so good. You know I love me some clam chowder.

We got some oysters, duh:

Do you know how much fun it is to like oysters? I am so glad I am a fan. Here is an oyster I don’t remember which kind (shame on me for slacking with my Oysterpedia app!) and some mignonette on top. Delicious.

This was PHENOMENAL. Black gnocchi with squid ink, carrot lobster broth, prawns and fiddlehead ferns. AMAZING. I love gnocchi (esp when it’s good) and I love prawns. Excellente.

This is the lobster roll. They were kind enough to cut it in three for us. Also delicious. I’m excited because it’s going against The Mermaid at this year’s Tasting Table Lobster Roll Rumble, which naturally I’ll be at. Also the fried onions behind it – normally couldn’t care less. NOPE. Delicious and addicting.

The last picture of food I’m going to post is the lobster mac and cheese:

Ok these are my favorite kind of noodles that mac and cheese is made with. Yes. And they brought this dish to us last, which we appreciated, so it didn’t fill us up in the beginning (like I said before – we ordered five thousand other things I am not posting.) Perfect.

An all-around excellent meal. I can’t talk it up enough. If you go to Chicago, you must absolutely, absolutely go here. And here’s one last photo of me and my ladies before Kayti and I headed back to Michigan and said goodbye to Nora and my newfound love and appreciation of Chicago:

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I like hamburgers. My favorite hamburger in Michigan is at Red Coat Tavern in Royal Oak. Btw, they don’t even have a website. I have loved Red Coat Tavern for years. They have THE best burgers and THE best clam chowder. EVER! Sigh… I always tell Kelly about it, and one day we will both be in Michigan at the same time and one day we will both be at Red Coat Tavern.

Remember when you had a job in high school and every paycheck was just play money? We used to take our play money over to Red Coat. Me, my homeboy Eugene, and Michelle. Oh… those were the days. Phone bills? Rent? Never! Just hamburgers and Coney Islands. So when I’m home in the D, I like to bring back those memories with those people. And it’s kind of great. So take a look at the most glorious burger and plot Red Coat Tavern on your map if you’re going to be in Michigan.

By the way, it’s really dark in Red Coat Tavern and the lights are red and the booths are red which is why this photo looks the way it does because when we first got there I didn’t want to annoy people with my flash. But when we got the burgers I thought one flash picture and people could get over it. So why is the clam chowder so great? Well first, it’s probably the thickest clam chowder you’ll ever have and that scores huge points with me. Also, the chunks of potatoes and clams are plentiful. There’s really not much else to say. The best thing to do is get a cup of chowder and split the burger with a friend. Or get your own, I won’t judge. And when you split the burger, they split it for you and you each get your own pickle spear. Yay!

Btw, when we were there, I got a parking spot right in front of Red Coat which has never happened in all my life. It gets packed and there’s always a wait and I felt like I had won some major lottery with that parking spot. And I laughed to myself because parking spots is such a funny thing to care about, especially since I never think about that in NYC.

And there you have it folks, one of my top 5 favorite restaurants in Michigan and THE best burger in town: Red Coat!

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Sometimes you need to trust the locals.

As I said yesterday, one of the things I really wanted to do while I was in Boston was to get some clam chowder. D’s friend Mike, who we were staying with, recommended the Barking Crab with the caveat that he didn’t really like seafood. So I didn’t think I wanted to check it out. Flash forward to finding myself faced with the Barking Crab and realizing I wanted to check it out after all.

This place looks like a party. I imagine they take the roof off in the summer but I am such a huge fan of communal dining (sharing tables with strangers) and the mood here was just fun. And it’s on the water.

Unfortunately for us, we both got the clam chowder, which I’d say was not as good as the two clam chowders I had in Florida (not to mention the one at Mermaid Inn). I did, however, see other people with crab cake dishes and lobster dishes and those just looked amazing. Also, I happened to very much love the crab on the bowl. Too cute. I would love to go back to the Barking Crab. At night. In the summer. Drinking beer. Cracking lobster.

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This is Lure Fish Bar. I would say dining there is like dining on a fancy boat, but I’ve never dined on a fancy boat. But I think that’s what they want you to think. So it’s pretty impressive. The floors are even made of wooden planks in some areas, which for people in heels is very slippery! So the restaurant is very fancy looking but I’m going to say it wasn’t my favorite. Actually I feel like I haven’t been impressed by a nice restaurant in awhile. I went to Applewood in Brooklyn with some other restaurant bloggers and haven’t even written about it yet because it was good but it just wasn’t great. Maybe I’ll get to that.

But Lure. I had New England Clam Chowder as an appetizer.

It was good but it was no Mermaid Inn. What was really good? That lychee martini sitting right back there behind my chowder. Love lychee martinis.

So Lure is a fish restaurant and sushi bar but I had read somewhere that they had one of the best burgers in the city. But I was an idiot and didn’t realize there is a difference between their regular burger and their Lure Style Burger. Excuuuuse me. I did NOT see it on the menu and what I ended up getting was nothing but lackluster and a waste of time. And definitely cooked beyond the medium rare I ordered. You know it wasn’t good because I only ate half of it and let the other half get thrown away. Everyone had made fun of me for getting a burger at a fish restaurant and I was SET on proving them wrong, but in the end, they all got me! So don’t make that rookie mistake!

Missy’s looked good though:

And so did everyone else’s (please ignore the unsightly burger!)

My friends looked good too:

So basically what I have to say about Lure comes down to this: it is a very interesting spot, and I fear I may need to give it a second chance. I just won’t be in a hurry.

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This is a lobster salad sandwich. That I ordered and my sister ate. And his is the last of City Mitten: Naples, Florida and I would say I’ve saved the best for last but the best was obviously Michelbob’s. Still, The Riverwalk at Tin City has its own special spot too.

So, we had Clam Chowder twice in one day. I told you that. And The Riverwalk is kind of known for their chowda. It’s dang good. So that was our chowder number two.

Emily is not pleased I am staring at her eating her chowder. She probably thought I was going to steal it! I stole her grouper and chips instead. Mmm, mmm.

Yeah, the Riverwalk is pretty good. It’s right on the water and you can see all the boats, which is fun. It’s also in Tin City which is basically an awesome assortment of shops full of things you’ll never want and never need. Knick knacks and tacky jewelry and t-shirts and tons of ugly things that I would defriend you for if I saw you buy. It’s so ridiculous. But it makes it fun.

Yayyy, Tin City!

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Why is Florida so hilarious? Dolly’s Produce Patch may be a restaurant, but it also may be a senior citizen community center. But so is pretty much the entire state of Florida. Take a look at the inside of Dolly’s:

Oldies. Oldies. Oldies. And random chairs with random plates and random things on the wall. It’s frigging fantastic. Such a world that I am rarely a part of.

Now is the part when I tell you that one day in Florida this past weekend, E and I had clam chowder twice in one day. It just happened. First, of course, was Dolly’s:

Delisherous. And I’m aware of how I just spelled that. We also ordered sandwiches – egg salad and a tuna melt, which we both shared. Here’s the melt:

And here’s Emily eating her egg salad sandwich:

They also sell honey and muffins and pies and other baked goodies:

I bet this pie is delicious. You can also hang out with mannequins!

Or buy strawberries, which you know we did.

Dolly’s is in Bonita Beach and as you can see it’s a pretty interesting spot. And the food is good too! They also serve breakfast, which maybe we can make it to the next time I’m in good ol’ Flordy.

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I could not have asked for a better birthday. This year went without a hitch. Above is the chocolate mousse we all had at The Mermaid Inn, where I chose to have my fabulous birthday dinner. Of course, mine was the only one with a candle. :)

First the day began with a snow day:

Then I came out of the shower to this on my chalkboard heart:

So from now on, whoever comes and visits me gets the privilege (and duty) of drawing on my chalkboard heart. During the day Kayti and I went to my favorite restaurant in the West Village for lunch and if you don’t know what that is by now, you’ll have to stay tuned for another post. Then we walked all around town, ending up in Soho to do some “shopping” (bought nothing). Then was nap time and preparation for the most fabulous dinner.

First: Look at all the drinks above. They gave us complimentary glasses of Prosecco for the table and then we also had two bottles of wine. And Missy had that beer. Ha!

Second: I love my friends. I had six of my favorite people with me and our time together was just hilarious. How I got to know such awesome people is beyond me. Lucky, lucky.

Third: I absolutely LOVE The Mermaid Inn. It was my first time there and it was beautiful and the food was delicious and the service was flawless. If I were to recommend a nice dinner in the city, Mermaid is now at the top of my list.

And they have their logo on the butter:

And here’s a really awesomely bad photo of all the food on the table (Mike, I’m still working on the white balance!):

Let’s see. We had two lobster sandwiches (one was mine!), one cod, two trouts, one salmon, and one shrimp avocado sandwich. Oh, and for appetizers there was some lobster bisque and New England clam chowder, and I have major love for the latter. I love everything. I love the Mermaid Inn. A lot.

There’s always so much pressure to plan a birthday party and everyone was really pleased with Mermaid and said they wanted to come back and that made me really happy. It was especially important for my birthday to be spot on, being the restaurant girl, and it was. Holler.

Missy and I really impressed with the butter.

Group shot!

Me ladies.

Miss lovely Stephanie.

Chocolate mousse cheers.

P.

And an awkward family photo… Happy Birthday to me!

The rest of the night was spent traipsing around the city: The Bourgeois Pig, CV at The Hotel on Rivington and finally, an endless dance party at Pianos with just the girls. Oh boy, did we have too much fun. :)

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