Two amazing dinners celebrating the bounty of the Spring marketplace and the warm sunny days to come.
I recently took my Wife out on a date night to ENOSteak, which is the steakhouse at the Ritz Carlton Hotel here in Orange County. But first, I’d like to take a moment and discuss the importance of a date night – just because you’re married does not mean that you stop dating your spouse! When you’re dating someone you are getting to know them, you are studying and learning, you are opening up and sharing, you are connecting with someone on a very special and deep level. Far too many times when people get married they stop growing together and get bogged down in living their day-to-day lives. In fact, if dating is studying the one you love then marriage should be getting a doctorate in the one you love; that’s how much energy should be focused into your relationship. OK OK… My rant is over but I feel it’s a very important point to get across.
So now that we admit Date Night is a crucial aspect to any relationship I want to link it all in with the Mediterranean lifestyle. Eating out is not something I do very often – most meals are prepared at home or at the very least are “semi-homemade.” I don’t go out to eat for great food; I go out to celebrate special occasions, for social events, for convenience if I’m exhausted. This is a very Mediterranean concept because if you ask anyone in Spain or Italy, etc… “Where is the best food?” The answer will always be something like: “at my mom’s house” or “my grandma’s house” or “uncle so and so makes the best…” The best food is always at home but “going out” is for celebrations and special occasions and for me Date Night is a very important celebration.
Back to the amazing dinner at ENOSteak! What drew me to this restaurant is the quality of the beef – all the beef is Prime Grade and Grass-fed. Of course all the produce and ingredients is organic and sourced from local high quality sources but I would expect that from the dining room at the Ritz Carlton. The beef did not disappoint! It was full of flavor, tender and juicy; my Wife and I ordered the Bone-in Rib Eye Steak and we split it. Splitting an entrée is a healthy way to enjoy richer foods because in America you can pretty much expect serving sizes to be double what they should be and it’s an economical cost saving option. The restaurant is very small, cozy and intimate with a glass floor to ceiling wine cellar in the middle. My Wife and I were seated in an intimate little table next to fireplace and it added a wonderful romantic touch to the evening. The food was delicious and even at this moment the memory of the Summer Truffle Mac & Cheese makes me drool!
ENOSteak at the Ritz Carlton Menu
- Free-range Chicken Liver French Country Pate with Multi-grain Toasts
- Organic Pointe Reyes Blue Cheese Wedge Salad
- Summer Truffle White Cheddar Macaroni & Cheese
- Bacon Fat Sautéed Organic Green Beans with Spicy Pistachios
- 16 oz. Prime Grass-fed Bone-in Rib Eye Steak with Provencal Herb & Garlic and Truffle Butters on the side
- Chocolate Ganache Soufflé with Chocolate & Coffee Ice Cream
- French Press Coffee with Cream
- Digestif of Remy Martin VSOP
- Witness Tree, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon, 2008
Sunday Supper Spanish Spring BBQ
The other Sunday we had the warm beginnings of Spring with a hot 80+ degree day and clear blue sky. It inspired me to go out and start using the grill! Our recent trip to Whole Foods Market found massive assortments of different vegetables and fruits all locally grown and organic (an admitted benefit of living in California). I had the luxury of picking and choosing the freshest most flavorful ingredients all grown within miles of where I live. Trader Joes market has a great low-cost assortment of different olives and pickles are delicious and natural without any of the chemicals and dyes found in commercial brands. I bought a jar of small French olives, a mixed Greek marinated set, and Spanish olives stuffed with garlic. Having all this delicious food and a table filled with loved ones reminds me the very fact that the greatest joys in life come when Good Food, Great Wine, and Excellent Company come together.
Spanish Spring BBQ Menu
- Aperitivo: Mixed Olives, Nitrate/Nitrite Free Salame
- Organic Black Bean Sopa De Frijoles with Nitrate/Nitrite Free Black Forest Smoked Bacon
- Steamed Organic Carrot Medley (Purple, White, Orange, Yellow) Pan Sautéed with Organic Ghee from Grass-fed Cows
- Grilled Sweet Peppers drizzled with Spanish Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Fresh Herbs
- Organic Free-range Spanish Wine Country Grilled Chicken and Grilled Spanish Chorizo from Pastured Pigs
- Stunned Spinach Salad with Lemon Juice and Spanish Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Saint Angel Triple Crème French Brie, Organic Raw Local Sage Honey, Truffle Oil infused Spanish Marcona Almonds
- Whole Foods Bakery French Country Sourdough Bread “Pain De Campagne”
- Wine: Cellar No. 8 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2008
- Digestif: Remy Martin VSOP