Sunday, January 31, 2016

Khoi's Birthday Part 1: Z Cucina

Khoi finally turned 26! I'm 1.5 months older than him, and if anyone asks how old we are between our birthdays, it makes me a little anxious...but he finally joined me in old age and we are the same age again! 26 is a big deal because we are officially in our late 20's now (*cries*).

I've been eyeing a couple of restaurants that I wanted to treat him out to, and I finally decided on Z Cucina because 1) he loves Italian food, and 2) this restaurant is ranked #1 in Columbus on TripAdvisor, meaning that people from all over the US must think that this restaurant has some of the best Italian food. Hence, reservations made. 

What a beautiful place. And I don't know what's up with that smouldering expression, but I like it ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Our dranks -- nero pompelmo (left) and spiced pear fizz (right). Both were extremely refreshing. 

Handmade Italian salumi -- this was incredible. They had proscuitto and duck, and some amazing pickled veggies (which I usually don't like). Even the olives were good, and I usually hate olives. 

Baked ricotta gnocchi - this was a vegetarian dish. I ordered it even though I'm essentially a carnivore because the waitress promised me that it's delicious and it was indeed. It's just so savory and the flavors were great. Also, the waitress said that the gnocchi is huge, but I just thought she meant bigger than usual -- turned out that the dish is one enormous gnocchi the size of my palm lol. I don't know why this was so funny to me but I kept laughing while eating it.

Lasagna - Khoi's dish. This was probably the best lasagna I've ever eaten everywhere. It's just so intensely rich, with mascarpone cheese, and I love how it came in an individual cast iron dish. So pretty and so tasty. 

Our dessert sampler to share -- peanut butter cheesecake, caramel pots de creme, and tiramisu. This was great but so intensely rich, and we were already so stuffed at this point that we could only polish off half of each item. Sadness :(

So stuffed and happy after our meal huzzah! The couple next to us offered to take our photo, so nice of them. I loved this restaurant -- everyone from the valet, the hostess, the waitress, and even the other patrons were so warm and sweet, and the restaurant itself is gorgeous. 

1368 Grandview Ave
Columbus, OH 43212
(614) 486-9200

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Anniversary Dinner: J. Gilbert's

Khoi and I celebrated our two year anniversary last week with some yummy food. Some pics...

My X-rated Martini and his red wine. The drink was very yummy but too strong for me >.<

An enormous boule of bread to start

 Maryland crab bisque, this was very rich with a generous amount of crab -- 'tis impossible to dislike. 

Maytag blue cheese potato chips, oh man. These were really highly rated, but we did not expect so much...I was already starting to feel full before we started the entrees. 

My food! 4 oz filet and scallop combo, with sides of brussels sprouts and potato au gratin. Everything tasted incredible and this was my first time ordering steak at a restaurant, so it was such a treat. Even the sides were top notch, I could eat them as my main and be happy.  

Khoi's 18 oz bone-in ribeye with sides of mac n' cheese and creamed corn. His steak was hugeeeee. 

Berries and cream for dessert, we settled on something light to cleanse our palates after the meal. 

My man nomming happily ^^

I took home the leftovers and got another gourmet meal at home :D This place is one of my favorites in Columbus and I definitely wouldn't mind eating here again.

1 E Campus View Blvd
Columbus, OH 43235
(614) 840-9090

Monday, January 11, 2016

Winter Trip LA: Summary

It's been so long since I last posted that the entirety of the holiday season has passed ( guilty). 3rd year of med school is as vicious as they say, but I'm 2/3 of the way through and hopefully I'll have more time to cook and post during 4th year. During my winter break, I vacationed for a week in LA and wanted to share some photos. 

Downtown Disney! Khoi and I really wanted to go to Disneyland actually but the holiday season is awful, and after weighing pros and cons, it wasn't worth it to pay $150 per person to to wait in line all day. And honestly, the Downtown Disney area was pretty magical in and of itself.

Lilo and my Stitch!

We also went to Anaheim Packing District to hang out with one of my old college roomies, Laurel. Anaheim Packing district is a high end large marketplace with a variety of small eateries, similar to the North Market in Columbus but slightly fancier. I tried a delicious popsicle at Popbar here, but the photo was too blurry, so sad :(

While we didn't wanna wait for Disneyland, waiting for The Broad was much more manageable since it was only a couple of hours. The Broad is a relatively new museum in DTLA, with tickets that can be reserved (a few months in advance) or via standby so we waited for standby. Truth be told, our goal was to see The Infinity Room but by the time we made it into the museum, reservations for the room were already gone for the day. 

But there was some nice (and some creepy) art that was overall worth seeing, especially considering that the museum is free. 

What a cutie :D

In terms of food, I had one of the best cocktails of my life at Perch, a popular rooftop bar in DTLA with a gorgeous view of the city. We were there for the view (I couldn't get a good picture on my DSLR) but the food impressed me too. The cocktail I had was the penicillin and man oh man I gotta make this the next time I have a cold.

Khoi and I met up with another one of my friends for lunch in DTLA at Bottega Louie, which is an enormously beautiful restaurant that has over 12,000 reviews (!!!) on Yelp. Look at him so pleased with his Italian soda. 

Meanwhile, I had one of the most amazing desserts that I've ever had. I don't really know what it is, but it has mango and white chocolate, and it deserves a 5 star review because I definitely cannot make something this tasty myself. 

While not as tasty, I did make a pretty mean tiramisu for a holiday party using this recipe -- I've made this recipe numerous times before, but this has been the best one and I'm going to stick to it for years to come. Also, at this point I've made tiramisu with rum, whiskey, wine, and kahlua, and kahlua is hands down the best. 

Happy belated holidays everyone! I'm sorry to be so MIA but I post when I can and hopefully I'll have more time in the future, please don't think that this blog is dead just yet.