Friday, June 01, 2012

Out and About Eating Adventures!

We have been getting out and about, trying new restaurants in Minnie as well as trying some new recipes at home. Here are some of the favorites over the past couple of weeks!

Al & Alma's is a long time treasure in the Lake Minnetonka area. It has some nice views of the lake and a nice diverse menu. We had a wonderful server who suggested some wonderful menu items. It was a wonderful place to have dinner and we had a ton of fun exploring the area!

We also checked out Seven Minneapolis. This is a Sushi/Steakhouse. We had been here a couple of times, but we had never had their steak. Our waitress really sold us on their steak though. She explained the different cuts and how they were sourced and cut specifically for Seven. We decided to share a 22 oz. rib-eye with hashbrowns and broccolini as sides. The whole meal was delicious, if you are ever in downtown Minneapolis, it is definitely worth checking out!

Friday the boy and I went to see The Avengers, but before heading to the movie, we decided to stop in at a MN classic, The Lion's Tap

They have a very limited menu where it is basically just burgers, cheeseburgers and french fries, but boy do they do burgers good! 

Our friends K & J from CT, who moved to NYC almost two years ago, turned us onto their seasoning. With summer and BBQ season here, we knew we had to pick up a couple for friends and family as well as J from CT, since his birthday was yesterday. I don't know what they put in it, but boy is it good. 
Seasoning - Click Image to Close
Memorial Day we had sister J over for some burgers on the grill, we all agreed, this made the burgers delicious! The other part that really helped. . . we split a quarter cow with a couple of friends. The cow came from a co-workers dad's farm. He raises Grass Fed Angus Breeding cattle and sometimes there is one that he doesn't sell so he butchers it. The flavor of the meat is phenomenal, but just knowing how good it is for us, makes it that much better. I definitely will continue to buy our beef this way. It also is less expensive than the store as it averages out to $2.10/lb. 

Saturday we slept in, and it was overcast and rainy, but we decided to head out to a pizza place that had been getting a lot of hype in the past year, Pizzeria Lola. It was even on the Food Network's Diners, Drive-Inns and Dives. 

They have a limited menu and kitchen, but everything we had was fabulous and delicious! They are of course known for their pizza, but we wanted to make sure we tried a little bit of everything. After putting our names in for a table and being told that we would have a 30 minute wait, we decided to stick it out. Luckily for us, two seats at the kitchen counter opened up, so we had a front row to all of the action going on in the kitchen.
This is the wood fired stove where everything is made (when I say everything, I mean everything, even their delicious chocolate chip cookies!).

We started with some marinated olives, can't go wrong with those, they had a nice little lemon flavor, we loved them and ate them up!
The boy and I each picked a pizza to try. I had The Iowan and the boy had My Sha-Roni! They were both delicious and I highly recommend giving it a try!
The Iowan - loved this - prosciutto, ricotta, mozzarella, garlic confit and arugula, delicious!
My Sha-Roni - the pepperoni's were SO tasty! House red sauce, which we watched them make a batch of, fresh, all natural ingredients, wonderful, natural casing pepperoni, house made fennel sausage. Both pizza's we would have again, but don't be fooled by these plain Jane's, they have a very interesting and diverse menu with eclectic toppings.

One of the things that I had read about was their home made soft serve vanilla ice-cream. All of the reviews absolutely raved about it, with the olive oil and sea salt topping. This sounded very strange to me, but I just had to try it because of all of the wonderful reviews!
You will note that I snuck in one of the boys chocolate chip cookies which he had with a shot of milk. The cookies were delicious as well and finished off with just a pinch of sea salt on top. Why I never thought of that I don't know. I love the sweet with the salt.

I also loved the decor at Pizzeria Lola's. The pizza plates were all mis-matched salad plates purchased from the thrift store, I loved how they were thrifty that way. They also had fresh cut flowers from the farmers market in tomato sauce cans, soda bottles and blue ball jars, so pretty and simple.

And my favorite, they have a photo booth in the back where you can go and have your picture taken with your dining companions, and also donate a strip to post along the back wall.
How cute is that? It was fun to look at all the pictures while waiting for our seat too! I love this place and can't wait to go back with friends. They also have a great beer and wine selection!

Sunday we were invited to our friend J's for a dinner party. It was a wonderful table of six, the conversation was wonderful, but of course, the food was the star!

Our started was hand created, with lots of creativity by our friend T (of T & J). Introducing, the Crabtini!
Unfortunately I couldn't eat it because I am allergic to crab, but everyone said it was wonderful, which I don't doubt for a second, he is such a wonderful cook! He even picked and cleaned the dandelion leaves earlier that day. 

J and sister J had just gotten back from a week in Rome, so there was a bit of an Italian theme going on. The next course was a wonderful antipasti plate.
Our next course was just a simple green salad, wonderful and simple.
Of course the main event was her wonderful Linguini with clam sauce. It was SO delectable, we all loved it! The boy had two helpings of course!
It was an absolutely wonderful evening. Such great friends, I love small dinner parties where the conversation just flows, the laughter never stops and memories are made to last a lifetime. SO lucky!

One last little foodie post. I just have to share with you what I have been having for breakfast every morning for the past few weeks, SO delicious! Greek plain, vanilla or honey yogurt, raspberries, blackberries and sometimes some strawberries and Trader Joe's low fat vanilla yogurt. SO good, this is what summer is all about to me!
Hard to believe this all happened in just a week, and these were just the highlights!

1 comment:

Jacky Hackett said...

That pizza looks amazing. This low-carb thing is no big deal, except for the fact I NEED pizza. TGIF, have a good one. We are celebrating the last day of school with happy hour in the front yard, wish you could come.