Date Night: Pier Oyster Bar

Published December 13, 2017 by microncat

Tonight Ginny and I went to Pier, which is a seafood restaurant located on S. Elm Street in Greensboro, directly across the street from Blue Denim and White & Wood.

Decor is clean and uncluttered, with a bar that is lit to resemble an aquarium.  We were seated immediately, and staff was attentive without being annoying.

The emphasis here is on oysters, which we didn’t realize until we had the menus in hand.  They have four or five varieties listed on the chalkboard on the wall, along with the catch and dessert of the day.  One whole section of the menu is reserved for various oyster dishes.

One disappointment was that there weren’t more fish choices on the menu.  There was the obligatory salmon dish, the ubiquitous seared tuna, and the fish of the day was swordfish.  Other choices included a burger, as well as shrimp and Old Mill of Guilford grits.

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We started with the clam chowder, which has chorizo, chili oil, and what they call “potato croutons” – that’s a fancy name for tiny cubes of potato fried crispy.  Ginny and I both love the clam chowder at Village Tavern, but this beats THAT all up one side and down the other.  This is absolutely the best clam chowder I’ve ever had, and I’d go back for the “chowdah” alone.

For entrees, we decided to split the crab cake app and the Seared Scallop entree.

The crab cake ($13) comes sitting on a potato cake, with slaw and a house-made remoulade.  I’m weird about slaw, and usually won’t eat it if I didn’t make it myself, but I tried this slaw and it was really good.  The crab cake was mostly crab meat –  just like I like ’em.

There was not. one. thing. on the scallop plate ($25) that wasn’t absolutely delicious.  The plate comes with four large scallops on a fried rice patty, roasted asparagus slices and roasted tomatoes in pan sauce and basil shreds.  It was amazing, and the only thing left when we were done was the lemon garnish.

Pier has an interesting drinks menu, as well.  I got a Pimm’s Cup, which I’ve seen in other places, but never ordered before.  IT WAS SMASHING!!!  Had to have two. 🙂

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Overall grade, A+ – Definitely would go back!

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Date Night: White & Wood

Published December 13, 2017 by microncat

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Last week, we had Date Night dinner at White & Wood, a new restaurant on S. Elm Street in Greensboro.  It’s located in the space formerly known as Fincastle’s, next door to Blue Denim.  Their “thing” is fresh, local, and trendy, as well as fancy cheeses and charcuterie.  The decor, as the name would suggest, is white walls and wood tables and floors.  (It’s not the source of the name, however; I heard the place is named after the two owners.)

Entree and app prices are on the high end of average for this area.  Cheese and charcuterie starts at $16 for two choices and goes up from there.  There are a TON of cheeses and cured meats to choose from, several of which, you’ve prolly never heard of.

Staff was friendly, and we were seated immediately, prolly because we were there fairly early – I think we arrived in the neighborhood of 6:15pm.  The place was much fuller when we left, as folks were steadily arriving the whole time we were there.  Seating is wooden tables, or at the bar.

Ginny ordered their burger offering, which is made from house-ground filet and ribeye, and has cheese an bacon, as well as an interesting barbecue sauce.  The burger is served on brioche, and comes with a side of fries, as shown.  That schmear is a housemade ketchup that was pretty good.  I got a taste of the burger and bacon, and it is HANDS DOWN the best burger AND the best bacon I’ve ever tasted.

I ordered the Poke app as my entree.  It comes with a schmear of avocado blended with lemon juice, house-made, herbed tortilla chips, tobiko and Asian pear, and is topped with finely shredded basil leaves.  I had them leave off the onions.  It was fantastic.

Only two things were strange at White & Wood.  First thing was the plates – they’re awful.  Having been a potter and made plates by hand, I really did not like the super flat slab profile of the dinnerware.  There was barely enough of an upturn on the edges of the slabs to keep juice or sauce from running off the sides.

The second weird thing was, A Smell.

One expects a restaurant to smell like whatever’s cooking, especially when a lot of the cooking is being done mostly out in the open.  There was nothing out of the ordinary, in terms of smell, until the very end of our meal, when suddenly, the whole place started to smell absolutely awful.  TBH, I thought someone at a nearby table was having what we’ll kindly call, <ahem>, gastric distress – but the smell didn’t die down.  At all.  Instead, it actually got stronger.  Usually, I’m the lucky one who smells things other people don’t, but this time, Ginny could smell it, too.  It was really baaaaad!  So the waiter comes to the table, and I just flat out asked him what the hell was so horribly stinky.  He said, “Oh, that’s one of our cheeses coming out of the toaster.”  I asked if it was Limburger, but he said it was a Shropshire cheese being toasted for someone’s app.  O to the M to the G.  It was awful.  I love cheese, but I don’t think I could have eaten anything that smelled like that.

Overall grade is A, though, ‘cuz the food and service were both damn good.  Definitely would go back.

Restaurant Review: NOLA

Published September 26, 2017 by microncat

Oh wow, it’s been a minute, huh?  Haven’t posted since May.  Well, it’s been a busy summer!

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Tonight we went to a new restaurant on New Garden Road called NOLA.  The place is located in the building that started life as a Carrabba’s (why oh WHY did they close???), and then changed to a diner called “Stan’s”, where we never ate before they changed again to NOLA.  As the name suggests, the theme is New Orleans-style cuisine.

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The menu has a lot to offer, but is predictably seafood-heavy.  On the back side of this page, there are salads, pasta, sides and drinks.  They carry ice tea and Pepsi products, so that’s two in their favor, IMO. 😉  We felt that the pricing was a little high for this type of restaurant – which retains a sort of “diner” feel – in this area.  YMMV on that one.

Although the restaurant has a bar (left over from its Carrabba’s days), we didn’t order alcohol.  I did see a couple nice looking martinis on another table, and their beer pour appeared to be generous, with no foam.  I had unsweetened iced tea (who’s surprised?), and they make great tea!  Ginny had water.

The waitress brought some garlic bread for the table.  The garlic top was pretty good, because, HELLO, GARLIC AND BUTTER – what’s not to love? But the bread part was meh.

As we often do, Ginny and I ordered one platter and a couple of apps to share.  Apps included a bowl of gumbo ($7.95) and Scallop Bites ($10.95).  The platter was the Fried Trio, which included Alligator, Shrimp and Catfish, with two sides ($27.95 if I remember right.)

The gumbo was thick and we both agreed, very much like glue – although it was some damn fine tasting glue!  The glue part, though, was underneath a big spoon of rice, some of which was undercooked, and what I thought were nice portions (for a bowl of soup) of shrimp, fish, and sausage.  The Andouille was black-pepper heavy, so I won’t get that again.  We both enjoyed the scallop bites – excellent portion size for lunch – and the fried platter was delicious, y’all.  I love alligator, and this is prolly the best alligator I’ve ever had – INCLUDING the alligator I had when we were in NOLA last May.  The batter has a hint of celery seed that really sets it off, and that white sauce you see in the picture there is ON POINT.  We both thought the catfish should have been rolled in cornmeal instead of battered tho.  Battered catfish is just weird.

For those of you who are interested, I did ask the waitress if the fish is wild-caught or farm raised.  She told us that the tilapia is farm raised (yuck!) but that everything else is wild-caught.

The decor had hits and misses.  I like the round, iron rings with marbles and wood that divides the room in this picture of Ginny in our booth:

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However, I was not a fan of the color scheme, nor of the upholstery.  You can see the Clash of the Circles and Dots in this shot of the left-side wall, here:

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See why I said it still felt like a diner inside?

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Oh, I almost forgot!  Each booth has two charging stations on each side of the table, so you can hook up your mobile device while you eat.

 

 

 

Overall, I’d say it was good, but we prolly won’t go back for awhile.  I’m likely to go back for the Alligator Bites app at lunch, tho. 🙂

Bonus Date: @ElmStreetGrill

Published May 13, 2017 by microncat

After seeing a video @EricChilton put up on Facebook about this place, I wanted to try it out, and it did not disappoint!  We were greeted at the door by Ravi, the owner, and led to a big booth near the windows.  We checked out the menu while he went to fill drinks.

According to the video, Ravi is from India, and that is reflected in the menu.  He has taken fusion to a different level, crossing cultures around on the plate.  Ginny got Chicken Tikka Tacos, and I got Jambalaya, which definitely had a different taste than one would expect.

The food was delicious!  Service was great, as well.  Ravi says they have over 400 reservations for mother’s day, so you prolly can’t go there this weekend, but definitely check them out; we will be back!

Date Night at Dame’s

Published May 13, 2017 by microncat

Well, there’s a Salvadoran restaurant on MLK Drive, or so says Ethnosh, but when we got there, they were closed.  We ended up four doors down, at Dame’s Chicken and Waffles.  I have heard folks rave about how great the food is, and we were there, so we went.  

It’s a dark place inside, with dark paint and concrete floors.  They only serve three pieces of chicken: legs, the biggest wings in history, and breast cutlet.  I was really wishing for thighs; I prefer “dark” meat, but no joy.  

Almost everything is served with a waffle of one kind or another.  I ordered a breast cutlet with classic waffle and orange honeycomb schmear.  

The breast was, as dreaded, dry, and the waffle was soft instead of crunchy. 😟

Service was fantastic, and the live 🎸 was **on point**, but IDK why folks are excited about this place; we definitely were not.

Date Night: Frida’s

Published May 1, 2017 by microncat




So this is about a month ago, but there is a new Mexican place in Kernersville called “Frida’s”.  It has a Frida Kahlo theme.  Frida was a Mexican painter, and she is one of my favorites.  This is the mural on the back wall.  Whoever did it, did a great job!

Ginny and I went there for lunch the end of March.  I ordered the ceviche appetizer as an entree, and it would serve at least three people.  I had it for four meals, lol.  It was gorgeous, and tasted as good as it looks!

Ginny got ye olde Speedy Gonzalez, if I remember right.  Their enchilada sauce is good!

This is the People Greeter.

This is the bar area.  Interestingly, the peeps in the bar were kids from Bishop McGuiness High School, all dressed up from some event.  They were very polite, and thanked the staff when they left.

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