Well hello there.  For some reason, I have not been able to publish a post in over 2 months?  Wow.  So there would be alot to cover if I tried to do a recap.  So I will just highlight my memories of summer 2010 through pictures and a few words.

ice cream

Yup.  That pretty much sums it up. :)



Blue Hill Tavern: Baltimore, MD

So, I guess I have been on a little (unplanned) hiatus from the blog.  Summer hit and busy times ensued.  I will probably pop in sporadically for the rest of the summer when I feel the urge, just like this dinner at Blue Hill Tavern a few weeks back.

I have been hearing great things about Blue Hill for awhile now, so when Mara wanted to take me out for a birthday dinner, I thought this would be a perfect place.  We both love food, so it is always fun to go out to eat together.  Sitting down and reviewing the menu, I had high hopes that Blue Hill Tavern could  be a new favorite.

Sangria.  White for me.  Red for her.  I was hoping for a little more fruit, but they were both refreshing and light.  And went down very easy.  We had two rounds.  

Since so many of the menu options looked delicious, we decided to split a whole bunch of things, so we could maximize the amount we each got to taste.
Crostini & SpreadsFeta Butter, olive tapenade.

This dish sold us on the Feta Butter, but it was more butter than feta.  In fact, neither of us tasted much feta.  The olive tapenade was almost too salty to eat.  Disappointing.

Fried Guacamole: tortilla crusted, salsa fresca

Fried Guacamole?  We had to try this.  I envisioned freshly made tortilla chips, each individually topped with a fried dollop of homemade guacamole.  Not so much.  The blue corn chips were bland and the large mound of fried guacamole did not taste homemade.  Salsa fresca also brought nothing to the table.  This was not worth the $9.

Calamari Salad: Cornmeal crusted, mixed greens, peanuts, cilantro, chili-lime vinaigrette

What a great ingredient combination for a salad!  While the calamari was tender, unfortunately, the remaining parts of the salad were drowned in dressing.  Our mistake for not asking this to come on the side, but the chili-lime vinaigrette tasted and looked more like a chili plum sauce.

Yellowfin Tuna: peppercorn encrusted, fried polenta cake, broccoli rabe, pickled watermelon rind, spiced watermelon barbecue sauce

A beautiful presentation, but it couldn't make up for the lack of flavor.  We both agreed we have never had seared tuna that flavorless and there wasn't nearly enough sauce on the plate.  The polenta cake was good, but the broccoli rabe was overcooked.  

Macaroni and Cheese

The mac & cheese was everything is should have been, but not the best I've ever had. The pasta was cooked well and the sauce was creamy and cheesy.  No complaints here.  We only wish that we had ordered two of these and called it a night.

It was extremely disappointing that the food didn't live up to our expectations.  Perhaps we just ordered the wrong things?  An off night?  It was beautifully decorated and the upstairs deck had a relaxed atmosphere.   Our server was attentive and friendly, but all of our appetizers and the salad came out at once.  It would have been nice to have things spaced out more evenly.   

Would I go back to Blue Hill?  Maybe.  But it would only be for the sangria and mac & cheese.

Blue Hill Tavern on Urbanspoon



The Tasting Room - Frederick, MD

This past Saturday, I met my friend Jen in Frederick for lunch and shopping.  Downtown Frederick is such a cute area with a bunch of unique shops.  I hadn't been shopping in awhile, so it was fun to explore and pick up some new things.  

We decided to try out The Tasting Room for lunch.
I started with a glass of Pinot Grigio that was refreshing and light.
They brought warm, crusty bread with butter.  I think the TR stencil on the butter was made from paprika.  Nice touch.  

We ordered a starter of grilled calamari with a spicy garlic/tomato sauce served over a piece of crusty bread.  This was absolutely delicious.  
I ordered the salmon, which came with a rice cake, wilted spinach & a sweet chili sauce.
Jen ordered the swordfish, which came with shrimp, crab, potatoes, & mushrooms in a cajun cream sauce.  

Both dishes were beautifully to look at and even better to eat.  I savored every single bite of my fancy lunch.  

The Tasting Room on Urbanspoon



Black Ankle Vineyard - Mother's Day

Mother's Day started out with a great brunch at Yellow Dog Tavern with my family, where I forgot to take any pictures.  ugh!

It continued later as a smaller group of our brunch crew headed out to Black Ankle Vineyards in Mt. Airy, MD. 
The tasting building is designed to be extremely eco-friendly.  The walls are insulated with straw and check out the live roof - love that!  (check out their website for more info and photos of the entire building process)
All moms received a complimentary tasting and a gerber daisy.
My grandmom decided to give me all of her tastes of wine, so I had a double tasting.  :)
After trying all the wines, we decided to enjoy a bottle of their award winner, Crumbling Rock, out on the patio.
Warm, crusty bread and cheese from a local creamery.
Great view.
Can I live here?  and drink wine, eat bread and cheese all day?  Please?
What a great way to spend celebrating mother's day!  (or any day for that matter)


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