Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Local Foodie Moment: The Barn at Rocky Fork Creek

Happy Hump Day friends!  What better way to start it off than with a review of Cameron Mitchell's newest restaurant concept The Barn at Rocky Fork Creek.  But first, a quick Happy Birthday to my husband Chris and best friend Coco as well as Happy Anniversary to my inlaws!  What a coincidence all these people I care about get to be celebrated on the same day!
Ok back to business, three of my gal pals (Kourt, Amy and Heathe) and I spent our evening at The Barn cocktailing, dining and catching up on some much needed girl talk.

Pretty ladies!

CM restaurants are always impeccably thought out and decorated so I couldn't wait to see how they'd make a barn concept work.  To say they made it work would be an understatement, in this case they basically nailed it.  From the time you arrive to the time you leave all of the details and aspects of service transport you to a very chic countryside.

View from the outside

Waiting area

We of course started with cocktails, I got the Barn Lemonade made with gin, fresh lemon and honey.  It was super refreshing and delightful.  My girls mixed it up!  Heathe got one of the Woodford Reserve Barn Whiskies, these are bourbons uniquely blended for The Barn only.  Amy got the Hurricane Punch: two kinds of rum, fresh passion fruit and oregat.  This packs a punch but the passion fruit flavor makes it very fresh, not syrupy.  Kourtney got the Mary Pickford: tequila, fresh pineapple juice and grenadine.  

Cocktails! (Clockwise starting in the left corner: Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Hurricane Punch, Barn Lemonade and Mary Pickford.

Then we decided to split some appetizers.  We ended up with the Spinach Artichoke dip, made with provolone and gruyere cheeses which made it rich and velvety, definitely heightening the flavors.  We also got the Baked Oysters Bingo: baked oysters with creamed spinach, lemon garlic aioli and Parmesan cheese. 

Appetizers: Spanish Artichoke Dip and Baked Oysters Bingo

Now most who know me know I'm not much of a seafood girl especially not an oyster girl!  But I was feeling adventurous and the girls promised me I wouldn't die from it (so kind).  Turns out, I liked it!  Since they were cooked and mixed with enough other cheesey, delicious things there definitely wasn't a fishyness like I expected.  Wooohoo chalk one up for Steph on the new taste sensations list!

The is me surviving the oyster experience, Chris almost didn't believe it!

Next was dinner selections.  Amy and Heathe got The Barn's BBQ Ribs which is actually an appetizer but it comes with a side of fries making it a perfect dinner option.  I snagged a bite of ribs and they were super tender and delicious.

The Barn's BBQ Ribs

Kourt got the Prime Rib served with a baked onion, au jus and horseradish cream and a side of mashed potatoes.  She loved it! 

Prime Rib with baked onion and mashed potatoes

I got the Beef Brisket served over Texas Toast with BBQ sauce and I swapped braised greens for mac and cheese.  Probably should have stuck with the braised greens as the mac and cheese was pretty disappointing, greasy and not very creamy.  As you've seen in previous posts, I like my mac and cheese to be creamy and have plenty of sauce to it, dry or greasy seems to be a crime against the dish in my mind.  BUT the brisket was pretty darn fabulous, so much so I ended up with the delectable house made BBQ sauce in quite a few spots on my white shirt (not exactly the most practical fashion choice but I digress).

Beef Brisket

Mac and Cheese

Overall we were very pleased with our meals.  Our service was pretty impeccable, which I've come to expect of CM restaurants as they set quite an industry standard.  The price point is a little higher than your typical BBQ joint but as most would agree, CM restaurants are not usually "typical" concepts.

Main dining area

The atmosphere was unique, the best way I could describe it would be: rustic elegance.  It had all the character and charm of the country without getting your boots dirty!  Definitely a fun experience worth the extra few minutes to get there. 

The Barn at Rocky Fork Creek on Urbanspoon
This review is on Urbanspoon!

With this chilly weather I have more time to cuddle up with my laptop and blog so be on the lookout for more LFM's, shoes and recipes!

Cheers!
Steph

Monday, October 13, 2014

Happy 2nd Blogiversary WWSV!

Happy Monday everyone!  My blogiversary came and went over the weekend, I totally missed it because I was busy celebrating this STUNNING couple's love story at their nuptials in Detroit!  Shaina and Jeffrey are my new cousins from my husband's side of the family, lots of laughter, love and fun (and spirits) were shared on what was a perfectly sunny fall day in Michigan!

Congratulations to the newlyweds!
A family photo with my inlaws, a pretty group if I do say so myself!

So to my readers who've hung with me through the not so frequent postings lately, I want to thank all of you for your support!  A lot has happened in the last two years since starting this blog: engagements, weddings, career changes and a lot of shoes and vodka (and food) in between!  I ask you to continue to stick with me and to take a minute out of your day today to spread some positive energy.  Mondays can be rough, so do a little something to send good vibes up against the Monday blues!

Also special thanks to friends and family for their help and support; who patiently don't touch their food before eating at a new restaurant, let me snag bites of their dishes, accept the fact that no event in my life goes without a great pair of kicks and who inspire me each day! 

I look forward to plenty more blogging fun to come!

Cheers!
Steph

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Red Blooms!

With the drop in temps I figured I better share the newest members to my shoe closet before it's too cold!  I found these pretty red lace up pumps on 6pm.com and couldn't pass them up.


I took these on their first spin to a bridal shower, accenting a chambray dress.  My darling friend Brittany was my incredibly patient photog so these shoes could shine (thanks B!)!

B and I with the bride to be!

Then they got a night on the town at a bachelorette party!  They got loads of compliments and had a great time dancing the night away.  We were having so much fun that I didn't get to snap a picture of their big night out but here's one from the party bus!  I paired them with a black one shoulder dress and chunky red necklace.
The bride to be's Nauti Crew on the party bus!
Now that it's too chilly to be by the pool I'm hoping to get more blog posts up as I'll be cooped up!  Lots of LFMs and recipes to come!

Cheers!
Steph

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

LFM: 614 Restaurant Week: Oliver's, Downtown

Well it seems like being behind on blogging is becoming all too common in my life, get it together Steph!  I hereby solemnly swear to step up my game!  Ok, now let's talk Restaurant Week, which was like forever ago but oh well!


With such a hectic summer its hard to make it to too many places during Restaurant Week but we at least made it to one with our friend Asha.  Oliver's is the newest member of the FAB Dining Group family, spearheaded by Yvonne Sarber, in good company with Manifesto, DeNovo and Fin (formerly Chez du Bon).  This was on my list to try since I heard about it this winter.  If nothing else I couldn't wait to see what the FAB team did to decorate this unassuming Lynn Alley spot.

Patio seating

In typical fashion they created an environment that's eclectic, unique and transforms your dining experience.  In as few words as possible, it's a classed up downtown sports bar.  Exposed brick, TV's everywhere with a mix of comfortable raised booths and high top tables, it's an urban chic place focused on good booze and good food with sizable portions.

the bar area

So first we started with cocktails, I got a dirty martini.  Since Oliver's prides themselves on their bourbon selection it seemed to make sense for Chris and Asha to get bourbons on the rocks.  I haven't quite ventured to the bourbon side of life, hence the martini.

None of us actually ordered from the Restaurant Week menu as the burgers caught our eyes instead.  I got the Sliders, a trio of short rib mini burgers topped with manchego cheese, lettuce and tomato.  To make the meal more substantial (not realizing the portion size) I ordered a side of the Mac and Cheese, six cheese blend, cavatappi noodles and sour cream bechamel.  The burgers were cooked perfectly, fabulously juicy and very flavorful.  Was a little turned off that they assumed I wouldn't want ketchup and it wasn't served with condiments (I practice safe eating, always use condiments!) but with quality beef and cheese I suppose it's not entirely necessary.  The Mac and Cheese was pretty disappointing, not very cheesey and committed one of the cardinal sins of mac and cheese making: being dry.  I want those noodles practically swimming in cheesey goodness please!

Sliders and Mac and Cheese

Asha got The Downtown Juicy Lucy, 1/2 pound short rib burger stuffed with cheddar and gruyere topped with caramelized onions and chipotle aioli with a side of garlic fries.  She said this was good but since the cheese was in the middle of the burger there was less cheese flavor throughout.  The garlic fries were really yummy (I snagged one to taste!).

Downtown Juicy Lucy

Chris got the BBQ Burger, 1/2 pound short rib burger topped with pulled pork, pickled onions, sweet slaw and the house blueberry BBQ sauce with a side of sweet potato fries.  He said it was good but nothing to write home about. 

BBQ Burger

Even though we were entirely stuffed from our meals we decided to splurge for dessert.  The guy who cleared our plates told us we couldn't order from the Restaurant Week desserts but then our waiter we had the whole time said we could, so a little discombobulated/misinformed but whatevs.  We each ordered different desserts and then passed plates around to try them all.

I ordered the chocolate cake with bourbon glaze.  This was pretty fabulous, the cake was very moist and fluffy and the glaze was just right.

Chocolate Cake with bourbon glaze

Chris got the Peaches and Cream.  This was okay, the shortcake was a little lack luster but the whipped cream was tasty with the peaches.

Peaches and Cream

Asha got the Banana Bread Pudding which was good, the banana was a nice change up from regular bread pudding.

Banana Bread Pudding

So after everyone tried all three we came up with the following verdict: Chocolate Cake was the best, Banana Bread Pudding next, Peaches and Cream last on a count of not very good shortcake.

Overall it's a good downtown spot with elevated flavors and atmosphere, although you'll pass it on High Street if you're not paying attention since it's tucked into the alley on Lynn.  Prices were reasonable for the generous portions.  The menu has some options other than burgers and bar food which gives it more depth.  Definitely a good spot to take in a game and some decent chow if you are downtown.

Oliver’s Burgers Steaks & Bourbon on Urbanspoon

As previously stated, I'll be working to improve my blogging frequency in the coming weeks, lots of restaurants, recipes and shoes to share!

Cheers!
Steph