Thursday, March 27, 2014

Local Foodie Moment: Rishi Sushi Kitchen & Bar, Downtown

I know it's been a minute since I've gotten a blog up, things have been BUSYYYY!  But I assure you fabulous readers that I've been busily eating at lots of new/new to me restaurants so you'll see a good amount of LFM's coming your way! YEY!

So where can you get sushi and loaded french fries at the same restaurant with zero judgement for ordering both during your meal?  Answer is: Rishi Sushi Kitchen & Bar!  Yes, downtown's newest establishment is offering creative twists on classic bar food as well as sushi and ramen.  My friend Asha doesn't live far from here so last week we decided to check it out.  We needed a little time at a hip new spot to lift our spirits with the chilly weather that keeps lingering!

Aren't these the cutest little app plates?!
The previous tenant was a champagne bar (why I never knew about it before it closed I have no idea but I'm a little sad I never got to try it!).  Personally I think the timing just wasn't right for that concept in that area of the city.  But that's here nor there because now the N. 3rd Street spot is home to Rishi which offers a great vibe for diners.  There's a clean minimalist look to everything with pops of orange and green here and there.  The floor to ceiling windows let in plenty of natural light during the day if you were to pop in for a quick lunch plus an enchanting view of their little corner of downtown in the evening.

We started out with some hot sake as it was rainy and chilly so Asha suggested we needed a little warmer upper!  Then Asha got some of the daily special oysters to start, I wasn't quite brave enough to give them a try just yet (I only recently started coming around to some sushi so raw oysters is gonna take a bit).


Then we ordered our sushi.  I got a Philadelphia Roll (typical ingredients: cream cheese, smoked salmon and avocado) and the Open Palm Roll which was walnut-panko avodcado slices, cream cheese, asparagus, wrapped in mamenori drizzled with kiwi chili sauce.  Asha got the J-mynt Roll: shrimp tempura, cream cheese, avocado, topped with spicy crab salad drizzled with spicy peanut teriyaki.  Both of us thought our rolls were good, everything seemed fresh and the combination of flavors on the Open Palm Roll was really yummy!

Bottom left: Open Palm, middle: J-mynt, top: Philadelphia

So we were a little more hungry than we thought so in lieu of dessert we split the Rishi Loaded Fries, hand cut truffle fries loaded with made from scratch sloppy joe, house made crispy bacon, scallions, sauteed kimchi and melted cheese.  This was definitely a savory decadence that had an explosion of different flavors.  I know kimchi on fries sounds a little strange but hear us out!  The earthiness of the truffle fries, then the vinegary tartness of the kimchi and the ooegy gooey cheesey goodness made an unlikely but good combo!

Rishi Loaded Fries

The service was good although I think our server was a little new to the occupation so he seemed a little uncomfortable with the menu but nothing terrible.  Pricing was a little high which was to be expected for a sushi place downtown.  It didn't seem like they had much in the way of a happy hour type of special which I think is always an added draw for diners but overall good creative food, good fresh vibe and good service make for happy restaurant goers!

Rishi Sushi Kitchen and Bar on Urbanspoon 

One of my bridal showers and my bachelorette are this weekend so hopefully I'll have some fun photos to share next week.  I CAN'T WAIT to be with treasured friends and family, my heart is already smiling at the thought!  Then I completely forgot to post my Lightened Orange Chicken recipe so I promise that plus some shoes plus plenty more LFM's will be coming soon!


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Local Foodie Moment: Chez du Bon

Happy hump day everyone!  So this past Sunday was my birthday.  Knowing we had some hectic weeks and weekends coming up I told Chris I wanted to keep things low key and just have plenty of champs throughout the weekend (fair enough right?).  Typically we go out for a birthday dinner but I really wanted to give new downtown restaurant Chez du Bon a try for brunch.  It sounded like the perfect way to start a birthday, fancy fine dining in an adorable setting plus champs, umm DUH no brainer!

And perfect was an understatement!  The interior is adorable!  So many textures and just the right additions of unique color it totally takes you to another place.  Adorably sweet owner and leader behind the Fab Dining Group of restaurants, Yavonne Sarber, showed us to our table.  She also complimented my outfit so in my crazy head I took that to mean she wouldn't mind if I snapped photos of her fabulous Paris meets NOLA restaurant like an overzealous tourist.  On top of that their food was fabulous!

Part of the downstairs dining area


To start I had the French 75 cocktail (a helpful suggestion from fellow Columbus blogger, Cheryl at Drink Up Columbus) which is gin, orange liqueur, lemon juice and champs.  This was super yummy, light and refreshing, I definitely think I'll be recreating it at home.  Chris got their Mimosa and was pleased.

In the forefront: French 75, behind: Mimosa

Then we ordered our entrees.  I got the Croque Madam: house cured country ham, gruyere cheese and toasted brioche topped with a soft fried egg served with a dijon mustard mornay on the side and fries.  This was amazing and I'm not even a big ham fan!  But it was the perfect balance of flavors, the ham was thinly sliced and tender, the dijon mornay on the side was just the right touch of tang.  The fries were delicious and well seasoned.

Croque Madam

Chris got the Fried Chicken and Crepes, their version of Chicken and Waffles.  Since I'm sure half the world knows by now that Chris' life was changed by C&W when we were in North Carolina he's on a one man mission to try every version of them in Columbus.  The crispy fried chicken was served on top of light and delicate crepes, drizzled with a sriracha maple glaze with a side of sauteed greens.  Chris was pretty hooked but luckily I got my fork in for at least a bite!  The combination of sweet and savory with that hint of sriracha spice was fantastic!

Fried Chicken and Crepes

For dessert we got the beignets.  The beignets themselves were good, but when you've had them from Cafe du Monde in NOLA its a tough comparison.  Anyways, what took these from good to OUTFRICKENSTANDING was the pecan sauce they served with it.  Holy cow it was delicious times a thousand, buttery and gooey and just OMGYUMM, my mouth waters just thinking about it!


We really enjoyed our meal, the service was friendly and attentive plus like I previously mentioned the atmosphere really takes you outside of the unassuming Fifth Third Building downtown.  The other restaurants in the Fab Dining Group's collection are deNovo and Manifesto plus a sports bar concept: Oliver's coming soon. 

Manifesto is another downtown favorite of mine, after a walk around the block after brunch (we had to walk it off since we were stuffed!) Chris and I peeked into Manifesto since he's never been there.  I've told him each time I've gone that he'd like it, he took one look and said "This looks awesome, we have to come back!"  So I'm sure there's another LFM in the future.  Overall I'd definitely recommend Chez du Bon for a special occasion or if you're feeling the need for some luxury in your life!

Chez du Bon on Urbanspoon

As promised, the Lightened Orange Chicken recipe is next plus some shoes!  Stay tuned!


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Mardi Gras King Cake

Happy Fat Tuesday everyone!  Although I've never been to Mardi Gras (on the bucket list!) I like to join in the fun before Lent begins.  I have been to New Orleans and I really loved the culture of the city: vibrant, rich in history and resilient, and let's not forget the FOOD and DRINKS!  Any place that let's you legally take "to go cups" is just fineeee by me!

My new Mardi Gras wreath!

With wedding preparations (aka dieting) and an after work commitment (I simply CANNOT go without my Tuesday Yogalates class, no matter the holiday!) we decided to cut back a little bit on the themed dinner in comparison to last year.  I still made King Cake and Cajun Chicken Pasta but held off on the Bananas Foster and Hurricanes.  

The past couple years I've made Mini King Cakes for mine and Chris' co-workers.  This year I decided to switch it up and make a King Cake with Praline Filling.  As much as I wanted to make a king cake from scratch I just didn't have that kind of time or energy so I did an easier version that was just as yummy!

King Cake with Praline Filling
(Makes about 10ish servings)
- 1 tube refrigerated crescent roll dough (I use the seamless sheet)
- 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 1/4 c. packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 c. chopped pecans
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- powdered sugar
- splash of milk
- colored sugar (green, yellow and purple)

- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Unroll the crescent roll dough onto a baking sheet, if you get the kind with seams patch them up with your fingers.

- Melt butter in the microwave then add vanilla and stir.
- In a separate bowl mix together brown sugar, pecans and cinnamon.
- Spread butter mixture over unrolled dough then sprinkle sugar and pecan mixture over top.

- Start at long side of the dough and roll then form into a circle.

- Bake for 15 - 20 minutes until golden brown then let cool on a wire rack.

- Mix together powdered sugar and milk until it's a little runny, then drizzle over top the cake.
- Sprinkle on the colored sugar and let dry.

- Once the frosting is set up cut into servings.

- Put on your Mardi Gras beads and enjoy!

This was easy peasy and turned out very yummy!  It comes out a little small so like I said above in order to make enough for Chris' team I had to make two.

Hope you all had a great Fat Tuesday, next up is a Lightened Orange Chicken recipe!


Monday, March 3, 2014

Oscars Night!

I don't know about you but I love award show season (as if you couldn't tell from my previous award show posts? hah!)!  Maybe its just because it feels like no one dresses up anymore or maybe I'm just a sucker for Hollywood glamor, or maybe its both!  Unfortunately Chris and I have made it to ZERO movies this year so we couldn't really give an informed opinion on who should win.  But after the show last night maybe we'll take a break from the hecticness to watch some of the winners.

Anyways, let's get into the good stuff, the red carpet fashions!  This time around I was much less wishy washy in my best dressed picks, for me there was two hands down winners: Giuliana Rancic and Lupita Nyong'o, no contest, they looked absolutely STUNNING.

G's dress was fabulous, I loved the layered tulle and the neckline was so delicate and pretty.  Her style team nailed it with hair and makeup, so classic and elegant.

Lupita's dress is EVERYTHING, the light blue just shines on her skin tone and the headband gives it a girly touch.  Although the neckline is plunging it balances out with the full skirt.

The trend of the carpet seemed to be neutrals or navys which was very elegant and brought just the pomp and circumstance to the event it requires.  Ellen DeGeneres did a great job hosting and the performances were so good!

To compliment these fashions we conjured up a sparkling cocktail to add to the night of glamor.  Our friend Asha was over and told us her recent liking of Chambord.  So we ventured out to make berry flavored martini floated with prosecco which became the Sparkleberry Tini.  These pack quite a punch and they were a little sweeter than we would have liked but they were a good novelty cocktail to get us in the mood for what seemed like the longest award show (after 11:30 is way past this old lady's bedtime!).

Sparkleberry Tini
(makes 3ish martinis, depending on size of glass)

- 4 oz. berry vodka (we used Three Olives Marilyn Monroe Strawberry, wanted to go all in on Hollywood glam!)
- 2.5 oz. raspberry liqueur (we used Chambord)
- 1 oz. triple sec (we used Patron Citronge)
- 4 oz. cranberry juice
- squeeze of lemon
- prosecco or sparkling wine

- Mix vodka, raspberry liqueur, triple sec and cranberry juice in a shaker or pitcher with ice.
- Squeeze lemon juice into chilled martini glass then strain the booze mixture into the glass, filling about halfway up.
- Float the rest with prosecco or sparkling wine.
- Enjoy!

Up next I've got a Lightened Orange Chicken recipe and some Mardi Gras fun to share, stay tuned!