Posts Tagged ‘Restaurant’

>Revel<

Continuing with this late-night posting trend I give you a blast-from-the-past.  While I was in Seattle, I finally got to eat at REVEL with my aunt.  It’s a family affair as Chef Rachel is my mom’s cousin!  I was slightly afraid she might not remember me that well when I rang her up: “Oh, hi Rachel.  It’s C one of your cousin’s daughters…  yeah, from the east coast… That bbq like 7 years ago??” you get the idea.  She and her husband are arguably the most famous members of the extended family (they were on Iron Chef!!) with also potentially the cutest babies in the family!  I have been waiting to eat at one of their restaurants since they opened!  I am using a lot of exclamation marks!

The place is casual and cool with a modern edge.  Large, bright pop culture-y portraits adorn the walls with sleek wood and metal structuring the space.   I love how they only set out chopsticks on the table setting.  It kind of says ‘get ready to eat some Asian food!’  Bonus points for not being the break apart ‘disposable’ kind.  Way classier (and sustainable) than that.  And oh yeah, the food:

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We also ordered the albacore tuna bi bim bap/rice bowl, but the picture was less than stellar and you only deserve the best photography.  They do it family style which means sharing = happiness.  I’ve always been a moocher so any place where mooching is officially allowed is cool with me.

The attention to detail and the modern take on Korean dishes really hits you.  The noodles had seaweed in them for crying out loud.  My favorite would have to be the cabli mandu since I’ve always had a soft spot for them.  They were a tad bit tricky to eat with chopsticks because of the shape, but once it was in your mouth there was no denying the tender, juicy flavor hitting your palate.  (I just had to look up how to spell the right palate/palette/pallet I was looking for…).  The dessert menu was themed ‘Candy’ for the month of October in honor of Halloween and the junior mint cake at least was right on the money.  Dessert always ends up being one of my favorites…

Being able to see how all her and her husband’s hard work paid off was so inspiring.  They make this wonderful culinary life seen attainable to everyone.  It makes me want to drop everything and go to culinary school!  haha jk dad… but not really?

My aunt said it wasn’t really Korean food and my response was it’s modern, Korean INSPIRED.  She asked me what revel meant and my explanation was something along the lines of, “You kinda revel in something, something good.”  I was at a loss on how to be more direct.  After the meal though, I knew what I was revelling in: good flavor, comfort food, and lovin family.

The HEIGHTS

I’ve graduated and still am in Ithaca and there are still restaurants I haven’t been too!  The family came to visit for the holiday weekend and my dad suggested The Heights Cafe & Grille after perusing the interweb.

I may have a new favorite restaurant in Ithaca… Let me show you.

a whopping calamari appetizer and beet salad!

There was also bread, pita, and garlic hummus and we figured two appetizers would be good for four people.  This is the biggest appetizer serving of calamari I have ever been served in my life!  We stupidly asked for more bread right before the apps came out and we couldn’t even touch it we were digging into the calamari so fast.  Couldn’t even finish all the calamari to save room for the rest of the meal.  Not only a giant serving but perfectly crispy calamari with a chunky thousand island-ish tartar sauce.

Oh yeah, and the entrees came with salads choice of arugala or cesear.  I knew there was something missing in my pictures…  The portions were pretty generous with those as well.  Lots of dressing though.

The mains were as follows:

braised short ribs

burger

branzino

scallops with gnocchi

The scallops and gnocchi were to die for!  My mom who ‘doesn’t like gnocchi’ was a fan of the delectably soft potato dumplings and the scallops were just like scallops should taste: sweet and buttery.

Branzino was also good.  Not like the most amazing fish I have ever tasted but nothing to complain about.  Is it sad that I now think of the new Spiderman movie where Gwen Stacie’s mom makes branzino for dinner with Peter comes over to her fancy NYC apartment for dinner?  She did say it about a thousand times “My mom’s making branzino for dinner, braaannzino.”

Burger delicious and also giant.  There seems to be a theme here for the portions.

Spare ribs were also good, but I feel like there could have been more flavor incorporated into the meat.  It just be that I’m used to calbi when it comes to spare ribs?  I was slightly underwhelmed nonetheless.

Last but not least, desssert!

chocolate souffle with a frozen berry terrine

On the menu with entrees there was a little blurb that mentioned that the chocolate souffle had to be ordered with the entrees for there to be enough time to bake.  So we foolishly thought that that was the only dessert and ordered two to split.  Well, there were other desserts on their dessert menu but the chocolate souffle was delicious and the frozen berry terrine was cool.  I liked the figs most in the terrine and I think it’s my first terrine ever!

I have to mention the coffee though.  Instead of just the cream and sugar that usually comes with coffee there was a whole plate of rock sugar on a stick, cinnamon sticks, mini chocolate chips, raw sugar, and whipped cream to add into your coffee…  It was the most amazing coffee service ever and they didn’t even charge it since only my mom ordered it.

The website says it’s casual and it’s the most casual fine dining type place I’ve been to.  There are back servers and servers and the decor is elegant and understated.  The portions though were waaaaaaay bigger than I was expecting at a fine dining type place.  Someone at the table next to us ordered the steak and it was a giant pile of meat.  It might have been the way they cut it up and piled it onto the plate but it looked huge.

The prices were also more on the fine dining end but not ridiculous.  The burger was the cheapest entree at $19 but my big teen brother didn’t even finish it.  It was so much food we had leftovers which are now sitting in my fridge :).

Note to self, maybe order one appetizer for four people since there’s the bread and salad before the entree and there is more dessert than just the souffle.  Oh, and also order coffee even though I don’t really drink coffee but they give you so much stuff to add it is amazing.  If there’s one thing I can assure you, it’s that I will definitely be coming back to the Heights!