Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Foodie Frenzy: Seviche Latin Restaurant

 Every now and then, food lovers like myself find ourselves swept away in a truly magical meal. The evening of "Thurby" or the Thursday before the Kentucky Derby (locals day), I was fortunate enough to tag along with some dear old and new friends to Seviche Latin Restaurant. We spent a full day at the racetrack complete with unlimited spirits, line-free betting, and plenty of great times. So it was decided to continue the party by making a dinner reservation and everyone agreed on Seviche, upon request of some foodies in our group who are loyal customers. A fine dining favorite for many locals, this spot has been on the radar as one of Louisville's best for around 10 years and it keeps expanding every year. I absolutely adored the exceptional Latino flair that culinary genius Chef Lamas put into every dish.
What I'm about to describe provides just a brief glimpse of what I consumed during this dinner. Keep in mind that it was such a mind-blowingly scrumptuous meal (and we'd been drinking all day at the track), that the details are a bit hazy. But please do read on!!
One Oyster Shooter Please!

This foodie frenzy was out of the gate when our friend Chef Bob ordered the table a round of Oyster "Bloody Mary" Shooters. We toasted to a great day at the track with friends before swallowing the spicy combo of tomato chili broth and horseradish, with west coast oysters, and vodka of course. A-MAY-ZING. The mint leaf and muddled lime in my mojito tasted super fresh, along with a super amount of alcohol. I wasn't complaining though. There were so many awesome apps and seviches being passed around the table for 10, that I found myself a bit disoriented and losing track of what I'd tasted... The Kentucky Bison Empanadas were filled with three of my favs: avo, pico, and jalapeno--me gusto mucho!! The quac was also a tasty treat but was a bit overshadowed by the savory seviches that were spicing up my life. Much like a dream fantasy, I dont remember all the details, I just know, it was fantastic!! However, I definitely did not forget the highlight of our first course.
Our Favorite-- Tuna "Old-Fashioned"
The group completely agreed the Tuna "Old-Fashioned" seviche, served in an appropriate Old-Fashioned glass, was the best app--hands down. We even went so far to call it CRACK "Old-Fashioned" because it was addicting like a drug, but in a good way!! How could you not be addicted to this yummy mixture of tangy orange, classic KY bourbon, and zesty pineapple?! I almost OD it was sooo good!
Before moving on to entradas, allow me to take a minute and say that the water (that's right, I'm talking about the water..) is the most refreshing ever. It's served with slices of fresh cucumber. Mi amiga, Meg later teased me about how I kept raving about the delicious water. It's the little things, right? Now on  to big things...
Churrascos De Argentina  

I ordered the enormous skirt steak, wrapped up neatly and skewered on top of magnificent mashed potatoes. Unfortunately, the photo above doesn't do the dish the justice it deserves. My friends who sampled it expressed much love too. I tried a few bites of my pal JV's Pacific Swordfish which featured lobster truffle butter... yes, truffle, need I say more? The crowd favorite entree was the Halibut and Spicy Crab Cigar--talk about food envy, I wanted this plate bad!! The ooohs and aaaahs heard around the table was like a food lover's symphony, as the intoxicating meal continued on to the dessert course.

Feast your eyes on the dreamy dessert pictured below. Toasted coconut, dulce de leche, and coffee pine nut soil, hit the spot just right. I meant to take a pic of my favorite dessert, the "Avocado" Ice Cream, but the plate was wisked away before I could snap one. It was a popular plate!! The ice cream was served with a bourbon dulce de leche "pit" chocolate shell. So Cute!

Chocolate Tres Leches

We finished off the meal right with an incredible B&B Fine Cognac. I could go on raving about the hazy details of my experience, the wonderful service, the elegant yet cool atmosphere, but I think I'll just leave the rest up to your imagination and maybe even your dreams...
The next time you wanna get swept away by an intoxicatingly amazing meal, please ask me to tag along for a Seviche platter, where foodie dreams come true!!! 

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Lunch Time!

In honor of the approaching Mother's Day weekend, I'd like to give a premature shout-out to my one and only, loving and devoted mother and lunch partner, Judi Holladay. We've enjoyed a couple of scrumptuous meals recently that are well worth sharing. First up: Shady Lane Cafe. Feast your eyes on the pics below, including the mouth-watering benedictine sandwich, creamy mushroom soup, and codfish sandwich. I've sampled a good amount of benedictine around the city and must say, this delightful eatery located in the Brownsboro Center (near the Watterson Expressway), ranks among the best. Chunks of fresh cucumber were mixed througout the tangy spread, which we decided to share on wheat bread, along with a coup of yummy soup.

Normally I'm not a fan of mushroom soup, however upon the owner's recommendation,  I found it truly exceeded my expectations. We also went splities on another owner favorite, the hand-battered codfish sanwich on rye. It was perfectly crispy outside, juicy inside, and piping hot!! I found the atmosphere very inviting and casual, yet energetic and lively as it was filled with the chatter of happy customers. Fun fact: The owner Bill Smith is a well-known local poet, who has published work under the name W. Loran Smith.

 Another lovely afternoon mama mia and I headed to Cafe Classico on Frankfort Avenue. I've passed this adorable place about a billion times and have always meant to stop by and I'm so glad I finally did!! With a single rose vase and a votive candle lit on each table, the atmosphere is simply elegant and relaxing --perfect for a romantic date, a friendly affair, or a pleasant solo outing. The mini gelateria, drink selections, and overall cool vibe reminded me of a true Italian cafe.

As always, we decided to split a couple items from the lunch menu. After all, who wants just one meal when you can enjoy two. The Eggplant Pizza was hands down, one of the best pizzas I've tasted all year. The eggplant was baked just enough to be slightly crisp yet moist, and deliciously seasoned. Fresh parmesan cheese and diced tomatoes complimented by the savory pizza sauce and crust.

The Panini Caprese featured spinach, mozarella, tomato, and mom's fav--basil. This tasty treat was fresh, warm, and cooked to my liking. In fact, I found it much more enjoyable than any of the chewy and bland paninis I tried in Italy!
Blue Dog Bakery and Cafe is another fab spot I recently hit up with a dear old friend (those are the best right?) This trendy eatery is also located on Frankfort Avenue, specializing in artisinal breads and pastries. The bright and bustling atmosphere is sure to bring a smile to your face... and let's not forget the eats. We each enjoyed the Mission Fig Salad with mixed greens , walnuts, roasted pecans, bleu cheese, and awesome vinaigrette dressing.
We chose a chicken pizza that was accompanied by to-die-for carmelized onions, fingerling potatoes, and rosemary oil. Yum!!! Need I say more?!



Friday, March 1, 2013

Brunching it up

Dish on Market delivers a heavenly Hot Brown breakfast

Hello food lovers! Welcome to my latest brunch edition featuring two fantastic Louisville eateries: Dish on Market and Ramsi's Cafe on the World. Let it be known that both are excellent options for lunch and dinner too. A few friends and I ventured down to Dish on Market for a full-on brunch patter  which included the Skillet Baked Eggs Hot Brown, the Huevos Racheros, and a Veggie Omelette. The texas toast along with savory mornay sauce were my favorite part of the Hot Brown dish and I absolutely adored the eggs benedict style, as well as the green onion, and melted cheddar cheese. The applewood smoked bacon was not remarkable for me (although I'm not a big fan of bacon in general) and I felt the pan roasted turkey, while tasty, was piled on too much and could have done with more eggs or peppers.  

Huevos Racheros hits the spot--mm,mm, good!

I found the racheros dish to be very delish, particularly the combination of chorizo, spicy jack cheeses, refried beans, ranchero sauce, and refreshing lime sour cream. I could have done with more cilantro and more overall spiciness, but then again I can never get enough of those two characters.

A veggie lover's breakfast plate

I didn't get to sample Michael's Veggie Omelette, but the photo sure is gorge and he had no complaints at all. I did get to try his cheesy grits, which were A-MAY-ZING. I would most definitely order them on my next trip here and would also love to try the burger, which has been voted "Best Burger" by LEO readers choice awards. Dish is also a great stop for bourbon lovers, as its bar is included on the Urban Bourbon Trail--an exciting Louisville experience for those who want to explore the best bourbon bars around town.

My next brunch outing entailed a wonderful buffet experience at Ramsi's Cafe on the World. This eclectic restaurant is located in the Louisville Highlands and has been one of my local go-to spots for over 10 years. I was so excited to try their brunch buffet ($15) for the first time, which I'd heard provides a little taste of....well, the world (duh). My group arrived around 11a.m on a sunny yet cold Sunday morning and we found ourselves with about a 10-15 minute wait. The wait is always a good sign as great cuisine is sure to follow... and it did.

My warm-up brunch plate on the world!
My first plate entailed samplings of both traditional breakfast (biscuits, gravy, and scrambled eggs), as well as testings of lunch / dinner options (jerk chicken, roasted potatoes, and pesto tortilleni with shrimp). I quickly decided the pesto and jerk would be invited back for round two. A few of my pals went with breakfast basics such as french toast, bacon, and fresh fruit and found themselves going back for second helpings.

Ramsi's brunch plate 2

My second visit to the buffet line was amusing. Two young women, gabbing about their crazy night out, kept asking me what everything was. I kindly directed them to read the labels found below each dish. One would assume they understood this. They didn't and continued asking me, "What's that one?". One of the girls, wearing a pinkalicious T from Victoria's Secret mind you, teased about getting an entire plate full of tortilla chips for her first plate. As much as I wanted to, I just couldn't hate them and found myself laughing along the line. I piled on more pesto and jerk, added some chips and hummus, and a few other samplings--a vegan version of huevos racheros, and an amazing goat cheese chicken dish. I would re-plate this again in a heartbeat!! Everything had just the right amount of seasoning which seems rare when considering the amount of varing cuisines I had combined on one plate. Shout it from the rooftops: Ramsi's knows how to do a superb buffet platter... on the world.
So the next time you're craving an awesome brunch experience in Louisville, be sure to check out one or both of these hot spots and don't forget to... LIVE TO EAT! 

Friday, February 15, 2013

An Italian Platter

 Trattoria ZaZa in Firenze
The Holladay platter has gone International! In mid-November, I packed up and took off for a 9-day tour of Italia. While, I absolutely hate to complain and sound like a prima donna, I must say that a handful of dishes included on the tour package left a bit to be desired--a few horribly undercooked pastas and a salad consisting of simply iceberg lettuce and vinegar dressing for example. I guess I was expecting four star dining at every meal... However, I ate well overall, enjoying numerous tasty four course meals. Every morning began with incredible expresso and every night ended with some of the best red table wine this wino has ever consumed. 
 A cheese and eggplant pizza platter 

While staying in my favorite city of Florence, my bro Michael and I decided to splurge on a bottle of wine and a late-night dinner at an adorable spot called Trattoria ZaZa. It was a misty night with a slight chill in the air, which felt nice along with my wine buzz from our first dinner. We opted to sit on the front covered patio. The cozy outdoor space provided soft lighting and a lively atmosphere. I don't recall which cheeses were on the plate, but I certainly loved them all. The bread and jam served alongside complimented the cheese very well and we just couldn't stop gushing over it. The Eggplant Pizza also hit the spot. It was fresh and crispy, with just enough seasoning to linger a while before being washed down with the Chianti Classico. The food, wine, ambiance, service, and great conversation made this my favorite  Italian platter--perfecto!!

 Michael enjoying the Za Chianti Classico 

Apart from the unforgettable sight-seeing and fun gift shopping, each afternoon was all about GELATO, GELATO, AND yes, MORE GELATO!!

My first gelato experience - Rome

Shortly after our arrival in Rome, we ventured out for a walk and stumbled into a glorious gelateria. I was baffled by all of the choices and after tasting many samples, I decided to go with a refreshing combo scoop of Melon / Passionfruit. They were both delicous however, if forced to choose just one, I'd go with Melon--hands down. It was sweet and creamy with just enough tart.

Melon and Passion Fruit, Per Favore!!! 

The taste of heaven
In Florence we ducked into a busy cafe, intending to go for a gelato lunch. Michael savored his Mint
Chocolate Chip and I relished every creamy bite of my mousse gelato. It was rich rich rich!!

Gigantic gelato! 
Another gelato lunch in Florence called for two scoops, including Choc Chip and Pistachio. I believe I'd gotten a little too big for my britches at this point, because there was no way I came close to finishing this off. Although, I did enjoy every bite--especially the Pistachio. After sampling Michael's order in Rome, I was coveting this flavor big time. So I was excited to savor my own cup full. Mama Mia it was marvelous!! 
With all this talk of cool gelato, I'd also like to focus on a hot house favorite we discovered in the lovely city of Padua. This charming city located in Northern Italy (right next to Venice), contains an exquisite building called the Pedrocchi. It was founded in the 18th century as a sort of meeting house for townspeople and is well-known today for the cafe. We ordered the Cafe Pedrocchi--a mint flavored expresso featuring a dollop of mint ice cream on top. This was my fav expresso experience as I adore any mint flavor with coffee or chocolate. This warm and tasty treat hit the spot, especially on a chilly day that was filled with mostly outdoor touring. It also got me in the pre-holiday mindset as I noticed the festive decor along with the lively cafe atmosphere.   
Expresso with mint makes me smile
Be sure to check back next month for more Holladay Platter adventures. Live to Eat!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Return of the Platter

It's been several months since I've posted, but that doesn't mean I've been slacking in the platter research department. I've enjoyed countless tasty treats over the past seven months and have even joined a friend's offical foodie group on Facebook. That's right, I'm no longer a wannabe foodie, I'm legit now. It's just too bad I haven't been able to afford any of the real foodie dinners so far... but I plan to, eventually. Now please allow me to highlight some unofficial savory snapshots, picking up where I left off---summer of '12. Ah, how I miss the summer heat!!!

I'll take one heart attack on a plate please

For my family birthday brunch, I enjoyed a fantastic Hot Brown at Ditto's Grill. Let's be honest, a hot brown is rarely done wrong. Often called "a heart attack on a plate" due to the absurd amount of fat and calories, this sinfully deccadent dish includes an open-faced broiled turkey sandwich with bacon,  mornay sauce (a creamy parmesan cheese sauce) and / or other cheeses, and is often topped with tomatoes. Dittos Grill is the Holladay family's "go-to" spot in the Louisville Highlands neighborhood. When I'm not gorging on a birthday Hot Brown, I will usually go for one of the following entrees: Thai Salmon, Chinese Burrito, Citrus Atlantic Cod.

Late summer called for a lovely lunch with friends. We ventured to a Vietnamese spot called Pho Binh Minh. Small and simple, this very casual and affordable restaurant is located on Strawberry Lane in Louisville and is best known for the Vietnamese Sandwich. I enjoyed my entree - a platter with rice noodles, veggies, and beef, drenched in a nice gravy sauce. Although I must say, the highlight of my lunch was the Thai Tea. It was super sweet and creamy yet strangely thirst-quenching. I'm also raving about the Thai coffee, which mi hermano ordered. In fact, he liked the coffee so much that he attempted to re-create it at home, buying beans from the Vietnamese store nearby.

Next up, I'd like to feature a Louisville beer lounge and eatery called Four Pegs. A great friend invited me out to this Germantown pub to celebrate her b-day. I loved loved the selection of craft beer, going immediately for the Old Rasputin, Imperial Stout (almost 12% ABV, oh yeah!). Even though I wasn't too hungry this night and was planning to drink my dinner, I couldn't resist the urge to feast on some grub, so I took a tip from a pal and ordered the Fried Green Tomatoes. While they were just a wee bit salty for my taste, the superb spicy sauce that was served alongside, put a permanent smile on this face :))

my partially eaten FGT platter  

Seeing the cheap prices ($5-8 for most menu items), I didn't stop here. The Creme Brulee was another must-try that did not disappoint. My experience with the wait staff, not to mention the hip yet inviting atmosphere, was enough earn a strong Holladay Platter recommendation. I can't wait to try an entree on my next visit.

Brulee and Blueberries - Yum 

A Kashmir Platter

Just last month Micheal and I enjoyed a hot Indian dinner at Kashmir on Bardstown Road. While my affinity toward Indian food is present throughout the year, the cooler weather calls out for this flavorful and spicy cuisine to light my fire. I ordered one of my fav Indian dishes, the Vindaoo --- a blend of red chilis, cumin, ginger, mustard seeds, and other goodies. The rich and comforting sauce absolutely nailed my palate with the perfect blend of spices. However, I didn't care for the lamb. It was waaay too fatty and I totally regretted not going with my standard choice of chicken. Michael enjoyed his Veggie Tikka Masala entree with cheese. I too enjoyed a few bites, enjoying the mild yet zesty spices (coriander, paprika, and tumeric perhaps...) blended with tomato puree and coconut cream to create a tangy and tasty meal. We combined our delightful dishes with garlic and cheese naan bread (-a must-do with any Indian platter).

With affordable prices, good service, and a cozy atmosphere, I always look forward to dining at Kashmir. The front patio is a prime place to be in the warmer months, sitting on the vibrant and bustling Bardstown Road.

That's all for now, but stay tuned in the coming weeks I'll reveal a few dining escapades from my trip to Italia, as well as a scrumptious brunch and a ladies night out platter. Until then.... Live to Eat!!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Savory Snapshots (Frankfort Avenue Edition)

Feast your eyes on this

It's chicken 'n waffles y'all!! Courtesy of Silver Dollar whisky bar. Southern food is good for the soul, right? Below you will notice two beautifully refreshing beverages including my favorite on the left, the Rio Bravo. This fanciful whisky cocktail includes muddled strawberries. I'm also fond of the La Paloma in which tequila and grapefruit are combined to create a glorious union, indeed.  

Next up we have the Silver Dollar Mollette Sandwhich (basically grilled cheese topped with some peppers) it was nothing special, however their Sweet Potato Fries were enough to keep this lady smiling. Now let's hit the dusty trail.

Moving on from down home Southern food to a Mediterranean Grille called Shiraz. The mouth-watering and colorful photo below captures the full essence of the Spicy Avocado Bruschetta (my carry-out dinner from a few months ago) Zatar bread is smothered with pesto, avocado, diced tomatoes and scallions, feta, and loads of cilantro. Unfortunately this dish wasn't as spicy as I would have liked... but you know me. It's gotta be hot baby.

Speaking of hot, Osaka Sushi knows how to get the job done with their spicy rolls. Although my heart lies with Maido Sushi, I must say that Osaka is a scrumptious spot. It never lets me down in the heat department. In fact, I've often quoted it as having "The spiciest rolls in town"

A full day at the racetrack with old friends and fun led us into the evening. We ventured to a lovely spot on Frankfort called Basa - a Vietnamese fusion restaurant. My Eggplant entree below left a bit to be desired, however the overall experience including wonderful service, elegant atmosphere, and outstanding appetizers such as the crabcakes, was definitely enough to earn a second reservation.

It's time for dessert. How bout Mint Julep ice cream at Comfy Cow?! I've got it in a kiddie cup in case you're wondering... I do love to indulge but also gotta keep it tight. I just have one word (two syllables) to describe it - Yum-my!!!

Another great ice cream indulgence took place at Pie Kitchen. Sweet and salty, the Caramel Nut hit my spot for sure. That's all for now folks. Stay tuned for more summer time Savory Snapshots and platters. Until then, Live to Eat (on Frankfort Avenue)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Eiderdown: A dinner date with the Holladays

A few months ago, Michael and I ventured to Louisville's Germantown, for a delightful Friday night dinner at a restaurant called Eiderdown. This eatery is warm and inviting with understated vintage elegance. We were sat immediately, at the only high top in the place. I have to admit I felt a little special to be towering above the other tables surrounding us. Michael quickly took note of the excellent craft beer list, as I took note of the adorably tiny salt and pepper shakers, cute little flower vase, and candle-lit arrangement on our sky-high wooden table. We also quickly decided that all of the staff were good looking and we were excited to start our meal off right with an appetizer.

I highly recommend the Beer Cheese (photo above). It is with great sadness that I NEVER expect any appetizer in this day and age, to be served with an ample amount of bread, chips, crackers etc. to compliment a dipping cohort. This particular Beer Cheese appetizer, with it's insanely reasonable price of $5, included the most generous (not to mention delicious) amount of bread / cheese manifestation that I've encountered thus far. In fact, the caramel-colored cheese with its intoxicating taste, and its thick, smooth, creamy texture alone, is reason enough to go back to Eiderdown for round Zwei (2)

For my entree I went with the bacon burger (medium-well) and lightly topped with cheese. It was good. I particularly enjoyed the oh-so-soft bun that was toasted just enough, as well as the fresh mix of diced tomatoes and onions that were served on the side.

Michael went with the veggie sandwhich and smashed potatoes. He gobbled it up.
Overall, I truly enjoyed the eats at this spot and would gladly go again. So, the next time you're in Germantown, give me a call and we'll get down with intoxicating beer cheese (and regular beer) at Eiderdown!! Until then, Live to Eat.