My best wishes to everyone for a safe, sane, and happy holiday season!
Here is a link to the new blog for the new Cooking Channel:
May 1. May Day! The time of year of parades in the communist countries (not many of those left) and the May Pole here. The Kentucky Derby is today. So is the starting date for three Omaha Farmer’s Markets. Time to plant the tomatoes and peppers and other vegetables. Plus all the flowers. Universities are winding up their calendars and students preparing for graduation. A very busy time of year.
It is also the time of year here in the Midwest when we can finally count on good cook-out weather. As a matter of fact we cooked out last evening here at the ranch (house). Louisiana barbequed chicken and jerk curry shrimp, with spring asparagus, zucchini squash and bread baked on the grill. Washed down with a dry Riesling. Ahh, spring!
We were invited to a preview dinner Friday evening at the brand new HIRO 88 in the Old Market. The restaurant certainly has that sleek, sophisticated urban feel, with lots of black and dark colors throughout the four dining areas and sushi bar. Yes, it looks fashionable, but how about the food, and service?
Well, there is good reason that larger restaurants have soft openings, or have invited guests dine the first few days. The sushi chefs were totally overwhelmed with orders on Friday night. So much so that many diners never ever had their sushi orders delivered to their tables. We were among that group, sad to say. Fortunately everyone in our party ordered other dinner items, and the sushi was but one of the 3 appetizers we had ordered. The calamari was excellent, as were the crab cakes. Likewise the dinner items…garlic beef from the Chinese portion of the menu, and tempura shrimp and vegetables, chicken and shrimp soba noodles and Chilean sea bass with strawberries all turned out very nicely. The tempura sauce was a no-show at the table, as inexplicably the restaurant “ran out” of it.
I was impressed that the restaurant owner stood just outside the front door and conducted an exit interview of sorts as diners left, asking us what we liked and did not like. We had all had enough to drink that we filled him in on the shortcomings of our dinner as well as on the highlights.
My take: give HIRO 88 a month to work out the kinks and I think it will be come an outstanding addition to downtown and the Old Market.
Just back from a long weekend in Washington, D.C. Spent time with friends who I hadn’t seen in too long. We mostly ate in, as three nights out of four friends were nice enough to cook dinner. The fourth night we ate supper at R.T.’s, a wonderful Cajun restaurant in the Del Ray section of Alexandria, across from the famous Birchmere. The food there is always top notch, as is the service. It is Zagat rated and consistently is ranked among the top 100 restaurants in Metro DC.
One other observation from the trip. D.C. is one of the cleanest and prettiest big cities you will ever experience. There are flowers planted everywhere, and you could eat off the downtown sidewalks. A far far cry from the dirt and grime of Omaha. Omaha city fathers and mothers, are you listening?