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Meal report from last weekend's visit

mikek | Mar 13, 200801:11 PM

On Friday night, my sister and friends convinced me to try a Baru uptown. What a fantastic restaurant. We tried pretty much all of the tapas and the whole fried snapper. The snapper, the empanadas, the ceviche and the fried corn balls were probably our favorites. The desserts were great as well. Just a wonderful place uptown, love the BYOB, good service, friendly. Great spot.

On Saturday I made it to Crabby Jacks for lunch. I had my old standard, the slow roast duck po boy with a slice of swiss cheese. Unreal. Messy, huge, overly-filling, but man is it delicious. The jambalaya was good as usual. We did not do dinner on Sat.

Sunday led me to Surrey's for brunch, which was great, and to Lola's for dinner. Love the smells that come from the open kitchen. The lentil soup was delicious. I had the paella, which after about 5-10 minutes of cooling down a little, was fantastic. Well spiced, cooked perfectly, and perfect for a surprisingly cold March.

On Monday, we tried Takumi for lunch, which is right next door to Sake Cafe. I really enjoyed this place. Good quality, fresh fish, good combinations of rolls. The pepper crusted tuna topping some of the rolls was delicious. I do not exactly know if the soup and salads were worth $6 a piece, but they were tasty. It is interesting how many places opened in the area. After lunch, we walked Magazine and did a taste test of La Divina and Sucre. I think the texture and consistency of the gelato at Divina was great, though the other stuff at Sucre looked incredible.

That night, we went to MiLa for dinner. I was very very excited for the meal, but found it to be just meh. I loved my duck, but thought the tuna appetizer was not good at all. My sister's sweet potato pappardelle was great, but the monkfish was meh. The service was also a little too "in your face." The corn bread and lima bean puree was great.

The highlight of the trip, yet again, was Stella! The amuse was a spiced shrimp in a mango/champagne sauce. Surreal flavor combination and a great way to wake up the palate. My sister had a torched spearfish salad. It was beautiful, with beet puree and 2 others painted on the plate. The fish was lightly blow-torched. It was delicate, coheisive and delicious. I started with the lobster gnochhi in a parmegiano-reggiano cream sauce. The gnochi was cooked perfectly, and the sauce was surreal. For mains, my sister had sea bass in a shark fin, crab and lobster broth. It was cooked perfectly and is just a wonderful, light dish. They need to sell that broth somewhere, it is just perfect. I had the "fish and chips." They lightly tempura fried sunfish and coated it in a spicy caramel sauce. Wow. The sweet potato puree that accompanied was great. For dessert we shared the grilled cheese with chocolate and the bananas foster french toast. The melted brie and chocolate was very interesting, but good. The french toast is just a perfect dessert.

All in all, it was another perfect return to the city I used to call home. It is great to see a fresh coat of paint on a lot of buildings and to hear the names of amazing restaurants that were not there even 4 months ago.

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