Valentine’s dinner at Bistrot Royal

I had been told that we had a reservation for Valentine’s day but I did not know where we were eating until we got to Bastille in Alexandria, VA. Well, hubby made a surprise reservation for the day but it turned out that they have two locations. The one that pops on Google is a new one, which looks nice and chic, but we were trying to get to the sister restaurant, Bistrot Royal.

BISTROT ROYAL
1201 N. Royal St.
Alexandria, VA 22314
Tele: 703.519.9110

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For Valentine’s day, they had a prix fixe menu. While hubby’s dishes would have been more photogenic, I just took pictures of my selections to be somewhat decent at a dinner table. 🙂

The lobster bisque had surprisingly generous amount of lobster meat and an exquisite flavor. Filet mignon was still perfectly cooked while the best part was the sides: potato anna, Brussels sprouts and while mushrooms!

One thing about this visit… We were literally on top of each other. I get that restaurants need to fit as many people as possible, especially on a holiday night. However, we were 10 inches apart from other tables.

For that reason, I would like to go back to this restaurant and have a full, complete dinner experience. I am also curious about the dishes on their regular menu.

After delicious dinner time, I was given this card!

IMG_1471 You would give up your phone for me? You must REALLY like me! 😉 Hope you all had a scrumptious Valentine’s day!

Palm Springs! Another tasteful vacation!

Killing two birds with a stone! We participated in the Certified Angus Beef® (aka CAB) conference and made a vacation out of it. It goes without saying that the meals were phenomenal. 🙂

They were very creative and inspiring in preparing all the dishes. I had never seen a cotton candy wrapped beef bites until this trip! So, here’s the footage of all the delicious dishes.

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We were given great dishes every night at the venue but there’s one restaurant that I think everyone should check out when in Palm Springs. Le Vallauris! They proudly serve French cuisine and the dining experience there is beyond your imagination. They even give you different color napkins that match your dress! Besides, the whole restaurant is just so beautiful. I strongly recommend sitting out in the patio. Absolutely gorgeous!

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Yes, I eat very well!

There’s nothing better than smelling your steak cooking, especially when that’s done by someone else other than you 😉 I sometimes have no choice but to eat whatever that’s served and it was steak with mushrooms and zucchini. I used to hate mushrooms but, when served with steak, mushrooms are great! So here are some tips for you mushroom lovers!

♧ Garlic Oil : Remember that garlic minced and frozen in the tupperware (Click HERE to see the post)? Cook the garlic in oil before you put your veggies in the pan so you get that awesome garlic flavor in your veggies without actually chewing up garlic bits in your mouth.

No one likes small stuff! : Don’t cut your mushrooms too small because they are going to shrink once they are cooked. Mushrooms are all water. If they are decent sized and cooked well, they are nicely caramelized with the inside still soft and delicious.

Everyone likes hot stuff! : No. 1 “saute” rule! Make sure your pan is sizzling hot before you put those mushrooms in. You eat your food with your mouth but at the same time it’s gotta be eye-pleasing too. And a hot pan gives you that sexy color to your delicious food.

(BTW, I think I need new plates… Food is exciting but it seems to be always the same plate! lol)

[Restaurant Review] Philadelphia Mike’s – Arlington, VA

▣ Location: 1615 Crystal Square Arc., Arlington, VA

▣ Tel: 703-416-6640

▣ Deli/Sandwich

▣ Yelp Rating: ★★★☆☆ (as of July 7, 2012) – Click stars for more info!

This sandwich place located in a mall in Crystal City, owned by a nice Korean family, offers a steak sandwich that’s better than the “real” Philly cheese sandwich I got in Philadelphia years ago. Maybe expectations were too high?

Anyway, they were very quick to serve their food and the best part was the quality of their meat. They use thin slices of beef, which is somewhat similar to bulgogi meat (if you are familiar), and that could taste REALLY CHEAP a lot of times but they use good quality meat. It was not dry. It had a nice amount of veggies and the cheese on top wasn’t overflowing. Their sub rolls were nice and soft as well (personally, I am not a big fan of “baguette” style, hard bread).

One of the complaints I see online about this restaurant is that “their food is too bland”. I kind of understand where it’s coming from. Their food is not salty! It’s a good thing! To me, “American food” is usually very salty. This was perfect for me but I was thinking while eating there, ‘Hmm… Some jalapenos would be nice in the sandwich.” So if you think it’s too bland, ask them for a couple of pieces of jalapenos, which will give a nice kick without giving yourself a chance of a future hospital visit or two.

The mall isn’t all that great but if you are in the area, go check this restaurant out! Oh, and they have root beer on tap, which has become my favorite soda (I hardly every drink soda but I get a craving from time to time).

Stay inside! It’s over 100 degrees out here! Mother Earth is angry I think… Oh well, AC+watermelon evening!

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A Great Way to Enjoy your Steak!

Steak is such an easy meal – compared to other home-made dishes that you actually have to “cook” – but sometimes it’s just not enough. A great way to highlight your dinner (or lunch…. or breakfast? sure, what the heck!) is to fix a nice salad with it. In this case, it was spinach+feta cheese with cut-up onions and tomatoes, which we picked up at a local farmer’s market. The key is the dressing.

We all have a couple different kinds of dressing sitting in the refrigerator but when you want some nice “home-made” dressing, this is how. EVOO+any kind of vinegar+any mustard+salt+pepper+garlic. SUPER SIMPLE! You can start from there and play with what you have left in your pantry if you feel creative that night. Otherwise, it’s a lot healthier than the supermarket dressing that you have.

We used the red wine that had been sitting next to the Keuric machine for ages! Well-transformed and well-enjoyed!

Happy 4th of July! Grill up and get yourself a nice salad with fresh veggies and home-made dressing! Cheers!