Monday, January 30, 2017

Wheat + Water, Bradenton

The first thing that hits you when you walk into Wheat and Water is the aroma of something wonderful happening in the kitchen. The intensity of it put my taste buds on high alert and made my mouth water.
The restaurant has a nice ambiance, and they had a full house.
We settled in and ordered some classic Italian dishes like Spaghetti and Meatballs or Shrimp Scampi. My Chicken Parmesan was a too generous portion of three cutlets so two came home with me for the next day. The pasta was very good and home made (hence the name Wheat & Water - what you need to make pasta from scratch). I noticed great looking pizza at nearby tables and vow to try one next time. A couple of us had the Caprino Chicken - Grilled chicken breast, goat cheese, artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes and fresh basil with a white wine lemon butter sauce and it was declared delicious. The service was very good, and we enjoyed a lovely glass of Malbec and their crusty sour dough bread, both perfect accompaniments to the meals.
One person in our group follows a Gluten Free diet and while the menu boasts several GF options, on closer inspection I noted that at least three GF dishes were described as being lightly coated in Italian bread crumbs. Whoa, that's not Gluten Free - so make sure you read that section carefully. I'm guessing you can always ask them to 'hold the bread crumbs'.
The evening ended with coffee at Casa Martin and dessert was a Duff Camouflage Cake made by our cake expert Mike. It was quite unusual and of course quite tasty. Duff cake mixes are the brainchild of Celebrity Chef/Baker Duff Goldman who opened his cake decorating studio in West Hollywood in 2015, a place where you could have a cake decorating party and let your imagination run wild. Now my only hope is that after indulging in a slice of 'camouflage' cake the resulting calories will also be camouflaged and not end up on my hips!
7303 52nd Place East, Bradenton, Florida (941) 216-3562
Wheat + Water Italian Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato View my food journey on Zomato!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Black Rock Bar & Grill, Brandon, FL

Date night movie and dinner found us in Brandon looking for something new. You know that feeling when you are just tired of the same old thing. So we took a chance on Black Rock, a restaurant on Providence in the former Mimi's location.
They succeeded in transforming Mimi's warm cozy atmosphere into a rather cool dark club with lots of televisions that I rather object to. Multiple TV's are for a sports bar and I think they set the wrong tone here.
They're pushing a new concept of cooking your meat at the table on a 755 degree hot rock. We didn't feel that adventurous so we stuck to the traditional menu, starting with an order of Mussels that was very good. It was kept hot in its dish sitting atop a hot rock so we did get a bit of the trendy experience.
I ordered a potato encrusted Red Snapper served over mashed potatoes with green beans. It was delicious however they were too heavy handed with the topping of fire roasted tomatoes and I just pushed them off to the side. Something else I had to push off to the side was a rather large shrub of sage that adorned the top of my fish. As an avid fan of cooking shows like Top Chef and Chopped, I have learned that if you can't eat it, don't put it on the plate. Here is the offending plant and as you can see I am not exaggerating.
Hubby had a Shrimp Po Boy that was disappointing. I watched nearby tables as waiters ceremoniously rolled a cart and delivered their hot 'rock' and a slab of beef that looked like a filet mignon. Diners were instructed to carve bits of meat from the huge slab so they could cook quickly. To tell you the truth I wasn't impressed. It looked like a gimmick that I felt risked getting an uneven cook on your meal. For the rather high priced menu I would expect the chef to cook it for me. What would one do if the meat didn't come out right? Complain to oneself?
On the bright side, I enjoyed a fabulous glass of Malbec "Terrazas Alto de Plato" and I vow to hunt it down and stock my wine rack at home.
804 Providence Rd, Brandon, FL 33511 813) 445-4111
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Black Rock Bar & Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato