My Deliciously Delectable Baltimore Restaurant Week Experience!

If you didn’t get out for Baltimore’s restaurant week, you missed out my friends! Some of the best (and priciest) restaurants in Baltimore had amazing lunch and dinner menus for very affordable prices! Nick and I went to Kali’s Court in Fells Point. Neither of us had ever been so we were very excited to try it out!

During restaurant week, participating establishments create fixed three-course dinner menus for $30 (or two-course menus for $15). Image To start, Nicholas had the crab and artichoke phyllo crisps.  They were delicious, and trust me you can never go wrong getting something with crab meat in Maryland during the summertime. The crisps were served on top of a bed of the only coleslaw that I have ever tasted and actually liked. photo 1 The slaw was not overly sweet and complimented the crisps without overpowering them. I decided for my first-course to have the grilled calamari. I have never had calamari cooked any way other than fried, but grilling it took it to another level in my opinion. The calamari grilled really made the dish taste fresh and tasty and a bit of freshly squeezed lemon juice was all it needed! I actually think I may prefer the grilled calamari rather than having it fried where the squid can become lost in heavy batter.

For our second course, we each got a fish dish! I chose the grilled whole fish, which was some type of sea bass, photo 2 served with green beans and roasted white and purple potatoes. My fish was roasted and finished off with olive oil and capers. Nicholas ordered the grilled swordfish with asparagus and an interesting rice which was infused with corn, black beans, cilantro and some other Spanish inspired flavors. All I can say is that both of our plates were completely cleaned by the end of our meal!

For the dessert, Kali’s Court fixed menu offers the chef’s assorted dessert collection. We had some amazing baklava, cream filled phyllo, and an amazing creamy concoction with shredded toasted phyllo pieced on the bottom that tasted just like coconut. It was an awesome ending to the amazing meal.

Oh, and how could I forget my pear martini! It was a mixture of pear liquor with pineapple juice and who knows what else, all I know is I drank it within two minutes and I haven’t stopped having a hankering for another since!

Baltimore’s Restaurant Week is not something to miss out on. It gave Nick and I the opportunity to try restaurants in our town that we normally wouldn’t be able to go to. Our waiter was awesome and so nice and the scenery at Kali’s Court is pretty amazing. The outside is literally like a courtyard full of beautiful shrubbery and flowers. The inside is rustic and beautiful. photo 3 They make this nice restaurant have a cool Baltimore feel by keeping the concrete floors exposed. On top of the floors in random areas there are beautiful rugs, just like something you’d see in a rock-and-roll studio-sesh. It was a great experience for a great price and I highly encourage people to get out into your town to try new restaurants and cuisine. For those of you in Baltimore who didn’t make it out for restaurant week, which ended yesterday, you’re in luck! Some of Baltimore’s participants are extending their fixed menus! If you go to the Baltimore Restaurant Week Website, you can find out which restaurants are still doing their menus so you can go check them out! Hopefully this post has made your mouths water and your tummies grumble because an experience like I had for such a great price is not something to pass up! 

Baltimore Restaurant Week 2013

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Baltimore Restaurant Week is back!!! This summer many of Baltimore’s best restaurants will be participating in Baltimore’s Restaurant Week between July 26th and August 4th! My stomach is already grumbling!

Now for those of you who don’t know what the Baltimore Restaurant Week actually is, here’s the low-down! price-dates Basically, Baltimore holds this awesome event only two weeks out of every year! During this week some of our top restaurants specially create three-course prix-fixe dinner menus for the AMAZING PRICES of just $30.13 or $20.13! Some restaurants are even doing two-course lunch menus for just $15.13! Gotta love that!

The best part (besides the price) is that there are so many amazing places to chose from all over the Maryland/Baltimore area! From Alchemy in Hampden to Chiapparelli’s Restaurant in Little Italy, you can really find a BRW 2013 participant with any cuisine you like in pretty much any area!

There are no passes, admissions, or sign-ups needed! Just go to as many BRW 2013 restaurants between July 26-August 4 to open your taste buds to some really delectable Baltimore dining! Now get out there and chow down!

For more information on restaurants participating near you check out:

Baltimore’s Restaurant Week Website or OpenTable.com for all the info!

Fourth Of July Fun!

Let me start by saying that I hope everyone had a safe and fun-filled 4th of July! I am happy to report that Nicholas and I had a fantastic one! This year we attended the fghgfdsafgfdsa Oregon Ridge fireworks show in Cockeysville, Maryland. Fireworks at The Oregon Ridge Nature Center are a Baltimore tradition for most Marylanders. It is definitely one of the best spots to get together with your friends and family on Independence Day!

At Oregon Ridge, the show starts with a beautiful performance by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. They play songs ranging from the traditional American favorites to songs from movies and musicals such as Pocahontas and Les Misérables. Then the fun really starts with their amazing firework show! They by far have one of the best firework shows around. sds However, here’s a word of advice: Oregon Ridge has some pretty steep prices ($15 to park, $20 per adult, and $10 for children under 12) so if you’d rather save some money I suggest checking out the firework show at the Inner Harbor, but definitely get there early to get a good parking spot!

Now in order to have the perfect 4th of July outing, there are definitely some things you should know. Humid heat, high refreshment costs, and of course BUGS, all can turn your Independence Day picnic from fun in the sun to a day that’s well… Not so fun. To avoid the dangers of the 4th, here are my tips!

  1. Pack your own cooler: If you go to an event like I did at s Oregon Ridge you know that even buying a single ice cream can cost $5, when you could by a whole box of them for that amount! This year Nick and I packed easy outdoor food. We packed sliced pork, tuna salad, and shrimp salad along with buns and condiments for our friends to make sandwiches. We also had crackers and chips to dip into guacamole and our tuna! We also had fruit salad and a TON of water! They were all easy snacks that were easy to pack and easy to clean up!
  2. Bring your own drinks: When going to any concert or show you’re always at the mercy of whatever drinks the establishment carries. Now I don’t know about you, but I am not a huge fan of overly expensive beers in July heat, so make your wallet and your tastebuds happy by packing your favorite drink. Nicholas and I packed a bottle of gin with cranberry juice which was super refreshing! We could add our ice and fruit in it too to make our drinks extra delicious!
  3. Have a checklist: The only way I ever truly pack everything for an outing or a vacation is if I make a list! I always end up forgetting something important so having a checklist helps me be sure I’ve got all my supplies! For the fourth there are definitely some essential items: bug spray, water, blankets, cash, sunscreen, and plastic ware are all majorly important (I also think packing chairs are great if you’re not one who likes sitting on the ground for long periods of time).

    Now you know the easy essentials for your next Fourth of July outing!

Feeling Kinky?

In celebration of “Thirsty Thursday,” I decided to post my new found favorite drink! Kinky Liqueur—it’s beyond delicious!!!

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Basically, Kinky Liqueur is a heavenly pink mixture of mango, blood orange liquor, passion fruit, and of course vodka! Luckily, unlike most fruity and girly drinks out there, this one is not overly sweet or sickening, meaning I could actually drink more than two drinks without feeling nauseous!

Now I’ll let you in on my secret concoction for Kinky! I mixed a generous (okay VERY generous) amount of Kinky with white tea and pink lemonade! The pink lemonade helps bring out the fruity flavors of Kinky, while the white tea adds a subtle sweetness that tones down the alcohol taste from the liqueur!

KinkyI highly encourage you try some for yourself! Plus, if you don’t feel like brewing and chilling your own white tea, Brisk makes a good mixture of pink lemonade and white tea already made, how easy is that? I’m also thinking a good treat for an extra hot day would be this mixture over shaved ice with blueberries or blackberries—Come on who can resist an original Kinky Margarita?

Another favorite Kinky drink is the Kinky Blow Pop Martini! It’s a mixture of Kinky Liqueur, bubble gum vodka, pink lemonade, lemon lime soda, and an actual blow pop! Its super sweet so taste test before making a big batch,

Kinky Blow Pop Martini!

Kinky Blow Pop Martini!

but its pretty scrumptious and super cute for a signature party drink! For more fun recipes you can check out the Kinky Liqueur Website! I do feel that before I end this post I should warn you, Kinky Liqueur is so yummy that it is very easy to forget that your drinking alcohol, so please drink responsibly, but by all means BOTTOMS UP!

Chef In Progress

With a fiancé who is an aspiring chef, I am constantly opened and informed about a whole mysterious world going on behind those swinging kitchen doors. 8712_4493647498663_2048239455_n From the foodie slang, to the stories about his kitchen battle scars, I have found a new found admiration and appreciation for the culinary arts. Though, I do find that my favorite piece to Nick’s stories would have to be the constant humbled attitude he has towards himself in the cooking field.

Nick has had multiple food jobs, he’s attended a culinary school in Baltimore (BIC-Baltimore International College), and does not go a single day without a chef knife

Back in Nick’s BIC days!

Back in Nick’s BIC days!

in his hand at least once; yet he makes a point to say he is not a chef, nor does he know when he will truly be deemed one. No, he has not had enough oil burns, hospital visits, or cocaine up his nostrils to be called “chef” yet. This is what makes Nick’s thirst and drive to imagine more creatively and cook harder than the rest, much greater and more apparent than the average cook.

There is actually a really great Anthony Bourdain quote that says, “skills can be taught. Character you either have or you don’t have.” This I think can apply to most anything in life… Anyone can figure out how to cook or craft or write… But what makes those cooks and crafters and writers out there different from people like Anthony Bourdain, Martha Stewart, or Robert Frost? I believe something in their character, whether it is imagination or determination, separates those who just mosey through life and those who don’t just live life, but make life (or food) worth living for and enjoying.

The fact that being called “chef” is a term that gets thrown around by unqualified franchise cooks, just shows that they do not understand the true grit, heart break, and long nights that being a real chef takes. The real chefs, the ones who are true artists, have an understated bond with food and an immense dedication to their craft. dddd More often then not I hear that chefs marry their work, they cook for long nights, and sacrifice so much, all for their art. While this does scare me… it’s worth it because cooking is Nick’s expression of himself and his creative contribution to this world.

As an avid eater—because trust me, I can throw down some grub, I find the underground, dirty… pretty organic chef world to be actually something quite complex, raw, and absolutely deliciously addictive.

I feel that before meeting Nicholas, I was blatantly unaware of the sex appeal of sauce dripping ever so sweetly off of a chef’s completely original creation.  Their ability to mix science, creativity, and human necessity into something so artistically and naturally beautiful, makes being a chef so much more than what people see (or care to see).

I am very fortunate to be sharing my life with a chef. They work hard and play even harder! Our creativity and imagination can bounce off of each other, and hey… I am more than willing to be his taste tester for life!