Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Dine Around the Town

Tea Time realized it was the last week of Dine About Town, so we marshalled our forces and checked out the list of participating restaurants. During Dine Abut Town, which happens twice a year, in January and June, participating restaurants offer two-course lunches for $18.95 and three course dinners for $36.95, a substantial discount on their regular prices.

J.K. and Beth started the week by lunching at Brindisi in the FiDi. Only the dinner menu was posted on the door, so they went inside and checked out the luncheon menu. The hostess assured them that it was the best deal on Belden Alley, but they had to see for themselves and checked out all the offerings before returning to agree with her. Everything else looked good, but Brindisi's offerings were definitely the best.

Beth chose the mussels for her first course,
Steamed Mussels
Fregola cous cous, cherry tomato, country roasted bread
 while J.K. opted for the rigatoni.
Rigatoni Bolognese
with traditional ragú alla bolognese
Then, in a reversal, Beth chose the pasta for her second course
Strozzapreti Carbonara
with crab meat and roasted bell peppers
 and J.K. had the trout.
Baked Rainbow Trout
lemon risotto, basil and white pepper sauce
  Tuesday night, Angela and Stephanie dined at Cioppino's. Angela had eaten there once before several years ago and knew that their great seafood soup was a steal at the Dine About Town price! Which makes her doubly sad that we didn't remember to get a photo of it. Perhaps it was starting that second carafe of Sangria, or just that we were Hungry. It was no contest to pick our three dishes, we chose the same appetizer and entree, but diverged on desserts. Angela picked the Molten Chocolate Cake and Steph had Tiramasu. They had to happily waddle out to their ride once the meal was over.

Shrimp cocktail appetizer

Molten Chocolate Cake A la Mode

And Wednesday, Angela, J.K. and Stephanie experienced lunch at Sutro's at the Cliff House. Unfortunately, it was a drizzly, foggy day so we couldn't get any pictures of the view. But you can see several here.

As soon as we sat down, our server filled our water glasses and brought us crusty rolls, accompanied by sweet butter topped with pink Hawaiian salt.
 While all the other restos offer two savory courses at lunch, Sutro's provides a very substantial luncheon plate and a dessert. We decided to embrace this by adding an order of three crab cakes as our luncheon appetizer. The crab cakes were plated individually, garnished with a bit of salad. They were all crab (no filler!), with a little breading making a crispy shell.

 For her savory course, J.K. chose the Roasted Butternut Squash.
Quinoa Crusted Butternut Squash – rainbow chard, foraged mushrooms, fregola sarda
 Angela and Stephanie both chose the Roasted Chicken. No one picked the swordfish, although it sounded tempting!

For dessert, J.K. had the Tres Leches Brioche Bread Pudding.
Tres Leches Brioche Bread Pudding – cinnamon orange crème anglaise, chantilly cream
Angela and Stephanie both chose the Butterscotch Pot de Creme to complement their chicken lunch. 

Of course Tea Time had to squeeze in some tea with their cozy after dinner treat.This Mint tea from Numi hit the spot. The Butterscotch dessert was thick, rich and heavenly. People need to get over Red Velvet (it's just chocolate!! or should be!) and make more butterscotch options for Angela to enjoy.

Butterscotch Pot de Crème
with Numi Moroccan Mint Tea
If you sign up you can get updates about Dine About Town and the charities it serves. This yearly event is a great way to get out and try new to you restos without breaking the bank!