I mean we all go out of town sometimes. And we need to find a place to eat. I leave town on a regular basis, mostly for pleasure, and I always find great places to eat, because I have learned how to research restaurants and chefs. So. If you’re out of town, for whatever reason, don’t fret, I can tell you where to go! Because chances are: I’ve been there, done that!
Phiadelphia is super close to me, just a little over an hour on the Amtrak, I actually used to go quite often, when my good friend Georgia used to live there. I just recently went with my girlfriends to watch a ballgame and have some fun, and we decided to dine at Tinto in Center City in Philadelphia. Chef José Garces has owned and operated many restaurants, has won a James Beard Award, and is an Iron Chef. He’s a household name for foodies, and I was excited to visit this Spanish Tapas restaurant.
There was four of us, and we ate plenty! One of us was vegetarian, and she found plenty of goodies to choose from. Our choices were (get ready): Olivas Y Almendras (olives and Marcona almonds), Ensalada de Bruselas (Brussels sprouts salad), Endibia (Belgian endive), Judias Verdes (roasted sugar snap peas), Albondigas (beef meatballs), Canelones de Pato (duck canneloni), Pork Belly Toast, Gambas en Chocolate (shrimp in chocolate sauce), and Scallops and Peas. Without question every single item was outstanding and delicious. This rustic restaurant has absolutely something for everyone.
For more info on Tinto click here
Washington DC: Jaleo
Are you even a foodie if you haven’t heard of José Andres? Not only is he the owner of over 30 restaurants, but he has numerous accolades and rewards, including James Beards Awards and Humanitarian awards for his tireless help for people in need. So, if you’re in DC, going to one of his restaurants is a must. There is of course Minibar, which is a fine dining establishment (it’s on my list, trust me), and of course Jaleo. Jaleo is also a Spanish Tapas restaurant, and I went very late on a trip with my daughter not too long ago.
Our choices were: Aceitunas liquidas ‘Ferran Adria’ (liquid olives), Ibérico de bellota mini hamburguesas (Spanish mini burger made fro the legendary acorn-fed, black-footed ibérico pigs and ibérico ham), Pan de Cristal con Tomate (toasted slices of uniquely crispy and ethereal brad bushed with fresh tomato), and Pan con Chocolate (chocolate custard with caramelized bread, olive oil and brioche ice cream). Do I have to say it? Yes, it was outstanding and innovative. And please do yourself a favor: order a José’s Choice (Hendrick’s Gin, lemon verbena, juniper, lemon and lime), this cocktail was heavenly.
For more info on Jaleo click here
Atlanta: Empire State South
I always take a little trip to wherever for my birthday, and believe it or not, I plan my trips around restaurants I wanna dine at. Wait, you probably do believe it. This year I went to Atlanta, because there was a myriad of restaurants I wanted to try. Empire State South has been on my list for quite some time, I adore chef Hugh Acheson, who also has won more than one James Beard Award, and has served as a judge on Top Chef and Iron Chef. He seems to also be one outstanding human being, which to me means: support his endeavors!
On my visit to his lovely Atlanta eatery, my daughter treated ourselves with these dishes: Chips with White BBQ sauce, Farm Egg (with crispy rice, corn, mushroom, sweet pepper), Strip (with shallot, potato and shiso), Trout (with fennel, butterbean, tomato and cucumber), and a green tomato pie for dessert. Everything was different, delicious and unique, my favorite was the crispy rice with the runny egg. Or was it the sweet green tomato pie? I can’t choose! It was a great evening with great food.
For more info on Empire State South click here