Follow me through the adventures that take place in my kitchen, in restaurants or in other kitchens. Cooking and food are my passions and I want to share my experiences of cooking, baking and eating with you.
I'm a Greek self-taught cook who lives in Chicago. I learned a lot about cooking from both of my grandmothers, my mom and dad, family and friends. Passing on timeless traditions through food is one thing I strive to do in life.
These are my journeys through culinary exploration...
clraptis (at) gmail (dot) com
Culinary Exploration - Grecian Kitchen
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Posts tagged restaurants
Somehow my mom and her friend got reservations at Topolobampo this past weekend. They had dinner at Frontera Grill one night and ate at the bar. Apparently they made friends with their bartender and he was able to get them a reservation at Topolobampo for the following evening. I got lucky and was invited along to eat with them!!!
This was my first time eating at Topolo and I was very impressed. A more upscale, fine-dining Bayless restaurant and it showed in the dishes. I always settled for Frontera because I didn’t see the point in paying the price to eat on the fancy side of the restaurant, but now I understand and will claim that it’s totally worth it!
They offer either an a la carte menu or a tasting menu that can be paired with wines if you choose to. We went with the a la carte menu because the tastings offer a 5-course meal and we didn’t think we could eat that much. Although the portions are perfectly sized, our 2 course meals were just right. We were pleasantly full and just comfortable, even after becoming members of the clean plate club!
I ordered the soup for my first course because it sounded DELICIOUS!
GAZPACHO DE CEREZA Y ALMENDRA
Gazpacho of local tomatoes and sour cherries with smoked almond raspado (shaved ice), creamy goat cheese, heirloom cherry tomatoes and pickled sour cherries.
My mom was intrigued by the trio of eggplant on the menu. She let me have a taste and it was very tasty.
BERENJENA CON TRES SABORES
Crunchy, Iroquois cornmeal-coated Black Beauty eggplant with three flavors: spicy, smoky salsa negra, velvety black bean sauce, creamy Otter Creek cheddar. Tender chayote with parsley, poached Chioggia beets, sherry-pickled plums, roasted knob onions, wild arugula.
Mom’s friend ordered the fish, which is always a good choice at a Rick Bayless restaurant. I’ve had the Frontera Grill version of this dish and thoroughly enjoyed it.
PESCADO CON CREMA DE FLORES
Chamomile-poached day-boat catch in creamy sauce of squash blossoms and roasted poblano chile. Hoja santa-scented black lentils, slow-cooked quince, brown butter-roasted red Kuri squash, cilantro micros.
And the pièce de résistance - the dish I ordered. :) I’ll preface it with just one word: PORK.
CARNITAS EN GUASMOLE
Maple Creek pork (shoulder and belly), slow-cooked carnitas style with black garlic, served in gausmole (roasted tomatillos, toasted guaje seeds, herbs). Sweet corn bread pudding, Nichols Farm leeks braised with chanterelle mushrooms and avocado leaf.
The shoulder was super juicy and shredded with the touch of my fork. The belly was divine. It was so tender and flavorful. The sauce was my favorite part. It was a bit smoky from the roasted tomatillos, but didn’t over power the taste of the pork duo.
If you read my blog, you know I’m a HUGE fan of Rick Bayless - especially Frontera Grill. But if you’re in the mood for a fancy gourmet Mexican meal, try Topolobampo because you will savor every last bite you take.