Zen, yo.

The other night, James and I decided to try the new(ish) Zen Asian Grill and Sushi in Burtonsville. James had been resisting for a while because they market themselves as a sushi joint. He doesn’t do raw.

I looked online, and it turns out they do some standard Chinese American dishes as well. Once future hubby knew he would be able to eat, he agreed to come.

The first thing you see when you walk in the door is a glittering waterfall. Love it. All at once I was whisked away to a mountain pagoda in some nondescript Asian locale.

We were greeted by a host of smiling faces, and quickly seated. The decor was absolutely amazing. Zen all the way. Open, yet warm and cozy. Whoever designed it was a genius. It didn’t feel like Burtonsville. It felt like Georgetown, or Dupont Circle, or Bethesda. It was like going downtown without the traffic.

The menu was fairly large, considering the size of the establishment, but everything looked as though it belonged. I was very hungry when I arrived, so I quickly picked two items off the very long sushi list. Baltimore roll and California roll. Ok, stop laughing at me. They had a lot of lovely looking, more “authentic” choices, but I wasn’t feeling very adventurous, and I was going to have to eat everything myself since James isn’t a sushi sharer. By the way, he ordered sweet and sour chicken along with chicken fried rice.

Dinner was almost over when I remembered to take a picture. I was lost in the moment. :)

Dinner was almost over when I remembered to take a picture. I was lost in the moment. 🙂

Extremely yummy. I mean it was delicious. I’ll have to go sample more of the menu to give you a more comprehensive review, but everything I tasted was delicious. The feel of this place is the real reason to go, however. It’s a great date location, if you’re interested.

The Cheese Log Ratings:
Food: 4.5 cheeses
Atmosphere: 5 cheeses
Service: 5 cheeses
Date-worthyness: 4.5 cheeses
Would I return: DEFINITELY! Can’t wait!!
Advertisements

Buca di Beppo!… and wedding updates :)

Saturday night James and I went to a birthday party for my cousin at Buca di Beppo. If you’ve never been, it’s a family style Italian American restaurant known for its retro, gaudy, Italian grandma’s house decor. The yellow walls are loaded down with wild pictures of nuns roller skating, babies flipping people off, and young ladies eating spaghetti in bikinis.

We ate in the pope room, a round semi-private eating area with a huge round table with a bust of Benny XVI in the center. It was frickin’ awesome.

What’s really awesome, though, is the food. We ordered chicken that was stuffed with prosciutto and mozzarella laying in a bed of pesto cream sauce. It was AMAZING! I’m ready to go recreate this at home.

Wedding Registry-thoughts?

Among other food news, I’m trying to decide what to put in my wedding registry. You know, other than the usual china and stuff. I’m thinking utensils for crabs (since we’re in Maryland), a wok, a pizza stone, holiday themed dining ware, and other non-standard registry items. Any ideas of what I should include, considering I’m someone who loves to cook?

New Year’s in Colonial Williamsburg

To ring in the New Year, James took me to Colonial Williamsburg. I have always loved that place. This time we both enjoyed it so much we even thought about moving there.
One of the most fascinating things about Williamsburg is the food. They really do their best to make you feel like you stepped back in time. Friday afternoon we had lunch at Shield’s Tavern. What an atmosphere! We were led down into a brick-walled cellar lit only with candle light, where a gentleman was playing 18th century tunes on a fiddle. It was so much fun!

Sunday morning we went to the Governor’s Palace and saw a woman cooking in the kitchen there. She was following an 18th century cookbook and using a huge fireplace to cook. She was telling us that one of the crazy things about cookbooks in the 18th century is that they leave out “obvious” details. For example, she was making a chocolate pudding, and the recipe didn’t mention sugar, because you’re supposed to know that it’s supposed to be sweet, and be smart enough to add sugar. She said a lot of the recipes are like that. They all say “Cook until done” instead of giving you actual times, for example.

To remember our gastronomical experiences at Williamsburg, we brought home Johnny Cake Mix, gingerbread cakes, Virginia sparkling cider, Virginia peanuts, and a cute kitchen towel with the tavern logos on it. I already have their Raleigh Tavern Bakery Cookbook.

If you’ve never been to Colonial Williamsburg, you really have to check it out. I can’t wait to go back!