Thursday, March 29, 2012


Katsuya...the much anticipated, located in West Ave.  From locals I had started hearing negative reviews.  But, I still wanted to go...badly.  The design is really clean, cool, trendy, lots of white.  Over the top, but impressive, at first.  The menu was a little boring.  We had a really hard time figuring out what to order.  For appetizer we orderd some pepper thing, sorry can't find the menu so I'm going to have to resort to just describing the dishes as best as I can...and my visit was two weeks ago!  The green pepper appetizer was ok.  We then ordered some eggplant dish, tasty, good flavors.  The sushi ceviche was pretty good, but not very complex, very one dimensional.  I think I was infected by Uchi.  Uchi has some very complex dishes.  All sorts of flavors exploding in your mouth.  Ok, back to Katsuya, our next dish was a yellowtail dish with fried onions, which was my least favorite.  The onions were soggy, it just wasn't exciting or very good.  I had high hopes for the rice cake dish.  It was actually ok, but it was missing some flavors, a bit bland, however the texture was fun.  We ordered a few other dishes, nothing to write home about.  We ended with their apple pie dessert, which was really good in my opinion, but the other desserts were just ok, I forget their names.  Wow, that was a great review, huh?  The service was lacking.  I could tell she was trying, but at times we were sitting without service for a while. 

It's a really sexy atmosphere, but it had a cold feeling to it.  At the end of dinner, I started to feel like I was at some trendy club.  I thought my visit was a bit mediocre.  Not my favorite sushi joint experience.  It reminds me a bit of Blue Fish, but a little better.  Definitely a trendy sushi spot without a lot of substance.  I'm deflated.

Pizaro's Pizza Napoletan

Pizaro's is new and on the west side of town.  It's definitely not a sexy joint.  More like a storefront.  I can deal with it if the pizza is awesome.  It's probably not somewhere I'd go regularly just because of it's location.  The owner says they're working on opening inside the loop, but I also think it's just a quick in and out lunch spot, not somewhere you want to linger around.  So their big thing is that they have this 900 degree oven that cooks your pizza in 90 seconds!  I had a bit of high expectations and hoped it would meet them.  The owner is very proud of the quality and taste of his pizzas and rightfully so!

We ordered the Salsiccia e Funghi, crushed pomodor tomatoes, oven roasted mushrooms, sausage, and mozzarella, $14.  That's not a very appetizing name, is it?  But, it was sooooo good!  I ordered the Pomodorini, crushed pomodoro tomatoes, fresh grape tomatoes, garlic, basil and mozzarella, $14.  I was impressed.  The texture and flavors were spot on.  The taste and ratio of tomato sauce, cheese, crust...the crust just really really good.  Did I mention I practically ate an entire 12 inch pizza myself?  I was full the rest of the day. 

I was craving it a few days later and picked up a pizza while in the neighborhood.  I hope they move closer, I can't be driving all that way for a pizza! 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Coppa Ristorante

Been open for about 6 months now, in the old Catalon location.  Same owners as Ibiza, Brasserie 19, I which I like, but I didn't find this out till end of dinner and I had already decided I liked Coppa.  For some reason it did take me a while to get to this restaurant.  Maybe, Catalan affected my decision, I don't know.  I actually liked Catalon, but it wasn't exciting, actually I realized I had a boring association to it.

When I walked into Coppa, I already liked the ambiance.  It was bright, lively, unlike Catalon.  I was on a first date, so I met him there and we sat at my usual spot, the bar.  Ooh don't you want the details?!  No details, sorry.

So, for appetizer we ordered the fritto misto, crispy fried jumbo shrimp, calamari, fennel, herbs, $15.  You know, I don't like shellfish, so I just ate the herbs and veggies, which I thought were tasty.  I did try the calamari, which I'll try on occasion, but not the ones with tentacle...eek.  I did not think this calamari tasted very good, maybe it was too potent.  My date seemed to like it, but we didn't finish it all. 

For dinner we split the spaghetti carbonara, salami, egg yolk, black pepper, parmesan cream, $21.  The description didn't really appeal to me, my date had had it before and raved about it, and the bartender assured us it kicked any other dish on the menu's ass...SOLD!  We also split the bone-in ribeye, with crushed potatoes, $42.  I didn't realize how expensive these dishes were till just now!  The carbonara was amazing!  It was so good!  I wished I had ordered the whole dish to myself!  If you know me, you know I don't gravitate towards heavy foods, but I loved this dish, it was delish!  The ribeye was overcooked and wasn't great because of that.  The crushed potatoes were good.

For dessert we ordered the highly recommended olive oil polenta cake, whipped ricotta, lemon honey, olive oil gelato, candied thyme leaves, $9.  The first few bites were really good, after awhile it started to all taste the same.  This one, maybe, shouldn't be so hyped up.

I have been back since my date, and tried the spaghetti lola, maccheroni alla chitarra verde, basil & garlic infused tomato, burrata, $19 and thought it was ok.  My girlfriend ordered the bucantini all'amatriciana, copp, garlic, tomato, red pepper flake, $20 which was good.  She didn't seem so impressed, she's very picky, more than me!  The lemon semifreddo was delish!  The tiramisu, eh and the malt chocolate cake, ok.

I've been back again since and had items off the happy hour menu and the much raved about meatballs, that I thought were overhyped.  The taste reminded of my childhood and when I'd eat cornbeef.  I wouldn't go near that stuff now.  It's crazy the things you'll eat when you're to watch the girly figure.  Ok, moving on, the pizzas are regularly around $17, but if you get them during happy hour they are $7!!  That's a deal and they're good too!

Definitely a place I like.  I like the atmosphere, the service and some dishes are excellent, and bar staff very friendly.  I'm glad it's Italian.  I feel like we don't have enough Italian restaurants inside the loop.  You're either really really upscale or chain.  Ok, so definitely try, do try the spaghetti carbonara!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Lady Antebellum @Rodeo!

Farmer's Market @Highland Villages

I love a good farmer's market, which this was not. It needs more oomph! More vendors! I love the idea of tables set up for shoppers to buy and eat immediately. The Canopy/Shade booth was definitely a good one with their chocolate croissants. It was something nice to do after church.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

New on Yale and Washington!

Good idea! Schlotsky's and Cinnabon, I'm excited! This may not be good for me.