The Hungry Wanderers

Eating and exploring our way through the world

Posts Tagged ‘tapas’

Tria Terra

Posted by Amanda @ The Hungry Wanderers on April 23, 2010

Nearly two years ago, when we first met our friends Kath and Matt, they met our other local friends Kate and Nate for the first time (the same weekend that we met Kath and Matt coincidentally) and dined at Tria Terra.  Ever since then, it’s been on the Husband’s and my list to get to.  We finally made it a point to go last week when the Husband’s parents were in town for the night and are we glad we did!  We also checked out CLTEats’ post and knew we were in for some good food 🙂

Not knowing how crowded it would be on a Thursday or how big the restaurant was we made a reservation in advance, but once we arrived we found out that we’d be able to enjoy a generally quiet evening to catch up (there were only two other tables while we dined).

The restaurant is nestled in a shopping center on Pineville-Matthews Road, next to a Chuck E Cheese.  I had mistakenly thought I’d passed it numerous times, closer to the street, but that was actually Trio (a restaurant we never had a chance to try).  Tria Terra is a generally an Italian restaurant, tapas, and bar.  However, the foods I believe are French, Spanish and Italian (tria terra = three lands).

IMG_2554 The restaurant is a good size for the general atmosphere that I assume it’s going for.  Not too small, but not big either.

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After being seated, we looked through the menu and contemplated what to have.  There was so much to choose from that looked good! IMG_2558

While we thought about it, we were brought some bread and breadsticks as well as (I think) a pesto-oil.  The thicker bread was so soft!  IMG_2561

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We decided to get a bottle of wine to split.  The Husband found a red we’d not heard of before and decided to try it – the Montepulciano D’Abruzzo.  We definitely enjoyed it.

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As a group, we decided to get two tapas to share and individual entrees.  The first one was the Pimiento Rellenos con Queso de Cabra – stuffed pepper with warm goat cheese. YUM! This was the perfect first dish and really set the standard for the food for the evening.

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Our second tapas dish was the Parrillada de Cordero – grilled lamb in rioja sauce.  This was tender and flavorful.

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The Husband and his mother each ordered salads as well.  The Husband’s was a green salad and his mother had a Caesar.  Both seemed pleased with their salad selections.

After our appetizers, we were brought out little plates of sorbet.  I love palate cleansers! Especially lemony flavors.

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Up next were our entrees.  The Husband ordered one of the specials – the Spinach Ravioli.  Lots of spinach and not tons of cheese. 

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His mother ordered the Pollo alla Fiorentina (a dish I was definitely eyeing).  It was a chicken breast stuffed with spinach, mozzarella, prosciutto and mushrooms served with roasted potato and spinach.  She said it was excellent!

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I went with the Lasagna Di Campagna – lasagne in a creamy tomato sauce.  After CLTEats’ rave review, I knew I had to try it, especially since lasagne is traditionally my favorite Italian dish.  I actually thought it was just okay – I think the creamy tomato sauce just didn’t hit the spot for this lasagne (perhaps because I’m not used to it in my lasagne dishes).

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Last but not least, my father-in-law ordered the fish special of the night.  I don’t remember what fishes there were, but it overall looked like an enjoyable dish.  I believe he did like it.

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Overall, we were glad we made it a point to get there before we moved.  The food was excellent and the service was very attentive.  The Husband also thought it was reasonably priced for the quality of the food.  If you’re looking for a good Italian, Spanish, French restaurant, make it a point to get to Tria Terra.



Tria Terra Italian Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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Posted in Restaurants | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Good Food on Montford

Posted by Amanda @ The Hungry Wanderers on February 21, 2010

Last night, some of my girlfriends and I decided we needed a girls night! We got manicures and pedicures and headed out to a relatively new restaurant called Good Food on Montford. One of my girlfriends had been there before so I was looking forward to it, however, reviews on Urbanspoon made me a tad nervous.  Calling your restaurant “Good Food” seems a bit presumptuous so I was interested to see if they would live up to the expectation.

It was a very nondescript building on the outside, there’s a chance you’d miss it.  Luckily, we knew it was across the street from a bowling alley so we looked for that when driving down Montford.

IMG_1957IMG_1958 I called in advance to try to make a reservation, but unfortunately they only take reservations for parties of six and more.  We arrived around 6:45 and were told it would be about an hour.  We planned to hang out at the bar until a table was ready.

IMG_1960 Unfortunately, the bar was already crowded with other diners waiting for a table so we spent about a half hour milling about until a spot opened up for us at the bar.  While we waited, I noted the smallness of the restaurant and the subtle decorations. (Sorry for the blurriness on the restaurant shot!)

IMG_1964 IMG_1965 When we made it to the bar, we perused the wine list trying to decide what to have.  There was a good selection of red, white, and sparkling wine glasses.  Since we all wanted something different, we went with glasses instead of a bottle.  As a side note, I was quite impressed with the bartender.  She was knowledgeable, friendly, and patient, especially with the difficulty she had hearing customers’ orders due to the noise from all of the people in the place.

From left to right, we had Macon-Villages from Burgundy, France, Cava Rose from Spain, and a Chardonnay from Santa Barbara Winery in California.  We were all very pleased with our wines as well as the amount served per glass.

IMG_1968 After about an hour of waiting, as expected, a table became available and we had a seat.  At least for me, it was perfect timing as I was starting to get hungry!

Good Food on Montford is essentially a tapas place so the three of us decided to order a number of small plates to share.  We started out with four and then ordered another three, each choosing one each round.  First, pictures and names… then I’ll tell you what we thought…

Seared Scallops with Pumpkin Risotto and Fennel

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Beef Carpaccio with hearts of palm, pickled onion, and pamigiano reggiano

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Grillied artichokes with pickled chanterelle mushrooms (sorry so blurry 😦  )

IMG_1979 Assorted American farmhouse cheeses with truffle chutney and fresh honeycomb (included a blue cheese, a brie, and a goat/cow milk combo)

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Prince Edward Island Mussels in a green curry, coconut milk, and cilantro sauce

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Fried oysters with a shelling bean salad and oven roasted tomato and chili aioli

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Truffled fettucini with lobster, english peas, and Chantilly cream

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So, our thoughts? Amazing! Seriously.  This food not only met the “Good Food”mark, it was beyond my expectations.  I enjoyed every single bite that I had as did my girlfriends.  There were actually a handful of things I normally don’t like (cilantro, blue cheese, and artichokes) that they prepared so well that I actually enjoyed them.

During dinner, I texted the Husband to tell him that we have to come back here before we move so that he can experience this place! Likely on a weeknight though so we don’t have to wait an hour 🙂

We found that we had ordered a good number of plates.  We were satisfied but not stuffed.  So, on to desserts we moved! With a quick once over on the dessert menu, we continued with our theme of sharing and ordered three desserts to split.

Chocolate Cupcake with graham cracker and toasted meringue

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Roasted banana tart with caramel ice cream and macadamia nuts

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Pot de creme (chocolate and espresso mousse with fresh whipped cream)

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After all the wonderful small plates, we had high expectations for dessert and it did not disappoint.  I believe our favorite was the chocolate cupcake.  I described it to the Husband as more of a chocolate lava cake than a cupcake and the meringue tasted marshmallowy – so good!  The chocolate mousse’s espresso flavor was a bit strong, especially after eating the cupcake, but I still personally really enjoyed it.

Overall, this was a kick ass dining experience.  Our waitress was attentive.  The food and drink were so very good and the prices for what we had were wonderful.  The portion sizes were great for sharing.  Yep, this place rocked.  Looking forward to taking the Husband there when we get back from Australia!

Good Food on Montford
1701 Montford Road
Charlotte, NC 28209
704-525-0881





Good Food on Montford on Urbanspoon

Posted in Restaurants | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

New York Food & Wine Festival

Posted by Amanda @ The Hungry Wanderers on October 19, 2009

To end our food and drink filled New York girls weekend, we got to attend the Food Network’s 2nd Annual New York Food and Wine Festival Grand Tasting! When we were originally planning our weekend, the tickets to events were just too much ($150 per person for this one event alone).  Jaclyn luckily won two tickets from Serious Eats and then we found one more ticket for $90 from Goldstar.  What a huge savings!

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The event was scheduled to be at Pier 54 in Hudson River Park.  We headed first to 10th and 15th to pick up the Goldstar ticket from will call.  Good thing we did as this was the entrance to the actual event! A lounge area with swag bags and a lounging area.

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Based on Jaclyn’s previous experience with lines at New York events like this, we didn’t stay long in the lounge area so we could go get in line for the Grand Tasting.  It was a gorgeous day along the pier.  Look how big the event was!

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After waiting about a half hour in a reasonable line, the event started and we headed in 🙂 We each received a full size red wine glass (for tastings!) and began our exploration of the vendors.

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The first table I stopped at was Resto.  It was quieter at this point in the event so I asked the chefs if I could take a photo.  They were quite nice and their food was good!

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I first tried their belgian waffle and then a savory tart.  (I don’t remember what was in it, but it was GOOD!)

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The next stop was South Gate.

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Here I tried a Frozen Honey Nougat Parfait with Roasted Plums (although they were labeled as apricots, the girls and I decided they were definitely plums).  Very good!

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Next we found ourselves in front of the Next Iron Chef mini competition between Holly Smith and Jehangir Mehta.  I don’t generally watch the Iron Chef or any of its iterations but we actually watched an episode of the Next Iron Chef the day before so it was fun to recognize these two!

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The secret ingredient (is that what it’s called?) was apple I believe.  Holly made an apple sorbet with crab and parmesan. We were not fans of this 😦 It was very bland.

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Jehangir, on the other hand, made something very good! It was another savory tart.  Unfortunately I don’t recall what was in it 😦

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Next up – the Del Grosso pasta sauce.  The owners were quite friendly!

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There were 3 options to choose from.  I went with the Vodka sauce and was very impressed.  Apparently you can find them at Whole Foods among other grocery stores.  Unfortunately, they don’t sell them at Harris Teeter 😦 (my grocery store of choice in Charlotte)

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Next we found cupcakes! at Kyotofu

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They had 3 flavors to choose from.  I went with their green tea cupcake.  Yum!

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After a sweet treat, on to another savory bite at Trattoria Cinque.

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Here I believe I had a prosciutto quesadilla.  Very good!

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Finally something to drink! (Though there was water and diet coke every where)  Pom Wonderful had two flavors to try: blueberry and original.  Having had the original flavor before, I decided to try the blueberry.  Like the other Pom juices, it was quite sweet but I liked the taste of blueberry mixed in.

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They also had hummus martini cups with pom seeds and pita.  The pom seeds was an interesting touch to the hummus.  I think I would have liked it better with softer pita (this was more like a pita chip).  I’ll think I may try this recipe again in the future.

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The next restaurant we checked out was La Fonda del Sol.  They offered oysters on little shells.  Cute and refreshing!

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Recently, I became a bigger fan of tea so I was excited to see a tea brand offering samples.

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Mighty Leaf Tea had three flavors to try.  I tasted the Chocolate Mint Truffle.  It was good! I grabbed a sample tea bag as well as one of the Vanilla Bean.  I look forward to trying these at home, especially as it starts to get colder!

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At this point in the tasting, I was starting to get full! But there were so many good foods still to try!  I found myself at Delmonico’s Restaurant next.

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Here they were making meat balls.  They had the cutest little forks to go with them!

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Aldea was next with an oyster soup.  While I tasted it, I recognized that I wasn’t in the mood for soup so I wasn’t able to judge it very well 😦 I think I would have liked it if I were in the mood for soup…

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Although I was getting full, I love Barilla and was very excited to see their stand!  They had two pastas to try and I had a tasting of both.  One was a rotini with a tomato sauce.  The other (which was quite good) was the cheese tortellini with a cream sauce with asparagus.  Yum!

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As we made our way around the stands, one in particular caught our eye.  It was food or drink, but a product.  The ActiFry is a deep fryer that uses only 2 tablespoons of oil to cook a pound or two of potatoes.  Being skeptical (as many probably were), we tasted the french fries they were making.  They were good! Light but tasty and so much less fat than normal fries.

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A little over an hour in to the tasting, we had made it all the way around the food vendors and the wine, beer, and liquor vendors had opened.  While we weren’t really looking to drink since we’d had our share the night before 🙂 we decided to try a few unique ones that caught our eyes.  (We were amazed at how many vendors there were to try and we weren’t expecting liquor at all.)

First up – Castries, a St. Lucian peanut rum creme.  Wow! It was really, really tasty 🙂 It’s served slightly chilled all by itself or can be mixed into other drinks as well.

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This table caught my eye with two of my favorite wines to have in stock – Blackstone Merlot and Toasted Head Chardonnay.  The rep recommended I try the third wine at her table – Robert Mondavi Pinot Noir.  I was impressed.

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The first time around, the Blue Moon Harvest Moon had caught my eye but wasn’t being served yet (it was before noon on a Sunday).  Our second time around, an artist was painting the below scene.

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I then grabbed myself a sample of the Harvest Moon.

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As our time at the tasting was winding down, Colleen wanted a small dessert.  We split ginger snaps with Dickinsin’s Lemon Curd and Country Pumpkin Butter.  Yum!

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This festival was a great way to end an amazing girls weekend of food, drink and fun in New York 🙂  Have any of you tried any of the restaurants I saw at the grand tasting?

Posted in Festival | Tagged: , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Degustation Wine and Tasting Bar

Posted by Amanda @ The Hungry Wanderers on October 16, 2009

On Saturday night of my girls weekend in New York, we kicked off the evening with an amazing meal at Degustation in the East Village.  We almost missed it as we walked by as it’s tucked away with a generally nondescript door.  The restaurant is small and popular so Jaclyn made reservations weeks in advance!

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The restaurant has a small waiting area (as most diners have reservations and don’t need to wait long).  We were able to peruse the menu and see the goings on of the restaurant as it consists of essentially a bar around the kitchen – you get to watch everything being made in front of you!  There’s room for maybe 20 dining guests!

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Once seated, since it was so quaint I felt slightly uncomfortable taking too many photos but felt better when I realized the couple next to us was also taking photos of their food!

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The main waitress runs everything from the “kitchen” area.  We looked over the menu and decided to go with the $50 5 course tasting menu which the chef chooses.  We knew we wanted a bottle of wine and asked for a recommendation.  Unfortunately, I was unfamiliar with most of the wine, but the waitress did a wonderful job selecting one for us!

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Our first course was assembled right in front of us 🙂 It was a salad with quail eggs, tomatoes, bacon, a blue goat cheese, a sweet nut, and  a vinaigrette.   The nuts were quite sticky and eaten individually stuck to the teeth, but eaten with the rest of the salad was wonderful.  A great start to the tasting menu!

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The second course I believe was a fried oyster squid ink risotto (possibly incorrect about the seafood).  I heart risotto and the squid ink was a great touch! It made our mouth black which was funny 🙂

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The third course was quail.  I wish I had taken notes on what we ate 😦 As you can see in the picture, there were a lot of touches with this one but I don’t remember besides the quail…

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Our fourth course was an ox tail.  Delish!

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And last but not least, the dessert course! These were fun to watch being made all night 🙂 We had a carmelized bread pudding with berries.  SO. GOOD.

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As expected (especially if you read all of the reviews on line), this meal was amazing! So very worth the price!  They had a 10 course option for $75 which we might have selected if we had had more time.  We had drink reservations at Milk & Honey and unfortunately couldn’t stay longer.

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Degustation is a great option for a romantic dinner or a small group of friends (small group as you sit next to each other).  Definitely a big recommendation!

Degustation Wine and Tasting Bar
239 E. 5th Street, New York, NY
212-979-1012

Degustation on Urbanspoon

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