Main Course · Meat · Recipe · Restaurants

A Weekend (and a Monday) of Good Food.

Friday night began with some great food when Jim and I had dinner at Hamilton’s Grill Room in Lambertville, NJ. I’ve eaten there a few times and have always been happy with my meals. The website and awarding reviews (which hang framed amid contemporary art on the walls) credit Hamilton’s for its Mediterranean food, though other than the abundance of olives in some dishes, the place and food is not obviously Mediterranean. You can watch your dinner grilled from the bar, and one of the grill guys even looks like John Malkovich, so I think the place is pretty cool

Our first course was juicy cantaloupe, ripe and sweet, with prosciutto. You had to wrap the prosciutto around the cantaloupe yourself, so it was kind of messy. There wasn’t quite enough meat for the big slice of cantaloupe, but it was very tasty.

For the main course, I had one of the best crab cakes I’ve ever tasted and Jim had a very tender rack of lamb. The crab cake contained chunks of meaty avocado and was accompanied by a creamy green sauce. I didn’t even have time to take a picture before the whole thing was demolished. The restaurant is BYO, and I brought my favorite, Unibroue beer, which led to some drunken philosophizing across the river in New Hope, PA and some very junk-foodie nachos at 1 AM.

Saturday night‘s late-night dinner was at DB Bistro Moderne, Daniel Boulud’s cafe near Broadway. We ate at 10pm, after going to see Vanessa Redgrave in The Year of Magical Thinking (a one-woman 90 minute show in which she was AMAZING), though we wouldn’t have gotten an earlier reservation for a Saturday night if we had tried. The stand-out dishes of the night were the pizza-like appetizer of Fromage Blanc, Bacon, Onions, (I don’t have a picture of this one, but it was pretty unimpressive looking compared to its awe-inspiring taste) my crab salad and Jim’s DB Bistro’s famous burger.

My crab salad (it seems crab was a favorite of mine this weekend) was a wonderful and light mixture of crab, sprouts, tomatoes and grainy mustard. The mustard sauce that accompanied was delicious and tangy, and different than the usual crab sauce. The dish went so perfectly with my “bitter frenchie” cocktail (cranberry, lime and grapefruit juices) that I could hardly believe it. The cocktail is simply meant to be with that dish.

Jim announce his burger as “The Best Burger I have ever eaten.” It sure was a sight to behold. Sirloin burger filled with braised short ribs, with foie gras and black truffle on top, it was almost too much for me but perfect for Jim’s taste. The parmesan bun was crisp and cheesy and strong mustard flavors cut through the richness. Served with crunchy fried and a side of ketchup, mustard and mayo in almost laughably decorative dishes, the meal was fantastic.

Sunday at my parent’s house consisted of me and my mom wolfing down an entire 12-serving package of Trader Joe’s 3 layer hummus and sesame chips, and then a delectable dinner my dad made of pork tenderloin with a green chili marinade and green beans and salad. Sadly, no pictures, but it was delicious!

Last night, I decided to try my hand at stir fry. My stomach had been in knots all day (stress at work, allergies, etc.) and, for some reason, the only food that called out to me was stir-fry. I went over to Whole Foods and bought some snow peas, a head of bok choy, bean sprouts, mushrooms, wide rice noodles, cilantro and green onions. We had a fresh filet mignon from the local butcher in the fridge, along with some chicken thighs, so I sliced them up for the wok. What came out was a very nice and simple stir-fry. All of the greens helped my stomach, and it was light enough to feel like health food. I think it will become a week-night staple–despite all the chopping, there’s something sublimely simple about creating a whole dinner out of one pot.

Filet Mignon Stir-Fry

  • 1 lb chicken thighs, sliced
  • 1 medium sized filet mignon, in thick slices
  • 1 head of bok choy, shredded
  • 1 small vidalia onion, diced
  • 4 oz. wild mushroom mix, sliced
  • 1 loose cup of snap peas
  • 5 cups mung bean sprouts
  • 3 tbsp. chopped green onion
  • 3 tbsp. chopped cilantro
  • 2 tbsp. corn oil
  • 4 tbsp. oyster sauce
  • 2-3 tbsp dark sesame oil
  • 1/2 pound wide rice noodles (ho fun)
  1. Mix chicken and steak in medium bowl with 2 tbsp. oyster sauce and 1 tsbp. sesame oil. Let sit while you get other ingredients chopped and prepped.
  2. Coat wok with oil over med-high heat. Add in meat and cook a few minutes, until chicken is almost (not completely) opaque. Put meat back into bowl.
  3. Add remaining oil and put mushrooms and vidalia onion in the wok. Heat until onions are translucent and mushrooms have wilted. Add in snow peas and cook for 5-10 more minutes.
  4. Add in bok choy and cook until wilted. Next add bean sprouts and remaining oyster sauce and sesame oil (more if preferred).
  5. Add about 1/2 cup of water to mixture and add in rice noodles. Cook a few minutes and then add the meat back in. Cover and let cook until noodles are tender.
  6. Serve topped with cilantro and chopped onion.
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