you don"t need to save the crystal for a special day, even water tastes better in a "Fancy Glass"

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Dinner at Elizabeth's In Lewisburg Pa.  Posted by Hello

Fancy Glass RR - Elizabeth's An American Bistro

Had a wonderful early birthday with my mother tonight. We went to a restaurant in Lewisburg PA.

Elizabeth’s Bistro. So creative, and inspired. Terrific menu, professional service, what a surprise. Elizabeth’s is in a college town (Bucknell University) It is on a quaint main street with charming boutiques, a book store, and antique stores.

We went to our reservation early, about 6:30. Were seated promptly in a beautiful window seat. I started with a glass of Hogue Cellars Riesling, and a glass of sparkling water. For an opening course, I had the special of the day, a crab cake on a bed of baby lettuce, corn salsa, and topped with a mustard and garlic aioli. My mother had a cream of mushroom soup. Her main was scallops on potato corn pancakes with cucumber sauce, and fresh early summer cucumbers and tomatoes. And I had Lamb Chops, with a pistachio crust, and berry and apricot sauces. For dessert they brought a glorious dessert tray- all baked on premise- too many choices, but we finally decided and we finished up sharing a strawberry and rhubarb cobbler with homemade ice cream.

Everything was prepared to perfection. The only down side was my cappuccino which was not good at all… but such a small thing could not mar such a fabulous food evening.

A few other highlights:
Lots of local produce, organic foods and Slow Food on the menu
Creative Bar menu selection including some delcious-sounding orginal cocktails
Over 100 wines winning them a wine spectator magazine award for excellence
Special tapas menu and other seasonal creative ideas
Clean and elegant

Fancy Glass RR (restaurant review) 1-5 (five being fantastic)

Food- 5- delicious, creative, and perfectly prepared

Atmosphere- 3.5 – beautiful but all the heavy fabrics really felt wintery to me. If it were my place I would change the table cloths and napkins to reflect the seasons a bit more. But it was charming, and the flowers on each table were lovely.

Service- 4- very professional, a few more touches could take them easily to a 5. The service was good, but not exceptional like the food. Could easily get there.

Dessert- 5- the cobbler was wonderful, fresh berries, piping hot inside with the vanilla ice cream on top. Simply Perfect.

Would I go Again! Certainly--- I plan on taking my husband when we next come to visit my mother. Very worth repeat visits. I saw on their website that they also do special events, cooking classes and catering. Sounds like the perfect place to return to.

Elizabeth’s An American Bistro
412 Market Street
Lewisburg, PA 17837

Some Houge Cellars and Fresh Flowers to start my meal at Elizabeth's Posted by Hello

The amazing crab cake starter course! Posted by Hello

Mom's scallop Dish Posted by Hello

Lamb Chops, with berries and pistachio Posted by Hello

dessert tray of too many choices- all baked at elizabeth's Posted by Hello

Strawberry and Rhubarb Cobbler Posted by Hello


Lunch at a local legend- The Fence Posted by Hello

Fish Sandwiches at the fence!

Sorry for the long silence on the fancy glass.

I have been traveling and gathering stories… Right now, I am visiting family in Central Pennsylvania. My mom lives in a quaint little town called Northumberland. Joseph Priestly settled here from England and this is where he discovered oxygen.
I haven’t been home in a while, and I am really enjoying the green trees, sounds of the birds, he gorgeous flowers and gardens, and the slow pace. Out on lots of local food adventures too.

One of our favorite places to go for years and years was a little place called “THE FENCE” it is along the Susquehanna river and is one of the rare carside dining and outdoor 50’s style dining left. It is right at river’s edge, and serves great fish, scallops and shrimp. In sandwiches, in baskets with home cut fries. Very all-American. So yesterday while my mother was at class (she is taking a science course for teachers) I took myself out to the fence. What a treat. I had the homemade fish sandwich. Not store bought frozen patties for these folks! Light flaky white fish on a roll. Home cut homemade fries, and lots of tasty cold beverages. I opted for Pepsi, but was tempted by the lemonade. (caffeine addict that I am, I went for bubbles with caffeine) Very good, nice service, fun atmosphere. Oldies station on the radio, which I did not love, but which was appropriate for the surroundings. Altogether a fun place to go for lunch. One of the best parts is the gaggle of Canadian geese that hang out just below the restaurant. Very beautiful. Nice local joint, no big corporate feel.

We should all cherish these kinds of places and go out and support them whenever we can! More pictures below!

close up of yummy flaky white fish! Posted by Hello

great outdoor seating at the Fence Posted by Hello

fish sandwich homemade fries and a drink all for about 5$ Posted by Hello

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Ghengis Kahn Set Posted by Hello

Fancy Glass RR- Kuro Hitsuji

Kuro Hitsuji Nakamenguro, Tokyo (Black Sheep…restaurant review)

There is a new Mongolian barbeque place in the neighborhood. Simple and wonderful concept. It is called Kuro Hitsuji which means "black sheep" in Japanese. It is a simple menu and basically everyone orders the “Ghengis Kahn set.” Which for 1000 yen roughly 10$ usa gets you great onions, sprouts, okura and lots of tasty mutton to grill right at your table.

When you sit down and order the grill guy brings you your own little dome shaped grill filled with sumi, or high quality Japanese wood charcoal. It is hot and ready to go. They help you out by putting the veggies on the top to flavor the grill and then push them down to the sides in a circle. Then you start to grill the meat right at the table yourself. Participatory cooking is a huge thing in Japanese culture. There are all kinds of dishes that are prepared, cooked and shared at table. A few examples are okonomiyaki, some yakitori, sukiyaki, shabu shabu,
yakiniku, nabe and many more- So this style fits right in and this place is already a hit, often with long lines and waits of about an hour. With a cold mug of draft beer, or in my case a cold coke this grilled meat and veggies experience was an excellent way to wind down after work. It would be great for a big party of friends too.

The dessert of choice at the black sheep is Soft Serve ice cream, in a cone but brought to your table in a little Russian/ Mongolian looking tin holder. Very cute. Very tasty. I rolled home after, full and satisfied. (and if you don’t count the ice cream this was an extremely low carb dinner)

Review on a scale of 1-5 (5 being fantastic)

Atmosphere- 4 - simple warehouse style atmosphere. You come out smelling like grilled meat, but the use of vents, glass and stainless is actually really effective and fun. A little loud, but fun.

Food- 5- For what this concept is, I couldn’t have hoped for more! Delicious, and great value.

Service- 4.5 – fun, friendly and professional. (though the cashier was new and a bit of an airhead)

Dessert- 5 – ice cream is the perfect dessert after grilled mutton, trust me on this! It was just perfect. No flavors though, just nice plain vanilla.
Will we go back? Absolutely.

Friday, June 10, 2005

celebrations with CAKE! Posted by Hello

Congrats and cake.

This is an arts-food post today. Last night I had my last class of an 8 week writing course using the Proprioceptive writing method. Pioneered by Linda Trichter Metcalf and Tobin Simon and featured in their book Writing the Mind Alive.

My class was taught in Tokyo at a wonderful art center called RBR and it is because of my teacher and this class that I felt confident enough and excited enough to get this food blog going. Something I had always wanted to do, but never was sure enough of myself to start.

So last night we finished the introductory course. There were 8 women in my class and I am so thankful for what I have learned from the teacher and all the other class members!

What better way to celebrate than with CAKE- and rich thick chocolate cake at that! We finished our last writing – sharing period in between forkfuls of yummy chocolatey goodness. If you want to celebrate with your own chocolate cake there are lots of great recipes here

The 2nd level class starts in September, I am eagerly looking forward to it, and wondering what food to share next time around.

So here’s to all the fabulous women in my class.

Thank you Angela, Hinako, Midori, Ellen, Marianne, Lia, Fiona, Christina, and Sylvia. I will treasure the memories I have of this class and look forward to reading everyone’s writing over cake and tea in the future.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

yummy brunch and kitchen shot Posted by Hello

Renee’s good bye brunch

My bartender and friend Renee, will be leaving Japan and going back to work in Australia soon, so as a thank you and a goodbye... a group of us went to the fantastic weekend brunch at the French Kitchen; at the Tokyo Grand Hyatt. Made to order omelets, light as air French toast, a cheese buffet, homemade breads, salads, cut to order fresh fruits, dessert buffet… including some amazing figs! AND your choice of a 6 main dishes. We ate until stuffed. I especially liked the little mini foie gras crostini, and having a great cheese plate with a delicious bottle of Bordeaux white.

We started off with champagne, and ended with cappuccinos, espressos etc. and in between we generally made gluttons of ourselves. Renee and I revisited the whole macaroon issue… the Grand Hyatt Chocolate ones were a big hit. We were going to smuggle some out but ended up eating tons right at our seats instead instead.

The lunch was one of those leisurely meandering meals, more than 3 hours long, with conversation coming in and out of satisfied food noises. Fun to go out with restaurant people as they notice lots of the same things I do, service style, waiter screw-ups, and kitchen antics.

One of the fabulous things in the hyatt restaurants in this hotel, is that they went with very-very-open kitchens. This one you could see fully in to. Gorgeous and extremely clean. Warm woods, great lines of chefs and cooks, in pristine whites.

A very wonderful way to spend a Saturday afternoon. I will miss Renee but glad I could share this food day with her, Nathan, Terri, & Chris. More food adventures ahead I am sure- And thanks and best wishes to Renee- may the road rise up to meet you! see you soon down under...

Thursday, June 02, 2005

photo from the She Who Eats blog... yum Posted by Hello

over at "she who eats"

there is a great post over at a favorite blog of mine "she who eats" talking about a japanese themed haagen daz plate in Tokyo. I love the cross overs and interesting ways that world wide products get localized.

wonderful photos and a fun set. Wish I had known about it, I would have liked to try some of their other worldwide sets as well. read the full post at She Who Eats I hope to meet this blogger around town some day, since we both live in this very interesting food city!

strawberry saturday waffle (my brunch last weekend) Posted by Hello

in hommage of waffles

Due to having only one waffle iron our restaurant at this time, our brief love affair of brunch waffles has ended. We are still doing the glorious chocolate waffle for dessert but have ended the weekly waffle specials… we have other wonderful brunch carbs, like perfect pancakes, and tropical coconut French toast, but I just thought I would post about this last fantastic strawberry waffle that I had before getting cut off!

So in my world fruit waffles are the only way to go. There is no exception. Real waffles have fruit, end of story.

The picture above was my very yummy Saturday strawberry waffle.
Fresh berries, whipped cream, syrup- piping hot. With strawberries also in the batter.

Folks over at crispy waffle have some great waffles and food thoughts

and bead and has great waffle recipes that you can try at home.
B&B Waffle Recipes

And now for more waffle facts than you would ever need to know or believe

In ancient times, the Greeks cooked very flat cakes between two hot metal plates. This method of cooking continued throughout the Middle Ages by the obloyeurs who made all sorts of oublies that were flat or rolled into horn shapes.

1200s: The oublie became the waffle when a craftsman had the idea of forging some cooking plates reproducing the characteristic pattern of honeycombs that at the time were called gaufres (from the Old French "wafla.").

1620: The Mayflower Pilgrims spent time in Holland before their journey in 1620. It was the Dutch "wafel" that they brought with them that became our waffles.

1735: The word "waffle" first appeared in English print. By the end of the 1700s, waffle parties were a popular form of entertainment.

1789: Thomas Jefferson returned from France with a waffle iron, a long-handled patterned griddle that encloses the batter and gives it its characteristic crispness and shape.

1911: The first known photograph is taken of a prototype General Electric waffle iron.

1955: The first Waffle House opened in Avondale Estates, Ga. (a suburb of Atlanta, Ga.). Today, there are more than 1,300 restaurants in 24 states.

1960: Maurice Vermersch debuted the "Brussel waffle" at the Brussels World’s Fair. The Belgian restaurateur decorated these big, yeasty waffles – his wife’s special recipe – with whipped cream and strawberries.

1964: Business was so good in Brussels that Vermersch decided to head to New York for the 1964 World’s Fair. In New York, he changed the name of his concoction to the "Belgian Waffle."

2001: Waffle House Restaurants, sellers of more than 442 million waffles in its 46-year history, launches National Waffle Week – recognizing the world’s greatest concoction of flour, eggs and cream.
for some fun try some waffle hypnosis i'm getting hungry.......... must have waffles.

for that "extria" special feeling Posted by Hello

chewing gum that's fun for everyone

Japanese candy and gum has some great tortured English names. And some interesting product ideas- from Black Black, the famous gum (popular with geeks worldwide) with caffeine, to Extria, the dessert gum I was given after dinner in a yakiniku (or grilled meat barbque place last night) Extria is by Lotte a famous Japanese candy maker (their english page can be see here) that rolls out new product ideas just about every week.

Some other crazy gum names and ideas from Japan can be seen at I particularly like the “Booing Aquaman” gum which is blue soda flavored…. Whatever that means.

and last but not least...Here’s another great list of 12 crazy japanese product names from over at crowndozen