Saturday, June 16, 2007

A ShoutOut To My Wonderful Friends

It was my birthday last Thursday and since it was a weekday, we or rather, I did not have any celebratory plans. At the most, the bf and I were going for dinner and then, I was planning to go to Jazz In The Park with the bf for some socializing. Hahaha.....someone once said something about the best laid plans.....

I think I once mentioned to the bf that you HAVE to have at least a birthday cake to celebrate the anniversary of your birth. Since I came to the US in 2001, I have not had a birthday cake and I really, really missed having one. The wonderful bf remembered and this year, after dinner at Coast (because the last attempt to have dinner at Coast went awry--long story that deserves another post), he told me that we have to go to a friend's house to drop off an Ipod car kit adapter. Innocent enough.

Then, when I walked into my friend's apartment, I saw a cake (not just any cake, it was a STRAWBERRY cake) with lit candles and balloons in the air and the best part of all, my closest friends!!!! They were all shouting "Surprise" and "Happy Birthday". And this is, was one of the best birthday's ever!!!!

To the mastermind: I love you very much!!! Thanks for so many wonderful years together.

To the rest of the party planners: Thank you very much for planning this. I am very touched by your effort and grateful that you are my friends. My friend, L once told me, "At home you rely on your parents, outside the home, you rely on your friends." You guys are definitely people that I can count on through thick and thin and I am so proud to call you my friends.

Thanks again.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Happy Happy Birthday!!!!

To my dearest friends, and in birth order: Tine, Misery and Wans

Wishing all of you a very Happy Birthday from me. I am so honored to be your friend and to have shared such an awesome experience in Sec School. I know distance has kept us apart for several years but I still cherish our friendship. May each of you achieve your dreams and goals in life and find everlasting happiness. I miss you all very much. After all, where else can you find a bunch of friends who are all both Monkeys and Geminis?

Photo source:

Milwaukee Downtown Dining Week-Yanni 5/31/07

Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are.—Brillat-Savarin

The bf and I went on a double date with another couple for Downtown Dining Week (DDW) to Yanni's Restaurant. I've been to Yanni's several times for dinner and have always been impressed by the quality of their food and service. Thus, when I found out that they were participating in the DDW events, I immediately called to make a reservation. Let's just say that we were very happy with our dining experience.

The service was excellent, as usual and our waiter was very attentive. Since, I already had planned out my meal one week in advance, it didn't take long to take our orders....yes, usually I am the one holding up the table with my indecisivenes.

I had the crab cake for my appetizer, beef tenderloin for my entree and the chocolate ice cream Jubilee. The bf had the soup, the fish and again ice cream. Our other dining partners each chose something different and we all shared.For 20 dollars, you get to choose 3 items from the menu below, one from each category:

- Soup du Jour -- Chef's inspiration

- Wood Stone Baked Crab Cake -- Single jumbo lump crab cake with spicy dijonaise and remoulade sauces

- House Salad -- Mixed greens, radishes, cucumbers, eggs, grape tomatoes, carrots, croutons and choice of dressing

- Beef Tenderloin Tournelle -- 5 oz. petite fillet of beef served with sauteed spinach, truffle potato croquette and shiitake Madeira sauce

- Mahi Mahi -- Served baked with steamed vegetables in a champagne garlic lemon herb sauce

- Chicken Trio -- Three chicken breasts, marinated and sauteed with fresh herbs, garlic and spices, and served with sweet potato mash, sauteed spinach and three individual sauces: lemon cream, Madeira and apricot

- Ice Cream Jubilee -- Vanilla or Chocolate ice cream topped with a cherry jubilee sauce

The waiter brought out the bread basket and we all dug in. The bread was served with several kinds of flavored butter and a dipping oil. My favorite was the strawberry butter. I totally pigged out on the butter and bread more than intended.

The bf's soup of the day. I can't even remember what it was but I was too busy enjoying my crab cakes and didn't really pay attention to his appetizer. The other couple also had the crab cake.

The absolutely scrumplicious Wood Stone Baked Crab Cake. It was served with 2 different sauces, a Dijon mustard sauce and a remoulade sauce. I liked both sauces equally but the Dijon sauce seemed to bring out the flavor of the crab meat better compared to the remoulade. I really took my time rolling the briny crustacean meat in my sounds gross but tastes like heaven. B, my friend appeared to have immensely enjoyed her crab cake as well.

Now for the entrees:

The bf had the baked Mahi-Mahi in a lemon sauce preparation and liked it very much. I had a small bite of his dish and discovered that the fish was very fresh and did not have a "fishy" smell or taste to it. I think the lemon sauce did help to mask the original smell of the fish and made the dish more palatable. Those of you who know me know that I do not like fish, ...well... except for, you know, sushi. B's bf also had this dish and have it his stamp of approval.

B had the Chicken Trio, a serving of 3 generous pieces of grilled chicken breast, accompanied by 3 different sauces. It also came with a portion of mashed sweet potatoes, topped with sauteed spinach. The dish was so generous that she was unable to finish it alone. Even after some help from us, she had to box it up to go.

My entree was absolutely a treat. It was a perfectly grilled 5 ounce beef tenderloin cooked to medium rare and came on top of a potato croquette. The sauce was slightly sweet and very can definitely taste the Madeira and the woodsy mushroom in the sauce. I loved every bite of the tender meat that melted in my mouth.

I was not impressed with the dessert at all so I didn't even bother to take a picture of it. I've never had ice cream jubilee before but I am so never ordering that if I had a choice. After the magnificent appetizer and entree...the dessert was rather...boring and disappointing. What can I say, I am an ice cream snob, after all. Yanni, I did expect better.

All in all, we had a wonderful time up to dessert and the company was great. B and M, lets do this again.

540 E. Mason St.
Milwaukee, WI 53202

Sun: Closed
Mon - Fri: 11 am - 2 pm
Mon - Thu: 5 pm - 10 pm
Fri - Sat: 5 pm - 11 pm

Friday, June 08, 2007

Lessons (NOT) Learnt from History

My dad has always said that we learn history so that we can learn from the mistake of others made in the past. Thus, we do not have to make the same mistakes twice. But then again, do we really learn anything, or do we just memorize enough to regurgitate the answers on an exam sheet and then conveniently wipe it from our memories. I'll let you decide after watching this video:

Sad, isn't it?

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Milwaukee Downtown Dining Week

Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are.—Brillat-Savarin

I just wanted to announce that May 31-June7 is Milwaukee's Downtown Dining Week. I know, I know, it's almost over but it's still not too late to go out and catch an impromptu lunch or dinner at some of the participating restaurants. It's a week when many fine dining restaurants offer a 3 course lunch for USD 10 and dinner for USD 20. What a steal!!!! You don't even have to make reservations for lunch but dinner reservations are recommended lest you arrive at the restaurant disappointed.

Here's the link to the Downtown Dining Week website. You can see the list of participating restaurants and their offerings. I generally look at the menu and then decide on the restaurant. This way, I'll be guaranteed to like the offerings. Two hot tips: Yanni and Coast. I'll blog about my culinary adventures soon.

What are you waiting for....go out and eat, Milwaukee!!!!