Stella’s Restaurant in Traverse City. It’s located in Building 50 of the old Traverse City Asylum.
Two of my favorite restaurants are Farm to Table restaurants: Stella’s and Pisces Rising. Stella’s is famous for using every bit of an animal and weekly specials revolve around doing that. Stella’s has excellent cheeses. I love the mussels at Stella’s when they have them. They have an inspired, broad menu with things like brains and sweetbreads, a pasta or two, pork and beef from the grill, lots of seafood, but it’s a treat.
Pisces Rising (where I’m going Sunday for my birthday) is located in Mount Dora, Florida. They also have weekly specials. They have an award winning Cuban snapper, Cuban sandwiches. Cubana Mix Spring Rolls. Potato Gnocchi, Chicken Tacos. Their steaks are to die for. Their “orange and herb marinated duck breast, roasted beets, carmelized citrus walnuts with half delish apple, grilled hearts of palm, cranberry gastrique” I’m sure is great, but sometimes they serve it with sweet potato mash and it’s to die for.
Save your pennies for all these restaurants I’m talking about except the Oyster Troff.
The Oyster Troff is in Eustis, Florida. It’s got a dive atmosphere so you go in in your t-shirt and shorts. You sit at the counter while they shuck fresh oysters and throw them right on the counter top. The oysters are usually from Texas it seems. There are containers of excellent horse radish and chili sauce on the counter–you mix your own which is great because they never put enough horse radish in cocktail sauce. Their cioppino is excellent if not quite as good as mine. Shrimp tacos to die for. Oysters Rockefeller are amazing, though I usually get them three ways, one with three cheeses. Peel N Eat Shrimp. Great place and not pricey.
Las Brisas in Laguna Beach is a Mexican restaurant perched on a bluff overlooking the ocean–it doesn’t get more romantic than that. Nor the food and margaritas any better. I’ll do one day on this restaurant alone soon since it’s anything but the expected Mexican.
Pat’s Steakhouse is in Louisville, Kentucky, near the derby. It’s an elegant, pricey, old time restaurant where the owner comes out and greets all his diners. Steaks are out of this world. We’ll stop there on our way home early April.
Mode’s Steakhouse in Traverse City is not nearly as pricey (though pricey enough), and they’ll cook you a perfect steak of any type (or throw a hunk of prime rib under the broiler) and a wedge. It’s casual, an old time decor that hasn’t changed and shouldn’t.
Food today is pork chops on the grill pan, with a chili powder, cumin, (and more) rub and some horseradish, some broccoli or green beans. Mashed parslied redskins with roasted garlic. A few eggs for breakfast soon. Filtered water. Fresh brewed Kick Ass Dark Roast coffee coming right up here, from Kicking Horse brewers. My friend Karen gave it to me since she received it as a free gift and doesn’t like coffee with heft to it. Great stuff. Thanks, Karen.
Dreams: Just can’t come up with them.