Monday, February 25, 2008

Fig & Nuts Rye Bread

I baked these loaves (Figs & Brazil Nuts Rye Bread [big one] and Currants & Walnuts Bread [smaller ones]) last Saturday.
It was one of my experimental breads and it was a sort of last-minute inspirational thing to add figs and brazil nuts to the loaf, so I am very glad that it turned out quite well.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Restaurant FARMbloomington - Great Addition to Bloomington Eating Scene!

Last Friday (15th February), we had our Valentine dinner at this new restaurant called FARMbloomington which was opened just a month ago.

The owner and chef of this restaurant, Daniel Orr, is obviously very well accomplished - as you can see from his biography on the link above, he worked for two years in well-acclaimed restaurants in Paris and Belgium, and coming back to home became an executive chef in a famed French restaurant in NY; in 1997, at age 34, earned a three-star review from the New York Times, and in 1999, he was asked by Sir Terence Conran (the designer/owner of The Conran Shop to become the executive chef of his first restaurant in the U.S.!!

So, by now, you may be wondering why on the earth such an accomplished chef has opened a restaurant in such a small town as Bloomington in Indiana, the Mid West U.S. (read as "in the middle of nowhere").

I did wonder too, but from his biography, you can also see that he was born in Columbus, Indiana --- so that may explain why. In any case, we are very glad that he opened this great restaurant FARM in Bloomington.

The restaurant doesn't feel like you are in Bloomington at all, but you feel as though you are in a restaurant in NY, Tokyo, or LA. The atmosphere is very open, friendly and yet sophisticated. The food are also simple yet creative and sophisticated, using very fresh local ingredients.

What we had on that night are:

Left: Banana and Butternut Squash Bisque with Crab Meat and Island Chilli Pepper  (M)
Right: Carpaccio of Hamachi with snipped herbs, citrus and olive oil (A)

The Banana and Butternut Squash Bisque was really great! It turned out my best favorite dish of the evening.  Its harmony of sweetness and spiciness was perfect :)

Principal Plates:

Left: Seared Ahi Tuna Steak (Black and Blue) Green Peppercorn Flambe with Gingered Bok Choy with Sesame (M)
Right: Rack of Lamb, Couscous in a Tomato Cup with Creamy Mushed Potatoes and Green Beans (A) (This was the chef's special of the day)

Amar loved the lamb and couscous dish.


Left: Chocolate Mud Mousse with Hot Cocoa and Cookies (M) 
Right: Bread Pudding with Raisins, Walnuts and Cranberries with English Vanilla Sauce (A)

We loved both desserts, but in the end we exchanged each other's choice, because it turned out Amar loved chocolate mousse more than his bread pudding, and I liked bread pudding better --- the chocolate mousse was a bit too rich and sweet for me.

                                      Happy Amar eating one of his favorite desserts, Bread Pudding