Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Very Happy Anniversary!

Andrew and I celebrated our 3rd anniversary this last Saturday. As huge fans of Top Chef and Food Network, we became familiar with Nyesha Arrington, a southern California chef. Nyesha was one of the selected chefs on Top Chef Texas (Bravo). She was a great chef, but her time on the show came to an early end when she was paired with a disastrous chef who took her down with her. Soon after her departure, Wilshire restaurant reached out to Chef Hunters (Food Network) in search for a new executive chef. As each of the chefs in the competition were introduced, Andrew and I said wait a second, that is Nyesha from Top Chef! Nyesha fought hard in the kitchen and was offered the position at Wilshire. From that time Andrew became a huge fan of her. She proved herself and her talent in the online after competition for dismissed Top Chefs on Last Chance Kitchen  and she held her reign for 5 weeks. With all that said Nyesha has proven she is a very talented chef. To celebrate, we decided we would take that trip to Santa Monica, meet Nyesha and taste the food from the chef herself at Wilshire Restaurant.

To start our night off we enjoyed a few cocktails at the bar before our reservations. Mine was a vodka, grapefruit juice, and jalapeno martini, which was spicy and delightful. I surprised Andrew and ordered him a big boys old fashion, which was a buffalo trace bourbon, combier orange liqueur, cherry heering and he loved it, he ordered 4 more by the end of the night.

Once we sat at our table it was time to select our food for the night. We started with the steak tartar and the chef's choice charcuterie and cheese plate. Next for entrees I ordered the Wilshire burger, I wasn't in for something fancy, but it just sounded delicious. Andrew ordered the New York steak, and we ordered the Marscapone polenta and Mac & Cheese for sides. Oh yes, and a request to meet the executive chef.

First at the table the appetizers, the steak tartar was awesome. I had never had raw steak, and after seeing it created as a dish on Iron Chef and the other food competition shows, I had to try it and I wasn't disappointed! The meat and cheese plate was good, but how can you go wrong with meat and cheese? On the plate was this awesome mustard. I never thought I would be raving about mustard but it was a thick grain mustard, that complimented both cheeses and meats we were served excellently.

Next our entrees and sides arrived, my burger was topped with gruyere, caramelized onions and a bacon hollandaise sauce on the side. I couldn't wait I had to try this sauce, so I dipped my fork in it and tried it all by itself and ooooo it was delicious. Then I put it on the bun, with my burger and this sauce made it. I have to say, the burger had tarragon spice in it and I am not much of a fan, but with the bacon sauce it covered it up. I can't wait to attempt making this sauce at home! I think it would be perfect on a breakfast Benedict. Andrew's steak was well cooked and tender. The mascarpone polenta, went perfectly with both of our dishes and I would eat it again and again. So I am very picky when it comes to Mac & Cheese, and the tarragon ruined it for me, but Andrew really liked it.

Finally we ended the night with some delicious dessert. We ordered the Sundae, Sundae, Sundae, and it was quite the banana split sundae. The bananas were brûléd then topped with salted caramel and bourbon ice cream, whipped cream, hot fudge chocolate sauce, and topped with nilla wafers walnut toffee. I will be brûléing my bananas in the future, never thought of that but it was genius.

It was a very fun night, but the most exciting part of the night was meeting Nyesha! Finally at the very end, she was able to make it to out to meet us.

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