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Birthday weekend

August 16, 2009

I’m taking the weekend off from Za Za to celebrate my birthday in proper fashion.  The weekend was filled with a series of really good meals.  Friday night was spent at Za as friends and family had insisted on trying the food that I am always raving about.  Dinner started with mussels cooked in a tomato and fennel broth that was outstanding.  I then tried the flank steak with pasta for the main course.  Both highlighted what I enjoy about the chefs at Za and there ability to take simple dishes but use superior ingredients and create really good food. 

Saturday night I visited Chez Fon Fon, a traditional French bistro, with some good friends.  I started with the charcuterie platter as the restaurant does a great job on pates and mousses.  Despite the previous nights endeavor with steak, I decided on the steak frittes for dinner.  I was a little disappointed with the cut of the meat.  It was a flank steak, as best I could tell, and it was a little undercooked with tough sinew still intact.  The salsa verde and salad that accompanied the steak were excellent and despite the cut of steak, it was a great experience.  The wine list, I will add, is far superior to most other restaurants in the city.  Great selection of mostly French wines.  One of the few places that I can find a Sancerre. 

Today, I had to go back to Za for a follow up brunch.  I decided to take the day off knowing Saturday night would probably end late, with me being intoxicated.  So, I staggered over to Za around 11 and, after catching up with the guys working, enjoyed biscuits and gravy.  The twist on this traditional brunch meal is that the chefs roasted chicken thighs and substituted those for the sausage.  A great substitute that worked really well with the gravy.  It was a great way to close out a fun weekend. 

Next weekend I will be traveling to Cleveland to visit a friend and try Michael Symons restaurant Lola and a few other local spots.  Cleveland, thanks to shows like No Reservations, is getting some good praise on their local cuisine.  Looking forward to reporting the experience.

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