Tag Archives: charcuterie

Art and Soul (Washington, DC)

Every year we do a “Death March” in which we visit a large city, and hike our way through it visiting different tourist sites, and checking out the local food options, usually with around 20 miles of hiking. This April, the destination was Washington, DC. But we arrived two days before the March, pulling into Union Station at 8pm. Being hungry, we decided to check out the area around Union Station for dinner. While I’ve been to Chinatown several times, I was looking for something a bit different, and it wasn’t very far from Union Station that we found Art and Soul.

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Le Chien Fumant (Montreal, QC)

As I mentioned in the previous review, we spent the last full weekend in February up in Quebec visiting Montreal and the surrounding countryside for the Cabane à Sucre Au Pied de Cochon dinner. But the fact that the Cabane a Sucre starts off in the morning made this more or less a required overnight stay in Montreal, so we decided to visit a few of our favorite Montreal watering holes (Le Cheval Blanc and Dieu du Ciel), and then ducked over to a place I had found online that focused on small plates (since we knew that the next day was going to be a feed-fest): Le Chien Fumant (“The Smoking Dog”), a small bistro in the “Eastern” part (have I mentioned, Montreal directional conventions seem okay, until you look at a map and realize that “North” is really more of a “West-Northwest” sort of direction) of the Plateau neighborhood.

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Butcher and the Boar (Minneapolis, MN)

After an afternoon of work in Minneapolis, and a quick trip over to St Louis Park to visit The Four Firkins (one of the finest beer stores I’ve ever been to), it was time to have some dinner. I decided to meet up with my friend Andy from my MSU days, along with a former FIRST robotics student and intern of mine, Mas (and his fiancee) for dinner at Butcher and the Boar, one of Minneapolis’ newer bars located on Hennepin Avenue on the edge of the Loring Park neighborhood (looking at a Minneapolis Map, I guess technically most folks call this the “Harmon Neighborhood”). Opened by Jack Reibel, formerly the chef at the well-respected La Belle Vie in Stillwater and the Dakota Jazz Club, Butcher and the Boar is really about two things: beer and meat. First of all, the beer: one of the two centerpieces of the restaurant is their large bar (the other is the open kitchen across the dining area), with a rather impressive tap list, indeed, the beer list was one of my main reasons for coming. With a good list of American beers, with particular emphasis on regional brewers, it’s one of the best beer lists I’ve recently found in the Twin Cities. Indeed, I was able to have some local Surly, some “Goes to 11” by Bells, and some Deschute Mirror Pond. They’ve also got rather good wine and whiskey lists, although I wasn’t in the mood for indulging those that particular night.

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The Publican (Chicago, IL)

While the Death March may have made us a little weary of walking, it didn’t completely satisfy our hunger. And Kevin still had some places on his “Chicago Bucket List” to check out before moving to Syracuse. So the morning after the Death March, we celebrated a successful March with brunch at The Publican (and my college friend Brian joined us again). The Publican is located over in the West Loop, in the Fulton Market Meatpacking District (literally across the street from a meatpacking place). The basic idea of The Publican is a celebration of two concepts: beer and meat products…

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Home Hill Inn Redux (Plainfield, NH)

As I’ve mentioned before, it’s not often I review a place twice. But sometimes a place can really do something that requires it. Place can change owners. They can change their menu significantly. Or sometimes, I’ve found out that my previously visits somehow missed out on something phenomenal (like eating breakfast for almost 15 years at Al’s Breakfast in Minneapolis before discovering that they have one of the best Eggs Benedict I’ve ever had). Well, Home Hill Inn in Plainfield, NH, has pulled off the latter two. A few years ago I finally got around to trying out Home Hill Inn, after discovering through friends that they have quite the Sunday brunch menu (you can read the original review here). Indeed, the brunch was phenomenal enough that I decided to try and return their for Easter brunch this year. Well, apparently the elaborate ad they had in the local paper was quite successful, since by Tuesday morning before Easter they were booked solid for brunch, but offered me up a reservation for dinner. So while lunch was denied, I finally got to try their lounge menu.

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Toasted Oak (Novi, MI)

The morning after Carol’s sister Cathie’s wedding, she and her new husband George wanted to meet up for breakfast someplace in the Northwest Detroit metro area. Looking around at some of the options, one place that grabbed my eye was Toasted Oak in Novi, MI. A relative newcomer to the local scene, Toasted Oak opened in 2010. It’s one of the places that’s easily overlooked, since it’s actually part of the Renaissance Hotel in Novi, in the outer loop of the Twelve Oak’s Mall. Really, it’s in the sort of location that I usually pass over (I’ve had a lot of dismal brunches in hotels by malls, to be honest), but the place had a lot of good buzz, so I decided to give it a try. Especially since that positive buzz talked about their housemade sausages…

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