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The Grey Plume – Omaha, NE

On a recent trip to visit my college girlfriend, she and her husband took me to The Grey Plume located in Midtown Crossing, a new and upcoming mixed use urban area with contemporary architecture and now, a restaurant to compliment that style.  The interior is minimal but not cold with subdued colors and pieces of art adding subtle splashes of color to the walls.

Every dish was so beautifully composed.  Truly works of art!  And delicious too:)  My favorite were the duck fat fries to start (nothing healthy about those but so tasty) and my trout…so good!  Overall if I lived in Omaha or were there more often I would definitely go back here.  It’s not your typical Monday night neighborhood joint but rather somewhere you’d go for a special occasion.

Beautiful amuse bouche – deconstructed dill pickle – yum!

Duck Fat Fries – farm fresh egg, aioli

Beef tartare – pickled vegetables, accoutrements

Blue Valley Steelhead Trout – oyster mushroom, frisée, créme fraiche spatzle, fiddlehead fern, fennel

Plum Creek Farm Chicken Roulade – beet, potato gnocchi, shiitake mushroom

Rosemary Poundcake – raspberry, blueberry, basil

Le Vin sur la Table – Otari, Japan

We found this charming little restaurant from the staff at our lodge in Hakuba.  The chef had spent a couple of years working in the south of France before opening his own restaurant in his hometown of Otari, about 30 minutes from Hakuba.  It’s not very convenient unless you happen to be in the Cortina area.  If you ski there I highly recommend making the 15 minute drive to this spot for an impressive meal.  My dish, the trout, was $16.25…a steal considering the quality of the food and overall experience, not to mention it included soup and dessert.  This was such a special lunch.  I totally recommend this place to anyone in the area.

Pumpkin Soup

Roasted Trout

Pork Minced Meat

Wild Boar Stew

Dessert – panna cotta with espresso caramel, fresh seasonal fruit and persimmon ice cream

Our chef and his wife

Madison Park Conservatory – Seattle, WA

I’m not sure why it took me a year to find this place but I’m glad I finally found it.  Owners Bryan Jarr and Cormac Mahoney, once a chef at Sitka & Spruce, have nailed it with this spot!  You might recognize Chef Zoi Antonitsas (yes she’s Greek…we’ve been friends from first sight:)) from Season 4 of Top Chef or from her expansive resume including working for Tom Douglas at the young age of 16 yrs old to Zazu in the CA wine country and Marjorie in Seattle.  What’s even more impressive is that she’s self-taught (with the help of Tom of course).

Do yourself a favor and check it out.  The upstairs bar serves the whole menu as well as drinks that are unlike any you’ve had before.  I can’t remember the name offhand but there’s a Bitter Stormy – their take on a Dark & Stormy that is SO tasty!  For food, I highly recommend the beef tongue, yes tongue…it’s divine and will forever change your preconceived notions about it.  It transformed me:)  The whole trout is amazing…so flavorful and delicate.  For dessert the olive oil ice cream with sea salt on top is delicious.  Might sound a little weird but I swear, it’s great!  Enjoy!

A peak inside the kitchen right behind the hostess’ desk

smoked trout Croquettes, romesco sauce, aioli

Risotto bolognese, red wine poached farm egg

whole Idaho Trout, pine nuts, capers, currants, brown butter *(My favorite dish hands down!!!)

herb roasted Ribeye steak, fingerling potatoes, blue cheese butter

Ummm…yes please!

lemon and créme fraiche bread pudding, huckleberry

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