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Saturday Night At Sable.

Sable (www.sablechicago.com) is a new favorite of mine. The food is delicious and the atmosphere is fun and trendy. The menu is based around small plates, so everything is meant to be shared. I love small plates because it gives me an opportunity to try several things from a menu and I find it to be a more interactive dining experience. With these small plates, you can order a half order or full order which is great because it allows you to tailor the meal to the size of your party. Everything on their menu looks amazing – I can’t wait to go back and try more!

Bacon Wrapped Dates

Bacon wrapped dates are always good, but these are phenomenal. The bacon is lean and smokey, which nicely compliments the sweetness of the date. Not to mention, they are stuffed with blue cheese. We definitely could have eaten a full order of these!

Bacon Jam

You may think to yourself, what is bacon jam? Well, bacon jam is exactly what it sounds like. It has a fruity, bacon taste and a jam-like consistency and is topped with melted brie. It’s incredible. This dish is an aboslute must-have if you go to Sable!

New England Lobster Roll

This is a great take on a classic lobster roll. It has large chunks of fresh Maine lobster and is served on a soft bun. It is light on the mayo, which I prefer, and also has a touch of lemon. The citrus really helped to cut the richness of the lobster and mayo.

Duck Fat Steak Fries

These fries are to die for. They are deep-fried in duck fat, topped with grated Pecorino Romano cheese and served with white truffle aioli. Talk about indulgent! They are so rich, I could really only have a few, but they are definitely worth a taste.

Shrimp & Grits

This dish is made with Laughing Bird shrimp, which are farm-raised shrimp from the Caribbean. The shrimp are served in a spicy sauce over cheddar grits. It is topped with crispy bacon and green onion which gave the creamy texture a nice crunch.

Veal Meatballs

These meatballs were my favorite dish of the evening. The perfectly cooked bite-sized meatballs are served in a decadent gorgonzola and walnut cream sauce. So good!

Chicken & Waffles

You really can’t go wrong with chicken and waffles. This dish featured buttermilk fried chicken on top of a mini waffle with bourbon maple syrup. This is the ultimate soul food. The only problem with this dish was that they brought it out last, and unfortunately we were too full to eat it all.

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Mediterranean Shrimp Salad

Shrimp Salad With Cucumber, Avocado, Tomato, Olives, Feta, Dill & Lemon.

We obviously did some serious eating on our honeymoon, so when we returned I really wanted to eat fresh and healthy meals to get back on track. This salad is great because it’s light, but also filling and flavorful.

Serves 3-5.

Ingredients:

  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 1/2 cup cooked shrimp, de-veined, tails removed, halved (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 medium-sized English cucumber, diced
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, halved
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 handful fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • garlic salt
  • black pepper

Begin by heating 1 tbsp of olive oil on medium-high heat. Add in the shrimp and half of the chopped dill and season with a dash of garlic salt. Cook the shrimp for about 3-5 minutes and then remove from the heat. Allow the shrimp to cool to room temperature, then put them in a large mixing bowl and add the tomatoes, cucumber, feta, avocado, olives and the remaining dill. Add the lemon juice, a dash of garlic salt and black pepper and toss to combine.

The Grand Finale! Honeymoon Part 6: Paris.

Paris was our final stop on the honeymoon. It was quite a shock to go from the calm of Aix to a busy city like Paris, but after a day or so we adjusted to the change of pace. With so many amazing sites to see in Paris, we worked up quite an appetite. Of all the delicious food we ate on our honeymoon, I can say that I enjoyed the food in Paris the best. The food there is rich, decadent and flavorful. We were sad to see the honeymoon come to an end, but at least we ended it with a bang in a beautiful city like Paris!

Café Louise

This restaurant was in the St. Germain neighborhood of Paris. Café Louise is right on St. Germain Boulevard and serves many traditional French dishes. Gareth ordered a croque madame, which is a toasted ham and cheese sandwich topped with a fried egg. I went for moules marinières (mussels) served with frites. The mussels were cooked in a sauce with white wine and shallots. The food was excellent and was a great representation of Parisian food.

Café de la Paix

Café de la Paix is a historical restaurant that was opened in 1862. It is located right across the street from the famous Palais Garnier, which is an opera house that was designed by Charles Granier. Charles Granier also designed this café. Due to its proximity to the opera, many famous people have frequented the restaurant over the years. Gareth and I dined on their patio for lunch, which is much less formal than the interior restaurant. Gareth had a croque monsieur, which is the same as a croquet madame but without the fried egg. I had the Caesar salad which had eggs, shaved parmesan, croutons and bacon.

Le Relais de l’Entrecôte

This restaurant only serves one thing: steak frites. They don’t take reservations, so there was a line of guests waiting for the restaurant to open at 7pm. Dining here is quite an experience—they don’t even have a menu! After you are seated, the waitress asks you how you want your steak cooked and then brings you a house salad. After you finish your salad, the waitress plates the steak and frites for you tableside. The steak is perfectly seasoned in butter, garlic and herbs and the frites are perfectly crisped. We got crème brûlée and raspberry sorbet for dessert to top it all off. This was one of our best meals of the whole honeymoon. We highly recommend it!

Chez Papa

This restaurant was right next to our hotel so we decided to give it a try for lunch. Chez Papa serves southwestern French cuisine. The food is hearty and the service is friendly and welcoming. Gareth ordered a skillet with potatoes, ham and cream sauce topped with melted cheese. I ordered a salad that had potatoes, fried eggs, ham, tomatoes and romaine lettuce. This is a great, casual spot for a delicious and filling meal.

Bistrot Napolitain

We took a break from eating traditional French cuisine and dined at this delicious Italian restaurant. I ordered the linguine aux crevettes, which had linguine and shrimp in a cherry tomato sauce. The sauce was light, tangy and bursting with flavor. Naturally, Gareth ordered a pizza with his stable toppings of anchovies and capers. As you can see, this pizza was topped with cheese, unlike a lot of the pizzas in Aix.

La Rôtisserie du Beaujolais

This was my favorite meal of the entire honeymoon! La Rôtisserie du Beaujolais is a truly authentic French bistrot with a friendly atmosphere and exquisite food. We ordered escargot and a warm leek salad to begin our meal. The escargot was cooked in butter, garlic and herbs. The leek salad was served warm and topped with chives and French dressing. Gareth and I each ordered the steak frites for our entrée. The steak was fresh, high quality meat that was butchered right in the restaurant. We completed our meal with the quintessential French desert, crème brûlée. Overall, this dining experience was perfection from beginning to end.

Honeymoon Part 5: Aix-en-Provence.

Gareth and I fell in love with Aix-en-Provence, France… and we fell hard. Located in the south of France in the region of Provence, Aix has a warm climate and a laid-back vibe. The winding streets are filled with shops, cafés, pubs and outdoor markets. One of our favorite things to do in Aix was to get a bottle of rosé and just sit outside to enjoy the day. Provence is known for rosé, so it was an affordable and delicious choice. Of course, we also enjoyed the food in Aix, too. Provençal style cooking has a strong Mediterranean influence and is full of vegetables, fruits, citrus and herbs.  All of the meals we had were simple, yet delicious. The ingredients were always fresh and perfectly seasoned.

Outdoor Market

We came across this market as we were walking around the city on our first day there. The market was lively and colorful. There were so many wonderful things to choose from: flowers, fruits, vegetables, fish, candy, olives, meats and cheese. Naturally, I purchased some olives.

L’Estello

We started this meal as we often did on our honeymoon – with wine and olives! We shared an appetizer of jambon cru (prosciutto- raw, cured ham) that was lightly dusted with sea salt and garnished with cornichons and tomatoes. We ate this with freshly baked French bread. I filled up quite on a bit on this, so I ordered a salade de poulet (salad with chicken) with poached chicken breast, homemade croutons, shaved parmesan and tomatoes in a light citric vinaigrette. Gareth ordered a pizza with tomato sauce, anchovies and olives. As you can see, this pizza had no cheese, which really allowed the flavor of the tomatoes to come through. Gareth even declared this the best thin crust pizza he’s ever had!

Café Du Roi René

Gareth was on a pizza kick, so he ordered this onion, olive and anchovy pizza. The pizza had no sauce or cheese, but the onions were smothered with fragrant herbs which gave it a lot of flavor. He really enjoyed this pizza, but I can’t say that I enjoyed his breath afterwards! I ordered spaghetti carbonara which has a mushroom cream sauce, bacon and an egg yolk on top. It was creamy and decadent. This meal was a BIG splurge for me.

Patacrepe

This creperie had a lengthy menu with every crepe combination imaginable. They even had crepes with salad on top, which is what Gareth and I went for. Our crepes were topped with mixed greens, vegetables, jambon cru, cheeses and herbs. They were delicious and filling.

Tabac le Gaulois

This night became what I like to refer to as “the night of gluttony.” We started off our evening with some wine at a pub called Tabac le Gaulois. The pub is positioned right under an old, beautiful building. With a nice buzz, we went on to get dinner at Bella Napoli and got yet another bottle of wine. Gareth ordered an anchovy pizzas (go figure.) I ordered spaghetti with pesto, pancetta and parmesan. After chowing down on the delicious food, I then had the brilliant idea of getting gelato for dessert. Needless to say, we ate and drank massive amounts… and it was a blast.

Bella Napoli

Le Balto

Per usual, Gareth ordered a pizza for dinner. He skipped the anchovies this time and had a Pizza Royale that was topped with olives, mushrooms, ham, cheese and herbs. I enjoyed a delicious pasta salad topped with cured olives and sun-dried tomatoes.

La Fromagerie Du Passage

We stumbled across this fromagerie and we had to go in to sample some cheeses. We chose the chef’s platter, which featured several cheeses of the chef’s choice. The cheeses were unlike any I’ve ever had before and were aromatic, potent and flavorful.

Le Café des Deux Garçons

Opened in 1840, this famous brasserie was frequented by many famous and historical figures including Paul Cezanne, Emile Zola, Pablo Picasso and Winston Churchill. We wanted to experience this historical site for ourselves so we decided to enjoy some wine there. It’s a fun and lively environment with great people watching.

Honeymoon Part 4: Geneva.

Geneva, Switzerland was our fourth stop on our honeymoon adventure. Geneva is a beautiful, bustling city on Lake Geneva that’s filled with sightseeing, outdoor markets, shopping and restaurants. We quickly mastered our way around the city and found that our favorite area was Old Town (Vieille Ville), which is the historic area of Geneva. Since we spent a lot of our time in Old Town, we also dined there and had some of our most memorable meals of the honeymoon there. The food in Geneva was similar to Nyon, but in addition to the French influence, there was also a strong Italian influence on the food. Below are a few of our delicious meals from Genève.

Cafe Flore

Cafe Flore was a quick and casual Italian restaurant with large outdoor patio. Their menu was filled with pizza, pastas and salads. Gareth had his standard pizza of the honeymoon: anchovies, capers and black olives.

I dined on a yummy salad with poached eggs and bacon. Obviously, it’s not the healthiest of salads, but it’s probably one of the best tasting salads! You just can’t go wrong with bacon and poached eggs.

Hôtel Les Armures

http://www.hotel-les-armures.ch/fr/restaurant-geneve.php

We found lovely outdoor restaurant that was part of a hotel in Old Town. We decided to go all out and do fondue. We chose the cheese and tomato fondue and dipped baby potatoes and bread into the delicious melted cheese. Because of the richness of the fondue, we each just ordered a light salad to accompany the fondue which we shared. Gareth had an endive and blue cheese salad while I went for a mixed salad. Although the salads were simple, they were made with fresh ingredients and were thoughtfully prepared. The food and service here were excellent.

Farmer’s Market

Olives quickly became a theme of the honeymoon. While in Geneva, we found an outdoor farmer’s market and I decided to purchase some of their amazing olives and eat them for breakfast. Clearly, olives are not an obvious choice for breakfast, but I just couldn’t resist. These were some of the freshest olives that I’ve ever had.

Restaurant des Antiquaires

This meal was probably my favorite in Geneva. Another Italian restaurant in Geneva, Restaurant des Antiquaires, was nestled on a hidden, cobblestone street in Old Town. The atmosphere was warm and friendly and their menu was filled with salads, fish, meats, fondue and pastas. We started out with a tomato and mozzarella salad to share.

Gareth ordered homemade ravioli in a gorgonzola cream sauce. The gorgonzola sauce was decadent, creamy and rich.

I ordered the linguine aux crevettes, which featured linguine and shrimp in a tomato cream sauce. It has been a while since I’ve ordered pasta while dining out (given my wedding workout and diet regimen), but this pasta made it worth the wait. The shrimp and the creamy tomato sauce were the perfect pairing.

Honeymoon Part 3: Nyon.

 

Nyon was our first stop in Switzerland. Nyon is a picturesque little city right on Lake Geneva and it is absolutely beautiful. Because it is so close to France, there is a strong French influence on the cuisine. There was a lot of variety in the food there: fresh seafood from Lake Geneva, gorgeous salads with amazing ingredients and several creperies as well. Overall, the food was extremely fresh and always very thoughtfully prepared. Here are some of our favorite meals.

Restaurant Le Débarcadère

http://restorive-nyon.ch/restaurant-le-debarcadere-nyon

This was our first meal in Nyon. It was quite funny because Gareth suddenly realized he had some brushing up on his French to do as soon as he ordered his meal. Gareth was under the impression he ordered a normal, everyday steak, but our waiter looked slightly surprised at his order and then brought him a bib. Gareth grew quite concerned while we waiting for our meal (as you can see below.) As it turns out, he actually ordered a massive steak that you had to cook yourself on a hot slate rock. It ended up being delicious, so he was able to overcome the embarrassment of wearing a bib.

I ordered fresh perch from Lake Geneva that was accompanied by a big pile of pomme frites. The perch was absolutely amazing and perfectly cooked. There was quite a lot of butter in the dish, as there often is with French cooking, but the herbs and citrus gave it a great balance.

Creperie Le Tac Oh

http://www.itaste.com/list/restaurant/en/nyon/creperie-tac-oh.html

Gareth loves crepes and we were lucky enough to have this creperie right across from our hotel. I decided I wanted a dessert crepe so decided to go with a salad for my entrée. This salad was topped with grilled apples, prosciutto, feta cheese and a tangy vinaigrette. It was a really unique flavor with the sweetness of the apples and the savory ham, cheese and dressing.

I followed up my salad with more apples! I had a crepe filled with apples. It was subtle, sweet and a great ending to this meal. The presentation wasn’t too shabby, either.

Gareth ordered his absolute favorite crepe, Nutella and banana. This is possibly one of the world’s best combinations.

Cafe Le Bateau Ivre, Yvoire.

http://www.restaurant-lebateauivre.com/fr_FR/

While in Nyon, we took a ferry ride over to Yvoire, France for a day trip. Although this food is technically not in Nyon, it was still a good representation of the food we had on the trip. Yvoire is a small medieval town with old buildings, cobblestone streets and lots of shops and restaurants. We started off this meal as we always did on our honeymoon, with some rosé wine and olives.

Gareth ordered an eggplant, roasted red pepper and prosciutto salad that was layered similarly to a lasagna would be. It was light, fresh and obviously gorgeous.

Although this salad was filled with common salad ingredients, this salad was especially fresh and beautifully presented. It had chicken, cheese, carrots and a variety of lettuce and was topped with a curried dressing.

Breakfast at the Hotel Beau-Rivage, Nyon

Our breakfasts in Nyon were so simple, but so good. Included in the hotel stay at the Beau-Rivage, the buffet was filled with fresh fruits, meats, cheeses, breads and pastries. I always went for the meat and cheese, while Gareth always went for the pain au chocolat and croissants. It was a great way to start the day.

Cafe des Arts

http://www.cafedesarts-nyon.ch/

This wine bar was also located right by our hotel. They have an extensive list of wines, great outdoor seating and very friendly service. Not only that, but you also get olives with your wine, of course!

Honeymoon Part 2- London.

After Wales, we had a one day layover in London on our way to Switzerland, so we decided to wander around the city, have a pint at The Sherlock Holmes Pub (Gareth’s favorite) and then find dinner. We ended up coming across a really cool outdoor market called the Real Food Festival that was full fresh, homemade foods and delicious drinks. We ended up getting two glasses of bubbly and ordering from The Polish Deli London (www.thepolishdelilondon.com). Gareth ordered a sausage in baguette served with ketchup, mustard and pickles. I ordered sausage in sauerkraut with dill potatoes. I spotted some good-looking pickles so asked for some of those as well, of course. If you know me, you know I love salty foods, so this meal was pretty much made for me. Not only that, but the pickles were the BEST pickles I have ever had. They were salty, tangy and crisp. I went back and ordered a side of them (something that was not on the menu) and although he looked a bit confused, he gave them to me for just £1. I was in heaven. This was a good day in London.