Goodbye, Old Friend

12 08 2009

menu

Just yesterday, I finally got around to posting my TasteCasting review of Morton’s bar bites. That will teach me to be a lazy-ass. 614 Magazine broke the news today on twitter that Morton’s has shuttered their downtown Columbus location, which strikes me as odd – I was just there and business seemed to be thriving. I don’t think the employees had much notice, either – our host for the evening mentioned that they were about to open a patio, she also mentioned a scotch tasting they were holding next month, plus they had just debuted bar bites. I have fond memories of the place and spent many happy hours in their dining room with former colleagues and clients, so it makes me sad to see Morton’s close, despite the fact that I couldn’t have ever afforded to dine there as a paying customer. Le sigh!

Meanwhile, bunnies have ravaged my beloved garden and turned it into their personal salad bar. Needless to say, I can’t pass by the Big Kid’s room without flipping off her rabbits. Childish, I know!

On the career front, things are looking up. I have a new client, as well as a meeting (purpose TBD) Monday, so I’m hoping that a job will be forthcoming. Unemployment is such a buzzkill.





What do I do With All of These %$#@! Veggies?

11 08 2009

Sautee

If your garden is anything like mine, I’m overwhelmed with produce. Right now, I have a ton of squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, and green beans in a salad bowl on my counter, which means that it’s time to get creative.

Pasta is a great way to utilize veggies and pretty much everyone loves it (plus, adding cheese to the dish may be a way to get the kids to finally eat their veggies without complaining).

In a large skillet, warm 2T of EVOO (roughly twice around the pan if your bottle has a topper) and garlic (do this to taste, but I usually start with a clove or two, depending on the size of the cloves). Sautee veggies of choice – broccoli, zucchini, peppers, cauliflower, squash, etc. – until fork tender. Add diced tomatoes and capers (again, to taste) and toss in a couple of bay leaves. Let simmer for about 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Add veggies to pasta – I like to use whole wheat penne. Top with grated parmesan or mozzerella and enjoy!

Pasta

On a totally unrelated note, for those who enjoy reading my restaurant reviews, go to the TasteCasting site to check out my review of Sugar Inc. Cupcake and Tea Salon in Old Dublin.





Hello, Old Friend

11 08 2009

menu

I may not be employed right now, but my life doesn’t completely suck, either, especially since I get to try different restaurants with my fellow TasteCasters. This time, we went to an old favorite, Morton’s. I haven’t been there since my radio days when record company reps would take us out for dinner when they came into town. Weirdly, my former PD was there, at “his” seat at the bar with his usual glass of scotch in front of him. Funny how some things never change.

Speaking of how things never change, Morton’s was exactly as I remember it – dark and cozy with a lively happy hour crowd. Morton’s is the place to go for a special evening – it was even voted as the top place in Columbus to propose (keep that in mind if you plan to pop the question anytime soon!) – but it’s pricey. It would be difficult to have a nice dinner for two for less than $100. However, the new bar bites menu launches the perennial favorite into a new realm of affordability.

Yep, you read that correctly: Morton’s is actually affordable. The bar bites menu is available from 6pm – close, which means that you could order one of these generously-sized appetizers, a drink, and a dessert, and pay about $20.

A few of my new-favorite things…

Petite Fillet Mignon Sandwich and Iceberg Lettuce Bite

Petite Fillet Mignon Sandwich and Iceberg Lettuce Bite

I’m not normally a sandwich-for-dinner kind of girl. It goes against pretty much everything I believe in, food-wise. But the Petite Fillet Mignon Sammie is incredible. It’s cooked perfectly and topped with red onion on a toasted bun. The little guy pictured here is actually one of a set of four. Morton’s also offers a trio of Prime Rib Cheeseburgers, as well as a full-sized version, for those who like their burgers a little more Old School. Not to be outdone is the Iceberg Lettuce Bite. I am a huge fan of iceberg wedge salads, but they can be a PITA to eat. This is a perfect compromise – it’s about four bites’ worth of salad and is topped with crumbled bacon, hardboiled egg, blue cheese, and dressing.

Miniature Crab Cakes

Miniature Crab Cakes

The Miniature Crab Cakes come in an order of four and they are glorious! One of the thing that bothers me about many restaurants’ crab cakes is that they’re too perfect – too smooth in texture and appearance and a tad on the bland side. These are perfectly imperfect with their rustic texture and genuine crabby goodness, plus they’re topped with a velvety mustard sauce.

Blue Cheese French Fries

Blue Cheese French Fries

Nirvana can be found on a plate of Morton’s Blue Cheese French Fries. They’re fried to golden brown perfection and topped with blue cheese, chives, and red pepper flakes – think crunchy and creamy with a kick. This is the ultimate comfort food, as well as the perfect accompaniment to any of the sandwiches Morton’s offers, as well as to their Chicken Goujonettes, which are a dressed-up version of the chicken fingers that  kids love.

Jumbo Lump Crab, Spinach, and Artichoke Dip

Jumbo Lump Crab, Spinach, and Artichoke Dip

You can imagine my delight when our fabulous server, Joe, brought this to our table. The Jumbo Lump Crab, Spinach, and Artichoke Dip exceeded my expectations in so many ways, and I’m craving another order, even a week later. It’s creamy, chunky perfection that is paired with garlic toast points. Unlike many restaurants, these toast points were brushed with EVOO, rather than butter, so they’re lightly crisp, rather than greasy.

Authentic New York Cheesecake

Authentic New York Cheesecake

You can’t go out for a nice dinner and not order dessert. That’s just plain wrong. Morton’s has an amazing assortment of desserts, and I can personally vouch for at least four of them. Shown here is the New York Cheesecake. Pretty much every restaurant I’ve ever been to says they have New York Cheesecake, which, as it turns out, is just a standard recipe. Morton’s cheesecake is authentically New York – it’s flown in from the Bronx. Who else can say that? Kudos also for their Key Lime Pie, Chocolate Mousse, and Carrot Cake.

Grade: A+

Comment: Thank you, Morton’s, for making the evening special and affordable!