I’ll say it up front, this has been our number one choice for a consistently surprising and delicious food experiences since just before COVID got going at full steam. We’ve eaten here at least a dozen times since February 2020, plus a handful of visits to the chef-owner’s other two local restaurants. Never mind that said-chef happens to be a veteran of Top Chef, and the only person to beat all three Titans on Bobby Flay’s Triple Threat (receiving the first perfect score all season).
Carrie and really, really, really enjoy Brittanny Anderson’s food and last night’s visit did little to change that.
We shared a half dozen PEI oysters. A little brinier than we like, but that’s our own bias… The oysters were top quality and clean even if a little salty.
We thought about a salad, but our server was on point and gave us the desert menu so we could decide early if we’d try and save room. She started selling us the chocolate tort. We made a tentative plan for dessert.
I say that I don’t like ordering pasta out, but three of my last four meals at Brenner have been pasta. Last night was the Lamb Gnocchi… It was perfect. The gnocchi we’re the lightest little pillows I’d ever tasted. I’m not sure how they even stayed together in the sauce. The ragu was perfectly seasoned… Reminiscent of long-cooked pot roast, but with a depth of flavor your mom couldn’t make. I finished two-thirds of it before pushing it away (and destroyed the leftovers later last night).
Carrie had the pork chop… It was spiced we’ll and had a nice smoke, but the pepper was a surprise. We need to start mentioning our pepper sensitivity when ordering to let the server offer some help in advance.
Speaking of servers, we met Selena for the first time. She was delightful and very friendly; attentive, but not obtrusive.
For dessert we ordered the chevre cheesecake and an americano. They paired wonderfully and put a nice bow on the night.
Over the last few months we’ve been slowly revising our kitchen. In October I added some new shelving and counter space where there hadn’t been any and relocated our fridge to the opposite side of the room.
Last weekend I installed a new vent hood over the stove. Next month I’m planning to rip out the rest of the cabinets and counters and replace them with new shelving all the way around. There’s a lot of work to be done, but it’s been an incredible upgrade for us already. Both of us can work in the kitchen at the same time now… Something that hasn’t really been possible before. Next for the overhaul is to remove the dishwasher we never-ever use and install a new much larger farm-style apron-front sink that’s been stored in the kid’s room since November… waiting and taunting.
We’ve also replaced and added some new small appliances. The toaster recently got swapped out for what I thought was a better choice for us. I found out quickly that it was a major downgrade. Long story short: another toaster is on the way to replace the replacement. I’ll write about it soon (further evidence that I’m a big fat liar and this is just a food blog® masquerading as anything else). We also picked up a Ninja Creami after discovering it’s an arguably better consumer-focused version of the commercial PacoJet (I’ll probably write about that soon, too).
This post is really about the new blender and food processor that will be joining our happy little family in a week.
Food has always been important to us, but over the last four years especially we’ve been upping our game… working to seriously level-up the food that we’re able to eat through improved ingredient quality and elevated technique and cooking skills. This is partly because we’ve both worked hard to lose a lot of weight (450-plus pounds between us) and we just can’t eat the volumes of food we did before. Figuratively we can’t because if we do, we’ll go back to where we were… and also–the literally, in my case at least–my designer-inspired tiny stomach literally can’t hold much beyond two slices of toast at a time. For the record, mine was surgically assisted in 2011, but hers has been au naturel, baby, since 2017.
We eat out a fair amount. We like fine dining… small portions, big flavors. What we don’t like, though, is paying someone to make something in a restaurant that we can make at home ourselves. We try to save our dining out dollars for experiences and meals we wouldn’t or couldn’t think of because we’re not fulltime chefs who make their living inventing new flavor combinations that inspire their patrons.
I’m losing the thread…
Anyway, we took the leap on a new blender and food processor last night. After a fair amount of research we decided on the Vitamix A2500 Ultra Smart Prep Kitchen System bundle. I was originally planning to cobble my own set together from a reconditioned A2500, an additional 48-ounce container, and the food processor attachment kit, but once I did the math, it made sense to go with the new motor, and add the blender cup and bowl for basically nothing. The five-year warranty for their reconditioned items is almost unheard of, but the ten-year warranty for their new machines means I probably won’t ever have to think about buying a new blender again. All of this will replace a moderately-okay Hamilton Beach food processor and a $25 Oster blender that’s been treated terribly over its surprisingly long, but pathetically unimpressive life. All I can say for it is that it makes a passable hollandaise.
I can’t wait for our new toys to arrive. Standby for new food adventures.