Sunday, January 25, 2015

Dory Deli Dives into Newport Beach Scene

The Newport Beach community and visitors to the pier area will be privy soon to the delights of Dory Deli, a new delicatessen featuring a slew of sandwiches, salads, side dishes, coffee, and much more. The venture by well-known restaurateurs Mario Marovic and Andrew Gabriel (recently known for the successes of Hopscotch and Wild Goose Tavern about which we've done interviews) has come to fruition after several months and opens its doors tomorrow, January 26th, bright and early. Cornered up with the likes of Il Farro and Seaside Bakery, Dory Deli has a street-side facing entrance as well as a way to get in from the back. Their menu has been crafted by Executive Chef Chris Rubinstein and Sous Chef Giovanny Bolivar, two talents who have made an impressive and unique list of dishes of which many are vegan-friendly! We got to visit for a sneak peek of the space and the food. It is bound to make people happy.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Recipe - Vegetable Gratin

Who said vegetables always have to be healthy? I don't mean to say that eating healthy is bad but sometimes, you want to eat something that you know may not be the best for you. Why not alleviate that guilt just a teensy bit by including more healthful ingredients? It can still taste quite wonderful. I really enjoy potatoes au gratin, even making a White Cheddar Potatoes Au Gratin once, but coming across a significant amount of rainbow heirloom carrots made me wonder if I could make those in the same way. Lo and behold, some maneuvering can make it happen so here is a vegetable gratin recipe to use that is vegetarian as well (not vegan)! The combination of carrots with broccoli in a crunchy, cheesy side dish is a great way to work in some extra vegetable vitamins into a meal.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Giveaway - AFTER DARK: OC Valentine's Day Pop-Up Date

[Giveaway details at the bottom of the post] Are you having a hard time deciding what to do with your significant other for a date night? The Hush Experience has you covered. The company is built upon creating memorable and unique experiences for couples via pop-up date night dinner parties. That includes an exclusive prix fixe menu by a local chef, live entertainment, cocktails, and the hush of a secret rendezvous point which isn't known to guests until 48 hours before the night of the event. That even includes theme! Does it sound like you want that kind of excitement in your life? If so, good. Read on!

With Valentine's Day around the corner, it only makes sense that Hush Experience would be formulating a pop-up for then. That Friday night, February 13th, you can be a part of their AFTER DARK event which I honestly cannot tell you any other details about; even I don't know! What I do know is that Duc and I will be giving it a try ourselves (by invitation) to see just what magical pop-up date night Hush Experience is able to conjure up.

No worries - you can join us in figuring out #WhatHappensAfterDark as well. Hush Experience has graciously given Much Ado About Fooding readers two options to get in on this secret event.

You can enter below to win one pair of tickets (valued at $300) to AFTER DARK or you can jump the gun and reserve your seats before it sells out! Head on over to to read more about AFTER DARK and then click on Tickets to purchase. By entering in the code "MuchAdoAboutFoodingVIP," you can get a whopping 50% off the current ticket price (reduced price is $150/couple). This special code lasts until February 5th! So...what are you waiting for?

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Newport Beach Restaurant Week 2015 Preview - Great Eats at Great Maple

The season of restaurant weeks is here! How cruel of the Chambers of Commerce (and other organizations) around Orange County to thrust the tempting siren songs of reduced-price menus upon us so soon after new year's resolutions are made to be healthier. They started as early as the second week of January with Irvine's run but what's starting tomorrow is Newport Beach's Restaurant Week. To make it even better, the vast selection for Dine Newport Beach is available for longer than the customary one week. Face the $10/$15/$20/$25 lunches and/or $20/$30/$40/$50 dinners for two whole weeks from January 19 to February 1 this year and decide on where to visit from a list of more than 60 participating restaurants. We took a gander at all of the menus that were posted up about the celebration and spotted quite an impressive number of steals. One of those that guarantee a bigger bang for your buck during these following two weeks is Great Maple Libations and Seasonal Plates which we were invited to visit and preview.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Eatery - Ha Long Pho Noodle House (HI)

Ha Long Pho Noodle House on Urbanspoon
1286 Kalani St, Ste B107, Honolulu, HI 96817 (Kalihi)
Pricing - $/$$ | Dining - Casual, To-Go | Cuisine - Vietnamese

Is it strange to seek out some pho after a long flight? It seems fairly regular for us to want a little bit of comfort food. When we landed on Oahu and had just a handful of hours before our friend would land, we were curious what Vietnamese food on the island would be like. Luckily, our random turn down the street from the airport led us toward a small plaza that had plenty of restaurants to choose from. One of them was Ha Long Pho Noodle House, and it had several positive ratings on review sites. Time to check out the Hawaiian Vietnamese food!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Recipe - Chocolate Chip Cookie Butter Banana Bread

The love for cookie butter that has grown with everyone over the last few years is astonishing. Who knew that the speculoos cookie when mashed up into a fatty spread would incur so much fandom? A friend of mine decided to gift me with a jar of the stuff (along with other dessert-oriented items), and I knew that my sweet-tooth-lacking self would have a hard time finishing off an entire container. So, after much looking around online, the idea of baking it into a banana bread loaf seemed mighty appealing. This would impart the scents of fall and winter onto a normally robust-smelling loaf while contributing to the batter inside. In fact, my whole recipe is a nice balance of chocolate, cookie butter, and banana while helping you get rid of leftover items in your pantry and refrigerator. What a perfect recipe! Give it a try and become your friends' favorite person in the whole world.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Eatery - Stash Tea Company (OR)

3972 N Mississippi Ave, Portland, OR 97227
Pricing - $ | Dining - Casual, To-Go, Retail | Cuisine - Tea

Tea? Portland? Yes please. We were walking around the neighborhood where Stash Tea Company was located after a hefty meal somewhere when it started to sprinkle. For once, I did not search on Yelp for a place to duck into. Instead, since there were so many small, independent shops on the street, we decided to walk towards Stash's large purple sign outside since it looked welcoming. The wording indicated that there was tea inside, and that was tempting enough for me. Once we walked through the door, we realized just how spacious it was inside and that it was dangerous for my wallet to be around so many tempting teas!