Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Dinner at Cocoamoda

I have previously blogged on the lovely chocolates at Cocoamoda, as well as their recent appearance on Restaurant: Impossible. Recently The Lovely Spouse and I went to Cocoamoda to enjoy a lovely dinner there to celebrate our anniversary.

A screen capture of the menu for the dinner we attended.
The menu for each weekend dinner is posted to the facebook page, along with the price. Seatings are at 7 pm on Fridays and Saturdays and usually feature between 4 and 6 courses.

The amuse bouche of spicy shrimp was served with salmon mousse, spicy mayonaisse, and a spiced and candied orange. Absolutely exquisite taste combination. 

The first course was a velvety vichyssoise served in silver bowls. 

Second course (photographed upside down) was a quiche of roasted tomatoes and basil served with a gruyere sauce and roasted red pepper reduction. Delightfully made and a wonderful flavor combination. The Lovely Spouse said it's the only quiche he's ever actually liked.

Third course was a salad of mixed greens with a warm blackberry ginger dressing. Refreshing and bright.

Fourth course was thinly sliced beef with a savory sauce served with fresh green beans, mashed potatoes, and thin crouton. Savory and comforting.  

Dessert was a rich, dark chocolate tart served on an intensely vanilla creme anglaise.  
Cocoamoda does not have a license to serve alcohol so, if you wish for alcohol you must bring your own. Based upon the menu on the facebook page we selected a 2012 Coppola Pinot Noir. It's an inexpensive red that plays well with a variety of flavors and paired beautifully with everything served here.

To finish off our meal we had coffee and tea. The Lovely Spouse enjoyed a beautiful perfectly made cappuccino while I enjoyed a lovely cinnamon black tea. 

I highly recommend Cocoamoda for weekend fine dining with a bit of Chef Ken's unique wit. Dinner is served on Friday and Saturday evenings, and sometimes on Thursdays.  Follow them on facebook to find out what will be served each weekend and how much they will cost.  If you make reservations please make sure to keep your reservation or to call the restaurant with plenty of notice with a cancellation. They make exactly as much as is needed to serve the exact number of diners. If the portions are too large, take-out containers are available. 

Friday, June 12, 2015

Happy Birthday New Republic Brewery!

New Republic Brewery is 4 years old!  Happy Anniversary! Happy Birthday!  It's been a great time having them here in College Station. The beers are awesome - even the special runs. And the people are fantastic. Here's to many more years.

Nu Teleporter.  A Nutella porter. Delicious and extremely difficult to make, from a technical perspective. Nutella has emulsifiers that are not conducive to the brewing process. 

The new taps are fabulous.

John and Dean getting their portraits taken.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Hops and Grain

No trip to Austin is complete without a visit to a craft brewery.  On our most recent trip we stopped by Hops and Grain for 2 reasons: they were close to where we were visiting, on the south side of town, and they had a patio where we could bring our dogs.

The mural says "End MS Forever".
The tap room is open 7 days a week from 8 am until 10 pm. On Saturdays food trucks pull up to provide food to patrons and visitors. The patio area is dog friendly as long as the dogs are friendly and on leashes. Please check the website for tour days and times. 

Inside the tap room is busy and LOUD, at least it was on Saturday.  VERY LOUD!  

There's a selection of beers on tap, including experimental beers only available at the brewery.  Purchase a glass for $10 and get 4 drink tickets. This is equivalent to about two 16 oz beers, total. 

The Lovely Spouse and I tried a large variety of their beers and enjoyed them all. Of the experimental beers, the Oolong IPA made with Oolong tea was interesting. 

Austin in 2015 means rain. 
I recommend a trip to Hops and Grain when it's either not raining or not crowded inside. Unless you like things loud. They also had dog treats available made from the spent grains from the brewery. Coffee was available for purchase.

As usual, if you drink, designate a driver and get home safely.