Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Noshing With Bunny: Hugh & Berries

It's my first Noshing with Bunny post, and hold onto your panties because it's gonna be awesome! I have two tales to tell today. First, dining out with Hugh.

I borrowed this photo from Hugh's Website; please don't sue me!

Saturday, I had the distinct pleasure of dining in one of chef Hugh Acheson's restaurants. I have a culinary crush on Hugh. I lurved him on Top Chef Masters. And on Top Chef Texas as a judge. He is irreverently witty (in that Canadian way) and awkwardly handsome. He will join my crush list along with Sean Brock of Husk and my ginger-haired bear Kevin Gillespie of Woodfire Grill. But, back to Hugh.

Hugh actually lives in Athens, Ga., home to the University of Georgia (a huge college/academic town) which is only 45 minutes from where I live. And he has not one, but two restaurants there: 5&10 and The National.

We dined at The National, the more casual of the two which has an emphasis on fresh, local ingredients with a Mediterranean flair. The decor was lovely. The food was spectacular. The service was excellent. It was a wonderful experience. My friend had the seasonal Pizzette which was incredible:

It was served on a wood block and featured asparagus, ramps, mint, fontina, pecorino, and argula. I had the lamb pita with kefte meatballs, horseradish cream, tomato jam, and caramelized onion. What was that? Angels singing? Why, yes, it was. We also had two yummy cocktails: Cucumber Cooler and The National, a mix of bourbon, ginger ale and grapefruit juice. While The National was lovely (the signature drink, that is), we fell in love with the Cooler and, guess what? The bartender gave. us. the. recipe! Wrote that shit out on a little card! How awesome is THAT? And it is SO, simple syrup, lemon juice, cucumber and thyme. I will be making that this summer and reporting back on the result. In all, the meal was a tremendously satisfying experience that will have to be repeated.

After lunch, we went driving to a nearby strawberry field to pick fresh strawberries. I have never picked fresh strawberries before, and I will tell you, it is surprisingly fast and easy.

Sing with me...."Strawberry fields forever....." We gots a gallon bucket of strawberries and the hubs and I have been rolling up in ruby fruit since then. I have made sugared strawberries twice and served with a modest slice of Sara Lee chocolate pound cake and light whipped topping (only 275 calories, bitches!) and I made balsamic marinated strawberries last night and served over sugar free ice cream (200 calories, bitches!). We also have enjoyed strawberries and fat free yogurt the past several mornings. We will continue to gorge on strawberries until none remain. And then I may have to go back. I do love me some strawberries.

Well, that is all for this week. I will be back Friday with my first Pop Goes Bunny post. I will be reporting on some recently watched movies and a recently read book. Until then, I will be eating strawberries. Love, B.


Little Miss Sunshine State said...

I love strawberries but I buy them in small amounts..I'm the only one in the house not allergic.
I'm looking for a local place to pick blueberries. I love blueberries more than strawberries.

I'm sort of hmmmmm about the idea of cucumbers in an alcoholic drink. It would have to taste AMAZING for me to choose that over my Amaretto and Cranbery!

bunny said...

LMSS, cukes in drinks = Refreshing. Probably not "AMAZING." But I love cukes.

Sonya said...

I think I had a cucumber ouzo martini-something-or-the-other at Taverna Plaka that was really good. I can see how the cucumber cooler could be tasty.

I've not been to The National, but 5 & 10 is great. You'll like it, too.