After cooking an early thanksgiving dinner for ourselves, knowing we were planing to travel on Thanksgiving itself – we opted to make reservation for dinner that night. Trio Resturant Palm Springs came up on our lists to try and they had a seating so we went for it. The holiday prix fixe menu was your standard Thanksgiving theme with the option of soup or salad, beef or turkey and assorted sides and choice of apple or pumpkin pie.
While the place was pretty crowded, I was first of all impressed that it didn’t have that “frenzied” feel some resturant get when they run a holiday menu. The volume was manageable without being stuffy. Of course the orange theme running through it didn’t hurt me visually as its a signature color I love.
We were seated quick and our waiter, Terrence couldn’t have been more welcoming. He bridged that perfect place between friendly and genuine with calm efficiency. If fact towards the end of our meal – he checked in and we enjoyed talking with him more. This is the kind of service that brings the human touch to travelers and generally often what keeps me coming back to a resturant.
The meal it self was good. I had the butternut squash soup with fried sage leaves. It was nice, not as rich as they tend to be (which I happen to lean towards) but fit nicely for a big meal. We also added in the Charcuterie & Artisan Cheese Plate which was a win. Since we had been eating turkey and leftovers for several days – we opted for the beef. Both cuts, my “end cut” and his regular cut were perfect to order medium, hot and tender. Not sure I could have cooked it any better myself. The sides of mashed potato and string beans were good, nicely prepared with out trying to be more than they are supposed to be. The only minor disappointment was the dessert. Both pies were somewhat lackluster. The under-crust on the pies were soft and had that “undercooked” taste that sometimes come with pre-made pies and the fillings were not especially well flavored. Over all – a good solid meal and a place I will go back too for a regular dinner or lunch.
From a geek perspective – I love the interactive way they have embraced social media and the dining experience. They put it out there for people to share and I post. Something I greatly appreciate! They even gave it front and center attention;
Since our bookclub was reading the Elementals and I wanted somethings with a water-based, southern flair, I remembered that I had a copy of Hoppin’ John’s Lowcountry Cooking, which a friend had given me last xmas. So while reviewing it, I saw the Pickled Shrimp one and thought perfect! You can his actual recipe here
For my version – I followed it pretty true with a few adaptions
1 tablespoon salt (I used kosher salt)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup of good quality infused oil
1/4 cup of good quality infused lemon oil
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (his recipe used less.. but I wanted the bite)
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 teaspoon of celery salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds shrimp (Since this was a small group – I went with the medium-large pre-cooked which yielded about 40 ( his recipe recommends small to medium (45 to 50 per pound), cooked and peeled). I purchased mine cooked, but you could get fresh, boil then peel. But leave the tails on.
1 medium onion, thinly sliced (about ½ cup)
25 to 30 bay leaves (fresh not dried)
Had I a few more days to think about it – I would have addd some fresh fennel tips to it as well.
Cut the online into thin slices
Mix the wet ingredients, add the seeds and powdered ones, then the garlic, whisk in a small bowl
Essentially – its pretty easy to assemble, most recipes use a glass jar – which looks great and perfect as a gift, ju
st make sure it is sterilized if you plan to keep it for more than a few days. Otherwise my trusty lock-n-lock did the job just fine. Layer the shrimp, bay leaves and thin sliced onions, then repeat until you have it all in. Then cover with the mixture and refrigerate for 18-24 hours (but I checked mine at 12 hours and they were pretty good too). They should keep for several days and just get more pickled. As long as they are covered oil, they should keep for week over a week.
To fancy up the serving of it; I used some shells I picked up in Provincetown and to carry over the “sand” theme from the book; I used plain old Progresso bread crumbs.
I have written about the Northern CA region in the past and Healdsburg has its mix of higher end food and beverage, but plenty of less costly options as well. Also the trip up and back often allows for discovering all sorts of hidden finds.
A few weeks back a pal took me up to DaVero Farm & Winery, which can I say took my by surprise. Not only is the variation and stories on the wines great – the people that work there are pretty special as well. Check out the website for more details on its preference for italian wines, the eco-friendly approach and recipes ! Check out the farm and see the pigs and chickens too
FYI – the wines run $30- $70 but well worth the price and I know I picked up several for gifts. They also have a line of jams and vinegars. Club members get extra social time on the lovely grounds.
On that same trip; I got a chance to eat at the Parish Cafe
Parish is a great date place- but even more it’s a great place to go with friends. The staff is friendly and have a sense of humor that they often need based on the crowds and lines. But it was well worth the wait. From some killer french toast, to hash and eggs to even a good solid cup of coffee.. so those of you who dream of New Orleans; Parish does beignets that will make you start the planning for that trip.