Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Belted Cow Bistro and Bigger Pants

Last night, Danielle and I had dinner at the Belted Cow Bistro in Essex Junction, Vermont. We had a blast! She just got back from a volunteer trip to Costa Rica, and I had a crazy stressful week last week, so we both really enjoyed the chance to decompress with a friend, a glass of wine, and yummy food.
For starters, the bistro is adorable – I loved the décor! The walls are painted a warm yellow, and the whole place has a sophisticated country feel. The only down side was the view. I was seated right by a window, and instead of the rolling Vermont countryside one might expect, I was looking right at a gas station. This detracted from the ambiance a bit, but as long as I focused on the inside, it was great.
Now for the food: This restaurant falls into that same category I described in my last post. The menu is predictable, but well executed. I had roasted chicken, served with smashed garlic potatoes and English peas in their pod. The potatoes hit the spot – warm, and not completely smooth so that they still had some body to them. The peas were what really got me, though. They were bright and crisp and crunchy – everything a fresh summer veggie should be. Also, the bread and butter that were served with dinner were exceptional. They keep fresh loaves on a rack in the dining room and look beautiful (they certainly add to the rustic charm). The butter has a slight sweet honey hint to it that made the bread something special. Danielle had a scallop appetizer that was really good – two big scallops served with a grainy mustard sauce. The combination was different and unexpected – and tasty!
And then on to dessert, finally. First I have to tell a little story. As you might have guessed, I watch a LOT of foodie shows (as in, my TV is almost always tuned to Food Network). I enjoy cooking shows, like 30 Minute Meals or Barefoot Contessa. I think they provide the viewer with a lot of great kitchen tips and new meal ideas. However, food competition shows really take the cake for me (sorry, bad pun – I just can’t seem to help myself). I love Iron Chef, Chopped, Next Food Network Star, and so on. Over the weekend, I saw an episode of Cupcake Wars for the first time, and I liked it more than I thought I would. On the show, one of the teams made a s’mores cupcake. It was a gooey chocolate cupcake with a graham cracker crust and a toasted marshmallow meringue frosting (i.e. they took a blowtorch to the meringue for a toasty look, texture, and taste). Okay, now that I’ve explained all that, I can go back to last night’s dinner. So, the Belted Cow Bistro’s dessert menu already looked amazing, and then our server announced a dessert special – two s’mores cupcakes just like to ones I’d just seen on TV! We ordered them in a heartbeat, as well as a Jack Daniels Bananas Foster Cheesecake Parfait, which was exactly what it sounds like – layers of banana cheesecake, Jack Daniels sauce, and graham crackers. Danielle and I shared these two desserts, and both were amazing (as pictured above)!
The service was really good as well. Danielle and I can be pretty goofy together, and our waitress was happy to joke along with us. We had an early dinner – we arrived just after they started serving dinner at 5:00. I don’t know if this added to the casual atmosphere or if the restaurant is always like that, but I definitely appreciated it.
So Danielle and I managed to stuff ourselves to the brim, in a very good way. At the close of our meal, I was discussing an internship that I desperately want next Spring. It is an editorial internship at EatingWell magazine, based right here out of Charlotte. I found out about the opportunity four days after the deadline to apply for Fall, so I am already gearing up to apply for the Spring semester. This would be a dream come true. I joked with Danielle about how the internship would draw to a close just as I graduate with my Master’s, and how wonderful it would be if I was able to get a full-time job at the magazine afterwards. I would have my dream job, and not have to move to New York City to get it! Danielle remarked that I’d have to be sure to include her on my culinary excursions. Her final comment? “I’m gonna have to get bigger pants!”

1 comment:

  1. I want one of those your writing, looking forward to more.