Friday, November 20, 2015

Futo Buta - A Gem and A New Favorite
 Fire and Ice Ramen. 

Futo Buta has quickly become one of my very favorite restaurants. Lucky for me it is within walking distance of my office so I am able to visit regularly. The ramen here is amazing, with several varieties including classic versions with pork belly, a salmon version, a ramen with parmesan cheese and even a vegan ramen. I can't wait to come here when it is REALLY cold to have a bowl and warm up. I also love the creative side dishes like the awesome brussels sprouts and shisito peppers and the raw items, featured on the fresh sheet daily. The pork belly buns are awesome too. And to top it off, they have homemade soft serve ice cream, usually green tea (my very favorite) and a second option. I am a huge fan of Japanese food in general, having spent a semester near Osaka in college; Charlotte finally has a real ramen house and I am so glad to be able to visit frequently!

Thank you to my cousin Jason and his fiancee Yvonne for some of the photos!

Salmon Belly - so smooth and delicious.

Rice crispy squares with spicy tuna on top. This was from the media opening but now it is served with a soy/wasabi sauce that is even better than wasabi alone!

Japanese Fried Chicken.

Pork Belly Bun.

Homemade Soft Serve. Yum!

Futo Buta Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series - Charlotte Edition 2015 Begins March 22

The chefs just after being announced!
The NC Competition Dining Series will once again be held at Bonterra Restaurant beginning March 23. Twenty-Four chefs from the mountains to Charlotte will compete iron-chef style with attendees voting on each dish via a free app without knowing which chef prepared which dish. The winners will face of in semi-finals and finals, with the series concluding in early May. Local NC products are heavily featured, with a particular product/food highlighted during each battle.

Last year I attended one of the battles and it was a lot of fun - ingredient was sweet potato!

This year Amy on Food will be one of the media judges in the battle between Paul Verica of Heritage Food & Drink, versus Vincent Giancarlo of Cantina 1511 on March 23. Looking forward to being in on the action but that is the beauty of this event - all diners get a say in who wins, not just the media judges!

Click here for tickets!

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Baku - A Long Overdue Post

Sushi Platter from Baku

I have been extremely busy over the last few months with work and family. In June 2015 I had my daughter who is now 8 months old. Between the two kids (I also have a 28 month old son) and my thriving law practice (adoption and surrogacy) I stay very busy! But finally - now that the baby is sleeping through the night - I am committed to getting back to blogging - yay!

I have still been dining out a good bit even though I have not had time to post often. Last year I was invited to sample the menu at Baku, likely the trendiest restaurant in Charlotte and a place I have enjoyed several times. The small plates of creative Japanese cuisine, many made on the robata grill, as well as the sushi, are outstanding, both in presentation and taste. There are also some awesome drinks offered as well with 2 bars to choose from. My favorite menu items include the tempura grouper bites, the sushi platter on ice, the black cod, the coal roasted shishito peppers, the pork belly skewers and the sweet potatoes. For dessert the presentation of the truffles with cherry sauce and ice cream on ice can't be beat.

Coal Roasted Shishito Peppers.

Special maki roll with lobster.
Pork Belly robata skewers.

Tea Brined Robata Duck Breast.
Giant Madagascar Prawn.

Dessert with truffles, cherry sauce and ice cream on ice!

Baku is a worthwhile destination for a special occasion or just to treat yourself or your loved ones! Also a great destination for a business dinner or drinks. They have creative cocktails and martinis and an extensive wine list. For a while Sunday brunch was offered and I kept meaning to go but I did not have a chance to sample it. For now, brunch is not being served, but I do hope they might bring it back during the warmer months! I look forward to returning to Baku again very soon.

Baku-Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Disclosure: Some of the items described in this review were complimentary.