The Next Great Bite’s Favorite Bites of 2014

Next-Great-Bite-Best-Bites-of-2014As 2014 come to a close, it is a time to reflect and take a look back on the year. Here are my favorite bites of 2014. They include bites from the DC, Maryland and Virginia area but also some of my travel bites from Charleston, SC, New Orleans, LA and Tampa, FL.

Dining in DC, Maryland and Virginia

Mussels a la Vodka
Graffiato, Washington, DC

Mussels a la Vodka Graffiato, Washington, DC The pot of mussels, shrimp and sausage with the zesty tomato vodka sauce is served with a side of polenta fries, sprinkled with fresh grated parmesan. You may not want to share!

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Foodie Travel: Favorite Bites in New Orleans, Louisiana

I recently took a trip to New Orleans. It wasn’t hard to see why this is a foodie destination in the U.S. As someone told me, you have to be there a whole month to eat all the great food this city has to offer. Since I was there only for a week, I only got to sample some. Here were my favorites.

Cafe Du Monde Cafe au lait and hot fluffy beignets with LOTS of powder sugar. Sitting in the cafe watching the world go by. The experience alone is just worth it!

benguiets and cafe au lait, Cafe Du Monde

Peche Modern and bright, this restaurant had some tasty dishes. Located in the Warehouse District, we stopped in after touring the World War II Museum near by. We went for lunch and we order a couple of small plates. My favorite was the smoked tuna spread served with saltines. Yummy!

Smoked Tuna Dip and Hushpuppies

American Sector One of the best restaurants I have been to that is connected to a museum! Next to the World War II museum, there is nothing institutionalized about it. For dessert, we had an assortment of mini whoopee pies of lemon raspberry, chocolate,  peanut butter banana and red velvet.

Assortment of Whoopie Pies

Domenica By far my favorite place I ate at in New Orleans. Located In the Roosevelt Hotel. All the pasta were fantastic. But save room to order the roasted cauliflower served with whipped feta and goat cheese. Delicious to spread on the wonderful bread they brought to the table.

whole-roasted-cauliflower-with-whipped-goat-cheese-940x600

Pelican Club The baked oysters were fantastic. Served on the half shell with apple-smoked bacon, roasted red peppers, parmesan and garlic herb butter. The parmesan is golden brown and compliments the oysters so well. You just can’t get one order!

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Borgne The duck poppers were worth having as an appetizer or as a small dish. They are wrapped in bacon with a hint of jalapeno. It gives this dish a bit of heat that makes them addicting.

Duck poppers

August Definitely treat yourself and go to August. The whole experience is worth it. The food is amazing and the service was top-notch. The presentation of the food is an art piece. Everything I had was amazing. I like seeing restaurants using seasonal vegetables.  And August has a Farmers Market Vegetables tasting menu. Items can be ordered from this menu as a first course. For dessert, if you have any room after eating this fabulous meal,  go for their banana pudding. I was in heaven! It had all my favorite flavors in one dessert. Toasted marshmallows with banana cake, caramelized bananas, peanut butter powder, and vanilla wafer ice cream.

August Banana

I know everyone has their favorites places and dishes when they go to New Orleans. Tell me yours! I would love to hear about it. Maybe I can fit it in the next time I am in this wonderful city!

Foodie Travel: Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston is becoming one of the hottest foodie destination in the south. It has numerous chefs who have been nominated and won James Beard Awards for excellence in cuisine. If you are thinking of taking a trip to this beautiful, southern city, be sure to make reservations (and make them early because they book quickly) to some of  these restaurants.

Husk

Reading the menu will make you hungry. James Beard Award-winning Chef Sean Brock changes the menu with what ingredients are in season. Located in a charming, historical Charleston building, Husk prides themselves on their farm to table cuisine. Their motto: “If it doesn’t come from the South, it’s not coming through the door.” The kitchen did not disappoint on my visit. The wait staff was great; very helpful in describing the menu items and steering you to choose what you are craving. Husk makes my favorite restaurants list!

Husk Restaurant, Charleston, SC
Husk Restaurant, Charleston, SC. Top row; cornmeal dusted catfish with pan roasted cabbage, red peppers and sweet corn. Middle row; house-made cocktail, sweet corn soup with fried ricotta dumplings, arugula salad with summer berries, candied pecans and ginger vinaigrette, braised pork in a rich broth with butter beans, peas and kale. Bottom row; buttermilk chess pie with strawberries and whipped cream, chocolate fudge cake with carmel chocolate chip milkshake, malt custard and smoked brittle.

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