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Levon The Foodie

A gal whose obsessions lie within fat, sugar, carbs, caffeine, and beverages that could strengthen the heart or seal up a womb.

Archive for the tag “pasta”

Happy Hour Obsession of The Week – Pele’s, Jacksonville FL

With entrees like slow roasted kaluah pig, salted duck pizza, and broken meatballs I knew I’d be foolish enough to try this place. A spectacular fool’s choice it turned out to be as well as wallet-friendly, but foolish-sounding initially.

Whether you’re going on Magnifico Mondays, Ladies Night Wednesdays, or any day between 3-6:30pm, Pele’s Wood Fire has a pretty awesome happy hour amongst other things.  The biggest treat of all being the Wood-Fired Limoncello Wings.
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Wood-Fired Limoncello Wings with shaved parmesan, crushed red pepper, oregano, and orange zest $3.95, Chardonnay $4.00

The wings were incredible, the sauce was amazing, and the shaved parmesan did more justice than damage.  The human element of the dining experience consisted of an “at home, in your favorite cousin’s living room” personal element, with a “I have been serving patrons for years and could do this with my eyes closed” level of customer service.  The service was impeccable, and the place was cozy with a really familiar vibe.

The food was actually in-house, and as one would imagine, local produce made for some really fresh ingredients being both refreshing and delightful.

I actually enjoyed,  and was so much impressed with the happy hour offerings that I stayed long enough for dinner.  I got another glass of white wine and ordered the Croxetti Pesto.
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Pesto Croxetti with spinach, caramelized onions, pine nuts and pecorino romano in a white wine reduction

It had a great presentation, the portion wasn’t massive which really allowed you to carefully consider all of the ingredients, the sauce was flavorful but not overpowering, and the pasta was fresh.  It was incredible.

All in all, I would unquestionably list this experience at Pele’s Wood Fire as the Happy Hour Obsession of The Week, not-to-mention one of my Top Obsessions.  If you have an uncompromising palate for fresh pasta for dinner, or if it’s after work and you have $10 to spare, this modern Italian-American spot would be an excellent choice in the Riverside neighborhood of Jacksonville.

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New Brazilian Obsession – Bossa Nova LA

I saw an online banner on the hottest restaurants in LA the other day and immediately thought of my late night Sunday Greystone Manor excursion that immediately led to Bossa Nova in Hollywood a while back.  After a typical long night that one would expect of promoter etiquette, table service politics, and several bottles of adult juice at this extremely selective supperclub, quite predictably a post club food run was inevitable.  Berri’s is normally my first choice when running the streets late night in the city of cherubs.  However a new love was found that night thanks to one of my friends and her recommendation of what is now one of my favorite Brazilian spots in W. Hollywood.  I have frequented both the Sunset and W. Pico locations several times since, and am consistently satisfied.  I can always rely on a refreshing conversation with the hostess staff while waiting on my carryout order to take back to the hotel, and the food itself is absolutely incredible.  Depending on when you go, it’s not at all surprising to run into several noticeable celebrities, artists and industry types.  For the most part though, it’s a very family and couples friendly environment.  Food-wise I always gravitate towards the pasta due to my first incredible virgin Nova experience.

This was the Sunset Pasta w. Asparagus, boneless Chicken Breast, Onions and Mushrooms in a Cream Sauce.  It was very generous in portion, and it was exceptionally good.  I’ve also had their Tiriri Pasta..

Although a quite tasty dish and very popular according to my new hostess friend, it doesn’t pack as much flavor as the Sunset pasta.  The Sunset has a little bit more zest.  Their menu is amazing so you really can’t go wrong with any choice.  This I promise.  There’s nothing like fresh pasta made with fresh ingredients after a night of  **clearing throat** organized industry chaos.  So next time you’re in W. LA or any part of Hollywood, try it out.  Be careful though, you just may have a new Brazilian obsession in LA.

Trader Joe’s Puttanesca Sauce

Trader Joe’s has a really incredible puttanesca sauce filled with olives, capers and anchovies that taste like you chopped them up yourself minutes prior.  If you ever need to cheat for dinner, follow my lead and saute your favorite veggies and meat with this sauce, tossing in your preferred pasta shells.  Go easy though since the sauce speaks for itself.  You don’t want to overpower it.  I threw in my favorite red sauce pasta mixture of portobello mushrooms, sweet red onions and ground beef.  I had to contain myself and withdraw from the temptation of throwing in shaved carrots – bolognese style.  Then I went with rigatoni for the shells and bam – Puttanesca heaven…

As much as I tend to spaz and go mad kitchen scientist with oregano and garlic with pasta dishes, this is one you have to really pull back on like I said before.  TJ’s sauce is pretty flavorful.  It’s definitely a cheat sauce so it tends to limit the work with this dish.  Still do it justice with a generous  amount of parmesan though..

I couldn’t go with the obvious like a Merlot with this heavenly creation due to my limited wine stock.  So I settled for what I had which was a white wine..

Bogle Sauvignon Blanc

So there you have it.  Creating magic with Trader Joe’s Puttanesca sauce and rigatoni.  Or was it penne??..

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