Sunday, February 13, 2011
Bad Girl Bread Brunch + Happy Valentine's Day
Birthdays don't take a holiday, but I like to make a holiday of my birthday. Alas, weekend getaway plans did not come to fruition. But Cindie and I had a fine food-filled morning today, an abbreviated version of the trip we'd planned to Columbus.
fork heart knife. Brunch doesn't get much better than this. Thoughtful twists on traditional dishes, made with carefully sourced ingredients, in a cozy, casual setting - just four indoor tables in the narrow storefront that also houses fhk's catering kitchen. You can taste the care put into every bite, and you feel like family as soon as you walk in the door and see the welcoming smile on Sierra's face. You could probably wear your bedroom slippers to this homey spot - although you might regret that choice if you had to wait outside for a table, even on a day as warm as this one in Cincy. We arrived when they opened at 10:00 and got a table immediately. When we left at about 10:45, the line was beginning to form.
Menus change each week for fhk's open-to-the-public Saturday and Sunday brunches and their Wednesday and Thursday dinners. I salivate every time I see a new menu, handwritten on butcher paper, on fhk's facebook page.
Today Cindie and I both opted for the Greek strata - artichokes, olives, feta and "Bad Girl" bread from local Blue Oven Bakery. (Yes, that's really the name of the bread.) It came with a salad of greens and blueberries with blueberry balsamic dressing. (Sierra and Leah, if you're ever giving cooking lessons, I would love to know how you manage to make your dressings so flavorful yet light.)
Next stop: Park + Vine (a few blocks south of fhk on Main St., near 12th), a lovely shop with all manner of eco-friendly products, plus local and vegan foodstuffs, including offerings from Northside's Picnic and Pantry. I came away with a compostable birthday card (with seeds in the paper) for a friend, and the first in a series of sweets purchases, from local Chocolats Latour.
Then we hit Findlay Market, which was bulging with Valentine's Day specialties. I resisted the urge to snap a pic of heart-shaped filet mignon from one meat stall, but couldn't pass up this chocolate-covered baklava from Areti's Gyros. Seriously, could there be a more decadent dessert than baklava covered in chocolate?
Cindie and I were also powerless to resist Jean-Francois' Valentine's macaron assortment - baci (chocolate and hazelnut), mon chéri (chocolate and cherry liquor), kir royal, hot kiss (spicy chocolate), and bittersweet and passion fruit. Cindie made the mistake of trying to share hers with her husband. Me? I'm saving them all for myself.
And then there was the chocolate mousse at Fresh Table. Cindie asked for a spoon so she could eat hers on the spot. I'm trying to pace myself . . .
A couple of savory options I couldn't resist from Fresh Table were house-cured gravlox with capers and mustard sauce.
and, to be extra healthy :), a slab of Fresh Table's veggie lasagna:
Off to taste my purchases, and will report back once I come off my sugar high.
Thanks to all who commented on my refreshed look and fab new header designed by the inimitable Minx, my blogging partner over at AllTopChef. You can also find me on my new Eggy facebook page, where I'm having fun sharing tidbits and links in a different format from my blog.
Happy Valentine's Day!