Cheers to Shrimp Cocktail: 12 Takes on the Classic

Ah, the iconic shrimp cocktail. Especially popular in the 19th-century, one theory has it that the dish was served in a cocktail glass because of the ban on alcoholic drinks during the 1920’s Prohibition. Like Prohibition, the days of limp shrimp with a side glop of ketchup and a few tears of tasteless iceberg lettuce are long past. Today, the dish, which typically stars on appetizer menus, has evolved to eye-candy shrimp cocktails with sassy sauces and whimsical presentations. Here are 12 creative takes on shrimp cocktail that would make Forest Gump’s’ Bubba especially proud.

St. Elmo Steak House, Indianapolis, Indiana
Funny for a restaurant located in a landlocked state that it’s the shrimp cocktail that put this steakhouse on the map — in fact, it is the only appetizer on the menu. “People come from all over the world to have the shrimp cocktail,” says a restaurant spokeswoman. Named The World Famous St. Elmo Shrimp Cocktail, it stars four jumbo shrimp served with the restaurant’s spicy, signature cocktail sauce. The local restaurant, which opened in 1902, shares its secret for what makes its shrimp cocktail so sought-after — pssst, it’s the shaved-daily horseradish (the restaurant typically goes through 5,760 pounds of horseradish a year, or 15 to 20 pounds per day). In fact, the shrimp cocktail has been deemed one of the world’s spiciest dishes. Pssst — another secret, you can now buy a bottle of the sassy sauce for bloodies at home. Make a reservation at St. Elmo Steak House.

shrimp cocktail

Legal Harborside-Floor 2, Boston, Massachusetts
Time to chill. Legal Seafood’s flagship restaurant presents its Shrimp Cocktail in a hollow ice globe. A hole is poked in the orb so the succulent shellfish can be placed inside. The sphere eventually melts, of course — all good things must come to an end, after all. Make a reservation at Legal Harborside-Floor 2.

shrimp cocktail

Todd English’s bluezoo, Orlando, Florida
Todd English’s bluezoo at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel doesn’t Mickey Mouse around. The Shrimp Cocktail Steamroller is a “deconstructed shrimp cocktail served in a glass tube that is consumed by creating a vacuum with your hand and sucking the contents into your mouth.” Note: The dish isn’t on the current menu but it is offered at the hotel’s annual food and wine festival and will likely be offered on an upcoming menu, according to a spokesperson for the restaurant. Make a reservation at Todd English’s bluezoo.

shrimpo cocktail

Coasterra, San Diego, California
Order the Cóctel de Camarón and you’ll get a California twist on the classic Mexican shrimp cocktail — fresh Mexican white shrimp tossed with avocado, chopped romaine lettuce, and housemade Baja sangrita. The dish is served in a tumbler with a guajillo chile salt rim and accented with corn tortillas and cilantro garnish. Make a reservation at Coasterra.

shrimp cocktail

Herons, Cary, North Carolina
Chef Steven Greene serves an elevated shrimp cocktail designed with chilled shrimp, mango salad, mint, and mango chili sauce. Greene sources shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico, which are quickly poached in a court bouillon (broth of mirepoix, lemon, white wine, and bay leaf.) The mango salad is a mix of diced mango tossed with picked mint leaves, picked basil leaf, cilantro, lime juice, extra virgin olive oil, and scallion. And the mango chili sauce is a bewitching blend of mango puree and a Thai chili sauce. Make a reservation at Herons.

Shrimp Cocktail

Angle-Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa, Palm Beach, Florida
Josh Thomsen, the executive chef of this five-star diamond resort restaurant, along with chef du cuisine Manlee Siu present a Poached Wild Florida Shrimp Cocktail on the menu, which stars lemon caviar, beet, and horseradish sauce. First, the shrimp is butterflied and gently poached in shrimp stock. Next, the shrimp are chilled, sliced, and topped with faux lemon caviar and garnished with a tomato-free beet ketchup-horseradish sauce. Make a reservation at Angle-Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa.

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Cheese? Please! 11 Epic Grilled Cheese Sandwiches #ultimatecomfortfood

When temperatures start to dip and the days stay darker longer, there is nothing we crave more than grilled cheese sandwiches. They’re a welcome throwback to the days when mom would griddle one for us as a snack on chilly school day afternoons. But the sandwiches of today go way beyond the two slices of Wonderbread and preternaturally orange American cheese of yesteryear. Chefs are transforming the humble sandwich by using fantastic fromage and A+ add-ons. Here are 11 epic grilled cheese sandwiches.

Ripple, Washington, D.C.
Any sandwich called the Quack Attack is automatically cool in our book. This beyond epic concoction is rich with Cambozola, an indulgent combination of French soft-ripened triple cream cheese, and Gorgonzola. As if that wasn’t enough for quack addicts, there’s also duck prosciutto and a sunny side up duck egg. Make a reservation at Ripple.

Epic Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Murray’s Cheese, New York, New York
There’s only one word to describe this grilled cheese: amazeballs. Yes, that’s really a word. Look it up. The Spaniard oozes with Idiazabal, a smoky, nutty sheep milk cheese from Spain (duh!), which is complemented by Serrano ham, spicy chorizo, roasted red peppers, and romesco sauce. Make a reservation at Murray’s Cheese.

Epic Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Big City Tavern, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Better bring your appetite if you want to take down this bad boy. A shroud of melted Provolone is draped over a mound of shaved ribeye perked up with zingy horseradish mayo and sweet caramelized onions. A bib isn’t required, but it is encouraged. Make a reservation at Big City Tavern.

Epic Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Buddy V’s, Las Vegas, Nevada
You can eat this Italian grilled cheese with a fork and knife. Not that we’re recommending you do that; we’re all about getting our hands dirty. Cake Boss Buddy Valastro’s sandwich features fried mozzarella and sits in a pool of tomato ragu and Genovese pesto that’s perfect for dipping. Make a reservation at Buddy V’s.

Epic Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Delicatessen, New York, New York
Chef Michael Ferraro didn’t want to simply use a few hole-y slices of Swiss for his Reuben riffing grilled cheese, so he substituted in four cheese mac ‘n’ cheese. Yes, you read that correctly. Of course, there’s also braised corned beef, sauerkraut, and pickles. It might not be what your zeyde (grandfather) grew up eating, but it’s a sandwich worthy of a new generation of deli-goers. Make a reservation at Delicatessen.

Epic Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Brick & Mortar Kitchen, Richmond, Texas
Get a little bit of the South in your mouth. Plump with pimento cheese, this sandwich epitomizes everything we love about comfort food from below the Mason-Dixon line. And, it comes with a bowl of tomato basil soup, which is a million times better than anything you ever got out of a Campbell’s can. Make a reservation at Brick & Mortar Kitchen.

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January 2016 Restaurant Weeks: Dining Discounts in Your City

Did the holidays leave your wallet a bit light? You can still afford the delicious comfort of dining out this month, thanks to January 2016 restaurant weeks in more than 30 cities.

Equinox DC Papilotte

* Charleston Restaurant Week returns with special three-course lunches and dinners, from $22 to $49 per person through January 17th. Make a reservation.

* Restaurant Week South Carolina starts now. Book a table for gourmet prix-fixe meals through January 17th. Make a reservation.

* Sacramento Dine Downtown is on! Don’t miss three-course dinners for just $35 through January 16th. Make a reservation.

* Galveston Restaurant Week brings you the best of Texas for less. Save with $10, $15, $20, $25, $30, $35, $40, or $45 menus, January 9-23. Make a reservation.

* Providence Restaurant Week starts Monday. Enjoy $14.95 lunches + $29.95 or $34.95 dinners, January 10-23. Make a reservation.

* Pittsburgh Restaurant Week features steals on meals in Steel City, USA. Book for specially priced three-course menus and $20.15 specialties, January 11-17. Make a reservation.

* Visit Oakland Restaurant Week brings you dozens of delicious Oak Town dinners for $40 January 14-24. Make a reservation.

* Baltimore County Restaurant Week is a must with $15-$35 lunches + dinners, January 15-30. Make a reservation.

* Kansas City Restaurant Week offers $15 lunches + $33 dinners, January 15-24. Make a reservation.

* San Diego Restaurant Week features two-course lunches for $10, $15 or $20 and three-course dinners for $20, $30, $40 or $50, January 17-24. Make a reservation.

* Center City District Restaurant Week is twice as nice with $20 lunches + $35 dinners, January 17-29. Make a reservation.

* Restaurant Week Columbus brings you several ways to take advantage of this special week with $20, $25, $30, $35 meals, January 18-23. Make a reservation.

* Restaurant Week Baton Rouge highlights $20, $25, $30, $35 dinners, January 18-23. Make a reservation.

* Clayton Restaurant Week has sublime suppers for just $25, January 18-24. Make a reservation.

dineLA Restaurant Week delivers 14 days of delicious with$15, $20 or $25 lunches + $29, $39 or $49 dinners, January 18-31. Make a reservation.Continue Reading

Star Wars Menus: #TheForceAwakens with 8 Star Wars Dishes + Drinks

Star Wars Menus

There’s a disturbance in the Force. In case you haven’t been close to a screen, browsed the Internet, walked the aisles of your grocery store, or talked to anyone, there’s a new Star Wars film coming out today. The Force Awakens picks up more than three decades after The Return of the Jedi left off. There’s a lot of speculation as to what will happen in the seventh installment in the saga, but one thing is for certain: it’s going to be a massive box office smash. Its release has spurred a number of culinary Jedi to find inspiration from the iconic trilogy. (Let’s just pretend the prequels never happened.) and create Star Wars menus for fans of the force.

Faith & Flower, Los Angeles, California
Like a tractor beam pulling you in, you won’t be able to resist this Star Wars themed off-menu mignardise board by pastry chef Josh Graves. Feel the Force awaken in you while savoring a chocolate Millennium Falcon, white chocolate Stormtrooper, a caramel-filled dark chocolate Darth Vader, an absinthe candy lightsaber, a Death Star bonbon, and a Han Solo frozen in carbonite, erm, dark chocolate. Thankfully, he decided not to include a Jabba the Hutt gummy.

Star Wars Menus

The Lot, San Diego, California
The Lord of the Sith inspired pastry chef Alejandra Pitashny to create this Dark Side Chocolate Cake layered with raspberries and blackberries. Only at the end of eating it do you realize the power of the Dark Side. Which means you might have to order another slice. Consider it part of your training to become a Sith lord.

Star Wars Menus

Restaurant Eve, Alexandria, Virginia
Think you geek out about Star Wars? You’ve got nothing on chef Cathal Armstrong, who binge watches the saga with his son over Christmas break every year. To celebrate the release of The Force Awakens, he is serving Aunt Beru’s Fennel Soup as an amuse bouche through December. When A New Hope was being filmed in 1976 in Tunisia, the prop masters were tasked with coming up with a soup that Luke’s aunt would make on Tatooine. Fennel was relatively unknown in the States at that time, so it was chosen as a vegetable that could conceivably be utilized in a galaxy far, far away.

Star Wars Menus

Little Goat Bakery, Chicago, Illinois
Stephanie Izard offers Wookie Pies, which take their name from Han Solo’s bowcaster-toting compadre Chewbacca. Or, as Princess Leia calls him, a “big walking carpet.” The pies are formed by sandwiching a pair of chocolate cakes sandwich around a generous slather of chocolate cream. Since Chewie is known for getting in trouble for always thinking with his stomach, we’re certain he’d love them.

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