Dinner at Chris Bianco’s Italian Restaurant, a stealth lawn animal and trout from Lazy Goat (in Greenville SC)

28 Jul

My Aunt Char and I both live to eat. So it makes sense that when a good restaurant opens up, we try to make our way there. Sometimes we dawdle, due to finances, time, or whatnot. Tonight we finally made it to Chris Bianco’s Italian Restaurant in the Town & Country shopping mall.

Do any of you remember what that place used to be like?

There was an indoor food court; it was called The Bazaar (I think that is how it was spelled) and I remember being really mezmerized by all of the bright lights and unusual foods.

And then there was Tang’s. Remember Tang’s? They had all kinds of neat imported stuff. It was a quasi Cost Plus, without the food and booze. Wow, those were the days…I also seem to remember there was a koi pond where the Phoenix Bird (the one that used to be multicolored and is now painted white). Yup the kitchen wench goes way back (waaaaaay back) here in Phoenix.

I digress.

Char and I shared a yummy dinner at Italian Restaurant. She chose the wide noodles (papardelle?) with meat sauce which she enjoyed and I went a little differently with a corkscrew type pasta with sausage and cauliflower. What a nice combination. The cauliflower was well browned and the sausage had been removed from it’s casing and was chunky, which I like. The pasta at Italian Restaurant is all homemade (except for the spaghetti) and we were presented with amuse bouche (I think that’s what you call the free stuff) before dinner which was a toasted bread with ricotta cheese spread thin and a drizzle of olive oil. By the way, their olive oil is really good, super fruity. And their bread is homemade with lots of holes, and crunchy. I don’t know if they sell it by the loaf, but it would make a really good french toast or bread pudding. I’m bouncing around a bit here. The salad of simple greens was lightly dressed with olive oil and vinegar with a few smallish olives with pits (don’t know what these are called) and when the bill was presented we were gifted with a couple of shortbread cookies that were shaped kind of like biscotti. They were drizzled with a delicious chocolate and a lemon zest. Yummy yum. And when you walk toward the place (and walk away from it) you can see all of the desserts made, on trays, so you know they are homemade (you can see the whole kitchen but I tend to focus on the sweet stuff).

I think I spied a peach crostada – like a peach pie – which am really dying to try now.

We both had their house red wine. So with salad, entrees and wine the price was $71 with tip. Not too bad. Especially since it was Char’s shout.

http://www.yelp.com/biz/italian-restaurant-phoenix

🙂

And I have leftovers.

My friend Rob in Greenville, SC.  was painting and refurbishing a lawn animal this week.

He looks stealth, yes?

Rob is super creative, and making all kinds of changes/improvements at his parent’s home lately. I am so impressed!

Mark my words, he is going to be a household name one of these days…

Another picture that came from Rob this week is this trout, and what a lovely trout it is. It comes from Lazy Goat, in Greenville.

Apparently Rob is “in the know” with someone there, which can be a very good thing… especially if you like to eat out, as we do. Things can magically appear from the kitchen that aren’t on the menu.

http://thelazygoat.typepad.com/

I can’t wait to try this place.

Also, I need to make more friends who work at restaurants.

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