Sunday, June 19, 2011

Cilantro - Gourmet Mexican Restaurant

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Cilantro Gourmet Mexican Restaurant a fairly new restaurant in Madison, WI with a different Mexican flare.  What first attracted me was the name of course, Cilantro, a magnificent herb that can brighten up many dish with great aroma and flavor.  When I looked over their menu I was surprised that I didn't find much cilantro in many of their dishes though their unique gourmet Mexican dishes was enough for me to try.  

Cilantro's Tortas de Cangrejo (Crab Cake appetizer) - made with real sweet shredded crab meat serve over chipotle sauce.  The chipotle sauce was absolutely amazing! It was thick and creamy, sweet and spicy.  The crab cake is great on it's own due to the great crab flavor though the sauce enhances the flavors tremendously and infuses the spicy and sweet perfectly.

Cilantro's Pato al Tamarindo y Pasilla (grilled duck breast served in a tamarind pasilla sauce with sweet potatoes).  The quality of this duck breast is divine; plump, tender, and juicy.  Unfortunately, the tamarind pasilla sauce did not do any justice.  It actually took away the great flavor of the duck where we used the chipotle sauce instead.  At $21 a plate, this dish was overpriced with only 5 pieces of duck ruined by drowning the good qualtiy meat with the tamarind sauce.

Cilantro's Scallop Special.  Four perfectly cooked scallops served over chipotle sauce with julienne cut grilled vegetables.  It may not look it, but these scallops were ginormous.  What made it also great was the freshness of the scallops and the succulent flavor that came from it.  And of course, a bonus was that it was served over the sweet spicy chipotle sauce.  Delicious.

So don't expect tacos, burritos, etc.  Open your mind and mouth and try Cilantro - Mexican gourmet style.
7005 Tree Lane, Madison, WI

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Friday, June 10, 2011

McCormicks and Schmick's Seafood Restaurant

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Grilled Swordfish
Seafood expectation in the Midwest wasn't too high for me. I missed the real deal of fresh seafood until I ran into McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurant in Milwaukee, WI. Their menu updates twice daily to keep up their fresh reputation by making sure they serve seafood that is in season. My girlfriends and I went for lunch on a Saturday and loved their dishes so much, we had to do lunch again the following day. And yes, the menu was different from the day before.  They do have a few dishes that are available year-round, seasoned seafood such as their delicious grilled swordfish served with roasted tomatoes dressed with delightful herbs and beautifully placed on a creamy buttery bed of fettuccine.

Oyster Tray

I had their variety oyster tray that placed 8 seasoned oysters, and not one was disappointing. It was surprising to find that all the oysters were succulent, fresh and clean, and absolutely luscious.
Mac n Cheese

And being in Wisconsin, I had to try the mac and cheese dish which totally changed my mind about simple pasta. The complexity of the dish contained rock shrimp and spicy andouille in Wisconsin cheddar cheese sauce; the cheese variety were distinct and complimentary at the same time; from creamy, rich, and smooth to tender and smokey with a slight kick.

Coconut Fried Shrimp
Another wonderful attribute of McCormick & Schmick's is that they serve seafood all ways. You'll get to choose from multiple styles from Italian to American to Asian. Along side of the pasta dishes and burgers and sandwiches, you'll see on the same menu sushi & sashimi, even a Banh Mi Asian sandwich and coconut fried shrimp with sweet Thai chili sauce.  McCormick & Schmick's is a great place for wonderful, fresh seafood and can satisfy people of all tastes.

McCormicks & Schmick's 
2550 North Mayfair Road, Wauwatosa, WI 
(414) 475-0700
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