Rosso Restaurant and Bar – Manchester

IMG_7321

A week later, I was off on the plane again. This time, I was traveling alone, and it felt sort of weird. At least I was traveling to Manchester where people spoke English, so I wasn’t as worried about getting lost. My plane had delayed, so by the time I got into the city, it was already getting dark. I took a bus from the airport into the city and it took roughly an hour. Luckily, N somehow magically hopped on the same bus I was on, or else I’d probably have some trouble meeting up with them. After meeting up with S, they took me to Rosso Restaurant and Bar.

IMG_7324

The inside is really decked out and I would categorize it as fine-dining. I felt sort of shabby in my backpack and jeans, but they still let us in. It’s an Italian restaurant, and also offers a bar.

IMG_7323

They even had a wall full of pictures of celebrities who have dined here.

IMG_7326

Garlic Bread – Half Tomato, Half Cheese

The waiter suggested the Garlic Bread for us to share and start. When it came, we were sort of confused. Not exactly the garlic bread we were imagining. It was more like a pizza. You can choose tomato sauce or cheese, or half of each, which the latter we chose. The bread was really fluffy and surprisingly was really good. It was a bit plain though since it was only lightly seasoned with salt and pepper. To be honest, I couldn’t really taste any garlic taste to it. It tasted more like a pizza dough with cheese and tomato toppings.

IMG_7327

Risotto Al Funghi Selvatici – Arborio rice cooked with mixed wild mushrooms and fresh cream, finished with a drizzle of truffle oil

For our mains, we all went for pasta. However, their pastas come in two sizes. You can get it as a antipasti or the regular entree size. The waiter said that assuming we didn’t eat too much, the starter size would be enough to get us filled. The plates were definitely a starter size, but by the end of the meal, I was pretty full. I guess if you order an appetizer like bread, you’ll get filled up already. I chose the Risotto al Funghi Selvatici. The rice was cooked perfectly so it was al dente and the mix of mushrooms with cream was really good. It was topped with some Parmesan cheese. The menu says there’s truffle oil, but I didn’t really taste it. It must’ve been a small drizzle!

IMG_7328

Ravioli Con Melanzane – Fresh pasta parcels filled with aubergine, buffalo ricotta and mozzarella, cooked with cherry tomato and basil sauce

N got the Ravioli con Melanzane. There were only 4 or 5 raviolis, but because they were filled with cheese, she said she was quite full by the end. I tried a bit of it, and it was quite good! The sauce really made it tasty, and the pasta was really fresh.

IMG_7329

Gnocchi Al Gorgonzola E Noci – Potato gnocchi with blue cheese and walnuts

S got the Gnocchi al Gorgonzola e Noci. The gnocchi were made well so it wasn’t a bunch of sticky flour. I hate it when gnocchi just tastes like you’re eating dough. I did find the Gorgonzola to be a little powerful, since it’s a blue cheese. However, that’s just because I’m not a fan of blue cheese.

Overall, Rosso was a decent Italian restaurant. I think it would be a great place to have celebrations at, such as birthdays or holidays. The atmosphere is classy so it’s definitely not a casual dining restaurant. Prices were a little expensive, but I guess it would be reasonable when you take into account the whole ambiance. Also, everything in the UK is just expensive in general compared to Spain. The soaring pounds really make everything more expensive than it appears! Lastly, some of the waiters here were extremely friendly, but there was this one waitress who we found really rude. She would continually ask if we were done with our food and when we told her we’re still working on it, she would give us some attitude. Other than her, the other staff gave us good service. Also, a reminder that in the UK, you need to tip!

Rosso Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon

Cookshop

Given some complementary white wine!

Margarita Pizza with Fresh Tomatoes, young Bocconcini & Fresh Basil

Beef Tartar with Capers  & Shallots served on Toast Points with a Quail Egg
Potato Ravioli filled with Chicken & Sage
Crispy Calamari with Tomato Caper Sauce
Local BC. Halibut Cakes Served with Spicy Aioli

Chocolate Panna Cotta

My birthday was a while ago, and one of my gifts was a cooking class at Cookshop! Located at West 12th, it’s a cookstore with a large variety of cooking and baking ware, but also a cookschool at the back where you can learn a variety of different cuisines. My friend knew I was interested in Indian food, and had originally paid for the Indian Favourites lesson, but with conflicting times, we ended up switching to the Summer Tapas workshop. It was however quite different from what I had imagined. I imagined the workshop to be like high school foods class, where we each had a unit with our individual ovens and such, but we were only given a few tables with cutting boards in front of us. A large demo table was in the front with a mirror above so we could see. The chef had prepared most of the items and we were divided into 3 groups to work on different parts of recipes. So some people minced meat, others kneaded dough, and also battered dough. But I guess it makes sense that we weren’t given a whole lot, since the whole workshop was only 3 hours.  Quite impossible to make 6 different dishes! Classes are around $79 if you choose ones where you can participate. They are slightly cheaper if they are classes where you just watch the chef cook and enjoy the meal afterwards. There is also a decent amount of food you get at the end, so it’s quite filling. Looked around for a lot of different cooking lessons, but Cookshop is probably one of the few around Vancouver, where you aren’t attending “culinary school”.

Check out their cooking classes at: www.cookshop.ca/

Chop Steakhouse

Chop Platter
Steak Bites, Fire Roasted Chicken Wings, Spicy Cashew Snap Peas,
Jumbo Prawn Cocktail and Steakhouse Cheese Toast

Roasted Mushroom Ravioli
artisan ravioli stuffed with roasted portobello and cremini mushrooms in a
creamy white wine, sage and butter sauce, finished with asiago cheese

Top Sirloin with Seasonal Vegetables and Mashed Potatoes

So I finally uploaded the pictures from my friend’s birthday dinner. Sorry if the quality isn’t as good. The restaurant was really dark! So we went to Chop Steakhouse in Richmond for dinner. We reserved a party room so it was closed off from the rest of the restaurant. The ambiance was excellent, but I found the server to be a little annoying. He came back too often to check on us even though we had a sliding door and all. The food was really good though, especially the Chop Platter. Prices are the typical white restaurant prices I would say. Great environment though, especially since it’s under a hotel. Looks real grand inside!

Chop Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

Olive Garden in Times Square, NYC

Smoked Mozzarella Funduta

Oven-baked smoked mozzarella, provolone, parmesan and romano cheese. Served with Tuscan bread.

Ravioli di Portobello

Portobello mushroom-filled ravioli in a creamy smoked cheese and sun-dried tomato sauce.

Chianti Braised Short Ribs

Tender boneless beef short ribs slow cooked in a chianti wine sauce. Served with portobello mushroom risotto and steamed vegetables.

Pretty sure most of you have seen Olive Garden around the States even in nearby Seattle. Well I finally decided to try it on our trip to New York and we had it in Times Square. The wait was extremely long even though it was already really late, but I guess that’s just how busy Times Square is! The food was delicious and the environment was very pleasant. I wouldn’t mind going again, probably in Seattle where the wait would be shorter!

Olive Garden on Urbanspoon