Posts Tagged salmon

Time to Check Out La Terraza Rum & Lounge

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Pernil al Horno

 

Remember Acadia? It was the restaurant located in the heart of Hillcrest off Kavanaugh with the bad ass deck. Well, in case you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months, it’s now La Terraza Rum & Lounge—a restaurant specializing in South American dishes, many of which fuse with other flavors from around the world.

The menu is a little different, a characteristic often frowned upon by many Little Rock diners. We love our comfort food dishes, the meat and potatoes, our shrimp and grits … things that have been on menus around here for 30+ years. And there’s nothing wrong with that. However, a restaurant like La Terraza not only has a place in Little Rock, but its success, along with other ethnic establishments like kBird and Lulu’s, is absolutely critical for the continued growth of our local food scene.

This is all just a long-winded, soapbox way of saying La Terraza Rum & Lounge is a place you might want to consider checking out.

I did just that on Tuesday afternoon.

My tablemate and I sat outside on the lovely deck and enjoyed some of this springtime weather. Lunch started with a complimentary cup of white bean soup, followed by our order of the beef carpaccio and arepas. We gobbled up both apps and the soup. I was particularly impressed with the beautifully presented carpaccio, which was highlighted by a generous topping of basil aioli. The mini, cheese-filled arepas are purposefully bland (think pupusa) but elevated by a spicy jalapeno jelly. For my entrée, I opted for the Pernil al Horno, a pile of baked, thinly sliced pork, covered in a thin, brown gravy, which came with a pile of black beans and rice and plantains. This dish flat out hit the spot. The pork was tender, and while the plantains were somewhat bland, a forkful with each of the plate’s components was where the dish truly shined. My friend ordered the Stroganoff de Pollo, a creamy concoction of chicken, mustard, and pickles over what were essentially kettle chips. He seemed as pleased with his order as I was with mine.

Overall, the food and service proved to be outstanding, traits that will definitely lead to a return visit. Is La Terraza an elite Little Rock restaurant? It’s still too early to say, but I’m looking forward to finding out.

Notes: Menu offers a variety of soups, salads, and sandwiches. Other dishes include: paella, grilled salmon, rib-eye served on a hot, lava stone, and arroz con leche. As the name of the restaurant suggests, the menu features several rum-based cocktails. Wine is also available. Hours of operation: Tuesday-Thursday 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday-Saturday 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.-3 p.m. 3000 Kavanaugh Blvd.

Arepas

Arepas

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Beef Carpaccio

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Mighty Good Recipe: Salmon Tartare

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As many of you know, I REALLY like salmon.

So, when Steve Shuler donated a pound of Wild Copper River King Salmon (from Peninsula Processing and Smokehouse) to my cause, who was I to say no? This particular salmon is some of the best of the best–soft and  flavorful with just a gorgeous shade of orange. And rather than grill or even broil the salmon, I decided to keep things ultra-simple and eat the fish raw.

Looking to add just a few simple ingredients to subtly enhance the fish, I found this tartare recipe from bon appétit.

Feel free to ballpark all of the measurements, erring on the side of a cautious heavy hand. You’ll find the finely diced jalapenos and cucumbers add both a crunchy texture and layer of freshness to the fish, as does the shallots. And like every great recipe, this one calls for a decent amount of fresh cilantro, which is never a bad thing. If your salmon has been in the refrigerator, it is very important to place it inside the freezer for 20 minutes. This will firm-up the fish, allowing you to cut it in chucks with a very sharp knife.

Make no mistake, this salmon is not cheap and is only available at certain times of the year, but if you’re looking to make a big splash with dinner guests or just want to treat yourself to a magnificent dining experience, I highly recommend ordering some of this fish and utilizing a tried and true tartare recipe.

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You Are What You Eat: Extend the Fresh Fish Season

Lyndi-pixMonthly Feature
Lyndi knows what it’s like living without certain foods due to allergies, sensitivities, and conscience.

We have been enjoying a lot of fresh fish lately.

King salmon, coho salmon, sockeye salmon, walleye, perch, trout, you name it. Haddock, halibut, cod, flounder. Is it possible to say that they are all my personal favorite?

I woke up this morning and got to thinking.

Panic set in.

The Alaskan salmon season is nearing its end.

Fresh, gorgeous, rich, salmon that just begs you to readjust your weekly grocery budget to get one-more-slab into the cart.

After I panicked, I remembered something awesome.

We can easily extend the king salmon, coho salmon, sockeye salmon, walleye, perch, trout, haddock, halibut, cod, and flounder season.

How?

Next time you fire up the grill, load the smoker, add water to your poacher, or sauté… add one more piece of fish.

Or two.

Three will do nicely.

Then, flake it up, store it in a labeled container, and freeze it for later. Magnificently, as the fall and winter season of entertaining approaches, we can triumphantly reach in that freezer, pull it out, and mix it with herbs and cream cheese. Ta-da! A perfect appetizer spread for crackers, crudités, or freshly baked hard-crusted bread.

smoked walleye

‘Tis the season with all of its wonderful bounty.

Let’s make the most of it, shall we?

Eat well, my friends. Eat well.

Lyndi

Please check out Lyndi’s blog, as well as follow her on Facebook and Twitter!

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