Quick review of Revolutions restaurant in Durham

Summary:

Food: very good (I wouldn’t yet say OMG fabulous)
Service: interrupted

On Monday night I took

aklikins to Revolution for his birthday dinner. We arrived at 7:30 (had reservations) and were seated promptly. Since we knew we were doing the three course tasting menu, we also ordered promptly and were brought bread and my drink (house chardonnay). Adrian’s drink (tea… ordered sweet, but they didn’t have any and didn’t tell him when he ordered it) took significantly longer (7-8 minutes?). The bread (slices of loaf bread and cornbread muffins) was quite good… the slices, in particular, had a nice tooth, slightly sourbread-y flavor and crisp crust that I really enjoyed.

Our firsts were veal with baby potatoes in a tomato sauce, served with thin crouton-y toasts. Very good, but surprisingly heavy for a first.

And then something must have happened, because there was more than a 45 minute gap between when we finished out firsts and when our seconds arrived!  At about 40 minutes in I asked our waiter if he knew where our food was, and he assured me it was coming and offered me a free glass of wine. Since I hadn’t even finished my first glass yet, I told him no thanks and thanked him for the information.

Two minutes later he showed up with another glass of wine (I remarked to

aklikins that apparently I was getting comped wine whether I liked it or not!). And finally, a few minutes after that our food showed up.

 

The second plates were saddle of rabbit with tarragon and beet risotto (I wondered if perhaps the risotto was the cause of the delay?). The rabbit was very tender and complemented well by the sweetness of the risotto, but would have been more enjoyed had we not been so full of game already, I think.  Too much too rich, you know…

The dessert, a hazelnut chocolate cake with candied quince, was very good but not exceptional. The quince was wonderful and the small amount of quince syrup livened up the otherwise very good — but not roll-your-eyes-and-sigh — hazelnut chocolate cake.

The ceilings were, IMHO, too tall, leading to the echo-y noise that is so common in trendy restaurants. The tables were wider than the norm, which was nice because there was room for all the food without feeling like you were going to knock something off the table. The light fixtures, by http://www.tordboontje.com/, are gorgeous and the table settings are minimalistic (whose aren’t these days?).

In sum, I thought that if the pairings of the food had been better and the major service gap hadn’t happened, the experience would have been excellent. As it was, it was enjoyable, but not quite what it could have been.  I am curious about what they’d have served if we’d chosen the five or seven course tastings… would there have been more balance?

I think we’ll go back, but after they get a chance to work out some kinks.

 

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a splendid birthday…

…is comprised of:

  • the guy at Starbucks saying “That’s not you!” upon seeing the picture on your credit card, and upon being told that it, in fact, was me, only *20* years ago (in college) saying “WOW. You look much better now!”. And giving me a free mocha.
  • a delicious lunch out with new work colleagues at Sandwich in Chapel Hill (a restaurant I’ve been meaning to try forever) — grilled cheese with shaved beef and prune preserves — yum!
  • a delivery to my office of my favorite flowers (gerber daisies and roses) that were sent by aklikins
  • bonus mid-afternoon birthday cookies from work folks
  • cards and presents (from dtnorman and Adrian’s parents and sister and my aunt and uncle) in the mail (one of the presents from my Dad was a tiny remote-controlled Mini Cooper… as it turns out, I don’t have a puppy after all, I have a cat!! You should have seen her trying to catch it and batting it around!)
  • dinner out with aklikins at Rue Cler — more yummy!
  • presents from aklikins — including a new laptop with a touchscreen that is *neato* (and I just want to play with it now!!). And a remote-controlled WALL*E (who falls over rather drunkenly a lot, which is funny) !! And lots of other really swell stuff!!

HAPPY!!!!!

 

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Goodbye, Mr. Chips

Last summer my neighborhood had a salsa walk (it was probably June-ish, I imagine?).  In anticipation thereof, I bought a bag of tortilla chips from Target (Archer Farms brand), but since *everyone* had brought chips, mine mostly went uneaten (though I confess I did get lost trying to find the right street and busted the bag open as sustenance for the finding.  I have ZERO sense of direction.  Or maybe negative sense of direction, if that’s possible).

So, the chips went home again with me.  And they got brought out again a few says later when some of the folks on my street decided to congregate for hanging out and drinking wine (I *love* my neighborhood).  A couple more chips got consumed at that point, but mostly we had wine.  :-)

For the next month or two, every time I’d get that “want-salty-and-crispy” craving thing (which happens roughly once a week), I’d go and have a chip or three.  Strangely, the chips seemed unaffected by the passage of time in between the cravings, remaining crunchily delicious from one eating to the next.

Fast forward to September-ish when it dawns on me that I’ve now been noshing on the same bag of chips for three months.  At that point it seemed like the chips had some sort of “survivor gene” going on so I didn’t feel like I *should* chuck them.  Plus, honestly, they were still  really tasty.

It’s now March of the year after and I am somewhat sad to say that this afternoon I dumped the last of the chip crumbs into my mouth.  The chips are no more.

Goodbye, Mr. Chips.

(Yes, I do understand what an oddling I am that I would develop some strange respect/admiration for a bag of tortilla chips.  So much so, even, that I felt compelled to immortalize them on LiveJournal.  Sigh.)

A little disenchanted

I ate an apple for breakfast — healthy, environmentally friendly, etc.  Yah me! I am still a little disgruntled, though, because in my head apples are a “easy” food, requiring no extra cutlery nor plates nor cooking, whereas the reality is that they’re messy and sticky and you have to go immediately throw the core away because you can’t just put it down…like you could, say, an empty Pop Tart wrapper…

A Fair is a Veritable Smorgasbord, Smorgasbord, Smorgasbord

Or so Templeton the Rat sang, and I’d have to agree. aklikins 1 and I went to the NC State Fair last night and I did pig out mightily. A corn dog, a fried potato-spiral thing (sometimes known as “butterfly chips”), and a fried dough (aka “elephant ear”, aka “big lump of fried covered in powdered sugar”) all made their happy way into my “bellah”

In the “to go” food category, two “monster bags” of cotton candy await me at home. Oh, and fudge. And candied almonds.

And then there was the Candy Castle, a “pick-your-candy-by-the-pound” place that sucked Adrian and me in, to the tune of 2 lbs. of Tootsie “Frooties” (which I’d never seen before), BB Bats, Laffy Taffy, Atomic Fireballs, etc. etc. 2

Ride-wise, we did the great big Ferris Wheel, the Zipper, the Fireball, the swings, the bumper cars and the (can’t remember the name of it, but it was like this).

The fireworks were *amazing* — the new “sparklies” are so very very pretty.

1 His first NC State Fair ever, despite having lived in Raleigh for more than a decade!
2 Yes, I know: sweet tooth, much?

mmmmm….Candy

11.5 oz of Flavored Tootsie Rolls
14.4 oz. of Strawberry Cotton Candy Flavored Candy Corn
14.4 oz. of Orange Mango Flavored Candy Corn
34 oz. of Jelly Bellies
4 oz. of “Unbearably Hot” Gummi Bears
22 oz. of Candy Corn
____
100 oz. of candy ~ 6.26 lbs. of candy… all of which sounds quite reasonable until you consider that none of this was bought for Halloween and/or children.

aklikins has a sweet tooth that’s just as bad as mine!

(We also bought two new board games… must have game night soon.  Maybe early November…anyone interested?)

The Most Rockingest of Birthdays

A Very Good Birthday is comprised of:

  • Dinner with Tim, an old friend from high school, and , his incredibly talented wife, followed by deliciously sticky brownies made by Kim and consumed around a fire.  With wine.  :-)  We had an interesting discussion of the most effective ways to get people to meet-and-mingle in a corporate retreat setting (Adrian () and I may help Tim write Trivia questions for one of their activities, which would be really fun.)
  • A visit from Dad () and Louise (Dad’s girlfriend) and lunch at Foster’s (baguette french toast with raspberry syrup – mmm!).  Wonderful presents, including those-really-cool-markers-that-write-on-glass-really-brightly (like restaurants use), a Potts Pottery face-shaped Brillo pad holder (Brillo pad goes in his mouth) and face-shaped egg separator (egg parts go through his mouth) and elephant bowl (trunk is handle), a beaded Warthog and Rhino (which are currently battling on my entertainment center) and a cool Escher flip book.
  • Many co-workers sending you birthday wishes via IM and email
  • Dinner with at Alivia’s — of note:  the grit cakes (one of which I stole from under Adrian’s scallops) were astoundingly good and the cheese plate was incredible.  In particular there was a blended (goat/sheep?) cheese that was semi-soft that was just wonderful.  Oh, and the  crackers  looked like they’d been made on a waffle cone iron…very nicely textured.  There was also an unfiltered wheat beer that was really citrus-y and terribly yummy (which, of course, I neglected to get the name of)
  • PRESENTS!!!  got me the most amazing assortment of books… some of these will make perfect sense if you know me, while others are direct references to questions we’ve pondered of late:
    1. Roberts Rules of Order: Born out of a conversation about Meyers-Briggs personality type and how surprising it was that I didn’t know RROO, given how big a fan I am of  rules .  (Conversely one could argue that RROO is really about *process* so of course I wouldn’t know them…)
    2. Pocket Ref: The classic geek reference (often mentioned on Mythbusters) which somehow I’d managed never to own
    3. A Complete Guide to the Craft of Songwriting: A few weekends ago, after one of my singing things, Adrian and I spent a few hours at the piano talking about music theory and writing music.  I felt like there were a lot of concepts and conventions that I’d missed, and as a result, I was lacking the vocabulary really discuss what music is doing.  This book, at least at a cursory glance, seems to answer many of those questions.
    4. Stickky Trees: This one is strange and wonderful.  It’s a step-by-step expert system for classifying trees.  Basically they start with one characteristic (number of lobes in the leaf, for instance, and based on that single thing, you learn to differentiate between, say, Oaks and Maples.  Each page presents a single concept, and there’s always a quiz page right afterwards.  They claim that if you don’t cheat (ie, look ahead for the answers), you’ll be able to tell the species of the most common trees in America in 30 minutes.  The concept fascinates me, as it teaches in my most strongest way of learning (divide and conquer [pattern-making] and visual).  I will work my way through it soon and report back on results.  (BTW, there’s a whole series of these…!)
    5. The Big Book of Icebreakers:  a very funny reference to both the conversation we’d had with Tim and Kim the other night and the fact that (someday), I may want to be a professional Julie McCoy.
    6. Word Nerd: Just what it sounds like — a compendium of unusual and remarkable words.  Like  defenestrate  (which is one of my most favorite words ever.)
    7. 101 Things You Need to Know:  I am addicted to these sorts of books… full of interesting  bits , cleverly presented (in this case as a series of  challenges /learning opportunities), and put together in a well-designed package (consistency of illustration style, gimmicks like checklists and wallet cards, nice paper, rounded corners, color-coordinated topics, etc).  (The Worst Case Scenario books are another example of the style, as are almost any travel book by DK (The Eyewitness Guide series).  I love the data, I love the art and I love the cohesive way that design and content work together.  Yes, I am a geek.
    8. In addition to the library-enhancing wonderfulness, Adrian also got me two things that had been on the  Silly Things I Want List  (yes, of course I keep one) for several years:  three-sided metal scale rulers (English *and* metric!) and a set of Koh-i-noor Rapidograph pens!!!  squeeee!  squeeee!  I’ve wanted one of these sets for eons and had just never gotten around to getting myself one!  Pen geek nirvana!!
  • Tomorrow there’s lunch with work folks (perhaps there’ll be icing) and Wednesday night I’m going to the Bela Fleck show with Jacintha — wheee!!!
    Happy me!  Happy me!