Friday, April 12, 2013

A Restaurant Worth a Visit

First, let me apologize for the delay in posting. My computer went kaput while we were on our way home from Gulf Shores, MI and I have been living through computer withdrawal until yesterday. When I got a new one. I am still figuring out Windows 8 but now know enough to get back to the blog.

I am a former restaurant owner and a very particular restaurant customer. To say we are hard to impress in an understatement. I also know the impact that a restaurant review, either good or bad, can have on a business. As a result I seldom write about the restaurants we visit. But while nosing around Ocean Springs MI. looking for the Davis Bayou Area of Gulf Shores National Seashore (which we never did find), we stumbled upon this excellent little spot:
The patio looked very inviting:
So we decided to give it a try:
Arch had the Grilled Shrimp in Balsamic Dressing that I mentioned in the last blog post about shrimping:
And I had Spinach and Artichoke dip served with Fried Bow Tie Pasta as dippers:
What a great idea the bow tie pasta dippers were. I am planning to make them one day as I think they will be great with any dip that is a little moist.

All the food was well prepared and presented and delicious. The atmosphere was charming and the server delightful. They also served restaurant-made baguette with Parmesan cheese and pepper in olive oil to dip it in. Yum!

The recipes that follow are mine, not the restaurants.

Fried Bow Tie Pasta
(My guess, with a little info from our server on how these were made)
To make then you cook the bow tie pasta about half the recommended time - do not over cook - then fry them in oil until golden brown. Cool to room temperature before serving.

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

(8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
salt and pepper to taste
1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1/2 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained (I use a 10 oz. bag of fresh spinach and saute it in a bit of lemon-flavoured olive oil and chop it coarsely)
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a small baking dish.
In a medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, Romano cheese, garlic, basil, garlic salt, salt and pepper. Gently stir in artichoke hearts and spinach.
Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Top with mozzarella cheese. Bake in the preheated oven 25 minutes, until bubbly and lightly browned.


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