Thursday, December 29, 2011

Leave the box on the shelf

For anyone that has had truly homemade pasta, I am preaching to the choir.  For the rest of you - it's time to leave that box on the shelf and try this.

Don't let the concept scare you.  It's simply 4 extra large eggs and 3 cups of unbleached flour (make sure it's not self rising).  It's that simple.  Mix, reserving 1/2 cup of flour to add as needed.  Mix and kneed until feel is similar to a play dough.  Add additional flour 1/4 cup at a time to get there.  You may exceed the 3 cup total depending on the egg size. 

Let rest 20 minutes before working dough.  The rest is in pictures.  If you have a rolling pin, work slowly until 1/8th of an inch thin, cut to size, boil until floating - in salted water - about 3-4 minutes at rull rolling boil.  Water level will drop between boiling batches.  Fresh pasta is thirsty. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Out with Soiree and in with EPIC

I am still sad at the loss of Soiree in downtown Mooresville.  Epic moving in was a welcome sight, but I had no idea how welcome.

I had heard that they were owned by one of the partners in Mickey & Mooch.  That they had quite a staff.  All things that made me very excited to go.  That exxcitement continued during the meal.

Now I must confess, this review is overdue.  We went a while ago, but life had been busy.  Still eating and creating, just not telling everyone about it.  Time has not been my friend.  Epic deserves better - because they delivered on everything.

I prefer to sit in the bar section when it is just my wife and I.  Servers on that side seem to have it together more, due to the faster paced nature of the bar business.  This was not exception and our server was outstanding.  Turns out - Friday nights get crazy busy there and we just beat a rush.  You wouldn't tell by how well she took care of us.

Mickey & Mooch prices can be a little steep at times, and Epic is close in their pricing.  The menu is little more vast, and so you can shop within your price range if you so choose.  When there's a nice filet mignon option on the menu - I know where my wife is going.  I am a sucker for Prime Rib personally.  Both were on our plates that night.  Salads, Crab Fritters (oh my goodness) and the incomperable Spinach/Chevre/Brie & Roasted Garlic Bake were all fantastic.  App and entree portion sizes were large and really make the price point less of an issue.

Desserts are ridiculous in size and quality.  We had to have them but had no room.  Take out boxes here we come.  I NEVER order dessert.  This was the rare exception.  Partly since our daughter is a chocolate lover anyway, I figured we could share the chocolate cake and reduce the guilt factor.  It is towering layers of cake and icing, not too sweet, but really quite light and tasty.  Every dessert that passed by our table was large and looked great - just making the decision that much harder.  I am sure any choice would have been a good one that night.

East Coast Wings is missing the mark

You will be hard pressed to find someone not happy to have a true wing place in Mooresville. After multiple visits, it's not going to be ECW making us all happy.

Wing night number one was filled with delicious wings, full of flavor and heat. It was unfortunately served with several missed chances to impress. Beverages gone empty, a server who does not like spicy food, bad advice about which night to come for specials, you get the idea. Let's add the fire alarm going off for several minutes and the poor fire department having to rush over for nothing - just not happy.

Visit two was with the family. It was intentionally planned on a bone-in special price night. What do you mean we are on the wrong night? My server last week emphasized that this was THE night to come. Oh well, we eat anyway. More poor service. Not fair, straight up poor. In an effort to keep our guy's wing night on schedule, one last try at the ECW and one more poor night of service. Add the balloon lady with this silly noise maker that sounds like a blender going off every single time she fills a balloon. All 100+ of them while we were there were a challenge for us to have a conversation.

Okay, let's get to the food. Prices are decent, flavors are a feature that expands the menu for non-wing eaters. As a family, we can all find something to eat easily. Just to stay with the good wing hopes - and take the bad service out - we did take out. They do not open until noon on Sunday. In the ever-competitive Sunday lunch business, this is a mistake for sure. We did get wings very quickly after ordering at noon. That was a plus. When I got home and saw my box said "hot" I knew we had an issue. Their hot is mild by most standards. These bad boys we're supposed to bring the heat. When I opened the box, it had a small container of the lava sauce in it. That was clearly an attempt to cover a mistake. That mistake continued by having the ranch (not blue cheese) inside without the carrots or celery to go with. Not only did the take out server assume the order was correct, nobody in the kitchen is verifying the orders.

Clearly, they have far more work to do than I would have hoped. After being a big fan of the Statesville location, I am sorry to have to write this. I have been told by many that Statesville has lost something too. I really hope they correct the ship soon or we are all looking for the next great wing place to come to town.