Dog Gone Delicious!

May 12, 2008

Wow. I am so sorry I live 8 hours from this restaurant because it was that cool and that good! My aunt and uncle are deep into food and wine and have been regulars at The Dogwood since the restaurant opened. The menu did not disappoint!

(The photos do not do the dishes justice! It’s always hard to get good photos in dim lighting.)

The atmosphere was very cool – modern and funky. I loved the lights!

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And the bread!!! Oh my gosh the bread! It was a homemade soda bread with a fruited butter (apricot?). SO good. I had two of these:

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We had a bottle of red for the table. I had about 1.5 glasses – perfect wine occasion.

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I ordered the Baby Spinach and Organic Grapefruit Salad, which came with a mango-grapefruit dressing, chevre crostini, spiced walnuts, and avocado. The dressing was fabulous – it reminded me of a green Thai curry. And the goat cheese was amazingly fresh! I shared my piece with my mom, who also loves goat cheese. Cool plates too!

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My mom got a Ratatouille Tart and shared some bites –

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For my entree, I ordered the Pan-Seared Local Asparagus Risotto Cake with orange-scented quinoa, market vegetables (baby squash, carrots and asparagus), and a curry-carrot-ginger sauce. The risotto cake was perfectly crusted and the portions were…well perfect!  I didn’t want to make a fuss with my camera, or I would’ve gone for more creative photos!

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Here’s a photo of my mom’s Crispy Eggplant Strata, with roast garlic colcannon, fresh basil, tomato coulis and kalamata olives. I had a bite of this as well. We both share a love for eggplant, goat cheese, capers and olives.

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Who’s Counting?!

Whether it was one bite or an array of tastes, I think this was my 5th or 6th consecutive meal with desset. I’m a little desserted out, but I sure did enjoy my choice tonight! I chose something lighter, although I still ended up eating bites of my mom’s Rhubarb Pie, the strawberries from my grandfather’s birthday Fallen Chocolate Souffle and a bit of a fabulously rich Chocolate Pot de Creme.

So what did I have? A Strawberry-Orange Champagne Float, local fresh squeezed orange sorbet with strawberries floating in proseco. Mmmm!

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It’s time to cut back!

I hope I can dine at the Dogwood again – there were so many other dishes I wanted to try.

The weather should be clear tomorrow, and I’m looking forward to a nice run in the morning before breakfast and the flight back to North Carolina. I’m planning to have lunch in Hillsborough with my parents before I drive back to Charlotte to the husband, who I miss so much!!

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{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Romina May 12, 2008 at 9:04 pm

Mm, that dessert looks so worth it!

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2 VeggieGirl May 12, 2008 at 9:08 pm

Between the elegant decor, and the fabulous-looking food (especially the desserts!), I’d say that The Dogwood restaurant is definitely a winner!

Have a safe flight home tomorrow!

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3 Melanie May 12, 2008 at 9:10 pm

I live in DC and might have to drive up to Baltimore to try that Asparagus cake – gosh that looks so good!! Have a safe trip back to NC! Hope it’s warmer for you there :-)

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4 Bev May 12, 2008 at 9:15 pm

One word … Jealous

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5 magpie May 12, 2008 at 9:16 pm

Everything looks great. I really enjoy reading about your food adventures! And yes, there are definitely times when I have dessert too much as well… I think I need to cut back this week in fact. I’ve been going a little nuts over nutella recently.

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6 Suzanne May 12, 2008 at 9:23 pm

WOW. That food looks so good. It reminds me of the food we had in Sedona. So fresh and tasty! It’s funny you say that you’re ‘desserted out’ – I felt the same way upon returning (even though I LOVE dessert!). I guess it’s too much of a good thing!

Hurry home to the husband! You two must have missed each other so much. :) Have a safe trip home!

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7 Megan May 12, 2008 at 9:53 pm

Hi Kath,
When you eat out, do you normally eat everything on your plate? This time you said it was a perfect portion, so I assume you finished it all ( I agree the portions look normal sized), including dessert.

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8 Becca May 12, 2008 at 10:06 pm

I definitely got some ideas for new places to try next time I venture down to Baltimore! Looks like it was a fantastic trip!

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9 Cassie May 12, 2008 at 10:11 pm

I feel the same way about dessert – It has been around way to much lately!!! And it has all been worth it haha

Have a safe flight back tomorrow!

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10 Betsy May 12, 2008 at 10:16 pm

is it a vegetarian restaurant? it looks seriously amazing. wow.

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11 hk May 13, 2008 at 5:58 am

what a fun dinner! everything looks and sounds fabulous! have a nice last day with your family :)

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12 Korin May 13, 2008 at 7:38 am

Food looks great. I’m jealous of that eggplant.

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13 Allyson May 13, 2008 at 7:56 am

WOW, orange strawberry champagne float?! Omg, doesn’t get much better than that! All the food looks amazing! I’m glad to see you’re having such a great time :)

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14 oatmeal May 13, 2008 at 8:47 am

Wow–the restaurant decor IS really hip & funky! The star shaped lights are a nice touch!

The soda bread looks so good–I would have gone for seconds as well!

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15 DaisyMay May 13, 2008 at 8:55 am

I need some ideas for dinner tonight. what is everyones favorite thing to make with ground turkey?

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16 Cara May 13, 2008 at 9:10 am

Have a great trip home!!

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17 JennC May 13, 2008 at 9:14 am

Daisy may, look at rachel Ray’s turkey burgers :-D

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18 Kelly L. May 13, 2008 at 9:18 am

Ohhh i love places like this!

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19 Elina May 13, 2008 at 9:21 am

Does anyone have a recipe suggestion for thai eggplant? They were so cute, I just had to buy them, but now I don’t know what to do with them :) I tried to research online and most recommendations involve curry – should I just buy a jar and call it a day? Thanks to all in advance!

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20 Tracy May 13, 2008 at 9:25 am

Daisy May-
Try making hard or soft tacos…so good with ground turkey!

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21 Carrie H May 13, 2008 at 9:30 am

Elina,
Try eggplant parmesan. It is great and I think Kath has a recipe on her site for it. Or, check cookinglight.com for a recipe. You might also check out the process of salting eggplant, which removes some of the bitter taste.
I also love eggplant and veggie risotto. I made this last night. I chopped a couple slices of eggplant into small chunks and sauted it with some onion, garlic and zucchini and a splash of chicken broth. (I have also used spinach in the past). Then I added 1/2 cup minute rice, 1/4 cup more chix broth and 1/4 cup water and cooked the rice. I added some pepper, parsley and oregano too. It was great! Good luck.
Carrie

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22 Liz H. May 13, 2008 at 9:31 am

make lettuce wraps with the ground turkey

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23 Carrie H May 13, 2008 at 9:31 am

Oh … thai eggplant. I think the risotto would work for that, but maybe not the parmesan!

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24 Ange C. May 13, 2008 at 9:45 am

Hi, DaisyMay…

Ground turkey…you could make stuffed bell peppers, (some things you can also include…brown rice, cheese, stewed tomatoes) chili, tacos, turkey burgers, turkey meatloaf, a loose turkey spaghetti. Hope these ideas spark something for you!

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25 DaisyMay May 13, 2008 at 9:52 am

I was actually thinking about the stuffed peppers. cause i made turkey burgers the other night. when you have left over turkey you got to make different things or the boyfriend gets bored. thank you for the suggestions!

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26 Nadia May 13, 2008 at 9:57 am

My sister went to school in Baltimore and whenever I would drive down there for the weekends we would always go to the Dogwood. I abs. love that place.

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27 DaisyMay May 13, 2008 at 10:07 am

one more question. is there a good side dish to serve with a stuffed pepper?

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28 Another Kelly May 13, 2008 at 10:24 am

Elina,

I found an interesting recipe on the Melissa’s website:
http://www.melissas.com/recipes/index.cfm?Recipe_ID=2225

You’ll have to let us know how the Thai Eggplant tastes. I’ve never tried it before although I always see it at my favorite produce market. I love Chinese eggplant. It’s much smaller than the common globe/American eggplant and no where near as bitter.

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29 Tina May 13, 2008 at 10:27 am

The Dogwood looks wonderful!!! Glad you had a nice time!

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30 Sidi May 13, 2008 at 11:01 am

It makes me wanna cry… :(

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31 Heather May 13, 2008 at 11:03 am

Oh wow, what a gorgeous restaurant! That eggplant strata is making me hungry. You find the coolest places to eat :)

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32 JennC May 13, 2008 at 11:07 am

does anyone know how to properly fold tortillas for enchiladas to bake?

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33 Erin May 13, 2008 at 11:20 am

JennC,

I just roll them up open-ended and put the seam of the enchilada face down in the pan so it doesn’t pop open.

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34 BethT May 13, 2008 at 1:13 pm

Daisy May – I tried this spin on stuffed peppers, using ground turkey, and liked it better than any other recipe I’ve used. It was great because the pepper got more tender and you didn’t have to worry about the meat not getting done, due to the smaller size.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,,FOOD_9936_161655,00.html

I made it a bit healthier by using less oil during the “frying” part.

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35 JennC May 13, 2008 at 1:19 pm

what does everyone think about the slim fast shakes for a lunch option?

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36 BethT May 13, 2008 at 1:34 pm

Jenn C – I have used Slim fast in a pinch, but it would never be enough on its own. Add some fruit and/or veggies, and maybe – but otherwise for me it’s not filling enough. I think they are better as a mini meal or snack.

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37 Allison K. May 13, 2008 at 2:07 pm

I think slim fast shakes taste like the can they come in. I agree with BethT, they are “ok” (never my first choice) in a pinch, but always with something else.

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38 Elina May 13, 2008 at 8:17 pm

Thanks ladies for the thai egglant recipes. I think I will use something close to Melissa’s recipe. I have canned tomatoes, bell peppers and some random ginger/garlic sauces. I’ll do a bit of improvising :) I’ll let you know how it went!

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