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foodie b’eat–Sneak Peek! Quanto Basta: Italian Eatery and Wine Bar

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After months of waiting and anticipation, downtown Winston-Salem’s newest restaurant was unveiled last night in a private event and even 8 inches of snow (give or take a few) couldn’t keep the foodies away. Quanto Basta: Italian Eatery & Wine Bar (corner of 4th and Spring Street) is a new restaurant by the partners of Spring House Restaurant, Kitchen & Bar, one of #WSNC’s most acclaimed establishments. Chef Tim Grandinetti and business partners, Lynn and Lynnette Matthews-Murphy have worked tirelessly turning Lynn’s old office building into a gorgeous and inviting restaurant with a center bar and open kitchen with a wood-burning oven.We were informed that the preliminary tasting for press, family and friends would take place snow or shine. It was a great crowd.

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mr. foodie, Mark Maier and Tim Beeman, from Tart and Tangy Triad and The Less Desirables Podcast

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Owner/Chef Tim Grandinetti and local writer, Carroll Leggett

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Chef Jeff Bacon (Triad Community Kitchen), Grandinetti and Yelp Triad Manager Holly Bertoncini

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TTT Podcast hosts Stephanie Beeman, Tim Beeman & Chef and Niksnacks blogger, Nikki Miller-Ka

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WS Journal’s Justin Gomez and Radio Personality Bob Campbell

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In the middle is local WS Journal Food Editor, Michael Hastings

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In addition to seating of all sizes, a couple of community tables and even some high seating are scattered throughout as well as a small separate seating area that I’m sure can be used by private groups. If there’s one thing the Matthews’ and Grandinetti can do, it’s make a very cozy environment in which to dine. There are great little touches that make it comfortable and fun, from the casual seating, rustic bar to the half-century old sign that once adorned Grandinetti’s grandparents’ pizza restaurant in Hudson, New York. He says he’s been holding onto it for years, waiting to find its perfect home. And it’s found itself right near a beautiful pizza oven, where Chef Christopher Fulk (formerly of Christopher’s Global Cuisine and Pintxo’s Pour House) leads the kitchen and last night, was tossing flat bread dough…

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Chef Christopher Fulk

So in just one week, you’ll get to see it all for yourself and taste what we got to taste last night!  Pizza, antipasti, salad, sliders, sandwiches and traditional Italian specialties that remind Grandinetti of his childhood. Below is just a sampling of the tastes we got to try last night…each delicious and fresh…the anitpasti…oh my!  And for the first time in his life, mr. foodie loved and I mean LOVED Eggplant Parmesan. We were served family and buffet style for this tasting. The menu has appetizers, pizza, antipasti, pasta and specialities all at a terrific price point and nothing over $17, something Grandinetti says is much needed in Winston-Salem. Quanto Basta means “as much as you need” in Italian. Sounds like an Italian Grandma, doesn’t it? We think you’ll get your fill more than once here. :)

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Chef Tim and Heidi Grandinetti

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The menu…can you read it?

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Coffee and wine bar

Opening day is Thursday, March 5. Quanto Basta will be open Monday through Saturday 3pm-until late. Beginning in summer, you can enjoy Supper at ‘Nonna’s. Family-style Italian goodness.

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To stay on top of QB happenings, follow them on Facebook.

So!  More choices downtown, foodies. When you get a chance to check them out, let us know what you think. Until then, eat local!

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beyond the triad: Over Yonder

We recently took a family trip to the mountains to go skiing/snow boarding. I’m not much of a skiier, more of a faller,  but I wasn’t about to waste an opportunity to cross the bridge to H’Appyness and spend the afternoon in my beloved Blue Ridge Mountains with my beloveds. After an afternoon at Sugar Mountain Ski Resort where I fell ONLY ONCE (queue applause, thank you!), I suggested to mr. foodie a warm and cozy dinner at Over Yonder in historic Valle Crucis (3608 NC Hwy 194). It really didn’t take much persuasion. We’ve been there before and blogged about it, but at the time the restaurant was known as 1816 Farmhouse and just about everything about the restaurant has changed, new ownership, now under Mast Farm Inn and a new menu. The only thing that hasn’t changed is the gorgeous ambiance of the old restored farmhouse in which they are all nestled. They allowed us to choose our table next to the fireplace in the BAR and even turned the fireplace on for us.

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The first thing about the menu we noticed is that it is more casual with prices to reflect it. By the way, we were wearing ski clothes and though I’m sure you could go dressy to Over Yonder, they certainly made us feel welcome in our most laid-back attire and hat hair. Menu items range from Pork Skins to Grit Skillets, salads and sandwiches to a selection of entrees all under $17. The NC Trout special was the highest price item on the menu and it was still under $20. Really great prices with the average about $12.

We were starving, obviously, after several hours of skiing, so we ordered the Pork Belly special appetizer with sorghum glaze, red onion slaw and some candied almonds. I actually missed the description as I wasn’t at the table at the time, but I trusted mr. foodie. The pork belly skin was crispy and the meat was silky and decadent and everything it should be. There was the smokiness to the meat and the sweetness of the sorghum that combined so wonderfully with crisp veggies and it lent a slightly Asian flavor while keeping its southern essence. And was it ever pretty.

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For my entree, I went with their custom grit skillet. There are a number of options to choose from and I chose Over Yonder’s House-made Ginger & Sage Sausage with Caramelized Onions, Peppers & Provolone, piled onto some hot and perfectly cooked Adluh grits. Just the thing after being on the slopes.

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mr. foodie ordered the Griddled Pork & Beef Meatloaf with Cheerwine BBQ Sauce with Cheesy Grits and Butterbeans.  It doesn’t get much “over yonder” than that. The meatloaf was so tender and really just melted in you mouth. No knife required.

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The boy kidlet was with us and he ordered Kid’s Grilled Cheese. It was really good and cheddar-y on my fave, Texas Toast. He also ordered the applesauce as a side. It was a chunky applesauce and he wasn’t a fan because he’s just like that, but it was delicious applesauce. He likes apples and we tried to explain, but he is who he is. :/

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And though I tried not to do it, I just had to get the Banana Pudding. The BEST banana pudding I’ve ever had was right there at 1816 Farmhouse so I was curious if this version would live up to my memory. It was every bit as good with a fresh whipped cream and a beautiful wafer toffee crumb rather than the traditional vanilla wafers. They stayed crispy in the pudding, which totally worked with these particular wafers. And was it ever pretty.

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mr. enjoyed a lovely Apple Cobbler with Buttermilk Ice Cream. Also delicious. You can pretty much count on a cobbler on the dessert menu at Over Yonder. The microfoodie got ice cream, of course.

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There were so many items on the menu I wanted to try…it wasn’t an overwhelming menu at all, just that everything looked really, really good with lots of local ingredients. And Over Yonder is open for lunch and Sunday brunch so if you are traveling they are definitely a place to check out. Be sure to make note of their hours below as it changes when it warms up. Of course, the Mast Farm Inn, their Mama Bear, is another place on my bucket list.

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What’s your favorite place to stay at and eat in our gorgeous NC Mountains?

Over Yonder
3608 North Carolina Highway 194
Historic Valle Crucis
Sugar Grove, North Carolina
(828) 963-6301
Hours
Jan-March: Wed-Sat, 11am-8pm; Sun: 11am-3pm
April-Dec: Mon, Wed, Thur, Fri, Sat, 11am-8pm; Sun: Noon-8pm

triadfoodies, unstuffed cabbage rolls, recipe, north carolina

Recipe: Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls

Greetings, foodies. It’s been forevs since I posted anything like a recipe. So here’s a winner for a cold winter’s day. It’s UNSTUFFED Cabbage Rolls. I’ve never even had stuffed cabbage rolls but I do love cabbage and all the other ingredients in those rolls. So, after finding a recipe or three on my FAVE..Pinterest…I took the pretty basic recipe and amped it up a few notches by adding bacon and beer. It’s still a one pot wonder, super simple, relatively healthy if you don’t mind bacon and beer and incredibly delicious the day of and days later. This makes a BIG batch and probably easily serves 6, maybe more. I only have a couple of pics this time around, but you’ll get the idea with this easy dish. Feel free to change out the beef for sausage or even venison. One of my followers used venison and a Gaelic ale and let it go for a while in his slow cooker. Love it!

triadfoodies, unstuffed cabbage rolls, recipe, north carolina

Browned beef, tomatoes, sauce, onions, spices, beer and cabbage all going in the pot.

UNSTUFFED CABBAGE ROLLS

2 lbs ground beef
2-3 slices of bacon. Optional but lends a smokiness.
1/2-1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small cabbage, chopped
2 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
2 tbs chopped parsley, optional
1/2 cup beer, broth or water
1 tsp salt or to taste
1 tsp pepper

Cook it:

In a large pot, crisp the bacon if using. Add the ground beef and onion and cook until meat is no longer pink. Add garlic and cook for a minute.
Add the chopped cabbage, tomatoes, tomato sauce, liquid, seasonings. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, or until cabbage is tender.
Optional: mustard seed, caraway seeds or smoked paprika would be a great option. The latter especially if you forgo bacon. Maybe cheese as well?  Serve with crusty bread or pretzel rolls.

Voila!
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Augustine’s Bistro

Augustine's

Bonjour, gourmets! That’s ‘foodies’ in French….

Augustine’s Bistro (401 W. 4th Street, Winston-Salem) is the “revised” new kid on the block. The restaurant space opened a year and a half ago as Mundo Global Tapas, did a little shake-a-roo, and re-opened as a French-country American bistro a few months back. Some of us restaurant-goers liked the idea of tapas and were sad to see those go. But, we LOVE the idea of French in downtown Winston-Salem as it adds to the culture of our city.

My daughter, mother-in-law and I have an annual tradition of seeing The Nutcracker Ballet with a delicious dinner beforehand. Since we chose UNCSA presentation of The Nutrcracker, it couldn’t be more convenient than dinner downstairs at Augustine’s Bistro.

Just about every time I’ve eaten in this space (when it was Dioli’s Trattoria and Mundo) my family and I were shuttled to the back dining room. It’s pretty with a gorgeous Stevens Center chandelier as the restaurant resides there. But I LOVE sitting in the front of the restaurant enjoying the street view and people watching–it’s so French. I was very pleased that’s where we were seated. You really can’t beat a corner seat at Augustine’s. Now…about the food.

Augustine’s Bistro has blend of French and American cuisine with a few items like calamari thrown in. The chef also kept a few of the very popular items from its previous incarnation.  Augustine’s also has a small bar with a great selection of craft cocktails. If French is not your favori, then you don’t have to worry as there’s enough to choose from this side of the pond, like sandwiches and burgers as well as pork tenderloin and a very popular salmon dish. I decided that I’d go all in. So, we ordered Escargot Florentine baked with spinach and parmesan. It was served in perfectly cute escargot serving dish. The escargot was tender and herby. The spinach was cooked perfectly and the cheese was bubbly and toasty and just right.

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My MIL ordered the Crab Bisque. It was very flavorful and riche! She didn’t eat all of it, so I stole it and took it home.

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For my entree, I went with the featured Cassoulet which showcased an amazing “frenched” duck confit on the bone, chorizo sausage and pork belly. It sat on top of a delicious herby, wine infused broth of white beans and tender vegetables. It was si delcieux! Perfect for a cold almost winter’s night. Not sure how French chorizo is, but I didn’t mind it!

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My MIL ordered the steak with frites. Very simple, quite tasty and the steak was perfectly cooked with hand-cut frites and a garlic aioli. We must call them frites, not fries at Augustine’s.  :D

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My daughter ordered buttered noodles—Sigh. Instead of butter, the noodles came with a cream sauce instead, but she still ate a bit of it. And the leftovers, we took home and I added the crab bisque from above to it for lunch a couple of days later. So satisfying.

We actually had time for dessert so I finally introduced my little one to Creme Brulee.  Why wouldn’t I? This creme brulee was magnifique! Little flecks of vanilla bean, a perfect custard, crunchy top that my daughter tried to eat all of. Really, creme brulee is my favorite dessert ever….

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Augustine’s Bistro also has plenty of space for private events so if you are looking for a special occasion place, you know you’ll have a beauty in that location. Be sure to follow them on Facebook or check their website often for announcements regarding special dinners highlighting wine, beer and spirits.

Augustine’s owner Chef Eric Muck might actually be onto something by highlighting his family’s heritage with this new concept. If I had to make any suggestion at all (it’s not about the food or service because it was all terrific), I’d say…”Chef, go more in…heck, go ALL in!” Cassoulet, Beef Bourguignon, Duck a l’Orange, Chicken Dijon, Quiche, Oh oui! And for dessert, Eclairs, Madelines, etc. I mean, you’d eat that wouldn’t you, foodies??? And maybe start offering brunch because you’ve got the perfect brunchy set-up. And French bread for the table, of course. ;). But don’t get rid of the Mushroom Toast. Never ever stop making that, chef.

Do you have a favorite French dish, foodies?

Au revoir!

Augustine’s Bistro
Hours: Tues-Sat, 5pm-10pm

Augustine's Bistro on Urbanspoon

Hearth Restaurant at Sanders Ridge

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My extended family on my Daddy’s side decided for our Christmas celebration to meet at a restaurant…to keep it easy so we don’t all have to cook and run after kidlets. And though I didn’t mean to “take over” and make a strong (?) suggestion of where we should eat, I will say I do not regret my nudging ;) to dine at a local restaurant that just happens to be on a beautiful vineyard and winery. Once we knew that Hearth Restaurant at Sanders Ridge would gladly accommodate all 23 of us for a Saturday lunch, everyone was excited.

To start, Sanders Ridge is a vineyard located in the heart of Yadkin Valley Wine Country, in Boonville, just a 20 minute drive from Winston-Salem. And since Hearth is on a vineyard, it’s quiet, lovely and serene. The restaurant and tasting room is gorgeous with its timber frame details and view of the pond, gazebo and natural surroundings. Much of their ingredients are locally sourced, some right there on their own farm.

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Chef Christian Froelich actually provided us with a personal menu, but allowed us to order off the main menu anyway. I can really only speak to what mr. foodie and I ordered, but I did take pictures of just about everything. We did order a bottle of wine—I mean when in the Yadkin Valley Wine Region, why not? For my entree, I ordered the Muscadine Chicken. What is known as their signature dish, it’s grilled chicken breast with a sweet and slightly tangy muscadine glaze that Chef created to mimic a hoisin sauce. So you get this element of Asian flare along with an incredible jasmine rice stir fry that has a crispy soccarat that is oh, so satisfying. I don’t know about you but if I eat at a hibachi style restaurant, I always ask for the scraped up rice bits. So yummy! The entree also comes with sauteed spinach.

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Oh and I almost forgot, as an appetizer we ordered the Truffle Scented Country Ham Mac & Cheese. It came out so piping hot I captured steam in my photo! Anyway, it was so good, I could’ve eaten it by itself. So cheesy and smoky, perfectly cooked macaroni with chewy bits of country ham and just enough of an essence of truffle oil.

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My kidlets split their chicken tenders, which were terrific and I told the chef they’d be even MORE yummy with the muscadine glaze as a dip. And my boy ordered the Chocolate Torte for dessert and gobbled it up. Let’s take a look at what everyone else ordered…I did do my due diligence and got many praises from all of my family members, even the little ones so I’m so glad my suggestion met with positive reviews.

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Chicken tendersIMG_1208Shrimp & Grits

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Veggie Wrap w/ Sweet Potato Fries

Pimento Cheese Dip

Pimento Cheese Dip

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Blurry..sorry! Smokestack Turkey Sandwich w/ Sweet Potato Fries

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Pumpkin Cheesecake

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Chocolate Torte

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Creme Brulee

Hearth Restaurant at Sanders Ridge officially became Chef Christian Froelich’s pride and joy last summer. He most recently was the Executive Chef in the Twin City Quarter and at Graze (formerly WS Prime). It’s so great to see him at the helm of such a beautiful restaurant and kitchen and we know he’s excited.

Chef Froelich and his excited face!

Chef Froelich and his excited face!

The Sanders Ridge winery’s tasting room is open every day beginning at noon. The winery and restaurant are on holiday until Thursday, January 15, so stay excited but be patient :D.  And if you want to just picnic and explore, there are 155 luscious acres for your pleasure. And if you’d like a little getaway, there’s even a tiny cabin in the woods! I can’t wait to go back when everything’s in bloom to do a little picnicking and ‘splorations.

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Hearth Restaurant at Sander’s Ridge
3200 Round Hill Road
Boonville, NC 336.677.1700

Lunch/Brunch
Friday, Saturday Lunch & Sunday Brunch 11:30 – 3 pm
Supper
Thursday Night Family Style with live music 5 – 8 pm
Friday & Saturday 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm