The Bad Mommy Eats OC—Longboard Cafe

On our most recent trip to Ocean City over the Thanksgiving weekend, we were floored to see the place was mobbed. Coastal Highway, which had been deserted two weeks before, was crawling with cars. Was it the holiday weekend? Was it the mild weather? Was it the Winterfest of Lights? We were there to winterize our condo (check it out if you’re looking for a place to stay in OC!) and see the light festival. We had been watching the progress of the one million lights being put up in Northside Park ever since the middle of October. I definitely didn’t want to miss out on the spectacular light show only a few hundred feet from our condo.

Of course since there were so many people in town for the weekend, finding a place to eat that wasn’t crazy crowded was a challenge. Since a large percentage of the restaurants close their doors in the off season, this proved an even bigger challenge. Driving past a couple of our choices on Coastal Highway at 7:30 on a Friday night (the light festival took longer than we anticipated), we saw everything was packed. Luckily, I remembered a restaurant café tucked in the back of a shopping center that we had discovered when we went to Sweet Frog, a yogurt shop that my daughter has been dying to go to for years (Here’s the scoop on that place—it’s nothing special). But the restaurant, Longboard Café was something special.

It was crowded as well, but we were led upstairs to a small loft area where there were four tables. It was cramped, but not so much that you couldn’t move around. The waiter immediately came over and apologized because they had ran out of several items since they were so busy, and he wanted to make sure we didn’t get our hearts set on those items while looking at the menu. I had been looking forward to the Chef’s Risotto, but there were so many other delicious sounding dinners to choose from. But first…our drinks. Hubs got some boring million year old scotch 🥃 and I got a white cranberry cosmo:

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very good. The drink menu was really tantalizing so I also had a PomTini 🍸 and a Chocolate Martini for dessert. I forgot to take pictures of those because I was feeling quite relaxed at the time and not even thinking about this blog. I assure you they were gorgeous.

Anyhoo..back to the food. Since we had a larger party this time (the kids AND the in-laws joined us for this trip), we got to sample a lot of the choices on the menu. My daughter had her heart set on the shrimp and scallop appetizer which we told her was going to be her meal, not an appetizer. She agreed to that rule and said it was delicious and worth it, but was still hungry afterward. (Hence why it’s called an appetizer—didn’t Cartman from South Park say an appetizer is what you eat before you eat to make you more hungry?) 😂😂😂

img_5227 My mother in-law had a tomato soup that was seriously chunky—this was no soup from a can. She also got an appetizer as a meal—the Crabby Flat bread—crab dip, cheddar-jack, sriracha, bacon, and Old Bay. 🦀 She ate both before I could even take a picture so I guess they were tasty.

My father in-law and son both went with the Seafood pasta, fettuccini, OC dayboat scallops, tail-on shrimp, lobster, lobster cream sauce and a baguette. It had to be good because my father in-law almost ate the whole thing (he gave my daughter some because she was shooting him puppy dog eyes across the table and he felt sorry for her). This is quite the feat for him because he usually orders half a sandwich for a meal and takes half of it home. 🙄

img_5225 Can you believe it? Neither the hub nor I got dayboat scallops. I was too torn between the salmon and the coffee-rubbed ribeye which is what the hubs got. He said it was melt in his mouth awesome and bursting with flavor. (Sorry, my picture taking skills are crap. I think I need a new phone for Christmas…hint, hint Hubby.)

img_5226 And finally, my salmon. Teriyaki sriracha lacquer, field greens, avocado, roasted corn, grape tomato and a balsamic drizzle. Hubs makes really great salmon at home. I’ve gotten salmon countless times at restaurants and I’m always disappointed because his is so much better. I even swore I wasn’t going to order salmon anymore so I don’t know what possessed me to get the salmon (I guess I’m a glutton for punishment?), but I’m glad I did. This salmon put the hubby’s salmon to shame. I was halfway through my second cocktail when I finished it so I even told him that to his face…ooops.

img_5228 I think I may have licked the plate. My only complaint was the chef went a little heavy on the balsamic. But I did soak it up with all the field greens so no harm, no foul. By the way, I want to note that our waiter was fabulous. Very personable, helped us make decisions when we were torn between dishes, and even gave recommendations to some of the other restaurants in the area that we might want to try (I guess you can’t always eat in one place).

Everyone agreed it was one of the best meals we’ve ever had (and definitely the best in OC) and they demanded I blog about the place immediately. Believe it or not, despite being full, we even got dessert. (I don’t think any of us wanted to leave!) The kids split a chocolate brownie and the adults went with drinkable desserts (sometimes the best kind). I told you about that Chocolate martini. I wish I had remembered to take a picture to share with you—I’ve been seeing it in my dreams and I wish you all could see it too. Oh well, you’ll have to check it out yourself the next time you’re in the neighborhood. Why not go visit for the Winterfest since the lights are up until New Year’s? And don’t miss the fireworks on New Year’s Eve!

Atmosphere: 9 forks out of 10 (I liked the casual, yet classy decorating)

Value: 9 out of 10 forks (a little on the pricey side but SO worth it)

View: 5 out of 10 forks (there really isn’t a view but I’m almost convinced that the chefs in restaurants without views consciously make up for it with their delectable dishes) There is also outside seating with a fireplace that I would have loved to try, but it was too chilly for that.

Food: 9.75 out of 10 forks (I would seriously need to want to leave my husband for the chef to give a restaurant a complete 10—I was close to asking the waiter to get his number for me)

***P.S. There’s a kids’ menu and also daily specials to check out.

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The Bad Mommy Cooks—South Dakota

“Don’t say South Dakota!” When my younger brother  was about six years old, he used to flip out like a crazed lunatic whenever we would say South Dakota. Don’t know what brought this weird adversity to a state 2,000 miles away, but you better believe my sister and I would say South Dakota whenever we possibly could. It was the easiest way to make him cry that didn’t involve getting in trouble for actually putting our hands on him. (We also tortured him by forcing him to dress up in girls’ clothes and putting make-up on him—I’m not sure how he’s not in therapy right now.)

Fast forward almost thirty years later and we pulled South Dakota out of the hat for our next state. This, of course, caused me to laugh like a maniac and have my husband and kids consider having me committed. I tried to explain the inside joke, but they didn’t find it very funny…guess you had to be there…whatever.

In my research of the state, I discovered that South Dakota has a variety of eceletic cuisine—it’s heavily influenced by Native American, German, Czech and Scandanavian culture. Czech kolaches, wasna from the Lakota Sioux, Indian tacos and buffalo burgers are all very popular. We decided to make the most iconic dish of of South Dakota…Chislic.

Chislic is not to be confused with shishkob, which is what it looks like. Chislic is simply cubes of beef, venison or lamb seasoned and on skewers or toothpicks. Apparently they are big in bars in the South Dakota area—they’re served with saltines and beer. Some of the chislic recipes seemed kind of lame and tasteless…seasoned overnight with Italian dressing or seasoned salt or something bland like that. I picked a much spicier recipe for our chislic. I had the hubs make the marinade for this since he tends to go a little heavier on the spices. I also went authentic with this meal…check out my saltines and beer:

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(We didn’t have any toothpicks…I asked my daughter what happened to the toothpicks and suspiciously she had no idea. I have a feeling I may be getting a Christmas present intricately designed with toothpicks.) FYI, I’m not a beer fan at all. That beer took me 2 hours and 2 minutes to drink…but it was necessary because the chislic was as spicy as hell and I think the smell of the marinade actually singed my nose hairs. Hubby and I liked it, but my daughter made faces and said it was too spicy. I think it would be a great appetizer for Superbowl Sunday, but not so much a “dinner”.

What’s that next to the chislic in the picture, you ask? Well that’s a German apple cake called Kuchen (Ku-kin) that’s also popular in South Dakota. I was pronouncing it wrong for three days and people had no idea what I was talking about. I also have no German in my body whatsoever so really, its’s not my fault, according to the law of Bill. My father in law, Bill, mispronounces every single Italian dish under the sun and he claims it’s because he doesn’t have a drop of Italian blood. (Like, seriously, he can’t even say chicken Parmagiana….he ordered chicken par-mig-na in an Italian restaurant a few weeks ago.)

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Anyhoo…the kuchen was similar to a crumb cake with apples between the cake part and the crumb part. It is also not as sweet as crumb cake, which I liked, but no one else was crazy about it. (I have actually caught my kids spooning brown sugar out of a container and eating it, and my husband eats icing out of a can. To say they like sugary things is an understatement.)

Having a crowd for football? Here’s the chislic recipe:

INGREDIENTS:

Start with 3lbs of cubed beef (I bought it cubed but you can cut it yourself from sirloin). You can also use venison or lamb if that floats your boat.

  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground chipotle chile pepper
  •  1 tablespoon of Tabasco 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons liquid smoke flavoring
  • 3/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • salt &  pepper to taste
  •   vegetable oil for frying

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Place the beef cubes into a large mixing bowl. Season with brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, chipotle powder, Tabasco, liquid smoke, Worcestershire sauce, and salt & pepper. Marinate in the refrigerator at least 2 hours or overnight.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering.
  3. Cook the beef in batches in the hot oil until browned on all sides and cooked to your desired degree of doneness, about 3 minutes for medium. Drain the beef cubes on a paper towel-lined plate before serving.

 

For the Kuchen, I really enjoyed using my Kitchen-aid that hasn’t seen the light of day in awhile:

 

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Oh, and when I made this, I hadn’t had the foresight to actually take the butter out to soften in advance, so I read up on the ways to quickly soften butter—this is way number fifty-two, cut into cubes and put in bowl over bowling water:

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I was getting very aggravated because I was trying to do this on my lunch hour and it wasn’t softening fast enough. This cake is kind of time consuming, so make sure you don’t have to be anywhere for awhile when you make it.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 well beaten eggs
  • 3 to 4 apples peeled and sliced thinly
  • For the Topping:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup of butter
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Using the paddle attachment in your mixer, mix the flour, baking powder, and sugar.
  3. Cut in the shortening and butter.
  4. Mix in the milk and eggs.
  5. Pour into a greased 9″x12″ pan.
  6. Make the topping in a small bowl, use your hands or a fork to mash the ingredients.
  7. Top the cake dough with apples and crumb topping.
  8. Bake 50-60 minutes (when a toothpick comes out clean)

The Bad Mommy Eats OC—Ropewalk

We’ve passed by Ropewalk several times a day on our many travels to OC, but we’ve never stopped in until now. It’s pushed back far from the main drag and I wasn’t sure what kind of food they would serve. (Yeah, I know, checking out the menu online would have helped with that…)

We stopped in on a sunny and unseasonably warm Friday afternoon in October and were seated right on the water (the bayside). I’m telling you, the bayside doesn’t get enough credit…some of these views are phenomenal.

 

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Okay, so maybe this view complete with ketchup and mustard bottles doesn’t do it justice, but believe me when I say this was relaxing scenery. I wanted to stay here all day.

The menu was extensive—much of the “Expected” fare like steam pots and handhelds, along with some twists on the usual including lobster pot pie, smoked shark bites and fried green tomatoes. There is also an Oyster Shooters menu if you like that sort of thing (I do not).

Since it was off season and the restaurant was practically empty, we were served VERY quickly…a little too quickly for my tastes since we were soaking in the serene view. Our appetizer and drinks came out within ten minutes:

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This was the Ropewalk’s version of bang bang shrimp, called Bada Bing Shrimp (Sopranos!). They also brought us out our own really totes adorbs mini pitchers of water in case the Bada bing spice made us thirsty:

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It was quite warm, even on the water, so I drank that entire pitcher—my bladder thanked me later, I assure you. I, of course, also had a Ropewalk mule (or two) and it was delightful. Hubs got a John Paul Jones (kind of like an Old Fashioned) and he even shared his cherry with me…what a gentleman.

Within minutes of downing the Bada bing shrimp, our meals came out. Hubs got day boat scallops over Orzo (if it’s on the menu, you can bet one of us will get the day boat scallops):

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They looked great and apparently tasted great as well with fresh ingredients. That was a concern when we came off season…how fresh are the ingredients? Ropewalk certainly did not disappoint. I got a pulled pork tacos. Yeah, I know, I eat too much pulled pork. But they were so good, who can blame me?

 

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We had no room for dessert (just room for another drink to relax in the sunshine). Beautiful view + Delicious food= One Happy Bad Mommy.

Food: 8 out of 10 forks

Atmosphere: 9 out of 10 forks

View: 9 out 10 forks

Value: 7 out of 10 forks (it was a little on the expensive side)

*Side note: There was no kid’s menu that I could see. I was also too busy drinking up the view to ask. Sorry 😦  They DO have a playground outside though, so I’m assuming there’s something for the kids.

Oh and here’s a great view of the sun set over the bay:

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Can you see now why I love it so much?

The Bad Mommy Balancing Act

I had a lot things planned this week. I was getting my butt back to the gym after an injury. I was back to meal planning and was determined to carry out my plans whether my family threw fits about what we were eating or not.  I was participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) so I needed to write 1,667 words a day. I wanted to catch up on my blogging (I’m trying to reach 10,000 views for the year, so feel free to share any of my blogs and help a girl out). I was getting caught up on laundry, cleaning, dishes…all the stuff I’ve been neglecting. Oh, and I was working at my job that pays the bills every day, of course. I was determined to be Supermom this week. Supermom, Superwife, Superwriter, Supernurse. I was gonna do it all. I bet you can guess that hings didn’t go as planned.

Before you jump to conclusions, let me just say that nothing catastrophic happened this week. What happened this week was what happens in everyone’s lives week after week after week…sick kids, computer glitches, forgetting to take meat out to defrost, broken appliances, gimpy husbands, missing homework, and so on and so forth. Nothing that couldn’t be solved in a 23 minute episode of a sitcom. I realize my “problems” are not unique—if anything, that’s why you read my blog—because my life is the same as many of yours. But nevertheless, my carefully outlined to-do lists (Hubby isn’t the only one with to do lists), did not get completed. To do lists for me have become like a competition with myself. How much can I get done? How fast can I get it done? Can I check off stuff on tomorrow’s to do list today???

The lists didn’t get done and I fell behind. Monday’s list didn’t get done till Tuesday and Tuesday’s list got pushed to Wednesday, and by Friday, I was two days behind because of…life. Life got in the way. Life gets in the way of everyone’s plans and we survive. survived. Yet, when Friday rolled around, did I shrug my shoulders and say oh well, because you can’t stop life from rolling at you full steam? No. I did not. What I did do is beat myself up for not getting it done. (not literally—my family would definitely have me committed if I started punching myself. It’s bad enough I felt so crazed this week that I started talking to my clothes—hmmm, maybe I could use a vacation in the looney bin). I didn’t blame the technology that failed me or the family members that needed my help this week. I blamed it on me. In my eyes, I was the one who failed to be Superwoman. And it made me feel crappy. I didn’t see what I had accomplished this week (I’m a day ahead of my writing schedule for NaNoWriMo), instead I focused on what I hadn’t done (this blog, the dishes, the dusting…oh my God all the dog fur in the house). I downed half a bottle of Santa’s Little Helper wine and went to bed feeling like a loser, with a headache to boot.

This morning, though, I woke up and decided that I was NOT going to beat myself up anymore. I was going to accept the fact that I was human and just one human, at that. I need to give myself a break when I don’t meet my insane expectations. Because I realize I set myself up to fail by making my lists unobtainable—as if it says something about my character if I push myself to the brink of exhaustion. But for what, though? And at what expense? My sanity? My health? Aren’t Type A personalities more likely to drop dead of a heart attack or a stroke? Shouldn’t that alone make me rethink my expectations?

I blame the internet for my stress…Pinterest and Facebook and Instagram. With the dawn of this social media, we can see that Suzy Sunshine has just made her entire family’s Christmas gifts from reclaimed wood and her newborn baby’s umbilical cord blood. She’s created Christmas cards from recycled newspaper and her children’s footprints. We are constantly reminded that someone out there is doing it better than us. But what we don’t see is Suzy Sunshine chewing Valium like tic tacs and her hair falling out from stress.

Suzy Sunshine needs to give herself and break and so do we. I know…easier said than done. Maybe what stops me from giving myself a break is the fear that if I let myself slide this week, what’s to stop me from sliding next week? And the next? And the next? Until I don’t hold myself accountable to anything any more. I mean, no one at home seems to really hold me accountable. They do their own clothes and they don’t really care if their pillows are covered in dog fur. They don’t care if we eat at a restaurant every night of the week or I gain twenty pounds from eating tater tots instead of real food. Everyone gets to school and work on time and they always have food to eat and beds to sleep in. I’m not really a bad mommy…I just think that I am. But what if I slip so far that I really do become the bad mommy I think I am?

So, I can’t let myself slip too far. But I also can’t stress myself out. Motherhood is a balancing act. Hell, LIFE is a balancing act. We’ve all got to figure out the point where we are comfortable with less stress and where our breaking point is. We’ve got to acknowledge our shortcomings, but stop letting them define us and make us ignore all the good things we do and all the positives in our life. FELLOW MOMS…WE CANNOT BURN OURSELVES OUT! Life isn’t like a box of chocolates as Forrest Gump said it was. Life more like a diet. We need to eat salad and go low carb sometimes, but damn, we need that box of chocolates every once in awhile, too. And maybe a bottle of wine.

The Bad Mommy Cooks—Georgia Recipes

As promised, the recipes for last Sunday’s “Georgia” meal. Please bear with me for when I don’t use “proper” cooking terms. I’m the “Bad Cook” for a reason.

COUNTRY FRIED CHICKEN: (adapted from Favorite Family Recipes)

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken breasts (halved & pounded flat)
  • 2 c. buttermilk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 Tbsp. paprika
  • tsp cayenne pepper (less if you’re not a fan of spicy…in that case, we can’t be friends)
  • 1/2 Tbsp. garlic powder (or more if you’re Italian and can’t taste garlic unless it’s fresh)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • vegetable/ olive oil for frying
For the gravy:
  • 1/4 c. reserved pan drippings
  • 4 Tbsp. reserved flour mixture
  • 2 c. chicken broth 
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Place chicken pieces in a plastic freezer bag and pour buttermilk over. Place in refrigerator for 2 hours (or overnight). (Just speaking from experience, do yourself a favor and double bag this…cleaning up buttermilk off the shelves of the fridge while you’re trying to cook is no fun.)
  2. Whisk together eggs and milk.
  3. In a separate bowl combine flour, paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, and salt and pepper. Stir until well combined and then remove about 4 Tbsp. of the dry mixture. Set aside for gravy.
  4. Remove chicken from bag, shake off excess buttermilk, and dredge each piece in flour mixture. Then dip in egg/milk mixture. Dredge in flour mixture once again. (Your hands will be coated with flour. It’s VERY annoying and you can’t take pictures with your phone during this process.)
  5. Add oil to a large skillet until it is about 1/4-inch full. Heat oil on medium-high heat until it reaches 250-degrees.
  6. Add each piece of chicken to the oil without overcrowding, for about 3-4 minutes on each side or until crispy and golden on the outside. Stand back and don’t burn yourself with the popping oil.
For the gravy:
Drain off all but about 1/4 c. of the oil from the pan. Whisk in reserved flour mixture until golden. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Once the gravy starts to thicken, add milk to desired consistency, whisking constantly. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve over chicken. (Or next to chicken if your children do not want the gravy touching the chicken as mine did not.)
CANDIED YAMS (aka little cubes of heavenly sweetness):
Ingredients:
  • 6 cups of cubed sweet potatoes (or yams…practically the same thing)
  • 1/4 c. butter
  • 1/3 c. brown sugar, packed
  • 1 Tbsp. molasses
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. cloves (crushed)
  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Cube sweet potatoes and boil until they are bright orange. (Don’t ask how much water to put in the pot—just eye ball it like I do.)
  3. On stove, melt butter in skillet.
  4. Add brown sugar and spices. Stir until melted.
  5. Add molasses and stir.
  6. Drain sweet potatoes and pour into casserole dish.
  7. Pour sugar and spice mixture over potatoes and toss to coat.
  8. Bake until sweet potatoes are tender (about 25 minutes).

 

FLUFFY BUTTER BISCUITS:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups All purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp Baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp Baking soda
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 6 tbsp unsalted Butter (frozen)
  • 1 cup Buttermilk
  1. Preheat oven to 450.
  2. Combine dry ingredients.
  3. Grate frozen butter into dry ingredients. (YEs, I said grate it…apparently this is one of the many secrets to the light and fluffy biscuits. Don’t tell anyone or Cracker Barrel may go belly up.)
  4. Cut with pastry cutter (or two forks if you’re like me and have no idea what a pastry cutter is) to make it crumbly.
  5. Make a well in the mixture and pour the cold buttermilk in the middle.
  6. Mix together until a dough forms. (And sticks all over your hands.)
  7. Lightly flour your cutting board or other flat surface. (And the counter, and the floor , and your shoes so you end up tracking it all over the house…)
  8. Shape the dough into a ball. Try not to warm the dough up too much in the process.
  9. Stack the dough. Cut the rough ball of dough in half, then stack one piece of dough on top of the other. Gently press the pieces back together into a ball, then cut the dough in half again, stack again, press again. Repeat that process three times to create air pockets in the dough which make up the flaky layers.
  10. At this point I shaped the dough into a rectangle and used a glass to make the round biscuits. Try not to pull up quickly and create suction because that will seal the edges and the layers won’t be flaky. (I TOLD you this was a complex thing…you’re probably wanting to pop open a can of those refrigerated biscuits right about now, aren’t you???)
  11. Put biscuits on tray in fridge to make them cold again for another 15 minutes. Then pop them in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until they start to get golden brown on top.
  12. Bon appetite!

The Bad Mommy Eats OC—Rare & Rye

We passed by this place a few times on our summer long quest of finding our beach condo. It’s in an unremarkable building in the parking lot of a hotel. We probably wouldn’t have noticed it at all except for the “Coming soon” and “Now Open” signs that graced the sides of the building. The name alone suggested that it was a place to try without the kids and so on our “closing” vacation without kids, we did just that.

We chose a Saturday at lunch time to visit. That meant the place was almost completely empty except for some bar patrons, so we had our choice of where to sit. We chose the upstairs area which, despite facing the ocean front, had no view because the windows were too high. That was a bummer and disappointment, but the decor and atmosphere more than made up for the lack of view (who wants to see the water everywhere they go anyway?). The decorating was very tasteful and not “beachy” at all. After going to one beach/bay themed restaurant after another, it’s nice to have a change of pace. img_5043The server was of course, super attentive (since we were the only people in the place), and we felt bad making him run up and down the staircase to take our order and bring our drinks. But once he brought our drinks, we didn’t feel bad anymore. Hubby had a Manhattan and I had a Moscow mule. I’m sort of in love with Moscow mules at the moment. They’re so light and refreshing. Look at this, isn’t it gorgeous????

img_5050FYI, I’d like a set of the copper glasses for Christmas so I can make my own Moscow Mules at home (Santa???).

Anyhoo, back to the food. The menu actually says “Rare & Rye: Unique Eats & Libations”. This is not, I repeat, NOT a place to bring your picky eater. This is a restaurant for people with a more adventurous palate. There is a kid’s menu if your picky eater happens to be under the age of 10, but if he/she is an adult, you may want to try a restaurant that doesn’t have lamb lollipops or duck on its menu. It’s too expensive to push your food around on your plate because it wasn’t what you thought it was.

I had the crabby mac since I wasn’t very hungry, and I didn’t regret my decision. OC crab with aged white cheddar cream sauce over orecchiette with crumbled rye on top. Doesn’t that look amazing?

img_5045 It was soooo good. Better than any lobster mac & cheese I’ve ever had…and I love lobster mac & cheese. I may have to make crab mac & cheese instead now.

Hubby had this:

img_5046I forgot what it was called and I think it was the daily special because it’s not on the menu online. He really enjoyed it whatever it was. We both thoroughly enjoyed our meals and we would definitely go back to try their lite fare or wine and cheese menus.

Food: 9 forks out of 10. Drinks were 10 out of 10…on point 🙂

Value: 7 forks out of 10. It’s a little on the pricey side, but the food was well worth it.

Atmosphere: 9 forks out of 10. We really loved the decor. The bathroom was cool, too. (Okay, so I check out the bathrooms in every restaurant I go to…don’t judge me.)

View: Unfortunately 5 forks out of 10. But honestly, you can’t always get an ocean view.

Check out Rare & Rye for a sophisticated meal while you’re in OC…make sure you don’t miss it!