Showing posts with label Norfolk. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Norfolk. Show all posts

Friday, April 6, 2012

Luna Maya, Norfolk

A last minute dinner request from a girlfriend lead us to Luna Maya in Norfolk. While this wasn't my first time, I knew the other two would greatly enjoy the food and vibe of this restaurant. It recently moved into a new larger location. It has a modern feel with the exposed bricks and simple furniture. I think it gets a little loud because of the large open space, but it's definitely a cool spot. The food is not the authentic Mexican cuisine one might expect, but it's unique and flavorful.

 I finally got around to snapping some pictures of their delicious food last night and hope they inspire you to create a Mexican/South American meal tonight or stop by if you happen to be driving through the area!

Appetizer: Salsa and Guacamole
The salsa is smokey and flavorful while the guacamole is light and fresh. The guac is little saltier than I would prefer, but I'm going to complain too much because I ate them all!

Drink: Mango Caipirinha
There were several different choices including: Passion Fruit, Fresh Blueberries, and several other varieties. You can taste the fresh muddled lime juice in this Brazilian rum drink and it's awesome.

Entree: Tamales Luna Maya
 I've ordered this entree several times. The tamale cakes, more like a sweet corn pudding vs. the traditional masa, are topped with an awesome heaping of braised beef. The beef definitely helps cut the sweetness of the corn cakes, but if you're not a big corn pudding fan this may not be the dish for you. I personally love the combination of the sweet corn and salty braised beef. Just don't expect your typical tamale when ordering this dish.

 I had seen a press review on their site that said it reminded them of Like Water for Chocolate, and realized it does the same thing for me too! 

I've also had the shrimp tacos (good and spicy) and my husband has tried several of their giant burritos, we've enjoyed it all!

My entire meal was around $27 so it's not exactly a cheap dinner out, but I enjoyed myself and came home with leftovers for lunch today.

Now go get yourself some good eats and enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Vintage Kitchen - "Unsavory" Impression

You might have noticed the pleasant review I had written about Vintage Kitchen from this past weekend, unfortunately the experience has been completely ruined. Customer service goes a long way and the actions of the restaurant completely left an unsavory impression in our mouths.

We dined as a party of 9 and paid the single bill that was given to us with cash and card payments. I received a call from the owner on Tuesday that the restaurant had charged an additional $20 plus dollars to each of the two cards that had been used at dinner due to a shortage of cash left for the bill. Let me remind you that the dinner took place on Friday, it is now Tuesday and we were getting notified of the additional charge. I was so baffled at the fact they charged our cards without authorization, I didn't have much to say on the phone. After telling my husband the entire story, he decided to give them a call and try to get the issue resolved. The issue isn't the fact that we were charged, it is how the restaurant handled the situation.

During the conversation, the owner had a very condescending tone and repeatedly blamed the party for not leaving enough cash. Typically, a server counts the amount that are on the cards and checks the cash amount to assure that the money adds up correctly when she takes the bill. The server did not do this, nor did she mention there was a "mistake" when she brought us our slips to sign. The owner told us that she was doing us a favor by just adding what we asked her to put on the cards, it was not her fault she did not count the cash. He then told us they had tried to call several times (without leaving a voicemail) and he couldn't call sooner because he was on vacation. Unfortunately sir, your vacation is not my problem. My problem is you charging my card without authorization and not taking any responsibility for your server's error or your actions. It is ridiculous for you to then question our honor and integrity as individuals. Those of you who know us, understand that is the last thing anyone would question us about, so you can imagine how offended we both were at this point.

He also noted that by participating in restaurant week they were providing a service to the community by reducing their prices. I thought restaurant week was a way for restaurants to thank loyal customers and introduce patrons to new dining experiences, I guess I was wrong. It's too bad our experience concluded with this interaction with the owner. We will not return, nor will I recommend their restaurant to any of our peers.

After thinking about this issue all night, I called my credit card company to get their opinion on the matter. I talked to two individuals and they both agreed that once you sign the bill for a certain amount that is agreed upon, you have done your part. She also mentioned that her brother was a general manager in the restaurant business and typically in this situation the server pays the difference if there is one, because they did not properly count the payments. She said merchants run their business differently but we were not in the wrong in this case. We were refunded the additional amount that was charged to us immediately. Thank you to our credit card company for your outstanding customer service!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Vintage Kitchen - Norfolk Restaurant Week

* While the meals were tasty, bad service tainted our experience. It's too bad because I would have loved to continue supporting a local business. 

Vintage Kitchen is known for it's great views and usage of local and regional food which I always appreciate! They were also voted One of America's Best New Restaurants by Conde Nast Traveler in 2006.
Over the weekend we ventured to Norfolk to get a taste of Vintage Kitchen during restaurant week.  I'll admit I wasn't too impressed with the staff at the front of the house, but once we were seated with a nice view of the Elizabeth River and a friendly server, I couldn't complain.

While they did not have any items aside from the restaurant week menu, it did not disappoint. They offered a $30/3 Course meal for dinner.

Five Points Farm Market Sugar Pie Pumpkin Soup With Cinnamon Croutons
The soup was awesome! Sweet and savory...who doesn't like a good pumpkin soup?
21 Day Aged Beef Tournedos With A. Smith Bowman’s Whiskey Peppercorn Sauce
The portion was small, but filling enough for me. The meat was tender and actually cooked to my asking. It came with a little medley of mixed vegetables which were good too.

A few of my friends ordered the Black and White Truffle Mac and Cheese, it was great! Rich, "truffly," and just perfect!
Bittersweet Chocolate Parfait With Sea Salt Caramel And Newsoms Peanut Brittle
The dessert was sinfully awesome. It was a great combination of sweet and bittersweet, it reminded me of an Almond Roca. I love that it was topped with fresh whipped cream as well. 

Another dessert ordered that was a table favorite was the Twice Drunken Bread Pudding, it was moist and just sweet enough...unlike the bread pudding on Todd's Burger Bar's restaurant week. Their bread pudding was probably the worst any of us had ever had.

I'm looking forward to going back to Vintage Kitchen for a regular lunch or dinner and explore the rest of their menu! If you have a restaurant week coming up in your city, be sure to take advantage of it and go try something new!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

USS Enterprise Returns Home

After a six month deployment, nearly 4,500 sailors return home!

On Friday I had the pleasure of joining a few of my friends from Congressman Scott Rigell's office in welcoming home the USS Enterprise. We had the opportunity to socialize and hand out candy to the families that were patiently awaiting the arrival of their loved ones. Many arrived hours early to get the perfect waiting spot on the pier, while new mothers dressed up their precious babies in anticipation of their first meeting with daddy. It was an honor to be a part of such a special day for many. Welcome home USS Enterprise!