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The Green Onion

Tonight we visited the Green Onion on Colley street in Norfolk. Almost next door to the Naro it’s in a very popular area of Ghent. It was quite hopping tonight.

It’s a cute lite place with some cost couches as well as bar seating and your standard restaurant seating. Good music played in the background but was all but drowned out. Definitely not quiet.

The food was delicious. We tried three cheeses as an appetizer. They came with a small side of nuts, blueberries, honey and crackers.

For dinner, Sarah ordered mussels and Brussels sprouts. The mussels were delicious and plentiful, but I didn’t try the Brussels sprouts.

I ordered the Long Island Duck. I’m a huge fan of duck and it was wonderful.

I also had the no Flour Chocolate Cake. A lot of the time chefs like to really over power their chocolate dishes, this was not one of those times. Even when chocolate isn’t great it’s still pretty good. I could definitely come in just for the cake.

We had a nice Cabernet with dinner, and continued to enjoy it on the couch. All in all, great place for a night out. It wasn’t cheap, but definitely worth it.

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Tonight we went to Sirena’s before we went to see Cats at Chrysler Hall.

Nick: This was another of the “softly lit” restaurants. In this particular establishment, I can’t say it created a warm cozy feeling.  The walls appear a very pale green color, giving the place a very cool atmosphere. The waiters are well dressed and friendly, although I can’t remember the last time I saw a waiter with a beard. Revonna brought a camera with a flash after our experience at 456 Fish and the abysmal photos we got from the iPhone. (Dark, no flash) I just found they have some pictures online at their website: http://sirenanorfolk.com/

Parking was a little different. I don’t think any of us knew where to park and we came in two cars.  I’ll blame all the construction going on downtown.  We WERE going to see Cats at Chrysler Hall afterwards, so we weren’t too concerned with that.  We ended up a few blocks away in a parking garage.  It appears though they have a lot behind the restaurant and you have to get validated for it?  I was a little confused, but wasn’t interested enough to try to figure it out.

On to the food!

Sirena’s is an italian restaurant, so almost everything is pasta. We ordered a few appetizers, Brodetto di Cozzo Vongole, and Antipasto Mitzo.  The Brodetto di Cozzo (mussels & clams in roasted garlic white wine sauce) was delicious.  I ended up eating most of them.  The sauce was really the punctuating portion of the dish.  I would be inclined to order them again.

The antipasto was standard fare, and it’s something I normally wouldn’t order.

For my meal I got the Penne alla Vodka con Portobello. I looked for a while to try to find something different what I normally might get.  It sounded good and it did not disappoint.  I particularly liked that the tomato sauce wasn’t very strong.  I don’t know what they did to it—other than the vodka I guess—but it didn’t come out with the red tomato sauce of most italian food.  The penne was cooked to a nice firmness, the portobello was chopped to very palatable size, and it tasted amazing. If we were to come back here, I would be very tempted to order it again.

I tasted a little bit of everyone else’s dish and thought it was pretty standard italian food. I would probably not suggest going back to our food crew, but I wouldn’t steer anyone away from trying it for themselves.  The food was decent but the atmosphere—the paint color in particular—was not to my liking.

Colley Cantina

Nick and I recently visited the Colley Cantina, as the name suggests it is located on Colley Avenue in Norfolk. It’s a divey type place, with a welcoming, casual, and fun atmosphere.  We decided to take a seat outside and enjoy some people watching while we enjoyed a nice cold beer and our dinner.  I have to say that the beer menu is fantastic, types of beer for all seasons and all tastes.  Nick and I quite enjoyed the frankweizen hefeweizen, delicious, crisp, and a perfect  refreshment for a very warm spring day.  We also sampled the Stone Vertical, a dark beer with chocolate and coffee undertones to it. 

For dinner I chose the crab tacos, which were topped with a fresh corn salsa and accompanied by rice and beans.  The flavor and presentation was average.  I did enjoy the fresh ingredients.  Nick’s blackened fish taco was absolutely fantastic.  Overall, it was  a very pleasant experience and I will return for the ever changing beer menu and the fish taco.

 

Daniel and I joined our friends Jenny and Cris for casual weeknight bite at Smoke From Above located at the Landstown Shopping Center in Virginia Beach. This is a family owned and operated business. We walked up to the counter, ordered and paid for our meal. We were handed a buzzer and when it flashed we knew to pick up our order at the window. The staff and service was very friendly, helpful, and expedient. We sat down a a four person table, the place is very clean, casual and easy for in and out and family dining. 

 

Daniel ordered a baby back rib platter for $18.99.  His meal came with two sides and an order of  6 hushpuppies.  The ribs were some of the best I have eaten, he said the flavor was great, he would have liked the meat to melt of the bone.  The hushpuppies were slightly dry and not so flavorful.  The sides are small but I found them to be the perfect size for someone health conscious. 

 

I ordered a the regular pork bbq sandwich with cole slaw  for $4.79 and opted to make it a combo for $2.25 extra.  For the combo I ordered a side of macaroni and cheese and had a glass of ice tea.  The macaroni and cheese was creamy and delicious.  The menu stated that the pork bbq was North Carolina style, I found the pork to be rather dry and slightly bland.  They do have a variety of barbeque sauce to choose from and I tried  each of them with a bite of the pork.  Overall it was an average experience.  If I had a real hankering for some ribs, I would definitely hit Smoke From Above.

456 Fish

We went to 456 Fish for a belated restaurant week (they extended due to the snowstorm that kept people home all weekend). I must say I was very impressed with everything. We all tried something from the restaurant week menu,so that we may experience all they had to offer. 

Nick: 

Delicious tomatoy goodness, with goat cheese!

My appetizer consisted of the tomato soup with goat cheese.  I wish I had written down the name of it (or found it on the menu at the website).  It was delicious.  If that had been my meal, I would have been happy.  I do think it needed some more of the goat cheese balls in it.  One was really just enough to make me want more. 


 

Roasted Pork Tenderloin

My entree was the Roasted Pork Tenderloin.  Typically I love pork anyway, but it really came out with the look and texture of ham. (I  don’t often like ham.) It was also wrapped in bacon.  I’m not big into bacon, either. After getting into it, it had a very nice texture and flavor.  I enjoyed the experience of it, but I don’t think I would be ordering it again. I will say that the Fig Relish really added something to it. Don’t let me scare you off, the flavor was pleasant, the details were amazing (delicious food always accessorizes with good flavors), and I can appreciate fine food, it’s just not going on my list.  I’m eager to try some other stuff here! The lentels and the collard greens were a fairly new experience. I will have to try them again before saying one way or the other. 

Mmmm, cheesecake

For dessert, I ordered the cheesecake.  I will say it was exactly what I expected and it was a safe choice. I enjoyed it (although at this point, I think I had eaten too much food!) and it finished off my meal very nicely.


Now, for all my tastings…. I tried a little bit of everything. The calamari was perfect. It was light, tender and you could eat a LOT without being turned off. There are somethings, while tasty you just can’t eat a lot. 

Spring Rolls (egg rolls?) were pleasant, but the little taste was enough for me. 

All in all, I found everything very pleasant and tasty. Somethings I would definitely order again (the soup, the calamari) and I would be very eager to come back and try more food. 

Oh, let me apologize for the quality of the photos. Typically I just use my iPhone, but the restaurant is very….softly lit. It’s a pleasant atmosphere, the restaurant is gorgeous, I just needed more light to get decent pictures of the food. Let me assure you, everything was plated beautifully, it all looked appetizing and it really just was a feast for all your senses. 

Our waitress was wonderful. She helped the ladies pick a wine, answered all our questions and even talked to us about our blog (and other great restaurants to try) when she saw me taking pictures of the food for our blog. 

Revonna: 

Total date restaurant – cozy, soft lighting, waterfall wall, white linen table clothes, and great service -just lovely.  The experience was tantalizing to the palate, the nose, and the eyes.  Loved everyone’s  seafood dishes; all the seafood was  was fresh and well cooked.  The wine selection was vast and our waitress assisted me in choosing a wine that would compliment the meal. 

sesame seared tuna sashimi

  

I started with the sesame pan seared tuna sashimi, it was served with seaweed salad, ginger, and wasabi- it was light and refreshing and beautifully presented.   

 

For the main course I chose the 456 crab cakes  which came with a side of white truffle potato salad, cucumber salad and remoulade.   The crab cakes were  meaty, lightly fried, and encrusted with potato chips.  How could anyone go wrong?  The sides were as delectable as the crab cakes.  

  

Creme Brulee

On to dessert – creme brulee, the flavor was delightful, the only downside at this restaurant was I found the dish for the creme brulee to be too shallow,  the custard layer was way too thin, a smaller, deep dish ramekin would make for a creamier, lovelier treat. 

I did try bites and nibbles of everyone else’s food and I have to say love the calamari, it’s some of the best I have experienced.  Overall, a top-notch dining experience and I would love to go back. 

 

 

Jesse’s Tienda

January 15th.
Nick: Tonight we tried this little Mexican place put in Ocean View. It’s very much a “hole-in-the-wall” feeling. The food was flavorful but everyone thought it was overcooked. Probably not going on the list of places to go back to. 

Revonna:  Walking into Jesse’s we saw about 8-10 tables, an open grill, attached is a small mexican grocery.  This is not the typical El Atzteca, more authenic cuisine and sorry no margaritas. They did have a selection of dosmestic and mexican beer choices as well as soft drinks, and delicious iced tea.  I had a plate of chicken tacos, the chicken was moist and tender, the combo of fresh cilantro and lime juice was perfect! Fresh handmade tortillas, need I say more?  I could enjoy the tacos again. According to Nick, Sarah, and Daniel the meat portions of the their meals were well seasoned, though overcooked.  The corn tortillas not as light and well made as El Rey.  If you want to enjoy a good taco, go for it, otherwise look elsewhere. 

plato de taquitos.

 

Chicken tacos. The favorite dish.

 

Grilled steak, rice, and beans.

 

lamb gorditas

 

 

Nick and Daniel goofing it up!

Revonna:
Today Daniel and I decided to have take out from our favorite Mexican eatery, El Rey #2. It is located not too far from Southern Shopping Center on Little Creek Road in Norfolk. Though this time we got take out the food was just as delicious and fresh as when we dine in the casual moderate sized mexican motifed restaurant. There is also a sister restaurant on the corner of Bayview Blvd and Chesapeake Blvd in Norfolk known just as El Rey. The Chesapeake Blvd location is more of a take out joint and has a small dining area consisting of two tables and a small diner type seating area.

Today we decided on the steak gorditas platter consisting of 3 gorditas and beans and rice and two chicken tacos. El Rey never disappoints and always delivers authentic handmade to order fresh corn and flour tortillas with their dishes. The steak gorditas were perfect with well seasoned meat, fresh lettuce, tomato, refried beans, and cheese all stuffed into a flour tortilla. So fresh and delicious. The chicken taco is one of the best around cilantro, lime, chicken breast, tomato, and lettuce in a fresh handmade tortilla, we went with the flour tortillas. We have had the corn tortillas during previous visits and they are just as tasty.

We have eaten just about everything off the menu and have never been disappointed. Menu items range from soup, tortas, enchiladas, tamales, chimichangas, and fajitas. They have beef tongue, mexican barbeque pork, and steaks available. They offer several drinks such as horchata, coke in the bottle from mexico, and other popular drinks from mexico. The only downside is that they do not yet have an ABC license and do not currently serve alcohol. If you are looking for the real deal try this place. Since our first visit Daniel doesn’t want to get mexican food anywhere else.

El Rey Taqueria on Urbanspoon

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