- See more at: http://blogtimenow.com/blogging/automatically-redirect-blogger-blog-another-blog-website/#sthash.TapQ9hQj.dpuf gap creek gourmet: The Owl and baking day in the valley

Monday, April 30, 2012

The Owl and baking day in the valley

Chef Aaron Manter puts the final touches on duck with 5 spice waffles
with orange demi glaze and bok choy

On Friday night a girlfriend and I went to The Owl, a new restaurant that is all the buzz in local foodie land. It's located on Wade Hampton Blvd headed toward downtown (for you local people, between Bob Jones and Henry's Smokehouse) in an old Pizza Hut building.  The place is only marked by the owl on the side of the building.  I've posted about The Admiral and this place has the same kind of vibe... something COMPLETELY unexpected in Greenville.  The Chef Aaron Manter whips up food that quite frankly is so high brow foodielicious it gives you brain strain, but is WAY affordable!    We ordered the $35 tasting menu (a six course taste of the current menu) to split between us and sat at the bar on their bouncy white stools.  We chatted it up with the staff and chef once the crowd died down.  We were so dumbfounded by the awesome fare, we simply wanted to ask him "why are you here?" It was that good.

margaritas with sea foam, parsnip pudding with honey foam
manchego cheese with toast, country ham and quince, aerated liquid goat cheese cheese cake with orange, smoked sea salt and quince.

I love the staff story.  So when Manter and his wife were ready to hire for their new restaurant, they ran a rather uncouth ad on Craigslist.  They sifted through 300 applications before settling on a close knit staff of 6.  The bartender was snagged from the airport bar, seriously.  He's wicked smooth with his bar skills.  A local filmmaker is making a documentary about the unusual relationship between the restaurant's staff.  The Sou Chef needed insurance to support family, so the staff got together and decided, on their own accord to take a cut in pay and donate their tips to allow him to stay on the job. Amazing! 

beets, turnips, carrots, peas and vinaigrette salad with powdered olive oil and pumpernickel crumbs with spices
tofu with arugula, ponzu, fried chick peas and miso mustard
quale with black and white barley, carrot puree, and kale

I'm writing a little something something up for Greenville Journal on this one, so stay tuned...

So that was Friday night.  

Saturday I hit the floor bright and early and started baking. 6 dozen cupcakes and a margarita cake.

Teacher appreciation week is this week. (Hug those teachers!) Every year I sign up to make cupcakes for the teachers at my child's school. (Why? Why? Why?)  So in a haze of powdered sugar and greasy fingers I made Maple Bacon cupcakes, Frappuccino cupcakes and a Margarita Cake for Sunday night's dinner for my brother's very awesome girlfriend who just celebrated the big 24, and then I ran out of sugar and steam.  I'll be back in the kitchen on Monday or Tuesday to churn out another two dozen Lemon Cupcakes, God bless my soul, but thanks to my husband who stepped in and finished up dishes from my bake day, all is clean and quite for now. 

I'm off to Cuzina Grill in Spartanburg this week to interview Chef Tony Angelakis!  After two weeks off, back to the writing job!

One more thing.  I posted this on my Facebook page, but holy moly, you have to check this thing out.  Some girl dancing on butter.  Really. You have to watch her face.  My face hurt from laughing so hard.  If the link is messed up or something go here. 

*apologies for horrible grammatical errors.  The daughter calls for bedtime cuddles. Then it's off for Game of Thrones.  Happy Monday!

No comments: