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Apalachicola: Avenue Sea (outstanding chef) closing Dec. 31

I feel your pain. I too will miss Avenue Sea. The only comfort is to know that they are considering Tallahassee. I dined last night for their final meal. It was incredible. Both Chef and his wife were cooking, as well as serving. My favorite course was the anchovy pasta course. The pork tenderloin was also amazing, the texture was like butter. My favorite wine poured was the Guigal Condrieu.
My car will no longer get the additional monthly miles. I will no longer have a monthly fix of truly fine food.

Jan 01, 2009
vinoepasta in Florida

Let's Talk Bakeries in Tallahassee

wantto- I am a huge supporter of Ave Sea. And yes, unfortunately, you aren't misreporting. They are leaving the Gibson Inn. No word on where they will go. Sadly New Year's Eve will be the last night for their amazing food. For all of those Tally Chowhounds who still haven't made it...do yourself a favor and don't go. If you do, you will all kick yourselves in the ass for not having made it earlier and making a trip to Apalach part of your life here in Tally.
Check out their website www.avesearestaurant.com. They have promised to post their next location on this site. Hopefully we will not lose them to a bigger area.
If we do it will be OUR loss. I still think it is hands down, the best food. A little bit of NY or San Fran right here in our backyard.
Sniff.

Oct 29, 2008
vinoepasta in Florida

Lackluster Tallahassee

Thanks! I am glad that you enjoyed it.
Crew- I am not sure of the hours. I haven't bothered to look. But I will make note of them next time and post a.s.a.p.

Oct 29, 2008
vinoepasta in Florida

Let's Talk Bakeries in Tallahassee

Where oh where do you plan to open?

Oct 24, 2008
vinoepasta in Florida

Paulina's Pizzeria Tallahassee

I agree.
We have tried a few places for pizza all aforementioned. We prefer Momo's pizza...but only on the one on tennessee. At the other location, the food doesn't taste the same. I should state that aside from Neapolitan style pizza which we can't get in Tally, I prefer NY style pizza.
I don't care for California pizza kitchen and the likes. I guess you could say that I am a pizza purist. To me, Thai flavored chicken doesn't belong on a pizza.

Oct 24, 2008
vinoepasta in Florida

Lackluster Tallahassee

Things don't change much in good ole Tally. I think that is why this one hangs on for so long. Plus, it has held the interest for the longest period of time. It doesn't make much sense to start a new thread about the food scene, same information regardless.
Anyway, good news to anyone who enjoys authentic mexican....and i mean authentic. Across from the Greyhound station on Tennessee in the parking lot of a gas station there exists a taco truck that makes authentic mexican food. The girl who serviced us spoke very little english. Only enough to let us know she was out of tortillas and needed to make more. So we waited and she made the most unbelievable tortillas right in front of us. We had braised prok tripe, al pastor, and horchata. The salsas were homemade and very good. They even had crema fresca! I want to live next to the taco truck. Can't wait to go back. Everyone should check it out and support it so that they stay in Tallahassee. It helps to make this area less lackluster.

Oct 24, 2008
vinoepasta in Florida

Less Disappointed in Tallahassee: Mozaik Revisited

Saintme- I agree regarding FGF. The server was too cool, as though we had no clue. The pulled pork sandwich was really good though. I would go back just for that. The pork was moist, tender, and very flavorful. I really enjoyed the coleslaw ontop of the pork, the two flavors and textures worked really well together. The major dissapointment for us were the fish tacos. I felt like I was at Applebees or something. The dish was american standard fish tacos. Two huge fried shells, mushy rice with overcooked black beans, nothing special salsa, and the salmon was "strong". But would recommend the pulled pork sandwich.

Oct 09, 2008
vinoepasta in Florida

Less Disappointed in Tallahassee: Mozaik Revisited

So I took your suggestion up and tried it again. Mizrachi-I think that you may have been out of NYC for too long and your palate is adjusting to the local Tallahassee fare. Or, you were there on a better night than I.
I had a pasta dish that was supposed to be a puttenesca....but, alas it had no flavor, no spice, no anchovies, hardly a tomato, and oddly enough...finished with butter, not the requisite olive oil. The soup I had first was riddled with dried herbs making it taste like a sachet of potpurri. We ordered dessert and the server brought us out something completely different. But I thought the wine list was concise and nicely priced. The server was very attentive, sweet, and unobtrusive (barring the one mistake, we felt too bad to tell her). We didn't get her life story and that was refreshing.

Oct 08, 2008
vinoepasta in Florida

Lackluster Tallahassee

I tried Circa Sushi the other night. I think that the concept would work in a busier area...maybe closer to campus. Someplace where they have more foot traffic and better exposure. I looked at the sushi on the belt, but opted to order from the waiter instead. The rolls and sushi were nice, not exceptional. The rolls weren't rolled tight enough and fell apart before I could put them in my mouth. (That is a huge sushi peeve.)The room itself seems disjointed, cut in half by the conveyor belt. Generic, I guess, not put together well...the space could be used better.
Also, I thought it to be a wee bit too expensive for what the ambience had to offer, as well as the quality of food and service.

Oct 08, 2008
vinoepasta in Florida

Birmingham, AL - Graduation Dinner

Had a great meal at Betolla the other day. I like his simple approach to Italian cuisine. The atmosphere isn't the Ritz, but it has a good urban feel.

Lackluster Tallahassee

Windsor, I think you meant to refer to smartie, not I.

Jun 26, 2008
vinoepasta in Florida

dining in downtown Atlanta

I've dined at Rathbuns and Krog, however not the Steakhouse. Wasn't impressed with either Krog or Rathbuns. Good ideas...but the execution was lacking. The bartender had to make my drink three times, apparently she forgot how to make it (btw, i didn't ask her to, just watched her start it over and over again). She never did make it right but it was still good. Their beer, wine, and libations selections are great. As were the desserts. For the group that I dined with, it was all the inbetween that was lacking.

Lackluster Tallahassee

Dining should encompass atmosphere, service, and quality of food. Hopefully it hits all three. With great service I will return eat mediocre food. With extraordinary food I will accept mediocre service. With atmosphere it matters not the view, I just want it to be good and clean. It doesn't need to be hip or highly stylized, just comfortable.
I've dined all over Atlanta and have failed to find anything remarkable. Watershed was a huge disappointment. Rathbuns was good, not great. IMO Bacchanalia is the best that Atl has to offer. I think Birmingham has a better dining scene than Atlanta. It is a much smaller city. My experience is that the food and service in Birmingham is of a better quality. While I do not expect Tallahassee to have restaurants of NYC quality, I would hope to find something extraordinary within the city limits. For me, great dining (again it needn't be Per Se, great food is great food whether it is high end french or posole in a mexican dive.) is part of quality of life. Satisfying one's mouth is one of the greatest sensations.
I don't want to gripe. I want to be satisfied.

May 10, 2008
vinoepasta in Florida

Lackluster Tallahassee

Really? I would have to say that I am surprised. When I dined there I had the Nicoise Salad. The mesclun mix looked remarkably like the kind one can get through sysco or at the grocery store. Small weak leaf structure, universal blend, blah...

May 03, 2008
vinoepasta in Florida

Lackluster Tallahassee

There are restaurants that rely heavily on farmers rather than sysco.
Kool Beanz, Cypress, and Avenue Sea are three that do.

Apr 25, 2008
vinoepasta in Florida

Do you tip less if served by the owner?

I think you are assuming the owner is profiting. Often times, owners of small businesses struggle more than their employees. Their employees always get paid, but the owner has to make a judgement call each payday, did the business make enough to provide self pay?
I once worked for a man who said, "Do you know how hard I have to work to make one dollar?" I thought that he was a fool who didn't handle his money appropriately. Until I was foolish enough to open up a business, then his words rang in my ears almost every day. I couldn't wait to work for someone else. I was guaranteed a good, consistent paycheck and minimal responsibilities.
So aks yourself this question before asking the owner to disperse a tip that he/she earned amongst their employees. The questions is, how much do you value the all aroung service that thier business provides you. If you want the opportunity to dine, have one's haircut, have your car parked, or your bags carried....tip. Allow the owner the power to decide to refuse it, disperse it, save it, or spend it.

Apr 14, 2008
vinoepasta in Not About Food

Visiting Panama City Beach, FL ... need help with getting fresh sea food and others..

Where is Lotus Vietnamese in Panama City? Is it a good "ethnic dive" or is it a little more upscale? We haven't had good Vietnamese in a long while. PCB is a day trip for us.
What style of pizza does mellow mushroom serve?

Apr 14, 2008
vinoepasta in Florida

Do you tip less if served by the owner?

Yeah. I have to agree. Good service is worth a good tip. 20 percent is standard unless service is rude or poor, regardless of ownership.

Apr 07, 2008
vinoepasta in Not About Food

Lackluster Tallahassee

Well we can dream...

Apr 02, 2008
vinoepasta in Florida

Lackluster Tallahassee

Sage and Cypress are two of the better restaurants in this region. However, their prices are very expensive and their food portions are outrageous. At Cypress I can feed a family of four off of one entree. My girlfriend and I spent $200 (this was before tip) for one bottle of mid range wine, 2 appetizers, two entrees, and two desserts (one of which was inedible due to the blue cheese ice cream). When we left we noticed that we weren't saying "Wow, this dish or that dish was amazing", We spent as though we were dining at a high end restaurant, but without the afterglow. And Sage is again...just okay. Conceptually I want to like it more than the execution allows.
Mizrachi: La Lanterna? There has to be a better Italian restaurant in or near town. And for those who say La Luna...My father's family is from Napoli. I grew up eating very fresh Italian food. Neither place is near good. Although you can pick up some good imported goods from La Lanterna. New York has some amazing Italian restaurants.
What do we need to have in Tallahassee to make it more palatable?
IMO we need a great little Italian joint with authentic Neapolitan style pizza, a great little french bistro, a bakery that bakes on premise with real ingredients with illy coffee products, and a middle eastern joint that serves homemade falafel, warm and smooth hummus with freshly baked pita, and schawarma. And thai, a really amazing thai restaurant (neither reng thai or bahn thai will do) utilizing really fresh seafood and herbs. And last, mexican. What I wouldn't give for some posole, really authentic and flavorful salsa, handmade guacamole, and al pastor. Don't forget the freshly made, warm corn tortillas.

Apr 01, 2008
vinoepasta in Florida

Liam's Tallahassee/Thomasville

Wow, that implies that the Chef doesn't have the technique or creativity to back up his menu. Meanwhile his credentials are the most authentic and impressive in the entire area.
NYC definately has an astounding amount of talent. The restaurants there are a lifestyle. Ironically, Ave Sea's chef hails from NYC. That's probably why his food is so progressive for the area. A welcome respite from the rest of Tally's mediocrity.
I am always impressed by his talent. The purity of the food he serves. One forgets where they are when dining there. For me, it's like being in NYC again.

Mar 06, 2008
vinoepasta in Florida

Liam's Tallahassee/Thomasville

I've dined in Miami, Atlanta, New Orleans, NY, Philadelphia, LA, Austin, Boston, Yountville, San Fransisco, Chicago, etc. Liam's is nice, but not par with those aforementioned cities. IMHO Avenue Sea is the only restaurant that can compare. I've dined all over Tallahassee looking, hoping for an equivilent and am always disappointed. Sage and KoolBeanz are highly over rated. Liam's is the closest to Tallahassee, probably the best in the closest vicinity of Tally. But Avenue Sea is worth the drive. But then again, I am not a fan of the late 80's early 90's style of fusing foods which both Sage and mostly Kool Beans is known for.

Mar 05, 2008
vinoepasta in Florida

Liam's Tallahassee/Thomasville

From your mouth to God's ears.

Feb 29, 2008
vinoepasta in Florida

Liam's Tallahassee/Thomasville

Still haven't been to Avenue Sea? What are you waiting for? Liam's is good, not great. It is a great choice if you don't want to drive too far. We always make the trip down to Apalachicola maybe once a month just to dine. We've dined at Liam's a handful of times and we live closer. Make your proclamation after making the drive.

Feb 28, 2008
vinoepasta in Florida

Tallahassee recommendations?

Kool Beanz is alright, not great. Went to Sage recently, was very disappointed. I have heard good things about Urbane, but have yet to go. Liam's is perhas the best option close to Tally.

Feb 04, 2008
vinoepasta in Florida

Lackluster Tallahassee

Here, Here!!

Thank you for your eloquent response to Bettonbabe. I couldn't and didn't dare say anything. It would have been rude.

Jan 31, 2008
vinoepasta in Florida

Lackluster Tallahassee

Sounds like Blue Mountain Bakery or something like it would be a welcome addition to downtown Tally. I would love to revisit the familiar feeling of having my favorite coffee and pastry on a Saturday morning instead of mourning it.

Jan 17, 2008
vinoepasta in Florida

Lackluster Tallahassee

Thank you! I haven't yet been to the cake shoppe but have been to Au Peche Mignon, very disappointing. Most bakeries use compounds and alternate fats to prolong shelflife of baked goods. These alternate fats are cheaper than butter. It sounds as though he skips that alternative and uses butter, Thank God!

Jan 16, 2008
vinoepasta in Florida

Lackluster Tallahassee

Thanks! Can't wait to check it out. Any favorites?

Jan 14, 2008
vinoepasta in Florida

Less Disappointed in Tallahassee: Mozaik Revisited

Have you tried the Brioche French Toast at Avenue Sea? IMO there isn't a brunch in the entire state of Florgia that compares.

Jan 12, 2008
vinoepasta in Florida