Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Petite JUGS at Gertrude's

My godmother Mary T. came to visit one of her JUG'S, Gerry, last weekend and invited me to Gertrude's for dinner. JUGS stands for Just Us Girls. These are her closest pals and she travels around the world to play golf with them. Isn't that the coolest? They were on the back nine at St. Andrews during 9/11 and will always have an incredible story of trying to get back to states afterwards. This was the second  Petite JUGS party as Gerry's niece and I were both in tow. Liz had her baby shower last week hence the visit. She lives in Baltimore and we were giddy as school girls by the end of the night. It is always truly a pleasure to surprise John and John at the restaurant with a visit. My godmother is now their biggest fan after our Thanksgiving dinner. I had the Choptank oyster's from the Choptank River, an estuary of the Chesapeake Bay. People of the world be jealous. These oysters are the sweetest most wonderful oysters I've ever enjoyed. 

Mary T. and Gerry. 

 The crab cake special was Barbara's, Mikulski that is.

One of the girls ordered Gertie's Crab Cake. This is the first crab cake I have ever cooked myself and is so very perfect with the spice of Old Bay folded inside it's crispy outer layer.

Thank heavens Gerry shared a bite of her Salmon Alla Bella. This is an egg washed piece of salmon with a lemon caper beurre blanc sauce. Every bit as good as it sounds and so unusual. I would never think to dip fish in egg but it was fabulous and I guess a classic that I had never tried before.

The Mojo Candy Bar could quite possibly be my favorite dessert in the city, fighting closely with the chocolate pudding at Woodberry Kitchen. Doug is a master pastry chef and the layer of crunch on the bottom is the best part. The candied hazelnuts are luxurious.

The Mojo is made up of a spice similar to Old Bay but with a touch more fennel and secret stuff. Based on this candy bar recipe John created a spiked chocolate Mojo sauce to go over vanilla ice cream in our booth during one of our trade shows as a tool to bring clients to see us. It is always so much fun taste testing with John and John to make sure the Mojo Chocolate sauce is spicy enough. I dream of it and have to ask him if I can print his recipe on this blog. My mouth is watering just thinking of it.

Just when I think I've died and gone to heaven in chocolate, the toasted coconut cream pie arrives. Those are slivers of the most fresh pineapple on the side. This dessert is so light and perfect. The custard has just the right amount of everything and not too rich. The crust was flaky and fabulous and I felt like I was back on Oahu for a moment. Thank you Douglas.

I have a thing for coconut. The bistro on the 17th floor of the 100 Light Street building makes the most incredible coconut cake and gave me a slice last Monday for my birthday. I felt like a lucky lady. Thank goodness the gym is just one floor above this place. I run so I can eat and this is just one of those treats I have to spoil myself with on occasion along with chocolate pudding and Mojo candy bars.

Mary T. thanks for letting me join you and half of the JUGS. It is always such a treat to see you and with E's busy schedule it was a lovely break to a lonely weekend. John and John, thanks for the champagne sent to the table. You spoil the heck out of us and we love you for it. Can wait to see you in a next week.


Tiffany from HOLIDAY said...

Thank goodness I have a trip to New Orleans planned soon or I would be super jealy - the oysters, the crab cakes...oy vey!

Ella said...

I have just experienced what a scent blog would be.

One of my students come out of the dressing room, after the sport lesson today and showed me a lotion "here, try it on your skin... it's with coconut!"

My hand still have a little scent of it and when I saw your cake I accidentally put my hand and touched my head - and suddenly the cake felt so real in front of me!