Chopped! Raleigh

Hi!

I’m just going to pretend that I didn’t miss almost 2 months of blogging and just …..yeah….

Steve and I went on a date night on Tuesday! This may not seem like a big deal to some, but when you’re working with a grad student budget fancy dates are rare and super special. What was even more special is that two local restaurants (both owned by the same corporation) were having a competition and we had tickets 🙂20160712_175954.jpg

We are very hungry people!

We had NO idea what to expect but we knew it was gonna be good. Here’s the menu…

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(I take excellent pictures with a potato)

Anywho, Gravy is an American-Italian restaurant and Sitti is a Lebanese restaurant. Both are known as really good places to eat, drink, and be merry. The idea of the dinner was that 2 wines from Lebanon and 2 wines from Italy were selected to go with the courses. The chefs at each restaurant had to come up with a dish that complemented the wine being served. Our job was to EAT AND DRINK AND JUDGE (like on Chopped but better).

What we especially did not expect was each plate, all 8 of them, was a full serving!

To start off we had a white Lebanese wine that was very citrusy and light. Sitti served…

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I’ll let you read the description of the food from the menu, but this was some awesome hummus. Not to mention, lamb bacon is the shit. Gravy followed up with….20160712_182412.jpg

this tasty tuna!

We decided that Gravy won this round because the citrus from the dish was best friends with the citrus in the wine.

Gravy – 1 Sitti – 0

Second course had a red wine from Italy. Sitti gave us..20160712_184652.jpg

a beautiful rainbow of beets and Gravy countered with..20160712_184549.jpghomemade pasta with fresh basil!

Not gonna lie, I was rooting for the pasta because sometimes beets are weird and WHO DOESN’T LIKE PASTA?!? But tasting the wine after the beets gave me new respect for pairing wine with food cause Sitti knocked it out of the park!

Gravy – 1 Sitti – 1

At this point, Steve and I regretfully realized that these were indeed, full portions and that we were getting way to full so we started moderating how much we ate…still made sure to drink all of the wine though.

Up next was the ‘main’ course. Both restaurants happened to choose lamb as the protein so we were pretty excited to eat more food that isn’t very common here in Raleigh. Sitti came out strong with..20160712_191725.jpg

At this point the contest was over. This dish changed my life. I NEVER would have imagined that peppermint goat cheese, pistachio crusted lamb, red pepper polenta, and honey jalepeno glaze would be as amazing as it was. The balance of flavors was phenomenal and I practically licked this plate because I have no shame. Gravy served..20160712_192019.jpg

a braised lamb leg. Tbh this dish was a little disappointing. The potatoes-salsa-okra-lamb combination didn’t work for me and didn’t really go together. The lamb was okay…it tasted very similar to a pot roast I make in the slow cooker.

Gavy – 1 Sitti – 2

DESSERT!

The best food category! Not the best wine category since I’m not a fan of sweet wines but I’ll still drink it cause you don’t waste stuff. Sitti gave us..20160712_194509.jpga fried banana with chocolate ganache and butter pecan ice cream. I was really excited when this came out but since I don’t know how to read and drink wine simultaneously  the banana took me by surprise. It was a good dessert but nobody likes surprise bananas. Gravy finished with..20160712_194517.jpgthis cute little jar of chocolate custard with blueberries, salted almonds and mint on top! It was light and just the right size to finish off the meal. It also made the overly sweet wine drinkable

Gravy -2 Sitti – 2

IT WAS A TIE!

butnotreally

Sitti was voted as the overall winner (pretty sure it was mostly because of the drool-worthy lamb) and I voted the event as a really awesome date night!

 

 

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