Babys First Sous Vide

As with any of life’s beautiful milestones, it’s important to document and share with friends and strangers through the art of blog. Today’s chapter is devoted to sous vide. About five years ago, I had a client asking me if I ever tried to sous vide anything. After saying, “what??” three or four times, he finally spelled it for me. The spelling was less helpful than I imagined, but at least I had something to Google later. Back when my client was starting to sous vide, the circulators were big, taking up a lot of counter space, and were expensive. This type of novelty cooking was totally out of my budget, so I decided to just stick with the Weber grill and my trusty ol crockpot. But, times have changed, my friends. Thanks to Kickstarter funding, genius engineers, savvy app developers as well as inexpensive overseas manufacturing, we have sous vide for the masses. The new style sous vide immersion circulators are much smaller, use a separate water container (like a stock pot) and are full of cool tech. So, I’ve said sous vide 6 times now and haven’t explained what it is. I’ll be brief. Basically, sous vide is a cooking method where food is vacuum sealed and submerged in a temperature controlled water bath. Sounds relaxing! I spent a few weeks researching reviews of immersion circulators before I made a purchase decision. You can get a simple, low tech version with 800 watts of heating power and a digital readout for around 80 bucks. The next step up has a bluetooth connection with 900 watts of heating power and is Alexa enabled for around $125. The prices on these change all the time, so pop one in your Amazon cart and keep an eye it. I’m sure there will be crazy Black Friday deals if you give one as a gift (to yourself). Which one did I choose? Well, the Apple/ Telsa styled, techy cool version that kept catching my eye was the Chefsteps Joule. I liked it for the low profile design, 1100 watts of power, the user friendly app that communicates through bluetooth and wifi to your smartphone or even Alexa, it also sports magnet base as well as a clip to use with a variety of containers. Decision made and ordered!

Update… The Joule just arrived today. We were planning a Kitchfix dinner tonight, but I had some organic asparagus in the fridge. Rather than suffer an epic sous vide fail with an expensive cut of steak, I decided to give it a try with the asparagus. I bought some of the BPA-free sous vide vacuum bags on Amazon. It was a kit with 20 reusable bags and a hand pump for less than $20. Decent price and worked great. I added some salt, pepper, fresh garlic and a drizzle of olive oil to the trimmed asparagus before sealing up the bag. I gave Alexa the command for the Joule to cook asparagus and it started humming. Once the Joule was all warmed up as noted by an alert on my phone, I added the bag to the water 180 degree and watched it cook. After 10 min, we had perfectly snappy asparagus. Really, really delicious. This week, will will try out some chicken and maybe a steak. I’m excited!

Update 2… we did organic chicken breasts from Whole Foods. Simply seasoned with lemon pepper and salt. It was some of the most tender, juicy and delicious chicken I’ve ever had. Sous vide success story!

Update 3… we tried a Pre Beef grass-fed filet and a grass-fed top sirloin. I just seasoned with salt and pepper, then did a reverse sear in a cast iron pan. Just like the chicken, the steak was perfectly cooked and so delicious. I’m impressed how well sous vide cooking does. So good, it’s in my regular rotation!!   In the future, I may add a second circulator so I can do meat and veg at the same time. Let me know if you have any sous vide dishes I should try or if you have any questions.

 

Joule Sous Vide
Chefsteps Joule Sous Vide

Sous Vide Asparagus

 

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Touched by Grace

For clarification, Grace is a massage therapist and all touching was done in a professional, therapeutic manner.  I first met Grace a year ago.  She is a talented yoga instructor that is very anatomy focused.  During yoga sessions, she will make the slightest correction to your form and the pose either becomes stupidly simple or infinitely more difficult.  She knows the body!  In conversations after yoga class, I found out that Grace is also a licensed massage therapist and specializes in deep tissue work with a holistic body approach.  Ever since the amazing, deep tissue work that I received from Scott Dolly at RUNGA 2016 in Costa Rica, I’ve been looking for someone good in Chicago.  Viola, here is Grace!
I have a high tolerance for pain and a low tolerance for being tickled.  Seriously, I almost convulse when someone tickles my feet.  It makes me squirmy just thinking about it!  She remarked, that she sees laughter and pain sensations as being very similar and there is probably some pain in there somewhere.  “We will find it”, she said.  Oh boy, I thought.  Then she mentioned that she likes to see immediate results.  Ok, I like that!  Let’s get going!
The set up isn’t anything like a spa massage.  The massage table is in middle of the yoga studio. You remain fully clothed for mobility.  There are no essential oils or soothing meditation sounds.  It is just you, the table, Grace and Grace’s knowledge of how the body works. Less is definitely more, in this case!  It starts with a quick chat about the process and reassurance that the session is just about you.  I wanted the session to focus on my tight hamstrings and hips.  I am in my car most of the day, going appointment to appointment and sitting for hours in traffic.  All that sitting takes a physical toll over time and makes my body too tight to do some yoga poses properly.  It’s way beyond just stretching to get lose, hence the session with Grace. Especially after a long Chicago Winter, it’s time to loosen things back up.
To start, Grace has you lay there and do a body self assessment.  How do you feel, does one side of your body feel differently than the other, what sensations are you feeling right now, etc.  For me, the right side of my body felt noticeably heavier.  No pain or anything.  Well, except for my “texting thumb”.  I could hear Rene in my head, “Be sure to tell Grace about your thumb or I will.”  So, I made a quick mention of my thumb and moved on.  Grace then proceeded to muscle test in order to determine which areas to work on.  I’d lift my leg from the table, she would put some resistance on my shin, then have me make an ‘ahhhh’ sound or lift an arm and make a fist.  If my leg went down, she explained that the issue was really in my shoulder or in my jaw or in my neck.  It is all tied together in a line down the body, she explained.  When we started, I could only raise my legs 75-80 degrees from the table and my hips were equally challenged.  At the end of the session, I had 90+ degree range in my legs and my hips were noticeably more open and loose. Some firsts for me, I received a deep jaw massage, an interesting diaphragm massage and a psoas muscle release.  Oh yes, there was also a bonus deep thumb massage, that resulted in a couple of curious pops but felt great.  During the final body self assessment, everything felt perfectly even, lighter and balanced out. It was only a 60 min session and I felt like I ran a marathon.  I was seriously knocked out the rest of the day.  Two naps and a full nights sleep later, I feel like a new man.  I already scheduled a session for next month.  Perhaps a full lotus pose in my future??
RUNGA 2016
RUNGA 2016

Dry January

I decided to take a full month off of wines and ciders after hitting it hard during the holidays. Rene was kind enough to join me on the journey. It fits right into our Paleo habits, so why not? Well, 30 days are wrapping up and I’m not too parched. Since mealtime didn’t revolve around a glass of wine, we focused on cooking at home and we also supplemented the month with Whole 30 meals from Kitchfix 2-3 times per week. We have been eating delicious Kitchfix food for about 4 years and it’s cool Kitchfix does a specific Whole 30 meal plan to support all the New Years resolutions out there. I’m definitely thankful they are around!
The big question… will dry January lead to a wet February? Lots of celebration stuff going on in Feb, like the Cubs Spring Training opener, my birthday (hint, hint), Valentines Day, Cider Summit 2018, four potential Friday Happy Hours, you get the drift. So, we will see. But, more importantly, was it worth taking a month away from adult beverages? If you would have asked me a week ago, it may have been a different answer. Here is a snapshot of the month: Week 1 – no biggie. I had enough champagne at a New Years Day party to carry me easily into 2019. Quite frankly, I was done with it after that party! Week 2 – there are some cold Stem ciders in the refrigerator door. They look mighty refreshing, but I’m really just looking for something to drink besides water. Enjoying a Dr Gundry soda, kombucha or just a sparkling water is a fitting replacement. Week 3 – I wouldn’t mind a nice glass of red wine. We made a kick ass pot roast in the Instant Pot and a nice deep red California wine would pair very nicely with it. I’m not really missing it enough to give in to temptation. But, I am realizing that I really don’t feel much different. It has been 3 full weeks and I’m sleeping about the same, mental clarity is about the same, I have same sinus issues I’ve always had. I do feel extra tired and lethargic, so that sucks. Best case scenario is that I saved some money by not buying any bottles of wine this month. Week 4 – The first day was just a carry over from week 3. But… yesterday and today were bonkers! I was in the zone all day long, woke up early without an alarm, super productive, tons of energy, extra cheery mood that was borderline annoying, overall perfect days. Did the dry January magic just kick in at the last minute? Whatever it is, I like it and will see how long it lasts! Because of the last two days, I’m going to carry over a “dryish” practice into Feb. I’ll do some celebration and social imbibing, but will limit a lot more than before. Things I learned from the month… 1) I don’t need to have a glass of wine with dinner every night. That was just a bad habit I got into. I just needed to break the association between dinner and stemware. 2) I can still have fun without a bevie. I went to a Warren Zevon tribute concert and just drank sparkling water. It’s Zevon, so usually beverages are in order, but I still had a great time enjoying the music and felt pretty damn good the next day. 3) Give things like Whole 30 some time to see the true effects. I eat really clean anyway, so the food part didn’t make much difference. It took a full 30 days for me to see any benefit from the rest. So be patient, give it time and don’t give up!

Wine Specials
Last Day of the Month Temptation

Charcoal is the New Black

I recently noticed the array of charcoal based and charcoal infused products on the market. When I saw a Proactiv commercial with a charcoal bristle cleansing brush over the weekend, I realized that charcoal has finally jumped the shark. Charcoal is gaining popularity lately for its deep cleaning and detoxification properties. In my own medicine cabinet, I have charcoal capsules, charcoal tooth powder, charcoal face mask goop, and even charcoal deodorant. Intrigued by the concept, I even tried a charcoal based kombucha. That particular yeasty, vinegar tinged, grayish elixir should only be consumed on a dare. Blah! Our water pitcher has a charcoal based filter and our air purifier has a charcoal pre-filter designed to remove odors from the air. The burning question (pun intended)… Does charcoal actually work? Well, aside from the charcoal kombucha, I’m definitely a fan.

I take the charcoal capsules on a regular basis for the mild detox effects. The charcoal traps toxins in your system and helps you get rid of them rather than absorb them into your body. Charcoal capsules are not a new concept. I was taking them 20 years ago to mitigate hangover effects from a long nights out coupled with cheap booze. It definitely works! The impurities in the alcohol bind to the charcoal bits and don’t have a chance to wreck your precious weekend with a brutal hangover. These days, I take charcoal capsules to detox all the big city car exhaust, brake dust and other crap in the air I’m breathing. I buy the Bulletproof brand capsules, which are made from coconut shells, but there are a lot of good ones out there. Just be sure to check that they are all natural without any other ingredients and not made by Kingsford for your Weber grill. Also, you want charcoal that is “activated”. By activated, it means that the charcoal has been processed at high heat, which makes it more porous and effective at trapping the nasties. You can actually break open the capsules to DIY a facial cleansing mask, add to your toothpaste, etc. I did that for awhile and then decided to just buy the dedicated products.

The Dental Duty charcoal tooth powder is a fun one. Yeah, I have “off-white” teeth, maybe a tinge yellow. I definitely don’t have the sparkling pearly whites that you see on tv. Rather than using toxic tooth whitening products, the charcoal tooth powder is a natural alternative. While brushing with the charcoal tooth power, your teeth look like they time warped from 17th century Great Britain. After you rinse out the dark gray slurry, your teeth are smooth, shiny and a tad more white. They continue to get brighter after several uses. I use the tooth powder a couple times a week after brushing with my regular toothpaste.

The Fine Vine charcoal face mask that I use is clay based, so it is more like a mud mask then the fancy clay masks you see people peeling off on commercials. The mask also works great. I use it about once a week. You put it on thick and wait 30 min for it to dry. It dries to a nice dark gray and tingles slightly. Warning: the face recognition on your phone will not work when you have the mask on. When you wash it off, your complexion will be noticeably brighter and will feel deep down clean. Smart phone facial recognition will also return to normal. I tend toward oily skin and this stuff works great to even me out and keep that complexion clear.

The last product for today is the Primally Pure charcoal deodorant. This stuff is amazing. I’ve been using Primally Pure deodorants for 2 years and they have always exceeded my expectations. The charcoal deodorant is new to their line up and is my new fave. Obviously, this is a daily use product, but I don’t have to worry about any errant pit odor with their products. Not even after a hot yoga class. All good!
Any interesting charcoal products you have used or would recommend trying? I’m game!

Fun fact: Old St Nick gives out coal to the bad kids and charcoal to the good kids 🙂

Charcoals
Charcoals

Stitch Fix Box Number 11

You win some, you lose some. Last month I raved about box number 10, but this month didn’t have as many keepers. Only 1 item was saved from the return bag. No bigs. I expect this to happen from time to time and it helps your stylist understand what you like or how your preferences might be changing. After 11 fixes, I am still super excited to see that brown and blue box sitting in my lobby. Let’s get down to bizness:

Fate: Gabby Mesh Detail Blouse – $48.00.  Status:  SENT BACK

This was a cute shirt and I loved the detail on the top.  I’m always looking for good layering tops to pair with blazers and sweaters or wear on their own.  I thought this one was just a little bit too sheer and it was also snug across the chest and waist.  I would have preferred it to look more loose and flowy at the bottom.

White Shell 1

Kut From The Kloth: Aberdine Straight Leg Jean – $88.00.  Status:  SENT BACK

I’ll admit that “WTF” was the first thought I had when I pulled these out of the box.  I still thought that when I initially tried them on.  The size was listed as an ankle.  Was it supposed to be like a capri fit or a normal, regular fit?  It was neither.  I didn’t quite like where the length hit.  Also, the color was quite similar to the distressed pair of jeans I kept from my last fix and I really didn’t need another pair of medium rinse jeans.  I’ll also admit that they did sort of grow on me.  They were super comfortable and fit pretty perfectly (unblemished track record, stitch fix!).  The next day I saw a pair almost exactly like them on Anthropologie.  Maybe this length is the new style.

Jeans Blog

Gilli: Kadence Cowl Drape Front Dress – $64.00.  Status:  SENT BACK

This dress made me feel like I was getting ready to go sing in the church choir.  It just looked too conservative and matronly on me.  I did not like where the length hit either. I’d rather have it be above the knee (maybe at the knee) or a midi length.  Right under the knee is not a good look on me, especially since I’m on the shorter side.

Dress 1

Zad: Val Chandelier Earring – $28.00.  Status:  KEPT

These earrings are cute and match my style. I don’t think I would have normally paid $28 for these.  Since I didn’t keep anything else from this fix and the $20 styling fee is credited back if you purchase any items, it made sense for me to keep these.  In my mind, this math made them $8.  I’ve never been good at math, so that may or may not make sense. I later noticed that these looked like the same earrings crazy Kelsey was wearing on the Bachelor: After the Final Rose.  After googling I found that they are different (phew!)

earrings blog

Honey Punch: Renoir Kimono – $44.00.  Status:  SENT BACK

This was a piece I requested specifically in my last note to my stylist.  I saw some really cute ones and pinned them to my style board on Pinterest (which your stylist can refer to).  I should have been more specific because I wanted a multi color, patterned or floral one.  Since I am in black/white/gray 99% of the time, I can see why I was sent this one. I’d rather have one I could wear with black to spice up an outfit.  I wasn’t a big fan of the stark black and white and I’m kind of over chevrons.

Kimono Blog

That’s it for March!  How have your fixes been lately?  I love reading other blogs, so leave links to your most recent reviews in the comments if you have one!

Receive your own box by signing up here.  Happy Shopping!

Needle Nose

I’ve lived with recurring sinus congestion for as long as I can remember.  After some fancy web research, I discovered it is known as chronic sinusitis. I was really hoping that the cure of all my previous ills, the Paleo lifestyle, would take care of it.  But, after two years of Paleo, I’ve found the one thing that a clean diet didn’t fix for me.  Stupid nose.  Anyway, my sinus congestion acts a lot like allergies, but it is a year round problem and most predominant at night.  Basically, either one or both nostrils are totally blocked and it turns me into a mouth breathing, drooling mess.  Sorry Rene.

On nights when it is really bad, I get all claustrophobic and end up sitting until I can nod off from sleep deprivation. An over the counter spray is a quick fix, but I’m nervous about warnings of a “rebound effect”.  If the nasal spray is used for too many treatments in a row, it becomes ineffective at treating the problem and you end up with worse symptoms than when you started.  That scenario makes me sweat just thinking about it.  I found Afrin and Nostrilla to work equally well, but my preference is Nostrilla… strictly for the name.  Unfortunately,  it’s not a natural solution and isn’t a permanent fix.

I also tried a Neti pot for a couple months.  Decent results, but the results were only temporary, sometimes not even lasting the night.  Still there is something fun, and gross, about streaming warm water from one nostril to the other that I really enjoy.  I even upgraded to a super cool looking stainless steel Neti pot.  It’s really a beaut, I just wish it was the problem solver.  I do think the Neti is a good way to clear out those seasonal allergies, so I will keep it in the arsenal.

Next up was the Breathe Right strips.  These things didn’t stand a chance against my sinusitis.  I tried the strips for a few nights and there was really no relief other than the comforting feeling of having a splint plastered across my nose.  Look weird, feel weird, didn’t work.  That got me thinking and researching some more.  What if there was something like a Breathe Right for the inside of your nose?  Lo and behold, there is!  It’s called SleepRight.  These expand your nostrils from the inside and provide better airflow.  They kind of pinch a little in the middle, but they offered some good relief.  Not perfect breathing, but at least these worked a bit.  I did find myself inadvertently picking at them in the middle of the night, just as you might subconsciously pick at any foreign object jammed in your nostrils.  These little gems worked well, but there was still congestion higher up in the sinuses that the SleepRight just couldn’t reach.  I just thought of this, but I may have to try a SleepRight/ BreatheRight combo.  Whoa… mind blown.  I may have to give that a proper test!

Anyway, one evening at yoga,  I overheard a classmate talking about her experience with acupuncture.  She was saying how it released a lot of histamines and helped clear up her allergies.  Hmmm… maybe this could work for my breathing.  I did a few personal tests with acupressure points around my nose and decided to move forward with an acupuncture session.  At my fellow yogi’s referral, I made an appointment to see Dr Nick Leroy from the Illinois Center for Progressive Health (www.drnick.net).  He is a holistic physician and has been practicing acupuncture for over 15 years.  He knows his stuff! Dr Nick asked a lot of good questions during the consult and we decided on a course of five acupuncture treatments.  I just completed the fourth treatment.  The treatments last about 30 minutes with 2 needles in each foot, 2 in each hand, 2 in each ear and 5 on my nose and face.  The ear needles freaking hurt going in, the others you hardly know are there.  At the end of the session, I feel really relaxed and my breathing is very clear. Results from the first couple of treatments only lasted a few days, but now they are lasting longer.  So far, so good.  No waking up in the middle of the night and having fairly free breathing has been a really nice change.  I’m thinking this is a good solution for me, but I’ll update results after another month.

Pricked
It was a perilous selfie to take with the needles sticking out of my hand

 

Stitch Fix Box Number 10

I can’t believe this is my 10th Stitch Fix box!  I must say that this has been my favorite box yet.  I loved everything in it, the price points were fairly reasonable and I only sent back two items because they were similar to pieces I already own.  For a recap on Stitch Fix and how it works, check out my first post here. Alright, here’s what I received:

Bay to Baubles: Ramona Arrow Pendant Necklace – $28.00.  Status:  KEPT

I love this necklace.  I had been wanting a longer, plain and versatile pendant.  This one fit the bill.  It is three dimensional which is unique and looks like a feather and an arrow.  It was featured on one of Stitch Fix’s Valentine’s Day outfit blogs.

01

Pink Martini: Cyra Blazer – $94.00.  Status:  SENT BACK

This was a cute blazer, but I have a black one almost exactly like it.  And a gray one and a white one… I liked that this one was a bit more casual and it was pretty comfy.  Alas, back it went.

Blazer 1

Skies are Blue: Cassandra Cut Out Detail Sleeveless Blouse- $48.00.  Status:  KEPT

This is a great layering top or it can be worn on it’s own.  It’s business in the front and party in the back with the cute cutout details.  I liked the color and think this will also be great paired with white capris in the summer.  Keeper!

cutout blouse

Eight Sixty: Matteo Sheath Dress – $88.00.  Status:  SENT BACK

This is a really nice sheath dress, but I do have a black one really similar to it.  It’s hard to tell, but the cut around the top of the arms/ shoulders goes in a little bit and I didn’t love that, although it wasn’t really a big deal.  It’s a nice material and has a cute zipper down the back.  I just didn’t need another plain black work dress, so back it went.

black dress

DL1961: Mitzi Distressed Boyfriend Jean – $98.00.  Status:  KEPT

My new favorites!  Every pair of jeans I’ve received from Stitch Fix have fit like a dream. I don’t know how they do it.  These are no exception.  I love the boyfriend style and the fun, distressed look.  It’s something I probably wouldn’t have picked out myself.  What I really loved about them is that the holes don’t go all the way through. There is material sewn behind them so I knew they wouldn’t “tear” further and are they are super comfortable.  These went right into my closet even as Chuck said “you really need another pair of jeans?”  Yes.

Jeans

Receive your own box by signing up here.  Happy Shopping!

Caveman Couture (aka my love of Stitch Fix)

I am always looking for ways to add convenience to my life.  Since I spend more time cleaning, prepping and cooking paleo meals, I have less time to spend on other things.  I use an organic delivery service, a pre-made paleo food service and have found many gadgets that enable efficiency.  So, I thought I’d apply this to one of my favorite past times, retail shopping.

I started using Stitch Fix at the end of May 2014 and I’ve been receiving fixes every month since.  For anyone not familiar, Stitch Fix is a personal styling service that shops for you and sends 5 items of clothing and/ or accessories to your door.  You can choose to have them sent automatically every 2-3 weeks, every month or every other month or you can manage them manually.  You start by filling out a pretty robust style profile on their website so they get an idea of what you like to wear as well as your sizing.  You can update this profile at any time.  You are charged a $20 styling fee each fix which gets credited to the cost of anything you keep in your fix.  If you keep nothing, you are out $20.  If you keep everything, there is an additional 25% discount on the whole order.  Whatever you don’t keep, you send back in their prepaid envelope.  On average, I’ve been keeping about two to three items per fix.

It took a couple fixes for me to warm up to the service, but now I really look forward to receiving that box!  I wouldn’t expect to love everything every time or always expect perfect fits.  However, I usually find a few items in each fix that either nail my style or introduce something I normally wouldn’t have chosen.  You can write personal notes to your stylist if you’re looking for something specific and refer them to pins on your Pinterest boards for examples.  If you find a stylist that you really love, you can request to have them again on future fixes.  I have done that for the past few orders and continue to request her.  She really gets me 🙂

I’m going to start documenting my fixes on this blog because I’ve found this service to be really fun and I want to share them!  I’ll take pictures of everything I receive and let you know what I keep or send back.  Since I didn’t capture every item in my fix up until now, I’ll just provide a picture summary of the last 9 months.  Let me know what you think!  If you decide to try it out for yourself, you can use my referral link.  I really appreciate it!

Some items that I have sent back:

StitchFixSentBackCollage2
A few examples of items that I have not kept

Some items that I have kept:

StitchFixKeptCollage
A few examples of items that I loved

Stay tuned for Fix #10 that just arrived this week (it might be my favorite one thus far!)

Happy Shopping!

RPM Steak – Paleo Date Night Review

I’ve mentioned previously that we don’t go out to eat all that often anymore.  It’s difficult to find restaurants with gluten free, paleo options that we trust.  This weekend, though, we had an amazing dining experience at RPM Steak right here in Chicago.  Winner, winner, grass fed meat dinner!

RPM Steak has been quite the hot spot since it opened last year.  Co owners Bill and Guiliana Rancic have created a beautiful dining venue in the heart of River North that is attracting foodies, celebrities and even President Obama who dined there last October.  If you want to get a table on a weekend, you can expect to wait months for a reservation.  On a whim, I searched on open table Saturday afternoon. An 8:30pm table for 2 popped up  – WHAT?!  Before I knew it, we were dressed in our finest impromptu date night attire and an uber taxi was whisking us up Dearborn.

The restaurant itself is beautiful.  It’s has an open concept, but the darker colors and wood tones keep it comfortable, yet swanky.  If you’ve been to RPM Italian, it’s almost the inverse of their bright white, but just as sleek.  They were running slightly behind, so we headed to the four-sided open bar. There are booths that flank three sides and people sitting and standing about 2 rows deep all around the bar.  It was crowded, but does that matter when you’re there to be IN the scene?  I didn’t think so.  We ordered a glass each of the Sonoma County, CA Complicated Chardonnay to start.  The bar area started to thin out a tiny bit when our table was ready around 9pm.

Find the Hidden Red Shoe - It's Good Luck!
Find the Hidden Red Shoe – It’s Good Luck!

We sat down and were presented with the gluten free menus (which I requested in the reservation). There is really not that much difference with the regular menu as their gluten free menu is huge and impressive.  We were then greeted by our AMAZING server, Chrissy (or Krissy?  sorry!) who told us she is Celiac and we can rest assured that they take gluten free seriously.  Chrissy then sent over one of their five sommeliers to help us navigate the extremely extensive wine list.  Once that order of business was complete, we turned our attention back to the dinner menu.  We decided on:

Appetizers

  • Oysters:  Sourced from the west coast – you get 6 for $18.  These were some of the best oysters I’ve had.  They come topped with a very light sort of ceviche relish that included jalapeno, cucumber, lemon and lime juice.  I would go back and just order these with a glass of champs!
  • Thick cut bacon:  Chrissy told us this dish is life changing and she was right.  It had a nice sweet maple glaze and in a way, it reminded me of french toast – it was that thick!
RPM Thick Cut Maple Bacon
Apps from Heaven

 

Main Course

  • 20 oz. Grass Fed Bone in Ribeye (sourced from Slagel Farms):  Even though there is a bone in it, this steak is HUGE!  I thought Chuck would definitely be bringing some home, but he powered through and ate the whole thing.  I had a bite and it was seasoned perfectly and very juicy.  He also ordered the butter and bone marrow sauce to complement it.
  • 8 oz. Grass Fed Bison Filet (sourced from High Plains):  I expect bison to be leaner than other meats and it was, but was still full of flavor and tender.  This was a generous, thick cut portion and as much as I wanted to finish it, I did have to give Chuck my last few bites (which he ate on top of his 20 oz. without a problem 🙂 )

Sides

  • Hen of the Woods Mushrooms:  You don’t often see these on a menu and they are Chuck’s favorite mushroom, so we had to get them.  They had a delicious woody flavor, as you’d expect, and were just divine.  The serving dish didn’t move far from Chuck’s setting and I had to strategically grab some while he was busy chewing.
  • Roasted Cauliflower:  Sounds boring, but it’s one of our staple, cruciferous vegetables.  This was like no cauli I’ve had before.  The roasted florets were very soft and came in a very light tomato type of sauce with lime.  Sounds odd, but it worked really well.

RPM Steak hit it out of the park for us on all counts:  food (with bonafide paleo options), service and ambience.  It is also a bonus that it is part of the Lettuce Entertain You group of restaurants.  We had some gift cards that we were able to use which softens the blow when the check comes.  It is spendy, but it is worth checking out.  Don’t forget to request Chrissy as your server – she is the best! Thank you RPM Steak for an awesome date night!

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