We fell in love with The Hollow Bar + Kitchen during Restaurant Week. I was so impressed with our experience that I returned the very next day for lunch with my co-worker. I was curious to try their burgers and couldn't pass on the signature Hollow Burger. It was love at first bite and quickly became my new favorite hand-crafted burger in the Capital Region. Cooked to a perfect medium-rare, the grass-fed patty was well-seasoned and the burst of velvety yolk from the fried egg added such a luxurious touch. The signature burger also comes with a side of house-made tangy habanero ketchup. A schmear on the bun adds just the right amount of zip to the burger. It was also a great dipping sauce for the sweet potato fries that I opted for. I knew this was a burger that J needed to try too.
A week later we returned to The Hollow for date night. We came smack dab in the middle of front bar renovations but the staff was more than accommodating making sure that the noise wasn't too crazy loud. We honestly didn't mind at all, it felt like we were in the middle of an episode of Restaurant Impossible, one of our favorite Food Network shows. J went with an order of the aforementioned burger and raved as much about it as I did.
My goal was to try the handmade pasta and lucky for us the night's special was a pappardelle with asparagus. At first sight, the dish could feed an army but proportion was no obstacle. I was more than happy to have leftovers for lunch and dove right in. Kudos to chef for making hand-made pasta everyday. The difference between fresh pasta and the boxed kind is unbelievable. Fresh pasta has a lovely texture and toothy bite to it. Finally I understood what al dente is suppose to taste like. A light tomato basil sauce allowed the pasta to shine and for once I didn't miss a heavy, rich meaty sauce like bolognese. The addition of grilled asparagus elevated the pasta dish that much more with that familiar smokey, charred flavor. Ribbons of asiago completed the dish with nutty, salty bites of cheese.
As if our meal couldn't get any better, dessert was on the house for us for all the construction noise. We were hesitant to try the apple cider donut bread pudding again but boy was it a major redemption moment. This time, each spoonful had that creamy custard that we were looking for the first time. Plus we were treated to more of that raw honey we loved so much. Dessert more than exceeded our expectations. Not only is The Hollow Bar + Kitchen now our new favorite place to grab a burger, but our new favorite date night joint.
Sunday, November 24, 2013
Monday, June 3, 2013
Monday, April 29, 2013
Let me blow your mind: try grilling your romaine lettuce. Say what? Trust me, try it, and thank me later. There's something about getting a smoky char on lettuce that somehow brings out its inherent sweetness and elevates a salad to a whole new level. I usually just dress with olive oil, salt, and pepper. I call the grill J's second girlfriend and grilling lettuce is a perfect way to get some greens in him while satisfying his need to set things on fire.
Naturally, a grilled steak pairs well with grilled lettuce. I decided to try Chrissy Teigen's recipe for Thai Beef Salad (Yum Nua). Nevermind the fact that she's a supermodel, but the girl loves bacon as much as I do and she is half Thai.I'd like to pretend that we are long lost sisters but I am no model,am Viet, and not engaged to John Legend but to an equally dashing guy. Props to Chrissy and her blog, So Delushious! It's a hilarious read.
I had a few missing ingredients (cilantro, thai chili powder, tomatoes) but even without them, just dressing the meat made for a super flavorful but light dish overall. Salty, sweet, and spicy. What more could you want? Didn't even need extra dressing on the salad, and you don't miss it either. On a whim, I decided to add mint to the salad which gave it another delightful herby dimension.
Give grilled lettuce a try and let me know what you think. Happy grilling. -R