Perfect plate.

Grilled steak, cheese cauliflower, and mushroom risotto.  What a perfect plate with the most perfect foods.  🙂  As my sister-in-law made the awesome sides, my brother grilled the steak and dinner was served.  In a previous post, I’ve talked how tough risotto is to make (well, in my opinion) and this was my sister-in-law’s first time.  She did great!  The steak was awesome and the cheese cauliflower was so good –better than cheesy potatoes.  🙂

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LEGIT.

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Basil Leaf Cafe.

My friend Amea introduced me to Basil Leaf Cafe in Lawrence, Kansas.  It’s is awesome and one of my favorite spots for dinner.  I enjoy the cozy atmosphere and fresh flowers on the tables.  Every meal has been wonderful and the serving size always leaves you leftovers for lunch the following day!

 

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House Salad. My dream salad.

The house salad is the way to go.  Fresh greens, tomatoes, and green peppers make for a great foundation, but the croutons, artichoke hearts, and banana peppers really make this salad a must-have when visiting.  I get this every time!

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Risotto Balls.

Arancini is an appetizer that consists of sausage, vegetables, and a five-cheese risotto shaped into a ball, and covered in a parmesan and panko crust.  It is deep fried to perfection and served with a fire roasted tomato sauce.  These are absolutely fantastic!

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Risotto!!!!

This is a chicken, leek, and wild mushroom risotto.  This is by far the best risotto I’ve ever had -anywhere!  It’s full of flavor and cooked perfectly.  Some of you may know this: risotto is difficult to cook.  I feel that it needs to be watched over carefully and takes a while to cook.  I say this from experience.  🙂 And let’s just say it didn’t turn out well.  🙂  Basil Leaf does not have this dish any more (they change menus to keep things spicy), but usually feature a risotto.  I try to branch out each time I visit, but the risotto is always calling my name!

Green Dirt Farm dinner.

My friend Kelli invited me to a Green Dirt Farm dinner. This farm -located in Weston, MO- is known for it’s sheep cheeses. What sets this farm apart from others is that the sheep are grass-fed, and the cheeses create this amazing aroma and taste. This farm also provides a dinner at the farm and features a chef from the Kansas City area. Chef Cody Hogan from Lidia’s knocked it out of the park.

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Us outside of the Barn! after dinner!

 

The dinner was out of this world.  The farm gives two lambs to the chef and the chef provides local products and produce for the meal.  Each course came with a wine pairing and it’s too bad that I’m not a huge wine fan!  As an hors d’oeuvres, we had bossa cheese on box bread with dalmatia orange fig spread -no pics because I ate it too fast.  We also had a wonderful, fresh watermelon cocktail to go along.

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First things first.  The first course consisted of crostino with lamb liver “alla veneziana” (on the left), grilled lamb bocconicini with spicy purple mustards and balsamico tradizionale (on the right), and rhubarb mostarda (middle).  It was paired with a prosecco -Flor Rose.  This was legit.  The liver was awesome!

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Crostino with lamb liver. Awesome.

 

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Best risotto ever!

The second course was the chef’s garden borage risotto.  This was fabulous!  I did not want this end.  It consisted of Missouri green and yellow wax beans and fava beans.  This is by far the best risotto that I’ve ever had!  All the veggies came from the chef’s garden.  This was paired with Sauvignon ‘B.’

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Tender lamb!

Third course consisted of braised lamb with polenta and peas.  OMG.  The lamb was sooo tender!  The buttery polenta and peas matched perfectly with the lamb.  There was so much food and the chef walked around asking if people wanted more!  I wasn’t sure if I would have room for dessert, but I managed.  🙂

Is this real life?

Is this real life?

Dessert was a deconstructed cannoli with ricotta, pistachio, orange, and summit st. apiary wildflower honey (Chef has bees!), paired with Malvasia by Cavicchioli 1928 -Emilia-Romagna.  This dessert was fantastic!  Everything went wonderfully together and was definitely a nice touch to end dinner.

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Four Olives. Yes, Please!

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We went to Four Olives for dinner and it was fantastic.  We started out with Lamb Sliders and the Root Beer Braised Duroc Pork Belly with blue cheese polenta and sautéed spinach.  The Lamb Sliders with Maytag Blue were so “cute and small” (this is my term for awesome because technically, things that are “cute and small” such as puppies and baby turtles make my day) and the lamb, cucumber, and sauce melted together to make the perfect bite.

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Lamb Sliders: My best friends on a plate.

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Delish!

The Root Beer Braised Duroc Pork Belly was solid!  The light sweet taste paired with the crispy crust, and salty meat came together when paired with the polenta and spinach.  OMG.

We ordered the following entrees: Elk with risotto and asparagus; Miso Honey Halibut with risotto and asparagus; and Shiraz-Braised Lamb Shank with Israeli couscous and sautéed spinach.

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Elk = loveliness

The Elk was tender and delightful.  The black truffle sauce on top definitely made the dish.  It was like seeing a unicorn for the first time.

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Hugs!

The Miso Honey Halibut was quite legit.  The halibut was tender and flaky, but the miso and honey made a light crust when cooked.  The risotto was cheesy and onion-y, and awesome with every bite.  I definitely would get this again.

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Shank it.

Shiraz-Braised.Lamb.Shank.  It was so tender, a knife was unnecessary; it was a one-utensil-meal.  It was cooked perfectly and wonderful!

Don’t forget desert.  Yes, we managed.  *high-five*

I forgot to take pictures because I was so mesmerized by these sugary beauties.  We ordered the Tiramisu, Caramel Apple Bread Pudding, and Crème Brule.