Rise n°1 Round 2

New traditions can be scary, but not when they involve souffles.

First off, I can't get over how cute this place is. It's the little things that can make or break an atmosphere and their bread plates & cloth napkins make it. 

It all started off with some great bread (how cute is their bread board) and some prosecco. 

First Course
Tomato Basil Soup - Tomato basil soup with "marshmallow" souffles & pesto drizzle

Second Course
Crab souffle - crab, boursin cheese with red peppers & chives
Stuffed poblano - Poblano pepper stuffed with shrimp & grits with a goat cheese souffle

Third Course
Pumpkin Souffle - pumpkin dessert souffle with a cream drizzle & side of freshly whipped cream

Clinton Street Social Club

It's pretty rare that I haven't tried a new place in iowa city. However there is a tiny little spot downtown Iowa City that I hadn't been to yet, so when my friend mentioned it I was 100% ready to go. 

This classy gastro pub speakeasy is the last thing that you would expect to be squeezed in between a burger joint and a nail salon in the heart of downtown Iowa City. You walk up a small flight of stairs and get taken back a decade (or century) or so, definitely has a jazzy, laid back, classic vibe. 

The diversity in the cocktail menu is less intimidating and more intriguing.  I literally wanted one of everything, so being posted up bar side wasn't the worst thing in the world. 

Blood Money:  Ridgemont Reserve 1792 Bourbon, House Made Blackberry Mint Shrub, Fresh Lime

I started off with the Blood Money, the blackberry flavor definitely shines through and there is just the slightest punch from the bourbon. 

She wore lemon:  russian vodka, st. germain, ginger liqueur, lemon, ricard, bitters

Next up, She Wore Lemon, this was amazing. It was light and refreshing with a licorice kick at the end. The bartender let us try the Ricard alone, I was so in love. 

Mussels: white wine, fennel, roasted tomato, Niçoise Olive, baguette

In between all the delicious sips a little substance was in order. I feel like I'm usually not accompanied by those who would like to order up some Mussels (excluding my family), so I was pleasantly surprised - not only by the order but by the flavor too. Everything on point, and who doesn't love soaking up that juice with pieces of crostini?! 

Then came one of my go to's - SAZERAC :America’s Oldest Cocktail Rye, Peychaud’s Bitters, Herbsaint . This is just a simple whiskey drink with all of the flavors. At this point, I forgot about pictures and was too in deep with my cocktails.  

Last but not least, the à La fille: El Mayor Blanco Tequila, Fresh Cucumber, Fresh Lime, Agave Syrup, Soda. At this point, I just wanted something refreshing and for me, that means cucumber and tequila! This cocktail wasn't in a dainty glass like the others were, so I was a little taken back by this large cocktail after I was already 3 deep. No worries, it was just as light and refreshing as I had hoped. 

Overall the experience at Social Club was stellar, our bartender was informative,fun, and knew just when to chime in (Thanks David!). The cocktails did not disappoint and the mussels left me just wanting more.

Can't wait for the next round and I have my eye on that poutine. 

Rise n°1

I'm the baby of the family, which as much as I try to fight it...I am spoiled (sorry Erin & Lyndsy). I landed in sunny Texas for Christmas break and headed straight to my sister's gym to get in a quick workout. After that, Cindi (mom) had the rest of our afternoon planned - which meant we were going to her absolute favorite restaurant, Rise Souffle. I'm not quite sure if its her favorite because the food is amazing or because one time she saw George W. Bush eating there...its a toss up. 

For starters, the restaurant is so unique. It's like that person's house that seems completely chaotic and unorganized but somehow it all just works. First off was a bottle of Prosecco (mom's doing) and some bread. But this bread was completely salivating...you know those baguettes at Panera that are sometimes actually really doughy on the inside and nice and crispy on the outside? Well think of that but 100x better. Plus they serve it on this cute little cutting board to serve yourself...we had two rounds. 

You order everything up front, since they are souffles, they have to time out when everything should come out. 

First up: Marshmallow Soup. 
Now don't be fooled like I was, the "marshmallows" aren't actually mallows. They are mini souffles placed on top of a creamy tomato basil soup followed by a drizzle of pesto. 

Second up: Truffle Infused Mushroom
First of all, can we look at this beauty? The real magic was when you would stick your spoon in it and see it all deflate. The truffle taste was streamlined throughout the whole souffle and the flavors literally just melt onto your tongue. 

Last but not least: Bread Pudding
There were too many tempting options for dessert, so after we went with the waitresses' request we went with the Bread Pudding. The server comes up and stabs the middle of the souffle and pour in this cream mixture that floats through the souffle. No words (other than the ones I already said).