Archive for Buttermilk Fried Chicken


Posted in Melange with tags , , , , on October 27, 2012 by ballymote

 Four years ago, Chef Joe Brown moved his New Orleans themed restaurant from Cherry Hill to Haddonfield. Although I had been to the Cherry Hill location a couple of times this would be my first visit to the Haddonfield location.

 I liked the interior of Melange. Dark chocolate walls and lots of jazz themed prints of New Orleans gave this Cajun eatery a nice southern feel to it.

 I had a wine with me that not only was unfamiliar to me, I wasn’t even sure where I got it. The 2009 Planning Mill Red, Columbia Valley, Washington is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (65%) with some Syrah, Malbec, Merlot and Cab Franc thrown in. I thought it was surprisingly good for the the price (about $12.00, I think).  My wife, Kathy, also was impressed with this one. Joe had a 2009 Mario Ercolino, Sassarello, Sicily. I didn’t try this one but neither Joe nor Carol seemed impressed with this bottle.


I am so far behind in my reviews (it’s now 7 weeks since I began writing this one) that I am going to do some abbreviated reviews in order to try and catch up.




 For our appetizers Kathy and I shared the Baked Lobster Mac n Cheese which I thought was terrific and Kathy thought was OK.

 Joe had the their signature Tomato Crab Bisque infused with sherry. It looked good and he gave it a thumbs up.





 For her entree Kathy chose the Baked Chicken and Shrimp served over whole wheat linguine and the chicken was moist and flavorful. The shrimp huge and nicely done.








 I selected the Buttermilk Fried Breast of Chicken with Bourbon Mashed Sweet Potatoes topped with Country Ham Gravy. I thought the dish was perfect. The chicken was great and the sweet potatoes went well as a accompaniment.









We finished off an excellent meal by passing around a Kahlua Pound Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream.

I love the menu at melange. It’s chock full of interesting items all prepared with a tangy, spicy Louisiana flare. I know my love affair with all things Cajun isn’t shared by all but it’s always a treat for me when I get the opportunity to enjoy this type of cooking done well as it is at Melange.


Posted in Ad Hoc (Yountville), Wine Dinners with tags , , , , , , on October 19, 2010 by ballymote

Our Monday night dinner took us to Thomas Keller’s (Chef Owner of The French Laundry) other restaurant, Ad Hoc. This is a unique dining spot in that it features just one dinner menu each night. It usually features an appetizer, a main course, a cheese course and a dessert. On this particular Monday evening they were featuring their famous Buttermilk Fried Chicken which customarily is served every other Monday.

Unlike here in the Philly/South Jersey area there are NO BYOB’s in California and corkage charges are applied when you bring your own bottle to any of the restaurants. Some of them will waive the corkage on a one for one basis. In other words, if you buy one bottle from their wine list you can bring one bottle of your own and the corkage fee is waived. That’s what we did at Ad Hoc bringing a 2007 EMH/Black Cat Cabernet Sauvignon which we had purchased earlier in the day while visiting the winery. We purchased a 2006 Dillon Vineyard, Chardonnay which was produced right here in Yountville, from the Ad Hoc wine list. The Chardonnay went well with our starter and the cheese course while the Cabernet was perfect with the fried chicken.

We all started with the Panzanella Salad, heirloom tomatoes from the French Laundry garden, english cucumbers, palladin croutons, kalamata olives, shaved red onion and basil cream. This was a very tasty rendition filled with absolutely the freshest of veggies. Joe B. in particular really appreciated the quality of the produce.

Our waiter, Dan, and the hostess, Julia were everywhere, delivering plates of food and making sure all of the guests had what they needed. There is a nice relaxed atmosphere at Ad Hoc that goes a long way toward making the dining experience enjoyable.

 Once the salad plates were cleared we were presented with a heaping bowl of Buttermilk Fried Chicken served nice and hot with a family style bowl of duck fat potatoes, roasted bell peppers, savoy cabbage and shaved fennel slaw to complete the evening’s feast.

 The chicken was delicious, the potatoes very good, but we pretty much all agreed that the shaved fennel cole slaw was very bland. It wasn’t enough to put a real damper on the meal but it was a bit surprising that it lacked any flavor.

The cheese course was  interesting, a Cana de Cabra, which is a soft Spanish goat’s milk cheese, was accompanied with lola rosa, late summer melons and toasted pistachios and the salad-cheese combo was very good.

The meal was topped off with a tasty dessert.

Raspberries – n -Cream Sorbet with an elephant ear cookie. Great flavors on the sorbet, crisp and light cookie and the meal was complete. At $49.00 per person it’s a pretty good deal, especially for Napa.

I’d say we were three for three in the good dinner department with all six of us looking forward to the next one.