Thursday, October 27, 2011

Tasted ~ Ciao Bella


I have a theory. If it takes the chef over 30 seconds and several breaths to describe his carefully prepared dish, it’s probably going to be incredible. In fact, it might even cause a culinary explosion in every single one of your taste buds. One of my favorite dishes of the evening that sparked this theory indeed had the longest description, so lengthy I had to hear it twice and slowly to get it all down. Here’s the complete description given to me and Christopher by Chef Branon Mason: Chilled orzo pasta salad tossed with the house dressing, baby greens, red onions, roma tomatoes, black olives, feta cheese, and baby heirloom tomatoes. (Explosions definitely erupted.)

To say our meal at Ciao Bella is one of the best we can remember is not an exaggeration. I also say this not because our fine dining experiences have dramatically decreased due to financial problems (that’s a whole other story), but let’s just say I’m officially tired of eating Taco Bell Nacho Supremes when I go out. Inventive dishes using all fresh ingredients, I would never grow tired of eating. Chef Branon, admittedly young in the business but studying under executive chef Jonathan Steenerson, proved there’s nothing more valuable to the restaurant’s vitality than communicating his talent and love of food through his dishes. Hopefully, I was able to translate this as well through the photographs as you may notice subtle but thought out details such as the bowl lined with basil pesto in the duck confit & gnocchi dish. As a special, the protein paired with the gnocchi may also be prepared with Kobe beef depending on what night you dine. Other ingredients in this dish include roasted portabella mushrooms, goat cheese, and pine nuts in a veal reduction demiglaze.

The other special to the menu as beautifully presented to us were the pan-seared diver scallops with pomegranate reduction, toasted almonds, and mandarin oranges. Oh so perfectly cooked and dressed, scallops immediately jumped from my list of least favorite seafood to the top of my food list that I would wrestle Christopher over to get the last bite.

Lastly, we ended the somewhat epic meal with none other than my all time favorite dessert – tiramisu. Tiramisu, in general, is my perfect dessert – light, creamy, a bit of chocolate, a bit of vanilla, and a bit of coffee. Ciao Bella’s version had the perfect combination of all these things and the perfect balance of sweetness. Good thing Christopher knew to stay clear of my path to this plate. I would’ve pulled out my best wrestling moves to get the last bite of this tiramisu.










Thanks so much Ciao Bella for the great meal. Special thanks to Kristen Waddell and Chef Branon and our server April.

Ciao Bella Italian Grill
565 Erin Drive
Memphis, TN 38117
Ph +1.901.205.2500

Web / Twitter

Ciao Bella Italian Grill on Urbanspoon

Photos by Sophorn.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Becky - 9 Months { Nikon F Film }


Gorgeous momma-to-be Becky is so ready to meet her baby girl (baby name is top secret so some of the shots with the name won't be posted) I can't wait to meet her. Thanks Becky for letting me convince you to take these big belly shots you dreaded.






Film Photos by Sophorn. Kodak 800iso with some post edits.

Friday, October 21, 2011

luvmud [ seen ] upclose


I'm not sure I'll have time to post more luvmud photos anytime soon but here's one significant shot I took right before my face and camera were drenched with mud. See more photos on [ seen ] memphis that should help you experience much more muddiness.


Photo by Sophorn.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Little Black Dress Event 2011 / Upcoming Upscale Garage Sale











I recently helped Dress for Success Memphis with a fundraiser called the Little Black Dress Event that in essence was a fashion preview party for their bigger fundraiser this weekend - The Upscale Garage Sale. Some of the items modeled in the fashion show are new name brand items donated from upscale boutiques in Memphis that can be purchased this weekend for a steal. For the first time this year, the Upscale Garage Sale will be held during the RiverArts Fest in the South Main Arts District. See details below.

6th Annual Upscale Garage Sale
Friday / 4pm - 7pm
Saturday / 8am - 6pm
MPact Memphis / 506 S. Main St.

Food & Wine photo captions: Various fare from Las Delicias, Ciao Bella, Felicia Suzanne's, Muddy's, Sweet Grass, and Quality Wine & Liquors.

Andrea Fenise of Style Junkie effortlessly organized and styled the fashion show. Below are my favorite LBD's by several lovely attendees.



Special Thanks to Our Sponsors

~ Little Black Dress Event ~

Wal-Mart, Verizon Wireless, Quality Wines & Liquors, Association of Women Attorneys, Mednikow, Joseph, Peria, Hilton Memphis, Harrah’s, Red Birds, Malco, L' Ecole, Sekisui Restaurants, Turkoyz, Fire Museum, James Davis, Runway, Strut, Charms, Joseph, Peria, K’Presha, 103.5, NewsTalk Radio, 4 Memphis, Felicia Suzanne’s, Interim, Mosa, Lenny’s, Muddy’s, Wing Factory, Sweet Grass.


~ Upscale Garage Sale ~

Wal-Mart, Verizon Wireless, Peria, Cummins Mid-South, James Davis, Le Chic, Ewing Moving and Storage, PODS, Charm Boutique, Mpact Memphis, and Neighborhood Christian Center.

Dress for Success Memphis
Facebook / Twitter

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Toutes Directions {Single Cover Art}

Here's the final artwork I designed for Tristan's second single off his album "Name It What You Want."  The idea was based off the song's message "Either way you go, you'll get there." Thus, my inspiration was taken from road signs and maps with a French building placed multi-directionally as if it were a compass.  See a live performance of the song below.



Special thanks to Polina Kholodova for use of the Parisian photo. See her amazing photography portfolio here.

Monday, October 17, 2011

sweet kisses {Sneak Peek}


I had a jam packed weekend that included a cute photo shoot for stylist and designer Andrea Fenise for her new girl's clothing line called sweet kisses. The photo above is literally the first one I pulled, so surprised I caught the girls looking so sweet after doing so much chasing them around. Look for her new website to shop online soon. / Behind the scenes photo below of Andrea putting the girls in a good mood for the shoot. Love her!


Photos taken at the Mid-South Corn Maze near the Agricenter. They were so accommodating. Thanks so much to them.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tasted ~ The Slider Inn


The owner of downtown’s Bardog Tavern just brought a whole new coolness to midtown. Aldo DeMartino, who recently leased this former bar and restaurant space, has proven not just any restaurant can liven up this somewhat formerly sad spot near the corner of Peabody and Cooper. Yes, truly a dream location for a business but it takes a few other design related things to express the personality that attracts customers. (See photo of the previous restaurant here.)

First giving credit to the incredible food and concept hopefully not fated to mere trendiness, the Slider Inn is just the cool place to be; eating and drinking completes the stay. The patio, now one of the best patios in midtown, existed in structure but lacked a key element in creating atmosphere – lighting. The strung cafĂ© lights provide both the ambiance and visual intimacy that’ll remind you of other wonderful restaurants you’ve seen around the world. For me, it reminded me of restaurants in cities like Austin or Philadelphia I’ve visited. The super graphic signage crowning the building does more for the personality of the place than you’d expect. Is it just me being a graphic design geek for choosing to eat there confident the food would be as carefully considered because of the huge neon letters? Maybe so, but I was right.

Here’s what we tasted with favorites marked with an asterick*:
~Veggae Reggae Slider / White American and Swiss Cheese, Tomato, Caramelized Onions, Mushroom, Jamaican Relish, Avocado, and Spicy Mayo.*
~Bleu Cheese & Fried Onion Slider / Ground Beef Patty with warm bleu cheese and fried onions.*
~Potato Salad*
~House Salad with Avocado topping

I have to note that for some unexplained reason before trying their sliders, I was absolutely bored with eating burgers. So I guess it’s a true testament that I’m craving another slider from Slider Inn. Other than the slider size being more compatible to my intake level, the taste and denser quality of the bread won me over. Just as much as the signage.






The Slider Inn
2117 Peabody Ave
Memphis, TN 38104
ph +1.901.725.1155

Twitter / Facebook

Slider Inn on Urbanspoon
Photos by Sophorn.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

luvmud 5k 2011 { Day 1 }







Here are a few shots from day 1 of the luvmud 5k benefiting Habitat for Hope. Come out right now to register to run; eat from the food trucks including YoLo, Fuel, and A Square Meal on Wheels; then watch everyone get muddy (including the spectators on the side lines).

Ready, set, go!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Photos by Sophorn. All rights reserved.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Guest Music Mix {Allison}


Architecture is a tough field to be in right now, and nothing pains me more to see great talent unused or move away from Memphis.  Thankfully though, my friend Allison just got promising work that’ll keep her from moving away. We would have missed her, not just because she’s a great upstairs renter, but because she's a good friend, and Atticus would have probably cried over it because he would have lost his favorite babysitter.

Although Atticus would certainly give glowing recommendations of Allison’s babysitting skills to all his friends, we’re glad for her she can start using her architectural skills again. Allison, as a licensed architect, has not only earned a degree in architecture but a Masters in anthropology as well – a combination that excites me since I don’t think architecture successfully exists or can function purposefully without the examination of the social being and human cultures. She is currently working, on various levels, with P|K|M Architects, Design500, and United Housing Inc. This week I’m excited to have her pick some motivating songs for our week.

Enjoy Allison’s grooving music mix listed below with the band name next to each day along with her song commentary. To find out what song she's selected, visit the sidebar music player each day. Thanks Allison!

//

Songs that have at one point or another helped me get going in the morning.

M / Amy Lavere / Hopefully you finished all your errands over the weekend, such as laundry, and are ready to start the week.

T / Nicole Willis and the Soul Investigators / It is still not Thursday, so keep reachin'.

W/ Richard Cheese Covers The Beastie Boys / A smooth way to start your Wednesday. Lounge music at its finest. Picking out just one was difficult.

TH / Pixies / I think the song title says it all.

F / Wugazi - Mash-up of Wu-Tang Clan and Fugazi / Flashback to high school. Have a great weekend!
Related Posts with Thumbnails