Restaurant Week Dinner: Roasted, Stuffed & Baked!

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It’s restaurant week in Des Moines!

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Participating restaurants offer 3-course meals at a set price, giving people the opportunity to sample fare from nicer restaurants in the area, at a reduced rate.

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Ben and I knew we wanted to get it on the action, but which restaurant would we choose?!

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Somehow I got charged with making the choice and, after much internal debate, I took a chance on Azalea.

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Azalea serves contemporary Southern cuisine and their restaurant week menu featured a shoulder tender steak I knew Ben would love, and banana bread pudding I knew I would enjoy! ;)

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We ordered up and sipped on some bevs while we checked the place out. The decor was swanky but uber cozy too – kind of reminded me of Emeril’s NOLA in New Orleans!

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First up was our appetizer, Shrimp Bisque. Thick and creamy with a hint of nutmeg or cinnamon – couldn’t tell. The plump, roasted shrimp was to DIE. Perfectly cooked.

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They served us homemade Rosemary Garlic Focaccia Bread with our soup.

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Made onsite, daily, I was obsessed with the salty, garlicky crust. Two pieces + another crust, obsessed. ;)  

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Onto the entrees!!! Here’s the thing – I wanted some steak, but I also wanted to get in on the aged cheddar grits that came under the stuffed pork chop.  

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Solution? Pork chop for her, steak for him. SO GLAD I got the chop, because not only were the grits absurdly cheesy and creamy, but the pork chop, stuffed with apples, onions, raisins, bacon & pecans was ah-may-zing. Amazing! The smoky, sweet & spicy bacon bourbon sauce really took it over the top. I know.

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Here’s Ben’s shoulder tender steak served on top of roasted potatoes laced with a buttery gravy.

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PERFectly cooked!

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Now the piece de resistance – Baked Banana Bread Pudding!!!!

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I MUST figure out how to recreate this creamy bread pudding with a peanut brittle tuile cookie, and salty-sweet caramel drizzle. Un real. Oh, and it was also devoid of the standard, icky nuts and raisins that bread pudding usually comes laced with. I’ll take this straight up version any day!!!

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It’s always refreshing to eat at a restaurant where the chefs REALLY know what they’re doing, you know? Such a treat!!!! 

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Now we are exhausted and full of bread pudding…TTC (time to crash)!

From our happy bellies – goodnight!

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Have you ever participated in a restaurant week?

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