We headed back over to Mother’s in Westchase for Brunch today. They were pretty crowded by 11:30am, but we were able to get a table inside without a wait. They have a brunch menu on Saturday & Sunday along with their regular lunch menu. Loren went for the mahi sandwich.
He got the mahi blackened and said the fish was good. The bun to fish ratio was a bit off with way more bread than he needed for the size of the fish. The fries were nice & crunchy too. I tried the crab benedict off of the brunch menu.
I wouldn’t order it again. The crab was like an afterthought; a relatively small amount scattered haphazardly over the top. But, it was the hollandaise sauce that actually ruined it for me. It had a sharp metallic taste to it. It either didn’t have enough butter or too much lemon or something. Whatever it’s downfall, it did not live up to what a good hollandaise sauce should be. Total bill was $28.
12227 W Linebaugh Ave
Tonight we went over to La Trattoria Da Gaetano in Dunedin for dinner. This is one of those places that makes you feel like you’ve walked into an Italian Grandma’s kitchen. From the pictures on the walls to the red & white checkerboard tables, it just has old world Italy written all over it. If you’ve never been here, it’s a little odd in that they don’t have a menu. First, they drop off bread at the table and then for the appetizers, they bring over what’s available that day. Tonight there were artichokes, stuffed mushrooms, and cheese stuffed rollatini. We got a couple of mushrooms and split the rollatini so we’d have room for our entrees.
Everything’s made fresh that day. I could have eaten a few of each and not thought twice about it. Once you finished up your appetizers, they come around with a cart of proteins and list off all of the different ways they can cook them. They’ll pretty much accommodate whatever you want. Surf or turf, they have ways to cook all of it. I come here specifically for the amaretto cream sauce with crab and pasta.
It’s all about the sauce for me. It has one of those flavors that makes my tastebuds sing. The sauce is a bit on the sweet side and goes perfectly with crab and pasta. I all but lick the bowl. Loren went for a NY strip steak with garlic and a side of spaghetti.
He said the steak was tender and there was plenty of garlic on top. It’s a simple dish, done right. We ordered the ricotta cheesecake for dessert.
It’s not a smooth and creamy cheesecake and honestly, not one of my favorites. It’s dense and just doesn’t have the right mouth-feel to me. Otherwise, though, it was an enjoyable meal. Total bill with a drink was $69.
La Trattoria Da Gaetano
2152 Main St
The Little Lamb Gastropub recently opened up in the shopping center on the corner of McMullen Booth & Enterprise in the space where Laziz Indian Restaurant used to be. It’s a small space with about 10 tables as well as bar stools around the open kitchen. We got there early which was good because by the time we left, there were people occupying all of the open space waiting for a table.
We started off with the poutine, which is basically fries, cheese curds & gravy with a sprinkling of chives.
The fries themselves were cooked & salted well, but I thought the gravy lacked any flavor. The first cheese curd I grabbed from the top was still cold, but the ones further inside were ooey and gooey as melted cheese should be. We finished off the poutine and for his entree, Loren chose the short ribs.
It was a boneless piece of meat, well seasoned on a Celeriac puree. The meat was very tender and the puree gave the dish a unique flavor. He ate every last bite of it, but commented that perhaps a few mushrooms would have been a nice addition. I decided to try the lamb shank.
The lamb shank was huge and also fall off the bone tender. The menu said roasted root vegetables, but they seemed more boiled than roasted to me. Though cooked well, I found the dish lacking in flavor and texture. The lamb tasted like, well… lamb, which isn’t a bad thing, but it was completely one note. The veggies, red & purple potatoes and carrots, didn’t taste seasoned at all and there simply wasn’t anything interesting about the dish to tempt my tastebuds and keep them interested. We tried the s’mores tart for dessert.
It was a graham cracker crust with a thick chocolate ganache filling and burnt espresso marshmallows. The marshmallows were a bit too dark for me, but Loren liked them. The little crisps on top had an interesting flavor. I thought it was lemony, but I think it was ginger. The wait staff was friendly and the food was quick to the table, but nothing really wow’d me enough to immediately think we need to return. As people came in waiting for tables, the room started to get loud and crowded. Total bill with a drink was $60.
Little Lamb Gastropub
2475 N. McMullen Booth Rd
One of the reasons we enjoy going to Craft Street Kitchen is you never know what sort of tasty concoction will be on the menu. They change the specials board and brunch menu often and there’s always something new & yummy to try. Tonight’s new addition was Aunt Sally’s Drunken Chicken.
Half a chicken with potatoes, carrots & mushrooms in a delicious red wine sauce. The veggies were all perfectly cooked and the chicken was tender. There was more than enough food there for two meals, aka, lunch tomorrow. Loren went with the shrimp & grits which is on the regular menu.
While not spicy overall, the sausage has a nice kick to it. The shrimp are cooked just right and the grits and sauce have a tasty flavor to them. For $40, it was a very filling and enjoyable meal.
Craft Street Kitchen and Drinks
3153 Curlew Rd
We stopped by Mother’s in Westchase for lunch today. They have an outside patio and the weather was perfect for it today. The menu had some interesting choices and we started off with the smokey Chipotle Gouda mac & cheese bites.
These were tasty. Crispy on the outside, cheesy & gooey on the inside and the cheese sauce on the side had lots of flavor. A little smokey with crispy Pancetta. $8 for 4 of them seemed a little high to me, especially since I could have eaten a dozen and not thought twice about it. For his entree, Loren got their grilled chicken sandwich with fries.
He was a happy camper. It had arugula, tomato, pepper jack cheese, bacon and an avocado ranch sauce. The chicken was very tender and tasty. I went for their Citrus Duck Flatbread.
It’s a rare occurrence when I like every single ingredient in a dish. This flatbread was perfect for me. The flatbread itself was thin & crispy with duck confit, goat cheese, Mandarin oranges, Asian pears, and a Ponzu reduction. It was delicious. All of the flavors blended together just right. Total bill with a drink was $36. The food and service were both great and we’ll definitely be back to try some other things on the menu.
12227 W Linebaugh Ave