Feb 16, 2012

A Commoner Reviews American Harvest Eatery, Springfield, Ill.

This is my second straight restaurant-related blog about a place to dine that would normally be out of a commoner’s price range.  Go figure.  But in both instances, a special occasion was involved.  As fate would have it, I was blessed by the company of a mysterious and exotic Gypsy for Valentine’s Day dinner at American Harvest Eatery. 
First, a little about the restaurant for the uninitiated or those who aren’t from the Land of Lincoln.  The concept of American Harvest is to showcase locally and regionally grown food as much as possible and incorporate it into a fine dining experience.  The focus is on fresh ingredients from locally owned and family operated farms.  And, the menu features some creative spins on classic dishes. 

Feb 8, 2012

A Commoner Reviews Muriel’s, New Orleans

It’s well into February, and the two big Mardi Gras 2012 weekends are fast approaching.  For the first time in about eight years I will not be hosting a Mardi Gras party to commemorate it, nor am I able to make it back to my favorite city to celebrate.  So, one way I’ve been getting my Mardi Gras fix is through the Facebook updates provided by Muriel’s, an outstanding restaurant nested on the corner of Chartres and St. Ann, diagonally across the street from Jackson Square. 

A commoner dines at Baumgartner’s Cheese Store and Tavern, Monroe, Wis.

I wasn’t sure a place existed that could be the perfect representation of Wisconsin life, but then I traveled through Monroe, Wis., one week...