Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Culinary World Tour: Barbados!

Over Memorial Day Weekend I surprised Travis with an overnight getaway to Rockford, in celebration of the end of school and his birthday. We kicked things off Saturday morning with hiking at Rock Cut State Park, followed by a picnic lunch on the lawn overlooking one of the park's two lakes. We did a little more hiking after that, then drove into downtown Rockford to check things out. As it turns out, downtown Rockford is a rather forlorn place on the weekends. It felt dead and deserted. We walked around a bit, but the heat of the and lack of life on the streets soon compelled us to head to the hotel for some rest before getting clean and dressed up for dinner.

The restaurant I chose for dinner was another stop on our culinary tour around the world: Barbados. Austrian-born Josef Schwaiger opened the restaurant in 2005. Josef worked all over the world (Austria, London, Germany, Switzerland, and Africa) until finally settling in Barbados, which he has called home for over 20 years. He owns and operates three restaurants in Barbados in addition to the restaurant in Rockford, which is his first establishment in the U.S. I have no idea why he chose Rockford, of all places, but I'm sure glad we found his restaurant there! Travis and I have shared some very fine meals thus far in our relationship, and our experience at Josef's ranks right up there among the contenders for top dining experience. Granted, what we had for dinner is probably far from typical fare in Barbados, but given that Barbados is in the restaurant's name, and Travis did order the one thing on the menu that had "Barbadian" in the name (being the Barbadian Rum Punch, with which he is pictured below), I think we can check Barbados off our list. 

In addition to incredible taste, the dishes were also beautifully presented. I tried to discreetly snap photos of each dish, capturing them the best I could in low lighting without flash. Here's our meal:
My berry mojito and the appetizer of oysters on a half shell, which Travis had all to himself. 
I don't eat little bodies served in their home.
My baby greens salad with toasted pecans, warm goat cheese croutons, and blueberry vinaigrette.
Best. Croutons. Ever. 
My entree: Chilean Sea Bass
Travis' entree: Salmon
Dessert: dark chocolate mousse with chocolate ice cream and truffles

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