Wednesday, March 31, 2010

RauDZ: A Vacation in Under Three Hours

Hola amigos!!!

Thanks for all your well wishes on my last post and on twitter; they really warmed this bloggies heart! Thankfully I’m feeling heaps better and ready to get back to my regular schedule – both blogging wise and with P90X. But first I owe you another recap . . .

 

“Operation Bring it!” – Day 6 – March 26th, 2010

Today’s workout was devoted to KempoX or what Tony Horton seems to think is by far the most fun of the workouts. At first I was a little hesitant because I didn’t know what to expect.

What greeted me was a one hour workout full of punching and, in the latter parts, kicks. The punching part honestly felt a bit like I was training to be a boxer. Initially I was a bit uncoordinated but as the hour wore on I found myself getting into the sequences (jab, elbow, upper cut, hook . . . repeat!) and really enjoying the workout. I even yelled when Tony told me to yell. BTW, the first time I yelled Daisy came running down the stairs to see what was wrong. lol Funny puppy!

The kicks were a big part of the second part of the workout and although I think they’re effective you have to be really careful not to hyperextend your legs. It would be really easy to end up seriously hurt (I have a cousin that totally blew her knee doing Tae-Bo back in the day).

This workout is marketed as cardio and although it does get you sweating I found it significantly less strenuous than the PlyoX DVD. Overall I think it’s a great way to wind down the week but I wouldn’t recommend it as a replacement to a run.

And that was the end of week one of “Operation Bring it!” How do I feel?

Well I definitely noticed I was sleeping really soundly. I hit my bed like a ton of bricks and woke up feeling really well rested every morning. Major bonus!

On the eating front, I’m hungry. All. The. Time. Although I’ve been trying to up my protein intake (protein shakes are your friend and mine!) I don’t think it’s been enough. The key will probably be eating a lot of small meals throughout the day. That will be a big departure from my three meals a day style but I rather not feel ravenous all the time.

Body wise I can totally feel the difference. I know it’s only been a week but I can feel myself getting stronger and I love it!!! Truth is, my muscle strength never really went away but I definitely lost definition. And I can’t wait to have it back!!! I’ve also lost weight which makes my “I have to look awesome in a wedding dress” self really psyched!!!

I’m excited for week two!!!!

 

A Vacation in Under Three Hours

Right after the Olympics I was fortunate enough to visit Okanagan Wine Country. Although I was technically there for work purposes I did some serious exploring with the Fiancé after hours!

One of the things I was most looking forward to was enjoying Kelowna’s culinary delights! While I was working the Fiancé (who had some time off) was busy enjoying the city and heard of a restaurant that he thought I would love! And so we made a bee-line there for dinner. Enter RauDZ.

Isn't life delicious!!!

So very close to the Chef - great table

Our view

Sometimes you're the windshield . . .

One look at the place and I knew it had basically been made with me in mind!!! The atmosphere was funky – modern and elegant yet unpretentious (funky quotes anyone?). And the kitchen was OPEN!!! Cooking as theatre!!! I LOVED it!!!! We were fortunate enough to be seated in a table for two right beside the kitchen. It was as close to a Chef’s Table as I’ve ever gotten. I hadn’t even cracked the menu and I was in heaven.

The Fiancé did a great job of choosing the restaurant!! It was when he heard the Chef’s philosophy he knew it would be my kind of restaurant: “Support local, buy local, eat and drink local.” It makes sense given that RauDZ is blessed to be located in the heart of the Okanagan Valley – home to wineries, orchards, farms, and ranchland. A veritable smorgasbord of foodie delights!

Cappuccino made of crab!!!

It makes me squeal with delight

For appetizer the Fiancé and I decided to share one of the Chef’s signature dishes, Crab Cappuccino. Let’s take a minute to think about it . . . cappuccino! With Crab!!!!! lol The dish came in an oversized cup full of the creamiest and smoothest Dungeness crab bisque known to man. That was all topped off with a milk foam and caviar. In the spoons was an oil that tasted perfectly delightful. I don’t know what it was exactly but it was amazing.

The very reasonably priced menu

Yum indeed!

The inside of my sandwhich

Steak perfection

For the main course I had RauDZ version of a Salmon BLT – which had a lovely pancetta piece, a perfectly cooked piece of salmon, a lovely light sauce, all on a black fig and anise toast. Beside the BLT was a pickled cucumber salad (very similar to one I had and loved in Stockholm) and the yummiest french fries ever. Not a hint of grease. Just perfection!!! Overall I really enjoyed my dish although I would have liked a little less bread as I felt it took away from the delicate taste of the salmon. Having said that, the bread was really wonderful.

And then I had some of the Fiancé's dish (!!!). There are no words. It was amazing. The Chef somehow managed to take a staple steak house meal (steak with gravy, roasted veggies and potatoes in a cheesy sauce) and make it marvelous. I kept on dipping my french fries in the Fiancé's sauce whilst wishing I had order the steak instead. I know it wasn’t a particularly light meal choice but it was worth every calorie.

Next came dessert – as I’ve mentioned before I am terribly allergic to real vanilla. This can make ordering dessert in a fine restaurant quite trying. Most Chefs seem to be drawn to real vanilla – even when the dessert itself is chocolate or fruit-based the sauces are all about the vanilla. Knowing the dilemma I was in our waitress (who was incredibly helpful and friendly) volunteered to ask the Chef what I could eat. Since we were seated so close to the kitchen we saw when she asked. And also saw when his eyes bulged out and he shook his head in a half-stumped half-stressed expression!!! lol It caught us so off guard that we (Fiancé et moi) burst out laughing. But boy did the Chef come through!

A little Chocolate now and then doesn't hurt

The most delightful sorbet I ever did taste!

The dessert selections at this restaurant were priced at $4 each and billed as very small tastes. This was specifically designed so that diners could choose various small deserts to try. I ordered the sorbet and the Fiancé decided to skip the dessert. But the Chef (seeing that we were a table of two) sent out a huge helping so the Fiancé could have some too! The attention to customer service at RauDZ was beyond anything I had ever experienced!

And the taste? Oh wow. The sorbet tasted like the freshest of fruits, the sauce accented the wonderful flavours, the wafer was perfectly thin, and the deep fried (yet still fresh) mint leaf was inventive. I adored the appetizer, I loved my main dish, I coveted the Fiancé's meal, but the dessert was the cherry on top of my perfect meal sundae. I never imagined that a humble sorbet could make me so happy. It was while I was eating this dessert that I realized I had completely forgotten about the outside world. I completely forgot I was in the city for work. It was just the two of us, a kitchen crew that had mastered the Art of fine dining, and the flavours in my mouth. It was honestly like being on vacation. In less than three hours no less.

Perfection.

The glorious view!

RauDZ - where to find them

It's a Small World Afterall

As if the evening couldn’t be more perfect, our (very reasonable) bill was accompanied by a choice of lollipops made in the kitchen of the restaurant. I chose the peach and it tasted like summer. Honest to goodness – pure summer. It was the most incredible thing I’ve ever had. In fact I gushed about it to anyone that would listen.

In my life there have been memorable meals. My first Michelin starred restaurant experience in Paris (Le Violon D’Ingres), breakfast in a packed diner in Sausalito, the time I tasted oysters in Saint Malo, the fresh rolls at my first East Coast Lobster Supper . . . and now there will be my meal at RauDZ. The one that made me forget about everything else. The one that realized my good food ideals. The one that elevated cooking as theatre to it’s rightful place. The one that turned the humble lollipop into a gourmet treat.

The one that still makes me smile.

5 comments:

Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

Oh wow! Looks AMAZING! I will definitely be trying that place out when I'm in Kelowna next!!

建佑承蘋 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
A Toronto girl out West said...

Amber,

you'll love it!!! In fact I can't wait until the next time I'm in the area and can eat there again!!!

Marathon Maritza said...

Great job on your workouts! And that's the thing about working out...hungry all the time!

That restaurant looks amazing! I need to stop reading your blog while I'm at work - you make me starve all the time! MMMMMMMmmmmmm!

A Toronto girl out West said...

Maritza,

Gracias prima!! And you're right - the hunger monster is RAGING!