Mildred's Big City Food is all about sustainable dining and it shows in the restaurant's delicious food and seasonal menu. Executive Chef Bert Gill takes great care to find the freshest ingredients for his succulent dishes, while still supporting Gainesville's farmers. Small yet classy, Mildred's is perfect for an intimate Sunday date night. We were one of three couples enjoying the dining room's modern aesthetic. My favorite part of the decor were the oxidized copper seashells adorning the walls.
Out of all the appetizers, the Mussel Fritters were the obvious choice. Much like conch fritters, the mussels were battered and deep fried to perfection. The twist? Bite size morsels of bacon added a smokey flavor to the traditionally seafood based snack.
Red Snapper with Pumpkin and Sausage
I was immediately intrigued by the pairing of Red Snapper, Pumpkin and Sausage and definitely wasn't disappointed when the dish came out. The sear on the snapper was brown and crisp, while the chunks of pumpkin gave the dish a playful orange color. The sausage added a hearty texture to the buttery filet of fish and each bite was like a harvest of flavor.
Salmon with Artichoke Hearts & Onions
My date is a sucker for salmon, so the Salmon with Artichoke Hearts and Onions was his go-to dish. Plated on a bed of onions and artichoke hearts, the salmon flaked away with each touch of the fork. His favorite part was the creamy sauce. Sort of like a hollandaise, he says it made the already rich salmon taste even better.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake
I almost turned down getting dessert and I'm oh-so-glad I didn't. This decadent piece of Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake immediately put me into a sugar coma. The combination of chocolate and peanut butter was just right, while the Reese's cup on top proved to be a nice touch. It was a little too rich to finish all at once, but you better believe I raided the fridge for a chocolatey midnight snack.
Okay, I know I'm not Italian ... BUT my grandmother does have a darn good recipe for manicotti. Last week, I made two big trays of the cheesy-tomato goodness and received rave reviews. Here's the recipe so you can wow your friends, too:
1 Box Lasagna Noodles
1 Large Onion
2 Medium Squash
4 Cloves of Garlic
1 Large Tub of Riccotta Cheese
1 Large Can of Ragu (Traditional flavor)
1 Medium Can Tomato Paste
8 oz Mozzarella Cheese
A Food Processor
2 Pyrex or Disposable Pans
1. Finely chop the entire onion and four cloves of garlic. Saute on medium heat until clear.
2. While the onion is cooking, cut both squashes and put them in the food processor. Add to the onion/garlic mixture.
3. Pour the tomato sauce into a large pot and put on medium heat.
4. Once the onion/garlic/squash has cooked down a little, add it to the tomato sauce. Stir.
5. Add in the can of tomato paste. Rinse the can of paste and fill it with water. Add to the simmering sauce mixture.
6. Add in about 1 Tbsp worcestershire sauce and salt to taste.
7. Cook for about 45 minutes.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cook whole box of lasagna noodles according to directions on box.
3. Coat bottom of one pan with a layer of sauce.
4. Strain noodles. Fill each noodle with a spoonful of ricotta cheese and roll.
5. Place rolled noodle in pan with seam down.
6. Continue until entire tray is full.
7. Add another layer of sauce and set pan aside.
8. Repeat all steps in second pan.
Once both pans are done, cover them with tinfoil and put in the oven for about 40 minutes. After, take the tin foil off and sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top. Put back into the oven for about 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
Once finished, let the manacotti sit out and cool for about 30 minutes. Your manacotti will be runny if you skip this step.