You’ll Find Me At on20


Happy Friday, everyone!  I didn’t get a lot of schoolwork done today, but I sure ate some delicious eats!  Starting with breakfast:

Chocolate brown and blueberry blue are such a nice color combination, dontcha think? Way back when, I actually though about chocolate brown and robin’s egg blue for our wedding colors, but as a red-loving girl I couldn’t leave out my favorite color!

Maddies and Bon had their annual vet appointment this morning. Remember dreading shots from the doctor when you were a little kid (or an adult, for that matter)? Well …

Both dogs trying desperately to get out of the vet's waiting room.

Bonnie sadly waiting for her turn:

Maddie was the first one out to the parking lot.

Who's walking who here?

I’m counting this as training for when we have kids. Except we won’t have leashes then.

We met our friends Henry and Rebecca for lunch at on20 in Hartford. This business-fancy restaurant is gorgeous, and the food is even more gorgeous! It occurred to me afterward that I should have taken pictures of the interior, but ah, well. Perhaps next time.

on20 has a prix-fixe 3-course lunch menu that’s a very reasonable price (I think they make more profit from special events). When I say 3-courses, I actually mean 8-courses, because they always have an amusé or two before and after each dish. You think I kid. Read on, skeptics.

I wish I remembered what everything is. I guess we’ll just have to gaze at the pretty food 🙂 I think this is a salmon on toast amusé?

Escargot cassoulet:

Anyone want to share?

An amusé of rabbit:

Look! An apricot!

A sous-vide egg with truffle and GOLD leaf (Peter was jealous of their perfect egg):

Yes, that's real gold leaf.

Perfect medium-rare salmon with mussels and morels:

Peter’s steamed pork buns were fantastic (I sneaked a bite).

His buns even came with a dipping bowl to clean his fingers!

A chocolate and passionfruit amusé:

A tasting of chocolate for dessert:

The smoothest, richest chocolate ice cream, ever.
Soft chocolate cake with a sprinkle of sea salt.
Gianduja with some kind of delicious cream on top.

A chocolate-almond amusé to finish:

As always, the kitchen at on20 surpassed themselves. It’s always a nice treat to eat here. The restaurant is quiet and the pace is relaxed (we were there from 1pm to 4pm) – not a bad way to spend Friday afternoon! I would recommend this restaurant if you are ever in the Hartford area. Even if you aren’t, it’s worth traveling to eat there.

Needless to say, I have not eaten dinner yet and I’m thinking tonight’s dinner will be late and light. 😛

A few things before I let you go:

(1) My sister D asked me about agave nectar awhile back (like, when I started this blog), specifically related to this article about how agave nectar is not as natural as people think and is in fact full of harmful chemicals. Although the article may prompt people to be mindful of what they eat and skeptical of wayward food claims, it doesn’t actually cite any peer-reviewed research to support their claims. I want to take this opportunity to say always check your sources and don’t believe everything you read on the internet. (But, you knew that, right?) The best thing you can do for you health concerning food is to keep yourself educated as much as possible with the latest real research in nutrition. If you need a guiding hand, that’s what registered dietitians are for.

For a great summary of the latest in agave nectar research, including fructose vs. glucose, check out Gina‘s posts here and here. In general, I would go for a piece of whole fruit over a sweetener any day.

Everything in moderation.

(2) On a similar topic, my sister D also sent me this article recently on high-fructose corn syrup (thanks, D!). Researchers at Princeton have demonstrated in trials that “rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained significantly more weight than those with access to table sugar, even when their overall caloric intake was the same.” The rats are getting fatter on HFCS, especially in the dangerous abdominal area. I have read some research into this area already, so these findings are not a surprise. Again, I want to emphasize being careful of what you read. These trials have been performed on RATS, not humans, and the concentrations used in experiments such as these are often much higher in proportion to the rat’s size than a human would typically consume. The best move for your overall health is to not overload on sweeteners in the first place. I’m interested to see what further research comes out of this lab.

Let’s say it again, everyone: Everything in moderation.

(3) Don’t forget to vote for your favorite apricot and pretzel recipe in this week’s Cook’s Mission contest! To vote, leave a comment for your favorite recipe. Incidentally, I have a recipe in the running (Secret Apricot Passion Pudding) … but of course, you should vote for the recipe you like best 🙂

Have a wonderful evening, everyone! Enjoy some good eats on me!

Q: What’s your favorite sweetener to use? I like topping my oatmeal with a dab of raspberry or apricot preserves – a ton of flavor with a little bit of sugar 🙂


  1. AMAZING eats!!!

    And thanks for the info. on agave nectar…there’s so much information out there, you really need to be careful to separate the academic evidence from the junk science! But it can still be confusing!

  2. I’m a maple syrup person – love it in my coffee especially!!!! And also to make blueberry compotes! I love the food run-down from ON20

  3. My dog hates the vet also. She goes crazy whenever we drive by it, let alone try to take her in. Their memory capacity always astounds me.

    This lunch looks fantastic! I don’t think I’ve ever seen an 8 course meal that I would want to eat more! Especially those pork buns. Moan!

    I just took a course on evidence-based medicine where the lecturers basically taught us to remember to really look at studies that are out there with a super critical eye. Being peer-reviewed is critical!

    I am a Stevia/Splenda person but in extreme moderation (only in my coffee and only a little bit). I just use sugar in baking…it’s not great but I figure for a once-a-week treat it’s fine. And I avoid HFCS like it’s the plague. That stuff is bad. Really bad.

  4. That chocolate looks delish! 😀

    I actually ended up voting for Mae – her muffins just wowed me – but I’ll be honest, I was really torn between her dish and yours. That pudding of yours looks delish!!! 🙂

    And thank you for the article on agave. I hadn’t seen that particular piece, but I did link to a couple articles in a recent post where I wrote about it:
    Agave: Why I Was Hesitant to Use It and Won’t Be Using it Anymore

    Should’ve followed my gut instinct and stayed away from agave!

    1. That’s really interesting, Michele – thanks for sharing! 🙂

  5. I voted for you!!!!!! (!!!!!!!!) 🙂 Even though they all looked good, I thought about which one I’d want to eat the most out of all of them, and your’s was definitely my top pick!

    What a lovely Friday lunch!! So fancy!! 🙂

    Thanks for all the great message of everything in moderation. I wholeheartedly agree! 🙂

  6. Those are gorgeous looking dishes, I love the dainty presentation 🙂 Personally, I try to avoid sweeteners. If I have to use something, I try to opt for something natural, like honey or maple syrup, although I find them a bit toooo sweet. Fruity things are always delicious 🙂

  7. That’s crazy about the study with the rats and HFCS. Kind of scary too because of how many things HFCS is and how 90% of the population doesn’t know or care to look what’s in their food and they just keep getting fatter by the minute!

    Thanks for the info on the study!

    My dog Eddie has his annual next week—he always freezes up once he gets in the room, I feel so bad for him!

  8. What an amazing lunch…8 courses! And every single one looks delicious. I love the great attention to presentation.

    I like to use a tiny bit of maple syrup but in general I just don’t eat sugar anymore. I kicked the habit!

  9. This restaurant looks incredible, I especially love the egg with truffles and gold leaf! My sweetener of choice is local honey…sweet and delicious and a little goes a long way. Plus it helps with allergies! 🙂

  10. That dinner looks amazing! My favorite sweetener is maple syrup, just love it.

    and about the shots, I think it is good training for when you have kids. I always feel so bad for my poor kiddos 🙁 I make Daddy hold them down and I sit in the corner and cry lol

    1. Aww, hehe 😛 I’m sure I’ll be the same way.

  11. Wow! Amazing eats you guys had there, I’m so jealous. This is why I love reading other people’s blogs, so I can live my life vicariously through theirs. Please continue taking me to awesome places like this teehee. Hope you’re having a great weekend!

  12. HOLY DELICIOUSNESS!! On20 made me starving! I’m getting my bum bum over to Hartford as soon as I can!
    Thanks for the information about agave and HFCS. I usually just use sugar,honey, or maple syrup. Sometimes agave. I tend to think that sugar is sugar essentially so I don’t discriminate. But I’m so intrigued by the HFCS finds!!

    1. That’s right, you’re just a hop, skip, jump away! 🙂 Let me know if you’re in the area!!

  13. Wow, your dinner looks delectable. Especially the salmon. I just came across your blog and was really interested to see your comment about agave syrup! I just posted about it today, and have never heard anything about it being unhealthy… I’ll have to do some research!! I totally agree with you about limiting sweeteners though. Beautiful blog.

    1. Thanks for the sweet words! 🙂

  14. oh wow great food and poor lil doggies mine is the same way at the vets
    thanks so much for visiting my blog


  15. thanks for the link to my post! You are so right, as an RD I get so sick of people telling me “I read this in a magazine and it said….”. I wish everyone would take your advise and not automatically assume everything they read is accurate. Looking for peer reviewed resources is so important, and if an article doesn’t site any, it’s bunk!

    This restaurant sounds amazing. The food looks so pretty, ALMOST too pretty to eat 🙂

  16. I never got on the ‘agave’ bandwagon. I didn’t really get what was so great about it in the first place.
    I do like honey and maple syrup. They’re my favourite sweeteners.

    …that restaurant looks so cool! I’m super jealous :S

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