Revel with a cause: Antonio treats Keisha!

Let me start by saying that when I was 17 I had the happy privilege of going to college at Western Washington University in beautiful Bellingham! One of the first people I met was Antonio E. He was my advisor and mentor for a scholarship program that I was a part of. The first time I saw him I was standing in the middle of campus in Red Square and he quite literally skipped across the way over to me and the person I was chatting with (Erin the co-advisor and teacher for the campus orientation class I was going to take with the other scholarship recipients). Since that day, Antonio and I have developed a great relationship – its foundation being moving toward success/graduation in my undergraduate education, and later a friendship based on our mutual love of one another, wine, food, traveling and our careers (which both center on higher education)! He’s everything I never knew I should expect in an advisor/mentor turned great friend!

With all that said, Antonio could not make my 26th birthday party (11/11/11) due to his work schedule. So he offered to treat me to dinner later in November. On the recommendation of the fabulous Sarah G (aka my boss), Antonio and I ventured to Revel in Fremont. Antonio arrived a few minutes before I did and he was enjoying a glass of red wine – a syrah I believe, but I honestly cannot remember as I had a sip of his wine, and I was unimpressed. By the time our server came back I decided on a white wine from Austria. The exact name is escaping me right now. But it was delish! Our conversation topics ranged from my graduate school applications and essays, the letter of recommendation he’s writing for me and his recent travels for both professional and personal reasons.


First, we ordered a salad. It was lovely, pretty and packed! Shrimp, bulgur, kale (btw I LOVE kale, especially when its cooked into a soup or another warm dish), dukkah, and tossed in a raisin vinaigrette. It was tasty! Fresh, light, slightly cooled. I am a fan of salad and seafood and this salad was very good – but it was by no means my favorite item of the night.

Next, we ordered a pancake. It is worth stopping to note before we started eating Antonio told me he wouldn’t be eating much as he attended a late afternoon potluck with students. Um yeah, I know Antonio. He’s a foodie, so I knew he would eat plenty! That’s also why we share food. Our next dish was a pancake filled with pork belly, kimichi, and bean sprouts. Chopped up, cooked in some type of oil – this could be dangerous! The flavor! The exact temperature when it came out on that little plate! It was ideal!! This was close to being my favorite dish, but then it was followed by...

The dumplings! Cooked in stages. Combining shrimp and bacon in a ball cooked with exactness, then enclosed in a dumpling for the finish! Topped with pickled ginger and cilantro. It came on a lovely serving dish with five excellent dumplings. 5/2 = 2.5 each. I believe sharing is caring! The dumplings were divine! They are served with four different sauces – only two of which I tried and loved – a spicy chili sauce and a soy garlic sauce. They added a welcome POP! to the dumplings! It was all so very good. My favorite dish by at least a mile.

As it was my birthday Antonio and I got a dessert. A slice of unimpressive cake. Hey, I’m just being honest. I am glad I had a second glass of that cool, crisp wine from Austria because the dessert was not the truth. Sad.

But the rest of the food was so very tasty! Hence I will overlook the dessert situation. Also, any time spent with the amazing Antonio is time well spent. 

Do you want some urban-style Korean comfort food?