Eats around town

March 21, 2016 § Leave a comment

Blue Ribbon Sushi at Hudson Eats at Brookfield Place

Favorite dishes – bombolotti all’Amatriciana (sauce of spicy tomato and guanciale) and roasted sunchokes with almonds and brown butter – at Maialino during a leisurely lunch while between jobs

Introducing Laura to Toro‘s grilled corn and bone marrow (look at those gorgeous colors!)

Sadelle‘s pick up (sesame bagel with smoked Scottish salmon, chive cream cheese, red onion, tomato, capers). I was obsessed with their bagels for a while but now the lines have gotten too long and I’m pretty sure they upped their prices.

Matcha latte at Chalait – gorgeously prepared but not sure I’ll be getting on the matcha trend train any time soon

Spaghetti alla vongole at Rafele Ristorante, my parents’ favorite restaurant whenever they come to visit (though we introduced them to OTTO the last time they were here so now they may have a new favorite Italian place)

Lovely Sunday brunch with Bohee at the beautiful Untitled at the Whitney

Booze-free dinner at Balthazar with Cindy (clearly not skimping on French fries though)

Delicious and super spicy spread at Pok Pok lunch (finally tried it after years of wanting to go) with Wes

More Sadelle’s – this time dining in with the full-on smoked fish tower and endless bagels (much better than just picking up)

The tasting menu at Semilla

December 12, 2015 § 1 Comment

Had a really lovely and vegetable-heavy dinner at the intimate, 18-seat Semilla in Brooklyn (yes, I traveled all the way out to BK) a few months back that surprised and lived up to all of the hype it’s been receiving since it opened. 10 courses with beverage pairings in an intimate setting with friendly, open staff and good Cahill company.

Tomato gazpacho with peaches, rat tail radishes and black olives paired with Cremant d’Alsace, Dirler-Cade, 2012 from Alsace, France. I’d just been telling Chris and Wes that I don’t really like fruit in savory dishes but this cold soup proved me wrong. So flavorful and clean. I also don’t like olives that much and was crazy about them in this dish.

Tomato salad with cucumbers and scallops and stuffed tomato with ricotta and basil with Dupont cidre, bouche brut from Normandy, France. I didn’t get a photo of the cute stuffed tomato but it was pure summer in a bowl and one of the most memorable bites of the night.

Sweet corn chawanmushi with matsutake mushrooms with Grimm, Rainbow Dome, from New York. Perfect balance of sweet and richness, with lots of umami and unctuousness.

Roasted eggplant with pepper leaves and grapes with Gamay, Les Chamins de Traverse, Bachelard, 2013, from Beaujolais, France. The most distinct characteristic of this course was the heavy smoke.

Bread course of Anson Mill’s grits sourdough with Cowbella butter and buttermilk…which I could not stop eating. Buttermilk with butter is a genius idea.

Tomato tart with Feints Cuvee Zero, Ruth Lewandowski, 2013, California/Utah. Also deceivingly simple but everyone really loved this dish. I have no idea what was in the crust but it reminded me of a Cheez-it (my favorite childhood snack) and was kind of mind-boggling to have it paired with floral shiso.

Lobster mushrooms with corn and mole with Chenin Blanc, Els Bassots, Escoda Sanahuja, 2013, Conca de Barbera, Spain.

Another reminder of childhood – peaches, saffron & bitter almond. Growing up in a Chinese family, the only dessert we’d ever serve (other than straight up fruit) was almond jello that came in a packet served with fruit cocktail. Think of this as a highly refined, delicious version.

Tarragon profiterole with wild blueberry and buttermilk with Chinato Americano, Vergano, from Piemonte, Italy. To be honest, I wasn’t crazy about the tarragon/anise-y element but it was still a nice end to a meal that surpassed expectations and showed how creative cooking with vegetables can be (we really did not miss the meat at all). Would definitely visit again, especially since chefs Jose Ramirez-Ruiz and Pamela Yung change the menu according to the seasons.

Recently

February 10, 2015 § Leave a comment

3:00 am Korean BBQ at Miss Korea in K-Town…

An impromptu, late night meal at Benchmark in Park Slope with the most awesome foie gras dish served with peppered pineapple, pecans and bourbon glaze (so good we ordered a second one) and filet mignon with purple potato gratin and caramelized marrow

Pecorino, golden raisin and pine nut kale salad to balance out all the gluttony

Homemade chicken parmesan during the night of the snow storm that turned out to be no big deal…

The roast beef press during lunch with Cindy at that old standby, Grey Dog

Greatest delivery pizza ever from Spunto (with caramelized onions, mushrooms, hot Italian sausage and a ton of red pepper flakes)

Northeast Kingdom

June 11, 2012 § Leave a comment

Shots from brunch at Northeast Kingdom in Bushwick, Brooklyn from a while back. My creamy and comforting shrimp and grits (shrimp, two poached eggs, fiery tomato sauce that wasn’t that fiery, Anson Mill grits and scallions)…

Shrimp and grits

…and W’s hearty-looking buttermilk biscuits and gravy with scrambled eggs

Biscuits and gravy

Northeast Kingdom
18 Wyckoff Avenue
New York, NY
718.386.3864

Eating across the boroughs

July 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

Yet another day of traipsing around New York City, this time in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

Brooklyn Flea Market in Fort Greene (where I got the first nasty sunburn of the summer).

Asia Dogs: the Vinh (aioli, pate, cucumbers, pickled carrot and daikon, cilantro, and jalapeno) and the Wangding (Chinese BBQ pork belly, onions, and cucumber). The Vinh was the better of the two, since the pickled vegetables balanced out the meatiness of the dog. Plus I love anything with cilantro. On the other hand, the pork belly and accompanying that topped the Wangding was a bit too salty and syrupy for my taste.

Asia Dog

Salvatore Bklyn, makers of the best ricotta (insanely creamy and rich) and olive oil I have ever had. Literally went cross-eyed when I had my first bite. With just-sliced prosciutto and arugula on fresh bread…absolute heaven on earth. I could eat five, no six, of them and consider it a perfect meal.

Salvatore BKLYN

Chelsea Market for more gelato from L’ Arte del Gelato…this time pear and grape sorbet. No, sadly, these cups weren’t all mine.

Gelatoooo

Company Pizza (again) in Chelsea for a relaxed dinner, complete with a whole growler of Allagash White (props to Maria’s boyfriend, Dave, for introducing me to a new favorite beer), veal meatballs, bread and butter, and three different pizzas.

Growler of Allagash

Veal meatballs, homemade sauce, parmesan, and basil with truccio sare bread and butter

Flambe: bechamel, parmesan, mozzarella, caramelized onions, bacon lardons

Boscaiola: tomato, mozzarella, mushrooms, red onion, chili

Special of the day: English peas, pea shoots, prosciutto, bechamel (my favorite of the three)

 

Brooklyn Flea Market
176 Lafayette Avenue (between Clermont and Vanderbilt Avenue)
Saturdays, 10 am – 5 pm
http://www.brooklynflea.com/

Asia Dog

Salvatore BKLYN 

 

 

 

 

 

Pies ‘n’ Thighs and Williamsburg

March 29, 2011 § 1 Comment

After our trip to the Brooklyn Museum and Red Hook, Laura and I met up with Quan #2, aka Katie, in Williamsburg for some shopping and southern food. As a sucker for quirky shops and gourmet food stores, Williamsburg was absolute heaven. There were thrift and vintage stores on every corner and cute restaurants in between.

One of my favorite new finds was a clothing store called Malin Lindaeus, which had a great collection of lace up boots and brogues and some very stylish felt fedoras. Plus, Malin, the owner, was so friendly that it felt like we were just looking through her closet for dresses to borrow!

Inside Malin Lindaeus

Another great store was the adorable Bedford Cheese Shop, with its vast jams and jellies and hipster cheese experts. The lovely stink of fermenting milk hit us as soon as we opened the door, and we were able to sample a number of bries, camemberts, blue cheeses, and gruyeres. In the end, we took home a Buttercup brie, some excellente Comte, and a truly amazing Bleu d’Auvergne, the first blue cheese that I’ve not only tolerated but loved.

 

Inside the Bedford Cheese Shop

Finally, at around 8 PM or so, we managed to find our way to Pies ‘n’ Thighs, a cute lil joint known for its amazing fried chicken. After a short wait, we each got our individual boxes, which came with either fried chicken, pulled pork sandwich, or brisket sandwich and a side, and drinks, including a classic sweet tea, a renegade made of honey, lemon and ginger, and a lemonade.

And although I hate to use hyperbole…best fried chicken I’ve had. My first bite sounded in a loud crunch, and the meat was unbelievably tender and juicy. I also appreciated that they hadn’t skimped on the seasoning, which tends to be a pet peeve of mine, especially for fried foods and meat. The biscuit and baked beans that came with the chicken were tasty as well, but I was all about the chicken. I had a couple bites of Laura’s and Katie’s food and while their dishes were certainly very good, I have to say that from a totally impartial perspective, mine was no doubt the best.

Menu

Pulled pork sandwich with mac and cheese

Fried chicken box with baked beans

And though we were pretty full from our entrees, we figured we couldn’t come to a place called Pies ‘n’ Thighs without sampling some dessert, so we split a slice of their Key Lime. Super tart and creamy without being cloyingly sweet (another pet peeve of mine), the pie wasn’t too heavy and a lovely way to end a great day in Brooklyn.

Key lime pie

Malin Lindaeus
155 North 6th Street
Brooklyn, NY
http://malinlandaeus.com/

Bedford Cheese Shop
229 Bedford Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
718.599.7588
http://www.bedfordcheeseshop.com/

Pies ‘n’ Thighs (cash only) 
166 South 4th Street
Brooklyn, NY
http://piesnthighs.com/

Red Hook Lobster Pound

March 27, 2011 § Leave a comment

Welcome to Red Hook

Brooklyn doesn’t really evoke images of Maine lobster, but the Red Hook Lobster Pound is a little jewel that delivers it in spades. The pound is a little hard to find (we took the subway to Smith and 9th and then the 61 bus) and you’re probably better off sampling their food at the Brooklyn Flea Market on Saturdays, but Laura and I were already headed to Van Brunt Street for some goodies at Baked and decided it wouldn’t hurt to just walk down the street for a very late lunch.

Psychedelic lobster

There wasn’t an official restaurant or anything at the Lobster Pound so we ordered our food at the counter and then migrated to the indoor seating area next door. Laura ordered the Maine roll, a classic with mayonnaise, celery and some spices, and I ordered the Connecticut roll, which came with butter instead of mayo. We also shared a mandarin orange soda and a gigantic homemade chocolate whoopie pie, another original Maine  treat. Since we had the entire seating area to ourselves and we’d spent most of the morning running after subways and buses, to finally sit down somewhere nice and quiet and dig into a hunk of succulent lobster was such a great moment of relaxed bliss.

The Maine and the Connecticut

Connecticut close up

The lobster meat was lightly dressed, tender and unbelievably sweet, and I liked that they toasted the soft JJ Nissen buns to add a little bit of crunch. The rolls also came with chips and a pickle, but honestly, I was more than happy just eating the lobster and drinking the fizzy orange soda, which was surprisingly not as saccharine as I thought it’d be. Considering the fact that I’ve seen smaller lobster rolls in the city for almost $30, the $15 price tag made these sandwiches one of the best food deals I’ve seen and although I don’t know that I’d necessarily trek all the way to Red Hook again for a bite, I’m definitely keeping my eyes open for these babies when I go to Brooklyn Flea or the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory.

Nomnomnom

Red Hook Lobster Pound
284 Van Brunt Street
Brooklyn, NY
646.326.7650
http://redhooklobsterpound.com/

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