Here and there

June 6, 2015 § Leave a comment

Scotch eggs and steak tartare with Christine at Dead Rabbit, where she first told me she was going back to California ūüė¶

A relaxing night in with Spunto

My first time at i Sodi with Artemis Рan enormous steak with arugula and rabbit prepared porchetta-style with spinach

Enjoying a beautiful plateau and more oysters at John Dory with Christine and Laura

Trying a new dish of scallop and ham crudo at Momofuku Ssam Bar to celebrate Laura’s decision to attend Yale’s architecture grad program

An old reliable while dining solo – steak tartare and red wine at Blue Ribbon Bakery Kitchen

El Luchador – a new lunch option near the office with outdoor seating

Hot pot during a brief trip back to Edison, NJ

More solo dining while on staycation – the omakase meal at Blue Ribbon Sushi and lunch at the Lupa bar

Shots from the beautiful China: Through the Looking Glass exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (GO)

Pork belly appetizer from Han Dynasty

Christine’s good-bye, hosted by Artemis and one of my favorite wines of the night

Excited about the next few posts coming up…whenever I manage to get to them.

Hank’s Oyster Bar, an old favorite

April 17, 2015 § Leave a comment

Day 3 in D.C. started off with a leisurely lunch at an old favorite of mine, Hank’s Oyster Bar, in Dupont Circle. Fred and Joanna came down from Bethesda for the day (always so great to catch up with them) and we had ourselves an oyster and seafood feast. Started with a spicy bloody maria with tequila and an enormous assortment of raw oysters that Hank’s had listed on their blackboard. I don’t remember all the different types but Ameya and Fred did insist that we get extra Rappahannock oysters, which turned out to be a good call as they were sweet and buttery with a nice, crisp finish. Awesome.

Our other starters were the perfectly fried and well-seasoned popcorn shrimp and calamari with their crack house sauce that’s similar to¬†a spicy remoulade and the BBQ’d oysters, Hog Island style. Lots of buttah, some white wine, garlic and Tabasco made for some scaldingly hot, albeit tasty¬†bites.

Fred and Joanna shared the shrimp and grits, which looked enormous and delicious, Ameya ordered the smoked trout hash with poached eggs, potatoes and dill cream sauce, which came out smelling¬†amazing and very rich and I tucked into their lobster roll (bursting at the seams with tender lobster meat lightly dressed with mayo and celery, the way I like it) with Old Bay fries. Everything was so fresh and the atmosphere was chill and casual that it just cemented my belief that Hank’s will always be one of my favorite D.C. restaurants.

By the time lunch ended, we were feeling pretty full¬†and lethargic, and since¬†the Phillips Collection was only a couple blocks away, I dragged our group to visit the Rothko Room and the Man Ray-Human Equations exhibit so we could get a bit of culture and a good walk in before our evening at new hot spot, Rose’s Luxury.

minibar by Jose Andres

April 5, 2015 § 1 Comment

Took a short vacation¬†in DC at the end of February and got to enjoy a super-fun, whimsical meal at minibar by Jose Andres¬†with Ameya, my dining partner-in-crime for the weekend. Just 6 seats at the counter, 4 hours and a slew of small courses and wine tastings. Once again, I’m too lazy to go into descriptions for each of the dishes but highlights¬†were the almond tart with blue cheese, the “burger” with wagyu and uni, the crispy, fatty vietnamese pig ear balanced with pickled vegetables and chili oil, the andalucian tofu (which was really an almond garlic gazpacho treated to have the texture of silken tofu) and ultra rich shabu shabu, the iberico tendon, the refreshing palate cleanser called “first frost” and the gorgeous breakfast in hokkaido dessert. Favorite part was probably watching the chefs prepare each dish with perfect choreography and engaging with them and the other diners. For our dessert courses, they also took us into barmini, the swank cocktail bar next door, where Murphy joined us and we indulged in more tasty libations (such a smart move on their part). If you can get a reservation for either venue, you’re seriously one lucky (foie-gras stuffed, rubber) ducky.

The luxe entrance way, where we were greeted with a glass of cava and a book of dried edible flowers

hot and cold pisco sour; parmesan canele; pineapple shortbread; pizza Jose’s way – 2012 Dr. Herman Urziger Wurtzgarten Riesling from Kabinett Mosel, Germany

almond tart with blue cheese; rubber ducky – 2013 Tenuta Delle Terre Nere Etna Rosato from Randazzo, Italy

late-night chicken shawarma – bodegas hidalgo manzanilla la gitana “en rama” from sanlucar de barrameda, spain

burger

vietnamese pig ear – pain killer (dark rum, roasted coconut milk, pineapple and orange)

fusilli – 2013 abbazia di novacella pinot grigio valle from iscaro alto adige, italy

andalucian tofu + shabu shabu – sho-une junmai dai ginjo hakutsuru sake from kobe, japan

iberico tendon – 2013 domaine de roches neuves thierry from germain saumar champigny loire, france

espardenyes with bone marrow – 2013 guimaro mencia from riberia sacra, spain

squab and oysters – 2002 r. lopez de heredia vina tondonia from rioja, spain

bonne bouche cheese puff; first frost; breakfast in hokkaido – 2012 oremus late harvest tokaji

sesame pocki; raspberry chocolate bar; yuzu-mallow; raspberry wasabi bon bon; eat the rocks; doughnuts; boozy bear – amaro from montenegro, italy

A delicious cucumber gin-based cocktail at barmini; old friends

Recently…

January 25, 2015 § Leave a comment

A full-on late night meal at Empellon Taqueria after cocktails at Wilfie & Nell – spicy cucumber margaritas, guacamole and seven salsas (one of which almost burned my face off), gooey queso fundido with shishito peppers and a trio of tacos (lamb barbacoa, beer braised pork tongue with potatoes and fish tempura)

Afterwards, a stop at Bar Sardine, where I had Cape May Salts for the first time (wish the bartender, who was clearly new, did a better job of shucking though) and we stupidly decided to order a magnum of wine because it was more “economical”

Brie, honey and black pepper croutons at Les Halles in Midtown during Friday night dinner with co-workers Рtwo orders of these would be a great dinner

A lunch of roasted asparagus and broccoli with parmesan to make up for all the week’s indulging

Big Star Chicago

June 27, 2013 § Leave a comment

After so many years of saying that I’d visit, I finally took a trip to the Windy City as a short break before bar review began. Much eating and touristy activities ensued, including an inaugural meal with Esther (who, together with her husband Bryan, graciously housed Jee and me during our stay) at Paul Kahan’s super chill restaurant Big Star in the hipster-ish Wicker Park neighborhood, where we indulged in Palomas, margaritas, and an assortment of tacos.

My favorite dishes were definitely the queso fundido, a molten mixture of queso Chihuahua with poblanos, and housemade chorizo generously smeared on warm corn tortillas, and the fish tacos with beer battered tilapia, chipotle mayonnaise, cabbage, lime, and cilantro.

Classic margarita and La Paloma

Tacos de panza with crispy braised pork belly, tomato guajillo sauce, queso fresco, onion, and cilantro

Tacos al pastor – marinated spit-roasted pork shoulder, grilled pineapple, grilled onion, cilantro

Queso fundido – my favorite

Tacos de pescado

 

Big Star
1531 N. Damen Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60622
773.235.4039

 

Stuff yer face and Clydz

January 11, 2011 § Leave a comment

I’ve been hanging out in the New Brunswick area a lot the past couple of days. First was a trip to Stuff Yer Face with Tonia, Cathy, Murphy (who got the fishbowl), and Jiawen, and even though I ended up not going one of their famous strombolis, I was perfectly happy with their chipotle pork sandwich which had a nice kick to it.

Then today, a group of us enjoyed happy hour at Clydz, a restaurant/bar hidden on a side just street off Route 27. The inside was very cozy, complete with an actual fireplace, and we all ordered “girly” drinks with names like “Girl Scout Cookie” and “Watermelon,” which tasted exactly like a Jolly Rancher. One of the major favorites was a concoction called “The Destroyer” and contrary to what its name might imply about its nature, it was one of the sweetest, smoothest drinks of the bunch, made with sweet tea vodka, elderflower, and lemonade.

We also ordered some appetizers: roasted garlic hummus, pierogies, and fried calamari, but I didn’t really think of any of our dishes as really impressive. I’m still in love with the pierogies at Veselka in New York, which have your choice of filling (including sweet potato, cheeses, etc) and then fried, compared to the Clydz’s boiled version. My fried calamari were all right, but the accompanying marinara sauce was watery and I would’ve preferred something with a little more heat.

All in all, I think Clydz is probably worth it only for happy hour. Drinks are half-off and come to around $5 or $6 each and select appetizers are $5 and most of them are decently-sized portions.

Stuff Yer Face
49 Easton Ave.
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
732.247.1727
http://www.stuffyerface.com/

Clydz
55 Paterson St.
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
732.846.6521
http://clydz.com/index.php

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