ABC Kitchen

May 8, 2016 § Leave a comment

Sometimes on lazy Sundays, I really love walking up through Union Square and wandering through ABC Carpet & Home, which has kitchen supplies, decor, carpets, furniture, everything you’d need to decorate your dream home if you had no budget. Yes, the goods can get insanely expensive but the presentations always looks so goddamn gorgeous that I can’t help fantasizing about buying up all of their ceramics, objets d’art and wall decor. The store is also wonderful because of the well-known farm-to-table restaurant next door by Jean-Georges Vongerichten, which is beautifully appointed with ABC Carpet & Home wares and offers a lot of vegetable-heavy dishes. It’s usually difficult to get reservations on short notice, but one night, Alice and I managed to get a table and dig into some of the lighter fare they had to offer.

Crab toast with lemon aioli with blood orange negroni and clementine mojito. A nice start that was a surprisingly large portion.

One of my favorite dishes from last time: roast carrot and avocado salad with seeds, sour cream and citrus. It may look like a mess of greens but it’s incredibly flavorful and full of different textures – crunchy seeds and croutons, smooth and creamy avocado, toothsome carrots spiced with cumin. Good for you but delicious too! I’ve tried to replicate this dish at home but there’s always something missing in my version.

Another favorite from my last visit: the insane mushroom pizza with parmesan, oregano and a farm egg – completely meatless but very satisfying and perfectly presented, with a runny bright yellow yolk and crispy, charred crust. We also ordered the roasted hake with crispy potatoes, broccoli and red chile garlic sauce, which was super delicate and fell apart with a fork and had a nice kick thanks to the sauce. All in all, a really lovely and light low-key meal in a beautiful venue. 

 

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Eats around town

November 9, 2015 § Leave a comment

Phi and Vikki visited a while back during the summer (don’t think I’d seen them in 3 or 4 years, maybe even longer) and one of the stops on our eating tour was Eataly, where we got the mixed salumi and cheese platter. So good to see them, even though I ended up totally stuffed when we finally called it a day.

A favorite in the Financial District: Harry’s Italian square pies – 1/2 pepperoni and eggplant, 1/2 sausage and broccoli rabe (gotta get some veg), half of which usually gets eaten by Bert.

The beautiful charred lamb breast with giant roti at Rouge et Blanc

Another solid restaurant from Andrew Carmellini in The Dutch. This wagyu steak tartare had sunflower seeds and pickled ramps.

Mini high school reunion featuring Momofuku’s fried chicken dinner at Noodle Bar. Amazing.

Months later, we had another reunion at Pig and Khao and got this crazy sizzling sisig with pork head, chili and fried egg

Finally, a weekend trip to Charlottesville for another high school friend’s wedding yielded some super tasty tagliatelle with braised lamb, eggplant and feta and an enormous pork belly gyro

Out and about

October 11, 2015 § Leave a comment

Family dim sum at Chinatown classic, Jing Fong:

Drinks at Dead Rabbit right by the office:

More dim sum, this time while working from home and ordered from Nom Wah:

A lunch of white wine and fresh, grilled seafood at Via Carota before my trip to Croatia:

Square pizza at Harry’s Italian as my first meal back in the U.S. after Yacht Week:

Simple summer meal at home with tomatoes and basil from the Union Square Greenmarket, Murray’s Cheese ricotta and Blue Ribbon country bread:

Late-night drunken eats at Crif Dogs on St. Mark’s:

Ordering in Xi’an Famous Foods for Laura’s birthday meal:

The #1 at Black Seed Bagels in Nolita (so good):

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 😦

A relaxing night in with Spunto

My first time at i Sodi with Artemis – an 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.

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)

Marta at the Martha Washington Hotel

February 5, 2015 § 1 Comment

Had a great dinner at Danny Meyer’s new pizza-focused place, Marta, a couple weeks ago with Caitlin, Tommy and Cindy and it seems like everything that man touches turns to gold (or in the case of the Shake Shack IPO, about $155 million). Located in the Martha Washington Hotel in Murray Hill, the restaurant has high ceilings and a good amount of space between tables so patrons don’t feel like they’re on top of one another. And as expected, the service is warm and friendly without being overly hover-y. Started off with a various assortment of wines and cocktails, including a glass of Brachetto, a wine I’d never heard of  before but turned out to be quite delicate and floral.

We ordered the green risotto croquettes with mozzarella and mixed herbs as well as the rabbit meatballs with black olives and meatballs for our starters. Both were amazing. The croquettes were perfectly crispy on the outside, followed by a layer of well-seasoned creamy rice (hate bland arancini) and gooey melted cheese on the inside. And I don’t usually even like olives but really enjoyed the meatballs, which were very tender and an interesting twist on the classic pork and beef classic.

The pizzas, however, were the highlight of our meal and we actually eschewed ordering any mains. Of the red varieties, we had the amatriciana (pecorino, guanciale, onion and chili) and then of the whites, the funghi (fontina, hen of the woods mushrooms, chanterelles, red onion and thyme) and the patate alla carbonara (potatoes, more guanciale, black pepper, pecorino and egg). So. Frikkin’. Delicious. The crusts of these pizzas are cracker-thin, making them taste a lot crispier than your garden variety pizza. I think the only similar versions I’ve had are the ones at Spunto or maybe Mario Batali’s OTTO by Washington Square Park. One notable benefit of the thinness of these pizzas is that you can eat considerably more without feeling like you need to be wheel-barrowed out the door at the end of your meal…

I had a really hard time deciding on a favorite between our three choices, especially since they were all quite different. The amatriciana is pretty classic and the red sauce hit a good balance between tart and sweet. On the other hand, I’ve never really had anything like the carbonara version anywhere else, which was super indulgent with all that creamy yolkiness, guanciale and pecorino. But the mushroom pizza also proved to be standout and tasted quite meaty despite being completely vegetarian. I also seriously loved our side dish of sunchokes (our feeble attempt at incorporating at least some vegetables into our meal), which were super sweet and creamy on the inside.

With all the great hype this place has been getting lately, I think it’s becoming harder and harder to get a reservation during prime dinner hours, but if you can manage to snag a spot at the bar or go late at night, I’d definitely recommend doing so.

Check out that amazing spread (and the cute Italian grandma-style dinnerware)

NJ eats

January 16, 2012 § Leave a comment

Thai food at Four Seasons and pizza (including a dynamite eggplant, spinach, mozzarella, and roasted red pepper slice) at Mario’s Famous pizza. Good food with good friends.

A classic

December 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

At Mario's

Sometimes, nothing beats buffalo chicken pizza. A must when home from break.

Mario’s Famous Pizza
3 Stephenville Parkway
Edison, NJ 08820
732.516.9300

Lunch with Laura at OTTO

October 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

Yeah, yeah, another lunch at OTTO. But this time it was necessary, since my sister Laura is currently going to school only a couple blocks away and she’d never been before. We started with an antipasti of shrimp, chickpeas, and chiles. Spicy and surprisingly flavorful for a cold dish.

Antipasti

Then for mains, we stuck with my favorite pizza, the prosciutto arugula, and ordered the pasta alla norma, which may be my new favorite dish. Eggplant, bufalo mozzarella, and tomato might not sound that exciting on paper, but OTTO executed this pasta wonderfully. I loved mixing all that delicious gooey cheese with the crispy but tender eggplant and tomato until it emulsified into a creamy, rich sauce and the pasta was perfectly al dente, with just a little bit of bite.

Pasta alla Norma

Prosciutto arugula pizza

And of course, a meal at OTTO isn’t complete without a taste of the olive oil coppetta. This dessert is seasonal, so every time I come back, the components have changed. This time, accompanying the olive oil gelato we had figs stewed in red wine, fennel brittle (which I didn’t really like because of the strong anise flavor), Concord grape sorbet, and orange curd. Divine.

Olive oil coppetta

So, Laura’s verdict? She absolutely loved it and said she’d come back again and again for a relatively inexpensive but refined pasta. Lucky for her, she can do that.

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 

 

 

 

 

 

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