Saturday, December 31, 2011

Le Grainne Cafe once more with Crepes

After trying Le Grainne Cafe last month, this little spot quickly rocketed up to one of our favorite new brunch spots. So when I was looking for a perfect place to take my out of town guests for a lovely brunch, I knew just where to head.

This time, I was determined to get some crepes, so I quickly agreed when my friend suggested we get the Nutella & Banana Crepes to share as a warm-up to our meal. Mmmmm, I was not disappointed.

Crepes Nutella Banane

Friday, December 30, 2011

Loco for Boka

We intended to take our out of town guests to Momofuku Noodle Bar, but when we got there we were facing a 2 hour wait. We love our Momofuku, but when you are ready for dinner, that is just too long to wait. So we were milling about on the sidewalk discussing our options when we hit upon Korean Fried Chicken. Bingo! Luckily for us, Boka on St Marks was but a hop skip and a jump away.

We'd actually already been here once, but it was when we had just moved to the city and before the blog was in full swing. Last time we were here, I was very envious of the Watermelon Soju I saw everyone enjoying and vowed to myself that one day I would come back and make this sweet bowl of fruit and liquor mine. And so I did.

Watermelon Soju

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Bananas for Banana Leaf

A couple of my close friends are from Sri Lanka, so I've had a few chances to experience Sri Lankan food and wanted more. When I read this Eater article about where the Sri Lankan ambassador likes to get his Sri Lankan food, I officially added Banana Leaf to my 'must-try' list. So when my friend from out of town requested a hole-in-the-wall type place with spicy food, I knew where to go.

To start, we decided to try the Masala Vadai: Lentil Pattis with Sri Lankan spices and a minty chutney. Mmmm, we were off to a strong start.

Masala Vadai

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

In Complete Concord with Union Square Cafe

Amazingly, we never managed to have a meal at Union Square Cafe when we lived over by Union Square. Not for lack of trying of course, this has been on my must-try list for quite some time. So when my parents were in town and I wanted to show them some of the best this great city has to offer, this is where I took them.

I don't often order chicken, but when I know it is going to be really well prepared, sometimes it really hits the spot. Also, today's menu with the root vegetables and flavored mashed potatoes just really hooked me. I was NOT disappointed. I was really good and saved half of it to take home to enjoy for lunch the next day, but full disclosure? I ate it as soon as I got home- it was just that good.

Roasted Chicken 

No more curiosity about The Red Cat

The Red Cat
I live across the street from The Red Cat and I've actually been here a couple of times already, but never quite put up a post about it, because...well, there just wasn't much to say. I keep hoping to have a breakthrough moment where I see why place is so raved about, like my experience with Cookshop. Don't get me wrong, it's a pleasant restaurant with nice service and good food, but for me that's about it. All of the food is well prepared, but nothing has ever really excited me.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Gettin Tipsy at The Tippler

Drinks & Mashed Deviled Egg Toast
I've been chomping at the bit to try The Tippler since it opened in the basement of Chelsea Market, so I was very disappointed when a bunch of my friends went one night last week, but I couldn't join them due to another engagement. We happened to be in Meatpacking tonight, so The Mr suggested we pop in for a drink so I could finally check it out.

An Evening with Todd English

We Newbie Foodies are Todd English fans, so when the following Gilt City deal showed up in my inbox, I was all over that like broth on ramen:

Admission for one to the "GQ at PARK & BOND" Pop-Up Shop featuring Todd English on Thursday, December 15, 2011 includes:

• A live cooking demonstration from Chef Todd English 
• A signed copy of Todd English's new cookbook, "Cooking in Everyday English
• Passed canap├ęs and cocktails from Todd English's new cookbook 
• Vodka cocktails from Double Cross Vodka 

The evening had finally arrived, so we headed down to Meatpacking to the pop-up GQ store. First we picked up one of each of the evenings signature drinks. There was a delicious and festive pomegranate martini and then here was the Notorious FIG. (Recipe here). This was hands down our favorite.


Our New Cookbook with
a Pomegranate Martini and the Notorious FIG

Monday, December 12, 2011

Hasta Headsta Basta Pasta

We've walked past Basta Pasta countless times, but I didn't know much about it other than the fact that it had pasta. A coworker was having a going-away lunch and chose this spot. and I was very intrigued to learn that it is pasta done by Japanese chefs. A Japanese/Italian Fusion of sorts.

The Mr opted for a penne with bacon (no surprise there) and really enjoyed it:

 Penne with Bacon, Onion, Egg Yolk and Cream Sauce

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Gotta go to Co.

I've been hearing fantastic things about Co. forever, but it took me an embarrassingly long time  to put two-and-two together and realize that "Co" is that place across the street from my apartment that has the big "Company" sign outside. Oh boy, good one. Now we had absolutely no excuse to get our tuckuses here ASAP. And so we did.

We started with the veal meatballs served in homemade marinara with truccione sare (rustic country bread) and butter. Lordy, lordy, thems some goooood meatballs.
Veal Meatballs

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Bene Bites at Morso

Graphic Designs on Wall
A few months ago Restauranteur & Chef Pino Luongo opened up a new restaurant with Chef Tim Ryan featuring modern, Italian cuisine. This week, they invited me to dinner to try a sampling of the bites they have to offer.

As I walked down 59th towards Morso, I couldn't help but notice what a romantic backdrop the Queensborough Bridge made across the way. In April, they will start having outdoor dining- but tonight it was chilly, so I was happy to duck in to the festively decorated, warm and welcoming restaurant.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Bosie Tea Parlor: A Perfect Spot

As soon as I first happened upon Bosie Tea Parlor, I vowed to myself that I would be back for their Afternoon Tea. Well, today was the day, and a girlfriend and I headed down to the West Village to spend a leisurely ladies' afternoon.

For afternoon tea, you get to choose a tea, 3 flavors of tea sandwiches and a pastry. We strategically ordered our sandwiches so that we could trade and be able to try all of the flavors. Pictured below, from left to right: Cheddar Cheese & Pickle, Chicken Breast with Golden Raisins & Curried Mayo, and Smoked Salmon with Red Onion & Cream Cheese. The other flavors were Farmer's Egg Salad with Thyme Blossoms and Cucumber with Cream Cheese & Dill. My absolute favorite was definitely the Cucumber & Cream Cheese, there is just something so light and classic about that combination. Runner up was the Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese- what can I say? I'm a sucker for Cream Cheese I guess. As a side note, don't be scared of the Cheddar Cheese & Pickle- as you can see below, it is not your typical Dill Pickle situation, but more of a pickled jam.

Tea Sandwiches 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

F is for Fantastic: Gordon Ramsay at The London

Filet of turbot rainbow Swiss chard, crosnes, baked oxtail Champagne sauce
An out of town friend wanted to meet for dinner before seeing The Rockettes Christmas Spectacular and I needed to pick a place for dinner. Last time she was in town, she picked Perilla, so the bar was set high. I knew I couldn't just bring her to any cheesy, touristy Midtown spot. Chef Ramsay has an excellent reputation, and his restaurant at The London had fantastic reviews so it seemed like a good selection.

Getting our fix at Momofuku Milk Bar

Crack Pie & Candy Bar Pie
Pistachio Truffles & Birthday Cake Truffles

Momofuku Milk Bar is one of those places that we love so much that it was a complete shock to me  that we don't have a post for them. Now I will officially right this wrong. In a nutshell, everything is fantastic here and yes, it is worth going out of your way for. Any time we find ourselves in the East Village we swing by and load up on their goodies, such as the stash shown above. Not pictured though is the cereal milk soft serve, because duh, we had to eat that as we walked home or it would melt.

Bonus Tip: Did you know that you can have Momofuku baked goods shipped across the country?!?


Momofuku Milk Bar on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Milkin' It at Ronnybrook Milk Bar


Avocado & Fresh Mozzarella
One of our favorite lunch spots in Chelsea Market is the Ronnybrook Milk Bar. If you fancy a sandwich with some absolutely fresh mozzarella, this is your stop. Our pick is the Avocado & Fresh Mozzarella sandwich with spicy aioli, tomato, and basil on a pumpernickel hoagie. This sandwich is light and fresh yet extremely satisfying. While you are there be sure to pick up a small ice cream or one of those blueberry cream cheese pastries to satisfy your sweet tooth.

And if you want to keep enjoying the farm fresh dairy later, they also sell their milk, mozzarella and yogurt to take home.

Ronnybrook Farm Dairy on Urbanspoon

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Much ado about Mexicue

I'm not sure if Mexicue is a new addition to Seamless or if I just missed it before, but when we needed our post-Thanksgiving in Texas fix- it popped up. The two staple foods in Texas are BBQ & Mexican, so it's surprising that I've never seen these cuisines fused before. 

Green Chile Mac & Cheese, Short Rib Taco, Pulled Pork Slider, Spicy Potato Salad,
Chopped Salad, and Burnt Ends Chili Rice Bowl
Everything looked so good! Unfortunately, we just found it all OK. For me, the Mexican flavors just fell flat. I think that in order to make it interesting, they need to really kick it up. I'm also not a big fan of the sweeter style of BBQ so wasn't a huge fan of the BBQ aspect either. It was interesting to try, but the consensus was that we wouldn't order it again.

Mexicue on Urbanspoon

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Keepin it trashy at The Trailer Park Lounge

I love a complete commitment to a theme, so have been wanting to check out The Trailer Park Lounge complete with toilet bowl out front. We had some time to kill after getting our tickets to the free ASSSSCAT 3000 show at the UCB Theatre around the corner, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity.

I was not disappointed with their ability to deliver on the theme. The inside was everything you could hope for.

A Grand Time at Le Grainne Cafe

We've lived in Chelsea for 8 months now and only a few blocks away from the highly recommended Le Grainne Cafe. Recently, yet another person was talking about it, and it was the straw that broke the camel's back. I knew we had to get to this place post-haste.

We arrived a little after 11 and had about a 20 minute wait. I was expecting this since I always see people waiting outside when we walk by. Finally, we were ushered to a table, this is a truly crammed little place in true NYC fashion. We ordered our coffee and enjoyed some deliciously crisp and fresh bread and butter.


Bread & Butter 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I Can Cook: Tater Tot Casserole


A healthened up version of Tater Tot Casserole with plenty of veggies, soy crumbles, and edamame ala Hungry Girl. A great protein packed lunch/dinner for many days to come!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Besotted with Boutique Eat Shop

Boutique Eat Shop has been on our 'must try' list since we've moved to Chelsea. When a voucher for a dinner for two with drinks came up on Travel Zoo's deals, I snatched it up for a special date night treat. The Mr has been working a lot recently, so it was time to cash in our coupon and spend a quality evening together.

I was super tempted by the Pumpkin Martini, but it sounded like dessert. Instead, we started our meal with The Spicy Mango (Maker's Mark, mango puree, chili powder, tobasco) and the Mexican Cider (Don Julio Blanco, fresh squeezed apple cider, fresh lemon juice, ground cinnamon). Delicious!
The Spicy Mango & Mexican Cider 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Eating like family at Kunjip

After some shopping in midtown, we had worked up quite an appetite so we headed over to K-Town for our evening meal. Kunjip came highly recommended to us by a friend who described it as the type of food your Korean Mom would make. This sounded tempting so we got in line- and yes, it is an actual line instead of a wait list. This place was bustling- everyone was zipping around like mad, which seemed kind of dangerous given there were portable trays of fire cooking food placed hapharzardly around. But they obviously knew what they were doing and the place was running like a well oiled machine.

Finally we were seated and ordered our OB Beers and way too much food. The banchan arrived at our table right away which was perfect because we were starving. We dug in immediately- sooooo good!
OB Beers & Banchan

Monday, October 17, 2011

Over the Falls for Burger & Barrel

We've heard soooo much about the famous truffle burger at Burger & Barrel that we made a beeline there to try it out shortly after moving to NYC. Unfortunately, when we arrived we were told that it is only a seasonal dish. So when we heard that truffle season is back, you better believe we found ourselves back in SoHo lickety split.

To whet our burger appetite we got an order of the Kobe Sliders. Delicious. Of course, if you are going to have "Burger" in your establishment's name, you better to do that thing very well. So far, our expectations have been met.

Kobe Sliders

Saturday, October 15, 2011

I Can Cook: Football Snacks


We had some friends over to watch a Texas football game and I took this as an opportunity to try out some healthier recipes of some of my favorite snacks. 

There was the basic tortilla chips with guacamole and salsa (neither of which I made). Then there were the ruffle potato chips and what was supposed to be onion dip, but was out of Lipton onion soup mix, so made ranch dip instead.


We lost the game, but this spread helped console us.

I Can Cook: Freshocracy Week 3


This week's Freshocracy meals kind of got away from me as I wound up having a busy week. I started out strong with Lebanese Roasted Eggplant, Grass-Fed Beef & Toasted Pine Nuts and a Yogurt Dressed Bibb Lettuce and Black Cherry Tomato Salad. I had tons of it, so served it to my visiting cousin who is half Lebanese and he said "Oh wow, it actually does taste like Lebanese food", so there you have it. Stamp of authenticity and approval.

Lebanese Roasted Egglant
Next on the menu was the Momofuku-Inspired Asian Green and Poached Egg Soup with Hot Bread Kitchen's Fall Apple-Cheddar Focaccia. I made the soup, but without the poached egg since it wound up coming to work with me as lunch instead of dinner. I was completely surprised how tasty the soup was even though there wasn't a lot of seasoning! Since it went straight into Tupperware and didn't have its eggy accompaniment, I decided that it wasn't camera worthy. I decided to save the focaccia for a get together on Thursday- but didn't pay attention to the fact that it clearly said that it needed to be used in 2-3 days. When I got it out to warm it up for my guests my beautiful focaccia was covered in mold.



Again, I foolishly did not put my squid in the freezer as instructed so was missing a key ingredient of the next meal: Sicilian Fresh Tomato and Squid Linguine with a Lemony-Pecorino Arugula Salad. Oh and I served the Lemony-Pecorino Arugula Salad at the afore-mentioned get-together, it was quite a hit. Since I was also making the meal for just me I skipped the provided linguine and served it over carb-free tofu shirataki noodles. Again, such an incredibly simple recipe with few ingredients, but bursting with flavor!

Will have to make sure to check my calendar in the future to make sure I will have the time to give these delicious meals the treatment they deserve- but even with my mess ups, I got some incredible meals out of it.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Shacktoberfest

The Bratburger & Currywurst
Was so excited to hear about Shake Shack's special Shacktoberfest menu that we wasted no time in making it over to Mad Sq Park for a taste. Unfortunately, we were disappointed and were left with remorse that we hadn't just ordered off of their regular menu.



Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Filling the Albert Hall

Special Appetizer 
Bangers & Mash
Purchased a Prix Fixe Dinner for 2 at Albert Hall Tavern on Living Social that I needed to use up, so invited my Dad for a night out. I thought it was a bit odd that it was paired with a bottle of wine, since to me a Gastropub is a place to drink beer and they have a great selection. But oh well, beggers can't be choosers I suppose. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Back for the RUBurger

RUB Burger

Frito Pie
OK, so remember a few weeks ago when I said I wasn't sure if we'd go back to Rub BBQ? Well, we did. This time for their special burger that they only make on Monday nights. This burger gets a lot of attention so we were pretty excited.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Salinas is anything but flat

Coles y Coliflor
Pimentos del Padron

Paella Negra

We hit the town last night with the intent of scoping out Chelsea speakeasy newcomer Bathtub Gin, but when we arrived, it was reservation only. We started to walk home and as we were discussing what our replacement plan should be we walked by Salinas. I've been hearing great things about them since they opened in June, so we popped inside.

Smorgasburg

Porchetta 

 We planned on hitting up Smorgasburg a few weeks ago as part of our glorious NYC Staycation, but after brunch at Pies N Thighs we were full for the whole day. Today we wouldn't make the same mistake twice, so headed off to Williamsburg with empty stomachs.






We planned on starting our day with doughnuts from Dough, but they were a no show. OK, straight to luncheon foods it is. We couldn't help but notice this booth as soon as we walked in with its obviously fresh-baked, crusty rolls and tempting slab of pork.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Hallelujah White & Church



Look for the large pink neon martini glass at the corner of Church Street & White Street and make a beeline for the door. But don’t be fooled, there is so much more than just great cocktails waiting inside for you.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I Can Cook: Cincinnatti Chili


Just to prove that I do occasionally spend some time in the kitchen myself, I whipped up a batch of Hungry Girl's Cincinnati Chili. It was a bit bland though, so I looked up a bunch of other recipes and kicked it up with some extra seasonings.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Not sure if we'll be back Rub

Walk Up Counter
Today we visit our neighbor Rub BBQ on 23rd St near 8th Ave to see what Chelsea has to offer in terms of barbecue. One of the first things I notice is their 'Sold Out' board (just to the right of the dude with the hoodie in the photo). I read on the back of the menu that they only make a certain amount of each of their dishes each day and that when they are gone, they're gone until they make the next batch the next day. I respect that.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

I Can Cook! Freshocracy Update Week 2

I think I've praised the Freshocracy program enough and as promised in my last post, I have signed up for this service at it's full price. Now I'm just going to let the food speak for itself, because if anything, it tasted even better than it looks here (which is pretty darn good if you ask me!):

Mascarpone-Tomato End of Summer Risotto with a Lemon-Pecorino Arugula Salad

100% Berkshire Pork Agrodolce with Pan-Roasted Brussels Sprouts

"Famous" Homemade Fresh Mozz-Sausage-Basil Pizzette
with Field Tomato Caprese Salad

Thursday, September 15, 2011

CiaNO Go

We've been trying to plan a dinner with another couple for some time now, so when we saw the Gilt City deal to Ciano, we jumped on it and set a date. I made the reservation on Open Table and then called them to tell them we would be using the voucher, so imagine my surprise when we arrived and told me she couldn't find my reservation. Since I had talked to someone a few days before I insisted that she check again. Oh! There it is, she forgot to go to the next page. Wow, OK. 

We were led to an upstairs room, which was disappointingly not as nice as their main dining room (which was fairly empty at this point). Then they gave us menus and we excitedly started picking the appetizer and main dishes- we were very excited. A few minutes later the waiter came back and asked if we were using the Gilt City voucher- oh that's a different- much more restrictive- menu. Our hearts immediately sank, it was decidedly not as appetizing. There were two appetizers, two mains, and two dessert options so we ordered one of each to split.

Cafe 2 & Terrace 5 at The MoMA

Soup & Cookies 
Bruschetta
My new boss took our team for an outing to see the "Talk to Me: Design and the Communication between People and Objects" exhibit. (Our team is responsible for User Interaction Design at our company so it was very apropos.) We started our day out with lunch at Cafe 2 where most of us opted for the Soup & Bruschetta lunch which comes with a cup of soup, your choice of two bruschetta, and two cookies. What a perfect day-at-the-museum luncheon option! The soup of the day was tomato and I chose the Cured Tuna (with black olives & lemon) and Cauliflower (with gorgonzola, toasted walnuts, and honey) bruschetta. I enjoyed it all immensely and the chocolate chunk cookies made a delightful end to the meal.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Hangin at HanGawi


 I owed my friend a dinner for her birthday and we wanted to go somewhere near Kips Bay where we were going to a movie afterwards, so we decided a trip to Koreatown was in order. I asked my friend for her recommendations and she went through a list of great restaurants, but her eyes lit up when she mentioned Hangawi, so I know that was the one.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tell Everyone about Don't Tell Mama

Baked Brie with Apple Slices and Raspberry Sauce 
Fried Green Beans
To end our anniversary date night, we headed over to Don't Tell Mama to enjoy their Piano Bar evening. When we got there the crowd was light, but over the next hour it got packed. It's obviously heavy on the show tunes (I mean, hello, Theatre District), but they did a good job mixing in some oldies too. The whole waitstaff gets in on the act, which is nice since it breaks up the monotony of the one man show. 

Glowing Hotness at The Ember Room


We decided to celebrate our Two Year Wedding Anniversary by redeeming our Thrillest Reward Dinner for Two at Ember Room. This tasting menu pitted Todd English's dishes against Chalermkittichai's. We were ready to be official judges and took our responsibility quite seriously.

Monday, September 5, 2011

CrossBar


To end our Labor Day/Anniversary Staycation, we stopped by Todd English's CrossBar at The Limelight Marketplace to use a Thrillist Voucher. A lot of the articles I read when it initially opened criticized the over the top medieval theme, which is still evident in the major furnishings, but appears to have been toned down a little. I was also a little wary of the nose-to-tail heavy menu with a lot of items that we Newbie Foodies don't particularly enjoy (sweetbreads, bone marrow, etc). The menu we received was very different from the one I perused when they opened.