Thursday, March 31, 2011

Overdue Momofuku Review (+ Pommes Frites)

It's The Mr's birthday week, so of course we were headed to Momofuku Noodle Bar. I then realized to my complete shock and horror, that we somehow do not have a Momofuku post up! How? What?! Why! So many questions, so few answers. So here my friends, is the much overdue Momofuku Review.

Pork Buns
*sigh* Even though we were just there I miss these little guys already. The bun is so heavenly soft, like what I imagine clouds to feel like. Then the salty, fatty pork is accented by the crisp, fresh cucumber. With just a dash of their hot sauce this is one or two bites of pure bliss.

Brisket Ramen
Now normally we split the Momofuku Ramen, but we'd never seen Brisket Ramen on the menu and we were intrigued. It's a much smaller portion (which is good if you don't have someone to split with). It was very good and we enjoyed it a lot, but I don't think we'd choose it over our beloved classic Momofuku Ramen again. Although their ramen gets a lot of flack for not being 'authentic' by the purists, it is one of our absolute favorites in the city, and we have suffered through many a long wait time to fulfill our craving.

Pommes Frites
The Fries
Since we were expecting the larger portioned ramen we had a bit of room in our stomach. We originally just planned on getting some soft serve, but then I was struck by inspiration. We have been wanting to try Pommes Frites for the past year, but we usually find ourselves either hungry for a full meal or totally stuffed when we are in the East Village. The opportunity to try these famous fries had finally presented itself. Similar to Burger Co, the story here is aaaaaallll about the sauces. We chose the Curry Ketchup, Rosemary Garlic Mayo, Mango Chutney, & Truffle Mayo. At this point the fries are just a utensil for these delicious condiments. If you find yourself wandering around the East Village hankering for a snack, this is your place.

Momofuku Noodle Bar on Urbanspoon

Pommes Frites on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Intoxicated by the Tipsy Parson

Came for a business lunch a few weeks ago and immediately told The Mr that we had to go back to this delightful spot. On The Mr's birthday I wanted to take him to a special lunch and the Tipsy Parson fit the bill.

For starters we had the deviled eggs and fried pickles. I really liked how the fried pickles were small chunks instead of the usual spears because it made for a good pickle to breading ratio. The Mr got their Mac n Cheese with bacon and gave it a solid two thumbs up. I got the warm kale salad again after thoroughly enjoying it on my last visit. This is a salad to shame all other salads. Sweet potatoes, crispy shallots, mushrooms, dried cherries, and a brown butter vinaigrette give a hearty flavor explosion that would never be mistaken for rabbit food. This is my favorite salad in NYC, but I have a feeling that it won't be on the menu for long, since it has a distinctly autumn/winter seasonal feel to it.

We also checked out the brunch menu and liked what we saw, so will be sure to come back soon. We've also heard that in the evening it transforms into a great bar with good happy hours, so we'll be sure to keep that in mind as well!

Tipsy Parson on Urbanspoon

Happy Birthday to The Mr!

Actually visited Billy's Bakery for the first time. Usually, their scrumptious cupcakes magically show up at work, but today I popped in to get a slice of carrot cake for The Mr's special day. I am happy to report that Billy's is as sweet a place to visit as their cupcakes are to eat.

As for the carrot cake, it was very good, but wasn't deemed a new favorite.

Billy's Bakery on Urbanspoon

9 out of 10

I had purchased a Gilt City tasting menu for 9 Restaurant, so when a special occasion presented itself (The Mr's Birthday) it seemed like a good time to try it out. Oh yah, and I needed to use it before it expired as these special deals always seem to do so quickly.

Pretzel Bread with Mustard Seed Butter
Ooooh boy. I knew a big meal was ahead of us, so I was determined to taste the bread and move on, but they found my soft spot with this pretzel-like doughy bread served with butter filled with whole mustard seed. I had my half and would have had more...

Lobster Pigs In a Blanket

Brisket Sliders
For our appetizer course we went with an order of Brisket Sliders and an order of Lobster Pigs in a Blanket. They were both soooo tasty. I was convinced that the subtle lobster flavor would be drowned out by the dough and sauces, but thankfully it turned out to be quite the opposite. The lobster flavor shined through. The brisket was moist and tender, the bread fresh and tasty, and the mini pickle and cherry tomato just pushed me over the edge.

Pork Shank
I really wish we had taken this picture with one of our hands in it to be able to give you some perspective. You really don't get a sense of just how massive this pork shank is. It was so big that, truth be told, even The Mr was kind of thrown off. I really intended to try and make a soup from the leftovers, but unfortunately had a crazy week.

Skate "Schnitzel"
Background: Tempura Cauliflower
The Tempura Cauliflower was ridiculously good, the dipping sauce added the perfect amount of salt. Add to that how it was served in a mini fryer basket, and again, I'm a fan. It's my new custom to order skate any time it's on the menu, so I had to oblige. Thankfully, this time I was not disappointed. It was delicious and tender, with the caperberries and lemon offsetting each other for the perfect flavor accompaniments.
Front: Red Velvet Donuts
Back: Bread Pudding
By the time dessert rolled out we were already stuffed, so we really didn't appreciate them to their fullest. The dried, candied citrus was a perfect flavor, texture, and plating finish to the bread pudding. The donuts were more chocolate than red velvet to me, but were quite yummy.

The thing that holds this restaurant back from scoring a full 10 would have to be the ambience. For the first half of the meal the lights were really bright which gave the place a distinctly cafeteria feel and was really throwing me off. Finally, around 8pm they dimmed the lights. This is one of those places that effortlessly accommodates casual and dressy attire, but the mix of casual and fancy elements in the decor kind of threw me off. But I wouldn't let that hold you back, since this part is purely a vibe that I wasn't getting- maybe you'll click with it. 

9 Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Monday, March 28, 2011

Chipotle Monday!

Back when we lived in Boulder, CO we had a Chipotle Monday tradition with our coworkers. Today the craving hit so we darted off to their experimental kitchen on 8th Ave btwn 17th & 18th. There I got to get my usual burrito bowl, but with brown rice and their Garden Blend soy protein. Naturally, the brown rice isn't as good as their normal famous cilantro-lime rice, but if you've ever wished to have your burrito minus the guilt of eating processed grains, this is your chance. And sure enough Nate Appleman was there, working away.

Normally I try to avoid chains like the plague, but even in the midst of all the amazing food available in NYC, Chipotle holds its own.

Chipotle Mexican Grill on Urbanspoon

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Crazy Food Tour

Stop 1
The Food

The Crush

The Legend

Lunch at the famous Katz's Deli. Even at an in-between meal time like 3pm on a Sunday this place was a madhouse. We finally managed to get our grub- a Pastrami Reuben for The Mr and half a Corned Beef with a bowl of Matzo Soup for me- and score a table. Of course the food was good, I don't think anyone is debating that. The real question is does it live up to the hype? For me, the answer was no. I would rather hit up Sarge's any day of the week then mess with the chaos, and in fact, I actually liked the food at Sarge's a bit better! I was also a little irritated by their lack of advertisement that it's cash only.

Katz's Deli on Urbanspoon

Stop 2

Spinach Knish

While at Katz's I saw Knish on the menu and remembered how The Mr still hasn't had a proper knish ever. I figured, why get one at Katz's with Yonah Schimmel's Knish Bakery mere blocks away? And off we went to pick up a couple to heat up at home later. We opted for the regular potato and a spinach. Mmmm...I'm a potato loving gal, so what's not to like here?

Yonah Schimmel's Knish Bakery on Urbanspoon

Stop 3

We've been meaning to take a trip to Vanessa's Dumpling House after trying some at a dinner party. We got a #1, #3, and a #6 to take home with us for dinner. 4 Fried Chive & Pork, 8 Boiled Chive & Pork, and 4 Fried Chicken & Basil. Sooooooooooo good. Sometimes you just need a dumpling and at 25 cents each, they can't be beat. Our only regret? Not getting one of their Sesame Pancake sandwiches, which also looked amazing.

Vanessa's Dumpling House on Urbanspoon

Stop 4

Now before you get to judging, realize that most of the food so far was to-go, so I actually was in the mood for a snack. We randomly ducked into a bakery and got a Chocolate Rum Ball to share and picked up some Black Pean Paste and Shrimp Chimps for the road and continued on with our Chinatown shopping. Our random selection of Lung Moon turned out well!

Lung Moon Bakery on Urbanspoon

Stop 5

Another random stop as we shopped around Chinatown. This time because we were tempted by a bag of red bean steam buns in their window. We ran a few more errands before calling it a day and heading home with our spoils. We decided this is our favorite new way of grocery shopping!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Great Company at NY Burger Co

Bowery Burger with Onion Rings

Turkey Flatiron, no bun
What we like about New York Burger Co is that it's across the street and offers healthy burger options. All of their burgers are available as beef or turkey. They also have chicken sandwiches and a house made black bean burger (a little crumbly though). And as you can see above, if you are being a lame-o and opt out of the bun, they will serve up your burger in a nice little dish with your lettuce & tomato.
Sauce Bar

But what we really like about this place is the condiment bar. Some of our favorites are the Spicy Ketchup, Pesto, and the Curry Mango. These sauces make each bite unique.

They aren't going to win the title of 'Best Burger in NY', but these reasons make them compelling enough for us to come back for more!

New York Burger Co. on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

This little piggy went to Market Table

Long Island Duck Breast
Hamachi Crudo

Sauteed Skate

Braised Colorado Lamb Shank

Chocolate Pot de Creme
I didn't get to eat in the main restaurant as I attended as a part of a party in their private room downstairs, but my brief glimpse of the main dining room revealed a cozy and sweet atmosphere. I ordered the Skate, which is becoming a definite trend for me. The verdict was that it was very good- not as good as the one at Sel et Poivre, yet much better than Craftbar. Overall, a lovely meal!

Market Table on Urbanspoon