Connecticut- Community Table

Sorry for the lack of posting. Mr. T and I have been in Europe for the last few weeks enjoying an incredible vacation.  As we start to get all of our pictures together and fight the jetlag, here's a fantastic meal we enjoyed at Community Table in Connecticut to close out the summer. 

This gorgeous little spot in focuses on elegant country dining with items like piping hot Parker House Rolls dusted with everything spice and a slab of Ronnybrook Farms butter..., creamy Peekytoe Crab & Corn Hush Puppy's served with a zippy grilled lemon emulsion...

...and a vibrant Roasted Carrot Hummus sprinkled with pistachio alongside a fresh vegetable crudite. 

There's quite a few meat dishes on the menu like Prime NY Sirloin with baby leeks, Slow Cooked Pork Belly and a juicy Organic Roast Chicken.

But the star of the menu here is definitely the beautiful Grilled Summer Squash served with crispy goat cheese, chanterelles, onion and fresh herbs from the outside garden.

Be sure to  s…

Wine Time- Chateau Montus Madiran 2012

Labor Day has come and gone, teachers are back in school and I'm ditching the Rose for some big red wine like this beauty from Southwest France, the Chateau Montus Madiran from 2012.

This powerful wine is made of Tannat grapes, known as some of the healthiest grapes in wine due to their high levels of antioxidants.  The nose exudes aromas of dark cherry and leather, with bold flavors of dark chocolate, cherry, plum and tobacco with just a hint of smoke.  This is a big red wine that still feels elegant with a high acidity and a silky finish.  This wine is quite wonderful right now if you enjoy robust reds but could also be held for another five or ten years to allow the tannins to soften.  Cheers!
Chateau Montus 65700 Castelnau-Riviere-Basse France


In between the boisterous sports bars and dark Irish pubs of Murray Hill sits Vatan; a neighborhood staple known for its bejeweled elephant facade, thatched roof tables and the distinct vegetarian cuisine from the Indian state of Gujarat.

Vatan has only one menu, a $34 Prix Fixe that includes appetizer, entree and dessert all served thali style.  Guests can reorder as much as they would like and the entire vegetation menu is also available vegan, gluten free and nut free. Simply choose your drink of choice, spice level (entree only) then sit back and let the parade of food begin.

Appetizer thali:  Chana Masala~garbanzo beans spiced with onions and coriander,  Khaman~ puffed cream of wheat flour cake, Batatavada~ fried potato balls in chickpea flour batter, Mirchi Bhajia~fried hot pepper with garam masala, Sev Puri~ crispy bread filled with potatoes, garbanzo beans, yogurt & chutney; Ragda Patis~ potato cutlet in white bean sauce, Samosas~ savory pastries filled with spicy potatoes a…

Monday Mornings at Chanson

Monday mornings are the absolute worst, but the final Monday morning of summer is just downright brutal.  I contemplated staying under the covers all day but I do have this thing called a job...  So I dragged myself out of bed and headed to Patisserie Chanson in hopes of some Monday motivation.

The aroma of fresh baked bread and coffee greeted me at the door; forcing my sleepy eyes open and luring me towards this flaky, sugar dusted Kougin Amann stuffed with tart Pistachio cream.  As I peeled apart each nutty, sweet layer I could feel my Monday blues start to melt away.

Of course this positive energy I was now feeling might not last all day so I grabbed a Lemon Yuzu tart for later just to be sure :)

Patisserie Chanson
20 West 23rd Street at Broadway
New York, NY 10010

Hanoi House

St Marks has always been one of my favorite streets in the city.  It's always so lively, with great spots like Cafe MogadorProletariat and the wonderful Hanoi House.  This cozy little spot is currently churning out some of the best Northern Vietnamese food in the city.

I suggest starting every meal with the crispy Pig Ear & Papaya Salad; it's bright and citrusy with a satisfying crunch from the peanuts and pig finished with a sweet soy dressing. 

Crispy Spring Rolls are another great starter, filled with creamy pork and crab alongside a salty, sour nuoc cham. 

And of course the signature Hanoi Style Beef Pho that's been simmering for 16 hours, filled with slices of Black Angus filet mignon, brisket and rice noodles.  Guests can add in bone marrow and oxtail if they choose but I find the classic broth has just the right amount of rich, fatty flavor to make my stomach incredibly happy.

Hanoi House
119 St. Marks Place
New York, NY 10009

The Dish at Hudson Clearwater

Does anyone else remember when pork took over the New York City dining scene? I think it began with the opening of Momofuku Noodle Bar back in 2004, where those Chinese-style buns stuffed with pork lit off a firecracker of excitement.  This was quickly followed by the insane popularity of Little Owl, where people lined up around the block for bite of Joey Campanaro's pork centric menu which included their signature pork & veal Meatball Sliders, pancetta topped steak and a big, juicy Pork Chop. All of these porky food memories came flooding back to me during dinner, where I had possibly the best Pork Chop I've experienced since those pig crazed days years ago at Hudson Clearwater.

This cozy West Village spot uses thick cut Berkshire Pork, cooked on a grill, giving it a charred, crispy outside and tender juicy middle.  It's then topped with seasonal ingredients like bacon & buttermilk ranch in the Winter and smoked chili jam, mint and peaches in the Summer.  It's …

4 Charles Prime

Chicago is known for many things; the classic Chicago Dog loaded with onions, mustard, relish, tomatoes and pickled peppers, the hefty Deep Dish Pizza, the Italian Beef Sandwich at Portillo's and of course the Burger at Au Cheval.   I haven't been to Chicago in years but luckily some of these iconic classics have leaked into NYC with deep dish pies at Emmett's, Italian Beef at Hanks and even the infamous Au Cheval Burger at Four Charles Prime. 

Hailed by many as the best burger in the country this brings together two grilled all beef patties layered with Kraft American cheese, then topped with thick slabs of bacon, fried egg, chopped red onions, Dijonaiise, and pickles all on a toasted bun.  It arrives at the table whole, then gets sliced at the table in order to reveal the inside in all of it's messy, juicy food glory.

This burger is absolutely orgasmic at first; the creamy yolk seeping into the juicy meat with the smokey, peppery backbone of bacon lingering after each …