Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Musket Room

To kick off my birthday weekend Mr. T and I began with dinner at the Musket Room.  This New Zealand restaurant down in SOHO gives off a cozy rustic vibe. It feels like an old farmhouse with the delicious smell of wood from the oven warming the front entrance as you enter.  We began with a few of their specialty cocktails; the Elizabeth Street Mara with cucumber, basil and black lime for Mr. T and a frothy Lady Rutherford for me with cachaca, brazil nut and toasted coconut orgeat.  

The Musket Room offers three menus; a six course tasting, a ten course chefs tasting and an a la carte.  We decided to do the $75 six course with two additional add-on's not listed on either of the tasting menus.

To begin an amuse bouche from the chef including a trio of veggies asparagus, daikon and celery...

... and a basket of warm cheddar brioche rolls served with a rich creamy bone marrow butter.

The Duxbury Oyster with nasturtium vinaigrette was our first add-on of the night and easily my favorite course.  These oysters were exquisite- bright and briny with a nice herbal sweetness.  

1st Course- Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho with olive oil and herbs

2nd Course- Corn Custard with raw corn, truffle and herbs

Our second add-on course Foie Gras Torchon with nectarine, beet and brioche

3rd Course- Quail with blackberries, bread sauce and roasted onions

4th Course- Berkshire Pork with cauliflower, kale and orange

5th Course- Passion Fruit

6th Course- Chocolate, salted caramel and mandarin

The meal was wonderful; the crispy skin on the Berkshire Pork and delicious blackberry sauce on the quail were the biggest highlights in addition to the amazing oysters.  It was just a nice relaxing way to start the birthday weekend.

The Musket Room
265 Elizabeth Street
New York, NY 10012

Monday, October 12, 2015

Gotham Bar and Grill

Still one of my very favorite places to dine in the city...Gotham Bar and Grill just exudes a quiet elegance that no other restaurant with its tenure quite achieves.  I love the bright airy dining room, filled with a lively crowd at night but positively serene during lunch time and the fabulous three course Greenmarket menu which changes each season.

Wild Striped Bass Crudo with radish, cilantro, jalapeno and watermelon lime emulsion.

Pan Seared Halibut with romanesco cauliflower, shiitake mushroom, basil puree and verjus emulsion.

And of course their signature Chocolate Cake to finish with a scoop of salted almond ice cream and chocolate crunchies.  

Gotham has started putting a signature cocktail and wine on the lunch menu for only $10. My last visit it was the Singapore Sling with Flor de Cana Rum, Luxardo Maraschino, Sangue Moralacco and Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao.  Just a little something extra delicious to round out a lovely lunch.

Gotham Bar and Grill

12 East 12th Street at University
New York, NY 10003

Friday, October 9, 2015

New Brew Friday- Le Roar Grrrz Apricot

It's Friday and time for a delicious wild ale out of Williamsport Pennsylvania the Grrrz Apricot from Bullfrog Brewery.

This beer pours a beautiful golden orange with a thick fluffy white head that clings on forever.  The aroma is all juicy apricot with a tiny bit of barnyard funk; the taste is straight apricot with both tart and jammy characteristics and a strong oak finish.  This isn't a terribly complex beer which actually makes it that much more enjoyable.  It's all about loving that amazing apricot fruit flavor.  Cheers to the weekend!

Bullfrog Brewery
229 West Fourth St.
Williamsport, PA 17701

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Maspeth- Rosa's Pizza

Back in college there was a dive pizza joint called S&G's where everyone ended after a night of bar hopping.  They had all sorts of different pizza's that were nothing special but OMG their Mexican slice was INSANE!!  It was super thin, loaded with gooey cheddar cheese, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, ground beef, a deliciously spicy salsa then topped with crushed tortilla chips. It was one serious sloppy mess to eat but nobody ever cared.  That slice was like winning the lottery at the end of a long boozy night.  

Since graduation I've been searching for something that would compare.  The specialty pie game in the city is honestly pretty weak.  Most stick mainly to the classic Italian standards (remember when Kramer wanted to put cucumbers on his pizza).  Then I found Rosa's out in Maspeth where this taco pizza seemed to be calling my name.  It had most of the ingredients; the gooey cheese, the spicy ground beef and tomatoes but it was still missing the salsa and crushed up chips on top.

This is probably the closest I've come to finding a good Mexican pizza here.  I could probably just add the missing ingredients but unfortunately the dough itself was just a bit too thick.

I couldn't leave without trying a regular slice as well.  Wow- if it wasn't for the thicker dough this might be the best pizza I've had in Queens.  It was super fresh with a garlic tomato sauce, tons of mozzarella cheese and an extra crispy brown crust which I love.

Rosa's Pizza
55-26 69th Street
 Maspeth, NY 11378

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Blue Smoke

There are so many new places in our neighborhood it's easy to forget abut the old standbys; like Danny Meyers BBQ restaurant Blue Smoke.  It had been a full year since Mr. T and I had dined last and our first time checking out the new menu since Chef Bourgeois became head chef.

The regular Blue Smoke Burger was as hefty and tender as I remember but now included toppings like creamy pimento cheese and sweet maple smoked cheddar.

The Fried Chicken had also been revamped to include one of my favorite Brooklyn condiments Mike's Hot Honey.  I absolutely loved the spicy sweetness of this...Mr. T didn't quite agree with me but we he's wrong a lot :)

The one thing that didn't change were the cocktails.  The award winning Porch Swing (their spin on a classic Pimm's Cup) and the cucumber Ellington were just as I remembered...it's always nice to come home to some old favorites.

116 East 27th between Park & Lexington
New York, NY 10010