Monday, July 21, 2014

Pinche Tacqueria

I was having a serious taco craving the other day.  My first instinct was to run over to El Presidente for a quick Madison Gringa but I've been there so much lately well...I was honestly a little embarrassed to be going back again.  I'm already on a first name basis with half of the staff and they've only been open a month or so. Instead I started walking downtown and ran right into Pinche Tacqeria right around Nolita.

Pinche is a tiny little joint located right on Lafayette.  You place your order at the bar inside, take a table number and voila- your food appears as soon as it's ready.  I went for two of my favorites Carne Asada and Pescado with Cotija cheese added to both.

The steak taco was fantastic...juicy char-grilled meat with the flavor of mesquite and a dollop of guacamole on top.

Unfortunately the fish was overwhelmed by it's accouterments.  There was so much onion and cilantro on top any other flavor was completely cancelled.  I'll be sticking with Tacombi for my fish taco fix.  On the way out I noticed they serve breakfast every day until 4:00.  BOOYAH!  Weekday Machaca con Huevos lunch here I come!

Pinche Tacqueria

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Croissant Donut at Paris Baguette

I still haven't had a Cronut.  I refuse to stand in a line that long  so I've found alternatives like the incredible Dough'ssant from Chickalicious and now this delicious Croissant Donut from Paris Baguette.

The exterior is caramelized and crackly with a swirl of coffee cream on top and layers of flaky pastry stuffed with a thick coffee custard touched with maple.

It's big, its messy, and it's totally worth every bite!

Paris Baguette

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Ai Fiori

We were invited through Opentable for a special dinner at Michael White's Ai Fiori courtesy of Kia. We had a few welcome hors d'oeuvres in the lounge, took a quick spin around the city in an awesome Kia K900 and then it was time for dinner!

To begin a Roasted Sunchoke and Fava Bean amuse bouche...

...followed by a luscious Lobster Veloute with perigord black truffles and tarragon...

...and a bright, salty Fluke Crudo with Sturgeon Caviar and Meyer lemon.  

I loved the sweet and sour notes brought to the fish from the Meyer lemon while Mr. T delighted in the plump buttery bites of lobster dotting the soup.  Line Caught Atlantic Halibut with manila clam, potato, chickpea and basil...

...and Prime Dry Aged Strip Loin with endive, potato terrine "cacio e pepe", balsamico and bordelaise were both fabulous.

We were almost too full for dessert but who could say no to this gorgeous Ligurian Olive Oil Cake with mascarpone mousse, pistachio and strawberry sorbetto...

...or this whimsical Milk Chocolate Budino with hazelnut, amaro and biscottino gelato.

It was a phenomenal meal from start to finish; one I would happily do again on my own dime. Big thanks to Opentable, Ai Fiori and Kia for a wonderful night on the town.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Dessert Focaccia at Eataly

One of the very best stops at Eataly is the bakery for a big buttery square of their home made focaccia.  They always tinker with the toppings; ham and mozzarella one day, zucchini and sausage the next and now a brand new dessert focaccia.

Big slices of banana, bittersweet chocolate chips that are at the perfect slightly melted point and a dusting of sugar on top make this one amazing square of delight.


Monday, July 14, 2014

Lunch at Nougatine

There's nothing I love better than a fabulous lunch deal and my recent trip to Jean George's Nougatine was one of the best I've experienced.  They offer a $32 prix fix menu which includes appetizer, entree and dessert.  I almost always start with their delicious Tuna Tartare but ordered the Shrimp Salad on a whim.

I couldn't believe my eyes when the salad arrived.  It was the same exact salad I was obsessed with at The Inn at Pound Ridge!  Those  beautiful plump shrimp, creamy slices of avocado and glorious black truffle champagne dressing.  I was the happiest girl in the world at that moment and my happiness only blossomed with my entree.

Roasted Black Bass with sauteed herbs, crispy potatoes and a red-chili lime sauce that had a strong spicy kick.  If I ordered again I would request no cilantro but luckily it was an easy fix.

For dessert the Jean George Warm Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream.  You see these molten lava cakes on the menu everywhere but Jean George was the one who started this trend.  See all those crystals on top...they're mostly sugar but there's also a sprinkle of salt in there which makes all the difference.

Slice into the cake and it erupts into a beautiful pool of bittersweet chocolate.  It's rich and elegant...a Jean George signature that's truly stood the test of time.  

Jean George Nougatine