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Showing posts from 2008

A Wonderful Christmas

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I just returned from a wonderful Christmas filled with tons of good food, family and friends.

Way too much eating and drinking went on over the past week and I cannot mention everything so I’ll try to give a little outline with a few highlights.

The festivities started off at Mr. T’s parents, where we started to enjoy the after noon by opening up a MAGNUM of Chimay Blue Grand Reserve.



Yes, that’s right, a Magnum.

Now I have had Chimay Blue before and always enjoyed the flavor but this time it was a little different.

There was still the nice malty smell and taste but it was smoother somehow.

When I got home I checked out their website and they said it is indeed quite a different beer than a regular sized Chimay.

Since it is such a huge amount, it affects the second fermentation of the beer which results in a fuller, smoother product.

So the regular, easy to drink 9% abv. Chimay became even easier to drink and enjoy.

We were all feeling pretty good by the end of the bottle and decided to break…

Coffee!!!!

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I woke up Sunday morning and was determined to get all of my Christmas shopping done before it was time to watch football.

I decided to head out to the farthest place first, so I jumped on the 6 train and headed to the Upper East Side. I needed to pick up a gift certificate at Café Sabarsky and I decided I might as well enjoy a cup of coffee while I was there as well.

Unfortunately a lot of other people seemed to have the same idea as I did and there were no tables left for me when I arrived.

The maitre d’ told me the downstairs café, Café Fledermaus, was open with the same menu so I decided to check it out.

I walked in the café and was greeted, rather jovially, by two waiters with thick Austrian accents.

I was kind of taken a back by the enthusiastic greeting at first, until I realized there was no one else in the café besides myself. These guys were probably dying for a customer, so I happily took a seat.

Everything about the downstaits is kind of mod. Black and white checkered floors,…

Brunch at Noho Star and the Rest of the Gluttonus Weekend

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After such a huge meal at Peter Lugers the night before you would think that food would be the last thing on our mind Saturday morning.

However we ate quite early the night before and after much more imbibing after Luger's, I woke up ready to eat!

We had been planing to get Thai food for lunch, but this being a complete gluttonous weekend, we decided we were all hankering for a good Bloody Mary to help start off our day.

So we headed out to Noho Star.

We got there around right around 12:30 and the place was already packed!

Then it occurred to me...Oh yeah. Saturday brunch in Noho before Christmas equals lots of shoppers and tourists out eating.

Probably not the best choice, since we were all starving, however some seats opened up at the bar and we were able to get a breakfast cocktail while we waited.

Have a look at this Bloody Mary.



Wow. This thing was fantastic.

Can you see all of the chunky tomato goodness and the black pepper swirling around?

This was spicy, thick and rich. Kind of lik…

A Fantastic Weekend of Food & Drink -Peter Lugers

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My two friends from upstate came to visit last weekend and I was psyched!

Why? Because they are fun people but more importantly they love good food and wine as much as me!

So I knew it was going to be a great weekend. I just didn't realize the amount of food we would eat! Offdah! Talk about being indulgent!

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Friday started with a half day of work and then off the Grand Central to pick up the Pitted Pruner and Arian.

The one thing I love about the Pitted Pruner is that he almost always knows what he wants to eat.

I can sit and contemplate for hours, agonizing over the various choices.

The Pruner gets a hankering and that's that.

It was no different today. I rolled up and he says "let's grab some sushi."

Sure! I already liked the way this weekend was starting.

So we head over to Sushi Yasuda.

Now we knew we had reservations for Peter Luger later so we didn't go crazy but ordered a couple rolls and some amazing pieces of Eel and Toro.

Y…

Best of 2008

Holy Crap! There's only two weeks of 2008 left!!!!

Well Time Out New York just came out with its best picks for food and drink in 2008 and I figured, hey, I should do my own!

Precursor!!! Just so you know, not all of these places are new to 2008. Some have been around for a long time but I have only been able to try them for the first time this year.

This is my little favorites of the year list.

The funniest thing is that I didn't blog about half of them! I don't really know why I guess I was just really busy this year and I decided to save the best for last :)

So here goes:

Bacon Fat English Muffin at Momofuku Ko
First thing I thought of when I started this list. Not only was it one of the most unbelievable meals I have ever eaten OR scored a reservation too, this English Muffin was a sinfully delicious treat I will always remember.

La Caille at L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon
Free range caramelized quail stuffed with foie gras, potato puree and summer truffle. This was my birt…

Prune

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After a wonderful and lovely Thanksgiving with family and friends we came home from Florida on Friday happy but a little tired.

Saturday came and we had more company come and stay with us for the weekend.

By the time Sunday night rolled around I was exhausted and decided to take a much needed break and took the day off on Monday.

I slept in late and decided to treat myself to lunch. I was planning to meet Mr. T for his lunch break at my favorite burger joint P.J. Clark's but then Mr T had to cancel last minute.

Well I had already been craving a burger so I decided to head downtown instead and finally check out Prune.

Walking into Prune I immediately felt comfortable in the small and homey space. It was quite empty with only a group of four, two couples and another solo diner.

I wasn't sure if it would get crowded so I decided to just have a seat at the tiny bar.

Again, I love the feel of the place. The sun was streaming in the big open windows and it was the perfect day to sit and p…

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

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Happy Thanksgiving!!!! So I'm in Florida this year for the holiday which is kind of strange. It doesn't really feel like Thanksgiving because of the palm trees and sun. So I decided my Thanksgiving post wouldn't be a regular turkey and potatoes post either. Instead I'm going to show you one of the best fish tacos I have ever had right here in St. Augustine. These are the baja fish tacos from Nalu's.



Nalu's is actually just a small stand, kind of like a street meat cart in the city. You roll up, place your order and then sit at a little picnic table and wait for your food. About 10 minutes later you have a Styrofoam container filled to the brim with tacos, rice and beans and chips.  The fish is only called the fish of the day and I think ours was a Mahi Mahi. It came with cabbage, cheese, and a baja sauce that was delicious!!! For around $7.00 I was stuffed to the gills and happy as a clam.



The best part about Nalu's? It's open today until 3:00! So if y…

Post Road Pumpkin Ale

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I absolutely love all of the autumn beers that come out around October.

This past year I was so busy traveling here and there I feel like I never got a chance to really have any special harvest ales.

I saw Post Road Pumpkin in the store the other day and I grabbed what looked to be the last six pack.

Post Road is actually made by Brooklyn Brewery. I can't believe I have never tried this one considering it's brewed so close to where we live.



The beer poured with a nice orangy amber color and a small head.

It had a faint smell of pumpkin and nutmeg on top but not overpowering like some pumpkin beers.

The taste wasn't overpowering either. The pumpkin flavor was very prevalent but subtle and there were notes of caramel that rounded out the smooth flavor of the beer.

This is one of the best pumpkin beers I have ever had. I could easily have a couple in a row without feeling too full or sick from the flavor. Very drinkable.

A Leisurely Lunch at Otto

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Okay, I have to start this post just by showing these pictures. OMG how good does this food look!!



These are the Brussels sprouts con vin cotto and the Octopus, celery and lovage.

I honestly had to look up what lovage was(thank goodness for wikipedia) and it's basically a plant that resembles celery.

It doesn't really matter because in the end the taste of these two dishes were ridiculously good and I am honestly salivating a little just staring at them right now.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Mr. T and I headed out on Saturday ready to do some shopping and hit up Bottlerocket's Thanksgiving wine and food tasting.

We got to Bottlerocket about 2:30 and the line was already huge!!

Mr. T is not one to wait in line for anything, so after some discussion we decided to leave the line, do some shopping and go enjoy a nice lunch at Otto instead.

For those of you that don't know, Otto is one of Mario Batali's restaurants that is known mostly for it's pizzas and wine.

W…

Free Wine Tasting Today!

Just so you guys know there is a free food and wine tasting today at one of my favorite wine stores Bottlerocket on 19th street.

I went last year and they had a bunch of different wines to try along with some Thanksgiving foods provided by City Bakery (yum!) to get you ready for the holiday season. It's today from 2:00-5:00. Enjoy!

Ippudo

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It's starting to get chilly once again on Tuesday so we decided to go out and get a big bowl of some RAMEN!!!

Ippudo is a new place that opened this summer near St. Marks place. It's always very crowded whenever I walk by so I was a little nervous we would have a long wait.

We decided to go early and at about 5:30 we walked inside and got a seat right away.

Ippudo has a nice airy but sleek interior. It was a lot more spacious from the inside than I had imagined.

We looked at the menu and realized we both wanted to order the same exact things we had at Momofuku the week before!

We like what we like!

Because of that, we ended up comparing each thing with Momofuku. It's kind of impossible not to when something is so fresh in your mind.

Anyway, we decided to start with some steamed pork buns.



The two buns came out looking a little bigger than Momofuku's but quite similar in style.

The pork inside was thinly sliced and came topped with lettuce and mayonnaise.

I thought the mayonnaise…

Bouchon Bakery

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My Iphone had been giving me tons of trouble ever since I bought it. I took it to the Meatpacking Apple store and the "Genius" at the "Genius Bar" didn't help me at all.

It wasn't that he didn't help me, he just didn't listen to me! He gave me the same talk he would have given anyone regardless of their problem. I came home, did what he said to do and nothing changed.

I decided to try my luck at the 5th Avenue store and was met with the most wonderful man ever! Within 10 minutes I was out the door with the problem solved and feeling like I mattered.

Now was that so hard?

I decided to walk over to the Time Warner Center and pick up some tasty treats to celebrate my success!



Mr. T has been working hard all week again so I got us a couple things and brought them home.

I went directly to Bouchon Bakery which is Thomas Keller's bakery on the 3rd floor.

The place had a line about ten people long with the usual tourists.

I felt kind of bad because they all loo…

My Halloween Treat

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This Halloween my was my friend's 30th birthday so we traveled to garrison NY to spend it with her and the best people in the universe my friends!!!!

I stopped at the Jas mart on my way to pick up some funky candy and of the bunch I picked this was the winner.



It's a mini cheeseburger candy!!

This little concotion was yummy!! The outside bun was sesame seed cracker with an inner burger of chocolate covered in what tasted to be an almost peanut butter cheese top.

It was surprisingly good (and look at Mr T's fingers....he could be a hand model no?)



They came about 25 mini guys per box and had all the crunchy, salty sweet goodness I enjoy in a Take 5 candy bar but in better wrapping.

Not only that it looked like my favorite food in a candy treat!!!

Happy Late Halloween!!! And Yay Obama!!!!!

Brooklyn Diner

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I had a day off of work on Monday and spent it, unfortunately, doing work stuff :(

I had a LOT of things to buy to get ready for a conference I'm going to present at this week.

I found myself in Times Square, which is not exactly a great place for food.

Once I got what I needed from the Hershey store and a few other places I started to look around for some lunch options.

I was actually planning to grab a cab down to Prune to FINALLY try out their burger but then I stumbled across Brooklyn Diner.

It looked pretty empty and I was starving, so I decided this would be a good lunch place.

I went inside and grabbed a seat at the bar.

The whole place was bright and shiny and quite a bit bigger than expected.

I looked at the menu and was a little shocked at the prices. Even for Times Square they were pretty high!

Oh well. I ordered a beer and the Brooklyn Diner specialty cheeseburger.

The beers on tap were pretty impressive.

They had everything from an Ommegang Abbey Ale to an Abita Light.

I order…

More Cupcakes From Amai

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I talked about Amai bakery WAY back when they first opened on 3rd avenue. I’ve been there multiple times since and have come to love the little tea and cookie shop.

The other day I swung by and decided to forgo my usual green tea cupcake and instead got a caramel chocolate and a pumpkin.

They all have the same style, a small cupcake with a heavy, somewhat lopsided swirl on top.

The chocolate cake was light and fluffy with a nice coca flavor. The cake could have been a little bit moister but it was still quite fabulous.



The one thing I love about Amai cupcakes are that they aren’t very sweet.

You know how you can almost feel the sugar eating away at your teeth from some of the other bakeries in the city (And I DO love Magnolia, I just have to be in the mood for a super sugary treat when I go)

There is none of that here. The frosting was light with just a subtle taste of caramel.

It actually reminded me of the flavor of a Caramel Macchiato from Starbucks but not as sweet.

The pumpkin wa…

Momofuku Noodle Bar

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It was a FREEEZING day Wednesday and I was not prepared to handle the weather.

My thin black work pants were no match for the sharp wind and I dashed home after work to get some warmth.

I walked inside my apartment and instead of feeling the rush of heat I felt nothing. I went back out into the hallway and saw a sign up that said "Sorry for the inconvenience the boiler is broken".

Inconvenience!! It's fricken freezing!!

So I called Mr. T and told him the situation.

We decided to do what any normal American would and use it as an excuse to go out for some beers and dinner!

We met up at McSorleys and over a couple of darks and lights we decided to go to Momofuku Noodle bar for some warm comfort food.

We got to Momofuku right before 8:00 and only had to wait about 2 minutes for a seat.

Both of us knew exactly what we wanted so we placed our order and got our appetizer within minutes.

Of course we had to start with the pork buns.



Okay...SO much has been written about these things it…

My Drinking Wine These Days

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I don't know about you but I kind of change my wine though the seasons.

The last couple months we were drinking a lot of Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc.

Obviously it was summer so white was the choice.

But now summer has ended and it's time to get back into the reds and one of my favorite, cheap and wonderful wines to drink right now is the Las Hormigas Altos Malbec.



It pours a dark reddish purple color and has an excellent dry, black cheery taste with a smooth finish.

There have been a lot of great Malbec's coming out of Argentina lately and this is one of my favorites.

It's a full body wine but so well structured that it's quite easy to drink.

The best part is the price.

In NYC it usually averages around $10.00 a bottle. So you can enjoy a nice wine without breaking the bank.

It's a fantastic way to settle in and get cozy with some scary Halloween movies on a weekday night.

So go out, grab a bottle, Return of the Living Dead Part II, your favorite main squeeze and cal…

Sweets at Chocolate Bar in Buffalo

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Friday night I went out to dinner with my family at Papaya, an Asian fusion place in Buffalo.
The food was pretty good and the atmosphere was fun. But the best part, in my opinion, is that it's next door to a dessert place called the Chocolate Bar!  I had always heard good reviews about this place so I was psyched. Walking inside I immediately liked the decor. It was dark, sleek and a little sexy I guess. A good place for a date...Or with your entire immediate family..whichever you prefer.

They have a surprisingly large selection of wine and spirits, for a dessert place, so I ordered up a bottle of Pinot Noir and we put in our dessert order. Now since I'm on vacation and have SO much trouble choosing between desserts, I did the only thing one can do in these situations. I ordered two. The first one was the special of the month the pumpkin gelato.



This dessert was certainly quite stunning to look at and really got me in the Halloween spirit. Unfortunately it wasn't that great…

Yummm!! Jacques Torres Cookie

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I've always been a person who NEEDS to have at least one piece of chocolate or sweet every day. I just don't feel right until I do.  But lately I've been needing more.  Not more chocolate but more dessert...Cupcakes, puddings, ice creams...my daily mini Toblerone and my scoop of Nutella just haven't been doing the job lately.

So the other day after lunch, I was heading to the nearby bodega for my sugar fix. You know, a Rocher or some other single serving piece of chocolate they usually keep on the counter. Something that makes me feel less guilty than buying a whole candy bar! But once I got inside, one look at the sad display of sweets I knew I needed something more  
So I decided to take a little walk and trekked all the way down to one of the best chocolatiers in the city..Jacques Torres.

Walking into his store is what I imagine it smelled like when Charlie first walked into Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. Except no Oompa Loompa's. I was overwhelmed by all of …

Back to Buffalo...Again!

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I'm going back to Buffalo this weekend to watch the Bills take on the Chargers in what I imagine to be a very, very tough game. I'm beyond psyched to see the game up close and personal for the first time this season. Last time I was home I talked a little about the food I had enjoyed although I never got around to talking about Tempo in downtown Buffalo, where I had a delicious Arugula and Prosciutto salad that was surprisingly accompanied by Feta cheese.



It came with a light lemon mint vinaigrette. The acid from this dressing really helped balance the strong taste of the Feta and it was delicious. My main course that night was also phenomanal the whole Branzino.



Yum!!! This came glazed in a Pesto sauce with a salad of sweet peppers and potatoes on the side. It was fabulous! I have had a lot of whole fish here in NYC and I would put this one up against the best here in the city. It was delicate, moist and simply bursting with flavor. 

Tempo was a beautiful place as well. It was l…

Update!

So you know the cupcake I was telling you about yesterday?

Daily Candy sent out an email about that dessert place How Sweet It Is today.

AND if you print out the Daily Candy email and bring it into the store this week you get 25% off you order! Not a bad deal!

I posted the link below...Happy Eating!

Cupcake Coupon

How Sweet It Is

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I was walking home from work today and had my mind on getting some sweets. My plan was to walk through Chinatown, up the LES a little bit and then stop at the Chikalicious Pudding store on my last leg and pick up some cupcakes since I’ve never tried them out.

Well as I was walking up Allen street I literally stumbled across this dessert shop. How Sweet It Is.



Since that was exactly what I had in mind, I went inside and loved what I saw.

A little counter housed a bunch of pastries, muffins, brownies and most of all different kinds of cupcakes!!

The woman behind the counter was extremely nice and she explained each off the different flavors of cupcakes, to me: Red Velvet, Peanut Butter & Jelly, Nutella, German Chocolate…I could go on but I think you get the picture.

The last one she said got me though. Their special of the week.

The Chocolate Guiness Stout cupcake with pumpkin icing and pumpkin cream cheese frosting in the middle.

Holy Halloween!!!

I somehow made it all the way without dig…

NYC Food And Wine Festival- Lots o' Vino!!

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The weekend was the NYC Food and Wine Festival and I have to say it was pretty awesome.

We had tickets to the second session of the Grand Tasting Saturday from 3:00-6:00. We showed up at the welcome center first and were greeted with free chocolates, a generous gift bag filled with all sorts of goodies and a free Waterford Wine glass.

I was pretty jazzed already and we hadn't even gotten into the Tasting yet!

The tasting was held on Pier 54 and it couldn't have been a more perfect day for the event. The sun was shining and everyone just seemed to be in a great mood.

Mr T and I got a chance to try everything! I mean everything! There wasn't a station we missed.

The best dish of the night goes solidly to Alex Urena from Pamplona.



This was braised Washugya Brisket with Manchego rice and Black Olive sauce.

OMG this was so good! The meat was so tender it just fell apart as you cut inside.

The sauce was excellent as well as the rice but the meat really stole the show on it's own.

To…