Saturday, March 29, 2008

Cask Ales and Bacon Lollipops

Yesterday we hit up the first night of the Gotham Imbiber Cask Ale Festival over at Chelsea Piers. We knew we would be drinking lots of strong beers throughout the night so we started out by ordering some good beer food.

And there is nothing better than some big salty hot pretzels to go with the suds.



Mr. T and I have been to Chelsea Piers a bunch of times, usually in the summer, to sit out on the patio. While the food on their menu isn't fantastic, the pretzels consistently blow us away.

They're so big and buttery! And come with some melted processed cheese for dipping. Yum!!

As a special for the beer tasting they offered a cheese plate.



This came with 3 different cheeses of which I enjoyed the cheddar the best. It had a smokey flavor that went really well with the stouts we were drinking.

Now how about that cask beer!



Here is just one side of the menu. They had 39 casks all together and quite a diverse amount. We tried a bunch but these were the two winners in my book.

First the Flying Bison Warbird.



Okay, so I'm from near Buffalo and I'm a little bit biased, but this beer really is awesome. It's an Imperial/Double IPA that poured a slightly orange brown color with no head (cask beers don't usually have much head). The beer itself was quite smooth with hints of Carmel throughout and a slightly orange zesty finish.

For an 8% beer it's dangerously drinkable.

The other winner of the night was the Otter Creek Sea Otter.



This is a Baltic Porter from Vermont that poured a reddish black with a little bit of head. The beer had an excellent smooth chocolaty taste and the texture was almost velvety. I loved this beer and will definitely pick some up if I see it in the stores. I believe Whole Foods carries Otter Creek.

One more beer that I didn't get a shot of but needs a mention is the Sly Fox Ichor. This is actually a barleywine that would be a great after dinner drink. It was very sweet but for a 10% beer pretty light in body.

Obviously this should be served in a small snifter instead of drank down in a 16oz beer glass like Mr. T did. But hey, this was a festival after all. Why not get a little crazy!

The festival itself was fun and well run. You had to buy a sheet from the bar of "tokens" and then bring it over the the cask table and they would give you the beers.

The lines moved quickly and everyone really seemed to be enjoying themselves. We were lucky enough to have a table but there was plenty of room to stand if needed. Besides the fact that it was freezing cold inside the brewery, everything was fantastic.

Oh I almost forgot- the Lollipops!!!

We were drinking our beers when our friend pulled out this box. Bacon Maple Lollipops!!!



Apparently he saw them online and decided- hell why not! See the brown stuff inside! That's bacon!



So how were they?

Pretty good I have to say! The outside tasted like a really sweet maple syrup, almost a little too sweet, but then you would hit the bacon and get a chunk of salty grissle. The whole texture was a little weird for me, and I don't think I would be eating these as a daily thing, but they were pretty good.

A sweet and savory taste combination I never thought I would have in a lollipop that's for sure.

So if you're into beer I recommend heading over to the festival. It runs all weekend long and they still have plenty of great beers to go though.

Gotham Imbiber Cask Festival

Chelsea Brewery

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Insomnia Cookies

I had always heard about a delivery service for fresh baked cookies down by NYU and thought that was a great idea. I remember many a night, up late cramming for tests in college and craving some sort of sugar. The company was actually started by some undergrads in Pennsylvania and the business has just grown from there.

What a great story!

So when I heard last week that Insomnia cookies opened their own store, I ran down and ordered four different cookie to try out. The cookies are fresh baked so they came out hot and ready to go.

I was planning to wait until after dinner to eat them, but who could wait with hot cookies!



So I bit into the M&M chocolate chip cookie first because it was literally oozing melty sweet chocolate all over the bag!

The cookie had a nice crisp outside and warm gooey center. I enjoyed this cookie. The m&m to dough ratio was good and it was a nice size.

This is ended up being the winner of the bunch.

The next was the Chocolate Chunk. This cookie was also good but a little bit too baked for my liking.



Even when the cookie was hot the edges were charred a little too much making them hard instead of chewy. I think the cookie was a little to thick as well. I will try another one of these though because the chocolate was so good. I think I may have just had a bad batch.

The last two did not fare so well. The Peanut Butter and the Sugar Cookie.



The Sugar was thick and hard, no bend at all even when I tried to break it in half. Once I had a bite I found little to no taste. Really disappointing.

The peanut butter fared about the same texture wise. At least it had a little more flavor but I wouldn't order it again.

So Insomnia Cookies didn't exactly do it for me like I was hoping. Then again, they cater to college students and whether I want to believe it or not...I'm really not that close to the college age I once was :(

But I love the concept and can see eating some of the M&M ones on a cold winters day. Yum!!

Insomnia Cookies

Monday, March 24, 2008

Happy Easter!!!

So my Easter wasn't too exciting this year. I woke up on Sunday not feeling well and so we cancelled our family plans.

I had gone down to Black Hound bakery the day before to pick up some nice Easter treats. How cute do these look?



The one on the right is a Meyer Lemon Easter Egg cake and the one on the right is their Spring Strawberries & Cream cake.

I had planned to bring these treats for Mr T's family to enjoy but since we knew we wouldn't see them for a while we decided to enjoy them ourselves late Easter night. And they were fantastic!!

The Egg was filled to the brim with Meyer Lemon filling that was zesty, cool and refreshing. We gobbled this up before I got a shot.

The strawberries and Cream was just as good as the lemon.



Look at those big chunks of strawberry! The cake itself as really moist and light with layers of vanilla cream in between. The white chocolate icing was my favorite part. It wasn't too heavy or sugary and came with some vanilla cake crumbs on the bottom. Yum!!

We devoured both of these. I feel a little bad not sharing with anyone else on Easter but at least it's an excuse for me to return. The people in the bakery couldn't have been nicer yesterday so I am happy to give them more service.


Black Hound

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Sixth Ward

We stopped by a new Irish bar last Saturday down in the LES to celebrate St. Patrick's day without the crowds. Luckily the Sixth Ward was exactly what we were looking for. After a day of mostly lounging and shopping we walked in around 5:30 and the place was just beginning to get filled up.

We sat down and ordered some Buffalo Wings and beers.



These puppies came out steaming!!! They were right out of the fryer hot and crispy just like they make them in Buffalo.

The sauce was a little tangy, sweet almost, not like a typical hot wing sauce. I almost want to say it tasted a little like honey BBQ but really good. The wings were a good size for NYC as well and not super fatty. A better than average wing I would say.

They also had a decent selection of beers including a Bluepoint Blueberry (sign of Spring!), Weinstephaner Hefeweizen and Red Hook IPA.

The Sixth Ward itself was pretty cool. The inside reminded me a little bit of a hotel lounge with the back lights on the walls but the round booths, ample bar seating and multiple (albeit small) TVs made up for the lights and actually made it quite relaxing.

The biggest draw is the pool table and large outdoor space that is perfect for drinking some beers when the weather gets nice. Outdoor space is prime in the city. Hopefully this place won't get too packed in the summer.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Hudson Valley Resturant Week

So I took the train up to Chappaqua on Sunday to visit with one of my best friends and partake in the Hudson Valley restaurant week. My friend picked me up at the station and we decided to go out for some pre-dinner drinks and catch up a little bit.

Mr. T grew up around this area and I remembered going to a great bar called Peabody’s back when I used to come visit him. I looked it up when I was home and sure enough, they still had a website and everything so we decided to go there.

Well Peabody’s apparently changed it’s name to the Quaker Hill Tavern and we must have drove past it about 5 times when finally we figured out that’s what it was.

The place itself is still the same. Your typical Irish bar with nice bartenders and a great neighborhood vibe. It’s nice because it’s so close to the train station as well. I asked the bartender when they changed their name and he said about 3 years ago! I wish they would change their website as well! I do love their beer glasses though.



Anyway, after that little hiccup and a couple of beers we headed down to the Crabtree Kittle for dinner. Since it was a Sunday we decided to do an early dinner so I wouldn’t get back into the city too late. We made reservations for 5:00 and when we pulled into the parking lot I was surprised to see it so full. We waved the valet parkers away and found a space in the back.

The Kittle House itself has a nice old school elegant charm about it. It almost reminded me of one of those old estates you find down in the south. We walked inside and were greeted by about six eager hosts and hostesses. They were all very friendly but it was a little overwhelming. After one woman took my coat we were seated in the main dining room.

The dining room itself had the same old school elegance as the front of the house. Every table was covered in white linen and gold mirrors and various paintings were hung on the walls. There were nice big windows on one side, which allowed the sunlight to stream in and brighten the place up a bit.

We sat down and were given the restaurant week prix fix menu, which listed our options for food and a few select glasses of wine. I knew we had planned on splitting a bottle so I asked for the larger list. And larger list I received!!

He came back with a binder that weighed at least 5 pounds! I could barely manage it. I had no idea that the Kittle House had won various awards for their extensive wine list. We both thought it was pretty funny since we were both so surprised. I ended up picking out a bottle of white and we ordered our meals.

Now the nice thing about going out to dinner with friends is the sharing! Sometimes I know Mr. T gets annoyed by me always trying out his food. Here my friend and I decided to split everything.

First they brought over some crusty bread and then our appetizers



I decided to start with the Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Brussels sprout leaves, lemon and ginger sauce.

Wow. I thought this was really good. The gnocchi’s were nice and soft and the sweet potato flavor mixed with the ginger sauce gave this dish an almost Asian flare to it. Really nice.

My friend opted for the Hudson Valley Farmhouse Salad.




On the menu it described this dish as being field greens, fresh herbs and local vegetables.

I tried a bite and knew immediately there was something in the salad I didn’t like. Cilantro!

Now I have never cared for cilantro and Mr. T is extremely allergic to the stuff so we are always careful when we’re out to avoid this at all costs. I was kind of surprised it wasn’t listed specifically on the menu. Oh well at least Mr. T wasn’t here to get sick.

I had a couple more bites, eating around the cilantro and found the salad to be good. They used a Meyer Lemon dressing on top which I thought could have used a little more kick to it but overall your average dinner salad.

Then our main courses arrived. I ordered the Grilled Prime Sirloin Steak.




See that little bundle of color there on the side? That’s actually haricot verts that were wrapped up by a slice of carrot. Kind of neat I thought.

The beef came with a very nice cabernet sauce and was topped with a shallot confit. The only part of the dish I didn’t really care for was the potatoes boulanger. To me it was just a really big hash brown. Carrie seemed to like it though, so to each their own!

Although I enjoyed my beef immensely I have to say the other entree we ordered was the clear winner of the night.




This is the Fillet of Nile Perch. First of all look at the presentation. This huge piece of fish sits atop a blend of mushrooms, asparagus, leeks and mussels. The entire dish is then coated with a basil broth.

Everything just worked in the dish. The leeks and asparagus complemented the basil in the broth and the fish was cooked perfectly.

Our last course of the night- dessert!!



We ordered the Crème Brulee and the Peach Tart Tatin.

The first one I tried was the Crème Brulee. I have to say it had a slightly odd flavor and texture to it. The brulee itself was really thick.almost too thick. And while it was listed as being a Tahitian vanilla bean brulee it had a weird aftertaste that was almost a little sour.




Our second dessert was much better. The peaches were just tart enough and it came with a Meyer Lemon rum sauce that was amazing. We gobbled this up in no time flat.

After our meal was finished we retired to the bar for an after dinner drink. They have a lovely long mahogany bar that is just gorgeous.

Some things I forgot to add overall. The pacing of the dishes was very good. At no time did we feel rushed and we were able to savor everything with ample time in between to chat.

The presentation of the dishes was wonderful as well. Each plate which was brought out was just as wonderful to look at, as it was to eat.

Overall our service was pretty good as well. Our waiter was very accommodating and even though every table was filled when we arrived the service never seemed to slip.

So to sum up overall, for a $26 three course meal, it was an excellent restaurant week deal.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Pizza from another State!!

Last weekend we got to experience a very special treat. Some non-NY pizza that was actually good! Have a look:



Where is this Pizza from you may ask? St. Louis! It’s from a place called Imo’s Pizza which is actually extremely popular out there. One of our friends is from St Louis and she decided to order some half baked pies and have them shipped up here for us to enjoy. How awesome is that. She actually used to work at Imo’s growing up so we had a true Imo’s experience.

We started the night off first with another St. Louis culinary delight. Some toasted ravioli’s.



These beef filled raviolis were deep fried squares of deliciousness!! I found them to be a lot more satisfying for dipping in the marinara sauce than mozzarella sticks. They kept their crunch and while the inside was hot there was no tongue burning that usually accompanies my mozz stick eating.



I had brought along a growler of the Southampton Black Lager from whole Foods bowery This is basically a German style schwarbeir that tasted malty and little bit like dark chocolate. It was really light and easy to drink. I would definitely buy this beer again. And isn't the growler kind of neat!



Once our hunger was quenched a little by our appetizers the pizzas were thrown in the oven.

So what makes these pizzas so different than nyc style? The cheese.



This is Provel cheese. It’s a processed white cheese that’s a mix of cheddar, swiss and provolone. Who doesn’t love processed cheese!


Now at Imo’s the pizzas are usually cooked in a pizza oven of some sort and come out nice and easy.

Here we threw them in a regular nyc apartment oven and hoped for the best.

About 5-10 minutes into the cooking process a little smoke started to stream out of the oven. Then it seemed to increase a little…then a little more…then a little more…then a LOT more!!

Suddenly the entire apartment was filled with smoke! We had the windows open, fans on (it was freezing this night as well mind you) door open. We didn’t want to take the pizza out because it wasn’t done just yet. So we just stood there fanning the smoke away and coughing until finally the pizza was done. A little sacrifice goes a long way for good food.

The pizza came out and looked amazing:



I offered to help cut the pizza up since everyone was still kind of running around getting the smoke out. So of course this is what I did:



Luckily I only had time to cut up one of the pies before one of the St. Louisians saw what I was doing and stopped me.

See Imo’s pizza is always cut into squares! Me and my nyc pizza styling’s were all wrong. Luckily she took over and they came out looking more like this.



The pizza was awesome. The dough was really thin almost like a cracker and the Provel cheese has an awesome almost slightly sour taste to it that I loved. I actually put some non-melted Provel cheese on my salad and really liked it too. I may have to get some shipped up to me!

Now our other friend went to college in St Louis so he decided to recreate his glory college days by bringing over some cases of Natty Ice.

Well we got really back into the college days and started drinking that and playing cards. It was tons of fun until the next day.

Mr. T and I woke with horrible headaches and didn’t really move much for the first couple of hours.

Thank goodness I don’t have to party like I used to in college. My body can’t handle that anymore! So our Imo’s night was a huge success.

Those people from St Louis are pretty cool....even if they do talk funny :)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Allen and Delancey Delivers

It was Mrs. T’s birthday this past week so we all got together for dinner at Allen & Delancey. Our reservations were for 6:00 and we walked in as the first people in the restaurant. Now I had been in here once before but only for a drink at the bar.

The back is absolutely stunning. I loved walking through the heavy red velvet curtains to reveal exposed brick and a ton of candles! Incredibly romantic. I would describe the style as refined bohemian. If that could be a style :)

Now it was too dark to take pictures of anything but here is a picture of the inside courtesy of the Allen and Delancey website.




We placed our order while sipping some great cocktails and then our bread arrived.

Oh my goodness the bread is divine! They said it was baked to order right out of the oven. They gave us two pieces, one regular white roll and one bacon and sage.

I ripped into the bacon and sage and steam wafted up into the air. The top had a nice crispy coating of salt and butter while the insides were soft and so fresh! It really doesn’t get much better than freshly baked bread.

We had finished our cocktails and decided to move onto wine for the rest of or meal. We were split on ordering red or white so we decided to get a bottle of each. We had a couple of ideas in mind but asked the sommelier for some assistance.
The sommelier was wonderful. He listened to our requests intently and then gave a couple of his picks based on what we ordered.

Get this- He recommended a red that was $20 cheaper than the one we had asked him about. It was a Spanish wine, the 2006 Petalos and it was fabulous! We had had some snooty service from some other sommeliers in the city and this was a welcome change.

Then our appetizers arrived. I ordered the Sea Scallops which came with a bacon cream sauce, cipollini onions and verjus. The scallops were huge and cooked so that the middle was a little raw which I enjoy. I thought the flavor of the bacon cream sauce with the sour verjus was very interesting. It was a completely different spin on a classic scallop dish that I really enjoyed.

For our mains I ordered the Colorado Lamb Chops Persillade, Braised Middle Neck and Potato puree.

Now I know lamb is fatty but this was a really fatty piece. That being said, the rest of the dish completely made up for it. The garlic and parsley crust on the lamb was excellent and the braised middle neck was really moist.

The best part were the potatoes that reminded me exactly of the potatoes they serve at Gramercy Tavern! More like a potato smoothie…yum!!!!!

I tried a bite of the other dishes which were all good but I have to say the Fluke with Cauliflower Cream was amazing! I’m not sure what they did but the little bite I tried was packed with flavor.

The only dish that disappointed me a little was the Cabbage Beef and Onions. The onions and cabbage were delicious but the beef itself had a strange flavor to it. We asked what it was cooked in and the waitress said just the cabbage.

Huh..Not sure what it was but I didn’t really care for it.

I was stuffed at this point but I always make room for dessert!

I ordered a macchiato (which was one of the best I have ever had btw) and the Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart, malted milk sorbet and Whiskey Vanilla shake.

This dessert was good. The tart was a classic chocolate peanut butter tart and the shake was a great accompaniment to the richness of the chocolate. It didn’t really blow me away though.

I think I have to change my dessert orders. I always order the chocolate one and there’ s only so much you can do with chocolate.

I tried a bite of Mr. T’s dessert the Sweet Cream French Toast with Oatmeal Ice cream and Caramelized Banana. It was really good. I’m a sucker for a caramelized banana!

Then the check came and this was just something else that I thought was nice.
As the waitress handed us the check she said “Just so you know the gratuity is already included since you’re a party of six”.

Now this might not seem like a lot but I can’t tell you how many times we’ve probably left double the tip after a long extravagant meal filled with wine and cocktails. And especially in this place where the low lighting makes it difficult to read the bill it was just a wonderful consideration at the end.

Allen and Delancey really impressed me overall.

On the way out I mentioned to the sommelier how much I enjoyed the wine he had suggested and he took the time to write down the name and year so I could buy some at home. What a great meal!

My one small complaint would only be the lack of bathrooms. I believe there was only a single one for the entire restaurant and bar. I had to wait about 15 minutes on our way out just to get in. But overall just a really pleasant experience with the family.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Chinatown Brasserie

We woke up this past Sunday a little too late because of the spring ahead change in time. The plan was to go to Chinatown for dim sum but we figured it was already too late and most of the good stuff would be gone.

Instead we headed down to Chinatown Brasserie where we knew we could get some good food, albeit more expensive.

We walked in around 1:30 and the place was packed! The entire waiting area was filled and there were no empty table. Luckily there were a couple of open stools at the bar.

I decided to try out one of their cocktails and ordered a Bellini martini.



This was little too sweet for my tastes. There was way too much peach puree and not enough prosecco. I wouldn't order one of these here again.

For starters we got some pan fried crab, shrimp and spinach dumplings.



These were a little bland. I was expecting a little more flavor from the crab but there was hardly any inside.



I'm not usually a big fan of the sauce they send it with so that didn't help. I thought the skin would be nice and crispy since it was pan fried but I guess I was wrong.

For our main dish we ordered the Crispy Orange Beef with orange zest, chili's and grand marnier.



This was excellent. The beef had an interesting texture of both crispy and chewy that I really liked. The sauce had a hot and sweet orange flavor that was wasn't too rich and syrupy like most places you get it. I really enjoyed this dish.

We also ordered some soup dumplings which would have been great except the dumpling dough itself kept sticking to the steamer. Every time we picked one up the dumpling would ripe and we would lose precious drops of soup. I'm not sure why this was happening but it kind of ruined the dumplings.

Overall I did enjoy our meal. If the dumplings hadn't had the ripping problem they would have been spectacular. And I did enjoy having a fancy atmosphere for eating dumplings. It's a good alternative for those days when heading to Chinatown proper just isn't in the cards.

Chinatown Brasserie

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Ko Boo

So I have been on hiatus the last week for various reasons. First being the craziness of my work environment lately and my inability to focus on anything but that.

Second Quite a busy weekend filled with awesome food like St Louis style pizza, and meals at Allen & Delancy and Chinatown Brasserie which I will post about soon.

But third and most time consuming has been my plight to get a reservation at the new Momofuku Ko. Every second not doing the two above things have been spent hitting refresh on the website.

I know I'm a loser and now I am even more of one because I was away from a computer all day and the site went live...No Resy for me :(

I leave you with a picture of a fancy New York City restaurant bathroom (guess which one) because I don't feel like talking about food right now.


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Crumbs...

I don't know anyone who doesn't love a good cupcake. Cupcakes always remind me of my youth. I think of birthday parties at school, where parents would send in their kids with frosted delights to celebrate another year. The best part was seeing what kind of cupcakes came in!

Plain old yellow with chocolate frosting..okay

A funfetti cake with raspberry frosting- Awesome!! You would be a super cool kid for a day if your mom sent in something covered in sprinkles or maybe stuffed into an ice cream cone!

I think that's why when I saw these cupcakes I was super excited.



Wow! Look at all those chocolate chips! And could that be...peanut butter icing as well!!! This doesn't look like anything my mom made!

But wait- what's that! A Lime Green Cupcake with Vanilla sprinkles!



This must be the best birthday party ever!

I bite in, expecting a rush of flavor like a Reese's from hell and instead get a bland artificial peanut taste atop an okay cake that needed a little more butter.

The Key Lime Cupcake fared better. The frosting actually tasted like a Key Lime Pie and although the cake was still a little too dry for my tastes the inside had more cream filling.

In a town filled with cupcakes range from super sweet (Magnolias) to pretty but bland (the ones above Crumbs and Cupcake Cafe), my favorite are still at Sugar Sweet Sunshine.

But to be honest those aren't even that great.

I yearn for the days of grade school, of home baked cupcakes that might not always look the greatest but man they were good!

Maybe there's a reason bakeries can never do what Mom did. Maybe it's to remind us that the best things in life are always made with love...and who can do that better than family?

So thank you Crumbs...thank you Magnolia...thank you every other bakery in the city. I will no longer search for the perfect cupcake because I know where the best one already is...home.

Er yeah...I won't be back there for a while though. So if anyone knows of something to fill the void a little until then I'm all ears!!! I just gave up the searching part!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

A Solo Saturday

Mr T had to work all day Saturday so I was on my own. I spent the morning shopping at Trader Joe's and doing various errands that I felt like I needed to get done. Once I was finished with everything I came home and realized it wasn't even noon! What the hell was I going to do with myself all day!

I happened to have NY1 on and they did a piece on the Plaza Hotel reopening today. It was like a message sent from heaven! I would go and check out the new hotel!

So I grabbed the train and headed uptown to the Plaza. I decided to make a pit stop first at Fika since it was only a block away. I was super excited for my favorite macchiato in the city but unfortunately it was kind of gross.

There was a new barista working and I'm not sure what she did but my macchiato was pretty bad. This kind of thing makes me nervous. I told a lot of people about Fika and how much I love it. I really hope no one else goes and gets a bad brew. Oh well..in every one's life a little bad coffee must be had- it has been stellar every other time I have been there so I'll chalk it up to an off day.

Walking into the Plaza it was quite obvious that the word was out on the opening. It took me about 3 minutes just to get in the door because of the line of people waiting. Once inside I did a quick walk around.

Only part of the hotel was actually open. The right back side where the Oak Bar and lobby used to be is still closed off for renovations. The new lobby is now to the left and is also where the Champagne Bar is located.

Now to be honest I had planned on getting a drink to celebrate the opening but there were no seats available. The place was packed! Second I looked at the menu and nothing was exactly in my price range! I think the cheapest thing was a glass of Chardonnay for $16.

This wasn't a special occasion or anything so I couldn't bring myself to spend so much on a drink. At least not alone- I would want to enjoy this with someone.

They also served food in the Champagne Bar and everything coming out of the kitchen looked fantastic! They had some sort of lobster and crab slider that looked amazing. I will definitely be back.

After looking around the Plaza some more I decided to head out and walked over to do some shopping on Sixth avenue. I eventually wandered into Times square and found myself outside of ESPN Zone. I wanted to check on some of the college basketball scores so I went inside.

Now I was in ESPN Zone once way before I moved to NY and barely remember it. I saw all of these people heading upstairs so i decided to follow them. Up and up past bar after TV after bar after TV...you get the gist. But then low and behold at the very top it opened up and there was a huge game zone! I mean huge! There were basketball hoops, bowling games, jet skiing, waverunning, golfing game and then your average arcade games as well. It was better than a Dave & Busters!

I had nothing to do so I decided to buy a game card and ended up shooting some hoops versus a couple of 10 year olds. Not my proudest moment but man it was fun!

After about a half hour of gaming my arms were so exhausted they were shaking and I had a little bit of sweat running down my back. I realized that my body wasn't exactly in the same shape it used to be when I was younger. I was feeling kind of bad about myself when I realized hey, being older kind of stinks but there are lots of things I can do now that I couldn't do in High School....Like drink beer! (Not legally at least!) So I decided to go and get a drink!

I grabbed the train down to the West Village and went to Blue Ribbon Bakery. I grabbed a seat right by the window and ordered a Paulaner Hefeweizen.



If you're a solo diner this is one of the best places to hang out in my opinion. There's good drinks, good food and great people watching. I perused the menu a little bit and then realized I had a hankering for some oysters.

I am just getting into oysters and really don't know much about them. I decided I should go some place where it's their specialty so I could have some help. I finished my beer and headed down to Aquagrill.

I got to Aquagrill right before the start of the dinner rush and got the last seat at the bar. I looked at the wine list and was really disappointed in their white wine by the glass selection. I decided instead to just get a Peroni.

Now as I was looking at the oyster menu the bartenders were changing hands and got into quite an argument. Basically the dinner bartender yelled at the brunch bartender about not having stocked the bar for him.

Now I know things happen- this is a business but usually restaurants try to have things somewhat behind closed doors. Here the fight was in front of everyone at the bar. It was kind of weird and put me off a little.



Anyway once the fight ended the bartender steered me toward trying two oysters. The first was a Beavertail Oyster from Rhode Island.



This is the oyster on the right. I really liked this one. It had a slightly sweet taste to it which was really nice.

The other oyster was from Alaska a Canoe Lagoon on the left.



I didn't really like this oyster very much. It was a little too briny for me. I did like however how different the two oysters were. I was looking for something to really differentiate for me the flavors different kinds of oysters can have.

After the oysters I decided it was time to head home. Mr T ended up finishing work a little earlier than he thought and we grabbed some burgers near home at Molly's. Although I had a great time wandering the city by myself it was nice to have some company in the end!

Aquagrill

Blue Ribbon Bakery