Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Artichoke Pizza really is that Good

Okay Okay...If you're sick of hearing everyone talk about the new Pizza Joint Artichoke then please skip this post. But if you want to see some pictures of some amazing delicious pizza please read on.

Ever since the slice place on St. Mark's closed years ago to become a Chickpea, I have had a severe pizza void.


Now that void has been filled:)

Look at these slices of pizza! Can you say pure pieces of bliss! If only you could smell the aroma...omg. I barely made it in the door before diving into the box.

Artichoke offers a few different types of pizza. First your classic slice.

This had an excellent sauce that is thicker in texture than a normal pizza sauce with a slight tangy flavor. This slice was cooked a little bit too much for me but the cheese was awesome! Maybe a blend of mozzarella, Parmesan and Pecorino? Good stuff.

The next piece is their signature Artichoke pizza. Which is seriously bigger than my head.

I honestly wasn't sure about this pizza at first.

I had a bite, pondered a little then another bite, pondered and then all of a sudden, I had eaten the whole thing and was craving more!

WOW! It's cheese, artichokes, spinach, olive oil, garlic all baked and thrown together in a sloppy, buttery, wonderful mess.

Overall this pizza kind of reminded me of the spinach and artichoke dip from Houston's but better...and on a pizza!

Last but not least- the Sicilian.

I enjoyed this more than the regular Neapolitan slice. The cheese and sauce were the same but the the crust was more even. It had a great crunch to the edges.

I would gladly have any of these slices again and hopefully I will.

It only took me about 6 times before I finally got to Artichoke when it wasn't closed and man it was worth it.

Maybe my luck is starting to change.

Monday, April 28, 2008

A quick Update of some Seriously good Food.

So there were two points this past weekend where I was eating something and literally had to stop and take a moment because the food was that good. First up is the Cubano Sandwich from the Spotted Pig.

Oh my goodness this is the best sandwich I have ever tasted in my life. For starters the bread has an excellent crunch and the insides are toasted and buttered with maybe a little garlic.

Next is the amazing healthy serving of gruyere cheese which comes just oozing out of the sides of the sandwich.

But oh wait...there is so much more.

The slow roasted pork is incredibly mosit and melty, proababy due to the fact that it's cooked in duck and pork fat! Topped with pickled jalapeno peppers and an amazing Prosciutto de Parma it has all elements of a kick ass sandwich.

It came with an arugla salad on the side which really helped to lighten the rich flavor of the pork although I would have enjoyed my sandwich either way!

The other amazing thing I ate was the Beef Short Rib at the new BBQ joint Wildwood.

This thing is mammoth!!! Fred Flinstone style it comes out and is packed with flavor. I had thought Hill Country was the best but this place brings BBQ to a whole other level. The meat was again incredibly tender and moist with a fantastic sauce.

We had a couple other things there- the brisket being the other highlight of our meal- and really enjoyed it.

What's really nice is that they also have an excellent beer list with everything from Ommegangs to Lagunita's. I envision myself spending a lot more time at Wildwood in the future!

Now I need to get back on track and try and have some vegetables or something. It's really hard when this city is filled with such good meat.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Neighborhood Sushi That's New to Me

Yama is a tiny little sushi joint that sits just below 17th street. The inside has 2 small rooms with about 5 tables each and a tiny sushi bar in between. The place is very minimalist with little to no decoration which is just fine, since the sushi would steal the show anyway.

This is their Sushi Entree no Shellfish. This came with 2 pieces of tuna, salmon, yellowtail, mackerel and a tuna roll.

As you can see their pieces are HUGE!! They come on a huge wooden slab that's kind of intimidating once they put it down in front of you.

I have trouble fitting a regular piece of sushi in my mouth all at once...here it was impossible! The pieces weren't only big in size but big in flavor.

All of the pieces we ordered were super fresh and full of flavor.

The Sushi Entree also came with your choice of soup or salad.

We didn't realize the pieces of sushi were going to be so big so we had ordered some more food along with the platter. I got a piece of Toro and Mr. T got a piece of Unagi.

Look at that piece of Unagi! It was so big it was almost comical. We also got a spicy tuna roll which was actually white tuna inside and covered with a spicy mayo sauce.

I really liked this roll. It was a different take on the average roll. The mayo was creamy with a little kick but not overly hot.

We were so full we didn't even come close to finishing our meal. We got the check and it was about $40. We honestly could have ordered about half what we did and still have been full. What a great deal.

Watch out though- this place gets crowded!!! We showed up at 6:00 on a Monday night and got one of the last tables. This place is popular. The seats are kind of close together and the air was a little stuffy but it was worth it for the quality and price of the sushi.

Yama Restaurant

Monday, April 21, 2008

Beers & Brats at Lorely

So we swung by Loreley the other day for one of my favorite things in life- German Beer!!!

I love almost every single kind of beer Germany has to offer: Wiezens, Schwarzbier, Dunkels, Bocks. You name it I've probably already had it. Luckily there are a couple German places in the city where I can get my fill and one of my top favs is Lorely.

Loreley sits almost in the middle of the East Village Lower East Side and SOHO. It has a great outdoor patio in the back and long wooden tables inside.

It was a nice day so we sat by the open windows up front to watch the baseball game and enjoy the warm breeze.

It was such a hot day I really wanted something refreshing, so I got a crisp Warsteiner beer and we ordered up some food.

I went for the classic Bratwurst mit Brot. Basically a brat with bread and mustard. The brat was really good. I think it was a little bigger than the ones they usually serve at Zum Schneider and came with some great spicy mustard and a little side salad.

For $5 you can't get a much better deal in the city. I got everything I need on this plate: meat, carbs, veggies. Just what the body needs for drinking some beer.

Mr. T got the Currywurst mit Pomme Frites.

Basically a brat in curry sauce with french fries.

There was tons of curry sauce- much more than the wurst really needed but I think some people probably put the sauce on their fries as well.

I absolutely hate curry so I only tried out some of the fries. Thin and crispy, they could have gone for a little more salt, but overall they were quite good.

Zum Schneider is still my favorite place for German food but Loreley is right up there with it. Loreley also scores some extra points for being less crowded and having a television.

Both are great in my book...German Beer & Brats = Happy Girl.

Loreley Restaurant and Beirgarten

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Sunday at The Smith

We had some last minute house guests on Saturday night which was nice. Why so nice?

Well first of all because it was one of my best friends but also because this friend loves something just as much as I do- brunch!!!

Mr T hates brunch. He literally despises it for no reason. So the only time I get to enjoy this meal is when we have company.

I was excited to go and eat some Croques at one of our favorite brunch spots Resto but I called and it was all booked up.

I had heard that The Smith had been getting some good brunch reviews so we headed down there instead.

We got to there right around 12:15 and squeaked in before the big brunch crowd and were seated right away.

The Smith offers a free cockail wth each meal and had a bigger selection than just your avaerage bloody mary. I decided to order a bellini while the rest of the table got the blood orange mimosa's

I have to say I was a little jealous when the mimosa'a came out. They looked so good with that fuzzy red orange color. My Bellini was prepared well though, not too sweet with just enough champagne.

For my entree I decided on the Eggs any way with bacon and hash browns. (Boring I know)

A couple peices of the bacon were charred on the edges and really crispy. I love extra crispy bacon so this was right up my alley.

The Hash Brown were little discs of potato with the skins on. Almost like you would have scalloped potatoes. These were pretty good although I thought they could have been cooked a little more for crunch factor.

Here's another Eggs Any Way dish scrambled.

Mr. T got the special soft shell crab sandwich. Soft shell crab kind of grosses me out so I didn't take a picture. Who gets that for brunch anyway??!!

The best dish of the morning I think was the Croaker.

Basically just a Croque Monsieur with eggs, ham and gruyere chesse. The croque came on top of sourdough bread which gave it a slighly sweet taste.

This Croque looked small at first but it was actually enourmous. My friend barley finished half of it.

There's a lot of thick slices of ham under those eggs!!

So overall I thought The Smith was a good place for brunch. The food was good, the atmosphere was bustling but not overly loud and it came with a delicious free brunch cocktail.

What more could a girl want on a weekend morning!!!

The Smith

Monday, April 14, 2008

Bar Milano Review

So I was really excited to check out a new place that just opened nearby Bar Milano.

It was started by the same two brothers that opened 'ino, Inoeca and Lupa. Given the success of these places you can imaginethe hype for Bar Milan has been big.

I decided to swing by late Sunday morning for some caffeine. I was greeted warmly by the hostess station as I came in and was lead to a seat at the bar. There were about 10 people enjoying breakfast in the bar room and one at the bar.

The bar room at Milano has windows all around looking out onto 3rd avenue. The space is sleek and bright.

The bar itself was very comfortable. There are only about 8 seats and each one is very roomy. A long narrow table runs down the middle for people to stand at when there are no stools left and tables line the walls.

The wall on the right side even had newspapers hanging from a rack so you could catch up the morning news without leaving your seat.

I took a seat at the bar and ordered up a macchiato.

My macchiato was very good. It was bold and strong, reminiscent of what I enjoyed in Italy years ago.

While I enjoyed my drink I had a very nice talk with the bartender.

He gave me a rundown of the restaurant including some facts like the stemware is hand blown in Poland, the mixologist was on Iron Chef and the time to come is on Sundays for some good company and food.

I decided to take him up on his word and came back on Sunday for dinner.

I showed up right around 5:00 and grabbed a table in the bar room. Over the next half hour my dining mates showed up and we got some drinks.

I ordered a very nice glass of Elana Walch Muller Thargau and Mr T got a Southhampton Double White Ale.

The bartender had told me this place would be known for its cocktails but thier wine and beer list was quite impressive as well.

It wasn't huge but everything was well selected. Ommegang and Southhampton are two of my favorte breweries so that was great for me.

We placed our order and they brought over a basket of bread.

Okay..again I'm no big bread expert but it was pretty awesome! The onion bread was nice and salty, the regular roll had a perfect crunch to the outside. The only part I wasn't a big fan of was the breadstick, which was too crunchy and lacked flavor.

For my first course I ordered, what would be my favorite dish of the night. The Spring Vegetables with Garlic and anchovy.

This dish was absolutely lovely. The vegetables were cooked perfectly so that they were crisp but without losing any flavor. Tiny little croutons flavored with garlic were spread throughout and gave it a little kick without overpowering the nice fresh tastes of the veggies.

Now I should add in here that when I was ordering I asked our waiter what kinds of vegetables were in this dish. He had told me beets, carrots, vidalia onions and brussel sprouts.

Hmm...not exactly correct was he. No beets or onions here. Just Brussel Sprouts, Carrots & Yellow squash.

Mr T ordered the Scallop with Uni and Meyer Lemon.

When this came out I have to admit I took one look at it and thought really...$17.00?? Come on.

I tried a couple of bites and it was very good. It really tasted like a refreshing summer dish but honestly I could have eaten about 3 more. The portion was so small!!

Beside's the size, the only appetizer that disappointed taste wise was Kate's Porcini Mushroom dish.

We couldn't figure out what the side of custard was and asked the waiter. He mumbled something about cheese and walked away.

Okay- I know it's the first weekend and if you don't know that's alright. At least tell us you don't know and try tofind out though. That was a little annoying. He really didn't seem to care.

After about 10 minutes more our entrees came out.

I had the Sea Scallops with Celery Root Puree.

Okay- I have a lot of questions about this dish. The Diver Scallops were fantastic. They were nicely seared and had a great meaty flavor that matched the caviar.

The Bay Scallops were...interesting to say the least.

They are the one's in the shell.

They weren't cooked, I think they were steamed and I wasn't too sure what to do with them. I cut one in half and this overpowering smell of salt and brine came flooding toward me.

It smelled like the Pacific Ocean had flopped on my plate and died.

Kate was sitting next to me and got hit by the wave of salty brine as well. Mr. T grabbed one to try because he thought we were over reacting...

His face said it all...He cringed and forced a swallow. OMG this was bad. I'm not sure who decided to try this kind of scallop but it didn't work.

Mr T ordered the Agnello Misto..or the Lamb shoulder, loin and tongue.

The shoulder and loin were very good. They were packed with flavor and were interesting to eat side by side texture wise. The tongue was a little disappointing ...it was kind of tough with little flavor compared to the loin.

Our last entree was the Tagliatelle alla Bolgnese.

I thought this dish was very nice. The pasta was cooked al dente and the ragu was tasty.

It wasn't stunning but it was a solid dish.

Some final note on our dinner.

The space is just lovely. I felt so relaxed and happy in our seats. The place was packed towards the end of the night and I still felt comfortable.

As with any new place service needs some work. But unlike new places where the waiter is running around, ours seemed indifferent. The only time I got eye contact from him was when I wanted the check.

If he had been more attentive we probably would have had at least one or two more rounds of drinks. So basically he lost out on at least $20 more worth of tips.

He also gave us one horribly wrong dish description and mumbled something illegible about the other.

The other down side was the portion size.

Every dish was quite tiny. I am a light eater and after eating the bread, appetizer and entree I'm usually ready to explode. Here I was only slightly full.

For me that's alright but the other two were still petty hungry! For the price we paid I would have expected more food.

So overall my experience was mixed. I will definitely go back for a drink at the bar with the friendly bartenders. And I really want to try out their fried rabbit dish but not until they work out some service issues.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

A Neighborhood Standby Mumbles

It was such a gorgeous day on Thursday I called up Mr T to see if he wanted to grab some dinner outside. We knew everyone in the city had the same idea and most outdoor places would be packed. We decided to go for a neighborhood standby where we can almost always get a table- Mumbles.

Mumbles is really the definition of a corner bistro. It's located on the corner of 3rd and 17th street and serves a pretty wide variety of food.

Mumbles has some good staple dishes on their menu but their specials are almost always fantastic. They also have drink specials every night where they lower the price of a few select wines and beers. That night Blue Moon was $3.50 a pint- not to bad.

We placed our order and they brought over a basket of bread.

I usually forgo the bread basket but I was starving so I grabbed a piece of cornbread.

Wow! It was really buttery and rich. The first bite was heaven compared to that dry crumbly stuff you get at some places.

Now since it was before 7:00 we got the early dinner special which is basically a free salad or soup with each meal.

It's basically your average dinner salad, nothing too exciting but good. Growing up I remember getting salad with every meal for free. Now it seems like a rarity.

Mr T got the corn chowder which he thought was fantastic. The soup was mostly pureed corn so the consisitency was thick and creamy. I took a picture but it honestly looked kind of gross so I didn't put it up. Creamed corn is for eating only :)

Then came our mains.

I ordered off the regular menu that night and got the Grilled Yellow Fin Tuna.

First of all the presentation was lovely. Second of all it was very good.

The tuna was slightly seared, just as I had asked, and came covered in a teriyaki beurre blanc over wilted greens. This dish was something I would expect at a higher end Asian restaurant. It was really quite outstanding.

It came with lobster dumpling on the side which were alright. Kind of a take em or leave em kind of side. The tuna was so good it didn't really need anything else.

Mr T ordered from the specials menu and got the tortellini carbonara.

This dish was alright. The tortellinis didn't taste homemade or anything but the flavors of the bacon and peas were nice with the sauce.

So overall it was a good dinner with the tuna, corn chowder and cornbread being the highlights of the meal. We would eat at Mumbles more but the service can be a little spotty. It's nice to have in the neighbourhood though for dining al fresco.

Mumbles Restaurant

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Uptown Caffeine and Sweets

We decided to go do some shopping the other day at the Time Warner Center in Columbus Circle.

Mr T needed some new work clothes and I was in desperate need of a new pair of shoes. Trekking around the city so much really puts a toll on your feet. My current pair of shoes actually has holes in the bottom from walking so much!

I almost always head to Fika when I'm uptown but I felt like I needed to try someplace new so we stopped into Zibetto, about a block away.

Zibetto was very tiny inside with a long skinny counter and standing room only. Everyone in the place from baristas to patrons were European. That's a good sign I believe. Europeans know their coffee.

I ordered up a cappuccino and Mr T got a macchiato. My cappuccino came out smooth and creamy.

I usually ask for a little sugar but this drink didn't need it at all. If I worked up in midtown I would have a hard time choosing between Zibetto's and Fika's coffee every day!

After our drinks we walked over and did about 10 minutes of shopping. Apparently we thought the Time Warner Center had more stores inside than it did! It really doesn't have much at all and we were left with tons of time before we wanted to go to dinner at Bar Masa.

So I suggested filling up on some treats at Bouchon Bakery! The first dessert we got was their Chocolate Chip Cookie.

I was a little disappointed in this overall. The first couple bites I had were of the outside edges. These were wonderful, crisp, chewy and buttery.

As I got towards the center though, the middle tasted kind of greasy. I think it was a little too thick and undercooked.

The other treat was much better- the Vanilla Macaron.

This was about as close to perfection as it gets. The outside was light and airy and the inside was sweet and chewy. The vanilla also tasted really natural. Sometimes when I get vanilla desserts they taste artificial. Here I felt like I was biting into a fresh vanilla bean.

So although shopping was a bust we enjoyed some good caffeine and sugar. We actually ended up doing an early dinner at Bar Masa since we were bored but that's a post for another day when I'm not so sleepy :)

Saturday, April 5, 2008

I Found The Love of My Life. It's a Muffin Soaked in Pork Fat Continued

Holy S**T! I couldn’t believe it! Ko!!!

We had both been trying every ten minutes it seemed over the past 2 weeks with no luck. But Monday night!! Could this be possible.

I was so excited I felt like Charlie in the Chocolate Factory getting the Golden Ticket.

I was practically running down the street on the way there. I had avoided reading reviews since it opened so I would be surprised. I couldn’t wait to see what was in store.

In case you don't know, Momofuku Ko is run by Chef David Chang who was Food & Wine's best new chef in 2006. If you think winning best new chef means Chang has relaxed a little, you don't know David Chang.

He has since opened Ssam bar and now Ko, which is his newest venture.

The restuarant has 12 seats and serves only dinner. Getting a reservation here is like winning some sick sort of foodie lottery.

That's why I was so excited.

We got to Ko right at 8:45 and had to wait for about 10 minutes until our seats at the bar were available.

While we waited we stood at the front table and were given an excellent glass of Cleto Chirarli Rose and some snacks.

First they brought out a bowl of Nori chips and Ama Ebi heads. The chips were okay but the Ebi heads were a little much for me.

I actually really liked the flavor but I couldn’t get over the texture of the insides. I’ve never been big fan of eating heads :)

Then they brought over a bowl of Shishito Peppers covered in Toasted Almonds.

These were really good. The peppers had a nice bite to them and the almonds were almost a little caramelized from being roasted which balanced the spice of the pepper.

We were just finishing our glass of wine when our seats became available. We walked along the back of the bar all the way until the end. I was happy to see we were seated last. The stools were spaced quite far apart and there was actually a ton of room between myself and the wall. Much more spacious than I would have expected.

Mr T and I had decided to go for the wine pairings with each dish, so we didn’t look through their drink list. They did have some great beers though including two favorites of mine Hennepin and Allagash.

The chef behind the counter greeted us, confirmed our food allergies and we were ready to rock! Within seconds they sent over our first amuse bouche which was basically 2 salty pork rinds.

These were good. Definitely the best pork rinds I have ever had. A nice start to the meal, but what came next blew me away. The English Muffin with Chicharron.

My picture came out so badly I actually asked Tina aka
The Wandering Eater if I could use hers and she generously agreed.

Thanks Tina!!!

(As you can see her pictures are ten times better than mine)

These two muffins came out looking perfectly toasted on the edges and across the nooks. Then I took a bite.

For the second time that day I couldn’t speak.

Now if the burger was amazing I would call this transcendent.

I can’t even describe the flavor. It wasn’t overpowering just spectacular. The little nooks and crannies were soaked in luscious pork fat that wasn’t oily, just delicious. There are no words in the dictionary to describe the bliss I had when eating this muffin.

All I can say is I love pork fat.

Then came our first dishes.

For Mr. T it was a Fluke Sashimi with chives and poppy seeds. For me it was Ama Ebi with avocado and tonburi and horseradish oil.

This dish was nice. I like the fact that it was a light first course. After eating the fat laden English muffin I was a little scared I wouldn’t be able to handle 11 heavy courses!

This was served with a glass of Cantine del Taburno Campania.

It was a nice start although not a very memorable dish.

Our next two though were both huge winners.

This was mine- Spring Pea Soup with lobster, black trumpets and yuba. Paired with a glass of Dewazakura Dewasansan Nama Genshu, Yamagata Prefecture.

Wow! The soup was so rich and velvety and the lobster was like butter. And seriously, this dish was beautiful. The green of the soup and the pink of the lobster reminded me of spring.

But honestly, I liked Mr. T’s even better. He had Oyster on the half shell with pork belly and kimchi consomm√©.

I have never been a big fan of kimchi but the consomm√© was very light. It made me want to give kimchi another chance. The oysters were both huge and come on…have you ever had a crispy pork belly that you didn’t like?

After these dishes I really didn’t think it could get any better, but then came the dish of the night.

A Soft Cooked Hen Egg with caviar, onions and potatoes. Oh my…Once again my taste buds were in a different world. A world they only thought as big enough for the muffin but now this.

This dish had every flavor going on in perfect harmony. The onions were cooked down so they were soft and sweet, the creamy yolk oozed out of the egg in a rich cream with the caviar and the fingerling potato chips brought a salty crispy finish to the dish. This is about as perfect as it gets for me. Possibly the best dish I have ever had in my life.

The wine that accompanied this dish was pretty amazing as well. I had a sip and tasted a strong fresh flavor of grapefruit. It was a Scholium Project Sauvignon Blanc.

I liked this wine so much I looked it up once we got home. The winemaker leaves the wine undisturbed in the barrel and allows it to ferment itself rather than using sulphur. This wine is actually one of the most natural wines possible! No wonder it was so fabulous. Here’s a link to it.

Scholium Wines

The chopsticks at the restaurant actually rested on the cork from this wine. Isn’t that neat!

Both of us also received the same following dish. Sea Scallop with Bacon, almonds and myoga. The scallops were slightly sweet and meaty. They were seared and served with Bacon from Benton Farms. This was very good, standard sort of dish.

It was served with Allagash White, which happens to be one of my favorite beers. Isn’t that nice!

At this point we were really happy and feeling a little ambitious. We decided to order a beer we had never seen before in addition to the wine tasting.
The Belfast Bay Lobster Ale.

The beer poured a reddish- amber color that was bubbly and fruity. I wouldn’t go out of my way to find this but thought it was good. I’d almost classify it as an extremely drinkable summer beer.

Okay, back to the food.

The next course blew Mr. T away. We had been watching the chef in front of us take a huge chunk of Foie Gras all night and shave it over a dish.

Well here is that dish! The Foie Gras Torchon with pine nuts, lychee and reisling.

See all that powder. That’s the shaved Foie Gras.

Once again, there were so many different flavors going on between the sweet lychee, salty pine nuts and rich foie gras. This dish was a little too rich for me. I enjoy a little foie gras here and there but this was a lot. Mr T thought it was fantastic though.

I really enjoyed the sake this was paired with though the Kamoizumi Komekome. It was crisp and refreshing. An excellent contrast to the rich foie.

One of our final big dishes of the night was the Beef Short Rib with daikon, pickeled mustard seed and carrots.

The short rib was deep fried which really charred the outside of the meat so that it was hard. What this did was compact all that beefy flavor inside the center of the meat. I can’t really explain it, but it was the most powerful meat flavor I have ever had in one bite.

This was served with a glass of Iporus,Crianza Rioja. The smooth Rioja stood up well to the strong beef flavor.

Our savory courses ended in traditional style with a bowl of Miso soup with rice and pickled vegetables.

This was a good way to ease into the last part of our meal but nothing really stood out for me. The rice was grilled with a little pork fat and rolled into a tube. I was honestly so full at this point I kind of used this as a little breather course before the dessert.

As a pre-dessert treat we were given a pineapple sorbet with dried pineapple on the bottom.

This was a great palate refresher. The sorbet was a little tart, making my mouth pucker a little.

I honestly think my mouth was expecting more pork fat and was reacting in shock of something so sweet!

Then our desserts came. I was served a Cereal Milk Panna Cotta with avocado, chocolate and corn flakes.

This really didn’t do it for me. It was kind of boring. The Panna Cotta wasn’t very sweet and the avocado with the dish confused me a little. I took a couple bites and then left the rest. I was much more into Mr T’s dessert.

He got Fried Apple Pie with Sour Cream ice cream and Miso sauce. This was fabulous!

Once again Chang somehow combines all of the elements to utter delight. Sweet fried pie, cool sour cream and salty miso. This was served with Boeri, Ribota Moscato. What a great end to a truly fantastic meal.

Some Final thoughts on our dinner.

I really liked the way the pairings changed from wine to sake to beer. I thought the pours were a little on the small side but I enjoyed the ones they selected.

The service was fantastic. Everyone was incredibly friendly and worked well together in such a small space. When we first arrived, at least three groups of tourists came in the door looking for the noodle bar. Each time, the waiter greeted them warmly and then politely steered them in the correct direction down the street. I marveled at his calm and professional manner, when clearly this had to be frustrating to deal with so often.

One truly great thing about our meal was that David Chang showed up about halfway through and stood in front of us for a while, inspecting each dish and chatting with the chefs. It’s so infrequent that you see the executive chefs anymore! That was really neat.

And by the way he is HUGE!!! His arms were like tree trunks. The man works out!

But seriously you could tell by the way he was talking with each person that he has a true passion for his food. So if you can’t get a reservation here at Ko at least try out the Noodle Bar or Ssam. Both are phenomenal.

But I do urge to try…try for your meal here at Ko. You may have to hit the refresh button a million times and see that damn “page cannot be displayed” a bunch of times, but in the end it will pay off. It is worth every single second.

Momofuku Website

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

I’ve finally found the love of my life!!! It’s a muffin that’s soaked in pork fat!

Okay so that isn’t really true. I found the love of my life 10 years ago and then last night he scored a last minute dinner reservation where I meet the second love of my life, the Pork Fat English Muffin.

But I have to start at the beginning. What was supposed to be another ho-hum Monday turned into a fantastic culinary day.

I woke up Monday morning and decided I needed a day off so I called in and did a little work from home in the morning. Mr. T called around 11:00 asking if I wanted to meet up for lunch and catch the first half of the Yankee game with him.

So I jumped on the train and headed up near his office. I told him I would look around at some of the bars up there and see what looked alright. As I was dodging the pellets of rain I literally ran into a place I’ve always heard about, but never been to, P.J. Clark’s.

In case you didn’t know PJ Clarks is old school New York. The building dates back to 1868 and it really still feels like an old saloon inside. It’s always packed whenever I come by, so when I saw two bar stools open I grabbed them and called Mr. T to come meet me.

Once he showed up we went right for the signature item the Cadillac. And the first item on my awesome day of eating came out.

A t first glance the burger isn’t anything special looking. I was actually in mid-sentence when I took my first bite and once the burger hit my taste buds all thought left my head except for the amazing taste .

The burger was so juicy that the entire bottom bun was soaked through. The bun was perfectly soft and the bacon! Man that was some awesome bacon!!! I wanted to ask what kind they used but never got around to it.

Even the pickle this burger came with was awesome. Nice and crispy!! I really couldn’t believe how good it was! I was in burger heaven!

The fries were really good as well. Salty, thin and crispy. Just the way I like them.

This may have moved up into my all time favorite burger spot. I have to go back a couple more times to ensure it wasn’t a fluke but I'm pretty sure it wasn't.

The only problem I had with PJ Clark’s was the price tag. The burger was $10.50 alone. The fries cost $4.50 extra.

That’s a pretty hefty price tag. But I honestly think it was worth it for the enjoyment I got from my burger. Really good stuff.

So after lunch ended Mr T went back to his office and I headed home to do some errands The Yankee game had been rained so there was nothing else to do during the day than laundry, etc.

A little after 6:00 Mr T came home. Now I am an early eater and usually have dinner made by around 6:30 or so. Since we had eaten lunch so late I wasn’t feeling hungry just yet so we decided to hold off.

Then as I’m taking dishes out of the dishwasher Mr. T suddenly says “What do you think about eating dinner around 8:45?”

I must have looked at him like he was crazy. 8:45? Why would I want to eat that late? Doesn’t he know I have to get up early for work? Was he just being obnoxious?

Then he turned the computer screen around so I could see it and calmly said “I just got us reservations for Ko.”

To be continued.....