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Showing posts from January, 2009

Pastrami at Katz’s

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Two Sunday's ago was spent drinking beers and watching football in the East Village.

It was a happy day- none of my teams are in the playoffs so I couldn't get upset at the end and Arizona halted Philadelphia from possibly winning both of sports greatest achievements in one year. so all was good with the world.

After multiple beers we decided it was time for some serious food.

And by serious food I mean Katz’s delicatessen.

Katz’s is a NYC institution known most famously from the orgasm scene in When Harry met Sally.

It is also well known however for its Pastrami sandwich.

Now I have never been a big fan of pastrami.

The first time I ever had it was about 5 years ago at a work function..

One of those crappy midtown lunch kind of places brought in a bunch of sandwiches and I ended up with the pastrami.

It was cold, dry and pretty much tasted like a peppery piece of ham.

I was not impressed.

I’ve had it a few more times since then and the result was usually the same so I kind of gave u…

A Pretty Disappointing Poutine

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I was so excited to try out Artisanal's version of Poutine Mr. T and I went there right after work on Friday.

Man it was packed!

We had to wait about 20 minutes but we finally got two seats at the bar.

We ordered a couple of drinks and then waited for the main event- Poutine!!!

I was so excited when it came out! I couldn't wait! And then...sadness.



Their version of Poutine could be great...except it needs some adjustments.

First of all, I was expecting an amazing cheese, since this is Artisanal after all, and this was the biggest flaw.

It tasted like they used unsalted mozzarella.

This had no flavor at all. Poutine is supposed to be a salty dish- therefore the cheese should be salted.

The gravy also lacked flavor. Usually the gravy has a strong beef flavor and is much darker in color.

This gravy was simply to bland.

And lastly, while I loved the way the fries came out in the pan- the portion was quite small for $9.50.

The pan could have held about three times as many frie…

Blue Hill Stone Barns

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We finally made it to Blue Hill at Stone Bars last weekend and I have to say it met all of our expectations and then some.  Driving up the winding road to the main barns, I felt my heart start to flutter with excitement. I had no idea how beautiful this place was going to be! It was absolutely freezing and the immense Stone Barns seemed to shine a glorious blue hue against the dark wintery night sky.

We walked through the gorgeous courtyard and into the warm inviting bar area. There was a roaring fire going in the fireplace and I was immediately reminded of going into the ski lodges when I was younger after a run on the slopes. We had spent the weekend with Mr. T’s parents and decided to enjoy a drink at the bar with them before starting our meal. I took a look at the menu and noticed a beer made exclusively for the restaurant. It was called the Collaboration Lager made by Kelso Brewery and Blue Hill. It was actually a Honey Nut Brown Lager that was brewed by Kelso and then infused…

A Few Food Updates

There seems to be a lot going on in the world of food lately and I just thought I would pass along some info.

The next Choice Eats Events has been announced for March 31st at the Lexington Avenue Armory! Right by my apartment! Yay!!

Last year the event was awesome. I showed up early to get door tickets but then left and came back to find a HUGE line. This year I plan to schedule it a little better and have already purchased my tickets.

They are $35 and you can get them here. Choice Eats 2009

Second Man vs. Food is on tonight and he'll be here in NYC! I'm kind of excited since he is supposed to be going to Katz's and I just revisited there on Sunday (Post to follow soon).

Lastly I received an email from the Picholine/Artisanal group yesterday that had a ton of great restaurant deals. The one I am most excited about though is the POUTINE!!

Yes! Apparently Artisanal has started to sell Poutine at their bar and I could not be more psyched! I love poutine and to have it ma…

Another Restaurant Week Lunch at Eleven Madison

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Restaurant Week! Yay!!!!

I love this time of year when I have an excuse to take a half day of work or call in sick just to enjoy a wonderful lunch that I otherwise could not afford.

This year it actually fell on Martin Luther King day so I had the whole day off to enjoy!!

As usual I had forgotten to get reservations the day they went on opentable so I just had to cross my fingers and hope there would be a spot at the bar for lunch at Eleven Madison.

I showed up about 5 minutes to 1:00 and luckily snagged the last table.

I was meeting my friend Maria for lunch who had never been here before so I took a seat facing the bar so she could enjoy beautiful windows overlooking Madison Square Park and the gorgeous dining room.

The snow had just started to fall and the view was particularly stunning that day.

Once she arrived we had a quick discussion regarding the wine list and placed our order.

As usual they started us with a choice of bread, olive baguette or French roll.



I love their olive baguette…

A NY State Dinner

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A couple of weeks ago some friends and I got together and decided to have a dinner that highlighted some of the best food NY state and NYC in particular had to offer.

We all split up food tasks and the best cook of the group agreed to host (we really just did all of this as a ploy for him to cook for us!)

The problem with our dinner was deciding what to get. NYC has SO much too offer but I think we did a pretty good job over all.

My contribution was a Meat & Cheese platter of sorts from Di Palo's.



Look at this meat. It's beautiful!

Now this dinner actually happened the weekend before Christmas (I'm a little behind) and I had to wait in line for almost 3 hours to get this meat!

Not just in any line either! I was in a "crammed up next to the freezer with a crowd of tourist chattering around me and waving their numbers like someone was going to forget them even though it was on number 9 and they had number 37" kind of line!

Whew!

But you know what- it was worth it! …

Top Chef

Okay so did anyone else see Top Chef last night? I try not to blog about this show because I don't like to comment on people's personalities- just their food. But after last nights episode I think most people can agree on two things-

Stephan is quite possibly the most conceited person I have ever seen AND Blue Hill Stone Barns looks awesome.

The second thing is the most important because Mr. T and I are FINALLY going there for dinner on Saturday!!

I have been wanting to go since it opened back in 2004 I think.

I tried many, many times and could not get a weekend reservation.

Finally I called exactly at 9:00 two months to the date and scored a reservation for this Saturday. It is crazy how popular they are!

Of course it's going to be one of the coldest days of the year so I don't know how much farm walking we will be doing but I am so excited about the food.

I will definitely report back!

Holy Pork Fat Batman!

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This weekend was all about two things- football and pork.  Actually I guess you could add beer in there as well since we seemed to have a lot of that also but the main events were the pork and games.

We met up with some friends and started our night by grabbing some sandwiches at the revered Porchetta.  The tiny little shop on 7th street can barely hold more than 8 people, and it was already filled to capacity, so we decided to just grab some sandwiches to go and find a bar to eat.  We ended up at Arrow where they had a great 2 for 1 special going on which helped us start our night on a good foot.

As soon as we got our beers we tore into the tinfoil and unwrapped one of the most succulent, fat laden sandwich's I have ever tasted.



At first glance this sandwich seemed a little on the small side. Once I had my first bite I realized the intensity and fat in this sandwich was going to be enough to fill me beyond belief.  The pork was so tender there were literally tiny chunks of fat hidde…

Baoguette

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I was so excited when I heard the owners of Bao Noodles were opening up a Banh Mi place only one block away.

I walked by what seemed like a million times to find them still hammering away, not quite open for days!

Then the holidays came along and I kind of forgot about Baoguette until Tuesday when Mr. T and I were heading home and once again faced with the dinner dilemma.

Then we remembered Baoguette.

We ran inside the little store and were very pleased to see quite a larger array of offerings than we had expected.

There was a green papaya salad, shrimp summer rolls, a catfish sandwich and a couple different kinds of Bahn Mi.

Now they had the traditional with Pork, but I decided to try something different and ordered the BBQ Chicken Bahn Mi.



This was a pretty decent sized sandwich for $5.00!



Chicken, Cucumber, pickled daikon (I ended taking out the Cilantro-ewww!) and shredded carrots get stuffed inside a crunchy roll and topped with a generous amount of garlic aoli and sriracha hot sauce.

Thi…

Fika!!!!!

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Okay I have really been trying to go off of coffee but life has certainly been making it hard.

Remember my favorite espresso joint of the year?

The one I would travel all the way uptown to 59th street for Fika?

They opened one 5 blocks away from my apartment.

How awesome!! It's my Christmas present!

I swung by the other day and was very happy to see they had all of my favorite pastries, including the wonderfully delicate vanilla dreams and the sweet raspberry tarts.



I got a macchiato and was in heaven.



It’s funny too. I had been in a really bad mood. Just kind of depressed for a while and this place completely lifted my spirits.

The big window store front allowed me to stand and watch the world outside without having to be involved in all of its’ business.

Sometimes I just need a little time away from the world and a good warm treat to make me feel better.

Fika definitely delivered.

Unfortunately I may not be able to quit my coffee habit for a while :(

Joe Jr.'s

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I was checking out Serious Eats the other day and noticed an article about Joe Jr’s!!!

I’d been dying to go back to this diner and somehow never made it.

It was one of the first places Mr. T and I ate when we moved here and we loved it.

It just so happens that same night we had no plans for dinner, so I convinced Mr. T to go back for some good diner food.

Joe Jr’s is a tiny little place that definitely has a neighborhood vibe.

Most of the people in there knew our waiter by name and it just feels like its run by a big family.

I was planning to get some kind of salad but the pictures from that Serious Eats post got the best of me and I decided to order a cheeseburger.

This is one of the greatest things about Joe Jr’s. Within 5 minutes of ordering my food the cheeseburger was sitting in front of me.

This is the kind of service you want at a diner.



The cheeseburger came just like this, open faced with a slice of cheese melted on top of each bun.

The patty wasn’t super thick but an ample size…

Happy New Year!!

I hope everyone had a fabulous New Years Eve!

I had a great night out with friends and ended the night drinking some especially good wine and beer (thanks M&J)!

I have to say I'm sad the holidays are over but also a little relived.

It seems like Mr. T and I have been going nonstop for the last 2 weeks.

We ended up sleeping today until 2:00 pm!! That's crazy!

We were out late but still...anyway we got some much needed rest to hopefully start the new year off right!

Here's to lots of good new food and drink in 2009!!