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My Best of 2010 List

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It’s that time of year again when I look back on all the food and drink consumed over the past year and remember some of the highlights.

Best Fish Dish- Marea
The Red Snapper with marinated salsify, brussel sprouts, fresh pancetta and soba is by far the best fish dish of this year and maybe best fish dish ever! The Snapper was cooked so perfect and had such bold flavor it was simply wonderful.



Runner up- Bohemian
The Grilled Branzino with seasonal vegetables was moist, succulent and absolutely enormous. This dish could feed two to three people very happily.



Best New Take on Foie Gras- John Michaels
One word- foiejitas. Silky, sweet hand held appetizer that completely changed the way I look at foie gras.



Best Surprise Dining Experience- Two Toms
It wasn’t fancy and there were definitely some misses (antipasto plate) but the whole experience was simply a blast. I loved grabbing my own drinks from the fridge in back and that Eggplant Rollatini dish is something dreams are made of!



Best Desserts-…

The Bloody Beast at the Blind Tiger

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Ahhh…Sitting next to the fireplace, sipping a frothy dark beer and enjoying a warm melty sandwich. Does life get any better than this?

Not really- it’s another day at the Blind Tiger. After several amazing winter beers we decided it was time for some meat. The Bloody Beast is a roast beef sandwich with cheddar cheese, red onions and horseradish sauce sandwiched inside a toasty roll and grilled.



The sweet red onions really played off the heat of the horseradish and the bloody mary sauce on the side gave it an extra spicy kick. This sandwich is the perfect compliment to a tasty brew on a chilly winter’s day. Can the Tiger ever do me wrong? I don't think so. See you on New Years Eve my Tiger!

The Blind Tiger

It’s Christmas Eve!!!!

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I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and celebrates with some special treats! I celebrated a little earlier this week over at the Hester Street Holiday market.



How can you resist when you see a beautiful platter filled with all kinds of delicious looking cakes. I certainly couldn’t.



This is the Elvis from Robicelli’s Cupcakes. What goes into an Elvis- why his favorite things of course. Banana cake bottom, peanut butter ganache frosting and some candied bacon on top.



Wow this was an awesome cupcake. The banana bottom was insanely moist with a great natural banana flavor. The peanut butter ganache was super fluffy and the candied bacon was done perfectly giving each bite a little bit of salt without overpowering the cake. Yum!! So here’s to everyone having a little something sweet and a great holiday!

Robicelli's Cupcakes

Affrogato at Maialino

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To round out the end of Sunday night we all decided dessert was in order. We had just finished at Eataly so we wandered down to Gramercy Tavern for my favorite German Chocolate cake in the city. Unfortunately the Tavern was packed (damn you holidays) so we made an audible and walked up to Maialino instead.



One of Danny Meyer’s other restaurants, Maialino was also busy but the front bar area was wide open. We grabbed a table near the window and decided to continue on our kick of wine. We ordered a bottle of Cesanese di Olevano Romano and hunkered down with the dessert menu.



I didn’t really even have to look. I knew my order before even walking inside- one of my favorite Italian specialties an Affogato. I love, love, love gelato and I like espresso just as much so putting these two together was just simply divine. I left Maialino completely satisfied and happy. So there you have it. After an incredibly rough morning, Sunday turned out to be quite a success after all.

Maialino

La Piazza at Eataly

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Although I love everything Eataly has to offer, I would have to say the enoteca in the middle if probably my favorite part. I love the tall marble tables and how every other section intersects here in the middle. It’s just always got a lively, bustling vibe that’s almost electric. After Motorino Sunday night we stopped back in for a bottle of wine and some snacks.



For wine we ordered a bottle of Morellino Di Scansano, one of the first red wines Batali really turned me onto during a visit to Otto. It’s just a light, easy drinking red that works well with multiple kinds of food. And I just happen to love the bottle.



What’s wine without some meat and cheese? For a snack we ordered the fresh made Mozzarella with San Daniele Prosciutto. I absolutely love this type of prosciutto. It’s slightly sweeter and saltier than the Parma and really gets a boost from a little olive oil and cheese. The mozzarella was tasty but I really wish they would begin selling Burrata as well. The turnover at Eatal…

More Motorino for Me

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After a beer filled and raucous Saturday night (no we were not at Sanatacon but still managed to get a little crazy) we were all struggling on Sunday. I barely moved my poor body out to the couch for football watching and after the 1:00 games were over we all collectively decided to take a nap. Around 5:30 pm, the sun had gone down and I rolled back out of bed feeling better. It was my friend’s last night in the city and we had some more serious eating and drinking to accomplish. Luckily everyone was feeling much better after their own naps and just one hour later we were out the door and heading for my friends last request- pizza.

I had planned for us to eat at Posto actually but there was a 30 minute wait when we arrived! I wasn’t in a waiting mood, that’s for sure, so instead we walked down to Motorino where only about half the tiny space was filled.



Our first pizza of the night was Motorino’s Margherita with tomato, mozzarella and basil. The first thing you’ll notice about this pizz…

Saturday Mania

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My friend from Buffalo was visiting this past weekend and after having a pretty chilled out Friday night we woke up Saturday ready to rock and roll. There were a ton of food and drinking items on the agenda and after a quick tour of Eataly we walked over to our first pit stop Gramercy Tavern. We had talked about having lunch at the Tavern, but Mr. T was still getting himself ready so we just stopped in for an early afternoon drink instead.



I decided to have a glass of the Franciacorta Rose Brut to start my day. The crisp bubbly had some strong raspberry and cherry flavors but was very balanced.



My friend went for the Orange Blossom. A blend of sparkling wine, Elderflower liquor and orange bitters made this an excellent early afternoon drink. Kind of like a mimosa with a little twist. After our drinks were finished we walked down to Union Square and shopped around the holiday markets. I picked up an absolutely amazing Vietnamese Coffee and Chocolate cookie from the Rubyzaar booth. I did…

The Little Candy Cake Company

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Need a little last minute holiday treat for someone? How about a mini chocolate cake truffle decorated in gorgeous flowers any color of your choice!



Head over to The Little Candy Cake Co in the Limelight Marketplace. I’ve told you about these guys before. They usually make mini solid chocolate cakes but have recently added a new item- the cake truffle!



Incredibly moist chocolate cake is enrobed in a rich, creamy outer chocolate shell and then decorated with sweet icing and sugary little flowers. This little bite is awesome and beautiful! It’s great to hand out if you need a bunch of small gifts that don’t break the bank but look creative and delicious. They also have a ton of flavors if you call in the order ahead. Red Velvet, German Chocolate, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Vanilla…just to name a few.

So if you’re in the need of some cute last minute gifts the Little Candy Cake Co. might just be your last drop stop for the holidays!

Belgian Beer Dinner at Almond

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Monday night Edible Manhattan teamed up with Stella Artois for a family style beer dinner at Almond Restaurant. If you remember I had lunch a while back at Almond and the place definitely needed some improvement. However I love edible Manhattan and for only $40 a block away from my apartment- why not give it a shot.

Since the event was sponsored by Stella, each course was paired with a different one of their beers. The first course, paired with the flagship Stella beer, was called Raw Bar for a Chilly Day.



This course consisted of Shrimp Cocktail, Oysters Rockefeller and Clams Casino. I’ll tell you right now this was my favorite course of the night. The shrimp they set down were huge and came with an excellent thick cocktail sauce. The clams casino had just the right amount of spice and breadcrumbs while the Oysters Rockefeller were absolutely wonderful. The spinach and cheese mixture atop the oyster made for a delectable bite of both brine and butter.



Our middle course was paired with …

Espresso at Eataly

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There’s really nothing better than waking up on the weekend and having a nice hot cup of espresso. I ventured out to Eataly for mine this past Sunday and got there right before the crowds.



It was fantastic not having to push my way through the usually packed marketplace and my espresso seemed to taste better just because of that fact. Smooth, creamy and slightly nutty in flavor, this espresso begs for some chocolate to be enjoyed with it.



Luckily Eataly has that as well! Right next to the espresso are three different squares of chocolate, ranging from light to dark, perfect for snacking on while you sip your drink. What a nice way to wake up in the morning.

The Mason Jar

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I had a hair appointment in midtown Saturday and after it was finished I spent the day in full on Christmas mode. I did all the 5th avenue windows, toured The Plaza and St. Regis, hit up the tree at Rockefeller center, did a quick stint in Times Square and then all the way back across through Bryant Park to Grand Central. I think I spent about 5 full hours just walking around the city non-stop. By the time I got home I was ready to just chill out with some beers and college football so we headed up to the newly opened Mason Jar.

The name of this place makes me laugh. Back in college there was a restaurant called the Mason Jar. It was literally the only restaurant in our dinky little college town and one block from our apartment. Mr. T and I would walk down at least two times a week and order the same thing every time. Ham and cheese sandwich for me and a Shrimp Basket for him. We were quite the culinary masters back then!

Anyway- back from my trip down memory lane. This Mason…

Back to our Neighborhood Gem Giorgio's

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I’m so lucky to live where I do. Over the past year about 5 new places have opened up near by which are all awesome. Eataly, The Hurricane Club and Hill Country Chicken just to name a few. But even before these places existed we had a slew of neighborhood favorites. Gramercy Tavern of course, L’Express and good old Giorgio’s of Gramercy.

It had been a couple years since we last pulled back the black velvet curtain and stepped inside the narrow red antique space that houses Giorgio’s. Interestingly enough we were seated at the same table we get every time. Maybe they remembered? Probably not but it was nice regardless.



The chef started us out with a Smoked Trout and Cream Cheese Crostini. The smokiness of the fish and rich cream cheese played perfectly off each other and really excited my taste buds- just as an amuse bouche should.



For my main I ordered the Caramelized Sea Scallops with cauliflower fondue, fava bean, golden raisins, cauliflower salad and balsamic glaze. Wow-…

Holiday Fun at Celsius

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Mr. T and I had another wonderful visit with his family in Florida this past Thanksgiving. Besides just an amazing turkey spread we were treated to a vertical tasting of Pahlmeyer Cabernets, a ton of hard to find craft beers and the best eggplant parmesan I have ever had in my life- period. It was an awesome trip and so good to see family again! We flew back Friday night and Saturday morning I woke up fresh and excited to jump right into the holiday spirit some more.

I did some shopping, toured around the Union Square holiday stalls and just enjoyed the chilly air of this glorious season. I had so much fun walking around I kind of forgot to eat. I got home around 3:00 and was starving. So in continuation of my holiday spirit Mr. T and I went up to Bryant Park and their seasonal restaurant Celsius.



I’ll admit the glass windowed building looks a little strange in the park but it’s quite a fun and different experience. Mr. T had never seen it before so he was a little surprised. W…