I hope everyone enjoyed this fabulous weekend in the sun with food, drinks and family!
This is a little snapshot I took last week of a couple of brews Mr. T and I enjoyed on a gorgeous warm day. Shoolbreds down in the East Village just broke out their sidewalk tables so it’s time for drinking in the sun. This place has one of the best happy hours going if you like good beer. Every day from 4-8 it’s buy one get one free of any of their drafts. These drafts include some of my favorite- Goose Island Matilda, Delirium Tremens and Ommegang Witte.
Goose Island Matilda’s are so good and so strong…I can get seriously tipsy here off four beers for the price of two. Score!! Happy Memorial Day!
Monday, May 31, 2010
I hope everyone enjoyed this fabulous weekend in the sun with food, drinks and family!
Friday, May 28, 2010
The first up is an old favorite that’s finally been revisited- Artichoke Basielle Pizza & Brewery. There is nothing quite like getting an enormous gooey, cheesy, creamy, buttery, delicious slice of artichoke pizza. It’s like slathering a piece of crunchy dough with a big bowl of spinach artichoke dip.
I mean really- look at those gorgeous brown cheese pockets among valleys of artichoke, garlic and balls of mozzarella. Although I love this pizza I can only handle half a slice at the most. My weak stomach can’t take all of the heavy rich topping, so when I reach my limit I turn to the Sicilian instead.
Truly the closest thing to DiFara’s pizza I’ve ever had. The crust is very crisp- almost a little too crisp sometimes but the toppings are spot on. Tangy tomato sauce, fresh basil leaves, a liberal drizzle of tasty olive oil and a dousing of grated Parmesan cheese, make this pizza just amazing. It is an utterly delicious delight. Also they just added big cups of Budweiser for only $5.50 a glass! Not exactly up to their brewery name yet but a score nonetheless.
Now while I just talked about the thick, huge slices that are Artichoke pizza- let's talk about Vezzo. As you can see Vezzo is a horse of a different color compared to Artichoke.
Their pizza is almost paper thin with a cracker like crust.
See how you have to fold the pizza to even get it out of the box? Even though the crust is crispy the rest of the pizza is so thin it just sort of flops around…which is fine by me! I love a thin, floppy pizza. The bottom always has a nice charred up skirt and the ingredients are extremely fresh.
While I think Artichoke may be the best pizza in the city Vezzo certainly isn’t far behind. It’s just a different style. How lucky am I to be living right smack dab between these two places!
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
It’s celebrate Rioja week here in NYC where various restaurants across the city are offering $25 lunch and $35 three course dinners that include a glass of wine from the Rioja region of Spain. I checked out their website and much to my surprise Delmonico’s was on the list. After looking at the menu online it was a no brainer- I needed a day off of work badly and what better way to spend it than with a fancy lunch.
Now I’m almost embarrassed to admit that I have never even been inside Delmonico’s before. I’ve walked by it hundreds of times but never had to good fortune to eat or drink there. Being that it opened way back in 1837 as NYC first fine dining place, you would assume that I would have gone by now. Not only that- it’s also the birthplace of Eggs Benedict, Lobster Newburg and the Baked Alaska! Needless to say I was pretty excited to finally be going. I made a reservation for 1:30 and when I entered the restaurant I would say it was only about half full. I was seated towards the back with plenty of room to admire the gorgeous red walls, big old fashioned paintings and the overall historic feeling of the place. Now when I told Mr. T I was going on a solo lunch at Delmonico’s his response was “Isn’t that really manly?” I like manly places I responded!
Well once I was seated and really took a look around I understood what he meant. I was pretty sure I was the only one in the whole restaurant that had shaved their legs that day. There wasn’t one other woman dining. Not one. It was me and a bunch of Wall Street suits eating red meat.
I felt a little awkward and tried to get it out of my mind by perusing the menu. That’s when I realized there was no special Rioja week menu given to me. I’m staring at the $44 filet mignon and $90 porterhouse listed and panic starts to set in. Did I have the wrong week? I didn’t really do too much research I just kind of assumed it was still going on. Luckily right then my waiter came by and I inquired into the Rioja menu. He confirmed it was still going on and quickly got me the menu without any pretension or snobbery. In fact he gave me a big warm smile and continued to be a wonderful, attentive server the entire meal.
I knew I was getting a nice glass of red wine included in the meal but I wanted to save that for my meat course. To start out I decided to have a nice glass of Chardonnay and my bread basket appeared with my wine.
Four different kinds of bread were inside and I tried out two- the baguette and the Cranberry Walnut. The Cranberry Walnut was just okay, a little too nutty for me actually. The baguette was nice but unfortunately the butter was too cold and very hard to spread. This is one of my biggest pet peeves at restaurants- leave the butter out! It makes all the difference. For my first course I opted for the Seafood Ceviche.
This was simply divine. Huge chunks of lobster, crab and shrimp were covered with lime onions, grapefruit and tarragon. This was lively, refreshing and paired perfectly with my Chardonnay. I couldn’t get over how much meat they gave me. I had at least 3 lobster claws, not to mention all of the crab meat.
After my ceviche was gobbled up and whisked away my included glass of wine arrived just in time for my meat course, a Tempranillo Bodegas “Campo Viejo”, Crianza 2006. This was a very nice easy drinking wine with a soft touch of vanilla on the nose. For my main course I ordered the Coffee Spiced Filet.
Wow- this was a big piece of meat that smelled and looked absolutely delicious. I cut into the filet and it literally fell away in silky, almost melty red slices. The steak was cooked a perfect medium rare and it was obvious that copious amounts of butter that been used in the grilling process making it extra decadent.
Now the sides to me were a little odd. My dish was supposed to come with baby spinach but asparagus came out instead. Plus this asparagus was hands down the weirdest tasting asparagus I have ever had. It tasted like meat-. Straight up grilled meat. They must have cooked it right alongside the grill with the steak because the flavor was beyond powerful. It was honestly a huge turn off for me and I couldn’t figure it out until I got home later. I had Mr. T taste some of my leftovers and he loved the asparagus.Of course! This is a meat eating man’s establishment. Men don’t want a wimpy asparagus. They want big bold flavors! Well if you’re having trouble getting your man to eat veggies, tell him to come here that’s for sure.
The other side was two tostones that didn’t have much flavor at all. In my mind tostones always have the texture of a hockey puck and I’ve never really cared for them. I saw a plate of fries go by my table that looked amazing! Next time I’ll spring for some of those instead.
I was excited about my dessert since it was only listed on the menu as Delmonico’s Chef Selection. I was hoping it would be the Baked Alaska but I was pretty sure they wouldn’t have that on a bargain prix fix menu.
I was right- no Baked Alaska but a pretty wonderful Crème Caramel to round out the meal. I’m a huge custard fan so this was just perfect for me. It had just the right balance of smooth eggy middle and sweet caramel top.
Overall I found Delmonico’s to be fabulous and the Rioja week menu was such a great deal. I really felt like I was in an old school NYC establishment. Not only were the food and atmosphere fantastic- the service was top notch. Every time my waiter came around he would say things like “Would the lady like some pepper?” “Is the lady all finished” “Does the lady find everything to her liking”, etc. I’ll be honest it made me giggle a little. I kind of wanted to respond in the third person “Yes the lady would like more wine” “Yes the lady would like her check” “Could the lady know who it is we’re talking about because I’m the only one here!”. I kept it classy and polite however and truly enjoyed the old fashioned form of communication.
So I can finally cross Delmonico’s off my list and another fancy lunch day was a success. (sigh) I wish every day could be fancy lunch day.
Monday, May 24, 2010
What an enjoyable day this Saturday was! I had been planning to spend the day alone but then Mr.T found out he didn't have to work. Yay! We decided to walk around the Seaport a little bit and then stopped at Jeremy's Ale House to watch the Soccer match.
Now Jeremy's has never been a favorite of mine. Sure you get 32 oz Styrofoam cup beers and the fun bra hanging decor, but it's always felt a little bit too dirty for me. Well I was actually enjoying myself this time and about to go for my second beer when this enormous cockroach ran across the wall right in front of the TV. It was so disgusting I thought I was going to be sick. We left immediately and headed to a bar with a little cleaner standards for the rest of the game. So gross...
Anyway- after the game we were walking through the East Village when I remembered hearing about a new place opening up Cienfuegos. We walked into the little sandwich shop and up the stairs in the back to this hidden little spot. Okay now I know this is by the Death & Company guys, so we should have tried out the cocktails, but neither of us were in the mood.
Instead I got a tasty summer rose and Mr.T stuck with the beers. The space was sunny and bright with a totally girly pink bar up front and bright green and blue walls in the back. We decided to just have a snack so we split their sandwich sampler.
An offering of their three sandwiches- turkey and strawberry, mini cubano and a sloppy joe slider. The Sloppy Joe was excellent. The sauce was thick with a spicy sliver of jalapeno on the top for a little kick.
The cubano was my favorite of the three. Melty oozing cheese, succulent pork and the best tasting ham I have had in this city too date. It tasted like the ham my Grandmother used to put into our borscht at Easter. Unfortunately there was a thick line of fat though the meat so biting into the sandwich was nearly impossible. I had to take the ham out and cut the fat off. Hopefully next time I'll get a better piece because the flavor was absolutely spot on.
I was expecting not to like the turkey and strawberry sandwich but it was surprisingly delicious. The turkey was moist and the strawberry sauce really went well with the texture of the meat.
Here's a view from our table's window.
I really enjoyed this place. The food was tasty, the decor was awesome and I'm sure the drinks are fantastic if they come from the Death & Company crew.
This is what the check came in. Kind of cute- right? Cienfuegos is a welcome new addition to what may be the already over abundant hidden gems in NYC. This is a keeper.
Friday, May 21, 2010
It was a gorgeous summer day Saturday and what better way to spend it then drinking and eating outside in the sun with friends. Luckily there was the perfect venue getting those goals accomplished- the 9th Avenue Food Festival. Most of it is really just a big street fair with the regular Mozzareppa’s, and Crepes, but there were also some local restaurants with stands of food and drink. We ended up meeting friends who had a great table outside Daltons with easy access to beers and perfect for people watching.
We ended up staying there most of the day and saw plate after plate of Dalton’s pork sandwich being consumed around us. When hunger finally struck it seemed inevitable that we would have to try one out. The pork didn’t really look like much. Upon first glance I assumed it was going to be overcooked and tasteless.
However Dalton’s proved me wrong- it was no RUB pork sandwich but it was definitely moist and had a nice mild spice in the marinade. The BBQ sauces that came on the side were awful however. Thick, sugary and just plain disgusting. I hope most people tried it on the side like we did before lathering it on.
There were a few too many of the cheesy usual street fair stands like crappy jewelry and pashmina’s everywhere but the ability to drink outside on the street made up for that. Now if I had just won my Preakness bet I would have been really happy with my day. Luckily a sugary cupcake from Michael London stand helped make up for that.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Mr. T and I have been in such a food ordering rut lately that we literally fight over who will answer the door for our Chinese food delivery. Both of us are embarrassed to open the door for the same delivery guy over and over again. To be honest I don’t know why we care since we’re probably putting his kids through college with all of our tips but nonetheless.
Anyway since we’ve been eating so much Chinese delivery we haven’t gone out for Chinese food in a really long time. However on Sunday when Mr. T said he wanted Chinese food again I just couldn’t do the delivery. It was a gorgeous day outside so instead we walked down to our old favorite Congee Village Bowery.
Congee Village is a fun, laid back kind of Chinese restaurant. Whenever we try to go on a Friday or Saturday night it’s completely packed with loud groups of people in a party mode. However on a Sunday evening the crowds are gone and it’s a much more serene and relaxed environment.
For some reason at Congee Village I always have to order a Mai Thai. I have no idea why- it’s not like I drink them anywhere else or have even had one anywhere else come to think of it. It’s just seems right to me there.
We decided to split two dishes the Pork Chop Peking style and the Blue Crab with garlic and pepper.
The pork came out first and looked and smelled delicious. However the meat was just a little too fatty and the sauce simply way too much. It was a thick sauce and so sweet it completely overpowered the meat on the dish. We both enjoyed the pork chop we had at Golden Unicorn much better.
The Blue Crab with garlic and pepper was delicious. I always seem to forget how much work getting the meat out of Blue Crabs is however. Within minutes Mr. T and I were both covered in sauce and looking pretty disgusting with slimy wet hands and shells all over the table. Luckily we’ve been together long enough that these unattractive moments are pretty common place! This is definitely not a dish to eat in front of someone you want to impress- that’s for sure.
So although we didn’t love our pork dish it was nice to get outside and skip the delivery guy for once. Plus we were able to stop at Bespoke on the way home for some salty pretzel caramel chocolates. Yum!
Monday, May 17, 2010
Wednesday was an extremely busy day at work for me- so busy I never got a chance to eat lunch. Luckily I was able to leave a little earlier than usual and on my way home I intended to stop and have a decent meal. I walked my usual route through Union Square and up Park Avenue, all the while looking for some food option to jump out at me.
Then all of a sudden it was there- a big board outside of Butai advertising a seriously affordable and delicious sounding lunch special. It was pretty late in the day, almost early supper time rather than lunch, but I inquired about the special and they said it was still going on. Score one for me!
I took a seat in front of the big window and ordered their short rib lunch box set. Within minutes I had this huge platter of food set in front of me.
Sushi, salad, rice, dumplings and short ribs all in one nice platter. This is pretty much my food eating dream come true. There’s nothing better than having a variety of little bites to choose from.
The spicy tuna roll was pretty good. Not the best roll I’ve ever had but a good standard roll with some fresh tuna.
The salad was extremely refreshing with cherry tomatoes, radishes and a wonderfully light vinaigrette.
The dumplings were somewhat of a disappointment. They were filled with a mix of veggies and cabbage which is not my favorite thing in the world but at least the outside edges were nice and crispy.
They gave me a ton of fatty short ribs- way too much for me to finish with everything else going on but tasty. I was already too filled up from the first part that came out the Miso soup.
Now I’m not sure if it was the drizzly gray weather outside that soaked me on my walk there, or the craziness of the busy day at work, but this miso soup tasted better than any I have had in a very long time. The wonderful aroma of the miso wafting out with each steamy swirl of broth was so comforting it just seemed to take all my cares away.
The best part about this meal would have to be the price tag. I got all of this food for the low cost of $11.00. Now that’s a good deal. I had enough food left over that I had to take some home for dinner. So another great lunch deal was found and my stressful gray day ended on a high note thanks to Butai.
Friday, May 14, 2010
I was walking over in Tribeca the other day, trying to get in some good exercise, when out of nowhere I run smack dab into the Street Sweets truck.
Damn these mobile sweet machines! Just when I’m trying to eat healthy and exercise they seem to show up uninvited. This happens to be one of the few trucks I haven’t tried out yet so of course I had to buy a little something for research sake. The cupcakes looked pretty good but seemed to lack a lot of frosting, the chocolate chips looked amazing but were so big I knew I would eat the whole thing and feel guilty. In the end I settled on something a little different- a pumpkin whoopie pie.
The pumpkin cake outside was delicious. The cake was moist and had just a hint of cinnamon, spice and carrot flavor. The edges of the cake were slightly crispy and I ended up eating around the edges first to enjoy all the crispy bites.
The filling inside was vanilla and very sweet. Almost a little too sweet for my tastes but still delicious. So the Street Sweets truck ruined my day of health and fitness. That’s right- I blame them.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
It was an insanely windy Saturday in the city and although the sun was out it was not a day you wanted to stay outside too long. Mr. T and I were walking to a new bar in Park Slope and I almost got taken out by a flying construction sign! We met up with friends at the new bar Rock Shop and attempted to enjoy some beers on their beautiful rooftop patio. However the wind just got to be too much for us so we went over to Sheep Station for a few Coopers Sparkling before finally arriving at our dinner destination- Two Toms.
I have no idea how to even begin describing this place. Walking inside the décor was slightly reminiscent of a VFW with wood paneled walls and red tablecloths. I was a little taken aback at first but then the friendly waiter showed us to our table and his warm charming personality really put me at ease. Two Toms has no set menu- just the waiter (who also plays the role of host and busboy) who lists off the specials for that day. So after some serious decision making our appetizers began to arrive. First up the Baked Clams.
Wow- these little buggers were delicious with a hefty seasoning of bread crumbs, oregano and oil. The sauce was so wonderful we used to the bread from the bread basket to soak up every last bite. Onto the Shrimp Cocktail.
Certainly doesn’t look like any shrimp cocktail I’ve ever had before but who cares! The shrimp were plump and sweet with a fantastic cocktail sauce for dipping. Next the Antipasti Platter.
This was a huge fail. First of all, the waiter said it would come with prosciutto but there was only ham and salami on the plate. The cheese wasn’t very tasty at all and almost half of the plate was taken over by the red peppers. We didn’t have to much time to be sad about the antipasti plate however because our next appetizer was the star of the entire meal in my opinion- the Eggplant Rollatini.
Honestly I didn’t even want to order this dish at first because I don’t care for eggplant (unless its on a Defonte’s sub). But let me tell you- this is why it’s always good to try new things. The eggplant was covered in possibly the most delicious marinara sauce and ricotta cheese stuffing I have ever had! The ricotta was so fresh it must have been made in house that very day and the marinara was hearty, rich and oh so satisfying. It really blew me away. Never have I enjoyed an eggplant dish this much in my life.
After demolishing the appetizers I was already feeling pretty full but there were still the entrees yet to come. First came an enormous pork chop about the size of my head! While I found the meat a tad bit overcooked the flavor was still all there. A nice crusty shell outside and topped with some sautéed peppers- this dish was gone in seconds.
The Chicken Marsala on the other hand fell flat. The sauce was thin and watery and the dish needed more spicing for overall flavor.
But then much like the antipasti platter all was forgiven once the Rib Eye appeared. Another massive cut of meat even bigger than the pork chop and covered in a generous amount of fragrant caramelized onions. It was thick, red, fatty and everything delicious a Rib Eye should be.
At the end of these dishes all of us were starting to feel the pain. I was so stuffed but so happy and quite frankly a little drunk. We had been there for about 2hours and the drinks were going down quickly. The reason? No wait!! At Two Toms you actually walk over to the little glass cooler and grab your own beer and carafes of wine as you go. How cool is that!
When we left Two Toms the entire restaurant was packed with families who all seemed to know each other. Every time someone walked inside they would greet the waiter, talk to the chef, etc. Even though this was a very neighborhoody I didn’t feel out of place at all. Everyone had great jovial spirits and a warm friendly attitude. It was truly wonderful to see.
There were a few misses in the Two Toms meal but the hits were off the charts. Another great thing about Two Toms- the price. For all that food and who knows how much beer and wine it came to around $140 for four people total. That is a deal. I would definitely take the short trek out to Gowanus again for a meal at Two Toms.
Thanks for the heads up about this place Sean!
Monday, May 10, 2010
I’ve written about Rub before. I actually think last time I did a face off between ribs and wings at RUB versus those at Dinosaur BBQ. Dinosaur won but that doesn’t mean RUB isn’t awesome. Case in point- their pulled BBQ pork sandwich.
It’s hard to tell from the picture but this pork shoulder was incredibly tender and moist. There was a very light sauce on top but the meat was so wonderful I saw no need to add anymore. Maybe throw a pickle on top and you’re done. A perfectly squishy sandwich bun sealed the deal and I was in pulled pork heaven.
Mr. T ordered the BBQ rib sandwich
Basically boneless ribs covered in some BBQ sauce and served on a bun. His was pretty good- the sauce was very tasty and it came with the same squishy bun. It just seemed to need a little something extra to me. If I had ordered this dish I would have gone all out and gotten it with a sloppy top.
Here’s the sloppy top! A nice big scoop of coleslaw right on top of the meat. Who wouldn’t love that on their sandwich? Plus you get a choice of two different kinds of slaw- vinegar and mayo. I grew up on vinegar based slaw. It’s a pretty hard thing to come by here in NYC.
So even though I think Dinosaur has better ribs RUB rules in the sandwich department. All of their sandwiches are under $10 so it really makes for an affordable meal out. Add a bottle of Shiner Bock to the bill and you’ve got yourself quite a perfect BBQ dinner.
Sunday, May 9, 2010
A very Happy Mother's Day to all of you Mom's out there. I celebrated with a piece of cake from Black Hound Bakery.
Luscious chocolate mousse, sweet vanilla icing and wonderful moist innards made for a lovely cake. A big shout out to the one woman I couldn't spend the day with- My Mom!! I got lucky with the best ever!!! Hopefully we can celebrate together soon!!!
Friday, May 7, 2010
I was walking through Nolita enjoying a lovely warm day last week when a serious craving for something sweet hit me. Usually I just grab a little square of chocolate somewhere but I felt like I needed something more. I was going through all the various dessert treats I could find when suddenly I noticed all the people walking toward were holding something absolutely delicious looking- cupcakes!! They were everywhere! I couldn't understand what was going on! Then I noticed a little table up ahead set up with a box of cupcakes and a man handing them out for free. I was so excited I immediately took one upon offer.
The red velvet cake was pretty moist and the large dollop of frosting had just the right amount sour and sweet tang. I was thoroughly enjoying my cupcake when I realized I really didn't know where this cupcake was from. I started to think back to the location.
Hmmm...It had been a little card table set up kind of near Ciao Bella but with no sign, no defining characteristics but an unlabeled box holding the goods and one lowly man running the show. Maybe it was a new offering from Ciao Bella or had I just accepted a delicious cupcake from some stranger on the street! I was kind of surprised how little I looked into this before diving in. Apparently I have blinders on when it comes to sweets! Luckily I felt just fine after eating and I convinced myself it had to be Ciao Bella...I think.
In other cupcake news they opened up a new outpost of Baked by Melissa right off Union Square!
Now I pass these delicious mini cupcakes on my walk home every day! Well I guess I shouldn't say "pass" because technically I stop in every time. How could you not with some many delicious flavors and at only a $1 a piece! Now I can have my cupcake craving fixed in no time.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
My friend was up visiting from Tarrytown and that always means one thing for Sunday morning- brunch! As you know Mr. T hates brunch so I jump at the opportunity to actually have someone to go enjoy it with it. Kittichai had been on my radar for a while so we hopped in a cab down to SOHO and got a great table outside.
Kittichai is an upscale Thai restaurant in the Thompson Hotel. I had eaten here years ago when it was Thom and absolutely loved the space. It still has the same sleek interior and lazy almost vacation vibe outside. The real draw however is the brunch deal. For $20 you can enjoy unlimited cocktails for 2 hours along with your entree. In my book that is awesome.
Carrie went for the Bloody Mary. This had a nice kick to it without overwhelming chunks of tomato. I started out with the Blood Orange Mimosa and then switched over to the Lychee Bellini's when I had my fill of juice. Both were wonderful and they truly didn't skimp on the champagne.
For my entree I decided to shy from the breakfast items and went for the Shrimp Pad Thai instead. It came out looking kind of like a weird birds nest.
The plate was covered in some sort of spun egg creation with all of the tasty goods underneath.
Once I cut through the exterior the bottom was a bend of scallions, sweet and spicy shrimp, noodles and crushed peanuts. While this is definitely not a typical brunch dish it was really good. There were only about 3 shrimp but each one was pretty large and the scallion egg sauce was very well balanced. As usual I didn't even come close to finishing the noodles before I was stuffed.
We were intrigued by the sound of the Thai Sour Sausage so we split a side. I didn't really notice anything particularly "sour" about the dish but I thought it was tasty. After an hour we were both stuffed and I had had my fill of early morning drinks. They did a fantastic job refilling the cocktails and I don't think my glass was ever empty. As far as brunch deals go in this town- Kittichai rocks. The service was friendly, the food was filling and delicious and the amount of morning eye openers were a plenty!
Sunday, May 2, 2010
NYC hosted the first annul Luckyrice Festival this year and I was in it from the get go. Asian street food, beers under the stars and David Chang. Hmmm....check! I'm in! So Friday we went to the Night Market over in DUMBO. It was a gorgeous warm night and the festival was set up with food outside and drinks in the main complex. We decided to hit all of the food stands first and here's a little display of what we enjoyed.
Asiadog- The Wangding. Basically a hot dog topped with a nice fatty piece of pork belly, scallions and onion.
Buddakan- Udon Noodles with Peanut Sauce.
Kuma Inn- Pork Belly with Pickled Veggies.
Delicatessen- Foie Gras and Beef Short Rib Dumpling with Asian vegetables and five spice consomme.
Special Reserve beer from Brooklyn Brewery the Sorachi Ale.
I have to say that while the event wasn't typical asian street food like I expected it was pretty amazing nonetheless. The highlights for me were the ridiculously delicious Asiadogs, the mammouth and moist meatball sandwichs from Kampuchea and the lemongrass flavored beer from Brooklyn Brewery.
I got to spend a moment with Garrett Oliver and even Jeffrey Steingarten made an appearance. It was a great event, well worth the price and a great kickoff to hopefully a great celebration of asian food. David Chang..have I ever said I Love You? Cause I do :)