Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Today is the Day!

Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god!!! I've been waiting all summer for this- Eataly opens today! I'm so excited I don't know how I'm going to get through a full work day. Not very productively that's for sure. What could be better than a giant Italian food hall with cheese, seafood, meat and wine only two blocks away from my apartment! Oh wait- they're opening up a Dogfish Head beer garden on the roof in November as well- that's better!!! Cross your fingers for me that I at least get inside today. I assume the line will be huge when it opens its doors at 4:00. Eataly!!!!!!


Monday, August 30, 2010

Happy Birthday Dad! Part I

I was lucky enough to have my Dad in town for his birthday last week. He and my Mom came down for a quick visit after a wedding in Connecticut over the weekend. Mr. T’s parents joined us for a fun dinner Sunday of mussels and beers at BXL and then Monday it was time to celebrate my Dad! It was a cold and rainy day in the city for sightseeing so what better to do then go for a relaxing fabulous lunch!

Café Sabarsky is one of the two places in the city my father loves to eat at. We got there right around 12:00 pm and the place was packed but we were the first in line. After about a half hour wait, the line now snaking around the gallery, we were seated at a beautiful table overlooking Central Park.

I was off for the day and about to consume sausage so a beer was in order. I had an old favorite the Franziskaner Weisse.

Mr. T and I visited this brewery in Munich and loved it! It’s the perfect thick, malty brew for what I was about to eat.

This is the Weisswurst mit Brezen & Handelmaier. Basically a white Bavarian sausage served with a warm pretzel and Handelmaier’s mustard. The sausage was magnificent- it literally bursted with hot juices when I sliced into the snappy case. This kind of sausage is always on the mild side which is where the mustard comes in.

Handelmaier’s mustard is the bomb! I’m so mad I never picked some up in Germany. It’s on the sweeter side, like a honey mustard, but it also has a slight spicy bite to the end. I love everything about it! I was happy as clam dipping my salty pretzel, juicy sausage and sweet mustard into perfect little snacky bites.

My father ordered a the Bratwurst mit Sauerkraut & Rostkartoffen. His Bratwurst was roasted so it also contained some great juicy goodness and snappy skin perfect for the pickled kraut. However I still enjoyed my mustard better with it than the Dijon. Apparently he did too and ended up getting a side for himself! Like father like daughter!

My Mom knew what was coming up next and played it safe with a small bowl of comforting goulash. She’s been to Café Sabarsky enough to know that the entrees are fabulous but the best part is the dessert!

Café Sabarsky has some of the loveliest mouth watering desserts in the world. Things that dreams are made of. It’s always a process for my father and I to order. First we read over the list, but then we must walk around to inspect each cake and discuss which one looks like the best for the day.

Today I went for an old favorite I’ve talked about before- Klimttorte.

An almost delicate slice of cake with alternating layers of chocolate and hazelnut cake enrobed in a rich chocolate icing. It’s such a smooth refined dessert it completes embodies everything Café Sabarsky is about.

You also can’t leave Café Sabarsky without trying some of their wonderful Viennese coffee. My espresso was just the icing on the cake so to say, that made my perfect meal complete. Ahhh what a wonderful day to while a rainy afternoon away. If only every day could be like this.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Another Summer Lobster Roll

Just by looking at this picture below would you be able to guess where this roll came from? Maybe if you lived in the Westchester area you would know. It’s a Stew Leonard lobster roll!

Yes! Stew Leonard the supermarket! I had no idea they carried such things in their deli. There were a couple nice big chunks of lobster, a little mayo and some dill on a buttered potato bun. This is obviously no where near the huge glorious bounty of lobster of Pearl lobster roll, but it’s not too shabby either. And for the price it can’t be beat. This little guy cost me $5.00. That’s all!! I talked to a few Stew Leonard regulars and they said the price is usually closer to $8.00 but my roll was a little on the skimpier size. I’ll admit I could have had a bit more salad but now that I know I’ll just ask for another scoop! This almost makes me want to move to the suburbs…errr well not quite just yet.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Brunch at Dos Caminos

We ended up hitting up a ton of places after our Del Posto lunch- Brass monkey, The Standard, Cowgirl Café, Fat Cat, Grassroots… I’m not even kidding this list goes on and on. None of them are connected or make any sense. It was just a sporadic bar crawl around the city. The next day we chilled out a little more with brunch at Kittichai, some touring around and a great dinner of Indian food at Dhaba. Sunday we woke up and had one more opportunity for food before Christine’s plane. She loves Mexican food and I heartily agree. The nearest option was Dos Caminos in the pouring rain so we trekked quickly up there for brunch. How could we not have a great time- they have a complimentary prickly pear margaritas with brunch!

For my main I ordered the Machacado Breakfast tacos. They filled three huge soft taco shells with machaca style beef, scrambled eggs, salsa and Vermont cheddar cheese. This was so damn tasty it immediately entered into my top five brunch dishes. It had everything I want after an alcohol induced night out- oozy cheese to coat my stomach, fluffy eggs for protein and some salty beef to gnaw on and make me feel like a million bucks again. I couldn’t even touch the ridiculously huge portion of rice and beans on the side. There was so much food! I ended up taking about half of the dish home.

Mr. T ordered the breakfast quesadilla. I have to say this was also pretty good but not great. Whereas my dish had just the perfect amount of balance between meat, eggs and cheese, the quesadilla was ridiculously egg heavy. I couldn’t taste any of the other ingredients. The plate was enormous like my tacos, but the dish would have been better if they made it more like the size and shape of a regular quesadilla.

Now everything would have been all fine and dandy what with our tasty drinks and my awesome entrée but we had a few service issues. It was still early when we arrived- only about 12:30 and the place wasn’t even half full. However our waiter seemed to be still recovering from the night before because he was so slooow. He didn’t come over to say hello until about 10 minutes after we were seated. Then about 5 minutes later he came back to ask about guacamole. Then when we said no, we didn’t see him again for at least another 10 minutes. When he finally came back to take our drink order, he almost walked away again until I literally stopped him and said we wanted to order food as well.

Once our food order was placed, he brought the drinks quickly but then everything shut down. We waited for our food. And waited and waited. Finally a manger came over and told us there was a problem with one of our dishes. He mumbled something about slivered almonds being needed and wanting to serve all of the dishes together.

Hmm…It was pretty obvious we were all annoyed. Whose dish even had slivered almonds? Literally about 15 seconds later out came two dishes- mine and Mr. T’s. No sign of Christine’s anywhere. Now if you’re going to blame the wait on serving all the dishes at once- why don’t you wait?? It was another five full minutes before Christine’s arrived and guess what- no slivered almonds on the dish.

We had waited so long at this point we had all finished our drinks. When I finally flagged down our waiter to order another round he said to me “you know you’ll have to pay for these.” Okay things are getting pretty ridiculous at this point. Obviously we are going to pay you for our drinks but obviously it would be nice if you comped us maybe one for the horribly long wait and messed up dish. We had never been harsh to our waiter about the wait just annoyed and I thought this statement was plain rude.

This is not the way I would expect a B.R. Restaurant to run. So of course to add insult to injury our drinks took about 10 minutes more to arrive, our water wasn’t filled and we were more than annoyed at the end of our meal. So unfortunately I may not be having my top five best brunch entrée again for a while. The food was fantastic but the service really left a sour taste in my mouth.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Fancy Lunch at Del Posto

One of my best friends from college was visiting this past week which always means an excuse for some good food and drink. She flew in Thursday and we kind of hit the ground running and never stopped. It began with a delicious Koreatown dinner late Thursday at Mad for Chicken, where the insanely addictive wings pretty much blew her off her seat. I try to explain the wonders of this chicken to people from Buffalo but you truly have to try it in order to understand. I love Buffalo wings but there is nothing that compares to the candy like shell of skin at Mad for Chicken.

Friday we all slept in a bit and then took our time getting ready for our fancy lunch of the day- Del Posto. Ever since Del Posto launched their $29 prix fix I’ve been dying to get over there for lunch. Christine’s visit seemed like the perfect opportunity to finally try it out.

When we first walked in I got a little nervous. I had been here numerous times for drinks at the bar and always enjoyed the ambiance. However midday lunch is a much different mood than after work drinks. The restaurant was so quiet it almost felt like a library. We had just had some mimosas at the house and I was afraid the setting didn’t fit our boisterous mood. Luckily once we were seated and had a moment to regroup we settled in nicely to the warm calm atmosphere of late day lunch.

Within moments of ordering our wine they brought out a trio of amuse bouche to wet our palate. Gazpacho shot with celery salt dusting on the rim, a thin puff pastry filled with salmon mousse and some sort of cheese prosciutto bread ball.

Of the three the prosciutto ball was by far my favorite. It had a cheesy salty kick that exploded in my mouth. I wish I could have had 2 or 3 more of these. That is until I saw the bread basket, then all thoughts of amuse bouche went right out the door.

The basket contained four different kinds of rolls and two kinds of spread- regular butter and whipped lardo. Yes that’s correct- lardo. Nothing says love like spreading straight pork fat directly on a warm rosemary focaccia and watching it melt. This is not for the faint of heart that’s for sure but it was awesome! I easily devoured one roll and was onto my second when the first course arrived.

For my antipasti I chose the Insalata Primavera della Terra. Carrots, pea pods, beans; all types of fresh crisp vegetables dressed in a light vinaigrette and some sweet pea puree. This was a wonderfully lively and refreshing dish. I would order this again in a heartbeat.

Mr. T's antipasti the Warm Cotechino with Umbrain Lentil Vinagrette & Dried Fruit Mostarda. This is basically just a big Sausage…a big tasty sausage at that! This was quite a large amount of meat for an antipasti. I was impressed! In fact all of the first course items were great except for one Lidia’s Lobster Salad.

This came as a $10 addition to the meal and it was surely not worth it. Although the chunks of lobster were pretty big, the meat was rubbery and overcooked. The bland tomato sauce did nothing to help the lobster and overall the dish fell flat on its face.

For the entrees both of my companions ordered the CACCIUCCO Red Mullet Crostino Aglio e Olio.

They bring out the bowl with big succulent pieces of crab, scallop, mussels and clams and then pour a warm fragrant broth on top everything table side. I felt a little like I was back at Jean George with that move. The broth was simply heavenly and where Lida’s Lobster tasted rubbery all these sea creatures were wonderfully plump and moist.

It also came with some extremely tasty pickled crab toasts. The acidity of the crab salad really brighten up my palate and I felt like I could taste more levels of flavor within the broth after each bite.

For my entrée I chose the Grilled LAMB Chop Lemon Yogurt with Ceci & Swiss Chard Ragu. The lamb had spent hours braising and was completely cooked through. I hesitated when the waiter described this dish as “cooked through” and I probably should have changed my mind.. The meat was very tender and moist but I missed the lighter flavor of a medium rare chop. I guess I’m kind of stuck in my ways when it come to lamb. If I’m ordering a gyro I want it like this- if I’m ordering a regular chop I want to see pink. However the dish was still fabulous and my table had no problem finishing the plate.

For dessert my companions both ordered the Chocolate Ricotta TORTINO Toasted Sicilian Pistachios & Extra Virgin Olive Oil Gelato. Neither had wanted a sweet dessert but I encouraged them to try this instead of the cheese plate. Yay for me being right! They both loved it. The ricotta cheese and luscious olive oil gelato were more savory than sweet and this dish really hit on every single cylinder.

My dessert was fantastic as well the Butterscotch SEMIFREDDO Melon Agrumata, Crumbled Sbrisolona & Milk Jam. I’ve never loved semifreddo but this really hit the spot. It gave me the sweet injection I craved without feeling weighed down after such a big lunch. The treats didn’t end just yet however. Along with our dessert wine they also brought us a box of mini treats to close out the meal.

On top were mini crème filled bombolini and a chocolate olive oil lollipop and on the bottom was a candied grapefruit and something else dark chocolate I couldn’t decipher. The bombolini were by far the winner because in the end, who doesn’t love mini crème filled doughnuts?

So minus one overcooked lobster we had a great meal at Del Posto. The service was wonderful, the food was spectacular and the company couldn’t be better.

Del Posto

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Sweet Treat Day III

Today’s sweet treat come all the way to NYC from Maine! Feast your eyes on some REAL Whoopee Pies!!!

Okay I’m not a Whoopee Pie expert, but if I’m going to indulge in one, this is the kind I’d like to eat. The Cranberry Island pies are sold in the freezer section of the Lobster Place in Chelsea Market. All natural ingredients and a beachy seashell shaped case make these whoopee pies stand out from the rest.

Even though the pies were in the freezer section after only about 15 minutes of rest time the cake was pliable and moist. The cold inner filling was not only refreshing but insanely delicious! I really felt like I was in the Florida Keys enjoying a fresh slice of key lime pie! The entire Whoopee pie was lighter than most and the filling to cake ratio was perfect. They carry Chocolate pies at the market as well but I would be hard pressed to pass up the lemon lime.

So there you have it! A little bit of Maine right in our own backyard. You know what I suggest? Order a lobster roll from the Shack-in-the-Back, grab some wine at Chelsea Wine Vault, whoopee pies and have yourself a Maine picnic along the Hudson River. What could be a better way to spend the winding days of summer. Cheers!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sweet Treats Day II

I started out the week with an old favorite but today is time to highlight my new dessert destination- the Limelight marketplace!

The beautiful old Episcopalian church that once housed the notorious Limelight nightclub (and Mr. T’s hang out in younger years) has been reconstructed into a mini mall filled with three floors of different goodies. Today we are concerned with the first floor you have the festival of shops, gourmet food and last but not least the sweet room.

The sweet room is where my current obsession of a treat lies- Mari’s NY.

Mari’s specializes in artisanal dark chocolate brownies that come in a variety of flavors. I am obsessed with their Thai Coffee brownie which is so rich, fudgy and delicious I almost consider it a shame to be featured in the same category as a regular old brownie.

This little guy has so many layers of flavors- strong espresso notes, deep chocolaty tones and an almost tobacco like aftertaste. This is the kind of treat that screams for a nice red wine. It will change the way you look at brownies believe me.

Next door to Mari’s is another little treats station the Little Candy Cake Company.

Look at this cake I bought from there. It’s only about 7 inches high and the entire thing is solid milk chocolate. Honestly I didn’t try any, I bought it as a gift, but how cute are they!

My last stop at the Limelight Marketplace is usually Butterfly Bakeshop where they make the most gorgeous cakes ever.

How can all this goodness be in one place? I didn’t even hit the tip of the ice burg. There’s also gelato, whoopee pies, Marie Belle hot chocolate and get this- wine bar and gastropub are opening soon as well.

Limelight Marketplace

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sweet Treats Week at Nyctastes!

It’s Sweet Treats Week here on Nyctastes and every day this week I’ll be featuring some of my favorite delicious and affordable sweet treats throughout the city. Okay it’s already Tuesday I know but Monday went by so fast I don’t even count that as part of the week anymore. I have to start with one of my favorites of course the mini cupcakes from Baked by Melissa.

This month’s special flavor is seen here in the middle- a Brownie hot Fudge Sundae Cupcake. Wow this is extremely fudgy and sweet. It truly did taste like a brownie sundae to me but overall it had a little too much sugar to enjoy more than one.

The others in the box are my standby favorites. Red Velvet with its wonderfully addictive vanilla frosting and the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough whose cake is always incredibly moist. Much moister than all the other flavors which is a little odd.

At $1.00 a cupcake these bite sized creations are pretty expensive. However if you have impulse control issues when it comes to dessert (as I do) these actually work in your favor. I find myself stopping by almost every day but I always stick to 3 at the most. (Okay in the picture there’s 6 but 3 were for Mr. T). That’s the most I’m willing to spend on these and I get my sweet fix satisfied without going overboard and feeling guilty.

So there you have it. Our first Sweet Treat of the Week!! Stay tuned. We'll be enjoying some pretty interesting treats this week from sweets in former dance clubs to old favorites from Maine right here in NYC.

Baked By Melissa

Friday, August 13, 2010

Upstate Dinner at the Washington Irving Boat Club

I traveled up to White Plains on Sunday to do some serious shopping at the Westchester mall. Shopping is one of my least favorite past times but my friend Carrie and I really needed to pick up some summer wardrobe items before fall fashion season begins. After about two hours we had completely canvassed the entire mall, each bought an item and were ready to call it quits with a couple of beers and some good food.

We drove down to the Washington Irving boat club in Tarrytown and had a couple beers on their beautiful outdoor patio that overlooks the Tappan Zee Bridge. Once we started to get a little hungry we moved over to the restaurant part of the club, Sunset Cove, and got a wonderful seat right on the water’s edge.

We weren’t starving so we decided to just split some appetizers, which ended up being a great idea since we really filled up on the first item- the bread basket.

Now I am not a huge bread fan, but this was fantastic. I could smell the rosemary roll off the basket as soon as the waitress placed it down and the smell was just a prelude to the wonderful flavor. The bread had a super crunchy ends and a warm soft middle with strong flavors of fresh rosemary that went perfectly with the creamy whipped butter.

Our first appetizer was the Maryland Crab cake with Sweet Pepper Marmelatta and Spicy Remoulade.

This was very tasty. The crab cake was very lightly breaded so the full fresh crab flavor was abundant and the sauces on the side were perfect. I also enjoyed the extra dollop of horseradish they put on the plate. I love a little kick with my crab and this brought the whole dish together.

Our other appetizer of the night was the Cristino.

Roasted Italian bread topped with fig jam, prosciutto and goat cheese. This dish was awesome! Prosciutto, goat cheese and fig are three of my favorite things so putting them together just made it that more enjoyable. The bread could have been a tad less toasted but all of the flavors were spot on. I loved this dish so much I’m planning to recreate at home this week for dinner.

So that was our meal at the boat club. Although we only ordered appetizers we were both stuffed after the meal with the addition of the bread basket. Plus I saw a new kind of beer can.

Look at this Coors Light. It looks like it comes in its own water bottle! This proved to be a great vessel for keeping the beer extra cold while sitting on the patio’s all day. Plus we saw a beautiful sunset on the way out which just made my night. It’s nice to take a break from the city once in a while.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Ed's Lobster Bar

On a random Monday night we decided last minute to meet up with some friends for dinner. After a few drinks at Sweet and Vicious we ambled our way over to Ed’s expecting a slow Monday night crowd. We were wrong.

Ed’s was packed! Who are all these people eating out on a Monday night? We put our name in and went next door for a drink while we waited. About 45 minutes later (and a good 15 minutes standing outside because they said our table was ready when it wasn’t) we finally got seated.

We were all starving at this point so we ordered a bunch of appetizers for the table. My favorite appetizer, and probably my favorite dish of the night was the Fried Oyster Sliders.

This was one of the specials that night and it was damn tasty. They fried up an oyster, wrapped in bacon and then topped it with lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise. A mini oyster BLT. What’s not to love!

These are the fried Ipswich clams. While I loved the fried oyster I did not love these. We had just had clam strips at Mermaid Oyster Bar two days before and they were fantastic! These little guys were clam bellies and I just didn’t enjoy the texture or flavor of them at all. Perhaps the belly is an acquired taste? I’m not sure. I wouldn’t order this again though. They tasted mealy and for $17 this dish was definitely on the small side.

The fried calamari was decent. The sauce was on the sweeter side and the rings were pretty crispy. Nothing special here- just a typical calamari dish.

For the main event I got a big ol’ bucket of steamers.

These guys were plump, juicy and delicious. There were so many I think I only got through about half the bucket before Mr. T had to take over for me.

Maybe that was because I had also been nibbling a little on his entrée the Lobster Roll.

This was a pretty good lobster roll I thought. It was definitely modeled after Pearl’s roll with a decent amount of mayonnaise and some fresh herbs and spices on top. The fries that came along with it were pretty good as well. They were a little thicker than I usually enjoy but they had a good crispy shell to them. At $27 this roll was around the same price as Pearl and while I did enjoy it, I think Pearl’s has more lobster meat and a more balanced flavor.

The other entrée of the night was the Lobster Pot Pie. I had a little bite of this dish and while the sauce was extra creamy I found it a little bit salty for my taste buds.

So in conclusion, while we had a pretty good meal at Ed’s (Yum oyster sliders!!) I will not be running back. The service was a little erratic the whole time we were there and the prices were just a little too high for the amount and quality of food offered.

Monday, August 9, 2010

More Treats from Everything Frosted

After a quick trip to J&R last Sunday we decided to chance the impeding thunderstorms and walk through Chinatown for some food. Mr. T had dumplings on his mind but I had something quite different planned- cupcakes!

After picking up a bag of frozen dumplings across the street we trekked upstairs to Everything Frosted and ended up with an array of sweet treats.

From the top left clockwise- White Chocolate Strawberry pudding, Coffee Mocha cupcake with Chocolate Frosting, Yellow cake with Almond Butter Cream frosting and a Banana cake with Peanut Butter frosting.

The White Chocolate pudding was Mr. T’s choice and it was velvety smooth and incredibly light. Along with the fresh strawberries inside was a bit of angel food cake.

Of the three cupcakes the Coffee Mocha cake was by far my favorite. The coffee flavor was very pronounced in the cake and then you hit the center jackpot. Extra mocha frosting oozing out! Yum!!

The other two cupcakes were a little disappointing, The banana cake was almost identical to a breakfast muffin and lacked the light texture of the coffee cupcake. The Almond cake was good but just not as good as the Mocha. However the frosting on both were fantastic. Next time I would get the peanut butter frosting on a different cake.

So we got our sweets, stopped for a Bubble Tea, picked up take out from NY Noodletown and grabbed a cab just as the sky opened up and it started pouring. I think that is a successful Sunday in the city.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Dinner at Bohemian

Mr. T’s birthday dinner is usually reserved for a sushi eating throw down in front of the man himself Yasuda. These dinners are always amazing, extravagant, and above all-expensive. I’m sure you could have a great dinner at Yasuda for a reasonable price but we always get carried away sitting in front of him. That’s half the fun actually! Not wanting to hinder that fun factor, we decided to skip Yasuda this year and go somewhere a little more wallet friendly for our budget. Mr. T left the choice up to me so knowing he loves Japanese food I got us a reservation at Bohemian.

Bohemian is a secret little restaurant located in the back of a meat market in NOHO. I couldn’t even call them to make a reservation. I had to email them first, tell them a little bit about myself and then they sent me the secret phone number. Hey- it’s a little crazy but whatever. I kind of dig stuff like this.

Friday night we arrived right at 7:30 for our dinner. The space is small and very serene. I truly didn’t feel like I was in a restaurant but rather a visitor in someone’s home. There’s a koi pond on the side and a big skylight in the middle of the room. Even the chairs are meant for relaxation. They were leaned so far back I believe I could actually take a nap on one if I was so inclined.

We wanted to try a little bit of everything so we decided to go with the $55 tasting menu. Our first course was the Long Island vegetables with fondue.

All I could think of when this dish came out was the circus. Look at all those colors! There were so many different vegetables on this platter I don’t even know where to begin. Carrots, cucumbers, radishes, peppers- you name it – we got it. Everything was incredibly fresh and the cherry tomato was possibly the best tomato I’ve had all year. This all came with a cheesy anchovy fondue sauce perfect for dipping. Mr. T and I both felt like we were back at Blue Hill Stone Barns again, enjoying some veggies right off the farm.

Our next course was Yellowtail and Sea Bass sashimi.

This course wasn’t actually part of the prix fix but something we had added on. The pieces of sashimi were pretty big, almost a little too big for me, but the fish was fresh and had a nice texture.

Our next course Mushroom Croquette with Uni.

Oh my goodness this was so good. I am an uni fan and the fatty rich texture went perfectly with the earthy fried mushroom croquette. Even the mushroom sauce inside the croquette was tasty. I enjoyed every bite of this dish.

Our next course I forgot to snap a picture of for some reason- the cured meats. It was basically a small platter with chorizo, salami and some spicy pork. Now Mr. T and I both felt like we were at Otto. Although I enjoyed the meats I wouldn’t say they were memorable. In fact I kind of wished I had skipped eating that course so I would have more time for the next one the Grilled Branzino with seasonal vegetables.

This dish was enormous. I mean really really huge! There was easily enough food here for four people and it was incredibly good. Each bite of fish was moist and succulent and I think I could have eaten probably my entire half if it weren’t for the delicious vegetables. Whole pieces of garlic, roasted brussel sprouts and zucchini were just a few of my favorite veggies floating around the bottom of the pan. This was so damn good. We were both in heaven eating this dish and couldn’t stop.

Unfortunately we were so stuffed from the fish that we barely ate the next course the Wagyu Beef Sliders.

I’m sure these guys tasted wonderful but I seriously had only one bite and had to call it quits. We asked our server to wrap them up to go because we had both hit a wall at this point. I wasn’t even sure I would be able to handle the dessert course but luckily we had a little time to digest before it arrived- the Sake Panna Cotta.

This was a perfect ending to the meal. It was a small size, not too sweet and came with a really tasty brown sugar sauce to pour on top. They even gave Mr. T a special plate with a candle and Happy Birthday writing without me even asking! How nice.

One last thing that we loved about Bohemia was the beer selection. They didn’t have a lot but almost everything on the menu was something interesting.

Mr. T had a South Hampton Grand Cru and I had some kind of Japanese dark beer that I’ve never heard of before. Since this meal lasted over 2 hours we went through quite a lot of drinks and drinking 10 percent beer starts to take affect after a while. We were pretty tipsy at the end and forgot all about the wagyu beef sliders. I’m kind of mad about that- I’m sure they were spectacular.

The final bill for all that food and multiple tasty drinks including beer, wine and shochu came to right around $200 total. That’s a fantastic deal. Both of us were basically in a food and drink coma at the end but we enjoyed every minute of it. Bohemian was a nice change of pace for the birthday boy.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

It's Almost Friday Cocktail!

We stopped into Angel’s Share before Mr. T’s birthday dinner last week and I was happy to see some new summertime cocktails on the menu. Always a big fan of almost anything these bartenders throw together, I felt fairly confident ordering the new watermelon basil martini.

I don’t know why I even had a moment of indecision. This cocktail was fantastic! The watermelon was slightly tart and incredibly refreshing. I loved taking a little chew of the basil leaf with each sip to give it a more savory smooth taste. Angel’s Share does it again!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Another Spectacular Meal at Gramercy Tavern

Have I told you how much I love Gramercy tavern before? I feel like I’m starting to sound like some sort of walking advertisement for the place but I truly can’t get enough of it. Last Thursday Mr. Trekker’s Mom was in the city and after her and I did some shopping we met up with Mr. T around 6:00. Since it was pretty early the tavern room was only about half full so we easily snagged a table for three.

I’ve been on a big oyster kick lately so I decided to start off with some as my appetizer.

These little guys Misty Point oysters from Virginia and they were softer than the Canadian oysters I usually order with a nice salty kick. I usually don’t use my cocktail sauce with oysters but it really complemented the briny flavor and smoothed it out.

Mother and son ordered the same appetizer- Sweetbreads with summer squash, shisito peppers and mushroom puree.

I love sweetbreads and Gramercy Tavern always puts together some of the best. They were delicately fried and given a nice summer spin with the crisp green squash and earthy mushroom puree.

For my main course I ordered the Bluefish with snap peas, leeks and olive-pine nut vinaigrette.

This was my first experience with Bluefish and I would have to say it was enjoyable. The fish itself was quite firm and had a slightly odd “sea” taste to it that I can’t really describe. I’m not sure if I would have loved the bluefish on it’s own but the salty sweet olive-pine nut vinaigrette really balanced out the “sea” flavor and brought the whole dish together.

Once again mother and son ordered the same Seafood & Saffron-Fennel Chowder Mussels and Celery.

This dish looks absolutely gorgeous! I loved the rich yellow color and it tasted just as creamy and delicious as it looked. The chowder was packed with big pieces of seafood and bold flavors of saffron and fennel.

I was planning to get my favorite Gramercy tavern dessert- the German Chocolate Cake- but we were all too full to move. Once again we had a fabulous meal with great food, wonderful ambiance and impeccable service. I’m so lucky to have this gem of a restaurant in my neighborhood.