Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The $1 Slice

Some crazy stuff happened over this past weekend in my hood. The Tasty-D-Lite across the street closed down and two new things moved in. Two new cheap eat things! First up $1 Pizza.

This little shop opened on Saturday right next door to Terakawa. I have to say it wasn’t a very grand opening. One lone man was working inside and one lone pie sat on display. I was not deterred however and ponied up a bill for my slice.

Unfortunately this $1 pizza really tastes like $1 pizza. There was hardly any sauce. In the picture it looks saucy but the tomato paste was incredibly thin and almost a little bit hard. There was an ample amount of cheese but the slice had little to no flavor at all. It even kind of hurt my throat trying to swallow it down. I was not impressed.

The true test of this pizza joint was Mr. T declaring that he liked the pizza. That sealed the deal in my book. He always likes terrible pizza.

The other opening I’m much more excited about- Mike’s Papaya. A hot dog joint right across the street! This is seriously life changing! It’s not open as of yet but it looks ready to any day now. My life just got a little bit better.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Snacks at Double Crown

Continuing my quest for amazing chicken wings in NYC Mr. T and I headed to Double Crown Saturday night. Now Double Crown isn’t the type of place you think of when you want wings. It’s British/Asian fusion food, gorgeous décor and much more of a cocktail fancy pants place than a bar. However I heard their Szechuan wings were good so I was mostly going to have those.

It was a beautiful night and we got a seat outside on the noisy Bowery. We each ordered a glass of wine and decided to stick with a couple apps for the night. First things first though the bread basket.  It had your regular old rolls but also some scones! Really tasty scones filled with raisins and berries served with fluffy whipped butter. I loved these scones. In fact they may have been my favorite part of the meal. I assume this is the British influence on the menu?

First up the appetizer I had been waiting for- Forever Crisp Chicken Wings Szechuan style. At first glance these wings look great. They were very big and had a super crispy outside almost similar to Bon Chon or Mad for Chicken. Definite points for that. However the sauce proved to be its downfall.

I liked the flavor for sure- hot and sweet with a lingering spicy after taste, but there was soo much of it! The sauce was so thick is literally coated the wing like some sort of tar and left huge gooey globs all over my hands and face. Thank goodness Mr. T and I know each other so well. I was pretty embarrassed by how messy and sticky we both became after the first wing. I tried to take some off but it was impossible. The sugery sweet sauce became too much for me by the 3rd wing and I stopped there. It had potential but did not make the grade.

Our other appetizer, the Duck Steamed Buns, fared somewhat similar results. The duck meat had been mixed with cilantro and served with a mustard sauce. The menu had listed hoisin, which I love, so the sauce was a disappointment. Mr. T is allergic to cilantro so this dish was out for him as well.

In the end we were somewhat disappointed with our meal but I think we also could have ordered better for ourselves. There was a lot of great looking things on the menu and the décor was so nice I would give it another shot for sure. Apparently they have fantastic bathrooms! How could I have missed that!

Double Crown

Friday, September 24, 2010

Taste the West Village

It’s that time of year again- food festival season!! This is my favorite time of year. The weather is getting cooler, the leaves are starting to change and food festivals are abundant. Sunday Mr. T and I attended one of our favorite events from last year the Taste the West Village. A bunch of downtown restaurants get together and put on a fabulous spread of food and drink to support public schools in the area. It’s a wonderful cause that I will happily support any time. I can’t show you everything I ate, that would take forever, but here's a few highlights.

Two of the best offerings of the day were these from Gusto. The savory was a Malfatti with organic spinach, ricotta cheese and a sage butter sauce.

Yum! This was absolutely divine. The pasta shell was pretty light allowing the fabulous creamy ricotta and fresh spinach to shine through. The addition of sage to the brown butter sauce won me over completely and I would happily eat a whole bowl of these for dinner.

Then they took the ricotta one step further and inserted it inside a pillowy sugar dusted bomboloni. This was also a very light, airy treat and I enjoyed it even more than the bomboloni I had at Maialino.

Mr. T’s favorite of the event came from Market Table. Charred autumn corn with chili, Parmesan cheese and a splash of lime. What is it about charred corn that’s so delicious? Everyone around me was raving about this dish and I have to agree. They used some fresh seasonal ingredients that really aligned with the flavors of fall.

Behind the corn was a grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup that I really don’t remember much about. The soup was very thick and boiling hot. It wasn’t very comforting to eat on such a sunny hot day.

Another favorite was a short rib arepa from Yerba Buena Perry. The short ribs had a nice thick sauce with creamy, spicy slaw on top. Next to that was a crab and tomato gazpacho that was pretty good as well.

Now I said this festival wasn’t just about food but drink as well. This year they tripled the amount of drink vendors from last year and there were a ton of tasty offering.

Blue Point was there pouring their seasonal Pumpkin and Oktoberfest beers. We also enjoyed some pale ales from Greenpoint Harbour and a Pilsner from Sixpoint Brewery.

The cocktails were in abundance as well and my favorite was the offering from Yerba Buena Perry again. Blood Orange liquor, watermelon juice, lime and sage were in the mix for this one and it was deliciously refreshing in the hot sun.

Overall we had a great time. This festival always has a nice mix of neighborhood folks and families which give it a relaxed, happy vibe. So we’re off to a good start! Not sure which festival is up next but I am excited and ready to go!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Lunch at Union Square Cafe

Last weekend was my birthday but instead of a fancy dinner I opted for a casual day of football with friends. My birthday’s have a pretty good track record of being horrible. Last year I missed my Locanda Verde reservation because I got into car accident and then Mr. T fell down a flight of stairs. Two years ago both Mr. T and I came down with a nasty case of food poisoning and had serious gastronomic distress for almost a week. I won’t go on and on about my birthday disasters but suffice it to say I’ve learned not to expect anything good on the big day itself. To be honest this year was no different. On the actual day there was a fight at the football bar, we got soaked trying to find a cab home and I ripped a favorite dress of mine. Yay Birthday!

I woke up Monday morning and breathed a sigh of relief. Birthday over! Time for fun again! I had the day off and was ready to celebrate. Since Danny Meyer is my favorite restaurateur it’s almost sacrileges that I’ve never eaten at Union Square Café. Sure I’ve had drinks at the bar a few times but that hardly counts. So Monday afternoon I walked down and booked myself a table for one!

They started me off with a pretty decent basket of bread accompanied by a small bowl of black olives and a square of butter sprinkled with rosemary and salt.

I had done my research on the Union Square staple dishes so I felt fairly confident with my orders. I knew I wanted to get dessert, so I skipped the apps and went straight to my entrée the Yellowfin Tuna Burger.

My burger came out on a fairly big fluffy bun covered in a ginger-mustard glaze and topped off with some big slices of pickled ginger. The ginger pieces had way too much bite for my taste buds and I removed them immediately. Unfortunately without the ginger, the tuna burger didn’t have too much going for it in my book. The glaze was okay, but overall the tuna was just incredibly bland. Luckily the sides were there to help this mediocre burger get elevated to my Danny Meyer expectations.

The coleslaw was super creamy and the onion on the side was one of the best things I’d ever seen. That’s a whole red onion, cut in half and grilled so the entire outside is caramelized and the sweetness of the onion really stands out.. Once I combined a little bit of the sides with each bite of burger I understood why people liked it so much. It probably wouldn’t be my first choice again if I return but I certainly enjoyed it.

I was pretty full after the burger but I couldn’t pass on the dessert USC is known for- the Banana Tart.

You REALLY need to be a banana fan to enjoy this dessert. See the outside ring of this of this tart? That’s straight banana. It was like they took a whole banana coated it in some caramel, salt, a ton of sugar and then baked it up until the entire outside tart resembled the crispy fragile top of a crème brulee. In the center of the banana ring was a nutty core of macadamia brittle topped with a scoop of amazing pure honey-vanilla ice cream. This dessert was ridiculous. Mr. T is not a banana fan but even he would find each crackling bite just as satisfying as the first break of that crème brulee shell.

To be honest my one recommendation would be to share this dessert with someone. I got about two thirds of the way through and I felt myself going into sugar overload. I was to in love with it to stop but I paid for it all day.

So overall it was an incredibly enjoyable lunch. Now just some interesting views on the ambiance. They sat me in the back room with gorgeous wood floors and high white ceilings. Unfortunately they placed me at a middle table where two couples were sitting on either side. This seating choice was awkward because the men of each party were basically staring directly at me. Both couples happened to be tourists and seemed very intrigued that a single woman would dine alone in “the big city” (the Texan to my right actually said that).

I don’t mind tourists at all but they made me very uncomfortable throughout the meal. They would stare at each dish as it came out and make their comments. Then they both whispered loudly about me in general throughout the lunch. Things like “ What’s she reading over there- Vogue?” and “Did you see- I think she just took a picture with her camera!”. First of all I was reading NY Magazine and second of all I always try to be insanely discreet with my Iphone pictures and you calling it out on me makes it that much harder to take.

Next time I would ask to be seated in the front room where at least the tables are spaced out and I wouldn’t be stuck in this situation again. This obviously wasn’t the restaurant’s fault. Just some bad luck seating for me.

However one thing USC could definitely improve upon is their bathrooms. On the outside reads a sign “Please open slowly”. Upon opening the door I quickly realized why. It was beyond minuscule! I mean seriously. You couldn’t wait for a stall or come out of your stall without being hit by the door. This definitely diminishes the fine dining experience in my book. They have more than enough room to expand it a little or possibly make a new one on the upstairs level.

So that’s enough of my ranting and raving. I truly enjoyed the food and service at USC and will return soon. Despite my discomfort at moments it was also delightful.

Union Square Cafer

Monday, September 20, 2010

Rossopomodoro To Go from Eataly

Since Eataly continues to be a madhouse almost every time I go inside it’s nice they opened up a takeout spot on 24th street. I stopped by the other day to check out the pizza from Rossopomodoro. There were about 12 different types of pizza on the menu which all sounded fabulous. Since it was my first time however I decided to start with the basic a San Marzano (Margarita) pizza.

Within about 10 minutes of ordering my pie I was out the door with this cute little pizza box in hand. Can you see the heart shaped cut outs on top? Very nice! I got back to my apartment and opened up the goods.

I have to tell you the smell was absolutely wonderful. Fresh basil just emanated from the pie and the crust had some nice gorgeous puffy pockets just begging to be ripped into.

However looks can be deceiving and unfortunately I didn’t love this pizza as much as I thought I would. My biggest problem would have to be the texture. I understand with Neapolitan pizza you need to let it cool for a few minutes so the cheese and sauce can set. It had about 10 minutes on my walk home and another five minutes out of the box and still it was a gloppy soupy mess. The middle of the pizza was so thin I could barely pick it up. Once I did get a piece in hand the sauce and cheese just slid all over the place making each bite a messy uneven experience.

Now let’s talk about the basics. The cheese and basil were wonderful that’s for sure. It was obvious they only use the highest quality of ingredients and that really shined through. The cheese had a buttery texture that I could happily munch on all day. However I didn’t enjoy the pizza sauce at all. The chunks of tomato tasted very sweet like they had been tossed with a lot of sugar. And unfortunately the upskirt was a little too charred for my tastes.

I’m not going to write Rosopomodoro off just yet- that cheese was really good. But I think they have some kinks to work out. I’ll give them a little more time to settle in and focus on Eataly’s desserts until then.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Utterly Delicious Daniel

Daniel is one of those restaurants I always dreamed of going to. Nestled on the Upper East Side with its three star rating from Michelin and four stars from the New York Times, it’s easy to see why anyone would want to go. So imagine my excitement when Mr. T tells me out of nowhere on Wednesday that he made us reservations for Friday night! We’ve both been a little stressed out lately with tons of work and just life in general so he thought we needed a little treat. This is my kind of treat for sure!

Friday we met up after work and got all gussied up at home. I love the fact Daniel still requires a jacket for men. It makes the experience so much more special for some reason. After a warm greeting at the door we were seated at a wonderful table overlooking the sunken main dining room. I loved being able to see all of the action going on below and the beautiful artwork throughout the restaurant.

Upon opening the wine list I was surprised and excited to see many wonderful selections in a reasonable price range. We decided to start off with a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc and then the amuse bouche arrived.

Today’s amuse was a trio of beets. On the right was a yellow beet with a spicy horseradish sauce, the middle was beet soup with a prosciutto wrapped breadstick and on the end was…something else. I can’t really remember because I was in love with the beet soup. It was thick, almost like the beets had simply been pureed with a little bit of cream. Just lovely- a wonderful way to start the meal.

After our palates were enticed the bread basket was brought around with 5 different kinds of bread. My choices for the day were a garlic asiago focaccia and a black olive roll.

Look at the inside of the focaccia- whole pieces of roasted garlic! No skimping on the bread basket here that’s for sure. For appetizers I ordered the Hazelnut and Chorizo Crusted Maine Sea Scallops with stewed gnocchi, corn fricassee and nasturtium salad.

Oh my god I truly do not think I can even begin to convey how delicious this dish was. I took one bite and my eyes started to roll back into my head. The scallops were enormous first of all and had a wonderful salty spicy coating from the nuts and chorizo that was cooled down by the velvety corn fricassee underneath. I honestly think this is the best scallop dish I have ever had in my life.

I was so in love with my dish I almost didn’t try Mr. T’s but I’m so happy I did. He ordered a special that night- a Duo of Frogs Legs Provencal style. The legs were done two ways- one fried like a tiny drumstick on the bone and one grilled with some oil, olives, tomatoes and a ton of other veggies. This dish was also amazing. I seriously didn’t think anything could taste better than my scallops but the frog legs were right up there. Again the blend of ingredients were so varied but they just worked. The meat from the frog was incredibly tender, melty almost, like foie gras but instead of a creamy rich texture the taste was vibrant and light. On the side was some kind of berries that basically ended up being cooked risotto style.

After our appetizers I was already so happy. They both truly blew me away. I couldn’t wait for the main course! Mr. T ordered the Duo of Beef Black Angus Short Ribs with Young Spinach, Mozzarella-Bresalo Salad, Wagyu Tenderloin, Stuffed Tomato with Basil, Black Garlic Pommes Dauphine, Sauce Choron.

This was a $16 supplement to the regular menu, and while I’m not sure it garnered that much extra it was certainly a fabulous dish. The Short Rib was simply delectable with rich smoky layers of fatty beef and the Wagyu Tenderloin was a perfectly moist specimen of meat with big bold flavors from the black garlic and basil.

My entrée of the night was the Black Sea Bass with Syrah Sauce leek potato parmentier roasted and tempura celery. Ses Bass is a fairly mild fish but has a thick firm texture more like a steak. The syrah sauce was wonderful and I've never had a sea bass where it was cooked so well that it was firm outside yet insanely juicy inside.

The side items I really did not enjoy at all. I’ll be honest I had no idea what a parmentier was before this. Look it up on Wikipedia if you want but the basic description they gave there likens it to a French man’s Sheppard’s pie. I don’t like Sheppard’s pie- never have never will- there’s really no rhyme or reason why. I like all of the ingredients just not mashed together. Luckily that didn’t even matter because I was stuffed from the scallops and what was about to come next was just down right naughty.

For dessert (after much contemplation and a gentle nudging from the waiter) I chose the Gianduja Sable with Nyangbo Chocolate puffed rice and hazelnut ice cream. It really doesn’t get much better than this let me tell you. First of all it looks like it just came out of a museum rather than a kitchen- talk about presentation. Then the taste. It was a chocolate nut fantasy come true. I can’t even begin to describe how the decadent chocolate cake played off the textures of the cold creamy ice cream and crunchy puffs of rice. It was gone in about 2 minutes flat- no lie.

Mr. T ordered the signature Daniel dessert Warm Guanaja Chocolate Coulant with liquid caramel, fleur de sel and milk sorbet. I had my doubts about this dish. I’ve easily had hundreds of warm molten chocolate cakes in my life- how could this be any different.

Shame on me for even questioning Daniel. The liquid caramel center literally silked it’s way out of the wickedly rich chocolate cake and had just a touch of fleur de sel to bring my salty sweet taste buds to a standing salute. I don't like to call desserts luxurious but it truly was.

We were both beyond full at this point but then came more! First a tray of petite fours with an awesome mini macaroon. Then a pot of Madeline’s accompanied our espressos to the table.

Only to be followed by a tray of chocolates for the end. This was absolutely ridiculous and I loved each and every second of it.

Onto the last aspect of our meal the service. It was beyond superb. Every dish we ordered was actually a recommendation from our fabulous waiter who really took the time to learn about our likes and dislikes as far as flavors and textures go. It was also one of the least intrusive staff I’ve seen at this caliber of establishment. My water glass was always filled, wine poured, table cleaned, etc. but I never felt like anyone was watching me or that it was overly excessive.

I would seriously rank Daniel in my top five list of all time right now. It was so impeccable I feel like the luckiest girl in the world for having a chance to experience it.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Another Eataly Treat

I'm on a mission to try all of the sweets Eataly has to offer and I'm well on my way. Last week I picked up this delicious treat a Mousse Al Cioccolato.

It's basically a rich chocolate cake with dark chocolate mousse alternating layers with apricot and lemon gelee and a wonderful pistachio cookie base.

I am not a fan of chocolate and fruit together usually but here it worked well. The gelee layers were very thin, so thin I hardly noticed the lemon flavor. The only fruit I really tasted was the apricot glaze on top. The rest of the gelee just helped give extra moisture to the cake enhancing it's smooth creamy texture. The pistachio cookie base was fantastic as usual adding that salty nutty goodness I love in any dessert. Another score for Eataly!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Last Lunch of Restaurant Week (Extended)

I took a vacation day last week to enjoy one of the last days of summer and as usual a fancy solo lunch was in order. I had been planning to do RW lunch at The Water Club when much to my dismay I realized it was closed on Mondays! How could I have missed that? Not to be deterred I quickly made a reservation at Porter House- another place I’ve been meaning to try.

I left the apartment around 1:30 and the day couldn’t be more beautiful. The sun was shining bright on my back, there was a nice warm breeze blowing through the streets and I’m sure the birds were chirping somewhere.  All of a sudden the thought of sitting tucked away inside the dark massive Time Warner Center seemed so unappealing. I wanted to be outside enjoying life! I quickly cancelled my reservation and turned heel down into Union Square.

The decision had been so rash I wasn’t sure what to do with myself. All I know was that outdoors was essential. Suddenly I found myself in front of Blue Water Grill. I took a look at their Restaurant Week menu outside and it sounded wonderful. I walked inside and was able to get a seat right way outside on their veranda. I was so happy with the way things were going until I looked at the menu. The RW menu being offered was very different from the one advertised outside. Especially the dessert! Both options sounded horrible. I was beginning to panic. Should I get up and leave? That wouldn’t be very nice. But dessert is so important to me.

Right then my waiter came out, the same waiter I had last time I enjoyed lunch here and I knew everything would be okay. I explained to him my RW menu switcheroo dilemma and he assured me that when dessert time came we would be able to switch it to something different. Yay!! He’s wonderful! I ordered the rest of my RW lunch and settled into the sunlight with a nice cold Chelsea Brewery Checker Cab.

My appetizer choice that day was a Watermelon Gazpacho with Maryland Crab Salad.  They actually brought out the bowl filled with crab first and then poured the gazpacho over top tableside.

I’m not a big gazpacho fan but I was surprised how refreshing this was. I enjoyed the crisp watermelon flavor intermingling with the sweet crab. I had requested a table in the sun and was beginning to regret my choice. The sun was strong that sweat started to run down my back and the butter for my bread completely melted in its bowl. I even had to ask for another set of silverware because mine had become to hot to even pick up! Luckily the cold gazpacho completely cooled me down and really livened for the next course.

My entree was the Grilled Mahi Mahi with Chorizo Corn Bread Hash, Jersey Collard Greens and Chipotle BBQ Sauce. I had no idea what to expect from this crazy sounding dish but I have to say I ended up being absolutely thrilled. The fish was flaky and moist with perfect little grill marks on both sides. However the winner of the dish were the accompaniments. The chorizo corn bread hash with collard greens was awesome! There was a ton of chorizo that gave a nice spice to the dish while the bitter greens and nutty bread really added some texture. I have to say this was a very manly fish dish. Mr. T doesn’t often order fish but he would love something like this. The only part I didn’t really touch was the BBQ sauce. I found the sweet stuff unnecessary. The dish was perfect enough on its own.

Now for dessert. My waiter was nice enough to give me several alternate options and I ended up choosing the Warm Molten Chocolate Cake. This cake really seemed more like a brownie to me because of its’ dense fudgy texture. I wasn’t a huge fan of that but I did love the topping of malted crunch ice cream. Yum! This was so good! Thank goodness I was dining alone so no one could see me shoveling this into my face. The sun was acting fast and I wanted to get every last drop before it completely melted away.

By the end of my meal I was stuffed, happy and slightly sunburned. I relaxed on the patio for a bit, enjoying some last minute people watching and sips of beer, then paid my check and left. The food, service and table had Blue Water Grill were exactly what I needed that day.
Blue Water Grill

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Three Brothers Butcher

I was out in Bayside for work the other day and when lunchtime hit I absolutely starving! I wasn’t in the mood for my usual healthy salad- I needed something with some sustenance. I needed something with some meat! Voila! I found Three Brother Butchers and my prayers were answered.

I got three tacos each stuffed with a different kinds of meat- pulled pork, brisket and pulled chicken. They were all fantastic I have to say. The chicken had a crusty charbroiled skin, the pulled pork was super moist and the brisket was so incredibly smoky I almost felt like it was still cooking on the grill. I mean this brisket had serious smoky flavor. Then they topped off all of the tacos with a mound of coleslaw and gave me some spicy mayo and side of BBQ sauce for dipping.

For $5.95 this lunch deal is pretty hard to beat. The only thing I wish is that the coleslaw would have a bit more flavor. Even offering a vinegar based coleslaw would work well with the juicy pulled pork. However these tacos were pretty close to perfect and the friendly staff just made it an all around great spot for food. No more salads for me in Bayside- Three Brothers is where it’s at!


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Tasting Table Breakfast at Maialino

I got an email from Tasting Table about a special menu they were offering last week at Maialino. The items looked tasty and I had been holding onto my $20 gift certificate from Restaurant week, so Monday morning I stopped by for breakfast.

The restaurant was so calm and quiet on a weekday morning. It was a little weird honestly. I’m not one to go out for breakfast unless it’s the weekend and usually a mimosa is involved.

With the Tasting Table menu I had to choose one item from each category. First up some much needed morning caffeine- my macchiato.

Then just moments after my coffee came these sweet little puffs of sugar and dough arrived. These are my Bomboloni con Crema or Doughnuts with cream.

The rounds were very light and I truly enjoyed the dusting of sugar on the outside. I was also surprised how much cream was inside. These guys were filled to brim and two were more than enough sweetness to get the day started off right.

I was super excited for my main course the Amaticiana al Forno. I had been eyeing pictures of this dish online since Maialino started breakfast. Now that it was in front of me the heavenly smell of tomatoes just radiated from every angle.

The Baked Eggs, Spicy Sauce and Guanciale was fantastic. I couldn’t help but picture an old Italian grandmother puttering around her kitchen somewhere in the hills of Tuscany while I ate this. It just tasted homey and filled with love. Actually the only problem I had with this dish was that I kept burning my mouth! It was so good I had no patience to wait for the sauce to cool down and each bite left a little burn.

For my side item of the day I ordered the Pancetta al Pepe Nero. I’m a huge bacon fan so this was a no brainier for me. Each piece was cut thick with crunchy charred edges and strong notes salt and pepper.

As you can see this was by no means a light breakfast. I only made it about halfway through the eggs and I was stuffed but happy. When I went to pay for my bill the waiter informed me that my Restaurant week Gift Card couldn’t be used in conjunction with the Tasting Table special. I was a little disappointed but my meal was so fabulous and the service had been impeccable so I actually didn’t care. This was well worth at least $20 and I happily paid. It just means I have to return once more for breakfast a la carte before my certificate runs out! Poor me :)


Friday, September 3, 2010

Happy Birthday Dad!- Part II

After such a wonderful lunch at Café Sabarsky we just had to follow that meal up by going to my Dad’s second favorite place in the city- Gramercy Tavern- for dinner.

I’ve written about the tavern so many times by now I feel like I’m starting to sound like a broken record. Therefore I’ll keep this one short and simple to the two new things I tried that night.

First up the Rickshaw Cocktail. This is a blend of vodka, lime and basil. This drink was so smooth I easily could have put back four or five. It was light, satisfying and incredibly refreshing. Being that it was a Monday night I limited myself to two. However I went home immediately and looked up the recipe online. I’ve got some basil simple syrup making in my future that’s for sure.

For my appetizer I also tried something new this time- the Calamari and Carrot Salad. Why it’s taken me so long to try this dish I have no idea. The calamari was incredibly soft and the carrot slaw was given a nice kick from the zesty lemon vinaigrette. For a little crunch factor they sprinkled in some toasted pine nuts. It was such a clean, well executed summer dish. And quite a large portion as well! I was basically stuffed afterwards (could have been the huge sausages I had at lunchtime as well).

So there you have it- another great meal at the Tavern and an all around wonderful birthday for my Dad. Cheers!

Gramercy Tavern

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Eataly in Quick Time

Just some quick shots from my 2 hours in Eataly yesterday. I got there about 10 minutes before opening time and had a blast!

Tasty looking treats from the coffee bar up front.

The main room connecting everything in Eataly before the hordes of people came crushing in.

The man himself was the center of attention here Batali.

This is also where I got a lovely glass of wine to walk around with.

And also a super thick slice of prosciutto to sample and pecorino cheese.

Here’s a look at the cured meat counter.

Then onto another part of the store the regular meat counter.

I really liked this butcher’s attitude! Onto check out the beer selection.

Look at all this Italian beer!

I’ve never even heard of this guy before.

Ahh good old DogFish Head. It’s going to be dangerous having all this good beer so close to my apartment.

Whoa! Really dangerous! I don’t remember paying that much for the Sahtea at the Whole Foods Beer room! But I know I will for the convenience of it all.

One more trip around to another dessert display case. They all look so good I just had to pick up something.

Wow. This tiramisu was awesome. I was a little skeptical at first because of the small size and hefty price tag but after one bite I was sold. Never before have I had a tiramisu where the espresso and mascarpone had such a perfect smooth balance. Then I hit the alcohol soaked bottom (Brandy possibly with a liquid caramel?) and I was in heaven. Plus it was topped off with some crunchy salted nuts. I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed a tiramisu this much- probably because I’ve never had one made with all Italian ingredients.

So there you have it! Eataly is open for business and I love it. Yes it’s a little pricier than I would like but the specialty foods they are selling all in one place is amazing. I see this being a regular stop for me on my walks home from now on.