Thursday, September 27, 2012

Madangsui

Mr. T and I have been on a bit of a kick when it comes to Korean food lately.  Jung Sik, multiple stops at Mad for Chicken and most recently a feast of meat at Madangsui.  They brought out the usual assortment of kimchi  and side dishes to accompany our order.


The Hae-Mool- Pa- Jun was first to arrive.  A nice fluffy Scallion Pancake filled with an assortment of seafood.


Onto the Mandoo-gui which were incredibly crispy.


The bubbly egg souffle was a delight to watch but the main reason for coming, at least MY main reason, really stole the show.


It may not look so large in the picture but this was the biggest plate of raw beef  I have ever seen in my life.  The platter was easily the size of my large Polish head.


The Yook- Hwe had thick slices of beef, raw egg and sesame oil all tossed together and served ice cold.  I really enjoyed the thickness of the meat but it was almost too cold.  It wasn't until the beef warmed up a bit that I could truly enjoy the rich, meaty flavor.


Onto our BBQ assortment starting with Brisket and Skirt Steak.


I don't know why it's so fun to cook your own meat- it's just so satisfying.  


Pork Belly and Short Ribs rounded out the combination. Is there anything better than the smell of bacon wafting off a grill?  I think not.  I'm not sure Madangsui was the best Korean BBQ I've ever had but it was pretty darn good.  I'm excited to find my next meat feast and find out.

Madangsui

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Pod 39 Rooftop Bar

The new Pod Hotel on 39th Street recently opened their rooftop bar and I have to say it's simply gorgeous.



There are big open walls with red arches and columns over looking the city. The ivy on the walls and cozy seating gave it a very romantic feel.  



It just so happened to be Happy Hour when I stopped by and the friendly bartender lured me in for a drink. 



My Fly by Night had a nice balance of gin and lemon juice with big pieces of sea salt studding the rim.



But for a glass half full  at $12 a piece I'm not exactly sure what's so happy about this hour.  I'm a slow drinker and this was gone in record speed.  However I will be returning as April Bloomfield and Ken Friedman are supposed to be opening a Taqueria up top any day now...Sweetbread Tacos anyone?



I'm really hoping that's on the menu because that food and these views would be a match made in heaven.


Monday, September 24, 2012

Beurre and Sel

I was trekking around the Essex Street Market Saturday and nearly walked right past this tiny little stall.



The fun, bright colored wall pulled me in when I realized this was Dorie Greenspan's cookie place!



The thought of trying out a baked good from the multiple James Beard award winner herself had me on cloud nine.  I began with the original Sable.



This classic french cookie was just as it should be- buttery, crisp and practically begging for a nice big Cafe au Lait on the side.  Ummm...Can I have this for breakfast every day?



It only got better with the World Peace- a blend of two types of bittersweet chocolate with a nice dose of fleur de sel.  One bite and I was pretty certain these cookies could amend some serious world problems.



Unfortunately the Espresso Chocolate Chip cookie was a downer.  The texture was dry and flaky almost as if it had been cooked too long.  Luckily I saved a little World Peace to finish my cookie binge and all was right with the world in the end.  Dorie herself is said to man the station often so a return trip soon is definitely on the list.

Beurre and Sel

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Cocoron

Can you smell the change in the air?  The breeze is cooler, the leaves are starting to turn orange and red... it's a perfect time to tuck into a big bowl of noodles.



I'm a fan of ramen but soba noodles deserve some serious respect.  I don't think there's anything better than  dropping a nice, big pile of chewy, nutty noodles into a steaming hot broth.


This is food to cure just about anything.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Brunch at The NoMad

I have to get back to my birthday dinners but since the weekend is fast approaching I thought I would skip ahead to our fabulous brunch last Saturday at the NoMad.  They only started serving two weeks ago but already it's a high contender to be a regular spot.  Check out some new brunch cocktails.



They also had four different Bloody Mary's that sounded wonderful but I had my eyes on the Hair Trigger.



I absolutely loved the spicy ginger and cool cucumber of this drink.  It certainly woke me up and is quite beautiful as well.  Onto the main reason for coming to brunch- the Chicken Sandwich.  



Oh my goodness this may be one of the prettiest sandwiches I've ever laid eyes upon.  The fluffy brioche bun was beaming while the moist slices of chicken and onion practically tumbled out of the inside.  Let's take a closer look.


I have to say "oh my" again because it was ALL there.  The creamy black truffle and rich foie gras flavor I've come to know and love at dinner, here on a roll at brunch.  To cut the heaviness a bit it arrived with a bright vinaigrette salad.


Okay maybe it wasn't too light...it did have some crackly pieces of chicken skin inside as well.  Onto our other entree the Tagliatelle with King Crab, Meyer Lemon and Black Pepper.


I had worried that this dish would be too rich but it was surprisingly light.  The lemon gave a nice sweet zest to the crab that I enjoyed but it just didn't stand out that much to me.  Possibly because I was becoming obsessed with the best dish of the night our side of Roasted Squash and Truffles.


Yes this was the third time that brunch I said "oh my"  because this was so insanely good.  The roasting brought out a nice sweet, caramel flavor from the squash while the truffle sauce underneath was one of the best things I've things I've ever eaten.   This is one side dish that can certainly stand on its own.  It's official...The NoMad can do dinner and brunch amazing well.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Randolph Beer

We're always on the lookout for great new beer bars and I think we've found one in the Randolph.  The first time we visited I was stunned by the beer list.



It's not as large as the Blind Tiger or Rattle and Hum but the variety is fantastic.  I mean take a look at these flights.  Someone really took some time into picking out some great beers instead of the usual "safe" choices.



Plus they had the newest Bronx Brewery beer the Bourbon Barrel Aged Pale Ale.


I have yet to try their food but I plan to make this spot a regular so look for some food pics soon.

The Randolph Beer

Monday, September 17, 2012

Tocqueville


To kick off my birthday week celebration we headed over to Tocqueville for a relaxing lunch with Mr. T’s family.  I love the serene open room with it’s large paintings and comfy chairs.  I also like that they extend their 3 course $29 prix lunch special into the weekend.  To begin an amuse bouche of mushroom pate. 

 

Onto my appetizer a gorgeous Asparagus and Watercress soup.


Thin slivers of asparagus and a dollop of creme fraiche arrived alone only to be covered by the velvety smooth broth table side.   Mr. T's Sweet Corn Ravioli was just as wonderful.


This came from the Greenmarket menu which changes daily based on that mornings offerings from the Union Square Market.  I love that Tocqueville prepares an entire menu based on the freshest possible ingredients right outside their door.  The ravioli was packed with a creamy corn filling and complemented by a delicate corn foam. Onto entrees my Pan Roasted Hake with baby arugula, heirloom tomatoes and chilled lemon verbena consomme.


The fish was nice and moist but I was honestly hoping for a stronger lemon flavor from the consomme.  Onto desserts the Roasted Black Mission Fig Tart was a melted dream of nuts and port wine sauce.


Mr. T's Greenmarket Watermelon and Pineapple dish was refreshing  and light but I honestly liked mine much more.


The Bittersweet Chocolate Bon Bon was more like a fancy candy bar complete with a creamy scoop of hazelnut ice cream.  


I really think the Tocqueville prix fix lunch is one of the best deals in the city.  The food and service are spectacular and I just love that room.  The wine list leans on the pricier side so plan accordingly and you're sure to have a fabulous meal.

Tocqueville Restaurant

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Back to Thirty Acres

Mr. T and I loved Thirty Acres so much on our first trip we decided to head back over to Jersey City to check out some new additions to their menu.  To begin Pan-Roasted Mussels with kielbasa, celery, Sichuan pepper and ciabatta.


When this dish arrived I was overcome by the sweet, funky smell of sausage.  This brought me right back to my youth standing in my grandmother's kitchen.   I could almost see her stirring the pot as she cooked soup, dropping big chunks of kielbasa into the broth.  Of course she never cooked mussels but I'm pretty sure she would have loved this dish.


Of course I had to get the wonderful oysters from last time just for the tangy beet cocktail sauce.  Then it was onto pasta for the Cavatelli with chorizo, zucchini, mint, ricotta salata and apples.


I have never been a big fan of mint OR fruit in my pasta but somehow it worked here.  The chorizo gave the sauce a nice richness making this a unique homey dish.  Last but certainly not least Poussin with baby shiitake mushrooms, corn, eggplant puree and sesame.


We've been ordering chicken a lot more since our revelation at the NoMad and I have to say this one was quite wonderful.  The chicken was perfectly cooked and the addition of mushrooms and sesame gave it a hearty Asian flair.


Thirty Acres continues to be a stand out place in Jersey City.  And it's still BYOB for right now!   What's better than that!

Thirty Acres

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Park Slope Bites- Greenwood Park and Der Kommissar

I did a mini-beer crawl through Park Slope the other day and started out at the enormous beer garden Greenwood Park.  The place has 60 beers on draft, 3 Bocce Ball Courts and quite a cavernous indoor bar.



We started out with some beers outside and placed an order of Honey Sriracha Chicken Wings.




I really liked the sweet and spicy sauce on the wings but they were incredibly overcooked.  The inside was dry and crunchy- not the way a wing should be.  Onto bigger and better food we moved to Der Kommisser.




I really loved this little German Beer Bar.  They had a nice selection of German beer on draft and quite a nice variety of German Fare.



The Pretzel came out more like a loaf than I expected but I loved the slightly sweet tang of the dough and the multiple mustard's for dipping were delicious.




We also got a free order of some Bacon Wrapped Sausages from the bartender.




Can you think of anything better to snack on while you're beer drinking?  Along with delicious food and beers, Der Kommisser has a nice big TV in back for watching sports and was rocking some good tunes on the speakers.  This little joint would probably become my regular if I lived in the neighborhood.


Der Kommissar


Greenwood Park


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Breakfast at Mile End

I was in game day preparation mode.  NFL action was about to start Sunday and I needed a big breakfast to prepare for the long day of game watching.  I trekked down to Mile End Sandwich in SOHO (also getting in my exercise for the day) and went for two breakfast staples.


The Bagel and Schmear was a fantastic choice.  Mile End has Montreal style bagels, smaller and slightly sweeter than our NYC ones, I find them to be absolutely delicious. The Breakfast Sandwich on the other hand was a disappointment.


Fried Egg, Slab Bacon, Quebec Cheddar and Rye Bread sounds wonderful but was executed poorly.  The sandwich had an abundance of grease, much more than a usual breakfast sandwich, and surprisingly little cheese.  At $9.00 a pop this is definitely an item to skip.

Mile End Deli