The quattro formaggi was delicious, perfect for cheese lovers as they are generous with the quantity of cheese they put on top. I also loved the crust that was thin in the center and puffed up on the outside, with a nice char and crunchiness. I retrieved these characteristics with the calzone that was different from the one I am used to and was in fact my favorite.
Jing Fong is a gigantic restaurant in the heart of Chinatown, specializing in dim sum, but with also a large menu featuring fried rice, noodles, seafood...We tried to go there few times, but it was always packed and we were discouraged by the long wait. So, one day, we went early, very early...
We went on Martin Luther King's Day, after enjoying some Japanese food at Sushi Dojo Express in the Gansevoort Market and trying the croissant-donut at The Donut Pub. The place was packed, so, we had to wait in front of the cake display, that was literally torture! They sat us after 15 minutes, in one of the tables next to the windows. While we waited for our desserts to come, I admired the European feel of the place that I found too crowded, the space having so many tables that it was difficult to circulate.
We saw the episode where L'Apicio was featured and immediately booked a table. It was few weeks ago, my bookings being already full. So, when we arrived, I remembered two things: first, they use a nice amount of heat in their cooking, the Executive Chef being from Texas and marrying Texan flavors with Italian ones, hence the label Italian-inspired. The second one was that the pork chop is their specialty.
As we were craving Mexican food, Jodi and I decided to try Añejo (aged in Spanish), the small plate restaurant where Chef Angelo Sosa, a runner up of Top Chef Season 7, crafted an elegant menu, elevating some traditional Mexican dishes. This place, opened last year, is an offshoot of the location in Hell's Kitchen. I do not know if the decor is the same, but the location in Tribeca is gorgeous: exposed brick, reclaimed wood, crystal chandeliers and Mexican art.
At first, when the steaks came, they looked overcooked and dry, but, when cutting them, the juice oozed from the meat that was perfectly cooked, tender and delicious, especially the ribeye that was heavenly fatty. I do not like pepper sauce and was glad that we ordered béarnaise, although the steaks were succulent without it.
The scallops were perfectly cooked, with a nice sear on top and a delicious saltiness. The cavatelli, that were homemade, did not stand out by themselves, but, were succulent with the swiss chard and the cheese.
This was fantastic, especially the rice that was heavenly crunchy. It was definitely a dish I recommend.
On my side, it was the Kobe style potstickers that were also very good, the dough being as I like, meaning thin and a bit crunchy and charred on one side. The pork filling was very tasty as well. I guess it was a good start!
The clam chowder was very good, quite smokey considering the generous amount of bacon there was in it. The salad was also good, the goat cheese deliciously counterbalancing the sweetness of the beets and chutney.
For the entrée, Jodi went for the salmon that was grilled with lemon and thyme, and served with white Tuscan beans and arugula.
Donuts are becoming more and more popular, to a point that I wonder if they are not the new cupcakes. There has always been traditional donuts, like the ones sold at Dunkin Donuts for a cheap price. And then, gourmet donuts with joints like The Doughnut Plant (I love the tres leches) or Dough (especially their Nutella one), without forgetting the Cronut from Dominique Ansel that is incredible.
So, let's talk about the food. their tasting or kaseiki is something new that they have launched this year. Know that the menu, based on seasonal products, may vary. In this menu, Chef Ko took traditional Japanese dishes and elevated them, adding some ingredients from other cuisines, such as cumin, creme fraiche or orange juice.
Before going to see the last installment of The Hobbit trilogy with Jodi, her cousin Jessica with her husband Michael and their boys Alex and Brian, and our friends Andrew and Miguel, we had a request for bibimbap. As the movie theater was in Times Square, Koreatown was the best destination. I searched for the best places for bibimbap there and found Seoul Garden, a fairly big restaurant located on the second story of a building.
We were looking for an Italian Restaurant Midtown and stumbled on Il Corso, a small trattoria located a couple of blocks from the MOMA. Opened in 1993, the name of this place means The path. The owners, who are from the south of Italy explain it by saying that "their goal is to guide their clients on a path to a wonderful experience".
I cannot resist fried chicken. The first time I tried it, I could hear angels singing. Yes, fried chicken is a very comforting food that I never had in France. Well, there is the escalope panée (breaded veal cutlet), or poisson pané that was the quintessence of frozen food, but I do not recall poulet pané or breaded chicken.
We went for brunch and got seated on the second floor where few large parties were gathering, showing how kid friendly this place is for lunch, as the number of strollers outside can attest. There is some warmth to the place, coziness and the service was excellent.
Prepared by Chef Gary Sikka, the food was delicious and, according to my Indian friends, fairly authentic. The only negative that day was the private room, that, can hardly accommodate the 10 guests they advertised...But hey, the food made us forget that. At Mint, they offer a large menu that would satisfy the vegetarian as well as the non-vegetarian with so many mouth watering dishes that it is hard to choose.
So, Winter Restaurant Week is back! As soon as I knew, I went on Opentable and made a bunch of reservations. The first one was for Blenheim, a farm to table restaurant located in the West Village. Farm to table is a growing concept, more and more popular in the health conscious circles. The restaurant gets its name from the township in The Catskills where the farm is located. There, they grow vegetables and herbs, have maple trees (they make their own maple syrup) and let animals roam free for the satisfaction of their customers.
If you follow this blog, you probably know that I love ramen, this Japanese noodle soup dish that has been very popular the past few years. There are lots of great places in New York, and the first restaurant where I tried ramen was Momofuku Noodle Bar, one of the places of the famous Chef David Chang. Then, I took few classes at the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) in New York City, where they taught how to make broths and various dishes with noodles. That is when I decided to try to make my own version, based on what I have eaten so far. Here is what I did:
I thought I would get the usual buttery sauce, but it was a bit different, the sauce tasting less buttery than usual and containing some leaves that I took for spinach. It was still good and I enjoyed it with the fresh bread they brought us at the beginning of the meal.
It has been a while we had brunch at Perilla. I think it was few weeks after they opened in 2007, as we were catching up on old episodes of Top Chef, Chef and owner Harold Dieterle having won the season 1. I remember that Jodi got a delicious grilled cheese with a tomato soup: this was the first time I had this combination, although I realize today that it is pretty common.
It was composed of two over easy eggs on a soft corn tortilla, cheddar and jack cheese, salsa, and served with pinto beans and rice. It was good, but had nothing special that would make it come back just for it, like the Huevos rancheros at La Isla, several blocks away.
I have been a fan of David Burke's restaurants since I went to David Burke Kitchen and Fishtail, both for restaurant week, besides of course seeing him on TV, sometimes competing against other Chefs. So this time we decided to go to Fabrick, a restaurant located in the Archer Hotel, in the fashion district (hence the name).
We noticed The Burger Bistro when we went to Frère de Lys, few months ago and it was on my list, but I admit that that list starts to be a bit long...So I forgot about it until I was looking for a burger place close to The Metropolitan Museum. We could have gone to Bareburger, located on the next block of The Burger Bistro, but we wanted a change.
I think I heard my colleague Abe talk about Benjamin Steak House for the past two years, this place being supposedly the best steakhouse in town. I love my steaks and New York offers lots of options when it comes to meat, so I was eager to see if Benjamin Steakhouse would be the Holy Grail, topping the Ruth's Chris, Bobby Vans or Old Homestead. Yes, I did not mention Peter Luger that is another category that lives up to its name.
Terakawa Ramen is a Japanese ramen bar with two locations: Grammercy and Midtown. This is the latter that we tried. We went early on a Saturday, thinking that, like most ramen shops in the city, there would be a line quickly forming in front of the restaurant.
If you would like to be in Paris for a cheap price and without being jet lagged, an easy way is to go to Maison Kayser. There are quite a few in the city, but, the best spot to avoid the crowd is their location in the flatiron. This is the kind of place where you are mesmerized by all the goodies they sell, from bread, cakes, sandwiches to viennoiseries.
Started in 2005 in Brooklyn, Baked opened its first Manhattan outpost in Tribeca last November. And you know what? I am glad they did! Let's talk about the space first. It used to be a burlesque club, so no wonder why you have a pole at the entrance, except that this one is a cake pole...
It's been a while since we wanted to try Mikie Squared Bar and Grill in Hoboken and what convinced us to go that time was after an encounter with one of my colleagues in the bus from New York, who told me that he loves the brunch there.