Sunday, December 5, 2010

Soba That Warms Your Heart

Not only is this new soba joint "heartwarming", it's in the heart of the LES. Cocoron, which means "heartwarming" in Japanese, has just opened its doors 3 days ago and already bustling with people looking to warm up on hot healthy noodles. It comes in the nick of time as the temperature drops to freezing this weekend. I had read about it on Wednesday and was dying to try. It was great!

It's a tiny spot, so it will surely get busy and be hard to get a seat especially on weekends. The food was very good. They have a great selection of appetizers of which we tried the tamagoyaki and the daikon salad. The tamagoyaki was nice and juicy in a messy homestyle kind of way that I loved. The daikon salad was great! there was sliced shiso in it which gave it such a unique and even fresher taste! They have a great and varied selection of soba. Two pages of cold sobas and one page of warm. They were all prepared differently and were great! The soba comes in 2 sizes which is great, regular and large. I tried the yuba hot soba (because as you all know yuba is one of my favourite things!) The chicken hot soba which was served in a separate cooking pot and the noodles get dipped into the hot broth (like zaru soba style) The zaru soba was standard but good and had that slimy texture that is typical of zaru. Noodles were al dente, however I could have had mine a little firmer but I noticed the noodles on the cold zaru soba were firmer.

The space is super cute and it was great sitting at the bar watching them make our food. I'm looking forward to going back to try the sesame soba which they were out of tonight. So far, they are cash only, and do not have any alcohol yet... which I didn't miss at all with the amazing soba tea they are serving (pictured here) It was one of the best cups of tea I've had in a while. We all recieved a gift for their appreciation of us coming for their opening weekend. They are so cute, the menu and all their signage is super cute animated characters and they even have a health chart in their menu with the breakdown of the health benefit of each dish. I loved it!

61 Delancey St. (nr. Allen)
New York, NY

Monday, November 29, 2010

An Epic Feast

I always love thanksgiving here in the U.S. because it's really a time of coming together for me and my friends. I think it's often because many of us are foreign and don't have our family around us so we all bond together as our own family here in New York. This is only my second Thanksgiving here in NY and once again it was so wonderful. The lovely Nicole made a wonderful turkey (with a very special rub on it) I can't say what exactly was rubbed onto that bird but it was slightly spicy and delicious! My leftovers, which I've been eating since Thursday, are just as tasty! Shawnelle brought over some very exciting sides! One was a cauliflower puree, to replace potatoes, and they were define! I'd take those over potatoes any day! She also made an awesome creamed spinach with manchego! It was very addictive, I couldn't stop eating it! Sarra put her touch on everything, especially the idea to add baby artichokes and biscuits to the menu, which was such a nice treat and looked beautiful on the plate. She also made a lovely dessert. It was a really special and delicious meal. We then passed out around the apartment from all the wine and turkey. It was just as it should be.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Little Duck With Your Poutine?

I read about this poutine a few months ago in the best things to eat in NY Magazine's top things to eat in NY this year. Since I'm Canadian finding good poutine at all in New York is a challenge. I was sure the chef must be Canadian. But turns out he's not, I'm not even sure he's been to Canada. He's from Oklahoma and although he told us he is experimenting with a few different types of cuisine, he seems partial to French. Jeremy, the chef was really sweet and came out to say hello and offered us a great tasting menu option. Sadly most of us were hungry enough for that and it after all it was really just a Duck Poutine Party. I had decided to organize it as such with about 10 of my closest foodie friends and it was a huge success! We did it on a cold quiet Sunday night, so the tiny restaurant was all ours! They had great sangria, mulled wine, and salads and starters... the beet and kale salads were both great. The Moules et Frites were also excellent, he had one of his assistant chefs, who is mexican, throw in some of his own spice, which really gave it a whole other dimension from the traditional french dish.

The Poutine itself was topped with duck confit. The cheese were made with cheddar curds, which apparently I leaned are meltier than the typical Quebecois type. The taste was also slightly stronger. The gravy was nothing like traditional poutine gravy, it was thin and more like a "jus". It actually seems appropriate in this case though because the taste of the duck is heavy and can overpower the dish, so I can't imagine a heavier gravy on it. So although this poutine was nothing like the poutine I grew up with, it was great and very tasty! It's a sweet little place and I'm looking forward to trying more on the menu. Chef Jeremy told us he will be starting a fresh donuts and individually-brewed coffee in the mornings very soon.

Brindle Room
277 East 10th Street
New York, NY
(212) 529-9702

Oh Oh Oden!

Oden is one of my favourite japanese dishes. It's extremely healthy and really reminds me both of Vancouver and of course, Japan. I was delighted to find it on Ippudo's menu last week. I asked of course if this is a new addition and it is. It will only be available for the winter season. Since it's probably not a popular dish there, they don't give all the options normally offered with a typical oden experience but none the less, the broth was dead on, and the two different types of fish cake in the dish were pretty amazing and no doubt freshly-made there. There was a large wonderful daikon piece and some interesting slimy yet crunchy noodles on the side. It came as it should with mustard on the side that you add to flavour the broth to your taste. I was so happy. I must add this was the first time that I didn't eat ramen at Ippudo! (which was hard) but time to branch out and get healthy before the holiday season :) ohh and btw, the wait is still over 2 hours on a Saturday night! (of course not with the black card :)

65 4th Avenue
New York, NY
(212) 388-0088

Get Jigae!

The winter to me is all about Kimchi Jigae!... and Shabu Shabu... but that's later this week :) Korean food has always been one of my favourites and there's nothing quite like a boiling bowl of Kimchi Jigae or Tofu Soon Doobu. This is actually Soon Doobu, but it's got a lot of kimchi in it, and just has a slightly thicker consistency than the jigae they make here. It sort of depends were you go. Other spots I love in K-town made their jigae a little thicker and some are too thin sometimes. This spot is known for their soft tofu so it's a good bet to order something with tofu in it. I've always loved this resto because there's tons of koreans (good sign) but also a nice mix of non-koreans. It has a nice casual atmosphere unlike some of the other fancier and often over-priced spots. We also had the dolsop bim bim bop... although one of my favourites. I love it when it all gets crunchy on the bottom!

Seoul Garden Natural Tofu
34 West 32nd St # 2 (second floor)
New York, NY

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Where Scotland Meets France

Mary Queen of Scot is fresh on the scene and for being open now for only 2 weeks, it's doing quite well. The space was home to Allen & Delancey which closed suddenly, but the interior has been completely redone and it looks quite beautiful inside. It has a homie feel but still has a certain elegance. We started out with a drink at the bar, which is great and sits in the middle between the front and back of the restaurant. The bar tenders are Freemans (amoung other favourites) alumni so the drinks are great.

It's Scottish-French cuisine was tasty and we ordered a variety of appetizers and mains to try. The oysters were tasty, the salmon was great, but my favourite thing was this dessert. And for those of you that know me, I'm not even that big on desserts : It was a chocolate espresso ganache, with salt and it had a scoop of whiskey ice cream on the side. Basically the server told me that it tasted like jet fuel so of course I had to try it! It had the strangest but most interesting smokey taste, with in combination with the very bitter chocolate and salt, to my surprise was wonderful! All in all it's a good restaurant with a nice ambiance and unusual combinations and flavours for dessert!

One thing to not is that they listed "Pietmontese" beef on the menu (spelt wrong I must add) Apparently these cows are italian but raised in Montana. I don't get it, where's the French or Scottish in that? I'l have to go try next time to make a proper assessment. We had a nice big table and it was a great place to wine and dine with friends and catch up.

Mary Queen of Scots
Allen & Delancey
New York, NY

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Chinatown Escapade

Nothing like a relaxing Sunday in Chinatown. It starts with a very late dim sum party with friends. The whole crew came out and we wined (yes white wine to precise) and dined for hours. A few of us then strolled the lively streets of Chinatown and picked up a wonderful vietnamese coffee at the local favourite spot, Cong Ly. That place is dirty and amazing, but the guy took such care in making our coffees. It was just the jolt we needed before strolling into Lucky... something, on Christye street. Nicholas needed his favourite mapo tofu, so he picked it up to go. I checked out the hanging ducks and the fish in the back, that were staring at me in a very special way :) I love it! I could do that every Sunday. It's so raw and real there. Kind of the essence of New York really. I love New York.

Matt's Melons

I had to post this image because its so beautiful. My friend Matt in San Francisco is both an industrial designer and a wonderful cook. He has an eye and a taste for the best. He has been cooking up a storm lately so I had to share. These are some winter melons he found a the local farmers market in SF. I just love the colour and the texture of them. Make me happy and hungry!

A Rocking Rollicking Red

My favourite wine store is Warehouse Wines on Broadway and my man there, Dennis has NEVER failed me. He recommended this great wine the other day. I would have never picked it up, for obvious aesthetic reasons... but he was so excited about it, I had to try. It's great and juicy with a slight spice. Give it a try if you have the chance. Something like $7 there, worth probably about $15.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Lobster Love

I've been a big lobster roll fan in recent years but I'm by no means a connoisseur. I think Luke's is yummy and I love popping in there for a snack on the go. This was totally different, this was a sit down intense lobster roll experience! Ed's is super cute, it's new on the scene but already packed on a Friday night, we waited a good half hour to 45 minutes to sit down for 3 of us. We each got a lobster roll plate, which comes with naughty fries and AMAZING pickles! The lobster roll itself was insane and HUGE! of course I can't even tell you what the price was, but something hefty at market price. There was a lot of meat stuffed in that bun, which was dipped in butter and was heavenly. It should be illegal. I somehow managed to devour the entire thing little by little. It was worth every bite! We also shared a lovely round of oysters to start, the Beau Soleil's were particularly delicious! It was all excellent and can hardly wait to go back!

Ed's Lobster Bar
222 Lafayette Street
New York, NY

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The New Taco in Town

This was a nice little discovery today on my walk home through Nolita. This new taco spot must have just opened because they don't even have their credit card machine running yet (although cash only is so common so it was no problem) It's a big open space like a garage with a vw van parked inside serving up some yummy tacos. The process is funny, you go in to where the juices are and buy a ticket, then take your tickets to either the taco van or the back kitchen where they are making breakfast tacos all day! They are $4 a pop and make the perfect post or pre-shopping snack. I really wanted to try the pescado but he couldn't guarantee that there wasn't any avocado in it so I steared clear! I got the pork instead and it was quite delicious and good looking! The portions are generous, all I needed was one to keep me going. I hope to back and try more soon! I hear the pescado and the chorizo breakfast taco are good. And the best part is they are open till 2am!

Fonda Nolita
267 Elizabeth Street (btwn Prince + Houston)
New York, NY

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Vive La France!

This new spot is among my favourites right now. It's the perfect touch of french flavour while you are busy shopping around Soho. Conveniently located in Nolita, it's the perfect go to spot on any occasion. I took my girl Anna Lisa there for a mid-week pre-shopping lunch. This resto, which is named after the Tartine, of course has a very extensive menu of Tartines. We shared a Croque Madame and another Tartine with goat cheese, honey and frisée. It was perfect! I enjoyed that with a very civilized glass of Sancerre while listenned to all the French being spoken around me by both the staff and the customers. It was my kind of afternoon. Any chance I get to feel like I've been transported to Paris... works for me. Salut!

209 Mulberry Street ( nr Spring St)
New York, NY