Sunday, February 21, 2010

Artery Choking

The creamy and oh-so-naughty artichoke pizza slice at Artichoke is the perfect thing to soak up all the alcohol after a long week and weekend of fashion week parties! It was Peter's first time here and he was most satisfied! Sky enjoyed a more modest margarita slice, but then gave in to half of our gooey slice, which was massive! It was about 3am and the place was packed with a line out the door! I would not recommend this pizza to connoisseurs who are looking for an authentic slice but do recommend it after heavy consumption of alcohol. It was delicious but feel like it took me a few days to recover!

Artichoke Basille's Pizza & Brewery
328 E 14th St (between 2nd Ave & 1st Ave)
New York, NY
(212) 228-2004

Congee Feast

We celebrated after Siki's show over a big dinner at Congee Village on Bowery. It was about 13 of us at this massive table and Will took care of the ordering. He ordered several kinds of congee (of course!), fried frog legs (pictured here), chow fun noodles, tofu, juicy dumplings, 2 huge duck dishes, greens and more! It was tasty and amazing as always and vodka cocktails are all $5 so we went crazy and mixed those in. Good times!

Congee Bowery
207 Bowery (nr Delancey)
New York, NY
tel. (212) 766-2828

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Year of the Tiger

We rang in the Chinese New Year at An Choi with good friends. They shut the restaurant to the public and did a prix fixe for close friends and family. There were two seating times, 7pm and 9pm. The menu was 9 courses, therefore a lot of food! From amazing soup, to pickles, greens, papaya salad, suckling pig belly, to country paté, to fish, it was quite a feast! My favourite dishes were the crab asparagus soup starter and the caramelized salmon steaks. Once again An Choi brings the house down.

An Choi
85 Orchard Street
New York, NY
(212) 226-3700

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Eye On Spy

I had walked past this place a few weeks ago and had been wanting to try it ever since. It opened about 6 months ago I believe and it's remained fairly under the radar until now. It was just posted on Daily Candy even. First of all I love the name and secondly the food for brunch was good. I need to go back to sample the rest of the menu but the polenta and eggs were quite good. They have some lovely brunch mimosa's. The service was a bit weird, they were stingy on the cream for our coffee (which I didn't really like) and keep having to ask for really basic things. The one thing that did blow me away was the homemade biscuit. It was ridiculous, so buttery and layered... I loved it and highly recommend it! It worked especially well with the eggs and polenta.

Northern Spy Food Co.
511 East 12th Street (btwn Ave A + B)
New York, NY
(212) 228-5100

Soupie Snack

The perfect snack in this bloody cold weather is the pork soup dumplings at Grand Sichuan. Since you aren't always in Chinatown or Flushing then these juicy babies will hold you over. Although please note they are NOT as good as the Grand Sichuan ones on 9th Ave, same name restaurant, same umbrella company but food is not the same. I'm thinking maybe one family runs a few of them and another runs the rest. Either way this spot is literally underneath my new apartment which makes it a great spot to stop in whenever the dumpling craving strikes.

Grand Sichuan
23 Saint Marks Place
New York, NY
(212) 529-4800

Monday, February 15, 2010

Holy Canoli!

These canoli's are heavenly and claimed to be better than in Italy! They are made by Veniero's in the east village and are out of this world. We were offered them at a friends place this weekend and no one could stop eating them!

342 East 11th Street (btwn 1st & 2nd Ave)
New York, NY
(212) 674-7070

Winter Dragon

There's nothing like shabu-shabu on a cold winter night in New York. There's not a lot of good options for it in the city, I've heard of only a handful of places and basically this spot is the most convenient location and tends to completely dominant the shabu-shabu market in NY. It's good enough and manages to satisfy that craving. In order to do the shabu-shabu or sukiyaki you have to do a minumum of 2 orders of meat, which is both pricey and too much meat. But of course we did it and pretty much at all of it! We ordered the nicest beef and pork plate for variety. The sauces are the best part of the whole event, I think to alternate between the ponzu and the gomae (sesame) sauces, and go from sweet and creamy to sour, then back to sesame! It's so fun and the eating goes on for hours without feeling a single bit of heaviness since there's no carbs involved. They had this amazing yuzu shotchu drink, which I could have drunken 5 of. And they do this crazy thing with the straw tip, very cool.

216 E. 10th Street
New York, NY
(212) 477-2972

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Not So Permanent Brunch

I say that because I give this spot about 4 months before it goes down. The food is so so and the service is worse. I was actually excited about the idea of something different in the East Village and this place is getting quite a lot of attention since it opened a few months ago. I wanted to give it a minute to figure out its menu before trying but still not so good. It's a suprise beccause it's the same owners as Tillmans, a bar in the Flatiron /Chelsea hood that is great. I go there once to twice a week sometimes and have even tried the food, which was good. Since I was especially weary I decided we should just share the fried chicken and waffles, instead of ordering 2 dishes, and sure enough I'm glad we didn't waste anymore money or calories. The entire menu is really heavy, but not done nicely. I would have liked to try more stuff just to see but the waffles were heavy and chewy and not very warm. The fried chickend was actually quite good, but the infamous bacon was just okay. They are known for their bacon menu but this bacon was nothing spectacular. Their bloody mary was quite good and the space is cute but I might too tight, the servers kept knocking into us and dropping everything. Bit of a messy situation.

Permanent Brunch
95 1st Avenue (nr 5th st)
New York, NY

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Turkish Delight

This was probably my first experience eating Turkish food. I've had all kinds of mediterranean varieties which I always love so it was no surprise that I was really into it. This hidden gem is up in little India and is quite the funny experience. It's quite themed and has funny colourful cocktails and very shiny disco balls. Our waiter was direct, and quite funny. There was about 9 of us so it was especially fun for groups. The food was good, yogurt and hummus-like appetisers, can't go wrong! I love anything with yogurt in it. I shared a lamb yogurt dish and grape leaves, both delicious! To us non-Turkish folk this place is great but my friend Serifcan plans to take me to the real deal out in Brighton beach soon, so REALLY looking forward to that!

Turkish Kitchen
386 3rd Avenue
New York, NY

The Real Macao

My friend Minh and I went on a total girl date to finally catch up on almost a year of now seeing each other. We thought we would finally scope out this hot spot, Macau. I had been here ages ago in their downstairs basement which is open for late night snacks, but I never even realized that was the same place. The upstairs is quite nice, the interior is well down and has a nice ambience overall. The service was actually really great, it was packed and the hostess really pulled it together and got us sat right away!

The drinks were really interesting and good but the food not so much. We tried a bunch of starters and one main to try to get a sense of the range but neither of us were impressed. We started with the octopus in olive oil and fennel, it was okay but texture was weird because it was like potato salad, instead of refreshing light olive oil salad. Then we tried the Portuguese meatballs. These were actually quite good, there was cheese in the middle oozing out of them. I guess they were lamb because the taste was quite strong and gamey. Last we have the Portuguese clams, which were served with chorizo, they were good but not amazing. For our main we tried these spicy cellophane noodles. They were really covered in peppers and chill and was tasty but not a lot of substance other than the ground beef that was on top. The food overall was a really weird mix of chinese fusion food with a Portuguese touch. I don't really get it and neither did our taste buds. Being both total foodies we felt the same with ever dish and decided we would go back for drinks but probably not for the food. Oh, and it might have just been a weekend thing, but the crowd was really bad.

Macao Trading Co
311 Church Street
New York, NY

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Soba Cures All

This was officially my first real meal in days. I've been really sick, caught that lovely 24hour stomach flu that seems to be going around. Man, it was brutal, especially for a foodie. I haven't even thought about food for days! I wanted to make my first meal a special and comforting one, so I decided soba was the perfect thing. I stumbled my zombie-ass to Sunrise to pick up a few things I was missing and made my own homemade version. I haven't made hot soba in a while and no one has ever really showed me but somehow it always turns out okay. I put extra green onions and enoki mushroooms (which I love) I bought this amazing fried tofu from Kyoto, which was double the price of the other stuff, but boy was it was worth it! The trick is to finish it off with some freshly ground sesame and shichimi... can't eat soba without it! I feel so much better already.

Love from Reykjavik

Our lovely girl, Annalisa was back in Iceland this holiday and sent some sweet treats in the mail for me! She is so cute and know how much I loved Iceland and especially the black licorice everything! Whenever I stay at her house in SF, I devour all her treats from home :) Those Icelanders are so brilliant to mix chocolate and black licorice together, it's like my own reoccurring dream come to life! I'm not even big on sweets but I do save myself for these babies. Draumur is my favourite but I have now fallen a bit in love with these little balls, called Bingo. They are hard licorice caramels covered also in chocolate but when you give them time they soften up and are delicious. They are a bit high maintenance but well worth it. She also added in a few bonus items from the Blue Lagoon, which I'm also obsessed with. I can't live without my mineral cream and face mask. I would seriously buy a ticket for a weekend trip to Iceland just to spend 4 hours at the Blue Lagoon.

Raclette En Hiver

The french do it best. Or the Swiss I guess I should say in this instance. Nicolas and Anne are from Paris and had invited us over for a cozy evening of cooking Raclette. Any kind of melted cheese situation in the winter is amazing, leaves you feeling all warm and fuzzy. It was great, they have the whole Raclette set, with the individual trays for your cheese to melt in. I really love the whole process involved and it makes the pay off of eating it all that much better! We enjoyed some great wine and great conversation. My wine boy set me up with a great Pinot Gris which went amazing with the cheese. It was the perfect sunday night.