Sunday, February 26, 2012

Wild is Where Its At

There's nothing like a delicious home cooked meal. Fresh wild fish is the only way to go. I went to Chelsea Market last week to pick up some italian groceries and was blown away by all the amazing fish at the Fish Market. This was some fresh wild caught Great Lakes Pike. I breaded it in almond flour, which is my new favourite thing. I love using it with chicken too, it browns nicely and has a great nutty flavour from the almond. We paired it with some sauteed swiss chard and quinoa salad. I want to eat that every night.

The Cherry On Top

These sour cherries pancakes, which were the daily special at Bubby's this weekend, just made my favourite pancakes even better! This brunch is always solid and we took our servers recommendations and of course ordered too much food! We also tried the Huevos Rancheros which was also amazing. Their bloody mary's are great too.

120 Hudson Street
New York, NY

Warm Up With Oden

Ippudo is serving up Oden on their menu again. It's such a treat. I love oden. It's always the perfect healthy alternative to the deliciously rich ramen. We had some great appetizers this time, super fresh and beautifully presented hamachi and a miso cod dish which was also to die for.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Don't Chew, Just Swallow

Last night there was a different kind of dinner party in the East Village. James Casey, creator of Swallow Magazine, had a few friends over to experience the making of, the process, the cooking and the tasting of his next issue. The next issue which is themed Mexico City will be full of great traditional Mexican dishes, all of which he cooked himself that day. It was just great to see the ingredients through their preparation and cooking until the moment where it gets photographed and then eaten. At one point it got so spicy in there that we all started coughing uncontrollably while the jalepenos cooked away on the stove. I can hardly wait to see the issue once it comes out. ¡Viva México!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

No Fuss Over Franny's

The brooklyn pizza marathon continues. I have tried to go to Franny's several times in the past and every time the wait was 2 hours. This time again, the wait was 2 hours. We decided to wait it out since it was a Saturday night and we were in the middle of Fort Greene with no other immediate ideas in mind. We enjoyed a drink or two and where seating at least an hour and a half later, if not more. We were starving and expecting a lot out of this poor pizza. Pauverino.

It didn't live up to all the hype, nor the wait. I've heard so many good things about Franny's so I was really surprised. It wasn't bad, the pizza had a good texture, chewy and crispy. It's definitely the kind of pizza that I like but our waiter recommended a few pies and we were a bit disappointed by his recommendations. Two of our three pizzas were bianca's, which is always annoying when you don't expect it. It only ever makes sense to have one bianca just to break it up and have a slice or two of something different. The flavours were actually pretty intense, not in a good way. I prefer to keep the ingredients simple and pure, so that you taste them in a natural way. The anchovy pizza was so deconstructed that it just looked like a white cheese pizza, no anchovies to be seen and yet the flavour was so fishy and intense. It was strange. Our starters were great, a really nice refreshing salad and some fried olives stuffed with pancetta. Those were unique and delicious. The deserts were also solid.

Sadly the pizza just didn't live up to our expectation. I think it might be hard to top anything after Saraghina.

295 Flatbush Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
(718) 230-0221

Go Dutch

With the same chef as Locada Verde and a critics pick on NY Magazine, I knew the Dutch had to be solid. Emily and I were shopping around Soho one day and looking for a spot to kill an hour where we could get a decent cocktail and a small snack. It was perfect. I heard about their mini oyster po'boy sandwiches so we ordered 2 of those. They were actually the smallest sandwiches I have every seen but surprisingly just the right amount of food. You only really need a bite of anything deep-fried. We shared the beet salad as well. The cocktails were great too. I love me my dark drinks; whisky, bourbon, bitters... they had a great cocktail list. It was all delicious.

The Dutch
131 Sullivan St. (nr. Prince St.)
New York, NY

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Real Deal

This underground food court in Queens is no joke. I think it might be called Golden Mall. Brian's friend Ken, who is currently cooking at Northern Spy Co. in New York, knows the food scene. In particular, the chinese food scene. Most foodies know the food court that's inside the Flushing Mall but this one is completely different. There were no signs to the entrance, just a tiny non-discript door leads you down into the depths of it all.

It's bustling with the local Chinese. We did spot a few local officers, paramedics actually who have obviously made this their daily lunch spot. The food Ken explained it is actually Northern style, but with a twist. It's not even food you can really find in China. I guess the flavours are rooted in typical Northern Chinese cuisine but influenced by other styles too. There's about 10 or 12 stalls maybe in total, some hidden in small corners and others more open with food on display. We only had enough room in our stomachs to sample a few things, so I need to go back to try some of the spicy noodle dishes. We shared some pig ears and cucumber. Then some tofu and tripe combo. We ordered 2 kinds of dumplings, pork and lamb. I had never had lamb dumplings before. They were awesome. Steamed dumplings are among some of my favourite things in life. I got a private show from the hand pulled noodle guy (who then tried to pick me up ;) I guess they don't get too many blonde white girls down there.The hand pulled noodles are actually Lam Zhou, which they have another location in Chinatown back in the city. They also have the original location of Xian Famous Foods, who also specialize in hand-pulled noodles.

On our way out there was this amazing food stand which Ken told me had some of the best buns. I grabbed 2 different kinds, one with egg and scallion and the other with meat. Both insanely delicious. I plan to buy a bag next time and freeze them at home. I have no idea what the name of them are but they are cheap and I still dream of their taste.

After our very satisfying lunch we were off to Spa Castle, an awesome Korean Spa in Queens. We ran to catch the shuttle and spend the rest of the afternoon steaming and relaxing. It was a great day.

Get Back Brunch

Back Forty has always had a pretty solid brunch. We were in the mood for these insane pancakes they had had there one summer which were intense, which were delicious and made with corn. They no longer had those particular pancakes but we enjoyed a more cinnamon cake-textured order of pancakes. I'm more of a savory breakfast person so I ordered this short rib over black beans dish with poached eggs on top. It was served in a bowl and was delicious! The texture was really working for me; as the perfectly poached eggs ran into the rich slow-cooked meat over the saucy beans with hid in the layer underneath.
A friend who worked there gifted us with their homemade donuts, not something I would normally order. They were delicious.

Back Forty
190 Avenue B
New York, NY
(212) 388-1990

Turn Up The Heat

My favourite ramen is back on the menu at Ippudo. The Karaka Kogashi Miso ramen seems to be staying on the menu, for now. It's so good, especially on a cold New York winter night. The colour of the soup is black because they char the miso, so it has this amazing slightly smoky taste. The Karaka version is the spicy version which just gives it that perfect amount of kick to offset the richness of the oily pork-belly broth. Here's Nick enjoying his Akamaru Modern, always a solid choice. The other awesome news is that Oden is back on the menu. I plan to go back this week to get my oden on!

65 4th Ave (Btwn 9th & 10th St)
New York, NY

Afternoon Boost

I started working at the 601 building a few weeks ago at a fashion agency and the location is awful to say the least. Located as west as Manhattan will take you, just off the west side highway and almost 12 Avenue... yes believe it, there is a 12th Avenue! So obviously a major problem has been finding great food and great coffee in the area.

It seems like this has obviously come to people's attention and food trucks are popping up all over the street, including inside the building! They have brought of the Van Leeuwan trucks right inside the building up on the 12th Floor. I guess they brought it in through Martha Stewart's private car elevator, haha.. not sure. Either way great coffee is being brewed up on the 12th floor and I couldn't be happier! I'm usually there once to twice a day, enjoying their always perfect cappuccino ;) But this particular day, after hours of pulling fashion images, I needed a major pick me up. The perfect thing, an affogato was in order! It's so good and immediately brought me back to life!

Van Leeuwen Truck (temporary outpost)
601 w26th Street, 12th Floor
New York, NY

Forget The Italians, It's All About the Japanese

I just have to say, this place is kind of amazing. This pasta place is run completely by the Japanese. It's sort of like my wildest fantasy, my love of italian cuisine re-created with the sensibility of the Japanese. Everything was delicious. Their lunch prix fixe is a great deal and the place is packed with locals who work in the area. i tried this wonderful homemade pasta with mushrooms, fresh ricotta and lemon with olive oil. It was fresh, different and delicious. Kristin ahd the simple parmesan pasta with proscuitto on top. They mix the cooked pasta in front of you on a cart inside the wheel of the parmesan, so the pasta takes on the flavour of the cheese from the wheel itself. It was ingenious! I loved it there.

Basta Pasta
37 West 17th Street
New York, NY
(212) 366-0888

Friday, February 17, 2012

Sample That

Every evening after 6pm on Saint Marks some decent korean food is being dished out on.. yes for free! It's usually a different variety of tofu soon doobu each night. Since it's located right across the street from my house, t's become a part of my daily ritual on my walk home. It really hits the spot on a cold New York winter night. I plan to go in there one day and order myself a whole bowl :) This is a new korean resto that opened a few months ago. It seems legit, with its only other location in Jersey.

NY Tofu House
6 St. Marks Pl
New York, NY
(212) 533-5363

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Tuscan Touch

Aurora is a staple in Williamsburg for brunch. The guy behind it is from Rome but said he named his restaurant after his favourite place in Tuscany. I like the rustic vibe of the place and the food is good. We enjoyed a juicy burger and a salmon benedict, both solid. They had wonderful bloody mary's too, definitely a good option when the line every else is hours long. I just walked by Aurora in Soho, guess this is their first outpost outside of Brooklyn. I'm sure it will do very well in Soho. I would like to try it for dinner, especially his well-recognized pasta dishes.

70 Grand Street
Brooklyn, NY
(718) 388-5100

A Slice of Heaven

A few weeks ago, I finally made it to Saraghina. A big group of us, 5 girls, decided that a night of pizza in Bed-Stuy was in order. It was no joke. I can confidently say that this is the best pizza in New York. Of course pizza is a very subjective thing, like burgers, depends on what style you like. For me this is the one. It's simple, fresh, and perfect. Their fire wood oven leaves that perfect burnt flour taste and I enjoyed all the pizzas we tried. I'm a classic margherita girl so that's always my favourite but I did really enjoy this artichoke and coppa pizza. We started with the burata and the octopus salad, which was fantastic. I am eager to go back and try their mains and pasta dishes. I know this place is more than just pizza. Our waiter, Louis, who was the most delicious young Parisian boy we had ever seen, let us stay long after closing hours. He took very good care of us as we continued enjoying the house red wine and wonderful conversation. It was a great night.

435 Halsey Street (Lewis Avenue)
Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn
No phone.