Wednesday, May 16, 2012

French Countryside Special: Påté Paradise

Pate is the name of the game in the french countryside. We are currently in the heart of France, smack dab in the center or the country... en Creuse. With over 10 varieties, this was definitely the largest selection of patés that I've ever seen. We picked up some "pate de tete" (made up of all the parts of the head), some "grillons"(basically fat), boudin noir (blood sausage) and saucisson (sausage). We trotted off (no pun intended) to get a fresh baguette from the boulangerie down the road.  The beauty of a small country town is that every you need is within a few steps walk from each other.

We ate loads of it before our main course of roasted chicken and patates frites. Then we finished the rest off for lunch today with our boudin noirs. I'll post a photo soon enough.

Paris Special: Chez Omar

This Moroccan restaurant is a local favourite in Paris. It is the Cafe Mogador of Paris à mon avis. Apparently during fashion week its mental and on any given night the line can be up to 10-15 people waiting. Omar is the man behind the resto, he's sweet and he runs a tight crew of Parisien Moroccan's as his staff. Mehdi is very at home here, they call him family and we were treated like gold. The food was excellent. It was very simple and straight forward; perfectly cooked couscous, delicious sauteed vegetables sauce and juicy meats. The merguez was insane. Mix together on your place et voila! Tous va bien... total happiness!

Leonard joined up to eat and we devoured more meat while finishing up every drop of wine. We ended our meal on the most delicious Morrocan mint tea I've ever had. Life is good and Chez Omar life is even better.


Bienvenue à Paris: Pas De Progrés

I'm so happy to be in Paris! I plan on documenting at least a few of my meals while here.

My boy Mehdi was so sweet to pick me up from the aiport and we ran to the closest spot for a decent meal. Le Progrés in the Marais is full of hipsters and the perfect place to people watch. I ordered a Croque Madame and was clearly too hungry to even take a picture! Mehdi's Entrecote looked delicious as well.  Only problem is the service, as in most of Paris, was very slow. It took forever to order, forever to get the food, and forever to get the bill. Each time one of us would come back from the washroom, we would ask each other " Est-ce qu'il y a de progrés?" and the answer was "pas de progrés... " haha. It was a funny joke because the place is called "progress" in french and there was clearly no progress.

I usually ends many nights there on the heated terrace, sipping on a glass of wine. Leonard and I ended up there the other night, again people watching. (Leonard, insert the photo you took here ;)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The New Nomad

NoMad, a 5-star Parisian-inspired hotel, opened its doors officially over a month ago. Although it's presence still lies fairly under the radar, it's definitely bound to be the cool spot in town. The interior is designed by the very famous Jacques Garcia, who is most recognized for his work on Hotel Costes in Paris. It feels like a more masculine grown up version of the Ace Hotel. The restaurant and bar is beautiful and they have a very cozy library in the back which is perfect for post-work drinks and meetings. The library is one of my favourite places in the city right now. The cocktails and bar snacks are fantastic.

The restaurant is probably the most important part of this new hotel project. Daniel Humm, the chef of Eleven Madison Park has decided to head up the restaurant at the NoMad. He is offering a less fussy and less expensive version of his food from Eleven Madison. The menu is solid and has a nice variety of snacks, appetizers and mains. We spoke to Daniel himself at our dinner there this week and he recommended a few new things I hadn't tried yet. All fantastic. Among those were the Fruits de Mer sampler and surprisingly the whole chicken for two.

I was lucky to have the opportunity to visit the restaurant before it opened for their friends and family soft opening. There we had the chance to sample most of the menu and even stay a night in the rooms. It was great and the overall experience was very good. The rooms also follow Garcia's aesthetic, masculine, dark and sexy, which nice touches like a beautiful claw foot tub that spills into the middle of the room. It's hot.

Back to the food, everything is simple but with a twist. Humm plays with flavours and textures. It's always a surprise which is fun when its carefully controlled. Overall I have been happy with my meals there. The portions are a little bit confusing, some very small and some rather large. Especially with the desserts, it's easy to get carried away and order too many. I'm not huge on sweets so I often just want a taste and feel overwhelmed when they are too large. They have a very lovely and well informed sommelier on staff who set us up with excellent wine.

The NoMad Hotel
1170 Broadway (nr 28th)
New York, NY

Monday, May 7, 2012

Matt's Eggs

When I was visiting San Francisco a few months ago, my best friend's husband, Matt made us the most amazing eggs for breakfast. They were soft scrambled with a delicious creamy texture. He then sprinkles crackers over the eggs and garnished the dish with a sprig of fresh thyme. It was divine! I have recently tried to remake it at home and now eat it for breakfast often enough. Its the perfect was to start my day.

Tap This

This is definitely the new tapas in town. The wait is usually about 2 hours on any given night. Luckily Erika and I were able to get down there early one day after work and slipped in after only a 20 minute wait. It was great. The food is interesting, colourful, and more importantly, delicious. We ordered too much food but we were also happy to try so many different things. Sadly I only have a few photos (while the natural light was still available) Once the food started coming, it was too dark to capture the dishes. I look forward to going back again soon. We tried everything from the deviled eggs, to this fresh sardine salad, to brussels sprouts to the lamb dish. We got a really good sampling of most of the menu.

359 6th Avenue
 New York, NY
(646) 559-9909

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Comfort Food

I love making soba at home. It takes me back to my days living in Tokyo attempting to cook
Japanese food. I love going to the Japanese grocery store around the corner from my place and carefully choosing all the necessary ingredients. I love to improvise, to add in something new
each time, just to surprise myself :) My usual fixings are scallions, enoki mushrooms, fried tofu,
ground sesame and of course shichimi for a little kick. But tonight I added a touch of my special ingredient, this garlic chili sauce from Japan. It was a gift from a friend from Tokyo. I usually use it
in the vinegar dipping sauce for my gyoza (which I had as an appetizer :) so I decided to try it in the soba too. Delicious! I also had a small side of Kinpira, which is burdock root preparing Japanese-style. It's very common in Japan on Izakaya menus but less common here in the US and never on sushi menus. It's really good for digestion.

Smoking Beef

Loving this bresaola salad at Inoteca. The perfect amount of meat with bitter wild arugula and
topped with simple Pecorino cheese and pickled red onions (nice touch). This and a nice glass of cold white vino on a hot day, makes me so happy.