Thursday, December 31, 2009

Last lunch of 2009

In Bormio...
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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Chocolate and Coffee in Como

Shopping for Italian knick-knacks and stopped in Aida, a little cafe, for a breather. The Hot Chocolate is very thick here and coffee/cappuccino is strong. Still looking for a snack!
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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Defelice Bros. Pizza

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Preparing the Paella

Merry X-mas Eve!
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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Holiday Dinner

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Friday, December 18, 2009

Snoop and Martha Make Pot-Free Brownies

No spacecakes today, Snoop!

 Thanks to my friend, Amy, for the link...


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Cheese Plate at Bar Jamon

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

What has 90 grams of fat and costs $7.71?

Why the McDonald's Big McSausage Egg Surf and Turf Mac, of course!

According to, the disgusting-- yet inventive-- culinary oddity is made up of a Big Mac, Filet-o-Fish, McChicken Patty and an Egg and Sausage McMuffin.

I can't possibly think of anything more astonishingly vile than this off-the-menu, fast-food mutation.

Behold...the Nutrition Facts! Read it and weep...

Via: Eating the Road and

Monday, December 14, 2009

My attempt at being healthy...

The Farmer's Salad at Northern Spy Food Co.: Kohlrabi, Butternut Squash, Celery Root, Sweet Potato, Brussel Sprouts, Mizuna seasoned with mint, salt, lemon and pepper.
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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Northern Spy Food Co.--East Village

Northern Spy Food Co. opened up a few months ago in the East Village and it looks like it's trying to cultivate a neighborhood reputation for being an alternative to locavore competitor, Back Forty. Steadily, over the last few weeks, the customer base has grown everytime I walk past the place.
The handcrafted and cheerful appearance of the restaurant's interior, the rough-hewn tables and benches, and the plethora of rustic design touches are characteristic of the farm-to-table ethos that this restaurant espouses.

Although their breakfast/brunch menu seemed more interesting, today, I decided to pay a visit for lunch. The choices on the menu are not as extensive as Back Forty --which is a good thing--reflecting hearty, simple food (served EVERYWHERE I go these days). I had the roasted chicken with brussel sprouts and carmelized leeks. The plate arrived somewhat sad and soggy looking. Served on the bone, the chicken breast meat was juicy and tasty, but the dark meat wasn't fully cooked to my liking. I also prefer the skin on the chicken to have a nice, seasoned, crispiness to it, which mine lacked. The brussel sprouts were overcooked and mushy, reminiscent of a bad side dish from the 1950s. The leeks were slightly slimy and also overcooked. I could tell there was flavor in each vegetable dish, but it seemed like I was served yesterday's nuked leftovers.

I am going to give this restaurant another chance for brunch, because it's so close to my apartment and the staff was so nice. Here's hoping to a better brunch experience!

Northern Spy Food Co. on Urbanspoon
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Friday, December 4, 2009

Ciao for Now in the East Village

My lunch I had on Thursday, at the East Village cafe, Ciao For Now, on 12th street. The place serves mostly dense pastries, quiches and soups. Not bad. I had a tasty Autumn Puree with a Polenta/lavender muffin.
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Dos Toros Review

On Wednesday night, Aaron and I went to a booking signing for the new David Chang Momofuku cookbook. There was an hour long Q&A before the signing with Chang and the revered chef, Mario Batali. Both Chang and Batali waxed philosophical about various culinary topics: gender gap in the kitchen, management style on the line, the difficulties of NY restaurant life, the need to turn tables to achieve financial benchmarks, and of course talk about mouth-watering, delicious food. All of this talk of food made us hungry for something hearty and satisfying, so we decided to try out the new burrito/taco joint, Dos Toros in Union Square.

Dos Toros is a very basic place, and based on the hype, I thought they were attempting to reinvent the burrito, taco or quesadilla. But in fact, their approach to food is quite simple. Nothing fancy, but still flavorful. Aaron thought his carne asado burrito was plain, but my chicken burrito was pretty good. I would go to Dos Toros again for sneaking in food to go to the movies or for a casual on the go lunch.
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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Rogue Shrimp

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, C.J., Sabina and I hit the local pub, The Ye Olde Alpha, in my hometown of Wheeling, WV. The place is a taxidermist's delight with the walls festooned with strings of twinkly lights and an assortment of pointy antlers and creepy animal heads. We sat down to drink some Iron City Beers and ordered a novelty item on the menu, Captain Crunch Crusted Shrimp. See the picture? Doesn't look too hot, but it wasn't the unholy, treacly, deep fried lump that I expected it to be. I actually was able to digest it! Hooray for breakfast cereal inspired dishes, but I'll stick to the chicken wings next time.
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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

David Chang and Mario Batali

At The Strand promoting Chang's new book...
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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Obama's First Official White House State Dinner: The Menu

Marcus Samuelsson  of Aquavit was the guest chef...The veggie-focused feast was in honor of India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Lettuce and herbs were harvested from the White House garden.  
Très vert!

Via: Eater

Hamburger Macaron

I love this.  So adorable. 

Monday, November 30, 2009

Today's McCafe Plug Courtesy of DJ Khaled

McDonald's marketing is hardly subtle, especially when describing the ubiquitous McCafe advertising campaign.   This local radio spot featuring DJ Khaled takes the cake.  I've never heard such an impassioned case for mass-produced hot chocolate. Points for hip-hop hilarity.

Via: Twitter

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Turkey Day

Gobble, gobble...
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Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Party, Lombardi's Pizza Party!

The other day, after an event at the Crosby Hotel, my friend, Cory, and I, went wandering around Nolita and worked up an appetite. In all of my time in New York, I have never been to the famous Lombardi's, so we decided to try the goods at the well regarded and respected pizzeria.
The restaurant is  bustling, loud, and bright, giving off a "cheap and cheerful" vibe.  We ordered a simple pepperoni pizza with mushrooms sprinkled on my half of the pie. The pizza came out covered with the most precious little pepperoni slices and fresh, melted mozzarella cheese sprawled across the evenly sauced pie (Uneven saucing is a pet-peeve of mine.) The crust wasn't too doughy and not too crispy. Overall, the pizza was tasty and satiated our hunger pangs. I can't say the place wowwed me, but Lombardi's puts out a satisfying slice.

*Perfect after a day at the Angelika or shopping.

32 Spring St
New York, NY 10012
(212) 941-7994

Lombardi's Pizza on Urbanspoon

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Bread Shoes=Yuck

Via: New York Approval Matrix
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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Hoard Those Wings

What is Pluck U to do? Because of low poultry production this year, there's a chicken wing shortage... Sports bars everywhere are lamenting the terrible scourge affecting the range of their app menu.

Via: Reuters

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sh*t, if it's gonna be that kind of party...

...I'm gonna stick my fork in these mashed sweet potatoes! 

Went to a fabulous dinner party that Sabina threw last week and made the easiest dish ever... Here's the recipe:


Monday, November 16, 2009

Party! Pizza Party: Roberta's

Half-eaten pizza.  
Last Saturday, my friend, Sabina and I had plans to go to a loft party in Bushwick.  So, I recommended that we go to a restaurant called Roberta's in the area, which is  accessible by a harmless subway ride on the L to the Morgan stop.  I've been there a number of times when I'm in the vicinity.  The food is pretty consistent and the variety and simplicity of the menu are enough to please most people. The centerpiece of the menu is the pizza, cooked in a wood-burning oven at the front of the restaurant.  Being THE local spot in Bushwick, the only major drawback of Roberta's is that the wait for a proper table is always impossibly long (well, 45 minutes). Luckily, the wait for 2 spots at the bar area is not. We ordered the following:

  • Kale Salad with Guanciale,  Pickled Onions w  Vinaigrette: I highly recommend this dish.  The kale was fresh and crunchy--dressed with a perfect balance of fat and acid.
  • Grilled Skirt Steak:  Very simple, well-cooked and well-seasoned.
  • Good Girl Pizza: Kale, Tallegio, Pork sausage, and Garlic: My go-to dish here. I've had it every single time I've been here. Really tasty.  Sometimes the garlic slices are a bit overbearing, but this time around it was perfect.
Everything is big enough to split, except for the skirt steak.
I kind of went overboard on the kale that night, but the leafy green is an immunity booster and wards off H1N1.  The waiter said that 35% of the kale (and other produce) is sourced from the greenhouse on the premises and the remainder is locally sourced.

Compared to a commensurate Manhattan dining experience, the prices are recession-friendly and  very reasonable. The staff is quite busy but cheerful.  No reservations and cash only (ATM outside the building).

261 Moore St Brooklyn,NY
Mon-Fri 12p.m.-Midnight
Sat-Sun 11a.m.-Midnight
*My anthem for the night. Couldn't stop singing it.

Roberta's on Urbanspoon

Friday, November 13, 2009

Deep Frying Your Turkey: DOs and DON'Ts

As turkey day approaches, people go wild over deep-frying the entire bird. Here is one fire department's "DOs and DON'Ts" for avoiding a holiday catastrophe. Stumbled across this video on which features 8 other videos of turkeys bursting into flames.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Top Chef: Buh-bye Robin

Justice is at long last restored. Robin was sent packing. All is right in the world now... The End.

**But, at least she had a good hair day on her final appearance. As far as female faux-hawks go, it was working for her! Watch "The Morning After" video for her take on Tom's height and  Padma's jokey nature. Somewhat interesting.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Edible Bacon Candle

Drizzle this.... Talk about olfactory heaven...

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sunday Delight: Will Cotton Bakery/Art Event

At 40 Great Jones Street today! I bought pink peppercorn, gingerbread, and salted caramel macarons at the artist, Will Cotton's baking/art event. Don't miss the stunning and eye-catching painting of an Aphrodite-like model in the buff splayed out on top of a puffy cloud of pink cotton candy!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Elvie's Filipino Joint: Peaced, Dunzo, Kaput

Another economic casualty has struck the East Village... and among MY people.  Elvie's was the only Filipino joint that I had eaten at multiple times. Multiple times, because of the familiar food that reminded me of my grandmother's cooking, but mostly because the dread and laziness associated with the train ride to Queens/Jersey City to eat REAL Filipino food was unfathomable. Will miss the pinakbet... Paalam na, Elvie's.
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Friday, November 6, 2009

Part 2: What Restaurant Staffers Should Never Do

Check it!  Going to take it easy in the 'hood this weekend.  Tamer than last...

Via: The New York Times

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Crazy for Momofuku

I don't care how much you drool over David Chang's steamed pork buns.... This indelible display of adoration is just bonkers.

Publicity stunt? Washable Marker? But the gradient on that orange is too good...


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Dos and Don'ts: 100 Things Restaurant Staffers Should Never Do (Part 1)

Some of this is ridonculous, but definitely worth reading (#12 Don't touch the rim of my glass, or BOWL, please!). Restaurant service, social snobbery, New York/Manhattan class behavior--all in one blog post...Be sure to read the quite lengthy comments section!
Via: New York Times

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Banana Meatloaf

Maybe it's because of my chronic seasonal affective disorder or my botched Halloween bacon costume from the weekend, but I have been hankering after comfort food all week. And what embodies comfort food like no other dish? Meatloaf!

I came across a novelty recipe for Banana Meatloaf posted on the Retro Recipes feature for, originally published in 1941 by a fruit purveyor to hawk more bananas. Not sure if it will satiate my cravings, but I dig the old-timey anthropomorphization of the banana.

"Recipe: Banana Meat Loaf
From Bananas: How To Serve Them, 1941
1 pound ground beef
1 cup soft bread crumbs
1 tablespoon chopped onion
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3/4 cup mashed banana
1 teaspoon dry mustard
Mix the beef, crumbs, onion, salt and pepper until fully incorporated. Add the mustard to the mashed banana and mix into beef. Pack into oiled loaf pan and bake at 350 for one hour, or until cooked through."


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Restaurant Wars only the best part of every season of Top Chef. The fiery power plays, the execution disasters, to serve dessert or not serve dessert--the culinary intrigue is practically excruciating.  Kudos to "Revolt"-- the V-bros, chubby Eli, and, yes, even annoying Robin deserve the victory.  However, seeing Mission lose was disappointing.  Admittedly, the way Jennifer pronounces "salad" irks me to no end, but there is no contesting that the Le Bernardin alum is an incredibly accomplished chef. My heart sank when she started to choke under pressure. Her sauce broke!!! Her dish was beige!!! She cooked the shellfish to order!!!  Technically, she should have gone home, but so relieved when the ax fell on Laurine, who, let's face it, has sucked for weeks.   

If you watch Top Chef, then you have to start watching "The Morning After" videos.  Love.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Baked Goods

Form doesn't exactly follow function, now does it? But there's something adorably weird about that roll jutting out from that bowl. The bowl is part of an art project called "baked"--an "homage to bread and flour".  OK!


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Terroir NYC : East Village, Wine Bar

I just recently moved to the fun, yet filthy East Village from the crime-free, yet ho-hum neighborhood of Gramercy. So, as of late,  I've been acquainting myself with all the various watering holes and cafes in the vicinity.  Last night, I had plans to meet my friend, Amy, who I met at the tasting room at  The Vines of Mendoza in Argentina while giddily swilling luscious flights of Malbec and Torrontes.  Apropos of our original introduction, she suggested meeting at a wine bar somewhere in the hood. I've strolled by the wine bar, Terroir, a number of times, but never tried the place, because it looked so formal from the outside looking in, but decided to give it a go and was surprised at how laid back and enjoyable my experience was there.  

Befitting the low-key nature of Terroir, the tables are communal and the space is cozy. The waitstaff is friendly, approachable and knowledgeable. The actual menu consists of a hefty, three-ring binder of information that includes jokey descriptions of drinks and comedic digressions in between the very serious and comprehensive wine list.  After a long week of binge drinking, I didn't think my body could take the migraine-inducing tannins, so I decided not have wine--horror of horrors--instead,  I had their specialty drink called the Abbey Flip, made of pomegranate molasses, coriander, nutmeg, egg yolks and Ommegang Abbey Ale. The concoction was rich, sweet and very satisfying. The egg apparently mellows out the beer a bit. A perfect drink for a winter/autumn day.  

The Abbey Flip

The food was not bad, we ordered the following: 
Dumpling and Escarole Soup: Despite the limp escarole, but the broth was flavorful and the dumplings were yummy.
Bacalao Bruschetta:  Rich, a bit too heavy for me.  
Arugula Salad: So fresh, slightly sweet and dressed perfectly.
Creamed Rapini with breadcrumbs:  Loved it. 
Olive Oil Cake with Roasted Apples: A bit too dry and the apples were cold.

I didn't order them, but the fried sage leaves and lamb sausages are supposed to be great.

For the ambience and wine list alone, I would absolutely hit this place again.  Bar Jamon in Gramercy was my go-to wine bar,  but now that I've moved, Terroir is definitely in the running as its replacement. 

Another reason to go is the weeknight "Happy Hour" between 5-6 PM, when glasses are only $6!!!  Un bon marché!

413 E 12th St
New York, NY 10009
(646) 602-1300

Photo via: Grapes and Grains

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Skull cake anyone?

In the spirit of the upcoming holiday... a collection of skull cakes for your viewing pleasure. 
The skeletal accuracy on this image below is disgusting and amazing. Perhaps a bit too much fondant in the zygomatic area?


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Goodbye Ashley

I'm late here, but I had to post about the recent elimination. Ashley had to go folks.  As the judges say in some form or another, this is Top Chef, not Top Saint... Ashley demonstrated character and seemed to know food, but didn't really show her culinary stuff till much later in the competition. Once Robin Leventhal is axed--which I predict will be this week--the game/kitchen will really start heating up.

See ya, Ash! Work on those flavor profiles.


Fabio's Foibles

Fabio's resto (in LA) is dunzo.  His grammar needs work too...


Monday, October 12, 2009

Naked Chef to the Rescue

Jamie Oliver, The Naked Chef,  will try to school the fattest city in the world--Huntington, W.V.
Wait, watch, and see... 

Shout out to Vida for the link... 


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Momofuku Steamed Chicken Buns

Last night, Ben and I went to Momofuku Noodle Bar to nurse our seasonal colds in soup and drown our perpetual sorrows in noodles.  I've been to Momofuku several times over the past winter for lunch, because of its dependable food, proximity to my apartment and recession prix-fixe specials. The noodle bar doesn't consistenly dazzle, but it doesn't disappoint either. However, the food was somewhat uneven last night.

We ordered the following:

1 bowl of  Pork Ramen
1 bowl of Ginger Scallion Noodles
1 order of the chicken-steamed buns
1 order of the Angelfood soft-serve ice-cream

I actually didn't try the ramen last night, but I've had  the porky, soupy delight several times during previous visits. Ben seemed to like it, as he slurped up every last drop of it.  Truth be known, I really disliked the ginger scallion noodle dish, as it was over-salted, dense and had no taste whatsoever. I could barely detect ginger, due to the high salt content. I ate a few bites and that's it.  Bleech!

Ginger-scallion Noodles: Do not order this!

The highlight of the night was the steamed chicken bun.  I typically opt for the steamed pork, but I was feeling contrarian and ordered chicken.  The chicken was flavorful, moist, and not overly hoisin-sauced. The thin, flat piece of fried chicken skin, inserted in the bun,  gave the dish a nice crunch.

The angelfood soft-serve had some sort of brown-sugar crumble on top--not bad.

I must try the fried chicken the next time I'm there... 

Momofuku Noodle Bar
171 First Avenue btwn 10th and 11th Streets
New York, NY

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Bottoms Up...

According to an article on, "those who never drink are at significantly higher risk for not only depression but also anxiety disorders, compared with those who consume alcohol regularly."

Another reason happy hour  IS happy!

BTW: This is what I drank too much of this weekend--it's called a "Fur Collar":

Recipe on
Note: Fresh orange juice makes all the difference. Yum. (My OJ came from a carton of Tropicana.)


Monday, October 5, 2009

McD Map

13,000 + pairs of Golden Arches visually plotted out.  Holy Big Mac.


Gourmet GONE!

Le horreur! Gourmet has been shuttered by Conde Nast, according to Gawker.  There's a fat stack of old, well-read issues  (and various other gossip rags and news weeklies), dating back to at least the late 90s, that sits faithfully under a side table in the family kitchen. My 85-year old grandmother flips through them for every holiday meal. Shame on you, McKinsey! Number-crunching can be a cruel thing.

Via: Gawker