Archive for the ‘NYC’ Category


Grilled Cheese at the Brooklyn Flea

August 9, 2010


J and I went to the Brooklyn Flea at One Hanson in Fort Greene, looking for inspiration for our new home (we moved!). It’s very cool how you can see the bank features in the space, like the huge vault doors and high domed ceilings. Still, something about the space feels a bit off for the Flea. I preferred it under the Brooklyn Bridge.

While we were there, we decided to get some grilled cheese sandwiches from a vendor we’d never seen before, Milk Truck. J got the classic grilled cheese with tomato (boring), and I got the classic “with a twist” (made with Aged Wisconsin Gruyere, Champagne Pickled Onions & Whole Grain Mustard on Jewish Rye). Both were sub-par. We also got a chocolate-cherry milkshake which was terrible… we could barely get it up the straw because it was so thick. However, I wouldn’t write this place off. It seemed like the man behind the counter was frazzled beyond belief — we watched him make our “milkshake” and forget to add the milk. Thus, we had a blended cup of ice cream. Maybe it was just an off day? Have you had a better experience?


Happy Birthday to Me!

June 16, 2010

Yesterday was my birthday…27. Nuts. I’m feeling old and cranky about this birthday, but J did his best to raise my spirits with a fancy meal.

We went to Mas (farmhouse), a farmhouse style menu with lots of fresh, seasonal, local ingredients. We opted for the menu option: “bring us a bunch of food.” They brought 6 different courses, of varying levels of yummy. There was a vichyssoise that I could’ve done without, and I experienced the first pork belly I didn’t love. There were two dishes of the 6 that I loved: a duck breast with pickled cherries and faro and a halibut that I think was cooked in duck fat… a trend. Dessert — what you see above — was also delicious with a really clever take on a s’more: some crumbled chocolate (kind of like a fancier crumbles from Carvel ice cream cake), a marshmallow, and an intensely good salted carmel ice cream. We enjoyed, and felt a bit too full at the end. But… it was no Blue Hill.


Valentine’s Day in Red Hook

February 16, 2010

Yesterday was such a great day. I’m sure you’re all sick of hearing me gush about my fantastic boyfriend, but he’s pretty amazing and it’s hard not to gush! For Valentine’s Day, I got a beautiful bouquet of roses, and woke up to the sounds of J cooking away in the kitchen. He decided to make me Eggs Benedict — only my favorite brunch item in the world. He made his own Hollandaise sauce, cooked some canadian bacon, and even poached some eggs. Very, very impressive undertaking… and now he’s on a mission to master this dish. Works for me!

For dinner, we went to The Good Fork in Red Hook and had such a lovely meal. We took a cab out there, and we were a bit early, so we walked to the water and got to watch a colorful sunset over the East River (and right behind the Statue of Liberty). I love Brooklyn sunsets. The Valentine’s Day tasting menu at The Good Fork was great — very cozy and homey, but upscale enough to feel like a proper celebration. We had everything from oysters to scallops to steak to braised boar. We also got the wine pairing which is something we never splurge on. We enjoyed everything we ate and drank, and we loved the quiet, neighborhood vibe of the place. It looked like there was a nice garden out back, so I’m looking forward to checking this place out again in the summer!


Fresh from the Farm: Blue Hill

January 20, 2010

Last week J turned 29… yep, just one year left in his roaring 20s. To celebrate, we went to Blue Hill, where we feasted on farm-fresh ingredients and amazing food. I have to admit that most of the time I was there I was thinking, “I wonder where the Obamas sat?!” But the rest of the time, I was enjoying some of the best food we’ve ever eaten: fresh Maine crab appetizer, Berkshire Pig entree, quinoa with blue hubbard squash and pancetta, braised bacon and shoulder entree, and a side of brussels sprouts with pistachios. Yums.

that's J's little piggy

and that's my quinoa with piglet goodies

We loved everything about this place — the food, the wine, the atmosphere, everything. I also loved that I booked on OpenTable, and wrote a note to the restaurant saying it was my boyfriend’s birthday. We got a candle in our apple dessert without me ever having to do the shady grab-the-waitress-behind-birthday-boy’s-back thing. Next stop: the real Blue Hill farm!


Eating Pizza and Riding the Bus

December 22, 2009

For J‘s birthday last year I bought him two tickets to a New York City pizza tour (Scott’s Pizza Tour). We started at Lombardi’s, a NYC classic where both of us had eaten before. But, the truth is, the pizza here is always really good. While on this pizza tour, we learned an insane amount of information about eating pizza, making pizza, the history of pizza, etc. And we ate at least one slice at each of the 4 places — too much pizza for me; not enough for J.

inside the Lombardi's oven

Here is the oven at Lombardi’s. We learned that they only turn it off twice a year — one of those times is the Tuesday after Superbowl Sunday (aka, the biggest pizza delivery day of the year) — and some crazy men climb inside that little space to do maintenance work. The 363 other days of the year, that coal-burning oven is about 900 degrees.

oven at Patsy's

Then we went to the original Patsy’s, up in Harlem — we were pretty psyched about this one as it still has some of the throw-back elements from the days of prohibition. We got a look at the coal-burning oven here as well. Unlike Lombardi’s, Patsy’s uses aged mozzarella. We liked this slice, but I liked Lombardi’s better.

in front of Patsy's

Then it was onto the Bronx where we stopped at Patricia’s Pizza and Pasta for an awesome slice from a gas-fired deck oven (and a less awesome slice from a wood burning oven). And then on to what looked like someone’s house — called Louie and Ernie’s. Here we ate, what I would call, a regular slice of pizza. Just like anything you’d order from an Italian pizzeria back in my homeland of NJ. (Speaking of NJ, almost everyone on our tour bus was from NJ. And most lived only a few minutes from our hometown. It was eery.) I think Scott, the tour guide, called it your classic big, greasy NY slice.

Louie & Ernie's in the Bronx

Overall, it was a great time and we ate lots of pizza. I could’ve done with a little less “Hey, have you ever tried Tony’s in Paramus or Nellie’s in Waldwick or Maria’s down on the Jersey Shore?” from the other tour passengers. And I sort of felt like I had pizza-sweats at the end of it. But J and I are now incredibly knowledgeable about pizza and love to throw out our trivia tidbits whenever we can. Plus, it’s always fun to see a new side of the city… and eat!


Date Night: The First Month

December 7, 2009


So, about three months into living together, J and I decided that we were desperate for a date night. Though we absolutely love (love!) living together, we end up seeing each other in our pajamas more than in real clothes. And we end up eating Trader Joe’s frozen dinners or take-out more often than dinners out at a real restaurant. So, we instated date night. We make a plan to have dinner at a new restaurant (usually in Manhattan since we tend to stay in Brooklyn on regular nights), dress up a bit, order a bottle of wine, and have a real conversation! It’s been fantastic. So here’s the round-up so far:

1. Peasant, Elizabeth St between Prince and Spring (Nolita)

This was an amazing meal, and an amazing date-spot. The restaurant is warm and cozy, with a very Italian rustic feel. And the dinner was INCREDIBLE! One of the best we’ve had in a while. I had lamb with polenta (yum!), and we had a great, fresh mozzarella appetizer. I kept thinking that this would be a perfect first date pick.

2. Freeman’s, End of Freeman’s Alley (Lower East Side)

We decided to give this LES restaurant a try since J had been there for cocktails, and I had been there for a birthday dinner ages ago (where we saw Mike Meyers and my dad embarrassingly went over and told him he loved the movie So I Married an Axe Murderer). It was a 7.5 out of 10. Good food, nice atmosphere if a bit too bustling, and good service. The downfall of this place is that it doesn’t accept reservations and the wait is almost always over an hour. This makes it a difficult date spot, especially if you were meeting someone new. We headed next door to The National for a few glasses of wine to kill time.

3. 10 Downing, Downing at 6th Ave (West Village)

We were excited to try this place, as we love New American cuisine with a rustic and/or seasonal twist. But it was a big fail. My scallop dish and J’s “special” braised lamb weren’t good. We thought maybe we just ordered wrong (b/c the burger entree with a fried egg on top looked pretty fantastic), but I can’t give a pass to restaurant where two of the eight or so entrees aren’t very good. Our wine was also sub-par. The saving grace was a delicious banana split dessert with gelato. The decor is bit more open-air than J and I go for (we like cozy date spots), so I wouldn’t recommend this one and we probably won’t go again. Disappointed.

What are your favorite date restaurants in NYC? J and I have been to so many!

Photo via.


Birthday Dinner at Perilla

June 15, 2009

Ate my birthday dinner with my family at Perilla last night. Another great meal at a great restaurant — as many of you know, I love this place. I think J had the score of the night by ordering the Three Little Pigs. My father approved of the place (which is rare!) because it has “really clean bathrooms.” Well, if I knew that was all it took!!!