Tag Archives: foie gras

Decadence by Chris Lee

Decadence by Christopher LeeHEEELLLLOOOOOOOO MY FRIENDSSSSSS long time no see. I’m back on the blog! To start the year off, I’d like to share with you some photos of an intimate dinner I had at R.C. and J.C.’s beautiful apartment. It’s actually pretty awful of me to do this to you because the dinner was effing amazing and you’ll… never actually get to have it. 

Sorry.

You see, Chris Lee, R.C. and J.C.’s good friend, is about to head to California to open a new Nobu, and before his move across the country, he decided to cook a simple meal for his friends themed “Decadence.” And LAW and I were lucky enough to be invited.

Decadence by Christopher LeeThe meal started off with a Lobster Cocktail and White Sturgeon Caviar (looking at the menu I stole from dinner because I definitely can’t remember the fancy shmancy names of all these delicacies) with smoked sablefish, creme fraiche, and a baguette from Maison Kayser – which is Chris’s favorite baguette in the city! This caviar was super smooth, lightly sweet, and with juuust enough of a punch to make it a delicacy. Ugh I’m drooling writing this.

Decadence by Christopher Lee
Chris also made us some truffle butter, you know, just so we could finish up the bread.

Decadence by Christopher Lee
Yup, delicious. Continue reading

Traif: Asian Influenced Tapas & Bacon Donuts =O

Traif
Traif
229 S 4th St
Brooklyn, NY 11211 (South Williamsburg)

I had been wanting to go to Traif for a long time. It’s consistently rated as one of the best places to eat in Williamsburg (4.5 stars on Yelp O.O and wow two billyburg restaurants in a row for me). Traif is a “new American” restaurant that serves up tapas with Asian and bacon flavors. It is also known for its bacon donuts – that curiosity alone was enough to entice me…

Traif
I started with the Rude Little Pig cocktail, which is made with lapsang-infused tequila orange liqueur, and a pomegranate bacon rim. Can’t say it’s particularly amazing but it was a pretty stiff drink. Bacon rim sounds better than it tasted. You couldn’t really taste it at all. It was actually pretty annoying to have to deal with bacon crummies in my drink. This start aside, everything else was pretty great.

Traif
We were gifted a sweet potato-y soup from the chef. Super delicious. So creamy and vibrant – the perfect little taster to get the taste buds going for the rest of the meal. By the way, I didn’t note all the prices and the menu changes pretty frequently. Just know that each dish is about $11-$20 ish.

Traif
Toasted spaetzle with roasted mushrooms. TBH, not the biggest fan of spaetzle because of how grainy it tastes. It’s the same reason why I can’t stand whole wheat pasta. Brown rice, whole wheat bread, anything else really I’m all for. Something about grainy noodles just doesn’t make sense to me. They should be al dente, not grainy. Anyway, of all the spaetzles of the land that I’ve had, this is pretty good, I guess. Cant go wrong with cheese and mushrooms. Continue reading

Cherche Midi, another McNally restaurant

Cherche Midi
Cherche Midi
282 Bowery (and Houston)
New York, NY 10012

It has been ages, my friends. AGES. I feel awfully guilty for abandoning this blog for so long. I can give you the usual excuses of life getting in the way but it won’t make me feel any less guilty. The reason I’ve carved out some of my Sunday afternoon to write to you all is because quite a few of you have recentlyl told me that you MISS my blog posts and actually NOTICED that I haven’t posted in a while. I’m soooooo incredibly flattered and… just… wow, people read my blog consistently enough to be able to tell I’ve been MIA? M.L. told me today I am her sad-desk-lunch reading and it empowered me to get off my lazy bum and finally just start writing again so M.L. can resume reading about food while she eats food.

So here it is! My first post since… ALMOST A MONTH AGO (ugh). The post is about Cherche Midi, a Keith McNally restaurant that opened sometime last year. McNally is a big NYC restauranteur who opened Balthazar and Minetta Tavern (among many others). There are a few deviations from the “typical French” restaurant with some yuzu and shiso on the menu, but otherwise Cherche Midi is a pretty typical French establishment, with steak tartare, steak frites, and lots of butter in and on everything.

Cherche Midi First, the bread. Very important. Bread is the first thing you get to eat at a restaurant so in my mind it should give you a hint of the identity of the restaurant In Cherche Midi’s case, it certainly did.

Cherche Midi
The bread was traditionally French (baguettes!) served with amazing butter. The baguettes had a perfectly crusty crust and a great spring to it (when you squeeze, it bounces back). Center was chewy, stretchy, and soft-but-not-too-soft. Promising.

Cherche Midi We shared the Frogs’ Legs with green garlic velouté, garlic chips, and crisp parsley ($19 – expensive). Despite how fancy it sounds, it tasted pretty un-fancy. The legs were fried well, and were very tender. Sauce was creamy and had a hint of garlic. Nothing to write home about.

Cherche Midi We also shared the Homemade Lobster Ravioli in ginger beurre blanc (aka. ginger butter sauce) with piquillo peppers ($28), which ended up being my favorite dish from the night. Amazingly fresh, sweet lobster (large chunks of it too) coated in a buttery sauce with little sweet peppers and what I think is definitely LEMONGRASS. Oh man was this tasty. I was happy to see Cherche Midi deviating from a traditional French-only menu. The ravioli skin also had a great bite to it.  Continue reading

Betony: creative and delicious offspring of Eleven Madison

BetonyBetony
41 West 57th Street
New York, NY 10019

I’m going to take you through my meal at Betony the way I wish I experienced it: aka. without the pretentious crowd and stuffy furnishing. More on this later. If you follow my blog, you’ll know that I’m not typically one to chase Michelin stars. Food that excites me is food that is undiscovered like Lan Larb or The Bao (though both have gotten pretty damn popular as of late). That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy fancy food. I like fancy pants food the same way I like going to art museums. I have a deep appreciation for passion involved in cooking and the creative work chefs do. I also like to paint though, and that kind of enjoyment is totally different. ANYWAY. LAW and I went to Betony recently and I was pumped because I had only heard good things. Started by two ex-Eleven-Madison-Park chefs, Betony has been raved about on the interwebs as a creatively delicious restaurant. Oh, it also has a Michelin star.

Betony
I started with the Beach Tea (Rhum Blanc, Cranberry Kombucha, and Absinthe Verte – $15). Oh. Hot. Damn. This is my jam. It looks pretty elementary but the mixologist performed some serious alchemy with this one. It tasted deliciously fruity and was REALLY strong in the best way possible: I felt a warmness creep into my body throughout the beverage without ever feeling like I was tasting alcohol. Alchemy.

Betony
Per my friend R.P.’s recommendation, we shared the Betony take on the lobster roll ($18). I was disappointed when I saw the dish because it’s nearly 20 bucks (enough for like 7 “burgers” at Xi’an Famous Foods) yet looks like a few sticks of Chinese egg rolls. Lesson learned to never judge a book by its cover because these little rolls were bursting (BURSTING, I tell you) with essence of lobster roll. I don’t understand how so much lobster flavor was jammed into these tiny cylinders but man were they tasty. The shell of the roll was a crispy, slightly flakey pastry. The filling was magic. Continue reading

Dieci, a romantic little Italian-Japanese place carved into 10th street

aDieci
228 E 10th St
(between 1st Ave & 2nd Ave)
New York, NY 10003

I was looking for a cozy little restaurant where LAW and I would be able to pause time for a couple of hours for his birthday. Dieci seemed to fit the bill. We had walked by this mysterious little restaurant a number of times and G.B. recently went and had very good things to say. The Italian-Japanese restaurant is carved into the ground on 10th street between 1st and 2nd avenues. Because the restaurant is below ground level, there is a certain quiet intimacy to it. We sat next to each other facing the window, where we could spy on East-Villagers walk by as we ate. Aside from the uncomfortably high and tiny bar seats (LAW had to rescue my lap napkin that fell to the floor at least three times), the place felt perfect for the occasion.


We started with the seared duck breast with garlic and scallions ($10 – I think). The portions were larger than I expected for a fancy-ish place like this. The duck was a little gamey, but almost in a good way. It was marinated in something a little sweet and salty and served with bits of scallion and garlic. Each piece had a thin sliver of fat attached to it, which cut the gameyness and added a little juiciness. Not standout but certainly tasty.

After having the squid ink pasta at Daily Catch recently, we’ve been on the hunt for a NY equivalent. This is the Tagliolini ($16), squid ink pasta, tomato, and calamari.


The tomato sauce was fantastic. Super fresh. Naturally sweet. Slightly garlicy. Simple. Definitely made with some very high quality tomatoes. The squid ink is probably the best I’ve had in the city thus far. Not many pasta places in NY offer squid ink so I don’t have much to compare to. It was very fragrant, as squid ink is without being too fishy, but could have been a little more al dente. Continue reading

The Bar Room at The Modern: come for business and not pleasure.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Bar Room at The Modern
9 W 53rd St
(between Avenue Of The Americas & 5th Ave)
New York, NY 10019

For you philistines out there, that would be the restaurant at the MOMA. I imagined all these artsy people dining there, discussing the latest David Zwirner gallery exhibit and Rembrandt’s recent appearance on Google for his birthday.

But… no. It was all businessmen gathered for a tasteful evening at the museum restaurant.

LAW and I came after work one day to celebrate a little occasion. Once I sat down I realized this isn’t the type of restaurant I would normally love to celebrate in. The tables are a little bit too large so that you are distanced from your dining partner – clearly not for a romantic or even cheery meal but more for a business lunch. Everyone spoke in contained voices and there was no laughter. Zero.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Nonetheless, I had a pretty good meal and was in good celebratory spirits anyway with the LAW. We started with the Tarte Flambee alsatian thin crust tart with Hen Of The Woods Mushrooms, Chive, And Comté Cheese Gratiné ($18).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The crust was super thin, and slightly crispy at the bottom. Mushrooms needed a little more shroom flavor (I would add truffle oil) but otherwise tasted very nice. Pleasant. Cheese was salty and was balanced by mushrooms. Chives added a nice kick. Nothing spectacular but served its purpose. Continue reading