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…
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.
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.
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 Traif: Asian Influenced Tapas & Bacon Donuts =O
Park Avenue Summer
260 Park Avenue South (between 25th and 26th streets)
New York, NY 10010
OMGOMGOMGGGGG it’s almost WINTER and I have yet to post about my INCREDIBLE dinner at Park Avenue Summer from… the SUMMER! I’m sad on so many levels: 1) summer is over, 2) fall, my favorite season, snuck up on me and is on its way out already (I haven’t even taken out my fall clothes yet!!), and 3) I’ve really abandoned this blog :( I’m currently working on all kinds of things so that one day my food life and work life can maybe merge and become one. How amazing would that be?? This blog has been such a crucial outlet for me so THANK YOU ALL for being so supportive!
Okay. I know. You don’t care. I’m a sap (it’s not that time of the month I swear). Onto the food.
B.J., K.C., R.Y. and I had a ladies’ dinner here in August during Restaurant Week ($38 for an appetizer, entree, and dessert). The restaurant used to be uptown but recently moved to Flatiron, “offering a more casual, accessible version” of the restaurant. Casual and accessible is right. The place was super classy and the food was definitely high-end cuisine but the mood was light – something I loved about the restaurant. Our waiter made us laugh (THE FLORAL ARRANGEMENTS #insidejoke) but was professional at the same time. In general, I’m not the biggest fan of going to fancy restaurants because they’re usually stuffy and overly polite (and my table of friends somehow always ends up being the loudest). Park Avenue Summer allowed me to have amazingly delicate food without the stuffy package.
Oh, and for those of you who don’t know, the restaurant changes seasonally (the name of it, the menu, the decor – everything) so is worth going to at least four times a year.
Our amuse bouche: watermelon cubes on a stick with a creamy spicy sauce on top. Tres refreshing. Continue reading Park Avenue Summer: Excellent Restaurant Week Choice
351 East 12th Street (between 1st and 2nd Ave)
New York, NY 10003
I haven’t been this psyched about a restaurant in a while (The Bao aside, of course). I didn’t know what I wanted to eat but wanted something new and great. I was looking for an unconventional place with unconventional food. Ducks Eatery happened to be exactly what I was looking for. The menu is like a blend of comfort soul food with Southeast Asian flavors. Very, very interesting. And surprisingly very, very good.
T.W. and I both had the Watermelon Gimlet ($12) with watermelon, gin, lavender, and lime. Very light and refreshing.
We all shared a couple appetizers. FIrst up is this Smoked Duck Salad ($13) with black rice, pomegranate, apple, and black garlic. The pomegranate and apple added a great tartness and crunch to the almost creamy, smokey duck. Black rice was a really interesting addition. It was a little sweet and chewy, which rounded out the dish quite nicely.
These are the Smoked Mussels ($14) with chili oil, house cultured smoke butter, and toast with maple and chive. Also H.W.’s favorite appetizer of the night. The smoked mussels were pretty damn intense. Slightly fishy, very smokey, and bathed in a flavorful oily sauce. It was a serious flavor trip. Continue reading Ducks Eatery: Soul food meets Southeast Asian flavors
I made this and am damn proud of it. Not because it was difficult to make, ’cause it wasn’t (at all), but because it tasted like the real thing! Sticky, sweet ‘n sour, saucy, and fall off the bone delicious. It’s way better than that American sweet and sour stuff, trust me. I made the ribs with some jasmine rice and vegetables and wolfed it all down immediately.
I can’t stress enough how easy it is to make. I only had to buy the ribs, everything else I had in my kitchen. If you cook Chinese food a lot, you will have everything needed in your kitchen as well. I adapted the recipe, changing a few things here and there, from Fushia Dunlop’s Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook, which I found on Steamy Kitchen’s blog.
- 1.5 pounds of pork ribs
- 2×2 inches of ginger, sliced into thin “coins”
- 6 green onions, cut into 2-inch sections
- 1 tablespoon of Chinese rice wine (I used Shao Xing)
- Generous pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons of cooking oil
- 2 tablespoons of dark soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons of white sugar (real recipe calls for 4 tablespoons. I think 2 is enough.)
- 1 tablespoon of Chinese black vinegar (can substitute with balsamic)
- 1 tablespoon of corn starch Continue reading Shi’s Kitchen: 糖醋排骨 (Sweet and Sour Pork Ribs)
Brother Jimmy’s BBQ
116 E 16th St
(between E Union Sq & Irving Pl)
New York, NY 10003
We wanted to watch the game. I wanted some ribs. The guys wanted some beer. And so off we went to Brother Jimmy’s!
Notice how I angled my camera so that the focus of the photo is the brussels sprouts. These brussels sprouts were a-m-a-z-i-n-g. They were pan fried to crispy perfection and there was a ton of them. This plate is the Combo Rib Platter ($21.75) which consists of three types of ribs, two sides, cornbread, and pickles. The three types of ribs were Northern Style (smoked and grilled with bbq sauce), Southern Style (smoked with memphis style rub), and Jimmy Style (smoked with Jimmy rub). I tend to like the saucier ribs over the dry-rubbed southern style ones because dry rub is easily made too tough. The memphis-style rub actually tasted better the next day with our Chinese meal at home. I slow roasted it in the oven a bit to warm it up and softened the meat. It tasted a little like Chinese 蒜香排骨 (garlic ribs): a little sweet, salty, crispy, and sliiightly spicy. Yum. Again, brussels sprouts were amazing. It also made me feel like I was having a healthy meal… veggies, protein, and sweet potato! Fries were good. Crisp on the outside and mushy on the inside. Corn bread was good…. but not as good as….
Continue reading Not bad, Brother Jimmy!
Didn’t have a butcher’s knife so could not chop these down into little pieces like they should be. This dish is fairly easy to make. Boil the ribs. Then sauté the ribs with soy, brown sugar, and Chinese vinegar. Add salt to taste. Easy and tasty meat dish. Make extra sauce to go with your rice.