Sunday, May 26, 2013

Dinner at Uncle Boons

From the outside the place looks like a Tiki bar. Actually, it looks Tiki all around. Kinda cool I think. So, here we are for some interesting Thai food.

How can you pass up Ancient Style Dip. For some reason the server had to mention that it was room temperature. Whatever. It was interesting, with salted black crab, ground pork & coconut cream. Interesting consistency, in a good way. Vegitables were great for dipping. Definitely better then chips for this type of dip. I didn't particulary like the light green vegitable slices, couldn't really tell what it was. Radish was my favorite.

Came highly recommended because it's made in house, on the sweeter side. Plus, it's "Mommy Pai’s recipe!" Can you say no? Pretty soft and juicy. Really liked this one and the cabbage was a nice crispy side.

Khao Soi Kaa Kai, also known as northern style golden curry with egg noodles, chicken leg, pickled mustard greens and coconut milk. Mix everything and add the spicy sauce on the side. Really it wasn't that spicy but still added a nice flavor. Chicken leg was great. Very soft and flavorful. Combination of ingredients worked very well. It's good stuff.

Nice crowd and happy atmosphere. Interesting date place, a nice break from the standard Italian or sushi. Great place to meet up with friends too. 

7 Spring St
New York, NY
(646) 370-6650 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Dinner at Lafayette

Ah yes, Lafayette. New and already widely known for great food and a French bakery, Boulangerie & Patisserie, offering delicious fruit tarts and pastries. If you don't have a reservation go earlier, not later.

These were highly recommended so out come Baked Oyster "Sargent". Honestly I thought they were just okay. Nothing extraordinary here. Fresh oysters with a light lemon sauce and seaweed.

Nice. Brioche was delicious, sweet, soft and lightly toasted and the smooth Foie Gras Terrine was creamy and flavorful. The combination of brioche and foie gras is great, can't go wrong with it. Rhubarb added a special level of tangy flavor. Very nice indeed. 

Spaghetti Ni├žoise was wonderful Full of flavor and textures. Mix it all up, encorporate all the flavors so that each bite is perfect. Haven't had such a delicious pasta in a while. Apparently we looked very happy eating this because newly seated couple asked what it was that looked so good.

Had to add a meat to the order. Looks delicious and it was but fairly standard to a good lamb dish and didn't really stand out as something very unique. Actually, it would have been a huge surprise if lamb at such restaurant was bad. So, no disappointments here.

We took some pastries to go. Perfect treat after a wonderful dinner. They're open for brunch now so that's something to try as well.

380 Lafayette Street
New York, NY
(212) 533-3000

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Dinner at Montmartre

Another restaurant brought to you by people who gave you Fedora, Jeffrey's Grocery and Perla. Can't get same day reservation so have to make it somewhat in advance, and they're closed on Mondays. This place is really small, only a few tables. So, finally got to go.

Small snack before dinner, actually pretty good. Crunchy and smooth. Liked this one.

First choice was Beef Tartare. Neat presentation, the egg was kind of fun to mix in. Wish there was a bit more spice though, it was a bit bland.

Rocotta Gnocchi. Mushrooms and peas with crunchy hazelnuts on top. Very good combination of ingredients. Thought it would be a bit more flavorful though.

Don't know what we were thinking but in addition to all the food that we already had we ordered short rib for two, the Pot-Au-Pho. It was so much food. Broth with vegies was delicious and the meat tender, flavorful and oh so filling.

It is somewhat comparable to Perla. Have to say that Perla still is my favorite restaurant. The food is good but I think really it's nothing special.

158 8th Ave
New York, NY
(646) 596-8838 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Dinner at ABC Cocina

I'm so exited! Finally, after all this time ABC Cocina is open. It came along after the huge sucess of it's wholesome, ---- sister, ABC Kitchen. After one week, it looks like the business couldn't be better. They're booked up every night. The space is cool, modern and yet delicate, the food is sure to be delicious based on Jean-Georges's record of making great restaurants. Overall a perfect formula for success. A lot of great expectations here.

Drinks? But of course! Light and crisp Sangria sounded perfect. White one is made with wine that's only made for Jean-Georges. Sounds fancy. Great sangria, I especially loved the wine soaked friut. Red sangria was my favorite of the two. Wine had nice spice to it and again, the wine soaked apples were amazing. It was gone before I remembered to take a picture. Another cocktail was a spicy basil jalapeno mix with casa noble anejo. Great kick and flavor. Good stuff.

First thing recommended was the Guacamole. To quote our server "it's banging". How can you say no to that. It was tasty indeed. Obviously the guacamole itself was just right but the addition of peas and sunflower seeds added a unique texture to the smoothness of avocados. If it's not spicy enough there's a jalapegno sauce tableside infused with oranges that pretty amazing.

To start, Mezcal Cured Salmon with cucamber-yogurt relish sounded like a winning choice. Such a light and delicate dish. Salmon was great, not too salty and had a wonderfully soft texture. Yogur and cucumber reminded me of Greek tzatziki. Interesting combination. Definitely a must try.

The tacos were an absolute must. Probably the most inventive and tasty tacos I've tried in a while. Chicken tacos were spectacular, white meat and chepotle sauce made a plain sounding chicken taco extremely flavorful and unique.

Short rib tacos with habanero relish and fizzled onions. Of course the meat was delicate and soft and yet not to the point that it fell appart. Really liked the way habanero relish added tartness and a bit of crunch. Just wonderful.

A simpler bite, the Peekytoe Crab Fritters, were somewhat uninspiring. They were good but not as interesting as all the previousl dishes. Not to worry though, there are gooey spicy ham and cheese fritters that I feel will be delicious next time.

Shrimp were nice but not my favorite. Garlic on top was a nice touch but added some bitterness to the shrimp. Inventive dish and I can see how people would love it but for me it was just okay.

Already too much food but we had to try something from the wood burning grill. Housemade Chorizo Sausage was the choice. Very good. Unexpectidly not very spice but the meat was juicy and soft, a pleasure to eat. 

Now how can we leave without dessert. Surprisingly there was not a good sounding chocolate dish so as recommended we tried the "imposible' flang with vanilla cake on the bottom. Good choice. Light and creamy on a thin vanilla base. Really liked that it wasn't too sugary.

Lastly, to get something cold and refreshing we decided to get Seasonal Popsicles. They were mango, pineapple basil, and chocolate coconut. I thought they would be small, sorbe-type bites but instead were like really traditional posicles. Delicious and refreshing. Perfect! We took them to go though and ate them on the way home. Perfect way to finish an amazing dinner at ABC Cocina. 

Can't wait to come back again really soon. The menu looks amazing. I want to try pretty much everything. So happy for this place.

ABC Cocina
38 E 19th St
New York, NY
(212) 677-2233 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

New Orleans - Jazz Festival

New Orleans Jazz Festival, 2013. So much fun!!! Obviously a lot of amazing music and art, many interesting people and great food. One of a kind experience.

A block away from Jazz Fest there's Liuzza's, serving awesome smokey Bloody Marys, Gumbo and BoBoy shrimp. Definitely stop by. Looks like nothing fancy, and it's not, but it's as it should be. Quick and yummy.

Jazz Fest1
Festival Food. Tons of places here serving everything from PoBoys to Fried Aligator to Crab Cakes. Jambalaya is a must, Creole style. Seasoned and spiced rice with sausage and chicken. Wonderfully simple and oh so good.

Cafe Du Monde
Cafe Du Monde only serves Beignets and coffe, that's it. Yet there is a line out the door to get in. Yes, it looks like it's a tourist spot but still is a good place to check off breakfast beignets on your list. 

Pierre Masperon
Jambolaya at  Pierre Masperon was my favorite. Tomato sauce, chicken and andouille sausage with blackened grilled shrimp. Just perfect.

PoBoy was very tasty as well. We only ate the meat though, bread was a bit too much. Fries were good but nothing extraordinary.

The next morning for brunch we randomly stumbled upon SoBou. Seemed like a cool place with Creole style food, just what we were looking for. Had to get the gumbo everywhere we went. This was nice and full of flavor but honestly I liked the gumbos at Jazz Fest better.  

Also had to try Butternut Squash Beignets. Sounded very good, and rightly so. Not too sweat, very flavorful, covered with foie gras fondue sauce. Delicious and filling.

What's a meal in the New Orleans without grits. Beef Short Rib & Grits were absolutely amazing! Creamy grits and soft short rib just melt in your mouth.  Can't say enough good things about it.

Last evening in New Orleans was dedicated to a highly underrated restaurant called Mulate's. It was recomended by a local friend for great Cajun-Creole food. Try the Cajun Calemari. Very nice with lemon and sauces.   

Day's special was blackened Mahi-Mahi with shrimp skewer, side of jambolaya, backed potatoe and vegies. Good decision to order it. Fish was very fresh and nicely prepared. Jambalaya was just okay but the potatoe was amazing. Very filling plate of food.

Finish off properly, with a key lime pie. It was just right and really hit the spot.

Great trip with amazing experiences. New Orleans, music and food, what could be better.

3636 Bienville St 
New Orleans, LA
(504) 482-9120

Cafe DuMonde
800 Decatur Street
New Orleans, LA 
(504) 525-4544 

Pierre Masperos
440 Chartres St
New Orleans, LA 
(504) 524-8990

310 Chartres St
New Orleans, LA 
(504) 552-4095

201 Julia St 
New Orleans, LA 
(504) 522-1492