31 January 2012

Running through Lincoln Center

I love going to the symphony (I used to have a wonderful connection at the Kennedy Center in DC and went a lot back in the day) and I decided it was time to finally see the New York Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall.

The program included Beethoven's Violin Concerto, Stravinsky's Symphony in Three Movements and Ravel's Daphnis et Chloe Suite No. 2. 

I received an email and phone call reminding me that there was no late seating.  Sam and Alpha arrived on time.  I was late.  We ran to our seats.  It added to the romance of the event.  The theater is absolutely beautiful and I loved looking down on the musicians.

Sam and Alpha looking appropriately elegant for the night.

I loved the chandeliers/mobiles in the lobby of the theater.

30 January 2012

Mer's Food Design

I had a small get together and Mer was there to put out the food.  Her work is always worth documenting.

My fruit box came with lots of avocados so I made guacamole but no cilantro.  I never choose to cook with cilantro. It's still delicious.

I bought the cheese from Lucy's Whey in Chelsea Market.  I bought a lovely chevre which I doused with honey, a manchego (but made in the US since that is the only kind of cheese sold at Lucy's), and a really nice sharp cheddar.  The cheese was served with dried figs and California almonds.

Bread bought from Amy's Bread and crackers from  Chelsea Market Basket.  You can always find some amazing food item or gift in this shop.

I also made this a lemon tart from a recipe found on Smitten Kitchen (one of my go to sites for recipes) but I forgot to take a picture of it before digging into it.  It was also delicious.  I received Meyer lemons in my box and I was so excited to bake with them.

Franny's in Brooklyn

I walked into Castor & Pollux in the West Village close to 3 years ago and met the very lovely owner.  On her recommendation, I went to Franny's in Brooklyn with Brigham and Hillary during the summer of 2009.  I remember eating outside and enjoying the lovely evening.  We finished off the night seeing a pseudo-Smiths band at the Bell House with Nick and Chateau.  It was a classic evening.

And I knew I needed to return to Franny's to taste the pizza again.  I met up with Suvi and Jess last Monday night and barely waited for a table.

Suvi and I split the wood-roasted pork sausage with sweet potatoes but the picture just did not look right enough to post.  The pizzas were as good as I remembered. My co-diners couldn't wait for the pictures to be taken before eating.

Suvi and I shared the tomato, mozzarella and sausage.

Jess ate the extra virgin olive oil and sea salt.

I won't compare it to Roberta's because they are different from one another but both are good in their own way.


I've been fascinated by the photographer Weegee for years.  I was so happy to see his pictures of crime, death and spectators at the ICP this weekend. 

25 January 2012

A.P.C + Anthropologie =

The perfect item on a cold winter night.  It's helped me through the flu and bronchitis.

23 January 2012

Banana Walnut Pancakes That Made Trish Cry

Trish and I decided to grab food on Saturday.  It was later in the day and I mentioned the possibility of Clinton Street Baking Co. only because I thought the line would not be long. Typically it can be a 90 minute wait if you're lucky.  It was also snowing and sometimes New Yorkers like to stay inside on those kind of days. Trish had never been so we decided to meet there.  I hadn't been since Spring 2009 but it still a place I think about on a semi-regular basis. 

Trish arrived before me and put our name on the list.  She had the horrible experience of having to wait for me in a semi-empty restaurant while watching every table become occupied because I was late.  She was also hungry.  The restaurant also has this absurd practice of letting people put their names on the list but then letting them leave for an hour but getting the first table when they return.  We saw everyone and their baby get seated before us even though we were standing there for 45 minutes.

By the time we sat down we knew exactly what we wanted.  When the food came, we barely spoke.  We just enjoyed. 

Trish ate eggs benedict which is so much better than typical eggs benedict because of the buttermilk biscuits cradling the ham and eggs.

I had the buttermilk biscuit sandwich with eggs, cheddar cheese, homemade tomato jam (it's like salsa but better) and bacon.

And these are the banana walnut pancakes with warm maple syrup that tasted more like caramel sauce.  Trish cried when she had her first bite.  These pancakes are worth dreaming about.  We already have plans to return and they serve pancakes all day long.

And I asked for the raspberry jam.  This is jam that is the perfect combination between sugar and fruit.  I put it on everything.

We ended the outing by going to see Haywire.  The pancakes were so much better than the movie.

22 January 2012

Duck Duck Pork

I believe it was last summer that David Chang moved The Milk Bar across the street and opened a duck bar in that area of the Momofuku Ssam restaurant (I think that is changing to a real bar soon).  With that development, the restaurant offered up a large format meal serving rotisserie duck similar to their bo ssam meal.  I love duck or rather I love eating duck.  It's one of my favorite dishes and I knew this meal was in my future.  I also knew Brigham and Dave would be right there with me.

It took a few weeks to find a 6:30 reservation but I finally got one for January 10.  I had just recovered from the flu and was in the beginning stages of bronchitis during this dinner which explains the long time lapse between the event and the post. 

The cast of characters -

It took me a few tries to get this pic of Brigham.  Check out his not so dark photos of the dinner here.
Trish doesn't like duck but she came for the catfish and the company.
Evan and Alpha.
And me with Alpha.
The dinner comes with a whole rotisserie duck, chive pancakes, bibb lettuce, hoisin sauce, duck scallion sauce and crispy shallots.

For sides, we chose the fingerling potatoes with spicy black bean sauce.

And the broccoli with bluefish dressing.

The duck platter was a work of art in itself.  Underneath all of that greenery is an entire delicious duck with sausage rice.

One of Alpha's creations. 

That one last piece of duck breast was later eaten by Brigham.  It was too delicious to not eat.

My one picture using a flash.  It does look so much better but so much more annoying.

So the server mentioned this delicious large format dessert to finish the meal.  He described it as a s'more and immediately we all said yes.  I think this is one dessert that we'd rather have taste like a s'more rather than the "idea" of a s'more.  The greek yogurt ice cream on top was not a crowd favorite.

Excellent meal with excellent people.  I also love that a large portion of our conversation dealt with Blue Ivy, the meaning of the name, and people who twitter late at night.

09 January 2012


Remember this post where I mentioned Bon Appetit's Best New Restaurants 2011?  I finally went to number one on the list in Charleston, SC - Husk with my brother and his very lovely wife.  I'd also read about the chef Sean Brock in the New Yorker (article not online) and was looking forward to the outing.

At the entrance, we saw this sign that explains the origin of every food item on the menu.  It's exciting because Brock is growing his own vegetables and grains with seeds that haven't been grown since the 19th Century in the South. 

The server put this on our table and explained it was turnips grown from Brock's crops.

The restaurant's decor wasn't very exciting but the food made up for it.

For starters, I had the Mepkin Abbey Mushroom Stew with Baby Red Mustard Greens, Poached Egg from Celeste Albers and GA Parmesan.  We all voted and my dish won for best starter at the table.

My brother had the Celery Root Bisque, TX Wagyu Brisket, Brioche Croutons and TN Perigord Truffle.  It tasted much better once Hot Sauce that came with the next dish was added to it.

And the last dish was Southern Fried Chicken Skins with Husk Hot Sauce and Collard Green Marmalade.  I thought this was incredible but I stopped after one bite. 

I once again ordered something amazing - Adam's Pork Chop, Toasted Farro and Kale, Charred Sweet Potatoes, Roasted Marshmallow, TN Chocolate Demi Glace.  As my brother said, it was like smores with pork.  And it was delicious.

The second best main was the Golden Tile Fish, Wood Fired Brussels, Ambrose Farms Baby Carrots, Meyer Lemon Milk Whey Vinaigrette.  The fish melted in my mouth.

And the only disappointment was the Border Springs Country Fried Lamb, Smoky Sea Island Red Peas, Black Cherry Tomatoes, Ham Braised Collards, Red Eye Gravy because the lamb was very fatty and kind of bland.

We also ordered a side of Ambrose Farms Broccoli with Pickled Garlic, Lemon and Chilis which I really liked.

For dessert, I think we all wanting chocolate but there was none on the menu.  Instead, we ordered two dishes of Oatmeal pie with salted caramel ice cream and chocolate syrup.  This pie is the cousin of Momofuku's crack pie.

02 January 2012

Chili & Charades

I had friends over January 1 to eat chili, watch movies and play games.

I love making chili because it is so easy and I get to make it in my Le Creuset pot.  The recipe I have is from a dear friend and he's being using it for years.

Guaranteed Delicious Beef Chili

2 1/2 lbs chuck
2 cups chopped onion
1 chopped green pepper
3 tble spn chili powder
2 cloves garlic pressed
1 1/2 tspn dried oregano
1 tspn dried basil
1/4 tspn crshed red pepper
1 tspn grnd cumin
1 tspn salt
1 tble spn sugar
2 cans 1 lb whole tomato, undrained
2 cans 1 lb kidney beans, drained
2 cans 8 oz tomato sauce
1 can 6 oz tomato paste

Brown meat and drain.
Add onion, pepper, garlic and dry ingredients and sautee about 20 mins.
Then add beans, tomatoes and sauce. Bring to boil and then simmer for about an hour and bob's ur uncle.

If I can't eat it with Mac & Cheese (an amazing combination), then I choose sour cream and cheddar cheese.

I bought cherry chocolate bread from Amy's Bread which is delicious.

Alpha and Sam enjoying some Martinelli's.

Dave is wonderful and always brings board games to play but we end up with too many people and then we play Charades.  I need to remember though that Charades with these people is two hours of non-stop laughter.  I wish I could remember the answers for all of the pictures.  Maybe others can remember and post in comments.

Erin in an action shot.

Dave is a very good Mr. Snuffleupagus.

Kristina embracing life.

The cutest sequence is Jendar trying to get us to guess Anita from West Side Story.

Sam is Snookie.

Action shot from Alpha.

Alpha made Dave act like a Tin Soldier from FAO Schwartz and we had to guess that entire phrase before Dave could stop.

I think Erin was a skyscraper here or a banana being peeled.

And Alpha doing something which was so great but I cannot remember it.