Thursday, April 29, 2010

Honey took me out on a date last Friday to one of our fave go-to date night spots, Mangiamo.  We love to squeeze in at the bar and order a bunch of apps to share.  Here are two noteworthy ones; the simple but always satisfying caprese salad and the melt-in-your-mouth-to-die-for mushroom gnocchi.  I can't describe these to you.  They are super light and fluffy with a porcini mushroom interior and a hint of truffle.  Yes, thats straight butter they're resting in.  Heaven. (pic source)

What I ate...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Today for lunch I had a small salad with leftover dressing from my fave veggie restaurant, The Green Temple, a 1/2 cup of soup I made last week with peppers, zucchini, onion, artichokes & fennel and 2 pieces of this frozen pizza I was dying to try.  It was Amy's Gluten-free, Dairy-free pizza with a rice crust.  Before you scoff, I have to say it was NOT BAD.  The crust was kinda sweet and reminded me of cornmeal and the cheese (I think they use that awesome dairy free Daiya) melted and had some flavor - not glue-y.  I give it a thumbs up if you are on the hunt for something like that.

The Dirty Dozen

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My husband found this darling cheat sheet for me on my paper crane. Kudos to them for creating this cute card that fits in your wallet to remind you of the dirtiest fruits and veggies so you don't have to blow all your cash on organic produce.  Wouldn't this make fun wallpaper?

Pretty Salad

Monday, April 26, 2010
We went to Sushi for dinner the other night at our local Sashi.  I can't eat sushi for another 5 and a half months so it gave me a chance to take advantage of the other fine offerings of Japanese restaurants.  We love seaweed salad.  Look at this presentation!  It looks like a big caterpillar roll!  The seaweed was stuffed in side and the outside was molded with beautiful gem green slivers of avocado.  It was garnished with paper thin slices of jalapeno and edible flowers.  I've never seen anything like it.  I've been craving soup all through this pregnancy so naturally I had to get the Morimoto's famous chicken noodle.  It was so simple and pure - it really hit the spot.

NY Part II

Sunday, April 25, 2010
We went to Norma's for the first time.  Jesus.  The plates of food were just unreal.  It took me an hour to decide.  I got hot chestnut pancakes with candied chestnuts and brown sugar sauce.  Cousin got Norma's blueberry pancakes with devonshire cream.  We all ate until we were sick and went walking after on 5th ave to search for a birthday present for moi. 
Ok.  My man had to fit in his beloved Katz's deli visit before we left the big Apple and I would not have denied him that.  So we ate this gut bomb of a breakfast.  Corned beef sandwich on rye with a SIDE of chopped chicken liver and fried eggs with a bagel. Oh my gosh.  We had to walk back tot he hotel after that.  We made our way past Russ and Daughter's famous appetizers and smoked salmon & then we walked from the lower east side to Greenwich village to Magnolia bakery to get cupcakes.  See, it didn't take long....
Patricia Fields' famous trashy storefront.  So SITC! 
Cute graffiti on the bathroom wall of a coffee shop.
Peter Luger's was the grand finale.   We started with the bacon appetizer and tomato and onion salad.  My cousin, the master of the meal, insisted we top it with the house "steak sauce" and have a small bite of each all together.  Like a BLT type of thing.  Then just basic steak and baked potato, accompanied by creamed spinach.  I was very jealous of their martinis but I got over it. Man.  I love NY. 

(picture sources: cupcakes, katz's exterior, peter luger's exterior, )

NY Part 1

Monday, April 5, 2010
We stayed at the Gramercy Park hotel by Union Square.  It was very charming.  Our room was a little dark, but cozy and colorful.  What we loved about the hotel was that the whole place smelled like burnt embers and cedar.  We asked them what it was, and they said it was a candle that they actually sell in the mini bar!  Its called Cade 26 and its by Le Labo.  We immediately packed it to take home.  Probably cost us 30 bones but we thought it was worth every penny.
(L'artusi pic from L'artusi website)
The first night in NY we went to a busy little bistro called L'Artusi in SoHo.  We had a bunch of small plates but we were so ravenous I barely pulled out my camera in time to capture the beautiful fried sunchokes, the perfectly al dente Garganelli with mushroom ragu or the grilled octopus with potatoes, chilies, olives and pancetta.  We loved it. Enjoy the pix from and  always hungry ny
(picture compliments of
Afterward, we hopped over to Little Branch, a tiny underground bar that had great jazz and what I liked the most is that the bartenders were extremely conscientious about their cocktail making.  They hand chipped large squares of ice from a solid block and made old school libations in smaller, vintage-looking martini glasses.  I had a virgin ginger soda with lime and sugar cane which was almost as good as a real cocktail and Silas had some concoction of gin and bitters and Pernod.  It was the bartenders choice.

The next morning; french press coffee to heal the jet lag.


D and D.  The most beautiful specialty store on earth.  I was wishing I had a kitchen to cook some of that beautiful fish in.


My favorite restaurant in NY.  We didn't go this time but the magnetic force pulling us towards its awnings was strong.

So.  Babbo.  Very exciting for me to report - we walked in, when they opened, at 530 on Friday evening and scored seats at the bar for a quick bite before the show.  I tried to take pictures of the food, but believe me, you don't want to see it.  Sometimes pictures of food, when the lighting is right, can be great.  Other times, in fact most times, it looks like dog food.  Here's a photo from Tasty Good Times.
(photo from la esquina website and below from here)

Rock of Ages was phenomenal.  I highly recommend it.  It was a 2 hour hair band concert, more or less, with all the songs that just bring you back.  Styx, Foreigner, Motley Crew, Poison, Damn Yankees, etc.  Pictures of Times Square from the cab. La Esquina and our late night after-show dinner of heavy mexican before bed.  After a few Don Julios on the rocks (drunk by husband, not by me)  Silas and I started designing what the bar would look like in our dream house.   We decided its going to be a full blown tequileria with artwork like this macabre piece about and brick walls and tile.  I was up until 130!  I deserve a prize.  And I got one.
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