January 31, 2010

Lamn/n Zhou's Hand-Pulled Noodles

Beef Tendon Noodle Soup

Duck Noodle Soup with... not sure what that is. Tasted like octopus, but sort of also like heart?

Hand Made Noodles

There's nothing quite like a steamy bowl of noodle soup with your choice of meat and fixings on a frigid New York afternoon. After some target practice at the West Side Rifle & Pistol Range, we (B, S^2) decided to hit up Lam/n Zhou Hand Pulled Noodles & Dumplings in East Chinatown.

January 30, 2010

Mini Reese's Cup Brownie Bites





Drop a (Mini) Reese's PB Cup into the middle of each cupcake and press down

As soon as I saw the recipe for Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Bites on Savory Sweet Life, I planned on making them. However, sacrificing more precious (storage-scarce) kitchen space on a mini cupcake pan was not ideal. Fortunately, my resourceful friend A happened to have the necessary bakeware. She agreed to lend her equipment for a portion of the finished goods (bonus: I also convinced her to help me with the production process). The recipe was easy to follow and a breeze to make. The bites were an instant hit at the office and a great birthday surprise for my friend P. By the way, he's got a killer new album up. Go check it out!

January 29, 2010

Restaurant Week: Dovetail

Rabbit Terrine Mille Feuille at Dovetail

Squid a la Plancha at Dovetail


Perfect Medium Rare Hanger Steak from Dovetail

Dovetail's Vanilla Panna Cotta w/ Clementine Soda (AMAZING)

Tea-infused icecream... Jasmine maybe?

When A.G. of Always Eating alerted me to the pre-release of the Restaurant Week Winter 2010 participants list, I attacked OpenTable with the enthusiasm that I usually reserve for Gilt Groupe's Final 70% Off Sales. Dovetail was the restaurant that I confirmed reservations for (although it will be the second that I attend, after an unplanned dinner to Nice Matin). The lovely name "Dovetail" means to join together harmoniously. Technically, it's a joinery technique found in skilled woodworking. While the dishes weren't literal translations of the name (although the Rabbit Mille Feuille did look a bit like it), the concept was beautifully expressed in the taste and surroundings that my good friend A and I so happily enjoyed.

January 28, 2010

Oysters: Raw vs Fried



On a whim, my new officemate S and I decided to hit up the Mermaid Oyster Bar for their Blue Plate Special (Lobster Sandwich, Blue Point Toasted Lager, and Old Bay Fries for $20) on Tuesday night. Unfortunately, S got called into an end-of-day meeting that finished an hour after the special was over. Being the determined eaters that we are, we ordered the Lobster Sandwich anyway and were rewarded with heaping piles of juicy lobster meat between two burger buns.

January 27, 2010

Out of the Kitchen

Chicken "Tangine" w/ Cous Cous from Out of the Kitchen

The Chicken Tangine and Cous Cous from Out of the Kitchen was surprisingly delicious. The meat was tender and packed with great Moroccan spices. I love the texture of Cous Cous in my mouth. It's like eating soft Pop Rocks to me. For about $12, it was enough food to have two filling lunches with.

January 26, 2010

Hot Plates Live

My Favorite of the night: Pork Belly from Bia Garden

Ricotta Crostini with Octopus Skewer from Corsino

Glazed Ribs from The Norry at Kampuchea

Deconstructed Cheesecake from Spot

You know that you're in for a fun night when you're able to have melt-in-your-mouth pork belly, deconstructed cheesecake, and cactus-topped tortilla chips under the same roof. Last night R and I went to the Hot Plates Live tasting event (hosted by Metromix) at the Highline Ballroom. Under the canopy of multi-colored spotlights, which were horrendous to take photos under, we elbowed our way through the eaters to reach our plated prizes. One by one, we conquered each table in a speedy and efficient manner. Eating first and then taking photos was the way to go.

January 24, 2010

Restaurant Week: Nice Matin

Sole Almondine from Nice Matin

Crème Brulée from Nice Matin

I've walked past Nice Matin over a hundred times and have always wondered, "why is it so busy?" B and I decided to investigate as to why this neighborhood French bistro was so hot when the world around it was cold. 

January 22, 2010

Belated Birthday Noodles

Belated Birthday Noodles

Tasty Char Siu Pork!

It is Chinese tradition to eat noodles, ideally "longevity noodles," on your birthday to symbolize your wish for a long and happy (carb-filled) life. So naturally, a big bowl of noodles in broth with a hearty pile of roast duck, char siu pork, and Chinese kale was waiting for me when I arrived at my parent's home. Everything really hit the spot and a great start to the weekend.

January 20, 2010

Eyecandy Ingredients

Shiitake Mushrooms

Napa Cabbage

Chopped Ginger


From top to bottom: shiitake mushroom, Napa cabbage, chopped ginger, dumpling ingredients.

More Dumpling Experiments



Dumpling dinner


What is better than a few dumplings? More dumplings!!! I decided to use up my leftover wrappers and make some on my own. As I didn't have any guests to satisfy, I had the freedom to experiment with the recipe. Being the nerd that I am, I actually made three batches of filling and assigned one as the "control" group and the two others as "experimental" groups. I'll save you from the nitty gritty, but here are the highlights in my observations:

January 18, 2010

Lam/n Zhou Dumplings

Whenever I'm craving for dumplings, but not in the mood to make my own, I turn to my trusty supply of frozen Vanessa's Dumplings (50 for $9). However, I recently discovered another dumpling paradise on the east side of Chinatown that sells a bag of 50 frozen ones for $8! This magical place is called Lan Zhou (or maybe Lam Zhou in Engrish) Hand Made Noodles & Dumpling and it's located on East Broadway. It is the quintessential hole-in-the-wall eatery: a shabby little joint that sells remarkably delicious food. I think at least one of the storekeepers there speaks English, so you won't need to pull out your Mandarin skills like I did. I also wouldn't have discovered the place if it hadn't been for my Chinatown-savvy friend A.

Butter Lane Cupcake

The Apple Spice cupcake from Butter Lane. Super tasty and I love the popcorn on top!

January 17, 2010

Dumpling-Making BDay Party

My first dumpling!

Or pan fry

Some odd ball dumplings

Crispy fried dumpling

For my birthday last year, I rented out the VIP room at Blue Owl for a lively cocktail party. This year I decided to focus on the food, so I hosted a small dumpling-making birthday party at home with a handful of friends. I haven't made dumplings since my early teenage years while living in the middle of Indiana. Thanks to Grace of gracenotes nyc and my mom (who didn't think that I could pull this off), I had a pretty good idea of how to make the filling and run the show.

January 16, 2010

Blue Hill

One (BIG) Bite

I've died and have gone to Lardo heaven

Fresh scallop sashimi

Creamy rice, chorizo and octopus

Blue Hill's main course on Jan 12th's tasting menu

Meyer Lemon icecream over grapefruit & pomegranate

NY State Wheat "Pudding" and homemade granola and passion fruit icecream

Coconut covered marshmellow and chocolate truffles

I was inspired to celebrate my birthday this year at Blue Hill after being exposed to an issue of national importance. No, the Obamas' date night didn't have anything to do with it. As of late December, I have been immersed in Michael Pollan's book, "The Omnivore's Dilemma" during my routine commutes to work. Prior to opening this book and watching Food Inc., I pathetically had little knowledge about the food industry. To make a long story short, I became captivated by the progressive, yet also ancient practice of sustainable (polyculture) farming and organic (grass-fed) meat production. Driven by the notion of eating with integrity, I felt compelled to seek out somewhere or someone in the city that also shared the same point of view. Luckily, Dan Barber of Blue Hill was well ahead of me. He has been leading the farm-to-table movement for nearly a decade. Upon browsing Blue Hill's understated website, I knew that this was the right place to start the next chapter of my 20-something year old life.

January 15, 2010

Shucking Oysters with Laurence Edelman


Freshly Shucked Oysters


Shucking Oysters w/ Exec Chef Edelman

On Thurday, I got a chance to learn how to shuck oysters with a true expert: Laurence Edelman, executive chef at The Mermaid Oyster Bar and The Mermaid Inn. Gaining hands-on experience with oyster shucking was one of the first things on my 2010 resolution list. Not only was this "birthday gift" super fun to learn, it's a gift that just keeps on giving. (Free agent oysters out there: you better watch out.)