March 29, 2010

Chinatown Cake Club

Chinatown Cake Club Entrance... Speakeasy Chic!

Last Finishing Touches

Cake and Treats Galore!

Strawberry Shortcake


Joel's Birthday Cake, Black & White Icebox Cake The Cake Bouncer

Down an unremarkable street in Chinatown and through a dodgy looking metal gate lies a confection-filled paradise known as the Chinatown Cake Club. This demure and intimate sweets speakeasy opens for just one day (six hours) every month. Once you are granted permission to enter from Joel (cake club bouncer as pictured above), which you can request online at a specified time, you're welcome to sample all of the homemade cakes, cookies, crumbles, and icecreams that pastry chef Victoria Howe has created for $20.

March 26, 2010





Lelabar is one of my favorite wine bars in the West Village. It also helps that it's just three blocks away from the office (can we say happy hour?) Convenience aside, I've also always enjoyed very good wines, foods and service there. Not to mention that on every Wednesday and Saturday, they also offer $1 oysters. They're known to serve Malpeques, but this time they had a local variety from Long Island (not Blue Point). When oysters aren't on the menu, I like to nibble on their cheeses and meats.

March 24, 2010

Dining by Design

Dining by Design: Little Red Riding Hood

Dining by Design: Paper 2

Dining by Design: Continental Airlines

Dining by Design: Ralph Lauren

Dining by Design: Pop Art

Last Sunday, I met up with Amy (of AmyBlogsChow) in front of Pier 94 to go to DIFFA's Dining by Design exhibit at the Architectural Digest Home Design Show. We had no idea we were in for such a cool treat! A large block of space within the Home Design Show was blocked off for these dining interior exhibits. Scattered throughout the exhibit were tables of samples from different restaurants and food companies. I absolutely loved the gelato samples from Taste Gelato Artigianale and the tuna tartare cigars from Buddakan weren't bad either.

More pics can be found here.

March 19, 2010

Celery, Pear & Hazenut Salad

Celery, Pear and Hazelnut Salad


Fresh Ingredients for Salad

On Sunday, I decided to host a small dinner for my two college buddies D & M, both who I haven't seen in ages. M used to be my roommate, but now resides in SF and happened to be in town for business this week. We weren't able to get together last Friday for lunch, which is why I was able to go with S to ENJB, so we made an alternate food date. She also invited D, a mutual friend from school. D just recently got engaged (congratulations!) Her gorgeous ring almost needed its own seat at the table. :P

March 13, 2010

Sake Bar Hagi

Raw Octopus Marinated in Wasabi... my fave

Yakitori at Sake Bar Hagi

Pork Belly

Sake Bar Hagi is one of my favorite not-so-well kept secrets (I love telling people about this place and I hate telling people about this place). For me, it is probably the ONLY restaurant worth going to around Times Square.

EN Japanese Brasserie

Unadon Lunch Set

Unadon - Grilled Eel over Sushi Rice

Sue Hearts Her Fried Chicken Lunch Set!

Pork Belly and Crispy Lotus

EN Japanese Brasserie began their lunch service three months ago and would advertise the menu in my office building's lobby. So every day coming into work, I would walk by it and predictably do a double take on the words: CRISPY FRIED CHICKEN. Well finally today, I got the chance to check it out with my good friend S. We practically had the entire front of the restaurant to ourselves, which made it quite a zen-like experience. I ordered the Unadon (grilled eel over rice, served with mizuna and watercress salad w/ ponzu dressing and housemade miso soup) for $13 and a side of Buta Bara to Renkon no Kinpira (thinly sliced pork belly & sauteed lotus root) for $5. S ordered the Crispy Fried Chicken (served with the same salad, freshly made tofu with wari joyu, chef's selection of obanzai & oshinko, steamed white rice and miso soup) for $13. While I thoroughly enjoyed my unadon and pork belly and lotus root, I was quite covetous of S's lunch set's presentation and variety. Fortunately, she was kind enough to let me sample everything on her plate. It was a great way to end an otherwise dreary (and rainy) Friday.

March 8, 2010

Comfort Food

Comfort Food: Chicken Fried Steak w/ Diced Potato Gravy, Spicy Mac & Cheese, and Creamed Spinach w/ Crispy Fried Onions

Mac & Cheese w/ Toasted Bread Crumbs

Creamed Spinach topped with Crispy Fried Onions

I have been quite busy over the last couple of weeks and have really missed cooking with B. So this weekend we made it a point to go all out with a "Southern Comfort" dinner that consisted of chicken fried steak, diced potato gravy, spicy macaroni and cheese, and creamed spinach topped with fried onions. Intense right? The meal, or at least the protein of choice, was B's idea. He caught the end of a Cooking for Real episode with Sunny Anderson on the Food Network and was totally sold on making some chicken fried steak. I naively thought that it was just another form of chicken...

Taste of Success





A few weeks ago, I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the 3rd annual Taste of Success, a tasting fundraiser held by Street Wise Partners that featured over 30 food, beverage, and media partners from around the city. There was something for everybody at this event, as you can probably see from the photos above. I particularly enjoyed the sake table, presented by my favorite sake guru Monica Samuels. The Jokigen Junmai Ginjo was my favorite. Luke's Lobster's shrimp rolls were also a delight. While I munched, I chatted with Stephen Fried of Beyond the Dish about his show and also hung out with my dear friends The Remixologists, who volunteered to "get the party started."

More pics can be found here.

March 5, 2010

Marc Forgione

Amuse Trio

Veal Cheek and Bone Marrow (SO GOOD)

Get In There!

The Deep Fried Halibut Bone is Edible!


Have you had one too many WTF (Where's The Food) moments when you are brought the  plate? Does seeing another "deconstructed blah blah blah" make you want to smash something expensive? Do you ever find the most memorable part of a meal being the exorbitant cost? If so, then you need to check yourself in to Marc Forgione for some legit, no BS upscale dining.

March 1, 2010

Pork Bun Crawl

In front of Fay Da Bakery

Amazing Vegetarian "Faux" Pork Bun

Baked Pork Bun from Mei Li Wah Bakery

Breaking Bread

Everybody loves Pork Buns!

On Sunday I ventured down to Chinatown to partake in the February Pork Bun Crawl, organized by NYC Food Crawl. It was a ton of fun! I got to enjoy a variety of pork buns (a.k.a. Cha Siu Bao) from five different venues. For the record, my foursquare-addicted group and I went to all crawl six locations, but the first location sold out of pork buns before we even got there. Lame. Fortunately, I found my favorite joint (find out after the jump) among the five and was able to bring home a few (ahem... five) for B to eat (ahem again... for me too). Beyond the bun, M and I also made some new foursquare-food-friends and scored the "Overshare" badge. Couldn't have asked for a better afternoon.