May 28, 2010

What's for Brunch?

Crispy Soft Shell Crab Sandwich from Perilla

Truffle Grilled Cheese with Manchester Goat/Fontina and Salad of mushroom, arugula, sunchoke from Rye House

Farmer's Market Egg White Omelette from Isabella's

There are about a million different options in New York City for brunch. Long gone are the days when french toast and waffles were your best options. Most restaurants today have dedicated brunch menus and enticing "drink included" specials to lure you in on an otherwise sleepy Sunday morning. Here are some of my most recent brunch discoveries that are worth noting.

May 25, 2010

New Taste of the UWS

Calle Ocho

Handy Wine Glass on Lanyard

Cesare Casella of Salumeria Rosi Parmacotto


Beautiful Evening

In a land where Foursquare still considers to be Far, Far Away, the food scene has rapidly bubbled into one of Manhattan's finest. As a relatively new resident of the Upper West Side, I have absolutely zero recollections of the desolate dining environment that this neighborhood once was. Instead, I was met with blissfully fresh macarons from Bouchon Bakery, sinfully aromatic prosciutto from Salumeria Rosi, and soul-warming locavorian entrees from Recipe. The New Taste of the Upper West Side's Best of the West event showcased over 40 of these amazing gourmet restaurants, dessert havens, and brunch bistros from my 'hood. A few were no-brainers, but I did encounter some pleasant surprises. My tasting favorites, favorite UWS restaurants, and more pics on the next page!

May 20, 2010

Peter Luger Steakhouse

Time for Dinner

Bacon & Dirty MartiniDinner at Peter Luger Steakhouse

It's THAT Thick

My idea of the perfect Friday: playing some old-school arcade games while drinking beer at Barcade followed by grabbing a couple porterhouse steaks and some obscenely thick strips of bacon at Peter Luger Steakhouse with friends. B and I shared a juicy medium-rare porterhouse for two and split a bowl of creamed spinach and potatoes with the rest of our group (HG, DL, and AK). The steak was cooked to perfection; every bite oozed with a buttery goodness only a true carnivore could appreciate. I also really enjoyed the bacon (who wouldn't like bacon) and the creamed spinach. If you're looking to check this place out, I would recommend coming with a group of four or five. The portions are massive and reasonably priced. If you are going in a group of three, I'd suggest starting with the Porterhouse for Two and see how it goes. Trust me, we were able to eat an entire second meal out of the leftovers. It's also a cash only establishment, so make sure you come prepared.

May 17, 2010


Plate of Oysters at Aquagrill

Hee Hee

Truffle-Crusted Cod

Warm Octopus Salad from Aquagrill

After the LUCKYRICE Talk & Taste cooking demonstrations, I met up with CT at The Cupping Room and we made a not-so-straightforward walk over to Aquagrill. After waiting for about 15 minutes, we scored a table outside on the elevated dining porch. I ordered six appellations that I haven't tried before and a cherrystone clam just for fun. CT also tried two oysters and had the truffle-crusted cod, which was absolutely amazing. The oyster tasting experience was more pedestrian than what I expected it to be from a place heralded as an "oyster heaven." While Aquagrill proved to be a great destination for seafood, I wish that they put a bit more care into their oyster presentation. More pics and oyster reviews on the next page!

May 16, 2010

Taste of Tribeca

Seafood Ceviche in Sweet Citrus Sauce w/ Crispy Plantain Chip from Centrico

Inside of the Jade Dumpling

White Grape Gazpacho w/ Spiced Marcona Almonds from Bar Artisanal

The Taste of Tribeca, one of Manhattan's largest neighborhood-centric food festivals brought in an incredible crowd this year. A showcase over 60 different restaurants sprawled across Duane and Greenwich Streets. However each $40 ticket ($45 at the event) allowed just only six tastings, which forced people to prioritize. Between B and me, we checked out about 16 different places with two tickets. Among the restaurants that we tried, Centrico's seafood ceviche (top photo) was our favorite. The jade dumpling at Macao Trading Co. was a close second. More pics and Taste of Tribeca survival tips on the next page!

May 14, 2010

Talk and Taste

Amazing Beef Noodle Soup

Laksa Pesto Tiger Prawns

Kim Chi

Zhong Zi!

Steamed Wined Sea Bass

On the last day of the LUCKYRICE Festival, I learned how to recreate some of the amazing flavors from the weekend's food events. Talk & Taste: Asian Cuisine Cooking Demos—a series of six lectures accompanied by yummy samples—spanned throughout the day at the International Culinary Center. Still similar to my college self, I couldn't wake up early enough for the 12PM lecture (Zak Pelaccio of Fatty Crab making Short Rib Rendang) and ended up regretting my tardiness. However, the rest of the talks were wonderful and surprisingly funny.

May 12, 2010

Grand Feast

Black Sesame Panna Cotta, Shiso, Cherry, Mandarin, Soy from Le Bernardin

Tofu Boats from EN Japanese BrasserieGorgeous Shrimp from Tanuki Tavern

Kampachi Sashimi with Yuzu Koshu from Matsuri

Beef Sirloin Tart with Curry from Chinatown Brasserie

Raw Barron Point oysters from PublicLightly Fried Barron Point Oysters - Magnefico!

Singapore Palm Sugar and Coconut Lemongrass Soup, Mango-Thai Basil Gelee and Poached Pineapple from Daniel

Masaharu Morimoto Overseeing the Work Himself!

The LUCKYRICE Grand Feast was the crème de la crème of the entire festival. Top restaurants including Daniel, Le Bernardin, Jean-Georges Restaurants, Morimoto and over a dozen distinguished beverage partners came together to produce the ultimate showcase of Asian flavors. I was also excited to see some big name chefs out as well, including: Daniel Boulud, Brad Farmerie, Masaharu Morimoto, Pichet Ong, and Jonathan Wright (all the way from The Setai in South Beach, Miami). I loved almost everything that I tasted, and often went back for seconds... ok, thirds. Before I dive into my favorites, I would like to thank LUCKYRICE again for the complimentary entry.

May 10, 2010

Rye House

Mint Juleps and Fried Chicken, Kentucky Derby Pregame

On Kentucky Derby Saturday, I took a break from the LUCKYRICE Festival and grabbed some mint juleps and southern comfort food with B and C. The Rye House was celebrating with a special $10 mint julep menu ($5 refills and you get to keep the steel cup & stir-straw). I stuck to the Smoked Julep, which consisted of Buffalo Trace Bourbon Whiskey, Cinnamon Bark Syrup, and Lapsong Souchong Infused Black Strap Rum. We also ordered a huge bucket of fried chicken; it was absolutely AMAZING. The meat was juicy and well-seasoned, while the skin was thin and crispy. If we went again, I probably would've pulled a Cartman. (Just kidding!)

Photo taken with C's camera. I left the house without reloading my 50D with the battery, UGH.

Night Market

Pork Belly & Oysters at The Setai




The LUCKYRICE Night Market, inspired by the night markets of many food-obsessed Asian countries, was more than just another tasting; it was a full-sensory experience. Enticing aromas of soy, curry, and roasted meat dominated the air. However, the ever-pungent stinky tofu naturally made its way into the middle of the mix (like the "omg, it's that guy" at your last birthday party). A symphony of sizzling and clattering pans was still audible over the hipster jam music, while the hoards of greedy eaters elbowed their way over each other for the next plate of snacks. All of this made me wonder, "Was I really in DUMBO or was I just transported to Hong Kong?"

May 4, 2010

Opening Night Cocktail Party

The Pour

White Cosmopolitans from Daniel



What better way to kick off the inaugural LUCKYRICE Festival than to have a full-blown Asian-inspired cocktail party? The weather was quite perfect for this bubbly-boozy night at The Bowery Hotel, hosted by Kelly Choi. In addition to experiencing the exotic flavors of ginger, lychee, rhubarb and yuzu, I also got to hang out with three other food bloggers: Amy (of Amy Blogs Chow), Jess (of Food Mayhem), and Tina (of The Wandering Eater). We sipped various cocktails and snacked on a couple hors d'oeuvres while watching the mixologists work their deadly magic. Before I dive into the details, I just want to thank LUCKYRICE for granting me the complimentary access into this event.