What A Girl Is Really Thinking When It Comes To Food

Author Archives: girlyfoodie

tre diciTre Dici [Click the photo above to go to Tre Dici’s website]

128 W 26th St  New York, NY 10001

Where have I been may you ask? I started a new job, that has weirdly sucked the life out of me, because I’m all punctual and workin’ hard and that stuff (is someone from my office reading this?),  but I’m also drinking my nights away instead of eating them away. But not this time, oh no. I more than made up for it when my dad decided to take my sister and me to dinner one night at TreDici in Chelsea.

I was pretty excited since my dad had promised he’d pick me up, so I wouldn’t have to cab it to the restaurant, and just as I was reapplying my lipgloss I get a text message from my sister, “why are we picking you up? You’re so far.”

And then my phone rings, and it’s my dad:

“We’re sitting in some traffic, so do you want to just meet us there?”

My sister has gotten to him. Damn it.

I of course beat these numskulls to the restaurant, even after forcing my cab driver to do a full circle so he could drop me off in front of the restaurant, and I slither into the booth to get the seat that I want, and I begin scanning the menu: kobe beef ravioli, something with duck ragu, mac n cheese, meatballs…this is going to be a hard decision ahead of me.

My sister and Dad arrive, and they sit down.

“You were cranky over there, not wanting to pick me up.” Like I’m not going to call my sister out.

“I’m starving.”

We’re all so mean when we’re hungry.

“You have a pimple on your face.” I got her back.

Thankfully the waiter brings over the bread basket, and we find out there are risotto balls inside the basket. I mean there are no words, fried balls of rice for a snack, done!

Full disclosure: my sister babysits for the restaurant’s owner, so I was already told that we needed to order the angry lobster appetizer, which was fine with me.

The waitress comes over and starts listing off the specials, and they were like little lullabies to my family’s ears: buffalo style calamari to start, a Mediterranean meatball, lobster ravioli, a pappardelle in a Bolognese sauce.

I could see my sister’s mouth water. I think I saw drool hit her plate.

I know right away that whatever appetizer we were discussing is getting replaced by the calamari, so we go with the calamari, the angry lobster, and meatballs stuffed with mozzarella cheese in the center.

Mains? I was committed to the kobe beef ravioli before I stepped foot in the restaurant.

My dad is having issues though, he hasn’t mastered cooking, and begins by telling us, “I haven’t had chicken in a while.”

“Yeah, because you don’t know how to cook it.”

“But I never order chicken.”

“So don’t get chicken.”

He goes with their orecchiette special served with spicy sausage and spinach, served in a oil and garlic sauce. He was never going to order chicken.

My sister, is completely overwhelmed. Lobster ravioli! Pasta! Spaghetti!

“I’ll have the lobster ravioli…I think.”

The waitress walks away.

“Why you gonna get the lobster ravioli when we already ordered the angry lobster,” my dad says as he butters the bread.

“I don’t know! It sounded so good!”

“What else did they say?”

I know which one she’s thinking about, “you want the pappardelle with Bolognese don’t you?”

“yeah,” and it is done.

Now that the ordering is out of the way:

“So tell me about your new job.”

To be brief, my new job requires me to cold call, all day, so my dad made me act out a cold call for him at the table.

“Call me.”

I give my shpeal (which I refuse to write on my blog), and he actually looks impressed.

“That’s good!”

I’m not going to lie. I was flattered. I feel like an idiot half the time on the phone jabbering to people on the other end, so to get any compliment, even from my clueless dad and sister, I will take it!

Appetizers arrive. I have never had lobster in a spicy pepper broth, and I really should have it more often.

Buffalo style calamari: I’m going to use the word innovative. Judge me.

The meatballs: for one, they’re gigantic, yep giant balls. And they were…my favorite appetizer.

I was full just from the appetizers, and then we see the waitress bring over pasta, but it’s not any of the pasta we ordered.

Surprise! “We know you wanted to try the lobster ravioli, so we brought you some to try”

And there they are! 3 personal raviolis, for all of us.

To say I was stuffed at this point would be a gross understatement: risotto balls, lobster, meatballs, lobster ravioli, oh wait…we still have another course coming.

My kobe beef ravioli was out of this world. It is not to be missed. Even if you just get an order for the table so everyone gets one ravioli, it’s one thousand percent worth it.

My dad and sister were pleased with their choices as well.

Dessert? Duh.

I know, I’m stuffed, but they have crepe cake! It’s my new favorite dessert. I discovered it at Novita, and I haven’t looked back. It’s fab.

And the biggest surprise of it all?? It was all for the price of “on the house!”

As we’re about to leave I realize we never took a picture. “Wait! We still need to take a picture!”

“I’m not letting you take a picture with this pimple on my face.”

Guess she won in the end.

bread

Bread basket.

It’s not just an ordinary bread basket. It has risotto in it. It’s borderline magical.

meatballs
Inside Out Meatballs: fried beef, pork & veal meatballs stuffed with fresh mozzarella & ricotta cheese, in homemade marinara sauce.

Um, yeah they’re as good as they sound, and as big as child’s head. “The human head weighs 8 lbs.” They normally some with just two, but they gave us three, so one for each of us.

image (1)
Angry Lobster: 1lb maine lobster sautéed with lemon, roasted garlic, butter & white wine finished with red pepper flakes

I have never ever had spicy lobster before, and I don’t understand why. It makes perfect sense, and I want to have it again.

calamari

Buffalo Style Calamari

No real description necessary, it’s gourmet bar food, and it’s good! Eat some of the celery, you’ll feel better about it.

lobster ravioli

Lobster ravioli:

Oh here’s our surprise lobster ravioli! It’s delicious. The ravioli’s are plump. it tastes fresh, and the sauce has great flavor.

pasta with sausage

Orrechiette: Bowl shaped pasta, crumbled sausage, finely chopped broccoli rabe & hot cherry peppers with EVOO & roasted garlic.

I prefer pasta in more of a sauce, but if this is a dish you’re into, I highly recommend it!

ravioli


Kobe Beef Ravioli: wagyu beef, caramelized onions & fontina di val’dosta in marsala, browned butter & thyme with natural reduction.

Surprise there’s truffle, and if there isn’t, it tastes like there is. I wish I could eat this all the time, but I can’t otherwise I would look like a beef ravioli. It’s an amazing combination, and no ingredients overpowers the other, they just work together!

bolognese

Pappardelle with bolognese sauce. It is a meaty dish for lack of a better word, maybe hearty is a better word? Ok, yeah, hearty. It’s satisfying to say the least.

cake

Crepe Cake

Look at this beautiful creation! There are caramelized bananas on the side, if you’re into that. I mostly went for the cake.



entrance to tu-lu's bakery

Tulu’s Bakery [Click the photo above to go to Tulu’s website]

338  E 11th St (between 1st and 2nd Avenue)New York, NY 10003

I’ve had a blog for whatever period of time, and my cousin Jamie has worked for a bakery for a few years, and she’s always bringing her homemade goodies to family events (ok she did it one time, but an elephant never forgets), and I just realized I should blog about the bakery she works for, so disclaimer, it is my cousin’s bakery, but my whole family dies for food, so if we like it you’ll like it.*

Also a disclaimer, we’re not real cousins, we’re cousins of cousins, but like we’re cousins. Get it?

So I brought my other cousin (she’s a real one) Ali to the bakery, because lets just make this a family affair. We went on a Saturday at like 12:30 to have a desserty (not a word) brunch.

I arrive, and the bakery is small, it’s more of a pick-up and go then a sit and eat, but there is seating, so I just start making myself comfortable putting my jacket on another chair, finding a spot for my bag. I order a coffee and a water before I go to town, and I get a text from my cousin:

text message

I walk outside, and there is my awkward cousin just loitering around on 11th Street, and it just cracks me up. Like here I am making myself at home, and she’s acting like a vagabond.

So, what do we order? So, their specialty is the coffee cake, and boyyyy is it.

A red velvet cupcake, because it has cream cheese frosting, so that’s like the sugary version of a bagel with cream cheese for brunch (isn’t it????)

A jalapeno corn muffin just to switch it up.

and last but definitely not least a chocolate chip cookie.

I start attacking each item with a plastic knife so we can divide it up between the two of us.

My cousin Jamie comes out to say hi to us, and she just stays. The bakery can bake itself. We’re more important. Deal with it people.

“You are not going to take a picture of me are you?” says Jamie.

Chef gear ain’t cute. She’s in a bandana, shoes that can be described as orthopedic, make-up free (she does have blemish free skin fyi), and just clothes she wants to destroy in a kitchen (will she hate me for reading this? Possibly).

“Nope, you’re good.”

“Ok good, because some Japanese newspaper said they were just taking a picture of the plate and I saw the article and I was in it. I’m famous in Japan.”

“Totally.”

I’m starting to fill up but I’m digging the coffee cake on all levels, and don’t want to stop.

“You should hear the things people talk about in here.” People really are oblivious. No one censors themselves anymore. I can’t even imagine what the baristas at Starbucks think of me (she’s obsessed with her mom, and is always yelling at her…wait yeah I can).

My cousin proceeds to tell us about how two girls came into the bakery ordered, and then continued to have this “private” conversation:

“I really want to change my name to Tiny, because I’m so tiny.”

“You really are so tiny.”

“But then I looked it up on Twitter, and someone else already had that name.”

That’s when I go, “wait her name, or her twitter name.”

“I wasn’t sure. I hope it was her Twitter name.”

“I should probably get back behind the counter, I’ve been standing here with you for a while.”

“K, bye.”

* So on a health note: this is a gluten free bakery, and for the record gluten is not less caloric, less fattening, or more healthy. A cake is a cake. A cupcake is a cupcake and so on and so forth.  It is just made with different ingredients to keep the baked goods together and not fall apart. All the food is good, and if you happen to have a gluten allergy, it’s a fab option. And that is that!

Picture time….

coffee cake

Coffee Cake

I don’t even love coffee cake, because I think it can be a little dry, but not this one. This with a cup of coffee, is just a delight.
red velvet cupcake
Red Velvet Cupcake
They are small by cupcake standards, so guilt free? I don’t know. Very very good. done.
jalapeno cornbread
Cornbread Jalapeno Cake.
Not the best. I don’t recommend. It’s just a change of pace if you want something savory, but if you’re going to a bakery stick with the sweet stuff.
chocolate chip cookie
Chocolate Chip Cookie
Secret reveal: it’s made with espresso. I die for chocolate chip cookies, and this is no exception.
display
Here is the display, take ya pick!
bakery wall
And here is their, I don’t know, mascot? I’m into it.

Joe Shanghai

Joe Shanghai [Click the photo above to go to Joe Shanghai’s website]

24 W 56 Street (between 5 and 6 Avenue) New York, New York 10019

I decided to go for a nice Sunday dinner with my girls Sara and Caryn, but they live in the same building on the Upper East Side, and I live in Murray Hill, so we always try to go for middle of the road, because that’s what friends do. So I mean, we’re definitely doing Chinese, it’s Sunday, and it’s also the weekend of the Golden Globes/premiere of Girls, so let’s make it on the early side…

Final decision: Joe Shanghai in Midtown. a. I have never been b. I want to go c. that’s it.

Spoiler alert: I liked it. It’s not overrated. I’d eat it again (and again), and I liked our waiter.

So here’s how it all went down:

We were supposed to go to dinner at like 7, but I received a phone call at about 6:

“Caryn’s ready to go.”

“Ok, are you cabbing it there, or taking the subway so I know how much time I have.”

“I think I’m going to cab it.”

“If you’re going to cab it, then I’m going to cab it.”

Easy enough, except I was totally focused on Instagram, and didn’t realize that the cab driver dropped me off on 55th Street, and not 56th street.

“Oh, this is perfect. Thanks!” I say like an idiot, until I realize I’m on the wrong street, and have to walk , and guess what? Streets are longer in midtown than downtown. I just want my soup dumplings!

I walk in and tell the hostess my friends are already here, and they act like they have been waiting for the rest of the VIP party to arrive. They walk me up the stairs, through the dining area, to a private room with two empty tables, and a television set.

Fancy.

“Can you turn on the Golden Globe preshow?” we ask a waiter.

He did.

But I’m facing the wrong way to watch the television. Luckily though there’s a mirror so I watch the tv through the mirror during dinner.

What could be better? It’s like we were in someone’s living room (just with a lot of Chinese people serving us food – everyone stop acting like that was racist).

We decide on 2 orders of pork soup dumplings, and one order of crispy beef, and one order of tea for the table, oh and my friend ordered hot & sour soup.

Soup dumplings arrive, and our cutie waiter Sam, places one dump on each of our spoons, and does a bow of sort and says enjoy.

So this is what a LEGIT soup dumpling tastes like.

NOT date material, because the exterior of the dumpling is sort of sticky, so we were all licking our lips and the dumpling to make sure it didn’t stick to our face.

“You look weird.”

“What? It’s sticky.”

“Why do you have to make it look sexual?”

“I love slurping the soup. I love that part.”

“The [hot & sour] soup has shrimp in it.”

“Oh, that’s nice.”

….

Crispy beef arrives.

I’ve had a lot of crispy beef in my lifetime (does that sound sexual? I don’t mean it to be), but this was some of the best crispy beef I’ve ever had.

“What is she wearing?”

“Jessica Alba looks good.”

“Kate Hudson looks amazing.”

“She just seems like a bitch.”

….

“You guys, when I got dropped off at the wrong spot in the cab I saw the LOVE sign, wanna take a picture after we finish eating?”

“Okay, but who will take it?”

“I don’t know.”

“We’ll ask someone, and then they’ll steal my phone.”

Long story short, they didn’t, Tina and Amy killed it at the Golden Globes, and Hannah has a new boyfriend who is black, adding some super forced diversity Girls. The End.

hot & sour soup

Hot & Sour Soup

I had a bite. I liked it. It felt like it had more layers than the average soup. I Recommend.

soup dumpling

soup dumplingsPork Soup Dumplings

Oh hello dumplings. No one warns you that they’re sticky on the outside, but I guess you look paste it once you bite into a legit soup dumpling. It’s all it’s cracked up to be. The dumpling doesn’t fall apart when you bite it, and there’s soup cradled at the bottom of the dumpling. They are pretty much little bundles of love.

crispy beef

crispy beef

Crispy Beef

Just the name is delicious, crispy beef. While other people my age are getting married (it’s lovely they’re in love blah blah blah), I’m busy making love to this crispy beef, so it’s pretty much the same thing. Sometimes crispy beef can be hard and crunchy, but this was cooked just right. Love ya crispy beef xoxo.

How I Watched the Golden Globes

And here is how I watched the Golden Globes, in a Royal Caribbean t-shirt I got at a vintage store in Wisconsin (that a guy once told me I wore a lot, turns out I do), and through a mirror at a Chinese Restaurant. Too Legit.

LOVE

Look, my phone didn’t get stolen, and look at the fab tourist photos I got from it!

girlyfoodie.com

 


Anguilla

I have just returned from a family vacation to Anguilla, and if you think I eat a lot normally, then you do not want to see me on vacation. Despite the fact that I sit on a beach all day, with no movement with exception to me getting up to dip my feet in the ocean or to turn over to get my back tan, I still think it’s completely acceptable to gorge myself to the point of no return, to then return to my lounge chair, possibly more bloated, but definitely more tan.

Just to give myself a little credit here, for no one else’s benefit but my own, I did work out every single day on this trip, which included tennis lessons  (in which my mom continued to say “you really did love tennis. You should take lessons at home”) and pilates classes, and yes sometimes both in one day, but they probably did nothing for the 3+ meal a day marathon I was running on this trip.

To give you some background on Anguilla, there are a million trillion restaurants on this small island, and almost all are on the beach, so not only did we go out every single night for a 3 course meal for dinner, but we also left our hotel every single day to go out for lunch to sit at a different beach, and shovel in some food.

“Off we go to another meal!”

“It’s like as soon as we finish lunch, we wonder where we’re going to dinner.”

“Where are you guys going to dinner tonight?”

“Can you believe it? It’s time for another meal.”

These are some of the fabulous quotes my mom continued to say over, and over, and over, AND over again to anyone that would listen to her: our driver Russell, my sister’s campfriend and his family, our new vacation friends from Long Island, our other new vacation friends from Queens, people in our Pilates class, and yes even our waiters at the restaurants (the island is small, so people generally have more than one job, so they would literally watch us stuff ourselves at breakfast in our cover-ups at our hotel, and they would see us dressed up stuffing ourselves again for dinner at a restaurant).

It was like my mom felt the need to defend our actions to everyone in sight.

I personally thought we should just try and not make it so obvious, and just accept that everyone else was doing the same thing. What else was I going to do? Run on the beach? I started to laugh as soon as I typed that.

So, was the food worth it? Hell yeah it was worth it. Anguilla has some of the best restaurants in town, and for your benefit, I am going to give you the rundown on some of the favorite spots in case any of you do decide to make a trip there.

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The entire list includes recommendations, but one place pissed me off so badly that I need to begin with a review of the worst restaurant on the island of Anguilla: Jacala.

Jacala is owned by a French man named Jac, and if the name of the restaurant doesn’t give you a hint, he was maybe one of the most pompous narcissistic horrid restaurant owners I have ever encountered.

worst email ever

First off: he takes everyone’s orders for the entire restaurant, so you need to wait for at least 15 minutes just to order drinks, let alone dinner. Can you say control freak?

I watched as his 3 waitresses walked around scared to make the wrong move, or step out of place.

He completely ignored my family, maybe because we were all women, maybe because he could, but he came over to take our order with a smirk on his face knowing he made us wait.

And the food??? He started off by serving us a cold asparagus soup with a soggy tortilla, which tasted exactly like the soggy noodles Chinese restaurants serve you at the beginning of a meal.

chilled asparagus soup with a tortil

And the rest? Stuffy French food with a ton of sauce. The menu is described as “intuitive” cuisine. WTF is intuitive cuisine?

It was the ONLY restaurant that we did not order dessert, and the poor waitress that came over to tell us the specials brought over a huge board with 8 different desserts listed on the chalkboard. She would say one, and then nervously stare at Jac, and then say the next, each time watching the owner move from the bar to the main room. She looked frozen in fear of saying something incorrectly.

The restaurant has a posh reputation, but every single patron besides my family was over the age of 65. Skip this place, and go for a good meal.

tuna tar tar

Tuna Tartare

This was the least innovative dish, and tasted like something I could get at any run of the mill sushi spot.

chicken

Chicken stuffed with lobster in a lobster sauce with a side of asparagus and yams.

Chicken stuffed with lobster in a lobster sauce? Sounds delicious right? UH NO. It wasn’t even warm when they served it, and it was whatever.

saucy pork

Porkchop in an apricot sauce.

Porkchop with sauce, sauce, sauce sauce, and a rice that tasted like potpourri.

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Now on to the good stuff:

Straw Hat

[Click the photo above to go to Straw Hat’s website]

Straw Hat (lunch or dinner): Love itttt. We went with another family for dinner, who has a love for food like us, so it was very exciting to have some rum punch and eat with a group.

Order: the tuna flat bread, which comes with truffle aioli. I ordered it twice, once for lunch and once for dinner (as an appetizer relax, like I’d only order that).

Lobster Cake

Crabcake minus the crab, and plus the lobster. Pretty, pretty good.

tuna flatbread

Say hello to the tuna flat bread. I love it. I love it. Did I mention I love it?

spring roll

Spring rolls stuffed with fresh fish. Yep, it wasn’t bad.

The appetizers were definitely the highlight of the meal, so that’s what I’m going to leave you with. Lunch is standard fare, and difficult to complain about.

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E's Oven

[Click the photo above to go to E’s Oven’s website]

E’s Oven: This is a local spot, and hands down one of my favorite places we ate for lunch. I ordered the filet of red snapper with a side of vegetables, and so did my mom. My sister ordered the lobster club Panini with a side of fries.

“You can have fries or sal-“

“Fries.”

The waitress was super sweet and accomidating, especially when concerning my mom’s tomato allergy.

This restaurant is not on the beach, but it was near our hotel, so we were back on the beach rather quickly.

bread

For the record all the bread on the island was absolutely amazing. Every loaf was served fresh and warm, and this was no exception.

turkey

They surprised us with a small bite of ground turkey with carrots in a light sauce. Seriously unreal. It is the only time I ate turkey in Anguilla.

filet of snapper in a light cream sauce

Such a great dish! It seemed so classy for a tiny little restaurant.rice with veggies

The best carrots I’ve ever eaten. I have no idea why. Plantains are also on that plate. My mom and sister HATE bananas, and even they liked them!

lobster panini

This to me is America meets the Islands: aka lobster plus club sandwich. This is a lobster club panini.

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Smokey's Exterior

[Click the photo above to go to Smokey’s website]

Smokey’s (lunch): jerk chicken, ribs, rum, beer, all while you’re sitting on the beach. We went last year and this year, so recommendations vary. Jerk chicken wrap, the lobster roll, fish sandwich, or the ribs are all good choices. Oh, and they also offer a 50/50 plate of onion rings and fries…won’t kill you to try them.

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picante[Click the photo above to go to Picante’s website]

Picante (dinner): LEGIT Mexican food. Tuna tacos, fish tacos, guacamole, even the artichoke dip is to die for. Island food is delicious, but by the end it’s like “if you hand me another piece of snapper or grouper I’m going to smack you with it.” Picante is the perfect change of pace. It’s laid back, always crowded, and they make some strong ass drinks.

And we saw Kelly Osbourne there, so there’s that.

My sister: that girl looks like Kelly Osbourne.

Me: Monica, that is Kelly Osbourne.

My sister: O heehee

tuna tacos

My jam: the tuna tacos.

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Barrel Stay

[Click the photo above to go to Barrel Stay’s website]

Barrel Stay (dinner): French with Asian influence. I loved it. Order a salad, fish with Asian noodles, crayfish, or escargot, and you won’t be disappointed. I ordered a sea food soup, which tasted like a deconstructed French onion soup with spicy seafood.

The restaurant is also on the water, and I loveddddd the chef. He came out to tell us the specials, and crouched down so we were all eye level. He was very engaging, and patient with any questions we had. He even helped me find the bathroom. He was a fabulous ying to Jacala’s putrid yang.

Fresh Asparagus and Goat Cheese Salad

Here’s a little sample of what we ate: the goat cheese and asparagus salad

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Veya Interior

[Click the photo above to go to Veya’s website]

Veya (dinner): “It looks like a tree house!” my mom exclaimed multiple times. There is a live band that plays in the background, and excellent wait staff. To start get the conch fritters to or the layered salad. And for your main? Crayfish. duhhh.

Scilly Cay

[Click the photo above to go to Scilly Cay’s website]

Scilly Cay Island: The best day we had! You take a 10 minute boat ride to a small island called Scilly Cay, you lay on the beach, have the yummiest and strongest rum punch, and the food! I ordered a combo platter of lobster and crayfish, which comes in a light curry sauce, with a pasta salad and fruit. And the restaurant owner, a character!

Cray Fish/Lobster combo

Say hello to my little friend: lobster and crayfish combo.

the view

And here’s the view!

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Blanchards

[Click the photo above to go to Blanchard’s website]

Blanchards: American owners from Westchester, my people. The corn chowder is made with no cream and filled with flavor. The key lime pie is a great way to end your meal.

And they have a more casual spot next door for lunch. For $3 you can get a lounge chair for the day (can you tell it’s owned by New Yorkers?), it’s the only place on the island that charges for chairs, but it’s also the only place where you can find frozen yogurt, milkshakes along with sandwiches, salads, and burgers.

You can just tell they had Americans in mind when this restaurant was created, but still has the authentic vibe of the island with bright green and blue chairs and tables.

shack
Here is the lunch spot, the shack. Take me backkkkkk!

Press: Andy Cohen

 Andy Cohen has finally tweeted me back after a month of tweeting him to go to a meal with for everyone to read!! Ah!! It’s not exactly a yes, but I’ll take it…for now. I will still continue tweeting him every.single.day until he agrees. I mean, he lives in Manhattan. I live in Manhattan. I’ve already seen him at Morandi (he clearly didn’t recognize me for some unknown reason). We can go again if he wants, and this time we can sit together.


the madelyn

The Madelyn [Click the photo above to go to the Madelyn’s website]

82 W 3rd St (between Thompson St & Sullivan St) New York, NY 10012

My dream in life is to get free food, and it finally came true when I went to my very first tasting at the Madelyn.

Here’s how it went:

The first decision I had to make was who was I going to take? I felt it was appropriate to invite my friend who I went to the Madelyn opening with, but he told me he had plans, so he’s a dill hole.

Who else?

I could invite my friend who also has a food blog, but he’s going to some art show. He gets gayer and gayer (politically incorrect I know, but it is what it is) I swear.

I also had my holiday office party the night before so I was not in good shape to say the least. Who could I invite where I wouldn’t have to over extend myself for at dinner?

“Mom, do you want to go with me?”

Ding ding ding ding.

I unfortunately told her while I was still at work, and might I add a busy day, and she was a machine gun of questions.

“Where is it located?”

“How do I get there?”

“What time?”

Text me this. Text me that. I think my favorite suggestion of hers was she wouldn’t pick me up at my apartment, but I could have the cab drop me off somewhere on the west side, and she could pick me up from there.

So I would tell a cab driver a random corner, so I could drive downtown with my mom and her GPS, which she fights with…constantly…absolutely not.

“I’ll meet you there.”

Dinner was at 8:30, and of course my mom arrived at the restaurant at around 8 o’clock. I have to take extra care with whatever outfit I put together for my mom, because according to her I almost always a. need to iron it b. need to fix my hair c. need to put on more lipstick. I decide on a button down with a sweater.

When we arrive I order some wine, and we are seated at a couch in front of the fire place.

“Romantic”

It is very romantic, and hot. I start pulling off my sweater, and I see my mom make a face.

“It’s ironed. Don’t worry.”

I can see she didn’t believe me until she saw the shirt for herself.

Lucky for us, a couple next to us found the fire place very romantic, and proceeded to make-out the entire meal, which was 5 courses by the way.

“How drunk do you think they are?”

“Why do you think they’re drunk?”

“Who makes out like that sober?”

The waiter and owner ask us if we have any special requests, and the only piece of information they need to know is that my mom is allergic to tomatoes.

“Did you tell them I’m allergic to tomatoes?”

“I just did.”

First course arrives: oysters and champagne. I am not an oyster person, but had I brought a man: champagne, oysters, fireplace…that’s like out of a movie. Except in reality I was trying to figure out a way to slip an oyster on my mom’s plate so it looked like I ate more, and my mom drank the champagne before I could cheers her.

Next course arrives: Guanciale “pork jowl” pizza with black truffle and egg.

They had this at the restaurant opening, and I picked at it, but this time I had to hold myself back. It was sooooo good. The egg is cooked in the center of the pizza, and you dip the pizza into the runny egg. I asked for this pizza to go, because if I finished it I knew I wouldn’t be able to eat anything else.

I’m already in reclining position on the couch.

Next!

Home made burrata cheese on naan bread with pesto and tomato. My mom’s portion had no tomato (touché). The naan bread was toasted perfectly, and I never ever everrrr don’t like burrata cheese.

As the courses continue, my mom and I are served different dishes to accommodate mi madre’s allergy.

I get spicy shellfish soup. She gets fried artichokes on a bed of lettuce.

“I can’t find my contacts list anymore on my phone.” My mom got her first Iphone, and before that she was using the Blackberry Pearl, so you can imagine the delightful questions my sister and I get asked.

“Is that why you emailed me that you were here, and didn’t text me?”

“Yes.”

You probably put it in another folder.”

“How do I call people now?”

“You have the address book in the “phone” section when you make a call. The green button.”

“O…”

I get eggplant parmesan. She gets pork belly.

“Why is it green now? I need the brown button.”

“It’s two different buttons.”

We both get veal ravioli, which tasted exactly like my grandmother’s kreplach. It’s always exciting with a restaurant dish reminds you of a home cooked meal.

And finally: apple crisp.

“Do we tip the waitresses?”

“I don’t know. I’ve never had a tasting before.”

“What are we supposed to tip?”

“I’ll give it to them. You know, like the mom, doing it. It’s a mom thing.”

As long as I don’t have to do it. Miss Awkward over here.

The owner Lou comes over to ask us how our meal was. He plops down next to me, so I’m a little sandwich between him and my mom. I can barely focus, because I keep staring at the couple next to us.

“You ready to go home?”

“Yep.”

I grab my coat as the guy grabs his lady’s butt, and off we go.

champagne

oysters

 Champagne and Oysters.

These are East Coast oysters, hence their size. I am not a fan of the texture of any oyster, but I did enjoy the flavor of these.

pizza

Guanciale “pork jowl” pizza with black truffle and egg.

This is just sooo delicious when cooked right. Bacon, eggs, cheese, bread (no tomatoes)…its like a food pyramid of yummyness.  I was beyond excited for leftovers, but my mom ate it instead.

burrata cheese

with tomato, without tomato

Home Made Burrata Cheese: grilled naan bread, pesto, roasted tomato

This bread had the perfect amount of crunch. Creamy cheese, and pesto. It’s not a cute thing to eat: potential green in the teeth, and requires more than one bite, but seriously I don’t care. It’s worth it.

spicy shellfish soup

Madelyn’s Spicy Shellfish Soup: shrimp, scallops, little neck clams, garlic, tomato broth

This is perfect for the winter weather. It’s hearty but not heavy. I had a few bites, because soup fills me up very quickly, and I had to save room.

fried artichokes

Fried Baby Artichoke Salad: parmesan cheese, chili oil lemon vinagrette, parsley

This was light and crunchy. They served this to my mom, while I received the soup, and I popped one of those chokes right into my mouth. I actually preferred this, and I think my mom preferred the soup (but she couldn’t eat it heehee).

eggplant parmesan

Eggplant Parmesan

My mom was again jealous that she couldn’t eat this. Solid eggplant dish.

porkybelly

Berkshire Porkbelly with vinegar sauce.

I sort of died for this.  The porkbelly was crispy on the outside and a little fatty, and the vinegar just gave the dish some acid. This was the first time they made this dish with the vinegar sauce, and I loved it. The waitress even brought over the vinegar they used, so my mom could use it for cooking at home. Here it is below.white vinegar

White Vinegar for pork belly, sold at specialty markets.

veal ravioli

Veal Ravioli with balsamic reduction.

I try to stay away from pasta dishes at restaurants that have a lounge/bar vibe. It just seems too heavy for a cocktail, however this was delic. If it tastes like something my grandma made it’s a great sign.

applecrisp

Apple crisp

FYI: this was just for me, and they served another apple crisp just for my mom. I was about to keel over at this point. My mom lovesss apple crisp, and it was very good. However, it was still very hot when it was served to us, so I think the crisp needed to sit for a bit longer so it wasn’t so oozy. Still a great end to the meal 🙂


tertulia

Tertulia [Click the photo above to go to Tertulia’s website]

359 6th Avenue (between Washington St and Cornelia St) New York, NY 10014

Guess who got to go their first restaurant opening? Meee. But this post isn’t about that, because they only served appetizers and I was hungry afterwards. This is about the dinner after the restaurant opening (don’t worry, I’ll be blogging the other restaurant another time) at Tertulia.

I went with my schmoozy boozy foodie friend to the event, so I figured I’d give myself the night off and let him pick the restaurant (or I had no idea where I was, and didn’t know what restaurants were nearby…or that).

Tertulia it is. The hostess tells us there is a slight wait, but two people are eating dessert so we should be seated shortly.

“So free drinks on the house while we wait?” You can guess that was not me, because I barely have the balls to tell waiters I’m a food blogger.

She smiles and tells us no.

I decide I need water while we wait, because I have already had 3 drinks, and well frankly, there’s not much more I can handle.

We are seated rather fast, and we are handed menus.

Him: “Do you like quail eggs?”

Me: “Blech no”

Me: “Croquettes?”

Him: “No”

Shit.

I lean back against the booth, I give up, he can do it.

“I’ll just wing it.”

“Great.”

The waiter struts over.

“Can I get you two something to drink?”

“Sangria.”

“Glasses or pitcher?”

“Pitcher.”

Uh oh.

It’s late, we might as well order. Off he goes!

“We’ll get the shishito peppers.”

“Do you like prosciutto?”

“Yeah that’s fine.”

Suddenly our waiter looks extremely irritated. “I can come back.”

“No it’s fine he’s winging it.”

Final decision: shishito peppers, prosciutto, squid specialty, and brussel sprouts.

“He hated us.”

“Did he?”

We both obviously turn to look at him. I mean who doesn’t look at the person they’re talking smack about..and there this little shit is giggling and loving it up with all the other patrons!

What did we do to him?

Lucky for him we didn’t hate the food, but the prosciutto came with nothing else, and it was just a mountain of meat, which is weird. Offer us a piece of bread.

Well we know our waiter isn’t going to offer, so we ask another waitress about cheese plates, and order that with bread. This meal just got exponentially larger.

The remainder of our meal was spent focusing on our waiter.

“What do you think his name is?”

I guessed something like Walter, I’m not sure. Something absurd.

Turns out his name is Dantrice. I don’t even need to write a funny comment about that, because nothing will do it justice. My waiter’s name is DANTRICE. OF COURSE IT IS.

“He definitely does pilates.”

“No zumba.”

Visual of our waiter doing zumba is in my brain. Possibly screaming “ay ay ay ay!”

“You have nice eyes. They’re like olive green.”

“They’re blue-green.”

“Right, blue-green-olive-green.”

Yeah that’s me. ROY G BIV.

Dantrince saunters over yet again. Doesn’t even think to ask how our meal was or ask why all the squid was left on the table (because it was blechh). However he does tell us “It’s last call.”

Oof Dantrice all the things I could think to call you. You’re lucky I’m drunk and tired, and embarrassed of how little we tipped you, so I’m not going to say anything. I’m just going to go home.

sangria

Sangria

Pretty right? It was good, but everything is good after 3 drinks. Also, it’s a really bag sign if you serve bad sangria.

peppers

Pimientos De Padron: Fried Padrón peppers with lots of sea salt

You either love these or hate these, because every 1 out of 5 is supa dupa hot. Dantrice informed us that a lot of them were spicy right now. I happen to be a big fan!

brussel sprouts

Brussel Sprouts

Most tapas restaurants have brussel sprouts and they’re usually pretty legit. These were yummy. A great side, but they never should be the star of a meal.

prosciutto

Prosciutto

Here is our pile of meal. It was tasty, but who eats prosciutto like this? At least tell us first so we can order Pan Con Tomate with it. We fixed the problem though and ordered bread don’t worry.

squid

Squid Special

It looks so pretty, but it was very very chewy and served cold. I don’t know if it was on purpose or Dantrice was too busy zumba-ing in the back and forgot about us.

I am so dumb and didn’t take a picture of my FAVORITE part of the meal, the CHEESE. They described it as a texture like brie, but with more flavors. It was also served with a raisin and nut bread with a gelatin. Looking back I would have been happy with a cheese plate.



ESSEX

Essex [Click the photo above to go to Essex’s website]

120 Essex Street (between Rivington St & Delancey St) New York, NY 10002

Let’s first start off this story by saying, I know Essex isn’t the newest restaurant in town; It’s not the most delicious…blah blah blah, so for all you people reading this, and being like “why’d she go there?” You guys can suck it, because Essex is FUN.

Sunday Funday + Drunk Brunch + Birthday = Amazingness.

I think that sums it up. The End.

Kidding, I have a lot to say.

I woke up hung-over after a Saturday night that we will just say included a 4am pit stop to the Meatball Shop, only to get up and continue drinking. I thought I would at least have a few extra hours to sleep since brunch was at 1, but no. I was woken up by the birthday girl at 10 am reminding us to be there at 1. Thanks.

I slather on make-up the best I can (I bought luminizer and I want to use it), and checked how I could subway myself (yes I’m using subway as a verb) to my destination. I give myself a peptalk: you’re broke, you’re an adult, you can do this. Get on the subway.

I made it!

I was 4th out of 6 to arrive. I’ll take it. You can’t be seated until everyone is there, and there was a wait anyway, a 20 minute wait. Don’t worry I didn’t mind the wait, because I ate the remaining 1/5 of my meatball sandwich this morning, so I was good.

We sit down, and I don’t know what I’m more excited for, the water or the mimosa.

“We need a picture of us.”

“Should we take it now?”

“Let’s wait until we have a few more drinks.”

I scan the menu, do I want sweet or savory?

“I think I want French toast,” my friend says.

“I don’t know if I want that or potato latkes.”

“Do you want to split?”

I almost punched both of them. They went in for sharesies without me. W.T.F.

“I’m having a bite of that,” I say. I get real authoritative sometimes.

The watiress comes over, and orders are put in, we all went different routes and order something different. As the waitress walks away my friend is absolutely convinced the waitress gave her a dirty look when she ordered. Maybe she did.

Ready for the brunch brigade? Scroll down to hear how it was, because you don’t go to a drunk brunch for the food, but at least this place makes pretty good food.

Potato Latkes with lox and poached eggs

French toast

Matzoh Brie with Mexican toppings

Potato Latkes

Lobster Benedict

Cheeseburger

“I have gifts for everyone,” the birthday girl announces.

Oooh gifts. Ok!

She whips out 5 dreidels and cheap blue sunglasses.

“Happy Hanukah everyone!”

“Aren’t these the give-aways you got at that charity event you went to a few days ago.”

“Yeah.”

Whatever, we’ll take anything. Everyone starts spinning their dreidels, and trying on the sunglasses.

“You only gave out 3 sunglasses. I want one.”

$5 sunglasses are the hottest thing at this table right now. Now everyone is taking what I can only describe as Gangster Jew pictures with sunglasses and holding up dreidels.

Birthday girl hates her potato latkes, but at least it’s picture time.

“It’s ok.”

“It’s fine.”

“So we all agree we want to take another.”

Before we know it our waitress has shooed us out of our seats with the check, and some of us haven’t even received the 3 drinks our brunch comes with. So what do we do?

We complain until we get more free drinks, and a birthday cake with a candle.

Our waitress/manager produces 20 carnival tickets, and tells us we can use them for free drinks at the bar.

What better way to spend your Sunday than badgering Romanian bartenders to give you  free drinks with carnival tickets, and magically whipping them out from our pockets, bags, and bra straps with such pride, like they’re $100 bills.

“Vodka soda. Here you go.”

“What should we do now?”

“Let’s go to another bar and then get dinner.”

From brunch to dinner, that’s how we do, and that’s why it’s Sunday Funday.

Bread basket

I like that they were so generous with the bread, and it gave you something to nosh on while you sipped on your drink, and waited for your food. It’s probably a preventative method of keeping patrons from getting too drunk before their meals arrive, and I like it.

The Aristocrat: potato pancake topped with house-cured salmon gravlax, salmon caviar & poached eggs

I guess I’m just a more is more person. I liked that it was a bite of everything. It doesn’t come close to my mom’s potato latkes, but it was still great. What’s brunch without lox?

Mexican Matzo Brei

Mexican Matzo Brei: scrambled eggs with tortilla crisps, monterey jack, avocado, black beans & pico de gallo

I was originally wary of this dish, because this was like “everything but the kitchen sink” in my mind. However, it was a hodge podge of Mexican delight.

challah french toast

Challah French Toast with bananas foster sauce & fresh fruit

Totally fine dish. The banana part looks a bit yuck, but it was good. It’s a good alternative to eggs.

cheeseburger

8 oz sirloin burger with french fries

Well done fries can’t be bad! Going for brunch, but just want lunch? Burger and a bloody mary work. At least that’s what my friend did.

lobster benedict

Lobster Benedict

Probably would NOT recommend this dish. Lobster was a bit fishy. Maybe crab cake is better? If you have to think about the quality of the seafood I don’t think it’s a good idea.

crispy potato pancakes

Crispy Potato Pancakes with sautéed apples & honey cream sauce & spinach-shiitake-black bean hash

Not a pretty lookin’ dish. I’d rather get the Aristocrat if I’m going to get the potato pancakes, but I guess it borders on simple if you’re in the mood for some potato pancakes.

essex cake

Peanut Butter Cake

Tasted like pure peanut butter. It was free so ok, but ehhhh.

the ladies

the girls

Here we areeee. Look at these idiots.


5 napkin

5 Napkin Burger [Click the photo above to go to 5 Napkin Burger’s website]
150 East 14th Street (corner of 3rd Avenue)
New York

Being the lamest of the lame, I was really not in the mood to go out the Saturday after Thanksgiving (sometimes it’s nice), but my sister convinced me to go to dinner with her and her friend.

It really went more like:

“I don’t know if I wanna go out.”

“Come with me and Jamie to dinner. It’ll be fun.”

“K, where do you want to go?”

Fickle Pickle.

So, now that I was in for dinner, guess who gets to decide where we go? Me.

Having a food blog everyone assumes you always have a restaurant suggestion at the tip of your tongue. (every bar conversation: I have a food blog…what’s the best restaurant in the city? Shut up.) All it means is that I like to eat, and weird things happen to me when I go out to dinner. Anyway, I reached into my magic hat, and I picked out 5 Napkin Burger.

It’s reasonably priced, supposedly good fare, and considered relatively cool.

I still wore heels though and looked like a complete idiot. Everyone was casually dressed, and here I was with a collared necklace, sequin booties, and dark lipstick on (OVERDRESSED, OVERDRESSED, is all I could hear the other patrons saying in their heads).

Being that this was right after Thanksgiving, I decided let’s try the Dukan Diet again. Lets cleanse this body of mine, so I ordered two burger patties with no bun, and no fries as my dish. I love that meat is “cleansing.”

My sister and her friend however decided to split a rainbow roll. Yes, 5 Napkin Burger has both sushi and burgers, and then they each ordered a salad.

I decided to order the side of cabbage and vinegar to start, so I didn’t just watch my sister and her friend eat.

“How’s the sushi roll.”

“It’s ok. It’s like a California roll.”

“Yeah, but is it good?”

“It’s fine.”

“Would you order it again?”

“No.”

So, it’s supermarket sushi. Got it.

The cabbage salad I kid you not: amazing. I know it’s weird. It’s cabbage, but it’s crunchy and acidic, and I was munching the bejeezus out of it.

Then the mains arrive (come to mama). My burgers (notice the plural) were pretty effing delicious, with caramelized onions and pickles on top (vegetable garnish is allowed on the diet).

My sister got a salad with a burger patty on top so I don’t know, but one can convince themselves that anything is healthy when there’s lettuce. She ordered the dressing on the side, but the dressing was Thousand Island dressing, and she dunked each bite into the dressing, and ordered more. She didn’t say she was on a diet, nor does she want to be.

Her friend (my friend too) got the Asian chicken salad, and as it turns out it is actual chicken salad, not a salad with chicken.

“I wish it wasn’t chicken salad,”so she was pretty disappointed not gonna lie.

Don’t worry we fixed this problem, “we’ll have an espresso brownie sundae please.”

Oh, good-bye diet. I dumped you for ice cream.

Next thing you know my sister is practically making out with the ice cream so I managed a few bites (probably eight).

“Share the sundae!”

“You gotta get in there,” she says as she digs for brownie pieces.

After 2 courses, 2 drinks, and dessert, maybe an hour has passed by, so don’t give yourself to much time if you’re going straight to the bar after.

“This went by so fast!”

“Let’s just go to a bar before we go to the open bar,” my sister’s friend says.

Oh, to be young.

“Yeah, I’m gonna go home,” I say.

Guess I did spend the Saturday night in afterall.

Vinegar Slaw

Vinegar Slaw

Vinegar Slaw: now I know this look sort of meh, and it’s just a side, but it was sooo good!! It’s a great side dish to get to avoid fries or mac N cheese.

rainbow roll

Rainbow Roll: It looks nice right? Don’t be fooled by the colorful row of fish and avocado. The rolls are thick with rice, and the sushi is not bad per say, but it’s not the freshest and best in town.

burger patties

Burger Patties: I swear, they were delicious, and filling, and they didn’t overcharge for ordering two patties. Who knew the bun would increase the cost so much, because you know I’d have to pay full price for two burgers??

Burger Salad

Burger Salad: beef, , endive, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, green beans, red onion, radishes, celery, blue cheese, pickled onions, red wine vinaigrette & 5n sauce.

5n sauce is Thousand Island dressing,and my sister loved every bite of this. It’s like a deconstructed Big Mac, so I don’t think of this salad as wimpy.

Asian Chicken Salad

Asian Chicken Salad: napa cabbage, watercress, romaine, cucumbers, celery, apples, onions, scallions, peanuts, radish sprouts, creamy sesame – soy dressing & ginger vinaigrette.

Somebody show me where in that description they tell you it’s “chicken salad” and not grilled chicken. With exception to that crucial error in the menu, my sister’s friend seemed to like it, and was able to look past the chicken incident.

Espresso Brownie Sundae

Espresso Brownie Sundae with 3 spoons

Do I think the brownie was homemade? No. Do I care? No. It’s a friggen sundae. Look at those nuts sprinkled on top, and whipped cream is my favorite. It’s not exactly breaking the mold in the dessert department, but I don’t think someone goes to 5 Napkin Burger for something innovative.



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