Ainsworth [Click the photo above to go to Ainsworth’s website]
122 West 26th Street (between 6th and 7th Avenue) New York, NY 10001
Sunday football is back! I decided to be proactive and make at reservations in advance at Ainsworth to watch the Jets game (I’m a Giants fan, but in reality I don’t watch football by myself…ever) at 1pm.
I e-mailed them the Monday before to secure reservations. They request a credit card on file in order to secure the reservation, and there’s a dress code. Oh, and for a party of 6-8, patrons have to spend a minimum of $250. Unless there are 10 or more which means you must spent $500. What kind of place is this!
And, they’ll charge the credit card on file if you don’t show up to your reservation…this place better be amazing. It…was not.
I arrive first, because why wouldn’t I arrive first, and they seat me right by the door.
“Excuse me would be able to sit farther in?”
“I’m sorry people are seated in according to how quickly we receive your reservation.” (I didn’t sneak out of temple to make this reservation or anything. It’s fine). I sit alone on my phone trying to figure out the new upgrades to my IPhone. Youtube is gone, what else?
Two of my friends arrive after me with an elaborate story about how they planned on wearing sweat pants to defy the dress code, and then surprise the bouncer with an outfit underneath (they didn’t do any of this, but they really thought about it).
My friend is telling me how she worked out and started this new diet for a wedding she has coming up, and I have to interrupt her to tell her she has something in her teeth, and I cannot stop staring at it.
“It must be from the bagel. Why didn’t you tell me?” she says to our other friend.
“I didn’t see it. It’s black right?” She saw it.
“I thought you said you were on a diet.”
“I was up since 8!” Ok ok.
We each order a beer (they’re out of Blue Moons), and my friend orders some fancy pants Raspberry beer which comes in a champagne flute, and looks just like Manischewitz wine. It tastes sort of like juice, but I don’t know, I don’t mind it.
We decide we want tuna tacos to split, and I guess I’ll be good and get a salad. Our other two friends arrive.
“Why didn’t you guys get pitchers?”
Everybody caaaalm down. We order a pitcher.
One of my friend is convinced she’s sea sick from a booze cruise she took the night before, doesn’t even touch her beer, and orders a coffee…
I get up to use the restroom. The beer has already gotten to me, and apparently the door to the unisex bathroom does not lock, and 3 people open the door on me. I walk out and decide I’m not telling anyone what happened, because there’s nothing more embarrassing than someone walking in on you screaming, “No don’t! Someone’s in here!”
Luckily my friends don’t care. “You missed it! Kris Humphries just walked in with his hood on!”
I seem to like to go to the same place C List celebrities like to hang out. First Kim D and Teresa, now Kris Humphries (and weirdly enough I’ve seen him a few times watching football on Sunday). He is sitting in VIP. I mean is that cool? I don’t really know. I don’t think so, but all my friends are like, “we gotta find a way in to VIP.”
No thanks! I’ll eat my salad (which sucked). Everyone orders a salad, but we still get a pitcher of beer and nachos, so who were we really fooling? No one.
As I crunch on my dressing-less salad, we all watch girls decked in heels, hair done, oversize bags…we’re “watching” football you freaks. Girls have full faces of make-up, and the restaurant/bar is now just a bar so it’s pitch black. No one can see your face anyway!
Our last friend arrives, and orders a caprese salad, and decides she’ll wait it out for her next dish. We do have to make this stupid minimum.
My friend decides she wants to seek out Kris Humphries, and I have to pee again so off we go. This time I go into the Ladie’s Room. Eff that unisex bathroom. I hate you. She then makes me walk around to the back where the VIP section is, and she is awkwardly standing there just staring. Now I feel weird.
“I don’t see him. Where do you want to go?”
“I don’t know where is he?”
I see someone waving furiously at me. Some guy I met in a Hampton sharehouse a few years ago, sitting on a couch in the VIP section. I wave back.
“Can we go?”
We sit back down, and try to figure out if we have reached the minimum amount we have to pay to sit in these seats.
“Did you see the Hump?”
“No, but we saw some guy I know from a sharehouse.”
“Was that the pale guy waving at you?”
We have not reached our minimum yet, and the game is still going.
“It got so dark in here.”
“How much longer is this game?”
“Is it going to go into overtime?”
We are $10 off from the minimum after already ordering mac n cheese for the table (huge portion, ok flavor) and we are about to just suck it up and pay for it when my friend screams, “I’ll have a bloody mary!”
“We might as well make the minimum.” She already had 3 bloody marys, and made me take a picture of it, because “it looked pretty good.”
We pay, and the game goes into overtime, and the bar is pitch black. I cannot bear to watch one more minute of the Jets. I’m out of here. Maybe i’ll see Kris again next week.
Ainsworth (bloody mary)
Everyone knows what beer looks like, so here is a different drink. The same person who ordered this also ordered one of their lemon specialty drinks. It was 1 in the afternoon. I don’t know where she thought she was.
Ainsworth (mac n cheese)
Everyone agreed that this was disappointing. It was a dish we ordered to make the minimum. It’s fine macaroni and cheese, but it’s not that great. The best part is the parmesan bread crumbs baked on top.
Ainsworth (tuna tartar tacos:red onions, scallions,red chili vinaigrette, guacamole)
They were actually pretty good!! Also for tacos, not that messy either. I was pleasantly surprised!
Ainsworth (nachos:tri-color corn tortillas, shredded jack and cheddar,black beans,pico de gallo, guacamole,sour cream)
I didn’t eat the nachos. I think they were ok. It’s just a pile of fat on top of carbs, so I’m sure this has to be decent bar food. I did like the guacamole that came on the tuna tacos, so at least I know that was good.
Ainsworth (Tomato Mozzarella Caprese: buffalo mozzarella, basil oil, red and yellowtomatoes, balsamic reduction)
I asked my friend how it was, and she crinkled her noise and said, “eh.” In other words don’t get it.
Ainsworth (truffle Mushroom Stuffed Burger: bacon,swiss cheese,truffle mayo)
I stole some of the truffle fries. It was decent, but my friend did not finish it, so maybe she deemed it not worth the calories or maybe she wasn’t hungry. I don’t know, but probably not a great sign.
Ainsworth (Ainsworth Chopped Salad:romaine lettuce,grape tomatoes,corn, hearts of palm, feta cheese, cucumbers, carrots, asparagus,red onions,white balsamic vinaigrette, add chicken $3, shrimp $5)
I added the chicken, and removed the feta. They put all the contents on top of the salad so it looked like it was going to taste great, and then the rest of the bowl was filled with lettuce. Crap salad.
Ainsworth (Spinach Salad: baby spinach, red peppers, red onions, mushrooms,artichoke hearts,goat cheese,apple cider vinaigrette, add chicken $3)
My friend was craving goat cheese so she immediately eyed this salad. It looks fine, but it’s not a healthy salad.
Ainsworth (caesar salad)
Ok caesar salad. You can see by the quality of the picture how dark it really does get in this restaurant/bar.
Angelo’s [Click the photo above to go to Angelo’s website]
146 Mulberry Street New York, NY 10013
After a few years of wanting the full experience at the San Gennaro Festival it finally happened. Somehow 8 girls found a night that worked for everyone on a Thursday night, and made reservations at a restaurant without any fuss at Angelo’s. So far so good right?
“How are you getting to dinner?”
“I have no idea,” I replied on gchat to my friend. Me, get anywhere downtown without a cab, and through public transportation instead? I think not.
“We can take the 6 to Canal Street.” (Cool)
“Want to meet at the subway so we can go together?” (Yes, I have no idea where I’m going, and I could definitely use a budget friendly ride)
As I’m running to get ready (is it cold out? Do I need a jacket or maybe just a scarf? Am I going out after this? Should I put on liquid liner?) I get a text from my friend saying she’s getting her nails done two blocks away from me, and she’s taking the subway with my other friend and me.
Great, you can come up to my apt, and I go on to give her my apt #, and she writes back “Ehhh.” Thanks?
I get to the subway, and she tells me she couldn’t find my building (she was on my block…she probably just had to look up). Now I’m starting to sweat as we wait for the 6 to arrive, and I realize why I hate the subway. I pull one arm out of my sweater so it’s half on/half off.
“I’ll fix it once we’re on the train”
“Yeah, I’m dripping.”
We get off the subway, and wait for our other friends who took the subway, and as they arrive, something gets into my eye, so I am now walking through Chinatown (is it Chinatown?) trying to get an unidentified object out of my eye without smudging my liquid liner (yeah, I decided to wear it).
We walk through the hustle and bustle that is San Gennero (Honey eat here! Want to be a winner? Look at this menu!), and just as I see the word “Angelo” in view, my two friends get distracted by a hustler offering them a “free game” outside the restaurant (you know where you have to throw ball in a container, and it looks so easy, but it never works, and you spent $45 trying to win a gigantic banana stuffed animal).
“Guys! The restaurant is right here!”
“He said we could have won a tv…” (no you couldn’t)
As I’m standing outside the restaurant waiting to be seated, I see a possibly drunk platinum blonde looking right at me in the restaurant, OMG IT’S KIM D FROM REAL HOUSEWIVES OF NEW JERSEY.
“Is it her?”
“Are you sure it’s her”
“Is that Teresa next to her?” I see a bundle of black coifed hair.
We are escorted to our table, and all 8 of us awkwardly try to turn our heads to see if it’s her as we walk past their table to ours.
“IT’S DEFINITELY HER!”
I HAVEN’T EVEN BEGUN…
Two of my friends run off to talk to Kim D and Teresa as the rest of us settle in.
“Do we want wine?”
“Red or white?” ….(what do you want? I don’t know what do you want? You pick, no you pick. SOMEBODY PICK! 1 bottle of red, and 1 bottle of white…and then two more of each….heehee)
Our friends return, “We got a picture! We got a picture!” My friend shows us a picture of the two of them, Kim and Teresa, as my friend explains she didn’t know where to put her hand so she put it on Teresa’s chair.
“We told Kim about your scarves go talk to her!” They say to my friend who sells scarves (that makes sense).
Shameless plug: http://www.justjamie.com/
My friend runs off, her shawl flowing behind her, as she heads directly for Kim. She comes back victorious, “I’ll be making a trip to New Jersey this weekend…”
“I think we should get a few appetizers to start, and we can each get our own mains.”
“I just want a salad,” says my friend.
“How about baked clams?”
“I’ll do baked clams,” say the same friend. I thought you just wanted a salad? Fickle pickle.
Pasta, pasta, pasta, “I think I want seafood,” says my friend. Idiot… (ordered: orecchiette with sausage, rigatoni a la vodka, cappellini in a spicy tomato sauce, gnocchi in a tomato sauce, and gnocchi with pesto…and octopus)
We finally put in all of our orders with the waiter.
“I like him he keeps calling me Bella.”
“He called me Bella too…”
“But he smiled at me.”
Is this happening?? At least the man knows what he’s doing.
Every time the waiter puts something on the table I have my camera out before he even puts it on the table. These girls aren’t going to wait for me to take a picture before they dive in.
When the pastas arrive, I pick my fork up like it’s a magical wand, and start going from dish to dish scooping up noodles so I can “appropriately blog” (I haven’t described a dish yet).
So want to hear about the dishes? I do too.
Baked clams: amazing!
Salad: why’d we even order this?
Bread: I meannnn who doesn’t dip their bread in the baked clams sauce? A moron, that’s who.
Mains…look at the descriptions under the pictures for that. This story is long enough as it is.
My friend next to me got the gnocchi in a pesto sauce with melted mozzarella on top (I know!). We should have switched plates because I was essentially sitting on her lap eating the dish. At least they’re large portions.
“Where’s the wine!”
“Let’s take a picture.”
“I like the second one.”
“I like the first one.”
“Put up both.”
“Just put up one.”
“Let’s get dessert outside.”
The bill comes, and it reads, $440 to split by 8.
“That’s like $100 each!”
“No, no it is not.”
“Oh right, like $20 each!”
“No, that isn’t right either.” (this all happened)
“That’s definitely going in the blog” (WHY WOULDN’T IT GO IN THE BLOG!)
We should definitely get dessert…dessert seems smart. What seems smarter than dessert, fried oreos as dessert.
6 for $5. 3 of us get a bag, and I somehow eat three of them. Woops!
“I’m definitely taking a cab back.”
As we’re sitting at a red light, my friend screams, “That’s Lorelai!” (from Gilmore Girls)
“Lorelai!” We scream outside the cab window (that’s not her name).
She waves back.
“Maybe she’s going to San Gennaro.”
I don’t normally do this, but I can’t help it…IT’S TERESA!
My friend wanted fully body, I wanted well not full body, another just wanted wine, another just wanted red, so we got chianti. It did the job.
Great way to start the meal! It also wasn’t too salty, which was nice, so it didn’t overwhelm you before the meal started.
Angelo’s (baked clams)
This is a double order. It was delicious! It had a good ratio of breading to clam, and there was of course extra sauce to dip your bread in.
Angelo’s (insalata misto)
It was ok. The end.
Angelo’s (Orecchiette Con Broccoli Rape: Small Ear Shaped Pasta with Broccoli Rape and shredded sausage)
This is my dish. I thought it was simple with minimal sausage, but I ate my friend’s pasta next to me with plenty left on my plate, so maybe it’s not the number one thing to order, but it’s definitely simple and a change of pace if you don’t want something too saucy.
Angelo’s (Capellini Angelo: angel hair with mozzarella & rugola in a spicy tomato sauce)
This was not that spicy and a teensy bit saucy, but overall a good dish. Not my favorite on the table.
Angelo’s (Gnocchi Sorrentina: HalfMoon Ravioli in Cream Tomato Sauce)
It was a really nice bite. My friend said it looked like ketchup, which it sort of did.
Angelo’s (Gnocchi in a pesto sauce)
Hands down the best dish at the table. It’s super rich, and you don’t NEED to finish it, but I think everyone deserves a bite of this.
Angelo’s (rigatoni a la vodka)
The noodles were cooked perfectly, and the sauce was delicious. This dish was completely clean by the end of the meal, and was finished first.
Angelo’s (grilled octopus in wine sauce over arugula salad)
It’s “healthy” I guess, but it is still dipped in oil, and not nearly as good as a bowl of pasta. If you’re in Little Italy, just go for it.
San Gannero Festival (fried oreos)
I have never had a fried oreo before, and it is just so much better than you would think it is. It is a ball of fried dough with powdered sugar, and inside is a chewy gooey oreo! It doesn’t scream class, but whatever.
PETE’S TAVERN [Click the photo above to go to Pete’s Tavern’s website]
129 East 18th Street (on the corner of Irving) New York, NY 10003
As all group dinners with girls are, this one was a process: after a 6 part group email, a few side gchat sessions, and possibly two private texting sessions (all about where to go for dinner), we eventually decided on Pete’s Tavern in Gramercy.
The only way I can think of to describe this place is just straight up old school. It’s dark and pub-like, with quality food, and pictures of the celebrities that have walked through its doors, and oh yeah, it was on Sex & the City.
I usually have an opinion about where we’re eating, and being the pretentious person that I am, I would have preferred to eat at a trendier place, and not a spot my dad or grandpa would be into going to, but this time I kept my opinion to myself.
Because this idiot (that’s me) is on a diet, the Dukan Diet. Yes I am! After hearing all my friends talk about the diet and then watching them shed the pounds, I figured I had to try this thing out since “it’s so easy.” I know what you’re thinking, why would you start a diet when the summer is ending…well let me tell you!
I don’t know about you, but I beast on the weekends in the summer. Either I’m away or I’m hungover or I’m away AND hungover (“I’m away!” “I need bacon” “it’s whole wheat it’s fine” “it’s ok it’s scooped”), and I see no reason to watch what I shove in my mouth even if I’m in a bikini while I’m eating it. I think it doesn’t count, but it does. And I give myself a serious period of recovery before I start being a human again after these weekends, so my gym time has been limited…SO DUKAN!
Dukan diet has no portion control which I’m fully down with, and it’s ALL protein, so I really couldn’t complain about Pete’s Tavern knowing full well I could order a steak and be in my diet guidelines (I’m also allowed diet soda and coffee. It’s absurd).
I obviously arrive first as my friends are not timely people, plopped down, ordered a glass of wine (whatever I can cheat with alcohol), decided on the kobe beef burger (with no bun and no garnish), and possibly a side of vegetables (which I was finally allowed to eat after completing the “attack phase”…order the book if you’re confused) and waited for them to arrive.
I tell the waiter I want something dry, and he tells me he doesn’t know much about alcohol (lie to me). He throws a full glass of wine down on the table.
I taste it, cringe, and go, “It’s good. Thanks!”
The other three eventually arrive, and one looks particularly peeved.
“I’ve been setting up my classroom all week.” Her hair is back in a ponytail. She has no make-up on, no heels on, and her face screams misery. She’s clearly not going anywhere after this dinner. (I mentally cross her name off my list of people going out tonight).
As I am not a teacher, and have not had a full summer off, my sympathy is minimal.
“What is this diet you’re on?”
“I’m essentially starving my body of all sugars, but I can eat as much steak as I want.”
My friends peruse the menu as our wacky waiter asks if anyone wants something to drink. He is speaking super-fast, and almost looks like he’s running around the restaurant when he zooms past our table.
He returns with wine for one friend, no alcohol for the sad teacher in the corner, and the house ale for my other friend, which he describes as a medium beer.
“So what’s it taste like?”
“It’s not light, and it’s not dark.”
“Can you relate it to another beer.”
“It’s in the middle.”
“Ok whatever I’ll get that.”
It just tastes like beer is all I know.
They end up ordering a hamburger with sweet potato fries, pasta WITH chicken added (I guess she’s hungry?), and a cheeseburger with fries.
As the waiter sprints off we begin our conversation.
“I can’t believe you guys went to a male strip club.”
We did. Magic Mike in the flesh (pun intended). It’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever done, and I highly recommend it.
“Why did you go?”
“We walked by it, and this one thought it’d be fun to go,” I say pointing to my ale drinking friend.
“It’s amazing they make you feel great.” (she got a lapdance, which was worth watching)
“They made me feel weird.”
“We got drunk.”
“I high-fived one while they were giving a lapdance.”
“I want to go for my bachelorette party.”
“We should go every week,” says the ale drinker.
“No, we shouldn’t.”
I see our waiter doing an Olympic like run towards us with our food, and I see my non bun burger has onion rings, and I sadly lift them up and move them to the corner 😦
The kobe burger was delicious, and my friends loved their burgers. My friend got the spaghetti ala Pete, which has tomato, garlic, basil extra virgin olive oil, and oh yeah, chicken.
As the busboy is cleaning up our table, he spills water over the teacher’s Iphone. Bad idea.
We all fear for the worst that the busboy is going to have to pay for a new phone, but thank goodness it still works.
We split the check, and as we’re leaving, my friend has pulled up the Hunkamania schedule for the upcoming weeks.
“Guys, mark it down.”
Pete’s Tavern (side of grilled vegetables)
Veggies are allowed in the second phase of my diet (score for me) so this was my big splurge (I know I sound like a freak, but who doesn’t sound like a freak when they’re dieting). I was pretty pleased with myself.
Pete’s Tavern (spaghetti a la Pete’s: tomato, garlic, basil, extra virgin olive oil)
Pasta with basic classy ingredients is hard to say no to! My friend added chicken. I don’t personally love chicken mixed with pasta (maybe clams?), but if a girl wants some protein, do what you gotta do.
Pete’s Tavern (hamburger with sweet potato fries)
That just looks amazing! The bun, the fries, it’s a shame my diet prohibits me from eating this. I love myself. I hate myself.
Pete’s Tavern (cheesburger with fries, pickle and cole slaw)
My friend approved of her burger. Pete’s Tavern’s reputation remains in tact.
Pete’s Tavern (kobe beef hamburger, no bun, onion rings)
I sadly removed the onion rings, but it was delicious! I asked for it medium, and I thought it tasted rich and velvety (is that a good description?) I don’t know if it the level of fat qualifies for the Dukan Diet I kan (get it) do what I want.
David Burke Kitchen in the James Hotel [Click the photo above to go to David Burke Kitchen’s website]
23 Grand Street (between 6th and Thompson Avenue) New York, NY 10013
My sister and I felt like geniuses when we decided to take my mom to a trendy restaurant for her birthday for Restaurant Week (not like we were paying anyway, but it seemed like a good idea)With that said, I would like to officially hate hard on Restaurant Week or specifically Restaurant Week at David Burke Kitchen. I don’t know if this place always sucks or if it was just when we went, but this place has got to go.
It’s like the wait staff judges the patrons for getting a deal, so they even it out with crap service (how cranky do I sound?)
Anyway! Let’s begin!
My sister texted me that her and my mom had arrived 20 minutes prior to the reservation, so I took it as a cue that I had to rush downtown to meet them. As it turns out, I was there before them, because they decided to walk around the neighborhood.
I sat in a chair people watching and then judging the people I watched while I waited. I eventually see them coming towards me clicking their heels as they walked.
“Why’d you wear heels?” (my mom also pulled her back earlier this week, so you tell me if this is normal)
“We brought them with us, and put them on in the car.” (so you can sit with your feet under the table)
We are seated, and I can see my mom already eyeing the restaurant (we rarely sit at the table we’re seated at, because my mom always feels like we could have gotten a better table).
“I need a booth for my back.”
“It’s really that bad?”
She looks at my sister, “can you run to the car and get me a towel?”
The bread basket gets placed in front us, and my sister looks at my mom like she is straight up out of her mind.
“I just put my heels on.”
“We’re in a hotel Mom. They have to have a pillow somewhere.”
As my mom waddles around the restaurant in search of a pillow, my sister and I order wine.
She comes back victorious with a pillow.
“We ordered wine.”
“Without me?” My mom hardly drinks to begin with.
You would think it would be easy enough to get the waiter back over to our table so my mom could order wine, and we could order dinner, no dice. I could have flashed the whole restaurant, and no one would have flinched.
I guess it gave us time to confirm our orders. I was “dieting” as I proceeded to pick at the bread basket (“where’s the butter?!”) so I went with a plain salad and the sea bass. My sister got the sea bass as well, but she ordered Burrata cheese as her app (girl is obsessed with queso). My mom’s tomato allergy inhibited her from committing to a dish….or a wine for that matter. Oh and P.S. since it’s restaurant week, all our meals come with a dessert…like I was skipping that!
The waiter returned, and it was tomato time.
I had looked up that the pretzel crab cake was a specialty of theirs so my mom had planned on ordering that, but it turns out there are tomatoes every which way in this dish.
“Even the pepper sauce?”
“Can I just get this without any of the garnish?”
“Yes, but then it’s just crab cakes with pretzels.”
“Is this a preference or an allergy?” (do you think she’d be this difficult just over a food preference, please, slip my mom some tomatoes and see what happens to her little face).
“ALLERGY” we all say.
We decide to give my mom her cards and gift, while we wait for our food. Our family believes in the art of the perfect card, so we don’t write any sentimental crap inside, we just search for the funniest perfect cards, and we each buy a minimum of 3 cards per person (we’re cute), so needless to say my mom had a lot of cards to open up, and she opened them all up before the apps arrived.
She finally gets to her gift, and my sister and I sit there waiting for my mom’s disappointment.
Pause….”what is it?”
“It’s a gift card so you can get a massage!”
“Do they have reflexology?”
But instead we go with, “they have hot stone massages!”
My salad essentially sucked, and they didn’t even offer me ground pepper. My sister obviously had no problem with a hunk of cheese, and my mom really was just eating crab cakes with pretzel sticks on top…and she still hadn’t gotten her wine.
I realize I need to get my mom a candle so I run off to tell the hostess (because I obviously can’t find our waiter) before I forget. I also notice that the restaurant is filled with women, barely any men.
“Mom did you know the Kardashians stayed at the same hotel as us in London?”
“Where did we stay again?”
“Athenaeum” (yes, we did feel special!)
“Remember when you almost got run over by that cab driver?” We are all crying of laughter visualizing my mom running for her life as a cab driver chases her across the intersection (shopping bags in hand screaming at the top of her lungs).
“That cab driver was a meany.”
“He was mom.”
Main courses: my fish was the size of my thumb, and my mom’s meat was pretty effing tough. I tried cutting it with my knife and decided to screw it and just put the whole thing in my mouth.
As we’re eating we look around the restaurant at the pictures hanging on the walls. The pictures are of chefs with live animals.
My sister looks to her left and goes, “I don’t want to see a picture of a lamb before I eat lamb chops.”
I turn my head around and see a picture of a sweet looking cow otherwise known as steak.
“Yeah, what were they thinking?”
Our water glasses haven’t been refilled once.
Dessert comes, and I’m petrified they forgot the candle. They didn’t! Thank G-d! Unfortunately the mint brownie my mom ordered pretty much sucks.
My strawberry shortcake parfait is the only redeeming quality of this whole meal, but a main ingredient is funfetti cake. I LOVE funfetti cake but it’s not worth $15 just sayin.
My sister ordered one of the only desserts not included as part of the restaurant week menu, and got the cheesecake (do you see a trend here with my sister?). It was actually a cheese cake tree of cake lollipops.
My sister took a bite of each lollipop, and if she didn’t like it she would just shove the half eaten pop back into the tree. She’s 21 years old by the way.
It was finally time to leave and we decide to finish up our night with a trip to the Jimmy rooftop. Time for pictures (after we have just eaten 3 courses)!
We asked some lady to take a picture of the three of us, and she was so great! You know when you feel guilty for asking a complete stranger to take multiple pictures of yourself? She was really into it, and did different angles and everything. As she hands the camera back to my mom, looks right at my mom’s outfit and goes “you have great boobs!”
“The view is great!” my mom replies. Happy Birthday Mom!
David Burke Kitchen (bread)
I’ll give it to them, they have good bread. It’s all downhill from here.
David Burke Kitchen (seasonal salad)
The cucumbers were gross, the salad was soggy, I was hating life.
David Burke Kitchen (pretzel crab cake: mustard glaze, boston beer foam, pepper marmalade)
To be fair, my mom had the dish altered, but it tasted like plain ol’ crab cakes to me, and those pretzel sticks reminded me of the pretzels I used to snack on at day camp (and pretend they were cigarettes obviously).
David Burke Kitchen (asparagus & buratta salad: watermelon, tomoato prisciutto)
Solid, but a bit mushy, and lets be real, we’ve all seen a prettier plate.
David Burke Kitchen (pork chop: cumin bacon, mango chutney, parsley onion rings)
This had potential to be great! It just wasn’t. The porkchop was just so so tough, and the bacon was good, but it was fatty not crispy.
David Burke Kitchen (black sea bass: baby shrimp, spinach, tomato, olive, yellow pepper)
It’s good, I’ll admitt that, but I’m pretty sure it was sitting for a while, because it wasn’t too hot when I got it. And, look how small that piece of fish is!
David Burke Kitchen (mint brownie sundae)
I can’t find the description on the website, but it was sorta dry and way too minty. DON’T GET IT.
David Burke Kitchen (strawberry shortcake parfait)
It’s delicious! I should have just ordered this.
David Burke Kitchen (the original cheesecake lollipop tree for two, passion fruit whipped cream)
It’s good, it’s balls of cheesecake!
Don’t know where to go for Restaurant Week? Me either! I searched for some recommendations, and now you can read them too. [Click the photo above to read Recommendations for New York Restaurant Week]
Morandi [Click the photo above to go to Morandi’s website]
211 Wavery Place (b/t 10th and Charles Street) New York, NY 10014
My dad is back! He said it was time for him to make another appearance, but this time with my sister. They both said they’re going to be famous. I’m glad they think my blog is so popular, meanwhile, I never even mention their names, and maybe 4.3 people read it, including my dad and sister.
I decide the safest bet with my dad is Italian so I make earlyish reservations at Morandi. I arrive right as my sister is ordering a glass of wine at the bar.
“Dad’s parking the car. He ran a red light on the way here.”
“Yea yea, I’m sure he said it was yellow.”
We get seated in a tightish booth, and we stare at the menu. Last time I was here I died over their brussel sprout salad, but the waitress told me they removed it from their menu about a month ago (damn you!).
“What’s good here?” My dad asks.
“The fried artichokes.”
“I love artichokes. That’s a definite.”
“Ooh, there’s burrata cheese,” my sister whispers.
“I thought we were dieting,” says my dad after he JUST decided on fried artichokes.
“Well there’s nothing else that I want,” she replies back completely undeterred. If my sister wants cheese, she’s getting cheese.
“I think I’m going to get the grilled octopus,” I say, I’m not letting my dad change this around. It’s bikini season, grilled, definitely grilled.
“Do you think we have enough appetizers?” (2 for 3 people? We haven’t even begun!)
“I don’t like artichokes,” says my sister.
“How do ya not like artichokes?” as he taps the menu.
“I just don’t,” (she just doesn’t).
The waitress comes over to tell us about the specials for the night, but she doesn’t have them memorized yet, so she keeps looking down at her pad of paper.
“You havin’ some trouble there?” My dad asks cracking up.
Let’s hope our waitress has a sense of humor, because my dad loves to “joke” with the waitress. We tell him they don’t like it, but he thinks he’s making their day (“you guys are crazy, they love it!”)
“Sorry, you guys are my first of the night. I don’t have it memorized yet,” she says with a smile.
Fortunately, one of the appetizer specials was a Boccaccini salad (that’s mozzarella cheese), so my dad said he would compromise mozz for Burrata. Really seems like the same thing to me, but whatever I still get the grilled octopus so I’ll stay out of this one.
Oh, but mains. What about the mains!
I originally decided on the salmon, but the waitress recommends the sea bass and to get a side of vegetables with it.
“It’s very popular.”
“Ok, sure.” I’m not paying. Bring on the sides.
My sister’s turn. She was already shot down on appetizers (but not really because she still got cheese, and we all ate it).
“I don’t know what pasta to get.”
“You’re gonna get pasta!”
“I don’t like any of the meat dishes! Maybe I’ll get the ravioli.”
Have you guys not met?
She finds another dish my dad was eyeing, and orders pasta with spicy crabmeat (this is fine, because he definitely wants a bite of it).
Pasta is pasta, and whether the meat is inside the noodle or sitting right next to it, it still gets in your stomach, so I have no idea why this was deemed the healthier choice.
Mr “RAVIOLI!” ordered the linguine with clams (whole wheat pasta).
“Just so you know there’s a charge for making it whole wheat.”
“Are you kiddin’ me?”
At least she warned him.
Apps arrive, and it is time to chow down.
“The fried artichokes are delicious!”
He plops one down on my plate, and offers my sister one.
“I DON’T LIKE ARTICHOKES!”
“But these are the hearts!” She doesn’t like ‘em!
Grilled octopus is delic, and I slice a tentacle off to give my sister.
“I want the celery too!”
I try to go for just the tomatoes and avoid the Boccacini cheese (I’m sort of successful) as I stab my sister’s plate.
I decide midway through appetizers that seltzer isn’t cutting it, and I order a glass of wine. Wow, I feel much better.
Mains are placed on the table, but my vegetable side is placed in the middle of the table. I blow a kiss good-bye to my vegetables knowing I won’t get one bite now that they are not right next to me.
My dad grabs his fork…”WAIT! SHE DIDN’T TAKE A PICTURE YET!” My sister yells.
I try to take the pics as quickly as possible, and off we go.
My dad is always super critical of fish as he refers to it as having a “fishy taste.” We have a very very mature palate.
I cut him a piece, “Not too big!”
He takes one bite, “wow that’s delicious! What is that?”
“Mediterranean sea bass,” my sister pipes in as she pop 2 noodles in her mouth.
“Oh, ok got it.”
I realize what’s happening here, and it’s not good. “Dad, no, it’s not a Mediterranean sea bass. It’s a sea bass cooked Mediterranean style.”
“Ohhh, are you sure?”
I shouldn’t have said anything until the next time we’re at a restaurant, and my dad orders sea bass and asks if it’s from the Mediterranean, because it’s the only fish he likes.
I go to grab a noodle off my sister’s plate, but I’m a little buzzed and grab crab instead.
“I can’t believe you just took my last bite of crab.”
I’m never going to live that down. “Mom, she took the last bite of crab…Oh, of course she did. So selfish” (I swear I thought it was a noodle!)
“Give me another bite of that fish,” my dad says as there is nothing left of his whole wheat spaghetti. He is now scooping the sauce up with the bread.
I hand him another piece. “The last bite was a little fishy.”
“That was a caper Dad.”
“Maybe we should get frozen yogurt for dessert instead,” my dad says as they clear the table.
My sister and I almost laugh in his face. “We’re getting dessert,” we say at the same time.
We order the tiramisu, but before we do we ask the waitress how it’s pronounced, because my dad pronounces it like Tammy Sue, and he swear it’s the right way.
The waitress pronounces it correctly, and we go, “our dad thinks it’s pronounced Ter-amee Sue, like a girl’s name.”
The waitress just starts laughing (she got a big tip, because my dad said she had a great sense of humor).
Guess what? Mr Fro Yo had a bite.
As we’re leaving, I ask my dad “did you run any red lights on the way here?”
“It was yellow.”
I am embarrassed to tell you how quickly this basket was gobbled up. That’s all I will say.
Morandi (Carciofi alla giudea: fried artichokes with lemon)
My dad’s favorite! Crunchy, yummy, you get the idea!
Morandi (Polipetti e sedano: grilled octopus with celery & black olives)
I could see how one might think this looks weird, but it was great! I finished the whole thing!
Morandi (Boccaccini salad)
Cheese was yummy, and the tomatoes were firm. I despise mushy tomatoes.
Morandi (Orata alla griglia: grilled whole sea bream with lemon-oregano oil)
Check out my main, it’s pretty and yummy, and I totally convinced myself I was the healthiest person in the restaurant.
Morandi (Broccoli Rabe)
I was able to sneak a few bites, and it had great flavor. I think they squeezed some lemon on it. Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t care.
Morandi (Linguine alle vongole: pasta with clams, white wine & green garlic)
This sauce was unreal. It had more flavor than I would expect from a clam sauce.
Morandi (Fusilli con granchio e pomodorini piccanti: spiral pasta with spicy crab & cherry tomato ragú)
Look at it! So delicious!
Kin Shop [Click the photo above to go to Kinshop’s website]
469 6th Avenue (between 11th and 12th Street) New York, NY 10011
It was my birthday this past weekend, and I managed to squeeze 5 meals out of it (I know what was I thinking?). I decided to not blog my meals so I could be “present” (I don’t know), but by meal # 5 I figured it was time to get back into it.
My last and final birthday meal was at Kinshop with my two girl friends who…like to eat (I am never allowed to tag them in these posts, because I write things like that).
I was just a fatty all day, and wanted to stay healthy for dinner, which I mean, we all know was pretty unlikely. My friends had also had “fat days” (I ate this at 11, then this, then this, then is…is that bad? Are we Judy from SNL?), so we were all thrilled that we were on the same page for dinner.
“Wait, you want to be healthy too?”
(I feel like we were happy, but also disappointed that there was no one to push us to get noodles)
“Your lipgloss looks great! Did you wear it for us?”
(Did I? I flash back to me putting it on, did I do it for them?? I don’t know maybe)
Back to serious business: this menu. My friend kept going, “it’s light. It’s light Thai food.”
Reading the menu I was not exactly feeling it was light when everything came w something fried or meaty.
I only participated in the vegetable input. I felt overwhelmed.
The waiter comes over to take our order, and we begin.
“Whats the fluke like?”
“It’s sort of like sushi.”
“Ok, we’ll get that.”
“How many for each of you?”
“How many do you recommend?”
“I’d say two each.” We should have gotten 3 each, healthy my ass.
Fluke down, shrimp down, bibb salad ordered, and stir fry vegetables with water chestnuts also added to the mix. What do we get next? This clearly is not enough.
My friend decides to include our waiter in our brainstorming, “We’re all sort of on a diet, so what do you recommend.”
He starts pointing towards the noodle section, and it was like in one ear, out the other.
We opt to order 2 soups to share between the 3 of us: tomato soup, and meatball soup.
As the waiter leaves, I notice he’s sort of cute (is he gay? Probably, I tend to like gay men for some reason, I’ll just keep this to myself)
“It’s going to be so awkward when the waiter sees us attacking our food after we told him we’re dieting.” Woops.
“What’s going on with your friend and that guy?”
“As soon as they became exclusive?”
“Yep, she let her freak flag fly way too soon after getting the exclusive title.”
“Totally, you need to wait until you know they love you before they know how nuts we are.” True that.
Fluke comes! It is served on these funky leaves that I proclaimed were “fuzzy,” and my other friend identified as “cilantro like.” It had nice flavor, but we all agreed they need to make it more lettuce wrap like.
“It needs a different leaf.”
Bibb salad is placed in front of us. Bibb lettuce is fun, because the leaves are huge and buttery, but it’s sort of hard to serve and eat. It was really yummy though, and I loved that it was served with plums and pumpkin seeds. Great combo.
“Is that a gel manicure?”
“Yes, do I need to get it redone?”
“No, it looks great. It doesn’t look like you got it yesterday, but it looks good!”
“Okay good, I don’t want to get it done again.”
“I don’t like mine.”
My other friend throws her hands in front of us and goes “Look at mine!”
She got a new greyish purple (I feel like she’s going to read this and tell me that was not the color so sorry in advance!) and she was wiggling her fingers in the hopes to get some attention on them.
Shrimp arrives. Spicy with a peanut-ish sauce on the side. I use the word ish, because if it’s not what it really is than I feel bad. It was delic, but my friend sucked the head off one and told us it was great, and my head was empty, so that was disappointing. We only ordered 6, and they only had 5 left! For G-d’s sake I wanted every bite to count.
Soup comes, I tried to avoid the meatballs (Skinny Bitch remember), and failed per usual, I’d like to say it was worth it. Tomato soup was thicker than I thought it was going to be. Good, but I thought it would be on the healthier side.
As we’re finishing up, all of our phones are on the table, and I can see one friend texting the other, I’m like “OH MY GD THEY’RE TALKING ABOUT ME.” They were, but only because they wanted to get me a candle 🙂 Sweet right?
By the end of the meal I had drank a lot of water (food was spicy!), and had to use the restroom, which was of course downstairs (stop it NY with that), and as I was strutting up the steps to get back to my table I see the waiter at the top of the staircase, and I trip. Yes, I tripped.
“Happy birthday!” he says.
“Thanks.” Definitely gay.
Kin Shop (bibb salad: plum, toasted sunflower seeds & pickled mustard seed vinagrette)
I weirdly love seeds, and mustard seeds are very strong in flavor, and plums are sweet, so I was into this.
Kin Shop (miang of fluke: lycheese, shiso leaves, chili jam & fried garlic)
Pretty right? Nice little bites, but fuzzy, so a little weird.
Kin Shop (stir fry of aquatic vegetables: water spinach, water chestnuts & watercress)
I actually forgot to take a picture of this, because I ate it VERY fast. So, don’t hate, I stole this pic. I would say this dish tasted most like classic Chinese food in a brown sauce: that’s the only way I can think of to describe it.
Kin Shop (house speciality: grilled prawns with fresh lime & phuket style” black pepper sauce.
I want to label this as clean flavors. My friend got a really spicy bite though and sorta freaked out.
Kin Shop (steamed pork meatball soup: crispy garlic, bok chyshoots & black soy sauce)
I was apprehensive about this, because I thought it would be too salty, but it wasn’t! You can also see the steam of how hot it came out. It was one of the only dishes we ordered that wasn’t spicy, so it complimented everything well.
Kin Shop (garam Masala & tomato soup: tofu, mung beans & holy basil)
You can see how creamy it is from the picture, but it taste solid, and it has a little kick.
Kutsher’s [Click the photo above to go to Kutsher’s website]
186 Franklin Street, New York, NY 10013
My pops offered to take me out to din and I obliged. I usually pick a spot in my neighborhood, but it’s the Tribeca Film Festival baby, lets pretend we’re celebrities and hang in TriBeCa instead, duh!
Made a rezie at Kutshers at 7:30 on Thirsty Thursday. My dad was pickin’ me up so I had no fears of catching a cab or finding my way downtown…I have NO sense of direction.
He told me he would get me at 7, but that old man was early for the first time eva, and I had to run around like a chicken without a head, trying to find pants with some give in them. I found a pair of wide-leg jeans, and hopped in the elevator.
We were zipping along downtown, as I told my dad my thoughts on dieting, what I try not to eat, what I want to eat, what I can’t eat, where I should work out (“I just need to eat in moderation, that’s all,” said the food blogger).
“Or you could just get mono again and lose the weight,” my dad says as he navigates away from a cab.
Everything was going fine and dandy until we hit Broome Street. GRID LOCK TRAFFIC. Nowhere to go. It was torture. All my great conversation pieces were being used up in the frontseat of the car.
“I’m starving!” my dad screams in the car (So that’s who I get it from).
Fortunately for us, there was a hotdog stand right outside our car. My dad pulls down his window, “Hey! Let me get a hotdog with sauerkraut and mustard.”
I had been preaching to him for the past 20 minutes the problems with our meat industry, because I am currently reading Skinny Bitch in the hopes I’ll become anorexic and not care about food, so I held back from ordering my very own hotdog (I had a bite).
“How ya gonna give up meat? It’s just too good,” my dad says as he takes down the hotdog.
We finally arrive at Kutshers, and we are seated at the modern Jewish eatery. What to get, what to get…
“Check out these cocktails!” My dad hits the menu to show me where to look. (he’s a big tapper when he talks… “you see the thing is…” tap tap tap)
If you went to Jew camp as my Dad and I did, you could appreciate a few: Bug Juice, Route 17, Café Canteen, The Anawana…you get the idea.
Ok, screw the drinks. I don’t need to waste my calories, what are we ordering??
We stare at the pair eating next to us, two guys with meat dishes (that sounds weird, sorry I thought it, you thought it, done). I peak over and immediately declare it’s the flanken short ribs. No doubt in my mind.
“We gotta get the meatballs,” my dad says as his pointer underlines the description on the menu.
“Ok, Dad fine, but I want the potato latkes.”
The waiter suggest the charcuterie, but my dad is like hell to the no. I just kept saying, “I did hear they’re known for their char-coot-er-ie.”
We also got crispy artichokes, because why not?
Mains? Should we share? I’m pretending to be a vegetarian (remember when we ordered meatballs?), so I got the kreplach, which is pretty much ravioli, whoops, and OF COURSE my dad went for the short ribs: we’ll share. Oh, and brussels sprouts, we love brussel sprouts.
“You ever been on JDate,” my dad starts.
“You know a lot of people on it?”
“I know people that are on it, and people that are not on it.”
“You dating anyone?” (hint hint hint hint)
Apps are yum, yeah I ate the meatballs, and they were good, so what.ev.er. The latkes were good, but not as good as my mom’s (are you reading this Mom?).
I’m starting to crack under this pressure. I need to contract mono and go on Jdate. Noted. Suddenly it’s just too much for me to bear…”It’s just so hard! I really didn’t picture myself at 25 (not 25 yet, a week away) at this job, in this apartment!”
“You just want a boyfriend.” THANKS DAD!
The waiter must have felt the pressure as well, because when he went to pick up the pitcher of water it slipped out of his hands and spilled everywhere. The kreplach was yummy with mushrooms and nuts. My dad put a small chunk of meat on my plate, as I ate the mashed potatoes directly off his plate.
“What’s your sister been up to? Who did she take to formal?”
“Show me a picture.”
“His hair was gel’d, it looks gray on Facebook.”
“Let me see.”
Dessert time. I wanted to get the ice cream sandwich, but the waiter steered us towards the chocolate cake…it was ok.
“Being sick sucks!” my dad exclaims to me. He just had strep throat, and if you spoke to him you’d think he was on his deathbed.
“You’re just being a guy.”
“I lost 5lbs from just eating soup and tea.” Ok, maybe you’re not being a guy.
We finish eating our 8 course meal…”how many people do you think are Jewish in here?” A good amount.
As he drives me back to my apt, he makes a wrong turn, and we end up going on a bridge to Brooklyn… “well, I don’t know the last time you were on the Manhattan Bridge, but you’re on it now,” he says. I see where my sense of direction comes from.
The bread was challah, and it was good! I’m down with this theme.
Kutsher’s (Milton short ribs and brisket meatballs)
Really yummy. It’s like a mini Jewish holiday meal.
Kutsher’s (potato latkes)
Solid. They don’t taste like my mama’s, but I’m still happy we got them.
Kutsher’s (pan roasted brussels sprouts)
We ordered too much, and didn’t really touch them, so leftova for me!
Kutsher’s (red wine braised flanken style short ribs)
Short ribs, mashed potatoes. It’s meat and potatoes. It’s what you think it is. It’s good and unhealthy.
Kutsher’s (wild mushroom and fresh ricotta kreplach)
So I ordered pasta, judge me. fine! Skinny bitch said it’s ok, sorta. I didn’t finish it, and I am sticking to it. 2 pieces of kreplach aren’t going straight to my ass (who am I trying to convince?)
Kutsher’s (seven layer’s devil food cake)
Cake was ok, I declared that they need a chocolate meltaway on the menu…you’re welcome for that suggestion.
RedFarm [Click the photo above to go to Red Farm’s website]
529 Hudson Street (between 10th & Charles Street) New York, NY 10014
Unless you’re living under a rock, you’ve heard of Red Farm, a Chinese restaurant in the West Village, with crazy good reviews, but does not take reservations, which just makes it that much harder to get a table. Thanks Red Farm! My friend and I hatched a plan to go to Red Farm Saturday night at around 7:30 to put our names down with an anticipated sitting time of around 8:30-8:45pm.
We were sadly mistaken.
We invited a third to our dinner date (girls night!), but we felt bad telling her we were going to dinner at 7:30 (get ready RIGHT NOW), so we told her we would put our names down, and for her to just take her time and get ready, and then meet us wherever we were when she was done (will she think we’re leaving her out? Do we sound mean? I don’t want her to feel rushed…thoughts coming from every angle. For the record she really didn’t care. It was entirely in our heads). Obviously there was miscommunication (when is it ever easy?), and I didn’t know if I was going with one, sharing a cab with another, meeting another down there…ALMOST a mess, but it was fine.
Ended up sticking to the original plan: I would go with one friend downtown to put our names down, and we would notify our other friend how long the wait was. When we arrived at Red Farm, we see a line.
“Is this the line to be seated?”
“No, this is the line to put your name down.”
I’m sorry what? Let’s talk about pushy New Yorkers on line at a trendy restaurant. Anxiety? Yes. Does this person know we’re on line? Are they cutting us? Are they being seated? WHAT IS HAPPENING?
We see a little girl scoot up to the front table. Maybe her table is ready. Nope, she is putting her name down.
“Excuse me, we have been waiting on line,” said a man in front of us.
“Oh, sorry,” the girl says, but she doesn’t look so sorry, and she remains standing by the host stand.
“Is she going to cut us?” my friend asks.
“I don’t know, say something to her.” Yeah, I was scared to say something! Judge me.
“Excuse me, we were on line too.”
This girl did not like that, but whatever. Back of the line street rat.
When we finally make it to the front, they tell us that they will text us when our table is ready, oh and that there is approximately a 2 ½ hour wait. GREAT.
“Excuse me, just out of curiosity, but how many people are in front of us?”
“In front of you? 30 different parties”
Shut the front door old man. Ok, are we still in? Yes. What do we do in the meantime? My stomach is already rumbling a little bit.
“Let’s walk around and find a place for drinks and some snacks before.”
Lets be real people, we weren’t NOT going to eat.
Luckily for us, Hudson Street is not short of trendy restaurants and bars. We end up stopping at a Caliu, a tapas bar two blocks down. We text our friend where we are, and she meets us there.
I would like to point out that my friend and I looked like street walkers strolling the boulevard in our heels, heavy make-up, and tight clothes at 7:45pm…the heels probably being the worst part because that means we would be in 4 inchers for at least another 5 hours. Uh oh.
“Where’s your bathroom?”
“Down those stairs.” Of course it is.
We get settled, and start perusing the drink and food menu.
“I want to get a margarita.”
“It’s not even 8 yet, maybe we should start off with sangria instead.”
“I think I want a margarita.” Lady can’t be swayed.
The waitress walks over. “Can I get your guys anything to drink, while you wait for your friend?”
“How is your mango margarita?”
“It’s basically pure tequila.”
“Ok, I’ll have that,” my friend says.
Shoot, I’m up, “yeah ok, one for me too.”
My friend looks at the wait staff all laughing and chatting and goes, “they look like they’re having so much fun.” (are they having more fun than us?)
Soon our other friend arrives, and the three of us are all slurping on our mango margaritas.
“So do you care if we still wait for Red Farm?”
“No, no it’s fine!” (oh, so you’re easy going)
“What should we get in the meanwhile?”
“Nibbles” I say. I pretty much said nibbles 30x throughout the night, and I am now truly weirded out by the word. I need to learn to be quiet sometimes.
What are nibbles may you ask? Just little bites to hold us over. Deciding was so easy. Boom. Boom. Boom.
“That was so easy, we should pat ourselves on the back for that.” Guess what? I actually did.
“We will have: the bacon wrapped dates, the meatballs, and the croquettes.”
“We are out of the croquettes.”
“We are??” Mango margarita has gone straight to my head, because now I think I work there.
Substitution time, butternut squash fritters are ordered in its place.
Verdict? Yum. The dishes came in sets of 3 or 4, which made it hard to overeat. We paced ourselves in the eating department, not so much in the drinking.
“I love the music here.”
“It’s Pandora,” says the waitress.
“Then how come we don’t hear any ads?” Are we testing her? We actually really liked her, and I think we thought we were already best friends, but we weren’t.
We left Caliu with 3 tapas in our stomachs as well as 2 mango margaritas. On to the next stop. 2 ½ hours is no joke.
No food this time, just drinks, off we go to Dublin bar for another round of margaritas. 2 guys I didn’t know came up to talk us (my friends knew them so whatever). All I know is that they invited themselves to Red Farm with us, and one had a digital watch on. No, no, no, no, no. Bye.
It’s a blur, but let me tell you, their bathroom was downstairs too. C’MON!
My friend called Red Farm and with the assurance that we would be seated in 20 minutes we high tailed it to the restaurant. I kid you not, I was fully inebriated by this point, so time ticked by slowly and quickly all at the same time. We asked the host what dishes he recommended, I mean hey, we were hovering over his host stand, might as well chat. By the time were seated, menus were completely unnecessary.
We decided to do small bites since it was technically our second dinner: soup dumplings, pacman dumpling (both were musts, since it’s all I read about in the reviews), BBQ’d porkbelly, and a Katz’s pastramic egg roll.
And lets not forget…another margarita! We all ordered the Le Club Hot (a spicy margarita).
“This is the best one by far!”
“Or are we just too drunk to notice at this point?”
Dumplings are served as we try to equally distribute.
“I can’t believe those guys asked if we were single, and then said good for you after I said yes.”
“He asked me if I was as an after thought.”
“He also made fun of where I live.”
“What do I write back to this text? I’m confused.”
“Just say you haven’t eaten dinner yet.”
Pork belly next, and last but not least is the egg roll.
“Are we going out after this?”
“Oh, no, did you bring an umbrella?”
So after all that? HOW WAS RED FARM????
The dumplings were forgettable. Yeah I said it, Red Farm! You’re just regular dumps. The pork belly, that’s code for spare ribs, not that I’m complaining, but they were boneless spare ribs. The most delicious part of the meal?? The egg roll. UNREAL.
“Would you go back here again?”
“I don’t think so. We did it.”
“I would go back here so I could try it sober.” (This was me. I’m pretty sure I was the drunkest out of all 3.)
and finally our meal at Red Farm!!
Red Farm (Le Club Hot)
A fancy pants margarita. It was delicious. If you like margaritas, go for it! Again, it was like my fifth of the night, so if I stear you wrong I apologize in advance.
Red Farm (pork and crab soup dumplings)
Sorry it’s blurry! I was drunk, and I think the steam sort of got in the way of a great picture. I will admitt I have NEVER had a soup dumpling before, so not too shabby to have my first one at Red Farm. They were good, but I have nothing to compare to.
Red Farm (‘Pac Man’ dumplings)
They’re so cute, but they are also SO overrated. They tasted like your standard set of dumplings. They just have smiley faces on them.
Red Farm (BBQ’d ‘Black Foot’ Berkshire Pork Belly)
AKA spare ribs. If you like spare ribs, then this is a done deal. They were juicy and sweet. If you’re not a big pork eater, obviously don’t get this.
Red Farm (Katz’s Pastrami egg roll)
Deep fried, fatty meat, with a dipping sauce. Why doesn’t anyone ever mention this in their reviews? A-mah-zing!
Smorgasburg [Click the photo above to go to Smorgasburg’s website]
Williamsburg Waterfront between North 6th and North 7th St
What.a.weekend! How perfect! How sunny! Couldn’t think of a better way to pop my Smorgasburg cherry (too gross?). For any of you that do not know, Smorgasburg is an outdoor flea market in Williamsburg (get it!) where food entrepreneurs and established purveyors from New York City and across the region sell both packaged and prepared foods, fresh produce, and other food-related stands for a total of approximately 100 vendors (yes I 100% stole this from their website). I hear food, I come running.
I am extremely lazy and have a large fear of the unknown, so I was a bit apprehensive about hauling my cookies to Brooklyn. Fear not, it’s not that difficult. I decided to meet an experienced Brooklynite (she is also my friend) there who knew her way around. I didn’t want to aimlessly wander this joint. I wanted to walk with purpose. I requested directions days in advance via gchat. She told me to take the L from Union Square 3 stops to Bedford. Ok, I can handle that.
As I sat on the train, I spotted a cute surfer type boy, my future husband. As the train came to a jolty halt, my arms flew up in the air, and I almost collapsed on the train. Our romance had ended.
I aimlessly pick an exit, and stroll up the steps. I call my friend.
“Walk toward (muffled noise)”
“Actually just wait there.”
I look around to be more specific with my location, “Oooh! I’m in front of Crift Dogs!”
“Ok, great give us 5 minutes” (so us means, you and your boyfriend. Ok, I guess I can dig it…)
“Are you scared I’m going to get lost?”
“Yes” (fair point)
5 minutes my butt. I managed to make two phonecalls while I waited, one being my mom, and that’s never a 5 minute conversation. I didn’t mind waiting though actually, which is weird for me, but the weather was so nice I was chipper. I just busied myself and people watched until my friend and her boyfriend arrived.
Suddenly, I see a couple in matching colored apparel appear on their bikes, here are my friends!
(Um, should I have brought my bike? Kidding, I don’t own a bike.)
My friend led the way, as I walked next to her and her bike, while her poor boyfriend trailed behind. Stay, sit, heal.
Then we arrived.
“I didn’t know it was on the water!” I scream. It is, and it’s really fricken pretty. I felt like I had just found something no one else had…which is completely untrue, but maybe if I scream it’ll sound more normal.
“K, we just need to lock our bikes, and we’re off.” Sure, sure whatever.
“Let’s do a lap,” says the boyfriend.
“Which way do we start?”
“That looks good, is it good?”
“Let’s do a lap.” DO YOU WANT TO DO A LAP? As we walk, my friends briefly explain the lay of the land. Some places like the dessert counters, and cold dishes are served immediately. However at other places, you wait on line, order, they take your name down, and call you when your order’s ready, which can sometimes take twenty minutes.
So, snack time?
We stopped at a Greek stand, and I buy a small Greek salad to nosh on, while my friend ordered the spanakopita. This should hold us over until our orders are ready.
We make two stops.
1. Handsome Hanks Fish
2. Cemitas Mexican Sandwich
Handsome Hank’s line was wild, and we ordered two classic fish sandwiches.
Cemita’s line was a tad tamer, and we just ordered one sandwich for all three of us to share. We went for the build your own sandwich with carnitas.
Cemita’s sandwich was ready first, and I was stuck staring at it, while we waited for our fish sandwiches to be prepared.
I expected the experience to be insanely overwhelming with pushing and pulling, and rude people behind the counter. I didn’t get any of that at all, for serious. I was shocked. Everyone was really nice and helpful at the food stands, and they didn’t even rush you to order, and all the patrons politely waited on line until it was their turn. WHERE WAS I???
After we had all of our sandwiches, we gripped our dishes and walked to a bench area to dig in. I ate half of the fish sandwich, it was too gigantic to finish but still amazeballs, and took bites of our cemita sandwich in-between. I was saving room for dessert.
“I’m full,” my friend’s boyfriend announced.
“Um, we’re getting dessert too, right?” Don’t start with me boy.
“Of course!” My friend says. THANK GD!
First of all, there are a million bazillion choices, ice cream sandwiches, donuts, s’mores, the list goes on. But I didn’t want to feel sick, I wanted something refreshing, popsicle sticks!
I got raspberry basil. Yum.
“You should probably take the ferry home, instead of the subway.” Is my friend a genius? MAYBE. It’s $4, and I could get dropped off 5 blocks away from my apartment…and a possible tan. Yes!
“Ok yay, but let’s take some pictures first! Genius idea for me to do this after we just ate popsicles, our teeth are going to look so white!”
Smorgasburg (greek salad and spanakopita)
My salad was light and just enough to hold me over, and the spanakopita was so delicious it’s hard to explain (I should have gotten the baklava!). Just be careful, both of these items are green and means there is a good chance it will get in your teeth!
Smorgasburg, Cemitas Mexican Sandwich, cemita sandwich with carnitas.
[Click the photo above to go to Cemita’s Website] Also please note how awesome my picture is in similarity to the website’s!
This continually grew on me with every bite. You need to get a taste of all the layers to really love it.
Smorgasburgh, Handsome Hank’s Fish (classic fish sandwich)
I had to give you both views so you could understand the size of this baby. Cole slaw, fried fish, soft white bread. Stop it right now!
Smorgasburg (raspberry basil popsicle)
YUM! Enough said.
P.S. my nail color looks unreal! Just sayin’
Smorgasburg (Snow Cone)
My friend’s boyfriend went for this. He clearly has not gone to Jew Camp, and does not know that they look better then they taste. I mean it’s just ice dude! It’s only good unless they dowse the whole thing in artificial flavoring. He didn’t love it, but who LOVES ice???
City Grit [Click the photo above to go to City Grit’s website]
38 Prince Street (between Mott and Mulberry) New York, NY 10012
After hearing about the wonderful concept of New York culinary salon, City Grit, I decided I just HAD to try this out!! I don’t want to butcher the explanation of what City Grit is so I would just click on the link if I were you, but I will try anyway. Pretty much, this little lady named Sarah Simmons hosts different food events in a space in Soho. They host about 15 events per month, and each one is a multi-course meal with a theme. Each dinner is completely different from the one before. Sometimes they have guest chefs, but mostly Sarah runs the show.
Anywho, back to me! After e-mailing my fake boyfriend aka gay best friend about this, he wrote me an e-mail saying he wanted to go to an event called “Best of the Best” for a mutual friend’s birthday, and asked if I wanted to go (it was my idea, don’t even think about claiming it). I bought my ticket (it was $60 for a 5 course meal, alcohol not included), and decided to be shmoozy and e-mail the host, Sarah Simmons, for a sneak peak of the menu. She obliged, and swore me to secrecy. I was thrilled to know more than my friends so I didn’t tell them anything.
As the day approached, I wanted a plan for the night. Did I need to print a ticket out for this? (You don’t.) Where was I meeting them? (It was my gay bff, the birthday girl and her boyfriend.) My best friend may be gay, but he’s a dude, which means his planning skills are minimal at best (he didn’t make reservations for his boyfriend’s birthday until the day of his birthday… SUCH A BOY).
I gchat the birthday girl asking what the deal is (she usually knows what’s up, and I felt like I could trust her game plan). Turns out, it was a surprise…woops. You would THINK that my friend would include that in the e-mail, but no, he did not. Like I said HORRIBLE PLANNER.
The birthday girl and I conspired to not tell him the surprise was ruined (so if you are reading this, you already know, the house has been boarded up and we are staying at the Holiday Inn). P.S. it’s your own fault.
I meet them outside their apt (they all live together. Three’s Company, hit it!), and as soon as I arrive I announce, “Let’s go I’m starving!”
Mr. Horrible Planner gives me a crazy look and goes, “It’s a surprise!”
“It’s a surprise we’re eating? It’s almost 7:30. This is a surprise to no one.” (Isn’t he so annoying?)
So, we arrive, and if the birthday girl really didn’t know where we were going, she actually WOULD be surprised, because the outside of the building says, “Furniture Shop.” They are so tricky (think speakeasy sorta), and a sign was written on the door that said, “we will be right back.” Ok….
“Are you going to tell her yet?”
“Badaya.” (that is a made up word that he kept saying over and over again on the way to dinner)
“Ok, well we’re here, so maybe it’s time.” (Am I a crazy actress? I might be).
We only waited a few minutes until they opened the doors for us. You walk in, give your name, and then they seat you in assigned seating, (it’s assigned by group, so my friend called ahead of time to say that I was with them, because we didn’t sign up together so keep that in mind if you go!).
The space is kitschy. It is an old Catholic School turned into I guess a culinary salon, so do what you want with that knowledge, but the bathrooms are far away with low toilets (it was an elementary school). Also, they made it unisex. It wasn’t so bad, but it wasn’t the highlight of the event. I digress…Guests sit in two rooms with long tables scattered throughout, dim lighting, dark wood, and “Western” accents. It’s definitely not a sexy vibe, but it’s fun!!
“Are all events held in this space?”
“Yes, I think so,” I reply.
“No, they change it,” responds Mr. Horrible Planner.
Disagreement. I looked up other events, and I know they are all held on Prince Street.
“No, they’re all here.”
“I think they change it.”
“I think you’re wrong.”
The menu is posted on a blackboard, but I had it in my hands on my IPhone (I win).
“Does anyone want to read the menu?” I point to my phone.
“I’ll take a look at it,” says birthday girl.
“It’s on the blackboard,” responds Mr. Horrible Planner. (Ok, squint at the blackboard butthead…someone doesn’t want to give me any credit)
I glare at my best friend turned arched nemesis and am about to make a scene at our table, when our waiter comes over to save the day. He introduces himself as Dan Brown (he did not write the DaVinci Code, and it took a lot for me to NOT make that horrible joke at the table), and lets us know our wine options. I am allergic to white wine (if I’m ok with this you can be too) so we decid to share a bottle of red between the four of us, it eventually turned into 3 bottles…woopsies!
First, we are served with an amuse bouche of a fried oyster wonton with spicy mayo (are you salivating?). I know an amuse is just supposed to be one bite, but I was starving! KEEP IT COMING!!
I was really feeling the wine by the first course (shocker), which was a seared scallop, another baby plate. I get it. I get it. It’s a progression, but my stomach really didn’t give a flying…
As the first course was being distributed to the last few people, Sarah and her business partner spoke, giving some background on City Grit (p.s. her partner said all events are held in the same space, booyah!), and then a description of our meal. Sarah said the meal were the top dishes of their past events, so rock on! She was just so cute. She’s from the south, and while I usually despise anyone using the word ya’ll she made it sound so endearing! Let’s be friends Sarah!
However, that doesn’t mean I withheld all judgment (puh-lease)! When describing the third course, a fried chicken biscuit with deviled egg, she said…
“A friend once told me, a dinner with deviled eggs, is better than a dinner without deviled eggs,” laughter ensues, and then she goes, “And I couldn’t agree with him.” Period.
Couldn’t agree with him more Sarah. You forgot the word more. You just changed the meaning of that sentence.
“I said more in my head.”
“That’s like when people say, “I could care less.” It’s “I couldn’t care less.”
“I don’t know which one I say…”
I hope the people next to us were not listening to our conversation.
The 2nd course was gumbo, a bigger portion score! Then came the chicken course, which tasted just like a gourmet McDonalds chicken filet, but with a twist. I tried to eat it slowly, because I wanted my last bite to include the biscuit, but it was just so hard!
Since the space is two rooms it takes some time for the servers to distribute all the plates to each table, so there is quite a bit of time between each course. We were over two hours in with two more courses to go!
“You had a weird friend at your birthday party.”
“What did he do?”
“We were in the elevator and he said everyone in the elevator had matching jackets on.”
“Nope, they were all different colors! And when we pointed it out he said, “That’s such a Samantha thing to say.”
“I think he was in a weird mood that night…”
Fourth course! Boneless short ribs with paramesan cream grits and braised collareds. It was our biggest portion yet. Suddenly I was full, and I couldn’t finish the plate. I became a new woman.
“I get the progression now. Makes total sense.”
“Yeah, it’s perfect.”
Amazing how easily one’s mind changes when they’re full.
My friend was scraping the parmesan up with his utensils, and I started to gag watching him use his fork and knife so intently just for a tiny puddle of cheese. I was definitely satiated.
I tried to not look at him, “I got a gel manicure for the holidays!” as I wiggle my fingers jazz hands style.
“So it stays!”
“Do I look like Barbie?” My nails are currently bright pink. The lady applying my gels asked if I was going away, they are just THAT tropical looking…
Dessert!! Banana pudding with salted Caramel. I am not the biggest of banana cream pie, and that’s pretty much what it was, but in a jar. However our awesome waiter, Dan Brown, brought out one with a candle.
Happy birthday to you.
Happy birthday to you.
Hap-py birth-day dear ___ (silence in the Catholic schoolhouse as the patrons wait to hear her name, and then when we say it, everyone laughs like they knew the whole time)
Happy birthday to you!
Big tip for Dan Brown.
As we were leaving…
“Hey what was that word I kept saying on the way here?”
Happy Passover/Easter everyone!
City Grit (menu, Best of the Best)
Here is the menu of the 5 course delight!
City Grit (fried oyster wonton with spicy mayo, kimchi, ginger scallion sauce)
This was described as Asian food with southern ingredients. I would have eaten 10 more fried oysters. Great way to start off the meal!
City Grit (seared scallop with harissa carrot puree, bacon marmalade)
Smiley Face!! Bacon marmalade, need I say more?? This was my probably my favorite, and it was just so teeny tiny. I wanted more!
City Grit (Gumbo Z Herbes: green gumbo with white rice grits, pickled ramps)
I know this looks gross, but it was not! It was very hearty!
Sarah also told a great story about how this specific gumbo recipe is one of the oldest gumbo recipes and was almost extinct, but was revived after Hurricane Katrina, when people would make large pots of this dish to survivors of Katrina’s aftermath)
City Grit (Chicken & Egg: fried chicken biscuit with deviled eggs, shaved celery salad)
I loved this! Classy fried food is where it is at.
City Grit (boneless short ribs with parmesan cream grits, braised collards)
This was definitely the biggest portion we received all night. It was a little chewy at first, but once you dug into the middle it melted in your mouth!
City Grit (banana pudding with salted caramel)
Not my favorite part of the meal, but if you like banana flavored dessert then you’re in the clear! Please not the Christmas themed birthday candle!