Miss Lily’s [click the photo above to go to Miss Lily’s website]
132 West Houston Street (corner of Sullivan street) New York, NY 10012
I finally made plans with an old (Is it old, or was college yesterday? I don’t know) college friend for dinner. She told me I had to try Miss Lily’s, and since the food description was Caribbean, and not my usual, I was all for it.
I decided I’m a grown ass woman (eh), and I need to learn how to take the subway. You don’t even know. I managed to take the appropriate subway downtown, but once I got off, oh my dear Lord. Google maps: what are you? I don’t even bother using the navigation, because I need to see the whole area, one street at a time, I don’t think so. Maybe there’s a way to change this, but I don’t know how, and I’m already panic’d by my sheer confusion of where I am: I cannot handle technical things.
And the Lower East side, South village, whatever you are? Why do you have names? Are those cooler than numbers? I didn’t get the memo, but you’re hard to figure out. You’re not alphabetized; you’re random words: Mac Dougal? That’s not even a real word. That’s Trey’s last name.
Needless to say I went the complete wrong way, and my friend called me twice, very concerned as to what happened to me.
“Hil, are you lost?”
“I’m lost, but I am using my google maps, so I need to hang up so I can read them.”
I was approximately 20 minutes late. I’m trying to grow up. I didn’t say I was succeeding at it.
When I finally walk in, I hear my friend and the male host go, “here she is!”
Here I am.
My jacket is already half off (I get hot when I’m stressed), we sit down, sangria is ordered, and I feel better. My friend is very accommodating, which is nice, but I need help ordering.
Mandatory dish we need to order: Jerk chicken.
“Should we share it?”
“Or will it not fill us?”
“I don’t know. Last time I ordered the wrap, not the chicken.”
“Do you think we should get more appeteizers, or one appetizer and two entrees?”
“You need to try the chicken though.”
It’s so hard! I need to figure out the proper ordering amount. That fear of under ordering is always in the back of my mind.
Our decision is 3 appetizers, and the jerk chicken. What are the appetizers you may ask? I’ll tell you. It is a food blog, but whatever.
Jerk grilled corn, cod fish fritters, and grilled pork ribs.
Words really cannot describe the deliciousness of the corn. It was like dessert on the cob. I don’t know why coconut crushed it, but it did.
The cod fritters: fried balls. Done. Cream dipping sauce. Pretend like you don’t like it because it’s filled with fat, I don’t believe you.
The grilled pork ribs: I looked like an animal. How does one eat ribs like a lady? Oh, wait you don’t. You get drunk with your friend and eat them on a Thursday night.
“We’ll have another round of sangria please.”
Our waiter was a nice young man, and I’m pretty sure my friend and I were competing to see which one he’d like better, secretly, and for no reason. But whatever, we’re nice to the wait staff. There are worse things to compete over.
We scan the crowd with our sangria in hand, and notice there are a ton of dudes in suits.
“Why are there so many guys here? In suit? I didn’t realize this was an after work place.”
“Either did I. It’s weird. There’s a discoball on the ceiling.”
It truly made no sense to me. I didn’t know guys ate Caribbean food after work with their beer. Ok.
Jerk chicken arrives. Totally enough for two people to split, and spicy, and fabbb! I always feel weird giving chicken high marks (it’s chicken), but it was goooooood!
I get up to use the Ladies room and run into a white guy with long dreads who lets me cut him on line. This is more like it.
I return as our dessert is being placed on the table. Coconut Cake. Coconut on coconut on coconut: so good. Light and fluffy cake.
“Should I take the subway home?”
“I’ll take the subway with you so you don’t get lost.”
Jerk Grilled Corn with toasted coconut. Unreal to the max. Who knew shredded coconut could taste so yummy with corn (I guess people from the Caribbean)? I also love that it’s a little burnt.
Cod Fish Fritters with Curry Dipping Sauce
Just enough to have a bite, and not feel that bad about it (if you split it). Eat it alone and you’ll feel like a greaseball. It’s not the best dish to order, but it’s a good addition.
Look at those suckers! They are pretty effing delicious Those peppers on top? SPICY. I like spicy, but if you don’t, stay far farrrrrrr away.
Jerk Chicken: slow cooked and grilled, marinated cucumber salad
Look at that drumstick calling my name. The cucumbers help calm down whatever spice is causing your mouth to burn. It’s a generous portion, and very yummy in the tummy.
Bowl of Rice
They warned us that it was spicy, but I’m just going to give you an additional warning: it’s spicy.
Here we are after the completion of our meal: happy, a little drunk, and full.
Commerce [Click the photo above to go to Commerce’s website]
80 Commerce Street New York, NY 10014
Stupid sandy has really affected my blogging and eating. If it wasn’t Ritz crackers it was Tate’s chocolate chip cookies, and if it wasn’t a snack it was mac ‘n cheese for dinner. People are suffering, but my biggest complaint was my nutritional sustenance (and no power for 5 days). So this is my version of an apology for anyone who has missed my amahzing blog posts!
So to kick off my return to GirlyFoodie I give you a delicious restaurant I got to try: Commerce.
I went with my friend after not seeing her for weeks, possibly months, on end. I was starting to feel like a nagging girlfriend: why didn’t you call me back? Why don’t you call me ever? Work is not an excuse…you get the idea.
You would think she would pay for me with the way this was going, but that is not how it went down.
She lives in midtown so she scooped me up in a cab going all the way to the West Village. It seems that after Sandy all I see are cabs with a final of of $15 and up (mother effing traffic) so I was not surprised to see this sucker ring up at $20.00 as we turned on to the quaint little street of Commerce.
We arrive, and I’m already patting myself on the back for this restaurant pick. It has warm lighting, it’s crowded but not overcrowded, and it’s a mix of young and old, and I was able to squeeze into a spot at the bar, while we waited for our table.
“I’m so excited to try this place. I heard the bread basket alone is amazing.”
“I was hoping to skip the bread basket, but I guess not now.”
“What do you want to drink?”
“I think I want Rose.”
I then see the bartender pour a woman a glass of red wine and hear her say, “this one is my favorite.” I have no mind of my own.
“I’ll get that.”
A few minutes after we pay for our drinks we are seated.
“I think I want to get the red snapper.”
“I hate you. I wanted that. I’ll get something else if we can each have a bite.”
“Of course.” Thank God!
I go for the lamb meatballs with creamy polenta. It’s cold out, and I love polenta. I think it’s got the comfort food vibe.
I haven’t dined with my friend in a while (we usually order in sushi, drink wine, and then get too tired to go out, yes we do sound like we’re dating), and I am unsure what else she wants, but I don’t do just entrees…you crazy?
I offer for us to share an appetizer, but not some crap salad. I want something wild. The waitress has recommended the Hamachi, but the last thing I want is raw fish.
“How about the sweet potato tortelloni?”
“And maybe a side to share?”
“The waitress recommended the broccoli.”
Great! 1 app, 2 entrees, and a side..and dessert.
My friend is rocking a full blown sock bun, that I still have yet to perfect.
“I like the bun. You look dressed up.”
“It’s not. It’s just that I’m lazy.”
“It looks nice and big. When I do a bun it’s small and weird.”
“I YouTube’d how to roll my hair with the sock. I like your hair”
“I learned how to curl it with a straightening iron on YouTube.”
As the conversation of hair could go on forever we are distracted by the plates being passed around. The table next to us was seated ahead of us so we keep watching each platter get served next to us.
There was a point where my friend’s face was actually in our neighbor’s plate as she tried to smell the dish as it passed our table (to be fair we were seated very close).
The bread basket arrives, and it’s so pretty and warm and amazing. I start snapping photos of the bread, the butter, the pasta (very low carb meal to begin), and I see a group of older diners sitting at a round table nearby staring at me like I’m an alien.
I’m a little drunk (I ordered a second glass), so I figure I’m probably imagining this.
The main dishes arrive, and I really can’t begin to describe how delicious it was. I look at my friend and she’s not really digging into her fish.
“What’s happening here? I look crazy compared to you.”
“My stomach hurts.”
“Move past the pain. Let’s go.”
But instead I just continue to eat her meal, while she reluctantly puts her fork down in agony.
It’s time for dessert!
We have been watching the waiters carry out plates on plates of the coconut cake, so I mean let’s do it right? I get that with some tea, but sicky says she’ll never go to sleep with the tea, so she’s out.
As I’m snapping my final photographs of the cake, a lady at the round table musters up enough courage to turn around and go, “Excuse me, but why are you taking pictures of the food?”
“Oh, I’m a food blogger!” I reply.
The whole table erupts, “OHHH SHE’S A FOOD BLOGGER!”
Commerce (bread basket & butter)
Look at that bread all bundled up in that napkin. Each piece of bread was delightful, and yes I had a bite of each. There was one loaf of bread that had pancetta in the center when you bit into it. You had me at pancetta.
Commerce (Roasted sweet potato tortelloni with hazelnuts, pomgrante & buerre noisette)
I don’t know what buerre noisette is, so I’ll just say that outright.
This dish was a. beautiful b. interesting flavor combiniations
The sweet potato made the dish sweet, but then there was a tart flavor in the sauce. I would say that it was a very thoughtful dish.
[Please click on picture to see full photograph. Tumblr is not working properly at the moment]
Commerce (Veal meatballs with creamy polenta, creamy polenta 7 charred mushrooms)
Fab dish! If you’re ever in a bad mood and want to eat your feelings, order this. You can convince yourself it’s healthier than ordering the spaghetti carbonara.
[Please click on picture to see full photograph. Tumblr is not working properly at the moment]
Commerce (Red snapper with eggplant & bok choy in a Thai inspired herb broth)
One word: UNREAL. I could have eaten the broth alone, the fish alone, I would eat any and every single part of this dish. I can’t remember the last time I had an outstanding fish dish. Well, now I can.
Commerce (coconut cake)
Delicious way to end the meal. It tasted a bit like pound cake with coconut mixed in. Did I make it sound good? Because it was!
Barbuto [Click the photo above to go to Barbuto’s website]
775 Washington Street (between west 12th and Jane Street) New York, NY 10014
Being that my last dinner with my dad and sister was such a success, they were ready for their next round, so I made a reservation at Barbuto in the West Village. After watching Top Chef Masters a few seasons back I was all up in Jonathan Waxman’s business and was intent upon eating there a while back, so this was my second trip, and I was thrilled about it.
I knew the food would be good, and I like the “neighborhood” vibe.
My sister texted me that she was in crazy traffic, but as it turns out so was I, so they beat me to the restaurant.
I ended up hopping out of the cab and walking 4 blocks, because we sat through two red lights, and my patience was running thin, two blocks away my sister texts me, “where are you?”
I arrive and see olives have already been placed at the table. Score!
I sit across from my sister and dive into the olives as we wait for my dad (he was parking the car).
We’re all obviously starving, and the dinner reservation is for 7:15, so imagine if I had made it for 8pm.
“Where’s the waiter?” My dad exclaims. He asks two different busboys to summon our waiter (we had already finished the olives).
I have such a strange love for this place, and kept mentioning weird facts about it, as we strummed our fingers waiting to eat.
“Isn’t the garage style windows so cute?…Don’t you love how casual it is?…I like the area.” (uch put a cork on it).
“The apartments around here are pretty nice. Would you live here?” my dad asks.
“Maybe.” Are you paying my rent for this? Yeah I didn’t think so. I’ll just have to go here for dinner instead.
Finally the waiter arrives, and we order wine and food.
My sister and my dad got white, and I got red (because I can’t have white, stupid allergy!).
I ordered the green salad and scallops (knowing full well I could just have bites of the fattier options off of the other table members).
My sister gets Burrata cheese (like anything else on the menu stood a chance), and pork ribs with peaches.
My dad orders the chicken, because it’s their specialty, but can’t decide on an app.
The waiter recommends a half order of the gnocchi, and it was like…the most ground breaking moment of the whole dinner.
“Done!” my dad says.
“Would you like any sides?”
I pick the sautéed greens figuring we’re bound to eat some of it.
“Do they not give you bread here?”
“Ask for it.”
We asked for it.
Our appetizers arrive, and my dad and sister look like they’re ready for battle.
“Wait! I need to take a picture!”
They look wounded, and I try to snap the photos as fast as I can, and then they go in for the kill.
No one wants one bite of my lettuce, while my sister and I nearly stab my dad’s thumb aiming our forks at his pasta.
As we shovel it in, I go into my past weekend in Fire Island.
“I threw up.”
“Ewwww, you did.”
I did! What can I tell you I did! It happens! I usually reject rocket fuels, but I had made an executive decision that it was go hard or go home, and I guess I went hard, and then I went home and threw up.
“Did you make it to the bathroom?” my dad asks.
“Yes of course I did!” I mean give me some credit.
The throw up was just a lead into another story anyway, and yes I tell my dad this stuff.
“So as I was stuck on the couch dying I was with all the guys because the girls left to get food, and watching guys bro out is just weird.”
I went on to explain that I watched my guy friends play beer pong at noon on a Saturday morning, and when I finally got my act together and the girls left for the beach, we could hear the guys rocking out to Katy Perry as we left…
Mains arrive. The plates are not the prettiest, but that’s why I sort of love it. It reminds me of eating at home, where presentation is secondary to taste.
I dig into my scallops with corn and scallions, and the corn was so sweet! I don’t think my dad was originally so into the chicken, but he grew to love it, and needed like 3 extra napkins. Dad, stop.
My sister proclaimed that her dish is the best, and I don’t know maybe it is, because after I finished my scallops I pulled her plate closer to me and screamed, “give me some of it!”
We soon realize we never got our side of veggies, because we clearly needed more. The waiter was super great, and didn’t even charge us for it. They were good, but probably would have been better had we eaten it with the rest of our meal. I thought they were sort of lemony.
“We’re getting dessert right?”
As the dessert menus are handed out. My dad stares at the menu, looks at my sister, and is like “well we all know who wants the cheesecake.”
My sister humbly shrugs like it’s a compliment.
“Actually the cheesecake DOES look pretty good,” my dad says.
So we got it. Again, it looked like a bunch of mush when it came over with the sauce on top.
“Too much raspberry sauce,”my dad and sister agree. Of course we don’t like the fruit portion.
But boy was it good…
As we’re getting ready to leave, I mention another restaurant I’m considering for our next dinner.
“Yeah I went with my friend and his boyfriend” (yes he’s gay).
“Where is it?”
“Of course it is…” Watch it Dad, because that might be our next stop.
Barbuto (gnocchi con granoturco: local corn & burst cherry tomatoes)
I can’t put into words how great this was. I also hate that guys can order pasta as an appetizer while I chomped on lettuce. It’s so unfair.
Barbuto (insalata stagionale: peaches, watermelon & burrata)
Summer is the time for fruit, and cheese is…for every season. Refreshing salad. I didn’t love the cheese, because I expected it to be creamier, but still very good!
Barbuto (giardino verde: garden greens & lemon-olive oil)
It’s just lettuce, and it was a little salty, but I wasn’t expecting the world when I ordered this.
Barbuto (costine di maiale: pork ribs & caramelized peaches)
I rarely dip into the red meat pool these days, and this is so totally worth it. Pork and peaches are a fab combo, and the portion is piled high. My sister almost didn’t finish it…don’t worry she did.
Barbuto (pollo al forno: jw chicken & salsa verde)
The Barbuto specialty! Chicken can sometimes be boring, but this has crispy skin, and is super juicy, and could feed a whole family…or just my dad.
Barbuto (cappa sante: grilled scallops, corn& scallions)
Most places give you like 3 scallops, and they give you 5, so yay to that! I loved the corn and scallions, and the scallops were delic! It’s a great summer option.
Barbuto (sauteed garden greens)
It was a bit lemony. I don’t think you absolutely need to order it, but it’s still a good veggie option.
So so so so yummy! I missed the last bite, because a raspberry was obstructing my view!
It’s my fav day of the year, National Tequila Day! [Click the photo above to read How to Celebrate National Tequila Day, July 24th]
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.
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!
CaliU [Click the photo above to go to CaliU’s website]
557 Hudson Street (between 11th & Perry Street) New York, NY 10014
CaliU (bacon wrapped dates)
I could eat a million of these!
CaliU (butternut squash fritters)
Super sweet, but good. I swear it was almost dessert like.
Spanish meatballs, fresh tomato sauce, pickled squash. The pickled squash was the only unique part of this dish, besides that, it’s your basically meatball. The sauce it was mixed with was delicious!!!
Employees Only [Click the photo above to go to Employees Only’s website]
510 Hudson Street (between 10th and Christopher Street), New York, NY 10014
I was meeting a friend at 9pm for drinks in the West Village at Employees Only. I had never been there before, and it was raining so I was immediately fearful that I’d be 20 mins late because 1. I couldn’t get a cab and 2. What if I got lost??
Fear not I was able to grab a cab from a girl getting dropped off at my building, and the restaurant was SUPER easy to find. I also hate awkwardly waiting for people (I hate a lot of things), so I was happy my friend was already there casually waiting in the front by the bar.
Checked coat and we sat (and then we ate). Unforgivable reference…if you haven’t seen it…it’s funny…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dJu1Jj7VTw
First things first. Lets get a drink, it’s 9pm for G-d’s sakes. They had a section called Fancy Drinks which immediately tickled my fancy (I’m sorry I’m not sorry). I like drinks with a little kick, so I asked the waitress what she recommended she said the “Lazy Lover” so I just went with that. The drink was super good, and I gobbled it right up. I ended up ordering three of them, so I was a wittle drunk. Woops.
Then the question of the night came, “are you hungry? We should order stuff.” WHHHHAT. I JUST HAD SALMON TERIYAKI WITH BROWN RICE BEFORE THIS. Oy ok if you insist! So me being the wild eater, I wanted to try the bone marrow (I can’t believe he ok’d this. Most people would have been like, “lets get chicken fingers.”). It wasn’t the best, but I was also full so it’s hard to judge food when you’re not hungry. Feel me? They usually serve bone marrow IN the bone, but this was in a puffy pastry (Employees Only thinking outside the box)
At around drink #2, the next question of the night came, “should we get another dish?” OK!
We went for the cheese plate. NOT the best cheese plate in town. This cheese platter came with tortilla like bread (I like crostinis, but what are you gonna do?). I also like when they give you fruity jellies (do you know what im talking about at all?) on the side, but this restaurant only gave a side of nuts to mix with the cheeses. This obviously didn’t stop me from eating. Alcohol and cheese/carbs were in front of me…I was a goner.
I paired our cheese plate with random conversation one thinks of when they’re a few drinks in:
“Would you ever be a stand-up comedian?”
“Want to see twenty pictures of my dog on my phone? She’s SO cute.”
“Sure” (you’re going to show me anyway).
My Lazy Lover drink had made me super giddy and enthusiastic, and I gave my friend a kiss on the cheek AND a hug good-bye as if I’d never see them again (alcohol does that!). I would totes go to Employees Only again. It was a cute bar with great drinks, but I think I’d eat before again too.
Employees Only (menu)
It does not say Employees Only on the outside of the restaurant. It just has this symbol (ok fine it’s an “E” and an “O”), and the address number.
Employees Only (Fancy Drink Menu)
I just love that it says Fancy Drinks, so I got fancy with editing the picture (please keep reading my blog after reading that joke). The menu was not blue. I’m fancy huh? (I’M SO SORRY. PLEASE KEEP READING MY BLOG.)
Employees Only (bone marrow poppers)
You have to admit they look good for something called bone marrow poppers. The waitress said they were meant to be eaten in one bite, but I felt like I had an oversized sushi roll in my mouth when I did that.
Employees Only (cheese platter).
See what I mean with the tortilla like bread? And the random nuts? I nibbled on the cheese like a little mouse.
Keste [Click the photo above to go to Keste’s website]
271 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014
Jump into a k-hole at Keste. Pizza is amazeballs. Split a pie and a salad and you won’t feel like you’re eating your feelings with a girl friend, and if you do feel like ordering an extra pie…it’s worth it!
The owner gave out pizza samples while we waited for a table, and they warmed us right up while we waited outside in the cold. Pizza before pizza is a great appetizer. We ordered the funghi pizza, but I would be willing to try any listed on the menu.