What A Girl Is Really Thinking When It Comes To Food

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

558 Broome St (between Varick & 6th Avenue) New York, NY 10009

It is now autumn in New York City, which means it’s back to going out to big group dinners and then attending 4 Facebook birthday events in the two days that make up the weeknd, and I obviously did just that!

I set up dinner with my gal pals at Taureau in Soho for Friday night. What is Taureau you might ask? It is a byob fondue restaurant with a prefix menu of 3 courses of fondue: cheese, oil, and chocolate.

You dip bread and vegetables in the cheese, meat in the oil, and fruit & bacon (yes bacon!) in the chocolate. There is a stove in the center of the tables where they place the fondue bowls, so they remain heated throughout your meal. Quite an idea!

Just to get more specific for you, if you’re bored, just skip this information:

First course, you pick a cheese, and then any number of vegetables you would like to dip in the cheese.

Second course, you pick a type of oil (some are more fattening than others), and each person picks a meat they would like to order with the oil: could be chicken, filet, bacon, pork etc.

Third course, you pick a type of chocolate, and the fruit & marshmallows etc are standard.

Each table of two has a burner, so that means 2 people to 1 pot. So, if you go to dinner with 1 other person, then you share one burner. If you go with a party of 4, then there are 2 burners, party of 6 is 3 burners, you get it, you’re not dumb. So this means that since I went with a total of 6 people, we ordered 3 different combinations for all 3 courses…it was a lot of food!

I have been here multiple times, but I have yet to blog about it, because it’s hard to get a cute snapshot of a tub of cheese. However, despite the lack of aesthetic beauty, a tub of cheese is delicious, and I always get drunk from the bottle of wine I bring for myself, so basically it’s an amazing place.

I arrive second, and see my friend standing outside on the phone giving directions to our other friend. I then hear, “Nancy is here I gotta go.” For the record, my name is not Nancy, she just likes to call me that.

I decided right away that I wanted the cheese flavored with truffles (who wouldn’t?) for my first course, so we ordered the Perigord (parmesan, white American cheese, with truffle mushrooms and truffle oil) and I didn’t really care what everyone else picked.

However for your benefit they ordered:

Pyreneese: swiss with whine wine, garlic & nutmeg

Cheddar Monterey: tangy & milk, cheddar Monterey.

So boring right, well it took like 20 minutes for everyone to figure this out, and then pick the cheeses and vegetables.

“Do you like squash?”

“I like broccoli.”

“I don’t like broccoli.”

“I don’t eat squash.”

“I love asparagus.”

“I like potatoes.”

“What did we order last time?”

“Did we like that?”

Final decision: broccoli, white asparagus, and potatoes.

“Where is the bathroom?”

“Do I look like I work here?”

“You do work here.”

“I think it’s over there where the sink is.”

One second later…

“You’re already back?”

“I just wanted to wash my hands.”

2nd course! I got chicken, my fondue partner got hangar steak, so we just shared, and we ordered vegetable oil.

The other table got vegetable oil as well, and they both ordered steak.

Then there was the other table, the vegetarian table. What is this weirdo gonna do if she can’t eat meat? Don’t worry! Taureau offers a second cheese course as a substitute that includes an order of 4 vegetables as opposed to meat.

So they ordered the alpine (gorgonzola and swiss blend with hazelnut notes), and we took this as an opportunity to pick different vegetables we haven’t ordered yet, two of them being the squash and cauliflower, and the other being miniature pickles.

“If you could only eat one vegetable for the rest of your life what would it be?”

“Tomatoes. Are tomatoes a vegetable?”

“No, they have seeds.”

I picked onions, because there are so many different kinds and you can cook them. I’ll smell but I’ll be happy inside.

I also asked, “is garlic a vegetable?” Do you think it’s a dumb question? Because no one had the answer.

It is a vegetable, and is part of the onion family. Score, even smellier.

“I love asparagus. Asparagus.”

“Your pee is going to smell all the time.”

Dessert time! This was easy we ordered: one dark chocolate, one milk chocolate, and one white chocolate!

I was the only one wanted to eat the bacon dipped in chocolate (you’re all so dumb!) so they put 3 trays of bacon in front of me.

“I said I liked it, it doesn’t mean I want to eat all of it!” as I dip a chunk in the dark chocolate.

“Is anyone else sweating?”

“Yes, is it hot in here or is it the alcohol?”

Check comes…someone didn’t get the memo that this place is cash/Amex only, so she didn’t bring enough cash. I’m not spotting her, that’s for sure. Off she goes to an ATM and one of the nice girls offers to go with her.

“What are we doing later?”

“Who are you texting?”

“We have to split up in 2 cabs.”

“I don’t understand if we should meet them now, or they’re leaving. Help me write this text.”

“Say…”

“No, I don’t like that. I’ll write this.”

It’s freezing out! “Nancy let’s go!”

Taureau (First course: 3 cheese, broccoli, white asparagus and potatoes)

The best course of course (see what I did there). It’s fricken cheese! Obviously the truffle’d cheese was by far the best one! It’s the close up pot with the whitish coloring.

The yellow is the Cheddar Monterey. I don’t recommend that one.

Taureau (2nd course: vegetarian option with squash, cauliflower and pickles)

Here is the vegetarian dish. Yes we got miniature pickles. Sort of weird to dip in cheese, but whatevs, we were running out of vegetables. It was a limited menu of produce!

Taureau (2nd course: vegetable oil and meats)

Both tables got vegetable oil, because it is one of the healthier options. It takes about 30 seconds to cook the meat, they say. I personally kept taking my skewer out of the pot, and either awkwardly bit into the chicken/steak or tried to cut a piece off to see if it was still raw. It’s not an easy game to play.

This course also comes with an assortment of sauces for dipping as you can see. It’s fun to try all of them!

Taureau (3rd course: fruit platter)

Here is the final course! By the time this rolled around I could barely look at food, but bacon is a fun addition! Can you see my friend’s little finger blocking the plate? She is blocking the strawberry cake, although she claims she was “pointing” to it.

Taureau (third course: white chocolate, milk chocolate, [dark chocolate not pictured])

Here is the beautiful dessert fondue! Dark and milk looked the same, and I was getting sick of taking pics. The white chocolate is not heated. It’s the only fondue dish served cold, crazy!

Taureau

Here we are! I asked our amazing waiter to take the picture for us. Also please look around and notice how no one is sitting near us. We were the last people to leave the restaurant!


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).

“Whats wrong?”

“I need a booth for my back.”

“It’s really that bad?”

“Yes.”

 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?”

“Yes.”

“Can I just get this without any of the garnish?”

“Yes, but then it’s just crab cakes with pretzels.”

“That’s fine.”

“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?”

(no)

But instead we go with, “they have hot stone massages!”

Appetizers….

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?”

“I’m thirsty.”

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]



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