One More Day of Indulgence Never Hurt!

Monday, November 26, 2007 12comments No tags Permalink 0

I ate too much this weekend.
Thursday = Thanksgiving Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
Friday = Lunch at Spotted Pig, Dinner at Blue Ribbon…with donuts as an afternoon snack…and dessert at Pinisi…followed by Thanksgiving dinner leftovers as a midnight snack
Saturday = Lunch at Tiny’s, the whole damn cookie at Levain, Dinner at Taim, ice cream at cookies at home
Sunday = Lunch at Yoghurt Place, coffee at tea at Grounded, Fat Witch brownies, Dinner at Tiny’s, ice cream, dark chocolate covered pretzels, and ice cream for dessert…

Oooooofffff
(looks down at tummy)
I can still see my toes!
thank god :)

I’m super excited to put up the Thanksgiving weekend posts, but I’m going do the posts backwards, starting from today (Sunday). All our guests with the exception of Steph left on Saturday, so today was reserved for Shann, Steph, and Kathy bonding! It’s great having a large group of friends visit for the holiday, but it does get extremely hectic and somewhat nerve-wracking at times.

I’m more of a small group type of girl, it’s less crazy and noisy and you have more opportunities to catch-up on missed time with close friends. Which is why today was a good day. It was a very good day in fact, one of the best I’ve had in a while :)

We started off the late morning with a snack on Sullivan Street. Shann and Steph enjoyed slices of the pizza zucchini over at Grandaisy while I went next door to Yoghurt Place in search of something cooold, sweet and creamy.

I’m a sucker for greek yogurt, and have a unbashful longstanding affair with Fage yogurt products. But after a taste from the Yoghurt Place this morning, I feel like a complete idiot. I’ve been missing out! For the last three years I’ve been eating Fage, regarding it as the gold standard for greek yogurt. But how wrong I’ve been! Oh dear…

Look here. It’s quite pretty you see? But the visual satisfaction is only a bare skim, a brief tease as to how delicious this is. Okay, so think like normal yogurt…only with thick, thick, thick. LIKE THICK to the point of whipped butter! Pure white in colour, the texture of the yogurt bears uncanny resemblance to whipped butter and nothing else. Tangy, with a lovely mouthfeel, rich and just barely sweet. It’s deceivingly filling. I choose to have the yoghurt topped with stewed apricots in honey, a dash of sliced almonds and a bit of granola. A swirl of the spoon to bring it all in together, and sheeessshhh, this treat is like drug. The silky smooth cream cut by the crunch of granola and a nutty sliver of almond, an anticipated bite into sweet honey soaked apricots. What better way to start your Sunday?

Looking down at the Met lobby

Satisfied, we walked back along Spring Street to catch the train up to the Met, per Steph’s request. Ahhh. Museums. I’m not a big museum person, hehe. My only interest in going to the Met was to check out all the dining options. So that’s what I did. It was not very impressive, but then again what did you expect? Nonetheless, all the dining venues in the museum turned over a remarkably high amount of traffic. Crazies. They could have been eating greek yoghurt!

We didn’t stay too long at the Met. Funny how I can manage to spend two hours exploring a supermarket, but my attention span can’t exceed more than 20 minutes at the museum. Teehee. We hung outside for a bit, the day was bright and had grown considerably warmer from just a few hours before. I love sunny days – we get a ton of sunlight in Hawaii, so it’s a real damper when the day falls dark before 6pm in this city. This guy standing next to us at the museum entrance was pretty insistent on offering to take a picture…so here we are! Haha, from left to right: myself, Shann and Steph.

Post-Met, we went down to the West Village for some drinks at Shann’s favourite coffee shop in the city, Grounded. Steph went for the mint limeade, while Shann had a ridiculously fantastic hazelnut and caramel coffee. Gah, it was so good, I kept asking her for a sip, and must have ended up drinking nearly half of it! :)

For myself I ordered a green citrus gingko tea, which was just alrighty. Could have been sweetened just a tad with honey, but otherwise strong on the gingko (a plus!), none of that citrusy business I was expecting though…

I liked the vibe in this coffee shop. The city is filled with countless cafes covering every and all tastes, but it’s hard to find one that suits you well. It’s like finding the perfect hat, or in my case, the perfect bag. But yes, Grounded is good. It’s quite the cozy place, but not difficult to find a seat. The people are nice (and they serve Murray’s bagels – toasted!), it’s warm inside, and even a skylight and lots of plants! It’s best expressed in one word: comfy.

from the inside of Ronnybrook Farm’s Milk Bar

From Grounded we made a short walk to the Chelsea Market to do some exploring and pick up a few brownies from Fat Witch. The Market was extremely lively around 4pm this Sunday afternoon, it’s a delightful place to spend the day and there’s definitely something to satisfy any food craving whether it be Thai food, gelato, coffee, pastries, or a velvety serving of clam chowder in a bread bowl.

One of my favourite things to do on a weekend afternoon is sit at Ronnybrook Dairy’s milk bar and treat myself to a (large) glass of indulgence with the ginger crème brulee milkshake. If the name alone hasn’t already sold you, a frothy rich taste surely will. True to the ginger flavour and just enough sweetness to satiate but not overkill, this creamy thick concoction surprises with bits of candied ginger laced within sips. It’s the perfect place to take a break alone, or join a friend for lunch (I’ll be back for the mac & cheese and cast iron egg dishes!) Low key and simple fare, you feel good knowing that all the dairy involved in these items come from a local farm!

We made our way around each all the shops in the market, there’s always so much to look at..and sigh, I could never bore of watching the bakers in the windows of Amy’s Bread! At exactly 4pm, the three of us hopped over to Fat Witch for some triple brownie action, hehe. Fat Witch does not have the best brownies in the city, much less the country, as some have proclaimed. Far from it. These are simply decent and consistent brownies. Nothing I would pay the regular price of $2.75 for, but when I happen to be around during the ‘witching hour’ special, I’d gladly trade off $1.25 for a square.

Three squares in fact! Hehe, no I am not a glutton. We each got a square of our own and shared them all. Clockwise from the left is the walnut brownie, peanut butter brownie, and caramel brownie. I liked the walnut the most, just cause: 1. who doesn’t love walnuts in brownies?! 2. the nuts cut the sweetness of the batter. Shann proclaimed the peanut butter brownie at Baked to be much better, because they swirled actual peanut butter throughout the batter while Fat Witch simply mixed in peanut butter chips.

Here’s a closer look at my caramel brownie. Very ordinary, no? It’s the plain brownie batter topped with a layer of baked caramel. Too sweet. I like me sweets less sweet, or even better, with a touch of salt. Like fleur de sel caramels! Or Thai desserts! The olive oil gelato at Otto’s! Something along that line :) But the sweetness in this brownie was simply one-dimensional.

Brownie crumbs in our lap and tummies just a little bit poofier, we checked the clocked and were bummed to discover that it was nearly 5pm. Seeing as she had already missed the 12:30, 2:30, and 4:30 bus to Cornell (Shann and I were very convincing getting her to stay, “just an hour more!”) Steph had to make the 6:30 bus leaving from Penn Station…but not without dinner!

We took the subway back to the LES where we had a quick dinner at Tiny’s, my go-to spot for sandwiches, reliable and always very satisfying. Exiting the F train at Delancey, Steph and Shann went to grab at seat at the restaurant while I made a mad dash to Economy Candy for a stash of gigantic dark chocolate dipped pretzels, my sweet-salty addiction of the moment.

These pretzels are crazy delicious. Everything about them is prefect. The pretzel to chocolate proportion is spot on – you know those tiny chocolate covered pretzels? There’s always too much chocolate and not enough pretzel. These also have a lot of chocolate, but the pretzel itself is nice and big, so it balances out well. Plus, it’s DARK chocolate, so holy hell, you bet it’s good! It’s hard to restrain yourself at Economy Candy, but you must enter into this treasure trove of sweets and chocolate with a goal in mind and stay focused. Otherwise you’ll end up with a ton of treats you never intended to purchase. Which is bad…or good…depends how you view it!

Over at Tiny’s Shann ordered a cream soda, of which I had a sip (I seem to be having many sips of Shann’s drinks today, hehe). I’ve never had cream soda before, but I supposed the name explains it all. Cream. Soda. It tastes like fizzy sweet cream! It really does. Like, it tastes like liquid cream, only lighter, with fizzzzzzzzzzzz. Oh boy. That was an awful description!

She also had a crabcake on brioche. Tiny’s doesn’t bake their own bread, but the brioche here serves as an excellent sandwich bread. Pair it with a seared crabcake perfectly tucked between the buns, a dabble of aioli, and you’ve got yourself quite the (mini) sandwich!

Steph went with the Cesar salad and a bowl of the vegetable chili soup. Thumbs up for the chilli soup, so comforting for this windy day! It’s nice and chunky, generous with the veggies and a crusty semolina roll on the side.

I had the veggie meatballs with pesto on a semolina roll. The first time I had the veggie meatballs (a few months back), it was completely unseasoned. It must have been a fluke (whew!) cause it was pretty darn good today, especially with a healthy smear of pesto tucked between the toasted roll. A great bargain at $3.75. And it comes with chips!

Okey doke. Off to sleep now. Sigh. The weekend is over. Back to real life tomorrow. Hope you have a great Monday! :)

Yoghurt Place
71 Sullivan St
NY, NY 10012
(212) 219-3500

Grounded
28 Jane St
NY, NY 10014
(212) 647-0943

Ronnybrook Farm Dairy
75 9th Avenue
NY, NY 10011
(212) 741-6455

Fat Witch
75 9th Avenue
NY, NY 10011
(212) 807-1335

Economy Candy
108 Rivington St
NY, NY 10002
(800) 352-4544

Tiny’s Giant Sandwich Shop
129 Rivington St
NY, NY 10002
(212) 982-1690

Thanksgving: Stuffed!

Thursday, November 22, 2007 7comments No tags Permalink 0

Hope you all had a super duper delicious Thanksgiving! :)

Taken sometime between Thanksgiving dinner and dessert! From left to right: Justin, Jess, Shann, myself, Kelly, Steph, and Marie. (Photo by Marie)

Shann and I are hosting five of our friends over this Thanksgiving weekend. Marie and Kelly got in from Wellesley on Tuesday night, Justin from Yale and Steph from Cornell on Wednesday morning…and Jess finallytrucked in from Harvard late Wednesday evening. How we managed to fit everyone in our tiny LES spot is beyond amazing, but we’re just thankful that it all worked out nicely. Whew!

We did quite a bit of eating/munching/shopping in the last few days, but I’ll save that for the next post and dive head on into The Day of The Dinner.

11am: Shann wakes up first, “OMG, THE TURKEY NEEDS TO GO IN THE OVEN IN EXACTLY AN HOUR!!!”

Everyone wakes up, grumbles, mumbles. I hear mutterings from Kelly and Jess, “ooh, the lamb thingy from Kebab House was sooo good last night.” “NyQil? DayQil?” “beeehh, need to showeeeer.” Apparently, they didn’t return from their ‘evening adventures’ till the wee hours of the morning…

11:30am: Steph, Shann and Justin get to work on the turkey. Everyone else brushes their teeth, gets dressed.

12pm: Kelly and I set off to Pinisi to pick up pies!!! Yah, we LOVE PIES! :) This was Kelly’s very first visit to Pinisi, so we hung out there a bit, chatting with Andy and his wife. Man, they must be exhausted! They didn’t leave till past near midnight yesterday and got back to bakery at 3am this morning to start baking pies. Now that’s what you call dedication.

Hehe, she looks ready for a bite!

While waiting for our pies to be wrapped up, Kelly and I sat at the counter and shared a slice of Pinisi’s signature red velvet cake. I’ve written about this cake a few times here :) Hehe, we completely neglected to consider how much food was going to be eaten throughout the day while consuming this cake!

Andy’s wife packed our pies with great care, a smile on her face the whole time. That’s a pecan pie hiding in the bottom box, and pumpkin on top. You know what is the most fun about bakery visits? Watching the baker tie the boxes with white (blue & white, in this case!) string, quickly manuvering back and forth till the boxes are secured together, a fast whip of the hand, the bow is formed, viola!

Awwww, pumpkin pie, so delish! The filling is your ordinary pumpkin pie, but they always gets the crust just magnificent, crisp all the way through, I’ve never encountered a soggy bottom at Pinisi

…And here’s the pecan pie! =) We heated this up in the oven and topped the individual slices with vanilla ice cream.

Right before leaving the bakery, Andy insisted on throwing in a few extra treats for us. He’s such a great guy and fantastic baker! Since he knows anything that ends in ‘pudding’ is my favourite dessert, he packed in a little cup of pumpkin crème brulee…
…two trays of challah-brioche bread pudding! Can you say beautiful? :)

It was surprisingly warm out today, so Kelly and I took the crème brulee to a bench (saving the bread pudding for post dinner! :) outside and dug in with great enthusiasm. It’s more akin to pudding than a classic crème brulee, much softer than the norm. Aside from lacking a proper crisp caramelized crust, the spiced pumpkin flavour is right on spot, and it’s quite the decadent treat. As Robyn would say, “Nom, nom!”

I love carrying pie boxes! You know how some things, some objects, can make you very happy? Some people like journals, cameras, phones…well, I like boxes. Pie boxes!

3pm: Kelly and I arrived back at the apartment, tummies contently filled with cake and crème brulee. We walked through the doors to find Steph, Shann and Marie hard at work. The kitchen/whole apartment (it’s tiny!) smelled AWESOME. All three of them were leaning over the oven, basting the turkey. A fresh batch of cornbread cooled on the table, alongside with butternut squash (waiting its’ turn in the oven), boiled potatoes (to be turned into garlic mashed potatoes!), and a loaf of pumpkin cranberry bread from Erica.

Steph & Justin peeking in on the turkey

Kelly and I felt an immediate pang of guilt…eheheh, for going off to eat dessert when we only planned to, ahem, pick up dessert. Teehee. We tend to get distracted when there’s food nearby!

3:30pm: Justin and Jess returned from their we-should-buy-some-beer-and-wine excursion with a big, HEAVY white box filled with…

…knishes!!! They purchased it from Yonah Schimmel on their walk back from Whole Foods. Sometimes I forget just how convenient this city is. Whole Foods is a 5 minute walk, Russ & Daughter and Katz is 2 minutes…it is as if the whole world is RIGHT HERE. At the fingahhhtips!! :) I dunno how I can ever live anywhere else. For now…

But yes, the KNISHES!!! We’ll start off with the tastiest of the trio – a jalapeño & mozzarella combo. I’ve only had a knish once, like four years ago, so I’m practically a knish virgin. But this was a good knish, a very good one in fact! A packed mountain of mashed potatoes topped with jalapeños and mozzarella, wrapped in dough and baked. It is soooo heavy. Each one (and they don’t look that big) must weigh at least a pound. It also feels heavy in your stomach. But man, it was nice going down! Potatoes are especially comforting, and when baked with jalapeños and moooozarellla, it becomes the ultimate winter/holiday snack. Yay, snackies!!!

Knish: Cut

Yes, we shared. I think we would have suffered major brick-stomach issues if we ate one per person!

We made our way though a red cabbage knish, a lovely creature really, the innards were a soft blue shade…you just wanted to poke it! So soft! And warm! Oh yeah, did I tell you they warmed them all up for us? :)

The sweet potato knish, the only sweet, and perhaps my least favourite of the bunch. Texture-wise it just got boring too quickly. Muooush. Muoosh. Like maybe if they had mini knishes, a five-bite sized kind. That would be better. Theses were major monsters.

And the last of the quartet, a mushroom stuffed knish.

Jess was our honorary knish-cutter, she did an excellent job! *hooray!* So. Knishes were a pre-thanksgiving snack.

We lovalovalova our kinishes, yes? We ate a lot of starch today.

Shann pours a cup of green tea

Aside from cooking, there was little actual ‘work’ we did today. We did a lot of catching up over cups of tea (brought over from Japan by Marie :) – it’s everyone’s senior year in college (except for me, haha, I was in such a rush to graduate early!), so this will probably be our last ‘official’ thanksgiving for a while. The majority of us plan to move back west upon graduation, some to San Francisco, others to Hawaii. We’ve been close friends since middle school (kindergarten for some), so there will be plenty to miss :)

Steph and her cuppa tea

Steph and I lounged out on the fire escape, it was incredibly warm today – hard to believe this is late November weather!

Here’s a shot of Rivington Street from our seat on the escape. This street is normally busy in the afternoons, but it was dead quiet today. Everyone must be huddled in over their stoves!

Turkey coming out! Photo by Marie

Sometime after knish-ing and before the sun going down, the turkey came out of the oven. Steph was girl-in-charge-of-turkey, and she did a real awesome job butter-ing up the baby with thyme & oregano butter (Shann & Justin also helped!) and roasting it with plenty of onions and lemons. Mmm! We basted every 30 minutes, and set off the smoke detector about a million times…which resulted in major towel waving to cool down the room (thank you Kelly & Shann)!

Marie was the pro-turkey carver of the group, having plenty of experience from our last four years in college!

And Steph was the pro-turkey-dark-meat-plate holder! Have you ever seen anyone look so excited over a plate of turkey?! She musta been huuungry!

Here’s Kelly during dinner – she must have been even more hungry, my goodness! hehe ;)

Meanwhile, Steph was busy browning garlic for the GARLIC MASHED POTATOES. This is my favourite photo of the day! A big bowl of semi-mashed potatoes, a whole garlic bulb, pepper, cream and, as Kelly said, “lots and lots of looove.” Ahhh love indeed. What are mashed potatoes with no love?

Midway though dinner someone said, “I feel like we forgot something…”
Someone else said, “Really? hmmm…”
Another person, “I don’t think so…”
Yet another, “oh. okay…”


Cinnamon & Nutmeg Cranberry Sauce (our very first time using fresh cranberries :)

We ate seconds and thirds, generous helpings of rice, warm gravy (made by Justin) spooned over with giddy abandon, some chased after dark meat, others white, all topped by a cinnamon and nutmeg spiked cranberry sauce.

Justin heated up apple cider from Red Jacket Orchards. He also found some real nice strawberry apple cider from Stone Ridge Orchard, which I though was even better (more intensely straaawwwberrry-er than the Red Jacket version).

…And then, 15 minutes later…all of a sudden, “WHERE’S THE SALAD?!”
bwahahahaha.
We all broke into peals of laughter.
Everything.
We remembered everything starchy, meaty, fatty, sugary.
But we forgot to make the one, the ONLY, semi-healthy dish.
STRAWBERRY SPINACH SALAD.
Oh well.
We laughed some more, and ate even more rice + turkey + gravy.
It was delicious.

Oh god. We ate too much today. As usual. I forgot take photos of most of the finish dishes, hehe, but I will tell you what we had!
– turkey
– baked yams
– roasted butternut squash
– stuffing (stovetop nonetheless! :)
– we were supposed to have a salad…but hehe, we forgot!
– cornbread
– garlic mashed potatoes
– cranberry sauce
– a really rich gravy
– plenty of rice!
– pecan pie
– pumpkin pie
– bread pudding
– vanilla ice cream
– pumpkin beer! (I didn’t pay attention to the wines…)
– apple cider & strawberry-apple cider

Oooffff. Okay.
Time to digest.

Smooosh, smooosh
(pats stomach)

Have a good night! :)

Yonah Schimmel Knishery
137 East Houston Street
New York, NY 10002
(212) 477-2858

Pinisi Cafe & Bakery
128 East 4th St
NY, NY 10003
(212) 614-9079

Russ & Daughters: Chocolate Babka

Monday, November 19, 2007 7comments No tags Permalink 0


As varied as my eating habits may be, there are few select food items that I oft return to over and over again. The chicken curry funn at BoKy, Pinisi’s red velvet cake, the cubano at El Castillo de Jagua, and the pizza bianca from Sullivan St Bakery. None of them share much in common aside from the fact that they’re priced under $5, and they make me happy. Very happy.

But! I’ve found something else to add to this list. A baked good, nonetheless! A chocolately, sweet baked good. THE CHOCOLATE BABKA – the siren of all morning treats. It’s sold by the (generous) slice for $3.50 at Russ & Daughters. You could opt to get a whole loaf, but knowing me, I’d polish off it all off in one seating. And then get a heart attack. I’m admittedly terrible when it comes to self-control with baked goods. Heehee…we all have our vices! Oh god, but this is incredible, melted dark chocolate brushed upon layers of rich buttery dough with just a hint of cinnamon. The lightest lace of streusel tops it off for a truly gorgeous treat. Shades of brown, dark chocolate, soft cinnamony innards, and a slight crust that becomes all the more addictive when you pop the slice in the toaster over for just a bit. Too sweet? Perhaps. Overly decadent? Never.

P.S.
To balance out the sweet treat, I like to chase my Chocolate Babka with a smoked salmon cream cheese bagel also from Russ & Daughters. And then if you want more dessert afterwards, a chocolate covered halvah bar never hurt, and while you’re at it, don’t forget to pick up a square of prune & raisin BAGEL pudding! How can there be so much deliciousness in such a tiny place? Why, we’ll never know!

Russ & Daughters
179 East Houston St.
NY, NY 10002
(212) 475-4880

Robyn’s Super Belated and Super Delicious Birthday Dinner!

Sunday, November 18, 2007 6comments No tags Permalink 0

Robyn’s birthday dinner at Momomfuku Ssam acutally took place way back in mid-October, but sigh, you know how time fliiiieeees. One week turns into another, and before you know it, you’re ten pounds heavier, and it’s mid-November! Going back in time, Robyn invited a lucky bunch of us out for some major bo ssam action on Saturday evening. Some people like to spend Saturday evenings getting drunk and dancing. We like to EAT. EAT PORK.

photo by Robyn

Here are the eaters…post eating. From left to right: John, Robyn, myself, Tina, Charlie, Amy, Carol, Patricia, Alex, and Bert. Don’t we all just look so happy and deliciously full? ;)

About two hours before this photo was taken, we were all snuggled away inside the restaurant, hungry appetites made even hungrier by the sight of all the food around us. Momofuku was already packed by 6pm that evening, and the crowds would only begin to grow throughout the night. A good number of diners took to standing around the ‘communal’ tables in the back, sharing dining and standing space with strangers. People are really desperate to eat here!

We decided to order a wide assortment of small dishes to share in addition to the bo ssam (thank you Robyn! :) First up was the Santa Barabara uni with whipped tofu, tapioca, and scallions. Oh god, this was very, very good. A base of airy whipped tofu, hidden balls of tapioca pearls, uni (I LOVE UNI) to bring in the briny-ness of the sea and creamy rich mouthfeel. Each component collapsed together so perfectly, both in terms of texture and flavour. To top it all of, furikake! Ahhh. Just seeing the furikake instantly reminded me of home and spam musubis!

I$8 for bread and butter alone was severely overpriced, given that the bread was good, but far from amaaazing. Butter I like. But then again, I’m a sucker for good butter. No wonder I’m so fat! bwahahaha. Fancy butter you know? Two varieties: sea salt butter from Vermont and from England, St. Helen’s Farm goat butter. I wasn’t sure how the refill on bread business worked. I was told afterwards that we could get more bread at no charge…but out waiter never offered it to us! Gah. Oh well. Less calories invested on bread means more allocated to PORK!

The Satur Farms Fried Cauliflower was insane! Holy cow, I’ve never had cauliflower in such a form of deliciousness! I’m used to stir-fried and roasted cauliflower…but this was in another league of its’ own. The cauliflower itself was thoughtfully cut into appropriate bite size pieces (unlike the huge chunks you typically find in dishes), fried to a crispy golden, laced with a childhood memory inducing nuoc nam, mint, garlic, chili and a sprinkle of what Robyn appropriately calls, “something like rice krispes.” It’s true! I dunno what else to relate it too…like the rainbow puff rice cereal we get back home in Hawaii…only not sweet, and not rainbow. Just extra airy and crunchy! :)

Oooh, the Tello’s Chawan Mushi made me sooo happy! I love, love, love fish roe of any sort, this particular one was smoked trout roe, intensely bacon-y in flavor. Chawan mushi was a silky smooth gem, I could imagine recreating a ghetto version of this at home, steaming my own chawan mushi and then topping it off with ikura. A surprising touch was a dabble of maple syrup…not sure if I took to that as well, the chawan mushi and trout roe alone was so good, why put an unnecessary twist?

But my favourite of all the small dishes were the grilled sweetbreads. Um. AMAZING!! I love sweetbread almost as much as I love bread pudding (which is A LOT OF LOVE). And when the exterior is lovingly grilled with a subtle smoky char, and the innards just melt like fat, meaty butter. Like AMAZINGNESS. They go down quite nicely. Then again, fat always goes down quite nicely!

I didn’t get a good taste of the roasted mushroom salad, cause the portion was so tiny, and well, I ate more than my share of sweetbreads, hehe ;) Nonetheless, I can at least tell you whaat it was! A base of pistahchio puree topped with roasted mushrooms, radishes, and crosnes. What are crosnes? Robyn likens their physical appearance to maggots, Tina to insect larvae…I think they look like cheap pearls, but that’s just me.

After polishing off the small plates, our waiter came by to clean the table, and make room for the BO SSAM. A bowl packed with bibb lettuce, four sauces: kochujang, scallion & ginger puree, kimchee puree, and just a good ol’ bowl of kimchee (hard to go wrong there!). The lettuce. WAS SO GOOD. I enjoy my veggies as much as the next guy, but this lettuce. Man. I just wanted to shove it in my face, plain, it was so simple, so clean, so fresh, SO GOOD. Of the four sauces, I was most friendly with the scallion & ginger puree, just cause it was ‘different’ from the other sauces I’m used to eating. They also gave small dishes of maldon sea salt and bowls of rice to go around. Mmmm RICE!

And oysters! Oh I love my oysters, the oceany brinyness, slippery, cold, the smooth chilly texture going down your throat. Yessssum. But I never though to pair oysters, pork, rice and lettuce together! Did you? Well you should have, cause it’s crazy. Here’s how it works: bibb lettuce + rice + sauce of choice + oyster + pork, pork pork (preferably WITH skin!) = dinner!

Oh My Goodness, look at the Bo Ssam!!!!! Meatiness!! Porky!! Glory! The best part is the crisp, charred, fatty skin. IT BEG TO BE EATEN. It was just asking for it. Skin is my favourite part of any animal. And the liver. Yeah. I like skin and liver. Don’t get me wrong, I like the meaty part too! Oh hell, I like the whole animal, down to the hoofs. We tore through the pork at an alarming speed, there was really no doubt that it would get finished…CAUSE, who’d be silly enough to leave pork. Sitting alone. Uneaten.

Post-porking, Robyn whipped out mini pyramids of hazelnut chocolates from her recently trip to Italy. Dangerously delicious! I ate three before telling myself, it’d be good to show some restraint in life…

…and also cause we had dessert in mind! Remember: NO MEAL IS COMPLETE WITHOUT SOMETHING SWEET! We walked over to L’Arte Del Gelato in the West Village, the most awesomest gelateria in the city as far as I’m concerned (though Otto is a close second!)

After much indecision, I opted for a mint and strawberry combo. They always give a little bonus tasting of a third flavour, which happened to be yogurt that evening. Funny thing is, I always end up liking the ‘bonus’ flavour more than the ones I’ve chosen. Why? Maybe it’s a psychological thing. Like. YOU ONLY GET ONE BITE OF THIS FLAVOR. So you milk its’ essence for all it’s worth. I dunno. There are a lot of things I don’t know. But I did enjoy the strawberry, a bit more mellow and less intensely flavoured than I expected, it paired well with the mint, soooo clean and refreshing! Maybe one day I’ll get an extra large cup with a bazillion flavours and call it dinner! :)

Super thanks to Robyn for organizing the dinner and treating us to the bo ssam! =)

Click here for Robyn’s dinner post…
…and here for Tina’s!
Haha, you can read THREE posts on the same dinner!

Momofuku Ssäm Bar
207 2nd Avenue
New York, NY 10003

L’Arte del Gelato
75 7th Avenue
New York, NY 10011

My Kind of Morning: Grandaisy & Taim

Thursday, November 15, 2007 8comments No tags Permalink 0


Look! It’s fall :) Now that I’ve moved away from the island of eternal summer, I’m quite excited to experience all four seasons!

The other morning, I had a warm slice of pizza zucchini from Grandaisy Bakery on Sullivan Street. Shredded zucchini and a light hand of gruyere cheese on the thinnest of crusts – it’s hard to imagine that something so simple and basic, could be this delicious! (and beautiful!) Of course, the hallmark of this bakery is the pizza bianca, the one item you must, must, must get if you happen to pop in right when it comes out of the oven.

It was such a nice day that I wandered around Soho and West Village for a while, going nowhere in particular, but enjoying the quiet morning very much (I’ve learned to better appreciate the freedom of weekends after starting work, hehe). I came across my favourite falafel place in the city, Taim, and purchased a date-banana-lime smoothie. I sat on the empty bench outside and sipped away, the creamy, date-speckled drink going down smooth, the lime was so light as to nearly be missed, but there was no arguing that this was a darn good, honest smoothie. Naturally sweet, perhaps a bit too icy, but straightforward, yet unique. I doubt there’s many places in this city that blend dates into their smoothies! :)

That’s it for this post – hope you’re all having a good week!

Grandaisy Bakery
73 Sullivan Street
NY, NY 10012
(212) 334-9435

Taim Falafel & Smoothie Bar
222 Waverly Place
NY, NY 10014
(212) 691-1287