NYC: Friday Supper: Gramercy Tavern

Saturday, October 30, 2010 4comments No tags Permalink 0

Sweetbreads and Squash

Friday night supper with Monsieur P. Gramercy Tavern is our go-to restaurant when it’s just the two of us and we crave something more upscale than our affair with Otto, but nothing fancy.

We often take advantage of the $38 three-course dinner, offered every evening after 5:30pm, but this time around I went the a la carte route while Monsieur P did the three-course menu.

I started with an appetizer of Sweetbreads (pictured at top), served with summer squash, shishito peppers on a base of creamy, earthy mushroom purée and then had the Mushroom Lasagna as my entree. Do you remember the very first time I had this pasta? April 2008! The dish, most thankfully, has not changed at all. A classic.

The three-course menu gives you a pick from three appetizers, three entrees and anything off the dessert menu. Lamb Pappardelle is our favourite of the appetizers and seems to always be one of the three options. The pasta is made in-house, wide, supple ribbons tossed with a lamb ragu, black olives, lemon confit and swiss chard.

The Roasted Hanger Steak is also a mainstay as one of the entree options. Accompaniments to the steak change with season, and for the fall it comes with fingerling potatoes, red Russian kale and killer bourbon sauce that we proceeded to wipe clean with the bread.

And for dessert? Though there were pumpkin sweets on the menu, I can never pass on Nancy Olson’s Apple Pie, a generous wedge of tender apples neatly tucked into the buttery crust. I like to chip off the entire crust edge first, spoon some cinnamon sour cream ice cream over the crust, and get it all in one big bite. Oh, the pleasure! And yes, that goes for the base of candied walnuts as well ;)

There were a few minor service mishaps (the waitress forgot what we ordered – multiple times throughout the meal), and the kitchen graciously sent out the Chef’s Selection of Farmstead Cheeses. From left to right, Cremont, beautiful and perfectly ripe, all oozy right beneath the rind, a goat and cow’s milk from Websterville, Vermont; Maidenhead, a raw cow’s milk from Lawrenceville, New Jersey; and on the right Ewe’s Blue, a sheep milk cheese from Old Chatham, New York. Monsieur P was too full by this point, so I gladly had all the cheese, almonds & honey, and bread on my own.

Then. Close to midnight, it was back out into the cold and wind after an incredibly satisfying meal. A 10-minute search for a cab before diving under the covers at home, hot tea on the nightstand and heater on high. It feels like winter already!

Gramercy Tavern
42 East 20th Street
New York, NY 10003
(212) 477-0777

Sugar Rush’ed…

Friday, October 29, 2010 1 No tags Permalink 0

…for the week at Serious Eats New York. Plus ‘Lunch for One‘ at Rai Rai Ken and Radiance Tea House ^_^

Lunch for One: Mapo Ramen at Rai Rai Ken

Sugar Rush: Pistachio Icebox at Little Cupcake Bakeshop

Sugar Rush: Robicelli’s Butternut Spice Cupcakes

Lunch for One: Radiance Tea House

Sugar Rush: Danish Bread at Panya

Sugar Rush: Caracas at La Maison du Chocolat

Sugar Rush: Root Beer Cookies and Ice Cream at Ruby et Violette…
…here’s the Black Forest Ice Cream, and here’s the cookie dough ice creams menu :)

NYC: Matcha Gelato at L’arte del Gelato

Thursday, October 28, 2010 1 No tags Permalink 0

Sorry I haven’t been much of a blogger as of late. Real estate work has me fully consumed (which manages to be both thrilling and exhausting at the same time!), and I’ve barely had a day to sit and breath …brreeeeathhh

But there always is time for gelato.

And will you look at what I recently spotted at my favourite gelateria in the city, L’arte del Gelato…Matcha Gelato! It’s a surprisingly mild, creamy matcha, no intensity of any sort, just clean and simple goodness. If you’re curious, the pale yellow scoop hiding in the back is Banana Gelato. Now that’s intense. A pure, sweet, overripe banana in the luxurious form of frozen cream. Once in big while the owners churn out batches of banana gelato with dark chocolate streaks, like a gorgeous banana stracciatella (only they give it the more boring, straightforward name of Chocolate-Banana Gelato). Either way, deliciousness all around.

L’arte del Gelato
75 7th Avenue South
New York NY 10014
212-924-0803

Sugar Rush’ed…

Saturday, October 23, 2010 0 No tags Permalink 0

bisous, ciao on the LES

…for the week at Serious Eats New York. Plus ‘Lunch for One‘ at Locanda Verde and Akdeniz, and a quick peek at the new Lower East Side macaron shop, bisous, ciao.

Lunch for One: Akdeniz Turkish Cuisine

Sugar Rush: Black Sesame and Pumpkin Cheesecake Soft Serve at Momofuku Milk Bar…
…and the Concord Grape Butter! :)

Sugar Rush: Honeycomb from Liddabit Sweets

Lunch for One: Pumpkin Agnolotti at Locanda Verde

Sugar Rush: Macarons by bisous, ciao

Sugar Rush: Pumpkin Doughnuts at Doughnut Plant

Sugar Rush: Zenzai at Cha An

Hope everyone has a great weekend! ^_^

France; Pierre Hermé. In Paris…

Friday, October 22, 2010 3comments No tags Permalink 0

…we ate sweets, all day and all night. Early morning wake up in the cool air, and a jaunt to nearby Pierre Hermé where even Monsieur P’s jaded eyes were won over by colorful rows of macarons, chocolates and picture perfect Ispahans and mille-feuilles.

Croissants were on the agenda, both a fine original and a decadent Ispahan croissant, the latter donning a glazed exterior flecked in crushed rose petals, and an interior filled with rose marzipan and raspberry and lychee gelée.

With goodies in hand, it’s only a block away to Café de la Mairie, where they gladly allow you to devour the pastries with a daily café express.

But don’t you forget, man cannot live by croissant alone! That’s why there is canelé! At Pierre Hermé they were thoughtfully arranged next to the croissants (and to the left of gingerbread brioche, which will get to later ;), like little soldiers, each one a vision of perfection. Dark, caramelized crusts, and a creamy, custardy interior dotted in vanilla beans. I deeply regret not tucking away a dozen in my suitcase for the return trip to NYC.

Would you like to see the interior? Apologies, it’s somewhat ragged looking and doesn’t do the canelé justice. Monsieur P had bite, I had a bite, and only then did I think to take an interior photo!

And here is the brioche! Gorgeous, no? Not simply any old brioche, but one with a finish of crunchy chocolate pearls, and paired with a gingerbread and banana-kissed marzipan.

Almost, to beautiful to eat.

That, for us, was Pierre Hermé in the mornings. Pierre Hermé in the afternoons were a completely different affair. After lunch and lots and lots of shopping, we’d duck back into the comforting arms of the patisserie for our afternoon goûter.

For what in particular? Macarons, of course! The Olive Oil + Vanilla Macaron was the unanimous favourite, and featured a sliver of salty green olive at the very center…

…my love affair however, was surprisingly not with macarons, but the Deux Mille Feuilles, which translates to “2000 Feuilles” and is truly a magical creation. Layers upon layers of caramelized puff pastry, with a trio of fillings. At the bottom, luxe chocolate cream, rich enough to border on ganache and studded with hazelnuts, then a thin layer of praline right above and finally, whipped hazelnut praline cream closest to the top. Yes, swoon.

I’m about thisclose to successfully convincing Monsieur P that perhaps we need to/should/would love to return to Paris again this winter. After all, we’ve utterly failed to find a remotely comparable mille feuille (much less deux mille feuilles!) in NYC. Wouldn’t you agree that’s reason enough?

Pierre Hermé
72, rue Bonaparte
75006 Paris
+33 (1) 43 54 47 77