January 5, 2014


Two exciting meat-eating adventures from this past weekend.

Its been a bit over 6 months since Keizo Shimamoto showed up to the Brooklyn Smorgasbourg with his "more-famous-than-the-cronut" creation, the ramen burger. A certain someone, who is obsesesd with ramen has been wanting to try this thing out since August. So we journeyed all the way to Williamsburg for the Smorgasbourg but was too late in getting a head start on the 2 hour+ line of hungry eaters eagerly awaiting their chance to sample the ramen burger, of which there was a limited quantity. And then before we knew it, it was January already. Yesterday, we stumbled into the winter, indoor version of the Smorgasbourg and what did you know? There was the ramen burger stand and no line

Two ramen buns, secret sauce, arugula, green onions and 1/4lb chuck beef patty
So was this overhyped? Maybe I would answer differently if I had to wait for 2 hours starving to death but since I didn't, my final verdict is this is one yummy burger. Well-cooked (not dry!) patty with a secret sauce pretty similar to hoisin and nicely al dente ramen noodles mixed in. Would I order it again? Assuming there's no 2 hour line, I will say its a definite yes.  

Dinner at Peter Luger's

Unlike the ramen burger which has only been around for a few months, we had dinner at the most famous and oldest steak establishment in New York, Peter Luger's. Voted best steak of the city by Zagat for 30 years in a row, this place had some pretty high standards to live up to. Seriously, how does a place get voted #1 for 30 years in a row? Now I understand when people call places "institutions". 

Peter Luger's famous steak sauce is pretty much their version of a cocktail sauce, we weren't the biggest fans. But let me rave about the thick crispy bacon. It was life-changing good. And even the guy who hates (I mean will not eat it) bacon loved this bacon. I know this is probably blasphemous to say [but the bacon was probably better than the steak].
The star of the menu, dry-aged, bone-in porterhouse. Not sure why the portion size is meant for 2 since its enough meat to feed a small country. Half of the steak featured filet and the other side of the bone was a New York strip, cooked medium-rare with a nice char on the outside. So was this really the best steak I have ever had? In terms of pure steak, meatyness, I would say yes. The filet literally melted in your mouth. But me liking things salty wished there had been more seasoning and to the meat. And unlike korean BBQ, which we always devour no matter how full we are, we left a good portion on the plate to take home. 
Not exactly sure how we still had room for dessert but its one of those meals where you need to do it right, so we got cheesecake. Man it was some good cheesecake, served with the house made "schlagg" (aka whipped cream). And to top the meal off, some chocolate gold coins, supposedly the same ones they've been giving out sine the restaurant first opened eons ago. 

January 2, 2014

Happy 2014!

New Year's Eve Celebrations 

Can anyone believe it is 2014 already? I always say the year flies by but this past year sure felt that way. Although it was kind of cheating year with me getting to travel all over (Italy, Greece, Mediterranean) and spending half of the year cooking, blogging, yogaing and basically chilling. Then again, the other half of the year was spent working long hours with absolutely no time for cooking, blogging or yogaing. However, New Years is always exciting as your filled with the unknown prospect of what the upcoming year will bring.

Despite the plethora of party options in New York, we opted to stay in this year with a few friends and lots of champagne.

Started the night with a few delicious cocktails at Brass on Lexington.
And headed home to make more drinks for our guests!
New Years Day Explorations

Despite it being a holiday, the newly constructed Gotham West Market on 11th ave and 44th street was open for business. We braved the cold and ventured to this foodie market. The indoor space is BEAUTIFUL with wrought iron decorations, bar style seating for each of the restaurants along with communal seating on large wooden picnic tables. Despite the industrialist theme, the area still felt cozy and would be great place to spend an afternoon reading and munching

Tapas at El Comodo
Spicy Lamb Meatballs
Grilled Octopus

 Cute little tapas restaurant which only offers bar seating. The spicy lamb meatballs were out of this world although the octopus was only so-so. They also offer $1 oysters during happy hour and these oysters are amazing covered in a light vinegar and garlic mixture

Ivan Ramen and Blue Bottle Coffee
Garlic Ramen from Ivan Ramen
Ginger Molasses cookie from Blue Bottle
Drip coffee from Blue Bottle
Not a shocker that another ramen joint has opened up in NYC with lots of fan fare and is already quickly developing a cult following. Ivan Ramen was started by an American in Tokyo and was so popular there that he decided to export his creation to the states. The portions are bit lacking but the broth is more a sauce, thick and flavorful, which coats each noodle so you get that porky broth goodness with each bite

December 30, 2013

Home Cooking

A blissful Christmas week at home filled with nonstop eating, tv-indulging, and sleeping in way too late. Thought I would have been more diligent about capturing all of our meals but half of the time I was to impatient to eat.  Fortunately I was able to get a few quick snaps in between all of the eating :)

A delightful discovery - Jack Rudy small batch tonic that has elevated my favorite drink to a whole new level. Thank you Bon Appetit for introducing me to this.
A classic breakfast we always eat at home. Ever since my parents had their first crepe in Montreal years and years ago, they were hooked. We've been following the same apple crepe recipe since I was probably 12.
After our apartment had dumpling night, I was craving some of my mom's home made dumplings. And the new favorite filling of the moment is lamb with celery. Nothing beats dumplings was dumpling skin made fresh.
This is not a new favorite. For as long as I can remember, we've been eating hot put at home and it beats all the hot pot I've had in Philadelphia and New York. Our favorite ingredients include thinly cut lamb, spinach, clear noodles and a spicy sesame based sauce loaded with hot peppers and cilantro.
Showing off dad's cooking skills. Roast beef smoked in his "Green Egg", home made pickles and bread made from scratch. Dad's gotten pretty good at cooking while I wasn't looking.
A simple dinner of nachos loaded with Italian sausage, home made salsa and LOTS of jalepenos, can you tell we like things spicy?
New York sure has some great food but sometimes, nothing beats mom and dad's home cooking.

December 24, 2013

Brunch at Locanda Verde

A decadent brunch in Tribeca before heading home for Christmas. I went to Locanda Verde last summer with some friends but hadn't returned until now despite its proximity to work. Lots of authentic Italian deliciousness at this eatery owned by Robert Di Niro. I'm still waiting for a celebrity sighting...

I love the rustic Italian feel of the this restaurant.
Fluffy focaccia - with carmelized onions
Citronata (in the back) - a light breakfast cocktail of Aperol, lillet (apertif wine) & aranciata (Italian orange soda)
I've developed a slight obsession with pastry baskets as of late. Anything sweet and carby smothered in butter sounds like the beginning of a perfect lazy Sunday. This dolce misti was outstanding, filled with holiday flavors including ginger chocolate bread, sugar crusted croissant, apple cider donut (favorite) and butter scone, all served with whipped butter and orange marmalade. This might have been the best part of the meal. 
Soft Scrambled Egg Crostini - with leeks, mushrooms and speck
Shaved Porchetta Sandwich - with grilled onions and provolone
This dish brought us back to our travels to Florence and the trek we made every other day to the sandwich shop that served the most amazing Porchetta sandwich we've ever had (well at that time it was the only porchetta sandwich we ever had).
Lots of home cooking (and eating) these past few days which should make for some gluttonous food posts. 

July 30, 2013

Greek Offerings

I remember in the 11th grade, my high school chemistry teacher went to Greece and recounted to me how amazing the food was. I instantly decided on the spot that I was going to Greece, for the pretty landscape but more so for the food. 5 years later, I got my wish, although I wasn't all that much wiser on Greek cuisine since the only exposure I've ever had to Greek food was Greek Lady aka lamb meat and french fries stuffed in a pita, and hummus (which isn't even exclusively Greek). Fortunately for me, my chemistry teacher was right and the food was amazing (the landscape was pretty great too) and I finally learned about the nuances and complexities of Greek cuisine.

Pork filet stuffed with smoked cheese from Metsovo, wild rise on veal gravy and fig syrup
Veal rib-eye with truffle honey garnished with hot salad from local black-eyed beans on veal gravy
Grilled octopus stuffed with rice, lamp mutton, ragu pasta, Greek yogurt with dried fruit.
Pork T-Bone Steak, Grilled Octopus.
Pork Souvlaki, Mezze, Spring Salad, more Greek Yogurt with dried fruit.
Baked feta cheese with honey, BBQ pork chops, Stewed beef with feta.
Amazingly delicious salads, a very innovative Greek salad with capers, Mushroom risotto.