Well we have just returned from our Annual New York Culinary adventure and what an adventure it was. (We stayed on Waverly Place)
After arriving Thursday we stored out bags and off to find a great little lunch spot and we did, called Noodle bar a small little place, not a lot of sitting room, but did not mind waiting. When we sat down we were given a regular menu and an insane lunch special menu, choice of a noodle dish, 2 small egg rolls and a salad for $7.95, I opted for the Pad Thai noodles with beef and the hubby opted for Fried Flounder over noodles, which was pretty spectacular, this fish was perfectly cooked. I love a good Pad Thai, but this was a great Pad Thai, some places have a tendency to go towards a heavy peanut butter flavor, not this one, it had that tad bit of sour note that I love in Pad Thai, so after 2 lunch specials, 2 glasses of wine and one sake our bill with tip was $35.00
Thursday night was the Chelsea After Dark Food and Wine Event – That is a whole other post!
Off to lunch we go… Morimoto’s! We had the most incredible meal there, starting with a wasabi infused vodka, sake martini garnished with a cucumber – YUM! Then on to rock shrimp appetizer and a steamed scallop appetizer, we ordered two because we thought the portions were going to small, we thought wrong, but I am glad the shrimp was a big portion, it was so crispy on the outside with still leaving the shrimp, sweet and tender on the inside and the sauce, there were 2 different sauces, and hell if I can remember them, but I could have sat there and ate that all day. The scallops were also perfection, steamed on top of bok choy. Then we dug into 3 rolls, we ordered a soft shell crab roll, salmon skin roll and spicy yellowtail roll, which all were amazing, the salmon skin roll was done differently then what I am accustomed to but who cares, it was heaven, it was better than what I am accustomed to, it had this wonder light char flavor, we think the skin and some meat on the skin was grilled, but WOW it was wonderful and melted in my mouth. I also ordered sashimi kobe beef and abalone. Let me start with kobe, the fat was so well marbled that the minute it touched my tongue the fat started to melt, I could actually feel it melting away leaving a beef flavor that was so mild and yet so intense at the same time it was insane! Abalone has a tendency to be a bit chewy, however, this was tender and tasting it you could taste the ocean, so fresh so good!
That evening we had reservations at Craft. Two amazing restaurants in one day, life is good! The menus we were handed explained nothing how the food was prepared, if you wanted to know you had to ask. After reviewing the menu carefully I decided on the Crispy Bacon appetizer and the roasted Maine Lobster for a main and the corn and bacon risotto for a side. The bacon came out in 3 big blocks, first they were braised then quickly deep fried to get a nice crunch on the top and served with pickled watermelon rind, my only complaint would be not enough rind, the pickled rind was superb and balanced well against the fat of the bacon, as I took my first bite my tasted buds stood on end, the bacon fat just melted away leaving this crunch from the crackling I just wanted to scream ….bring me 4 more orders please ;). Then on to the roasted lobster, it was beautiful. Can a dish be beautiful? Yes, it can, it was a whole sweet Maine lobster, removed from the shell and roasted (thank you, no mess) and no ordinary butter here, no way, I got “lobster butter” it was much lighter than regular butter and so much more flavor, like a light lobster bisque butter. Then the highlight of the meal, the risotto, OMG, it was beyond belief, it had the perfect flavor of corn and bacon, creaminess without being grossly full of cream it was not thick at all, it was perfect, you could taste the crispness of the corn and pared with the bacon, a match made in heaven, even garnished with a strip of bacon, I would have to say it is the BEST risotto I have ever had.
The hubby ordered, chanterelles with peaky toe crab served with a poached egg, it was served in a cream sauce which I thought it overpowered the crab, as my husband pierced the egg to allow the yolk to run, we both noticed the white of the egg was still really runny, and if there is one thing Chef Colicchio is stern about is eggs have to be cooked, he would have been upset over that egg. For his main he ordered the Wild Salmon, the reason he ordered the Salmon was the wild caught factor and he said he tasted a major difference between farmed and wild, I took his word on it because he would not share. His side was the garlic risotto, well we almost got into to a heated debate over which risotto was better, the corn and bacon or the garlic, the garlic was just as superior same concept, rich and creamy without being sickly full of cream and cheese, but like I told him anything with bacon is better!
I was told when you go to Craft you must try the donuts, well I am not one for sweets, I would rather have a cheese plate than sweets, well I had the donuts because I gave a promise I would. I am so glad I gave that promise, hubby and I shared the spiced donuts with a chocolate sauce and a pear sauce (I think it was pear) I have never tasted donuts so light and airy, those donuts are cloud 9! And yes, we got the best pumpkin muffins to take back to our room, had mine for breakfast, so moist, so tasty, so smart…You went to bed wondering what that muffin was going to taste like and you woke up thinking of Craft and that darn muffin!
Lunch was so New York! Pizza at The Original Famous Ray’s on 8th and Broadway, now this is the way pizza is suppose to be done. Sausage and pepperoni with mushrooms, the grease sliding down my hand as I folded it and devoured it!
Dinner was an enjoyable find, MONTENAPO (250 West 41st St.) We started with 2 appetizers during cocktails, seared scallops topped with shaved truffles and a cheese plate, well hello they had me at truffles, seared scallops and served on top of sunchoke puree and topped with shaved black truffles…let me see if I can explain this, you first get this earthy note from the truffle and for some reason I think it is going to overpower the buttery, subtleness of the scallop, but it doesn’t it enhances it to another level, then you get this creamy sunchoke puree that again takes off the charts due to sunchoke back notes like celery, nut and potato. Now on to the cheese plate, yes, a simple cheese plate was that good, the presentation was just classy and the cheeses were divine, served with caramelized onions, honey and marmalade! After cocktails we sat for dinner; I started with a marinated thick slice of eggplant that had a smoothgoat cheese mousse on top and taffiasche olives if you are an eggplant lover like me you need this dish, at first I thought the marinade was too much then I had a bite with the mousse, well that is when it all came together, the tartness of the mousse balanced the sherry vinegar marinade, then on to the mixed mushroom fettuccini, if you love mushrooms this is the pasta for you, not creamy at all, which I love, you could taste each mushroom, the meatiness of the portobella, smokiness of the shitake, mild almost sweetness of the oyster, the earthliness (almost truffle like) of the morels and the richness and meatiness of the porcini all tossed in a veal reduction and topped with parmesan cheese. I was in mushroom heaven! Then the husband orders a really nice salad of arugula, radicchio, trevisana, endive topped with parmesan cheese, tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette, yummy and his main course…slow roasted GOAT, I took his word that is was amazing as he claimed it was, it was falling off the bone so it had to be super tender. This place was truly a find!
Off to Russ and Daughters for a bagel and lox for the hubby and a bagel with a schemer of caviar cream cheese for me – that was super good!
Well after walking off our bagels we headed towards the meatpacking district to grab some brunch, I love NY style of brunch, there is no buffet, going and eating as much as possibly can in one sitting. It is more of an event, restaurants there on Saturday and Sundays have one menu BRUNCH, it is all ala carte. So we headed to Pastis for brunch, what a lovely setting, we were seated outside; I had two eggs perfectly poached on top of creamy polenta topped with sautéed roasted peppers and prosciutto with vodka and OJ, got to get the juice in! The hubby ordered steak and eggs and of course vodka and OJ. Great afternoon brunch!
Dinner was Sunday Super at Public, what a gem! I loved that place, so unique and food was amazing.
5 courses for $50.00 per person, the menu started with polenta crusted fried oyster in top on a toast point, could have eaten a dozen! Next came the smoky spicy tomato bisque, great again, then the squash flan topped with cauliflower salsa, I loved the crunch the salsa gave to flan perfect balance, then came the Prawns in a concord grape sauce, perfectly cooked and I thought the sauce would be too sweet and over power the gentle prawns, but it really enhanced them, then came the spice cake with brown butter caramel icing, again everything was perfectly balanced and the flavors were super! I highly suggest anyone to visit Public, Chef Farmerie has a winner there!
Monday before catching the plane we hit Sammy’s Noodle Shop on 6th, what a find, the portions are huge, family style, luckly I seen some food come out before ordering and suggested that we share, thank goodness I did. We ordered the Pan Fried Noodles with seafood (in a lobster sauce) and steamed pork and shrimp dim sum, the food came out quick, hot and very very good, all the seafood cooked perfectly ample amounts of scallops, shrimp, squid, and white fish all cooked perfectly, nothing over cooked…LOVE IT.
Once again...Thank you sharing your city! We will be back next year!