Thursday night: dinner & brewskies at Backforty -- nice place, good beer selection. Got two orders of the pork jowl nuggets which were kinda boring. The chicken liver mousse was pretty delish, if very mild; an appetizer special that night was pork belly confit with a fried egg over lentils. That was pretty good.
My main was the lemon-coriander roasted chicken, which was really, really good. My man had the beer sausage which was ok, but it caused some, um, discomfort later that evening. Perhaps the kraut....
Our buddy had the lamb shank, but he "doesn't share well with others" (WTF??), so I can only rely on his verdict: good.
I'd say that overall, this is a nice neighborhood place, but I probably won't go back -- too many other places to check out.
Friday: lunch at Yasuda. OMG, awesomeness with a capital A. Sat at the bar with a buddy, and we both chose the matsu prix fixe for $36. Unfortunately, the selection for that prix fixe is a somewhat limited one -- you get a different sheet than the one with the super-fresh fishies marked in red. That said, everything we had was fantastic (tho I could kick myself for choosing salmon. ugh. you can get that ANYWHERE), but the most outstanding nigiri we had was kochiko.
The sushi chef said it was fish guts, but having googled it, I'm not so sure anymore what exactly it is. In any event, it was fan-freakin'-tastic. Much milder than expected, lovely texture. I had only chosen 8 of the 12 nigiri, and left the other 4 for the chef to decide: cherrystone clam, scallop, and some other things I don't recall. Delicious. I will be back!!!!
Friday dinner: Convivio. Kinda sucked. Review's already been posted.
Saturday lunch at the Oyster Bar was fine -- hard to screw up fresh oysters.
Saturday dinner at Resto was alright. Our original plan to have the goat had to be nixed due to not enough mouths to feed, so we had to order a la carte. It was a fairly late rez (9 pm), and we had done some wining at home, so we were a bit tipsy by the time we got food.
The deviled eggs on pork toast were awesome (THANKS for that tip, I wouldn't have ordered them otherwise), as was the tete de cochon. In fact, I thought those were even better than the deviled egg toasts. I could've just eaten the tete for dinner.
The moules I ordered had opened maybe 30% so I sent them back and got a new batch. They were fine, but nothing to write home about.
Sunday lunch was dim sum at.... some place in Chinatown with a playground in front of it. Sorry I can't be more specific, but we had gone to two other places that were still packed at 2:15, and we were starved. So we just followed our friend around to this place on the second floor, where we had a lovely array of dumplings, duck tongues, watercress, sticky rice in lotus leaves, and lots of other things I don't remember. Excellent.
Spent the rest of the afternoon walking towards and around the Village, where we happened upon GROM. OMG. Best. Pistachio. Ice Cream. Ever. Also had some chocolate gelato, tiramisu, and Sicilian tangerine. Refreshing and not too sweet.
Sunday dinner was Motorino. Meh. Not sure what the hype is all about, but New Yorkers seem to like to hype up new places as "The Next Best Thing on Earth/In Town". But after having walked past a line of middle-aged people forming in front of Keste that afternoon, roughly an hour before they were opening, nothing surprises me anymore '-)
They were out of the pizza I wanted, so I got the Brussels sprouts pizza. Which was ok. I wouldn't have ordered it had I known that it was a white pizza, which I'm not crazy about. For me, pizza has to have tomatoes on it. Oh well. The service, otoh, was outstanding! Really friendly & efficient. If we hadn't been so full, we would've gotten dessert at Momofuku Milk Bar.
Instead we had a night cap at Blue Owl, a nice bar on 2nd where we happened to catch some jazz singer.
Monday was our departure day. Our friend had brought two containers of, respectively, barbecued and roasted pork, the crispy morsels of which I kept feeding to my driving man. Next to our garage is Nam Pung, where I got two banh mi's (never had one!) for the road: sliced flank steak which was totally awesome, and brisket.... which was practically inedible in the car -- too messy, one big hunk of VERY fatty meat. We finished that one off in Tannersville.
Overall, great trip. And once again, the cheap(er) food -- save for Yasuda -- was better than the pricier stuff. I think next time I'll just stick to that.