it has been exactly a week since i traded los angeles for new york and i'm hoping the walking is going to make up for the eating.
really, in all my years of multiple trade show visits to manhattan, i had no idea people really eat like this every night.
although for most of the saturdays i've spent in new york since august have been reserved for late lunch at cookshop, yesterday my bf and i went to peels. it had a very similar vibe, albeit with a much younger and lest touristy crowd, and except for the waitress forgetting to bring me milk for my tea, our meal was lovely.
the place was packed, but somehow, with no wait we got ushered up the stairs to an open table with exactly zero wait time. it was new year's day, so some of the staff looked a bit on the ragged side and our waitress never managed to get her apron tied the entire time we were there, but the room was lovely, filled with natural light from huge windows down two walls.
my bf ordered a melted cheese and bacon sandwich on brioche. it came centered on a huge white plate and looked a little lonely with no garnish, but he ate every bite. we shared a fruit salad, which was gorgeous. in LA, a fruit salad would be chunks of fruit in a bowl, but this was beautifully sliced bits of apple and pear and grapefruit and banana in a lightly sweet sauce arranged like a still life. i had the smoked fish sandwich. it came with just sweet homemade pickle slices and well done potato chips and was quite a filling meal. the bread was chewy, the fish just salty enough to be flavorful, but not so much so i needed a trough of water the rest of the day. we finished with tres leches cake with dried cherries. my bf declared it the best he's ever had.
we took an intermission from eating to see the illusionist which i highly recommend, then went to dinner at ssam. once again, packed, but we were seated immediately, which for some reason always happens to me there. nice.
we started with crispy pork buns. they were ok, but the dough was tough like they'd been cooked for someone else, then sat around for a while. the filling was nice, but the bun itself reminded me of the steamed bums i've bought, forgive me for this, in 7/11 in malaysia and bangkok. they look like steamed buns, and they'll do in a pinch when you are hungry and there is nothing else to eat, but they are hard and tough and doughy and not at all ethereal like a bun should be.
we moved on to apple kim chee which was a nice combination of two favs, baked apples and kim chee. nothing earth shattering, but a nice, interesting couple of bites.
we shared oxtail for our main and it was great. rich and warm and really savory. my bf told me he wished he was at home so he could pick up the bones and gnaw at them.
for dessert, we had the apricot sorbet with thyme accessories. it was a giant plate with apricot tapioca and thyme shortbread and thyme tuille and it was sweet and sour and crunchy and soft all at the same time. i wished the apricot tapioca had been sweetened a teensy bit, but otherwise it was perfect. perfect. i loved it.