Thursday, June 30, 2011

5 min Dinner

Picked up some goodies at Eataly and plopped on the patio for a never
ending meal all evening.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Redhead - Revisit

I absolutely love the food they serve at The Redhead. Basically, comfort food executed extremely well and so in my strike zone. Definitely gotta come back with a lot of people and order a lot of the menu.

Our Menu

Crispy Tater Tots **
This food is straight up cafeteria nostalgia - except done perfectly. Insanely crispy, creamy on the inside, but not greasy.

Green Beans, Shallots, and Almonds **
Great flavor and cooked perfectly - not crispy, not mushy - just perfect.

Pea and Crab Soup ***
Totally floored by this soup. Texture, flavor of the peas, and the sweetness of the crab were in such perfect harmony. Big time wtf dish.

Buttermilk Fried Chicken ***
The best fried chicken I've had in the city - crispy, perfectly seasoned, juicy, and great chicken flavor.

Rating System
--- What the F - in a bad way | (no stars - poor to average) | * Good | ** Great | *** What the F – in a good way

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Farmhouse in Burlington, VT

Best Veggie Burger I've ever had.
Granted I don't normally crave, let alone order Veggie Burgers, but
this bad bad burger was calling for me to eat it.

I had a BBQ pulled pork sammich right next to this and I didn't even
blink an eye. No contest, this veggie burger was the clear choice.

Pickled Jalepenos and Kimchi really made a good burger a great burger.
The chefs gave me the recipe and I will be sure to replicate this at
home shortly.

Better than Montreal?

The Bluebird Tavern in Burlington, vT serves up some of my favorite
comfort food, including a Quebec favorite.
The Poutine is marvelous down here and honestly, I can't remember
having one this good in Canada.

Former cook at Daniel NYC, this guy is rocking out some of my favorites.
- great charcuterie board
- asparagus with burata
- classic Belgian mussels
- pickled venison sausage
- lamb burgers
- banana cream pie

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Street Meat

Right outside my train station, I have these dudes BBQ-ing meats on sticks.
Imagine, it's 6 or 7pm, you are getting back from a long day at work,
and bam, you step in front of this marvelous sight.

You really lose yourself the moment you catch a waft of the
awesomeness circulating in the air.

I'm a simple man

Is this wrong?

4pm Pick Me Up

What better way to carry you through the rest of the day than a
Momofuku Milk Bar Cookie.

Thanks Chang for everything.

Ippudo Shiromaru Ramen

The noodles were a little on the overcooked side. And not diggin the
Shiromaru broth at all. I need that oh so good Aka Essence.

Lesson: Stick to what you know you like at all times. Walking on the
wild side usually disappoints.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Father's Day Sushi

I had a relaxing weekend and thought it was a good time to play around
in the kitchen and have friends over.

So I stopped at Mitsuwa to pick up some Hamachi and attempted to make
my own Nigiri Sushi.

All in all, an OK attempt.
Somewhat of a Sushi of Gari ripoff/homage but with my own twist.

Hamachi Nigiri Torched then Sauced with Sriracha and a Soy, Sesame Oil
and Chive Sauce.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day Steakhouse Meal

Happy Father's Day all! I wanted to cook some steaks for father's day and decided to do a fun play on the classic steakhouse menu. Food came out great and cooking steaks on the grill are so primal and extremely fun!

Our Menu
Tuna and Tomato Salad
A famous salad at Peter Luger's is their tomato and onion salad, so I decided to do a delicious dish we had in Spain. A phenomenal tuna from Spain with heirloom tomatoes and red onions. Topped the onions off with some sherry vinegar and olive oil and you got a fun summer salad.

Grilled Cesar Salad
The classic steakhouse salad grilled - if you haven't tried it, you need to do it at your next meal. Eggs, anchovies, garlic, lemon juice, and piave cheese made the dressing and grilling it incorporates a smokiness to the salad and brings out the sweetness in the lettuce as well.

Spinach and Stuff
Instead of doing the traditional creamed spinach I decided to amp it up with some dried currants, pine nuts, sesame seeds, and the cabrales blue cheese which adds the faux creamed spinach thing. Complex stuff going on here with the nuttiness, sweetness, and funky creaminess from the awesome cabrales.

Tuscan Style Porterhouse and Aged Rib Eye
I've always wanted to do the tuscan style porterhouse with olive oil, rosemary, garlic, etc - but I think all this takes away from the flavor of the meat. The 21 day dry-aged ribeye was lights out good though. Perfectly cooked and an awesome funkiness going don't need anything except salt and pepper, it's that good. When you combine it with a nice white bean puree and the grilled cesar (alla Marea), you have a dyamo dish. These suckers cooked in about 6-8 minutes, so you need to be doing the poke test a lot to make sure you don't overcook these bad boys.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Classic Sammich

Been a loooong time since I had a simple bologna & cheese sandwich. All is missing is my Transformers lunchbox with matching Thermos. White bread would make it more classic, but when your bologna has a 1st name that's O-s-c-a-r, this whole wheat will pass.

Friday, June 17, 2011

WTF in a *BAD* Way!

2 Girls 1 Cup? I'm sure Japanese laugh at that. "Kid stuff," a sumo wrestler would exclaim. We all know how Japanese are crazy when it comes to game shows, fetishes, and the sort. But now, this is a new low... or high? Scientists in Japan have found a way to make meat from human feces. Don't believe me? Check out the news here:

Now I ate stuff people ain't even thunk, but I would NOT do this. Hellz-to-the-naw! Feel free to pinch a loaf to make meatloaf, but in the meantime, Ima cook me up some ribeye which, apparently, is cheaper than these shit burgers. They keep claiming all the protein that's in this meat, but we know what else that supposedly has a lot of protein, and I'm not gonna drink that, either!

To quote Sir Aramis: "WTF in a baaaaad way."

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Grilling Meat

Do I really need another reason to post this? Other than it's
delicious beef sizzling over charcoal flames.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

DBGB Kitchen & Bar - Review

DBGB Kitchen & Bar - Dude Grade C
299 Bowery, New York 10003
At 1st St
Phone: (212) 933-5300

I'm a huge fan of Daniel Boulud. His flagship restaurant Daniel is my favorite fine dining experience and I was always happy that the pinnacle of NYC chefs (he and Eric Ripert) - never jumped the shark. Well they both did as they're both on TV and they both have way too many restaurants - you can tell the quality control is not there. The grade I provided is for the overall meal, but if you just hung out and got the sausages and beers it would definitely be a B+.

Our Menu
(this was a complete onslaught of sausages, so tough to remember the fine points of each dish - but here's my best shot)

duck & pork sausage, kasha varnishkes, duck cracklins
Great pork and duck flavor prevalent. The thing that you notice about all the sausages is the skin is not crazy crispy and the meat is more loosely packed than most sausages we Americans are used to.

fresh chorizo sausage with piperade, basil oil
I love me some chorizo and although this was good, the flavors didn't wow so much - a very faint memory of the spanish chorizo that I loved so much.

veal bratwurst, beer-braised sauerkraut

Plate Of Mixed Charcuterie *
Fromage De Tete (pigs head terrine), Pate Campagnard (pork & chicken liver pate), Rillettes De Jamboneau Provencal (piggie cooked in it's own fat), Saucisson Sec lyonnaise (dried sausage)

I've had these charcuterie items many a time and these were mostly good...rillettes I thought were great though. They had some type of herb thing going on which was the first time I've had a rilletes like that.

spicy blood and pigs head sausage, scallion mashed potatoes

This had such a rich flavor and creamy texture - a complete wtf dish and perfect with the mashed potatoes.

pork & cheddar link, hash browns, red onion creme fraiche

Can't go wrong with cheddar and pork links :) Hash brown was actually quite fun and matched well with the dish.

lamb & mint merguez with harissa, lemon braised, spinach & chickpeas

I love me some lamb and these were definitely a stand out of all the other sausages.

pork, lemongrass and red curry links, green papaya, basil fried rice, chili sauce, quail egg

Sausage was interestingly thai (fish sauce/lemongrass thing going on) - but unfortunately what held this back was the terribly salty fried rice. A bad foreshadowing of things to come.

crispy pigs feet, romaine heart salad, sauce dijonnaise

This brought me back to the wonders of Au Pied de Cochon, except this was done more elegantly - a complete WTF dish. So crisp on the outside, and so tender and fatty on the inside that was insanely rich and tasty.

spiced pork belly, garlic chives, singapore chili sauce, steamed buns

I absolutely loooove soft shell clubs and I was thinking since I was at a Daniel Boulud place this would be spectacular. Fail. It was a WTF inediblely salty mess. It was so bad I wanted to send it back immediately, but we already split the dish up and people were already eating.

slow-cooked brisket, red wine, pearl onions mushrooms, smoked bacon, fines herbes
A solid beef bourguignon sauce with pasta that's cooked until it's gooey disintegrating mess - not a good thing and a big time wtf in a bad way.

6 oz beef patty with confit pork belly, arugula, tomato-onion compote , & morbier cheese on a peppered brioche bun, with cornichon, mustard & fries

Again, you would expect they would do a burger right considering Daniel started the fancy burger revolution - rightly or wrongly. This again was so salty and inedible - three friggin' WTF in a bad way entrees. First time for the blog.

Pork Chop Special ***

After the three terrible entrees, this was surprisingly a perfect combo of textures and flavors. They did a fun play on the veggies too - raw shredded beets/beet puree and barely cooked spinach with a spinach puree. It totally friggin worked and the pork was definitely the star as it was perfectly cooked with a huge porky flavor going on.

Omelette Norvegienne ***

baked alaska for two, vanilla & pistachio ice cream, raspberry sorbet, fresh meringue flambée with chartreuse
A perfect dessert and my first WTF dessert in a long time. Love the hot/cold thing going on here and the textures / flavors of the meringue, sorbet, and sponge cake was outstanding.

Rating System
--- What the F - in a bad way | (no stars - poor to average) | * Good | ** Great | *** What the F – in a good way

Overall Restaurant Experience
  • Food (C) – Everything before/after the entrees were B+. Everything else D-. Beers were pretty killer though.
  • Service (C) – Server knew his stuff, but wasn't very friendly. Food came out pretty quick although it took a while to get drinks.
  • Atmosphere (B) – When you first walk into the place, you step into this huge bar which looks like a good place to meet up before the meal. Finally getting into the restaurant you notice a combo of dark wood and slate. We got seated in a booth which really feels like a private area since you sit behind these big shelves away from the main dining area. We got there at 6pm on a Friday (with reservations) and it was a pretty full dining room. 30 minutes later it was packed and by the time we left there was a line to get in. Feel was pretty laid back and they were rocking some music there - not insanely loud, but noise level was noticeable high.
  • Price (C) - $80 which is too much due to the three crappy entrees. Sausages are around $14 which yields around 4-5 bites, which is pricey but okay when you go with a large group.
Closing Comments
Not sure why, but I'm noticing a terrible trend in nyc dining where food is tending to be extremely salty. I talked about this with our chef friend and he agrees as well. I will definitely come back here since the sausages are so fun, but never for anything else.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Pronounced "S-Moh-Ray", for the Italian in me that just can't stay
still anymore.

I had a burst of creativity and craving for junk food today.
So this s'more was created with the following.

Graham Crackers
Spreadable Marshmallow Fluff
& Nutella

This is absolutely amazing! Magnifico!!!

Coconut M&Ms!

My BFF posted a pic of coconut M&Ms on her Facebook page last week, and the search for them was ON! It wasn't until I was a few days into it, at the 5th place I went to, 2 states away until I saw these at a 7-11. They're essentially little, round Mounds bars. Yummy!

Momofuku Ssam Bar - Review

Momofuku Ssam Bar - Dude Grade: B
207 2nd Avenue
New York, NY 10003
Phone: (212) 254-3500

We dudes here are big fans of the Momofuku restos, as are most food nerds in the area. What you'll get at Momofuku is comforting food that is spot on with the seasoning and such perfect balance - acidity is prevalent which I dig a lot. Ssam bar is no exception and I'm surprised that this is my first time eating here.

Our Menu

kusshi oysters (bc) – chartreuse mignonette *
jonah crab claws – harissa mayo *
I'm a picky oyster guy, but the ones here are probably the best I've had from a NY resto in a long time. Great flavor and texture to this sucker, but still making me amped up for my annual return visit to Elliot's Oyster House. Crab claws had good flavor although I wanted something more - not sure what? The harissa mayo was killer though.

steamed buns – pork belly, hoisin, cucumbers, scallions **
A classic and a must get especially since we had our friend Elina visiting from London. Perfect balance of flavors and textures - rich, sweet, brightness, meltingly fatty, and crunchy.

asparagus – trout roe, lily shoots, sunflower seeds **
The asparagus at Ma Peche made my knees weak, so I figured I had to get some asparagus here as well. Good call as this was another classic momofuku combo of great textures and flavors - nuttiness from the seeds and a bright salty pop from the trout roe.

veal sweetbreads (provitello farm) – almond, sauerkraut, thai chili **
Love sweetbreads and these were pretty friggin great. Creamy and the chili served as a perfect foil to cut the richness.

braised oxtail dumplings – turnip, satsuma, shio kombu **
A great dish that was crazy addicting. Dumpling skin texture was so perfect - chewy, yet still soft. And the broth was like crack.

roasted lamb loin & belly– bulgur, ramp scapes, egg yolk ***
The first dish that was a big time wtf dish. The lamb belly was so eff'n sexy with the egg yolk. Way over the top richness, but it kicked so much ars.

grilled trout – artichokes, sicilian pistachio, sunchokes *
Trout was cooked perfectly and a great combo with the artichoke and pistachio.

Dessert special *
A big ars croissant with some fruit cream in the middle topped with an ice cream supposedly flavored by szechuan peppercorn. We didn't get the peppercorn so much, more a coffee thing going on. The dessert was good, but I wouldn't order it again. Plus, we didn't realize this served 6-8 people - tough when we only had 3.

Rating System
--- What the F - in a bad way | (no stars - poor to average) | * Good | ** Great | *** What the F – in a good way

Overall Restaurant Experience
  • Food (B+) – Classic momofuku - all dishes were delicious, extremely comforting and perfectly balanced.
  • Service (B) – Server was attentive and food came out at a solid place.
  • Atmosphere (C) – This is what detracts most people from this place - the music is crazy loud here and you sit on stools which are a tad uncomfortable. The place has this sushi thing going on with all wood (walls, tables, floors), but it's dark and feels more like a bar. The place seats maybe around 50? and was completely packed. We got there at 6pm on a Sunday and had to wait a couple of minutes. Around 7pm there was a good amount of people waiting in line.
  • Price (C) - Meal was around $90 a head which seems a bit too pricey. The food was solid, but it's a bit too uncomfortable there for the price/quality of the meal.
Closing Comments
If I want this style of food, I would definitely go to Ma Peche which is a much more comfortable environment and I think the food is more exciting. Regardless, Ssam Bar is still serving out some great food and I definitely want to check out the place for the Bo Ssam.

Monday, June 13, 2011

"Ramen Primavera"

A great Spring/Summer dish. Grilled Asparagus and Zucchini chopped an
tossed over flavored Ramen noodles. Ramen noodles are cooked,
strained and tossed in a Soy, Rice Vinegar, Chinese Chili Paste, and
Vegetable Oil mixture.
Boiled Dumplings to garnish.

Championship Dumplings

First and foremost, congratulations to the Dallas Mavericks for their
first NBA Championship. Not only do a well deserving bunch of veteran
players take home a championship, the always
obnoxious "dynamic trio" go home empty handed.
Yes, I detest Lebron James and anything affiliated with him. So to the
Miami Heat, Boo-Hoo!

Well back to the food.
What better multi-tasking recipe than folding dumplings while watching the game.
Make the filling pre-game and just stuff away during the game.
When halftime comes around, it's time to fry up the first batch.

Yummie Times.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Fun with Shrimp

In laws were in town and they requested that I make some Italian food for them. I decided to go with a simple pasta and a Ligurian dish (seafood, green beans, potatoes, and pesto).

I've made this Ligurian dish before, but I've been craving "shrimps" after the wonderful shrimp pie at Pepe's, so I decided to make a shrimp stock to steam the clams open and poach the shrimps in.

I bought some shrimps head on and used the head/shells to make a phenomenal stock - just sauteed down with basil stems and simmered with wine. Such a beautiful color and I can see a ton of uses out of this uber flavored stock - soups, pasta, fried rice, etc.

Any who, a huge hit with the in laws and their friends from Taiwan said this was better than any Italian meal they had in Taipei :)