Monthly Archives: March 2014

Gotham West Market Top Eats

Gotham West Market - Ivan Ramen

March 13th, 2016 Update:  While Gotham West is still very much part of the rotation (about twice a month) its becoming increasingly difficult to recommend individual eats there.  Its constantly evolving, and the menus constantly change.  Court Street Grocers is long gone, and in its place is Uma, Oprah, Uma (I couldnt resist) Temakeria from Chris Jaeckle of the great all’onda in the village.  Uma specializes in sushi burritos, design your own Chirashis and Temakis sushi cones.  Nothing outrageously delicious, but a refreshing healthy addition.  Give it a try.

Rumor has it Akhtar Nawab is the next in line as the Most Interesting Man in The World (they retired the current dude).  Nawab keeps getting featured as one of the sexiest chefs in America, and slowly taking over the market with Choza and Indie Fresh.  My lunch partner Lou of Smum County eats only Choza when we are there, while Indie Fresh keep growing on me with their inventive soups, salads, and healthy sandwiches.  Akhtar Nawab – When opportunity knocks and he’s not home, opportunity waits!

Brent Herrig © 2013

SeriousEats

While the great Whitefish Donburi is no more at Ivan Ramen (wasnt selling well – Idiots!), they replaced it with Breakfast Ramen (below) – cheesy dashi, egg, ham, ramen noodles and more – quite possibly the best eat at the market at the moment.  Also, something happened to the great Genuine chicken sandwich.  Not the same anymore judging from the darker, blander piece I got a few weeks ago, and a reader comment below.  The burgers are still good.  While at the Cannibal the most interesting thing I ate lately is a Butchers Salad – spinach, kale, salami. tomato, squash and light parm dressins

Ivan Ramen Breakfast Ramen

July 31st, 2015 Update:  Little Chef is long gone and I miss it dearly.  Choza (Mexican) took it’s place, and although my co-workers like it, I rather pay a visit to the many other Mexicans in the area like Tehuitzingo and the just reopened Parada 47 (former HK survival guide member Guelaguetza).  The bigger addition to the market is Ample Hills, one of the cities premier ice cream maker.  Their Salted Crack Caramel is the closest I will ever get to crack.  Add it to the list of musts here.  The chicken sandwich at Genuine is still crack like (I’m told), and the whitefish Doburi is now Salmon Donbui.  Although I miss the whitefish smokiness, this is still the strongest dish at Ivan’s.  Ivan also introduced an incredibly unique morning menu which I’m yet to try.  Canibal menu continues to impress and its quickly becoming one of my Hell’s Kitchen faves.  Try the wings

Original post:

6 Vendors and a Funeral

“In a world… where soups and salads reign lunch supreme.. and halal carts are routine… one man will rise… and change lunch!”  “A story about love, betrayal, and Ramen”  “The rise and fall of a food blogger, battling food addiction” (who finally saw his demise when a little food court consisting mostly of 6 food vendors opened on the far west side, right near the rehab clinic).  In theaters near you.

What I’m trying to say is that I’ve been to Gotham West Market a lot, about once, sometimes twice a week since it opened about 4 months ago.  I brought family, friends, enemies, co-workers and even my rabbi to the market.  As I said before, Gotham West is the most thrilling thing to happen to Hell’s Kitchen since Ezra the Falafel Nazi cracked a smile 4 years ago.

But lets get down to business.  There are actually more than 6 vendors at Gotham West.  There’s also a kitchen supply store, a Coffee shop, and you guessed it, a bicycle shop.  But for the purpose of this post I will focus on the 6 hand picked, artisanal vendors that can… well.. pretty much kill you.

Gotham West Market 2

Buttermilk Battered Chicken Sandwich at Genuine Roadside – One bite of this Chicken Sandwich and you’ll understand why its in this space.  While its not gonna be on Man vs. Food any time soon for its size, this is a very satisfying sandwich, and combined with the Shake Shack-upgrade fries, very filling.  The fried Chicken as everything else here, is made to order and the result is one heck of a juicy and flavorful sandwich.  The mayo, slaw with apples – addition by addition.   And while the tourists wait in line for the Shake Shack revelation, only to find out they need to fight another tourist for standing room eating, have a burger here that is just as good if not better, in a comfortable environment.  Owner Avroko, the firm who designed Gotham West have done a great job with Genuine Roadside, the only original vendor in the marketGenuine Roadside- Chicken Sandwich

Smoked Whitefish Donburi at Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop – Not exactly a shocker here after including the Donburi in the best of 2013 list.  Ok, confession time, Out of 8 or so visits I believe I tried everything on the menu and more, except for one little thing… the Ramen.  Thats more of a testament to the rest of the dishes here, and to a ramen filled neighborhood.  The whitefish Donburi was love at first smell with its smokiness, sweet soy dashi, cucumber,  scallion, over this delicious white rice.  Perfection in a bowl.  And a reminder that Jewish food can mesh with any cuisine.  Well, except for Gefilte Fish.. FEH!

Not a fan of whitefish?  Try the pork Donburi, or any of the Mazemens (slightly partial to the garlic), or well… the Ramen.  Let me know how it isIvan Ramen Whitefish Donburi

Pig’s Head Cuban Sandwich at The Cannibal – This may very well be the Cuban to beat in NYC.  Delicious super tender slow roasted funky pork, Vermont Ham, semi melted cheese and pickles, served warm with perfectly crispy bread.  Not to be confused with another neighborhood fave, Casellula’s fine Pig’s Ass Sandwich.  One tastes like head, while the other tastes like ass.  And while you at it, try the “Shrimp Roll” as well at the Cannibal.  Like the hotdog and lobster roll had a baby.  A beautiful healthy, delicious baby, called Shmuel, after uncle Shmuel.  Even though he was a big drunk, he would always send moneyThe Cannibal - Pig's Head

Egg Bowl at Little Chef – I’m writing this one with great difficulties after taking a glance at the pictures of this dish.  My stomach is suddenly talking to me in Armenian.  As with her popular Williamsburg sandwich shop Saltie, freshness is key with Caroline Fidanza.  In the fall the egg bowl featured fresh greens, assorted roasted veggies like broccoli and potatoes and just about the tastiest bread crumbs you will ever have.  The same breadcrumbs are featured in the winter version along with porky cranberry beans, salsa rojas (roasted red salsa).  And its another proof that everything looks and tastes that much better with a fried eggLittle Chef Egg Bowl Winter Little Chef - Egg Bowl

Bacon Wrapped Dates at El Colmado – Explosive come to mind.  This is a common Spanish tapas dish that is often uneventful for us but not here.  Its larger than usual and stuffed better with Almond and Valdeon cheese.  A classic dish from the classic team of Seamus Mullen and Gil Avital of West Village hotspot Tertullia.  Welcome to the neighborhood guys.  The dates are pictures here on the rightEl Colmado - Eel Croquettes, Date

Pork Shoulder at Court Street Grocers – Pork Shoulder, Mayo, Provolone, Broccoli Rabe, Red Peppers for much needed acidity, Pecorino Romano, on a Hero Roll.  Need I say more?  Simply Outstanding.  And if you ever in the mood for an Italian, the Mortadella, Salami, Hot Coppa, Swiss, Mozzarella, Pecorino Romano, Arugula, Red Onion, Mayo, “CSG” Hoagie Spread, Red Wine Vinaigrette, on Hero Roll as good as Italian gets in NYCCourt Street Grocers - Pork Shoulder

Gotham West Market - Ivan

Categories: Midtown West, New York City | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Minetta Tavern – Still Good, But…

Minetta Tavern - Pasta ZazaMinetta Tavern, one of New York’s most celebrated dining spots.  Home to one of New York’s most celebrated burgers, most celebrated steaks, and most celebrated “Pastas that are named after NBA great Zaza Pachulia”.  One of which wasn’t so great to us this past Sunday.

Zaza PachuliaPasta Za za was as good as ever, and the perfect “Carbonara” fix.  The longing intensified even more after having the worst Carbonara I ever had at Giovanni Rana at the Chelsea Market.  “The cooks were trained to do it like they do it there”  Meaning Verona, Italy, according to the Rana waiter.  I imagine a 5 year old who never even heard of a Carbonara since its not a Verona specialty can whip a better version than that.  But I digress.  Fresh peppery fettuccine with salty Pancetta, Parmesan, and a single fried egg – so simple yet so enjoyable.  Thank you Mr Pachulia.

But if someone would have told me that the Za Za would be the highlight of the night which also featured me doing Lady Gaga at a Korean karaoke, I would have ordered BonChon Chicken instead and saved a whole lot of money.  The famous $145 Minetta Cote de Boeuf, that huge center cut rib eye listed in every “Top Steak” list and prominently featured in magazines, TV shows, children Books have been written about it:  The Princess and the Cote de Boeuf!  Good night Cote de Boeuf!  You get the idea.  When it first arrived cut, it looked somewhat off and by the second slice, I felt like kissing it while whispering “You broke my heart Fredo”.  The fat content/fatty strips was roughly 37.8% of the meat, and surprisingly cutting it was a bit more of a challenge.  The meat itself was fine but it didnt have much of the flavor expected from a 45 day aged rib eye, and it was a tad chewy.  Compared to the Tomahawk from Costata which had all the flavor and none of that fat, this felt like a letdown.Minetta Tavern - Cote De Boeuf

Categories: New York City, West Village | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Marshal – Farm to Hell’s Kitchen

 

Courtesy of The Marshal

Courtesy of The Marshal

Adventurous diners, ready for some Pig’s Blood Flatbread with Smoked Salmon Roe? Perhaps a decadent Mugwort Foie Gras, or how about the good ol’ Geoduck?  Well, you will find none of that at the Marshal in Hell’s Kitchen.  Not even close.  In fact chances are that you will have a hard time bragging about your meal to your girlfriends and making it sound remotely sexy.  “OMG so we had this thing called Meatloaf that was like the most amazing thing ever.  Here’s a selfie of me and the meatloaf”  Meatloaf, Pot Roast, Salmon.. there’s no conceivable way to make them sound sexy these days.  But this 6 month old 10th avenue “Farm to Table” comes as close as you can get

Processed with VSCOcam with s5 preset

Courtesy of The Marshal

Adventurous Foie seekers should still be able to appreciate the flavors and attention to detail here.  Although the menu reads like “American (Old)”, just about every item is listed almost like a paragraph describing the origin of the ingredients.  The back of the menu features 14 local farms where they source much of those items.  Almost like eating at Da Roberto in the village of Montisi, Tuscany.  Almost!  “Slow Food” models such as Roberto, and other Farm to Table places in Italy are simply called restaurants, or Trattorias. While in the US, its a concept.  But it is what it is.  And in ethnic happy Hell’s Kitchen, Solid “American” may seem like a concept in itself.

The Marshal - BreadRule of thumb – when you see bread on the menu in NYC as opposed to your typical free basket, get it.  The warm French Loaf is crunchy and soft in all the right places and will make your taste buds believe it was baked seconds ago especially for you.  Bread and butter bliss.

Chicken Liver Pate was solid.  Refreshingly fresh Caprese included sizeable sweet tomatoes, with handmade mozzarella, fresh Shushan Valley basil and balsamic reduction.  But the early highlight came in the form of the meaty, scrumptious Newfoundland Mussels.  Its creamy, garlicky white sauce is so appetizing you want to dip anything in it…bread, fingers, metrocards, anything!The Marshal  -Mussels

And then there was that meatloaf which was just like at grandmas.  That’s after grandma graduated from Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute followed by a 2 year stint with the Canadian navy.  Similarly, the goat cheese and herb stuffed chicken just doesn’t get much more tender and juicy than this.  The wood oven Mac and Cheese with bacon hit the spot.  On another visit I enjoyed a perfectly cooked and juicy burger which is only available for lunch.The Marshal - Meatloaf

The sides here require a PHD in sides.  We opted for a fine bacon wrapped wedge of white cabbage, simple roasted potatoes, and a sweet potato and kale au gratin which took the gold.  And don’t leave home without trying the mammoth hot fudge, walnuts, cherry, vanilla ice cream, or any of the other two desserts featuring ice cream from the nearby Je & Jo.  Welcome to the hood Marshal.The Marshal - Mac n Cheese The Marshal - Caprese The Marshal - Sundae

Categories: Midtown West, New York City | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gato – Pussy Galore

Gato barOne of those meals that stays with you for a few days.  You think about it when you have your boring scrambled eggs in the morning, and your gloomy salad with kale for lunch a couple of days later.  All while you sit there massaging your cat, with soft classical music in the background, sporting a scar.  That’s how I pictured Bobby Flay in his new Mediterranean hot spot in NOHO (cat in Spanish) named right after a cat went between his legs while waiting for the real estate broker.  But instead of sitting holding a cat, he was in the kitchen doing his thing.

Gato loungeIn a city packed with celebrity spots, one does not need to eat in one to have a great meal, and a great meal is certainly far from a guarantee.  But this was one of the most enjoyable meals in recent memory (well, 3 months is just about as far as I can go these days — thankfully I have this blog to remind me).  With the “5:30 or 10” hotness at the moment, I opted for the senior citizen slot of 5:30.   The hostess seemed a little puzzled when I asked if “We are team #1” much to the horror of my kids.  Perhaps to clarify the “Amazing Race” reference, I should invest in one of those Travelocity gnomes (though the dude is scarier than some people I know without makeup)

The space is quite striking.  It has a spacious, warehousy, rustic, modern but casual feel, with no neighbor in sight.  A rarity these days.  Though they are taking it slow at the moment and not trying to fill the room.  Some prefer to wait until the establishment settles down into a comfortable groove, but not Ziggy.  Bring on the uncomfortable groove.  With the entire town watching they simply can not afford to make a mistake.  Flay is in the kitchen even on a Sunday night. A slew of hostesses, 3 of which helped with our coats.  Employees outnumbering guests roughly 3 to 1.  The kids had a blast counting the number of times their water was filled (12 times, mostly when it was above 3/4 full).  Overall however, no issues whatsoever.

Gato - Small platesDrinks — Wife enjoyed the Bolo Sangria while my Negroni was spot on.

Bar menu — Pick 3 for $17.  The 11 layer scalloped potato and the duck liver were quite delectable, but the Eggplant with Manchego and Oregano solidly triumphed above the rest.

Gato - duck liverAppetizers– Expertly cooked oven roasted Shrimp with Diavolo oil, garlic chips and chile that provided a nice punch.  A notch above the average Gambas dish at a tapas joint near you.  Octopus was quite scrumptious and when you get it as tender as this, its most enjoyable.  The pungent green pepper and salty bacon bits just added to the joy.  Pizza with lamb sausage was just a good pizza with lamb sausage, missing the drama of the other dishes.  Perhaps losing to Giove is still not sitting well with Flay.  Dish of the day nominee… Scrambled Eggs! A Revelation! Almond Romesco (spanish red pepper sauce), Boucheron cheese, super fluffy eggs… what a combo. I suggest trying this without the accompanying oily tomato toasts which have no business being there except to complete the otherwise naked dish

Gato - octopusMains — Crab Risotto (enlarged app) was original and exceptional.  Mushroom and Kale paella with egg and artichokes was a glorious combination of flavors and textures, especially once you mix the sticky “Socarrat” from the bottom and the egg.  The Halibut was one of the better “white fish with red broth” dishes I’ve had, all due to the addictive saffron tomato sauce with mint and couscous and a perfectly cooked fish.

Gato - halibutDessert —Espresso soaked bread pudding – somewhat flat, more like a weak tiramisu.  Not gonna win any awards in NOLA.  Chocolate Crema Catalana with hazelnut was much more like it.  Like a sick chocolate hazelnut Creme Brulee with that toasty crust and richness beneath.  Complimentary Sherry, and exceptionally fresh Biscotti capped off this awe-inspiring meal.  I’m a fan!

Gato

324 Lafayette St

$$$$

Recommended Dishes – Eggplant (bar menu), Shrimp, Scrambled Eggs, Octopus, Crab Risotto, Halibut, Mushroom and Kale paella, Chocolate Crema Catalana

Gato Gato - lamb pizza Gato - eggs Gato - Shrimp Gato - Chocolate Gato - paella Gato up

Categories: New York City, SoHo, NoHo, Nolita | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Best Dishes in Hell – Round One

Little Chef - Egg BowlDear readers, it is with extreme pleasure and slight gastro discomfort that I welcome you to the first installment of Best Dishes in Hell, where we feature 5 dishes to target in this little foodie heaven I like to call Hell’s Kitchen.  Each of these bites is guaranteed to put a smile on your face and put all your troubles behind.  Or not!

Bourekas at Gazala’s Place – Bourekas, or Bourek is something I ate often as a child, but not really by choice.  I hated it!  So if I list a Bourekas in this space, it can only mean that this is not your ordinary Bourekas.  Your choices are normally Feta with spinach or Feta with sun-dried tomatoes.  I prefer the latter.  One bite of that beast to feel that explosive, rich, flaky goodness and you’ll understand why.  And did I mention that it comes with a side of my favorite Hummus in the city.

Gazala'a Place BourekasEgg Bowl at Little Chef – The winter version below, while the regular version is pictured on top.  Health food that I would gladly go out of my way for, but luckily I dont need to as I work 12.3 minutes from Gotham West Market (I timed it).  The current version features porky cranberry beans, salsa rojas (roasted red salsa), and just about the sickest breadcrumbs on the planet.  Same breadcrumbs featured in the non-wintery bowl which includes fresh greens and assorted roasted veggies like broccoli and potatoes.  Glorious stuff my friends

Little Chef Egg Bowl WinterSausage Pizza at Capizzi – Avid readers of EWZ already know that there’s no reason to cross bridges and tunnels for pizza.  However, very few places in the city (Manhattan) have that homey pizza parlor feel that is very common in Brooklyn and Staten Island.  Capizzi tucked away in “Downtown Hell’s Kitchen” got it and more.  This pie is a sausage fest of deep flavors made from fresh ingredients cooked in a wood fired oven.  Not quite NY style pizza, and not quite Naples style, but very NYC

CapizziAkamaru Modern at Ippudo – A recent article by the NYT reaffirms the belief that Hell’s Kitchen is a ramen force to be reckon with.  And in the middle of this ramen revolution is this super popular Ippudo branch.  Start with their terrific smooth pork buns and move on to the Akamaru, a complex porky broth and just about as addictive as Ramen gets in NYC

Ippudo - AkamaruCanotto at Sullivan Street Bakery – Love at first bite.  Sometimes its slightly off, but for the most part its pastry perfection.  Brioche filled with mascarpone, berries, topped with crumbs and some salt.  What I love about this is that every bite is different.  On one bite you taste chewy, cheesy, salty, next is crunchy, fruity, and so on

Sullivan St Canotto Sullivan St - Canotto

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Mighty Quinn’s – A Man and his Bone

Mighty Quinn's BrisketStatue of Liberty, Empire State Building, the Naked Cowboy, the woman on the C line that forgets her pants sometimes, Brontosaurus Rib at Mighty Quinn’s.  Things that remind you that you are not in Keukenhof anymore.  This is America, where you American food, cooked by Americans, in America!  The BBQ renaissance in NYC is in full force.  You simply can no longer say that there’s no good BBQ in NYC.  Try saying it… See?  You cant!

At first you feel like you need some sort of a game plan on how to share this massiveness of a beef bone.  But after a quick poke, no knives, and no archers needed.  A simple fork attack will do for this super delicate, juicy piece of meat.  At BBQ joints I normally pass on beef ribs in favor of the pig, but here my gut told me I had to fork in the $23 for this bone (by gut I mean I’ve been reading and hearing about it for a while) and the gut was right.

Mighty Quinn's Beef Rib

Second prize went to the glorious pulled pork which we already tasted in the Dumbo Smorgasburg.  The carver splashes their own BBQ sauce at the cafeteria like counter to give it that special depth of flavor.  Perhaps the pulled pork to beat in NYC

The spare ribs were disappointing in the sense that I only got to try one.  Why oh why they did not become vegetarian, like the cool Manhattan kids.  While missing the wow factor of its cousins, the rib was exceptional.  A delicate crust that lets the tender meat do the talking.  The moist Brisket, with all its fatty glory did not disappoint as well

Mighty Quinn's - Ribs

This is not the place to discount the sides.  They may look like Boston Market, but taste like Per Se.  Did you know there’s no Boston Market in Boston (other than one perhaps)?  Yes, you’ve been living a lie.  Who doesn’t like sweet potatoes? Me!  Not a fan.  But add some pecans and maple syrup and you got yourself a scrumptious little side.  The Edamame and pea salad was as good as Edamame and sweet peas can potentially get.

Mighty Quinn’s, possibly the city’s best all around BBQ, represents everything I love about eating in the East Village.  Its like a giant Smorgasbord of artisanal goodies.  Where else can you have ribs, Thai, a gay bar and Hamantash (March mean Hamantash season) at Moishe’s all right next to each other.

Mighty Quinn’s

103 2nd Ave

Mighty Quinn's Trays Mighty Quinn's Ribs Mighty Quinn's Mighty Quinn's Sauce

Categories: East Village, New York City | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Restaurant Week is Over. Here’s What You Missed

photo (7)1) A Slew of participants.  None of which are the hottest/trendiest places at the moment.  Mostly establishments that can use more bodies during Monday-Friday.

2) Menus designed for restaurant week.  A $25 lunch menu that normally includes a minuscule or none inspiring appetizer like the ever so trendy kale soup.  A main entree that is either off the regular menu, a smaller version of the regular menu item, or a new cheap invention.  You certainly did not miss the signature dishes, or the dishes that truly define the participant establishments

3) Dessert.  Seriously, who orders dessert during lunch anymore in NYC other than the business lunchers or “Ladies Who Lunch”.  At the end of the day, once you calculate all you had versus what the regular menu offers, you wind up with a free dessert

4) Cold Service.  Yes this will vary from place to place and certainly debatable I suppose.  But when you are suddenly staring at a full house filled with diners taking advantage of this opportunity what you get is servers treating you like you are part of this RW herd.  At one establishment a server asked me in a thick French accent “How was you lunch”, and proceeded to turn around before I completed my response.  Clearly saying “I was trained to ask you people questions but I dont really care about what you have to say”.  At another place I was given the first course 20 seconds after I got the bread basket (with dip), and I was given the second course 15 mins into the meal.  Herd mentality goes both ways.  The kittens are shown in, and then out as quickly as possible.

5)  Salmon

6) Absolutely Nothing!

You missed nothing.  Consider this quote from the great David Chang who prior to creating his empire worked in many places that participated in RW.  “You just have to cook like a maniac. Cooks are creatures of habit all of a sudden your room’s full, and you have bunch of people that want stuff well done. It’s not what you want to be doing.”Most chefs will tell you that it’s great. I guarantee you there’s not one cook that is excited about restaurant week.”  Here’s the Source.  I believe him.

Restaurants are in the business of making money.  Since Restaurants Week is now twice a year, and more than one week sometimes, the various establishments cant afford to lose much on these deals.  Instead of trying to impress the average RW goer and convince folks to come back, I gather the average participant views the goer as someone who most likely not come back any time soon.  So lets make a quick buck.

Of course with so many participants there are bound to be exceptions.  The Dutch RW menu allows you to order anything from the full menu.  Maialino’s RW menu is a combination of items from the regular menu.  But in order to digest all the RW menus for the purpose of figuring out what is worth it and whats not, you need to hire an assistant.

Think of it as a 10% off sweater sale at Bloomingdales where sweaters are normally marked up significantly higher than the clothing store you frequent.  Or better yet, a free dessert.  To truly experience those establishments I suggest doing so during regular none RW times, and order from the menu that made them who they are.

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TCI – 7 Top Bites

Lupo Dessert

As published in the current issue of WhereWhenHow

Living in NYC, trying to keep up with the ever so changing dining scene can be quite a challenge.  A challenge to avoid according to my Gastroenterologist and Accountant (Its the same person).  As a visitor, I’m finding a similar challenge in the island I like to call Providenciales!  Rotating chefs, new local spots, new local gatherings (fish fry), and yet another new Italian (yes please) are just some of the exciting changes as of late.  More choices normally result in a higher bar.  A higher bar means a well fed, happier consumer.  Here are 7 dishes that made us happy during the last trip.

B-52s rolls at Sora.  Fresh Tuna? check.  Avocado? check.  Rice Krispies? Yummo!  (It appears that the blogger community adopted “Yummo” as the new “Yummy” which reached its expiration date).  This was a delicious little snack we shared with our Kite Boarding meshugenahs friends.  The name most likely derived  from when you pick it up with your chopsticks, it will explode and dirty your pants.  When you pick it up with a fork however, it will stain your shirt.. and dirty your pants.  I later found out the dish was invented by the owner of a local Laundromat.

B-52s rolls at Sora

Conch Salad at Bugaloos.  This is one of those dishes that you know will be good as soon as it arrives.  Fresh, plentiful, tender conch that you just cant stop chowing.  No surprises here.  Unlike the surprise my 11 year old got the other day when her beloved Tootsie Role Industries stock sank as part of her school stock market game.  “But daddy, its Tootsie Role!  Who doesnt love Tootsie Role?”  Same people who love Airplane over Top Secret kid.  Enemies of America!

Bugaloos - Conch Salad

Lobster Risotto With Shiitake at Seaside Café.  Probably the most palatable Risotto we’ve had since the truffled beauty we had in Riva Del Garda, Italy (Show off!).  Rich, perfectly creamy, perfectly seasoned awesomeness that comes in one size: “Grande” (Read “American”, for Americans, in America.  Ok, not quite America but you know what I mean.  It just sounds more convincing like that)

Seaside - risotto

Homemade Troccoli “alla Chitarra” with Octopus at Caicos Cafe.  Jimmy Hendrix couldn’t play a sweeter tune.  Chef “Mad Max” utilizes all sorts of tools in this one including a guitar-like instrument (Chitarra) that he presses against the dough sheet.  The result is Pici-like (Tuscan pasta), wonderfully chewy, al dente goodness.  Add a super tender South Caicos caught octopus (another tool used to tenderize the Octopus), peas, roasted tomatoes, and basil (all cooked in the octopus own juices), and you have another Caicos Café classic.

Caicos Cafe - Troccoli

Grilled Lobster at Coco Bistro.  No wonder everyone looks happy at Provo’s most popular dining spot.  The “it’s a small world” ride of Provo continues to shine and dish out goodies such as this that just makes people weep with joy.  Caribbean Lobsta! – buttery, sweet, tender, with no hint of dryness.  Almost made me forget about Maine Lobster.  Almost!  Did you know that the most important thing when eating animal testicles is freshness?  I had no idea.  And I should probably stop watching Andrew Zimmern while writing this  stuff (PS Mrs Ziggy, in case I forget we need to get a new remote control.  And while you at it check with the butcher about fresh testicles.  Emu if possible.. those look nice)

Courtesy of Brilliant Studios

Courtesy of Brilliant Studios

Goat Curry at Jerkey’s.  Unless you can find a microwave at the old Sailing Paradise location, consider the still colorful tables of new Jerkey’s.  Succulent, mouthwatering, bonier than Sara Jessica Parker goat goodness.  We simply could not get enough of this dish, and the fantastic Jerk Chicken which could have easily been on this list instead.  A great Provo winter dish when average temps drop from 85°F  to 83°F.  Its 9°F here in NYC at the time of this writing.  You know its cold when your car is more Jewish than you, courtesy of a white yarmulke (sheet of snow) on its roof.

Jerkies - Goat Curry

Tiramisu and Panna Cotta with Balsamic reduction at Lupo (Top).  A heavenly finish!  May possibly be the best Tiramisu I’ve had on the island.  The Panna Cotta with the pungent balsamic was very unique and tasty indeed.  What a duo!  Update on our cold front.  Today, NYC is covered with ice.  i.e.  The annual “Sue Your Neighbor Day”.

Thats all I got folks… gotta run to court… er walk slowly with crutches.  Stay Hungry my friends!

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Sleep No More – Random Thoughts

An oldie but goodie post…

Eating With Ziggy

Sleep No More is a unique NYC theatre experience set in a so-called “abandoned” hotel called the McKittrick Hotel.  Instead of watching a play unfold you run around up and down stairs wearing a mask following characters from room to room and watch various dream-like sequences of Shakespeare’s Macbeth.  I will not bore you with any specific details but instead I WILL bore you with various Random Thoughts I had from scene to scene…

Scene 1 – Well, this is interesting

Scene 2 – I wonder who wore the mask before me

Scene 3 – what’s up with the mad rush. Joining the mad rush. Losing the mad rush after the couple before us exited prematurely

Scene 4 – I can’t breath through the mask and I’m starting to sweat. almost profusely

Scene 5 – where did I park my car

Scene 6 – I swear to god if this woman…

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