Tuesday, June 29, 2010

the BEST stuff i'm eating at the BEST places

DISCLAIMER: this is going to be delicious to read. perhaps too delicious. if you haven't eaten today or are even a wee bit hungry i warn you to grab a snack before you read on...

SATURDAY, June 26th

after such a long and eventful Friday I slept in biiiiggg time today, did my laundry and then headed over to a bar right down the street, Croxley Ales for some beers, wings and the USA v. Ghana game. after our tragic defeat we headed home for a nap and to get ready for dinner. Garret headed over to see a play with Chris Pena and Nate and I went to meet his mom for dinner...

Amazing Meal #1: DBGB

, the new downtown eatery from chef Daniel Boulud, (owner of many award winning restaraunts including three star Michelin star winning DANIEL...ahem) is super hip, young and sexy. the staff is well-informed and professional but the menu and decor is relaxed. "The interiors "take their cue from the Bowery's history as New York's industrial restaurtant supply neighborhood. Floor to ceiling shelving stocked with the restaurant's own tools.." and in the bar the walls are covered in mirrors with Boulud's favorite culinary quotes. it just felt good in there!

Nate and i started off with a cocktail at the bar. flipping through SIX PAGES of beer options- draft and bottled, domestic and imported-we opted for the Pim's Pale (pimm's no.1, beefeater gin, ginger syrup, india pale ale) for me and Bowery Blast (which isnt online but was whiskey, lemony-something and some kind of bitters....) for Nate. both were refreshing and unique. Nate's mom Connie showed up as did the rest of our party: Connie's college chums Terri and Kismet and Kismet's daughter Rene and her friend Olivia. lovely lovely lovely ladies!

the menu stressed me out. i wanted it all. all the apps, all the charcuterie, all the links, bangers and saucisses, even all the offal- all of it!!!! even after i had basically made up my mind i just couldn't close my menu because i wanted to try to taste it all via osmosis by reading each item description again and again and again.

we started off with some "sawsages"- Beaujolaise, pork, mushrooms, onion, bacon & red wine link with lentils de puy, and the Tunisienne, lamb & mint merguez with harissa lemon braised spinach & chickpeas with mint yogurt.


i could hardly wait for our mains...luckily we had great company and wine to hold me over!

unfortunatly we had a show to get to at 9:30 and time was a-tickin' and the kichen was a-strugglin' so by the time we got our entrees we were kind of strapped for time. no matter. i was lost in my own world. i ordered a burger. but not 'just a burger', folks. it was called...

The Frenchie, 6oz beef patty with confit pork belly, arugula, & morbier cheese on a peppered brioche bun with cornichon, mustard and fries.

i didn't even feel that guilty eating the entire thing. and i as i told the ladies, i ate it neat. no condiments. just the juices and flavors, please. it was awesome. no more words.

the rest of the crew ordered just as smartly. Nate got a sausage duo of the Thai, pork, lemongrass and red curry links, green papaya, basil fried rice, chili sauce, quail egg and the Boudin Basque spicy blood and pigs head sausage, scallion mashed potatoes (wonderful & wonderful) and Connie got a small plate- Asparagus & Fried Egg smoked duck & cracklins, mustard egg dressing (wonderful). the fried egg was a soft boiled and breaded whole egg. magic!

too late for dessert so Connie sent Nate and the gang to get our seats for the show and i waited with Connie. the show we saw was a musical called Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, ya know, just the hottest play in NYC! all the celebs saw it. (it closed on Sunday) it was AMAZING! funny! i loved it. here is a clip of it and a bit about the show itself...

great show. great fun. after i went all the way up to Harlem to Amelia's old house (a gorgeous brownstone up by 145th street) with Garret and Chris Pena then all the way back down to our neighborhood for a drink at Welcome to the Johnsons, a stop at dunkin donuts and bed.

SUNDAY, June 27th

we were up-and-at-em at 11:30 and out of the house by noon to go to Citi Field in Queens for the Mets vs. Twins game! yeeeeowwww! my second baseball game! little did i know how amazing it was actually going to be...so here were our seats. ya know, just RIGHT BEHIND THE DUGOUT. crazy i love baseball, as it turns out! here's another shot with my (first) ballpark snack...

beers, hot dogs, people yelling obscenities- what's not to love!

luckily it was slightly overcast otherwise we would have died. it was already really hot and going into the 'silver lounge' area with the cranked up AC only made it worse!

we had a great time. here we are, having a great time. big thanks to Terri for giving us the tickets and for such a great day!!!!

garret said i couldn't do the 'rock-on' hand signal at baseball but what does he know?!

after the game, (Mets beat the Twins 6-0) we headed back to the city for showers and dinner with Connie again....

Amazing Meal #2: a voce

a voce
is the restaraunt of Chef Missy Robbins, Food & Wine's Best New Chef of 2010 winner...
it's in Columbus Circle, which is so New York and so beautiful, and on the third floor of the Time Warner Center with view of Trump Tower and Central Park. preeeettty nice...

a light and airy dining room with an open kitchen and these GREAT swivel chairs. after a day of sun and beer and sweat it felt like walking under the Mr. Misters at the California State Fair. (you know exactly what i'm talking about norcal peeps...) We had some delightful french bubbly to start (which was another kind of palate cleanser after hot dogs and beer) and opened our menus...

an equally torturous menu for me. luckily we were all so excited about everything that we ordered A TON so i could relax. first they brought out the bread that was Warm Focaccia with ricotta, olive oil, basil and red chili flakes for dipping. it was impossible not to eat the entire thing but i knew what was to come so i refrained.

and then everything came out all at once!!!!!!!!

creamy Pugliese mozzarealla, roasted artichokes, lemon thyme, bresaola

the 'Pugliese mozzarealla' was basically burrata and the dish came with toasted bread. the creamy, soft cheese, smoky, salty bresaola, spicy arugula and rich, crisp artichokes were just a perfect combination of flavors and textures and what i LOVE about Italian food..

Cassoncini con Prosciutto di Parma
swiss chard and crescenza cheese filled fried dough, Prosciutto di Parma
nothing makes me happier than fried dough-filled pockets. oh, and add some cured pork product? sure!

Insalata di scarola
escarole, warm pancetta vinaigrette, soft boiled farm egg, pecorino romano
once that egg cracked open and all that glorious yellow gold came flowing out the party really got started in this salad. there were bread crumbs all up in there as well and when we got to the bottom of the bowl you better believe we were scrapping up all those nasty bits

i love this picture. its just glistening and grotesque and in your face and fabulous- kind of like what Lardo is all about! Lardo is a type of salume made my curing strips of pig fat with herbs and spices. the result is a melt-in-your-mouth, buttery texture. this dish kind of changed my life. i have seen video and pictures and read articles about Lardo but had never tried it and now i feel like i need it to be in my fridge at all times. good LORD. good LARD-O!

we polished off the apps in no time. a lot of yummy sounds, not a lot of talking. (the true testament to a great meal.) Entree time...while the entrees, or Secondi, section of the menu had some incredilbe offerings (swordfish and sea bass and lamb- oh my!) we opted for pasta all around. i couldn't have been happier.

Nate & Garret both ordered
Pappardelle, rabbit sausage, fennel, caramelized onions, parmigiano
I love rabit ragu or rabbit sausage-it's so Italian! and the fresh fennel on the top added a great herbaceous flavor to the game-y, light sauce.

I ordered
Pansotti, robiola filled pasta, peas, spring garlic, basil
just pure decadence. the creamy robiola and the creamy sauce! the fresh spring garlic, peas and basil were essential to breaking up the naughtiness of this dish. as rich as it was, it was also so simple and fabulous that i had no troulbe polishing it off...

Connie ordered...
Raviolini, porcini filled pasta, parmiganio, Prosciutto di Parma
woodsy mushrooms, salty Prosciutto and that light, earthy sauce made this one a winner for the boys.

so stuffed....or were we???? HAD to get dessert! this was becoming quite possibly one of the best meals of my life. and we hadn't even had dessert yet!!! (although i'm not really one to jump up out of my chair for chocolate or any other sweetie sweet, we did well.)

Strudel apple strudel, brown butter, buckwheat honey gelato

Bomobolini alla Toscana tuscan donuts, bittersweet chocloate.

here's Garret 'garret-handing' the chocolate so that you can see it all drippy and delish.
oh, and those donuts were mother-f***ing cream filled. no joke.

i finished off this most amazing meal with espresso.
FINALLY a shot of espresso pulled perfectly.


aren't you glad i warned you to get a snack first??? ive had three of my favorite things to eat today (to be blogged about tomorrow...) and i just had a toffutti cutie and im still hungry writing about and remembering that meal.

BIG BIG BIG thanks to Connie for taking us out to eat at these
amazing places this weekend!! a truly memorable experience and great fun!!!
XOXO, L & G & N

thanks for reading!
xo, L

Saturday, June 26, 2010

tears, taxidermy and P.S. 55

wowwwwweee! it's been too long! im so so sorry to my MILLIONS of dedicated readers that it's been so long since i updated! (im talkin' to you ES) there is a lot so im gonna try to compress...
also LOTS of pics this time! and video!

So there i was-half naked and sobbing in my closet...

hm. let me go back...

MONDAY, June 21st &
TUESDAY, June 22nd

first day of training at the new j.o.b! since my foot hadn't quite healed i was nervous about how i'd hold up all day but eager to be DOING something towards making money. it was a pretty boring day. not a lot of customers and the girl i was training with, we'll call her "Amy" kept talking to me like i was an infant.

"ok now, you're gonna take these drinks to that table. ok? any questions? you got it?"
hey, amy! i think i can handle this! it's not brain surgery! it's waitress-ing...
i HATE being the new girl.

plus they had this ridiculous "expresso maker" (this is how Amy pronounced it. alllll day. killed me.) that was the biggest piece of shit i have ever worked with. it was offensively bad. Luigi would have flipped. Lavazza machine so kind of a step in the right direction but the 'expresso' was pre-packaged in these pods kept in the fridge. BLASPHEMY. the stupid thing delivered watery, bitter, nasty 'expresso' and tepid, bubbly milk. forget about latte art!

day 1 and i was sooo over this place. prissy chicks, stupid expresso machine, ridiculous menu. Gordon Ramsey would have had a fit over how all-over-the-place the menu was. Shabu Shabu AND Hanger Steak au Poivre AND Black Bean Quesadilla ??? figure it out guys!

ugh. over. it.

(oh, are you guys worried they might be reading my blog and i might get fired??? dont. read on.)

i was glad to get out of there early. (i worked the 11 to 5:ish shift and i should add that my foot HURT after 6+ hours on it.)

went to meet my dear friend Luke Gilford for his birthday celebration at Julius, the oldest gay bar in NYC. we saw a drag show and there were some other UCSB alums there. fun fun, and much needed after my day of bs straining. blarg.

after Luke-fest i met up with Amelia Harris, Emily Scott and Cristy Escobar- MORE UCSB alums and also drama folk!

we went to Beauty Bar (of which there are several. i made it a point to tell the bartender that i had been to the SF, LA, Austin and now NY branches. it's a pretty stupid bar all in all but whatever.) happy birthday cosmo for Emily and some all-up-in-your-face time with the lovey Cristy Escobar. (xo, ladies)

and bed.

tuedsay i trained the night shift, 4:30 to 11:ish. another kind of obnoxious day but at least they were letting me DO stuff. i took a lot of tables and worked hard! (for free, i might add...no tips, no hourly wage for training. just long hard work towards the eventual goal of a job...right?) i got out of there around 11, iced my swollen foot and went to bed.

WEDNESDAY, June 23rd

on this day off i planned on spending alllll day looking for a new job/blogging and resting my poor foot. i spent the morning sewing on some buttons to my favorite vintage, backless, short white dress that i could never wear in SF because it's rarely warm enough for a vintage, backless, short white dress...i was all ready to go except- I COULDN'T FIND MY KEYS ANYWHERE.
i literally TORE the place apart looking. and as you all have seen or heard, its not a big place.

*note: it has been like 1,000 degrees. i haven't even been sleeping in my own bed because the couch is right in front of the AC and i prefer to be cool while i slumber than sweating my freakin' skin off. so it was HOT while i was tearing around the apt in a state of crazed panic because i seriously thought i was losing my mind.

so there i was. half-naked, (took off my clothes from the heat, you see) sobbing in my closet because i was hot and sweaty and trapped in the house all day.
to top it off i get an email from my boss:

You did great training yesterday! Jumped right it you were on it!

I have to be honest. Amy is coming on with us full time. So that doesn't leave many shifts if any open for you.

So right now I have no shifts to offer you. I'm sorry about this.


i'm sorry, excuse me????? soooo i trained for two shifts on a sprained foot for no pay for no reason? i was PISSED. and i wrote him back saying 'wow, that's unfortunate and i wish you had told me that this situation was even a possibility because this was a tremendous waste of time. i understand that things change or whatever but gimme a break, dude. you didn't have even have inkling that she might be going to full time before you offered me the job and had me train?!'
(ya know, in so many words)

pissed. so more tears. sweaty, desperate, half naked tears.

finally i decided i didn't care how i was getting back in i had to get out of the f-ing house.

and so i did. i went to The Bean and applied for some jobs. i had a lovely Goat Cheese & Herb Quiche and a Ginger Pear Iced Tea.
Garret came to rescue me and let me back in the house. after such a stupid day and my first NYC freak out i went to meet up with Amelia again and some NY theater people for some fun! (ps, it was 93 degrees at 2:30am.)

we went all over the place to several different bars and ended up at, (this will really surprise you) South Brooklyn Pizza aka my most favorite of favorite places and had a slice. oh, and Matt Dillon was there enjoying a slice too. nbd.

my friend Emily Scott (and fellow blogger) got another snack on our way to what i bragged as being 'the best pizza in the city or the best pizza i've ever had' and said to me

"i could never blog what i eat."

judging from the snack she chose over South Brooklyn Pizza, she is absolutely right...but her blog is great :)

turned out to be a nice day, despite the tears and losing my stupid job that i was already going to quit anyway. it's just annoying because it's like getting dumped by the guy you were going to break up with anyway. you know what im talking about? annoying.

bed. (on the couch. still too hot)

ps i found my keys. in a secret jacket pocket of a jacket i've never worn. our apt must be haunted because i have no idea how they got there.

THURSDAY, June 24th

got up, put up some shelves (yesssiree, with a level and a power drill and everything!
Dad would be proud!) and then headed over the the Museum of Natural History with Amelia. i was running late to i took a cab and did a lovely driving tour of Park Ave, etc. not too shabby. while i waited for Amelia to show up i had a snack. a hot dawg on Central Park West. mmmhmm.

the Museum of Natural History is weird. it's lovely and cool and feels very New York but it's weird because its basically a museum of taxidermy. ya know? i know that sounds like a really uncultured thing to say but after seeing stuffed dead animal after stuffed dead animal it started feeling a little weird. i did get some good pics though:

hipstamatic iphone ap

amelia w/ flamingos (cause she lives in florida) me with rhinos just cause

after an hour or so of taxidermy we set out for Brooklyn to go to Spuyten Duyvil
for some fancy Belgium beers and some chatty.

loved this place. loved the decor and the ambiance, loved the crowd, loved the bartender (who was so attentive and charming), loved the beer (we got a Lambic and it was so sour and good) and loved the back patio/garden area. lovely lovely lovely! definitely coming back. we had some cheese with our beer and then headed back over to Manhattan. (there's Amelia in the garden patio)

i had a Skype conference call with Mom, Julie and Grandma (who were in Elko, Nevada on their way to a Mormon wedding) where we watched Top Chef together so that we could give commentary to each other. a bit of a challenge but we made it work. meanwhile, i made Penne Puttanesca (which was mighty fine indeed, if i do say so myself) and Garret brought home SBP (South Brooklyn Pizza- im going to refer to it as SBP from here on out since im eating it so much, cool?) sort of a wacky, starchy meal but whatever! we were all happy!
Nate and i peer pressured Garret into going out so we went over to d.b.a., a New Orleans bar with an incredible beer menu. (two great beer bars in one day! what more could a girl ask for?!) Amelia and Chris Pena met up with us and we headed over to bar 151 and then headed home early(ish) because Amelia and i had a long day ahead of us in the Bronx.

Garret took this picture of me on our walk back. Mom sent me this shirt this week and it seemed appropriate for me to pose next to this mural. i may live (and LOVE) NYC but i still love love love SF...

FRIDAY, June 25th

woke up at 5:45 am (CRAZY RIGHT!?) and took the Subway alllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll the way up to 125th street to meet Amelia. ya know, in Harlem. got some Dunkin Donuts iced coffee and a sesame bagel w/cream cheese (sort of amazing to be honest with you) and then we headed over to the Bronx.

we were going to see Amelia's students graduate from the 5th grade. she did Teach for America for two years and taught 2nd and 3rd(?) grade at P.S. 55, Benjamin Franklin School in the Bronx which is smack dab in the middle of the projects. needless to say it was an amazing experience for her and i really wanted to see it.
coming from Pioneer (or Colfax-which is where Amelia is from) we just have no idea what it's like to grow up in an area like that let alone go to public school. we were the only white people in the room and that's just not a situation i have ever been in.

a 5th grade graduation may seem unnecessary but it was a big deal to the community since a lot of the kids drop out at 16. any kind of celebration for achievement in school is celebrated and it was really really amazing to be there. plus, being with Amelia was like being with a celebrity! EVERYONE was so excited to see her- teachers, parents, kids. it was a constant swarming of hellos and hugs and all-around goodness. i took some videos of the graduation. they are mostly of the kids singing and dancing but i LOVE it when kids sing and dance! i totally cried...

we were exhausted and starving after the gradation and walking around the campus saying hello to her felllow teachers and more students. Amelia took me to her favorite sandwich place where she swore they were the most delicious sandwiches. i got Pastrami w/Pepper Jack. while they were shockingly great sandwiches (and cheap, $5) part of the reason she loved it was most definately because she said they were really nice to her when she would walk over sobbing from how hard her job was :(

Amelia is amazing. the end.

great great day. saw some pretty real NYC stuff.

came home (after an intense commute) and took a good long nap in front of the AC, heated up some left-over pasta and got ready for another night on the town with another amazing gal pal, Miss Jenny Gottstein, aka The girl to talk to about a good time in NYC...

this time she invited me to a party that started at the Puma Social Club which was down by the water at the South Street Seaport. we were there only for a bit, but long enough to do a Classic Jenny & Lindsey bathroom shoot. i told her i was planning on making her do this with me for every party she takes me to.

after free drinks there (seriously, The girl for a good time) we headed to the dock to hop on board the boat! yes, friends- a boat. a huge sailboat that looked like a pirate ship! 125 people were aboard and a DJ, more free drinks, and ridiculous views of the city. it was such a fun night!

the ONLY thing was that Garret texted me in the middle of my boat fun to tell me that he was at a bar and Lady Gaga was there and i was so jealous that i swear i was ready to jump overboard and swim to shore...ah well. that's the thing about NYC i guess...if you're having the time of your life on boat, someone else is rubbing shoulders with Lady Gaga...ya can't do it all...

thats all for now kids. ive got tons to post about this weekend and its going to be very very food-heavy with LOTS of pics and LOTS of details about what i ate. sooooooon

i will leave you with some fabulous party pics from the boat!

brooklyn bridge or maybe the manhattan bridge??? (we kept going under them both)

me and jen and jen and dj lloyd

check out Jenny's killer dance moves!

just some boat-rope modeling cause why not?!
it looks like i'm totally nailing Jenny's intern in the back with my knee but i'm pretty sure she's just ducking to get out of the picture.

the original NY party girl?

xo, L