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


  1. I am so glad you documented one of my favorite meals of all time!

  2. And all washed down with some spectacular "footie" Italian chianti. Yummm. Non c'e male, eh?