Monday, November 30, 2009

Spot Dessert Bar

I'm thrilled about Pichet Ong's new consulting chef role at Spot Dessert Bar on St Marks Place.

His trademark sparkling cupcakes are there in chocolate green tea, mocha salted caramel and vanilla almond coconut along with a selection of equally tasty looking cookies.

The coconut macaroon nutella almond cookie was chewy and delicious.

The unusual white miso semifreddo was garnished with raspberries, sorbet, brown sugar crunch, olive oil, a crunchy wafer and tiny mint leaves - all the elements combined for a perfect bite.

There's also a selection of Pacojet machine-made ice cream and with toppings ranging from chocolate crumbs to basil seeds!

This ovaltine flavored ice cream was chocolatey and dense and topped with crunchy caramel flakes - a perfect ending to a flight of desserts!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Kumquat Cupcakery

Keavy Landreth from Kumquat Cupcakery was at Brooklyn Flea's Gifted holiday market this weekend with her super-cute and tasty bite sized cupcakes.

The offerings included a fragrant chocolate lavender, rich peanut butter honey banana, red velvet, spiced pumpkin topped with pumpkin seeds, and the perfectly salty maple bacon topped with a few pieces of crunchy bacon on top!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Mark Burger

Lately I'm becoming more fond of St Marks Place for the growing number of good cheap restaurant options - including Mark Burger. The space looks like a lounge with bar seating and table service, which was a nice surprise given the sliders start at $2!

The generously sized sliders are available in two options: regular and bacon. Both were juicy and topped with cheese and onions. A side of fries was perfect for trying out the four house-made sauces: a rich and spicy chipotle, BBQ, a hot jalapeno and regular ketchup.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Crumbs mini apple cupcakes

How adorable are these mini size cupcakes from Crumbs Bake Shop! Both have a delicious apple cinnamon cake, but the apple cobbler has crumb topping and the caramel apple is topped with caramel and has an apple pie filling.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Boccalone lard caramels

Photo courtesy of The Moment,

I'm dying to try these Boccalone lard caramels from Humphry Slocombe, along with the meat flavored proscuitto, foie gras, and pistachio-bacon ice creams on the next trip to San Francisco.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Serious Eats pumpkin find: Billy's Bakery

photo by Kathy Chan, courtesy of Serious Eats New York

Check out this post on Serious Eats NY about the pumpkin bar at Billy's Bakery!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Boston Cream Cupcake

My favorite doughnut is now a cupcake! Baked by Two Little Red Hens and found at Dean & Deluca, it's irresistible with spongy white cake, thick custard filling, and fudge frosting topped with tiny white chocolate curls. Now instead of wanting a doughnut with coffee in the morning, I'll be craving this cupcake instead.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Once Upon a Tart

Once Upon a Tart is an adorable cafe in Soho that has excellent food, desserts and of course, tarts. Right now I'm loving the pumpkin tart with it's super creamy custard-like filling, but the chocolate pear tart also looks delicious!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Grey Dog Chelsea

This week The Grey Dog opened a location in Chelsea in the old Maroons space. While Maroons is deeply missed, The Grey Dog is a welcome laid-back cafe for the neighborhood.

The space is open and airy, perfect for hanging out over coffee and a snack.

The seafood chowder was thick and creamy, and came with a big slice of olive bread.

These tacos were loaded with chili crusted seared tuna, avocado and salsa.

My favorite was this massive slice of unconventional pumpkin pie with a crust on both the top and bottom, cut into a huge rectangular piece and topped with whipped cream and cinnamon.

Thanks, Mom!

My Mom sent me this box of creamy peanut butter royals for Thanksgiving (thanks, Mom!) from Malley's Chocolates, a local institution in Cleveland. The creamy chocolates bring me right back to childhood where as schoolkids we often sold the various candies and chocolates to raise funds for one school event or another.
Each chocolate has a cute shape like these turkeys and bundles of wheat...but what's the deal with the Native American guy?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Rickshaw Dumpling Truck

Coming home from work today, I came across a happy surprise - the Rickshaw Dumpling Truck was on my street as part of the Pop-Up Flea!

They were serving three dumpling choices along with desserts and specials.
I ordered the fantastic chicken dumplings filled with glass noodles and fragrant Thai basil, with a thick peanut dipping sauce on the side. I wish they parked here all the time!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Xie Xie

Xie Xie is a hip little sandwich shop with a great soundtrack in hell's kitchen offering some amazing Asian sandwiches.

The Vietnamese inspired Fish Chaca La Vong sandwich is made with on a crispy baguette filled with marinated tilapia, a sweet onion jam and lots of dill and was perfect with a touch of siracha. I loved the sweetness of the onions with the intense dill flavor.

Egg salad is one of my favorite things, and the smoked egg salad on a shredded braised chicken sandwich was creamy and an excellent pair with the chicken.
They also offer a great beverage selection with a few half bottles of wine and a canned champagne (ok, California sparkling wine) that I couldn't resist.

Dessert was a "1000 year old" ice cream sandwich, with crispy wafer thin chocolate cookies and ice cream filled with an inky black caramel made from a carefully crafted recipe to get just the right balance of charred and sweet flavors.
This food was incredible and I can't wait for the St. Marks location to open closer to my 'hood!

Friday, November 13, 2009


I was so excited to hear that Gulluoglu, the Turkish baklava bakery, had opened a shop on the upper east side. When traveling in Istanbul this summer, I tried the baklava from their famous location in Karakoy and have been craving the sweet layered pastry ever since.

The Manhattan location had 12 types of baklava available, from standard pistachio to chestnut.

The shop here also offers breakfast and lunch, but I was here to try the baklava.

Gulluoglu Istanbul, August 2009

Gulluoglu Manhattan, November 2009

Happily, the baklava here is just as delicious as in Turkey. It was hard to choose, but I went with the cevizli baklava, with walnuts for an extra nutty flavor; the kestaneli with chestnuts - unusual but very mellow; and the sobiyet - a variation on the original pistachio with cream. A few bites and I felt like I was back in Istanbul.


When I first arrived in new york and was struggling to get by, Republic was a treat. I hadn't been back in a while, but was in the area after the Secret Fashion Show and was in the mood for something quick, cheap and filling.

The mini dumplings with minced pork, cabbage, ginger & cilantro were rich & meaty.

The curried duck noodles arrived in a massive pile full of curry flavor and loaded with celery, carrots and bean sprouts. Still a great cheap treat!

Secret Sherry Society

The Secret Sherry Society held a fashion show in the Altman building last night in partnership with Fashion Fights Poverty to promote different varieties of the wine.

During the fashion show of designs by StellaBonds, models carried around a gold box holding a secret and alternated between showing the audience the box and passing it to the next model.

In the next door lounge, these very cool illustrations were auctioned off to support Fashion Fights Poverty.

There were also tables set up with tastings of sherry paired with small bites by The Dinner Bell catering.

This was a delicious bresola beef paired with Palo Cortado sherry.

Other tables had anchovy spiked olives, marcona almonds, jamon serrano cigars, cabreles & crackers, and chocolate covered orangettes with spanish figs. Out of all the wines, my favorite was the Pedro Ximénez, a deep colored sweet sherry. There were also sherry cocktails available, including the margarita-inspired "Project Cortado" with tequila. Can't wait for the next secret event!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Festival International de la Photographie Culinaire

Christophe Doucet

I love this photo from The Moment's post on the Festival International de la Photographie Culinaire, a culinary photography exhibition in galleries and restaurants around Paris. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What we're eating at DwellStudio

No new posts here this week, but instead I have a couple spots on DwellStudio's blog about great lunch options in Soho - check it out here.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Pumpkin! part 3

While shopping at Whole Foods this weekend, I came across a pile of these pumpkin mocha latte truffles at the chocolate counter.

Made by Azure Chocolate in Long Island, they have a rich pumpkin spice and espresso filling and are coated in brown sugar and pepitas for a comforting flavor perfectly reminiscent of fall.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Bella Via Pizza

At a friend's for movie night in long island city, we ordered pizza from nearby restaurant Bella Via. The coal-fired brick oven makes a great crust, and the toppings were excellent. We ordered half of the pie white with mozzarella, broccoli rabe and sausage, and the other half red with pepperoni and giant kalamata olives. Yum!