Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Chinatown Cake Club

I really can't think of a better way to spend a Sunday evening than stuffing myself with cakes and all the other desserts at the Chinatown Cake Club. This month, desserts of Americana were featured (here are last month's.) I'm still craving another piece of this Elvis cake - super moist banana cake with whipped peanut butter frosting and candied bacon bits - with a scoop of coca-cola ice cream. Thanks Victoria for another great event!

The black & white icebox cake with homemade chocolate wafers and sweet whipped cream was another one of my favorites - light, fluffy and just the right amount of sweetness.

A beautiful strawberry shortcake with citrus pound cake and whipped cream.

I had never heard of Texas sheet cake, but I'm a convert to this moist and dense boiled batter cake, glazed with dark chocolate and sprinkled with candied pecans & confetti.

The gorgeous Kentucky bourbon lane cake - white cake filled with coconut, pecans, bourbon soaked cherries.

Banana creme twinkies - need I say more??

Organic carrot & rum soaked raisin cake with maple cream cheese frosting & toasted walnuts.

Old fashioned mini-doughnuts with an amazing chocolate glaze.

Incredible bite-size chocolate chip cookies with Valrhona milk chunks.

Vanilla poundcake cupcakes, with a blueberry preserve center.

And finally...Joel's very celebratory birthday cake.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


This weekend I went to check out brunch at the much-hyped Pulino's to try their breakfast pizza. The salsiccia was great, with sausage, bacon, white cheddar and eggs, although it could have used one more egg.

The bianca tradizionale was also delicious, with mozzarella, pecorino, black pepper and drizzled with pork strutto (rendered pork fat)...yum.

Saturday, March 27, 2010


Since the closing of Civetta around the corner from my apartment, I've been counting the days until the new project, Kenmare, opened in its place. It's a great update, and after starting with two fun cocktails - the Alaskan sour with gin, yellow chartreuse, lime and egg white, and the American beauty with whiskey, black berries, raspberries, orange juice and agave nectar we started with the deliciously rich basil gnocchi appetizer with pecorino in a short rib ragu.

The asparagus gratin appetizer was also great - creamy and topped with crunchy breadcrumbs.

The scallops, perfectly cooked, charred and seasoned came in a balsamic sauce with a spinach strawberry salad.

The halibut was also perfectly cooked with a great crispy layer on top over a bed of chive mashed stroganoff.

The entrees were good, but it's the appetizers I'll be going back for - they were the highlights and I can't wait to try the rest.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Doughnut Plant

In a perfect world, I could eat doughnuts for breakfast every day - which is why I've been hesitant to try the well-known Doughnut Plant on the LES for fear that could actually happen!

With flavors like these, it's a real possibility - the petite sized creme brulee has a crisp candied shell (just like the real thing) and a gooey custard center; the blackberry jelly with peanut butter glaze has jelly running throughout the center of all 4 sides (!), and the unbelievable blackout doughnut starts with a rich chocolate cake center, surrounded by a totally unexpected layer of gooey chocolate goodness, and finished with another layer of chocolate out the outside, topped with chocolate crumbs.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


The recently opened Tartinery in nolita is a great addition to the neighborhood. Open for lunch this week, they offer a selection of fresh-squeezed juices, like this refreshing combo of apple, orange and pineapple. Dinner is scheduled to start at the end of the week and I can't wait!

The selections of tartines, open faced sandwiches on crispy bread, includes everything from foie gras to eggs, and I went with the light and flavorful crottin tartine with goat cheese, frisee, olive oil, thyme and pine nuts on Poilane sourdough. It was light but rich in flavor - the perfect lunch for on this warm spring weekend!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Meatball Shop

The Meatball Shop on the LES is a big hit - on the night I was there, it was packed with couples and groups ordering from meatballs one of 3 ways: in a bowl with sauce, as sliders or as a hero. I went with the sliders for variety: beef with tomato sauce, lamb with cilantro yogurt sauce and surprisingly, my favorite was the chicken with parmesean cream sauce.

There are also veggie sides, like this market salad with beets, onions and tangerines in a white wine vinaigrette. For dessert, the ice cream sandwiches featuring ice cream and cookies and handmade daily by the owner's wife are delicious and looked so good I ate mine before taking a photo.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Vosges Easter Collection

This year, I would be thrilled to find these exquisite chocolate eggs from Vosges in my Easter basket. I love the creamy dark chocolate filled with bacon caramel or the mouthwatering organic peanut butter filled milk chocolate with sea salt.
The bunnies are also so adorable, either with giant size ears or mad hares playing in an orchestra.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Billy's Bakery: black bottom cupcake

I remember black bottom cupcakes from my childhood at cookouts, birthday parties and family events, so it was with hesitation that I followed the recommendation of the Billy's Bakery staff to try their version over my regular choice of banana cake. It turned out to be a good move - the chocolate cupcake was moist and perfectly offset by a thin layer of creamy cheesecake at the top. I didn't even miss the frosting!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Brinkley's: brunch

I've been meaning to stop by Brinkley's for brunch since they began serving it a few months ago. Since the last time I was in, they thankfully rearranged the tables for a much more open bar area and a more utilized back area for dining. The eggs benedict were great, with a thin and crunchy english muffin, perfectly poached eggs, thin slices of ham, roasted tomato, kale and a delicate hollandaise sauce served with a side of thick, oval sliced potatoes.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Update: Baohaus

Today I went back to Baohaus to try the skirtsteak bao - delicious but the real discoveries were the boiled peanuts and sweet bao fries. The peanut shells are super soft and the peanuts had a soft, bean-like consistency. The fried slices of bao were more like a dessert - crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside and covered in sweet sesame sauce. Yum!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Hecho en Dumbo

On Hecho en Dumbo's opening night in their new Bowery location, we were lucky to get one of the few seats at the back of the restaurant at the kitchen bar. We started with the tostadas de ceviche - bright white chunks of halibut on a bed of guacamole and hand pressed tortillas and roasted green squash. They were amazing and made even better with a trio of sauces to add some spice.

Out of the three tacos we tried - beef short ribs, roasted poblano pepper with chihuahua cheese and Berkshire pork, I loved the pork and could have eaten a few more.

The barbacoa was an unexpected hit - a lamb shank confit served in consomme with chickpeas, onions, carrots and a blanched tomatillo. The lamb was so moist and tender I was eating it with a spoon. Amazing!

Saturday, March 6, 2010


Despite having ordered Balthazar takeout and stopping by the bakery for years, I hadn’t eaten in the restaurant until now. The Balthazar salad was a great start, with fennel, ricotta salata, haricots verts and asparagus in a truffle vinaigrette.

The burger with cheese was cooked perfectly but it was the buttery bun that made it great, served with a heaping mound of crunchy fries.

In a cast iron pot, the duck shepherd’s pie was meaty and filling, topped with a layer of mashed potatoes.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Shorty’s.32 is a great neighborhood restaurant in Soho with amazing American food, and I could easily become a regular for dishes like this roasted chicken. The chicken was juicy and very tender in an incredible crispy skin and was served with creamy mashed potatoes and garlicky green beans.

We started with appetizers of the addictive garlicky green beans mentioned above and a side of quinoa salad.

The artichoke soup was rich, creamy and garnished with crunchy mini sized potato chips for a nice contrast in texture.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Breakfast by Oliver Schwarzwald

USA, Breakfast series by Oliver Schwarzwald

I'm loving this international breakfast photography by Oliver Schwarzwald, featuring breakfast foods from 4 countries and one international breakfast. It's compiled nicely here on Designboom.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Chinatown Cake Club

On my third try I finally made it to the underground bakery, Chinatown Cake Club, hosted and showcasing the desserts of the talented Miss Victoria Howe.

The extensive menu, below, consisted of delectable and inventive desserts and cakes like the Cindy Sherman artist series cake above. Everything was delicious, but my favorites were the super creamy ginger goat milk cheesecake, the homemade chocolate malted milk ice cream and hand pressed snowskin mooncakes filled with red bean cream and salted egg yolk. I can't wait for the next one!

Check out the menu and more pics below.

The lovely snowskin mooncakes with dense marbled dough

Black velvet cake, a dense creamy chocolate cake with an unexpected layer of Szechuan peppered white chocolate

Adzuki matcha cake - a brightly colored green tea poundcake with adzuki bean buttercream frosting

The heavenly queen of Sheba torte, spiked with good scotch

Yummy shortbread cookies in pink peppercorn, matcha, and jasmine tea

The beautiful persimmon caramel terrine - alternating layers of sweet candied persimmons with star anise and caramel glaze