Friday, July 30, 2010

Balthazar Bakery

Sometimes, a certain food item is mind-blowingly good, and this banana-pecan doughnut from Balthazar Bakery is one of them. Topped with decadent icing and crushed pecans, the cake is what makes this so good - it's extra spongy and moist, with gooey chunks of banana in a just-crispy enough shell. Heaven in a doughnut.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Banh Mi Saigon

My go-to stop for banh mi, the aptly named Banh Mi Saigon, recently opened in a spacious new location on Grand St. The sandwiches are just as tasty as ever, stuffed with pork sausage, pate, cucumbers, pickled carrots, cilanto and hot jalapenos.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Restaurant Week: Shang

Being a huge fan of Top Chef, I was really excited to try Susur Lee's Shang during Restaurant Week. We started with the Singapore slaw, a tower of crunchy strings of vegetables in a salted plum dressing. The lightness and flavor of this dish was an excellent start.

Next was the calamari in a light, crunchy and salty beer batter with a spicy habanero sauce.

The entrees were delicious - the Top Chef chicken is a coconut curried chicken with mint chutney, tomato jam, chunks of pineapple and cashews with mashed potatoes. The skirt steak came in a sweet sauce over Hainanese rice with arugula relish to balance the sauce.

Dessert was a rich and flavorful mango panna cotta in an Asian pear, mango and basil broth, topped with a creamy chocolate mouse and a crunchy sesame cookie. A tasty and completely satisfying dessert.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Restaurant Week: Perry St

It's that magical time of year again when restaurants offer the incredible $35 three course meal and this year I wanted to check out Perry St. The restaurant is lovely, bright and modern with a gorgeous view of the Hudson that's even better at sunset.

Perry St added special touches onto their restaurant week menu, starting with this watermelon gazpacho that was just sweet enough and had a surprise disc of lychee inside.

The chili crab dumplings were simply amazing. The dough was light, the crab plentiful and flavorful, and topped with bright sugar snap peas.

The heirloom tomato and mozzarella salad was bright and fresh, and made all the more interesting with unexpected accents of mini raspberries, pickled chilies and radishes.

I'm still tasting the light, crunchy and perfect coating on this chicken, which was also juicy and full of flavor. The spicy pea puree, pickled onions and greens were the perfect accompaniments.

The cod in ratatouille was so light and delicate, a great summer dish.

Chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream are at their best here with a gooey center and topped with a crunchy sweet cracker.

The berry soup with raspberries, strawberries, cherries and blueberries topped with fromage blanc sorbet was a light refreshing ending to an incredible meal.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Jersey's frozen goodness

This weekend on the Jersey Shore (yes, that jersey shore), I came across something called Polish Ice. Turns out it's Italian Ice put through a soft serve machine to make super-fine flavored ice. The watermelon and surprisingly, chocolate were tasty.

It was also worth checking out Kohr's for frozen custard. Although our scooper insisted these were custard, I'm pretty sure they turned out to be ice cream. Anyway, the vanilla with huge chunks of dark cherries and mint oreo in a cone were creamy and delicious.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Secret supper club

This week, I went to a super-secret supper club in Queens after being handed their card by an in-the-know foodie friend. The hush-hush nature of it makes it all the more exciting, but it's the incredible food that makes the experience shine. This dinner started off with jars of pickled vegetables - pickles, white carrots, beans and more, some spicy, some sour.

Then came the appetizer of creamy deviled eggs with an oyster cocktail in a shot glass garnished with crunchy veggies.

Next up was a deliciously crispy fried chicken liver with a tangy sauce, vivid collard greens, and a slice of watermelon.

The main course was this generously sized pulled pork slider topped with coleslaw and vinegar sauce, with a side of light and fluffy potato salad and...

...this strong and nicely refreshing mint julep garnished with celery.

Dessert was a creamy peach sundae with salted bourbon caramel sauce and sides of whipped cream, buttermilk ice cream and a chewy, crunchy cookie.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Humphry Slocombe

Avocado popsicles are interesting, but Humphry Slocombe in San Francisco ups the ante with savory flavors as unusual as their two headed cow mascot. I tried the buttery boccalone proscuitto (of nytimes review), salt and pepper and brown butter...and can't wait to get back for more flavors like peanut butter curry (can't believe I missed that one)! All were rich, creamy and intriguing; and how could I pass up pork ice cream??

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Bacon...on paper?

The makers of baconnaise (yes, that means bacon + mayo) have taken their bacon obsession to the next level with bacon flavored envelopes. instead of tasting glue we can all taste bacon when sending the next letter. If that's too far out they also make bacon salt and bacon lip balm.

Friday, July 2, 2010


Craftbar is an always reliable classic and my dinner there last night was no exception. The pork was incredible in each of the three ways it was cooked - as a juicy slice of loin, tender bursting with flavor in the ravioli, and melt in your mouth goodness as pork belly.

The veal breast was also delicious - so tender and in a tomato sauce with veggies.

To finish, the brownie topped with chocolate sauce, crumbled cookies, cream flavor ice cream and whipped cream was a decadent treat!