Sunday, September 26, 2010

Torrisi @ San Gennaro

I have to be honest: I dread the San Gennaro festival. It means having to fight my way through crowds of Italian-sausage stuffing tourists on my doorstep just to get into my building and the smell of ten pound bags of raw onions being chopped at 10 in the morning. However, this year there is a ray of light: the Torrisi Italian Specialties booth. They're serving a juicy roast pork sandwich topped with spicy broccoli rabe and peppers, the most incredible mozzarella sticks from their hand-made cheese in a herbed, crusty batter, and a sweet cream puff to top it all off.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Momofuku Ssam Bar

Momofuku Ssam Bar is a modern classic, and the dishes on a recent visit were inventive and delicious. The fried duck necks sounded intriguing - and were unbelievably good! They were fried and were like meaty, rich chicken wings elevated with a spicy garlic chive sauce, pickled corn and beans.

The pork buns are always a must.

The blackened bluefish sandwich was crunchy with pickles and potato chips.

The charred octopus was really exciting with thin slices of green tomato, an avocado puree and mole in the form of thin crackers.

Dessert was a thyme mousse with a scoop of apricot, tapioca caviar and shortbread. So pretty!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Bisous Ciao

Bisous Ciao is a sleek new macaron shop on the lower east side. The colors are bright and beautiful, and the confections are bursting with flavors like sour cherry, salted caramel, gianduja, and even vanilla. Macaron perfection.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

La Nacional

La Nacional was recommended by a few friends, and after eating there, I can say it's now one of my favorite Spanish restaurants. It has an old-school vibe and food is authentic as it comes, starting with a classic warm chorizo served in a meaty broth.

The white asparagus was a surprise - tender and topped with crispy chunks of Serrano ham and olive tapenade.

The best was the paella - with shrimp, squid, clams, mussels and chicken, the flavor was incredible! I missed the crunchy bottom but the flavor more than made up for it.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Eat My Chocolate

Eat My Chocolate is a cute new sweet shop opened by a mother-daughter team in Nolita that creates creamy handmade chocolates, baked goods like strawberry cheesecake cupcakes, and giant macaroons. Yum!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


My advice for a visit to Eataly: go directly to a food station, order wine and when sufficiently relaxed, proceed to attempt to navigate the crowds and shop. The meat lasagna in the pizza/pasta station was a great place to start - the pasta thin and light with just the right balance of bechamel and sauce.

Dessert was a crunchy almond cookie and this delicate vanilla panna cotta with orange marmalade and salted crumble on top. Delicious!

The other desserts looked delectable and I want to try more on a future visit.

There are also golden roasted chickens available to go.

The cheese section is huge, and stocked.

There is also a tiny station with chocolates, like this praline caramel.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Living Room Bar & Terrace

The Living Room Bar & Terrace in the new W Hotel downtown is a little bit slick, but the drinks are really good. This bourbon summer cup was muddled with blueberries, basil, ginger and mint for a light, slightly sweet cocktail.

The strawberry & basil paloma was also nice with pink grapefruit, agave nectar, lime and tequila.

Both the deviled eggs and olives with parmesan were good accompaniments to the drinks.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


There's nothing like a little international comfort food, and ChipShop in Brooklyn takes it to another level: fried pizza - like a big, gooey fried mozzarella ball.

The chicken curry has a nice spice and a twist: served over chips instead of rice for a nice crunchy texture.

The sides of mashed peas and cheesy cauliflower are rich and could be a meal on their own.