Last week, I met up with three friends that I used to work with at all’onda, a Venetian restaurant in the Union Square neighborhood:
Stephane, Christine, Kristen and myself haven’t seen each other in a long time because Christine moved to the west coast, Kristen had twins, and Stephane and I switched jobs. Luckily, we all love to eat good food so we made an excuse to visit each other when Christine came to town for work. We started with some toast with fontina cheese and apple slices:
As a starter, we tried the roasted carrot salad with ricotta, ginger vinaigrette, and cumin:
And burrata with salsa verde, market apples and grilled sourdough:
We also ordered the arancini balls with burrata and tomato:
The food was all very good; the roasted carrot salad was sweet but had a very good burnt flavor, the burrata had a mix of a lot of different flavors that worked well together, and the arancini was crispy on the outside but had a very good flavor inside.
For our main courses, Christine ordered the tortelli with morels, peas, fava beans and ricotta salata:
Kristen and I both ordered the bucatini, their specialty dish, with smoked uni and spicy breadcrumbs:
And Stephane ordered the rigatoni with aged duck ragu and radicchio:
Each pasta was very well made and we enjoyed it, but I thought the service was too rushed and they ended up coming by multiple times while we were eating to clear our plates even though we still had a lot of food left! The food was good, but there are so many good places in the city that I don’t think it’s special enough to return any time soon.
A few weeks ago, I did a girls weekend in East Hampton with some close friends. It was a really fun weekend and we also managed to eat a lot of good food while we were there. On Saturday night, me, Denise, Anna and Ariel went to Moby’s East Hampton and the food and atmosphere did not disappoint. We started out with prosecco while we waited for Ariel:
We started with a butterhead lettuce salad with radishes, avocado, gorgonzola and butter milk dressing:
Very lightly dressed with butter milk dressing and the vegetables were all freshly picked from a local farmer’s market.
Next, we ordered the burrata, which was served with romano beans, arugula, crispy shallots, and Amagansett sea salt:
This dish was the star of the evening – the burrata was creamy and had so much flavor! One order is definitely enough to share with a group, but it’s so good that it’s worth ordering two of them.
Next, we ordered the local asparagus:
For our mains, we ordered the whole black sea bass from local fishermen with spring onions, salmoriglio, and grilled lemon:
And the flatiron steak with broccolini and shallots:
The meal was really delicious and the atmosphere was really lively but not too loud. The interiors are painted white with splashes of navy blue. There’s also a tent in the back that’s very lively (but not air conditioned). I’d recommend calling ahead for reservations!
· August 26, 2015
A few of my coworkers and I decided to do dinner one night in the east village at the new hotspot, Noreetuh. The restaurant was opened by a few per se alumni and we were all really excited to try it. My friend, Ryan, is actually friends with one of the co-owners and has dined there on multiple occasions so he brought us there for a fun group gathering.
The restaurant is located in the east village and was very lively by the time we arrived for dinner (an early 6:30). We were seated in the second room in a corner booth and started reviewing the menu, even though Ryan had some suggestions based on his previous visits. We decided to order a little of everything and share it family style. We started with the corned beef tongue masubi with cilantro and peanuts:
This was one of my favorite dishes of the evening; it reminded me of the first time I tried SPAM – my senior year in college when my roommate, Angie, pan fried it and we ate it with freshly made white rice and seaweed in our living room as we watched reruns of Sex and the City. This dish was a little more complex in flavors and textures, but the taste was very similar.
We also ordered the crispy mushrooms with a sweet miso sauce:
Lightly battered and fried, these were delicious.
For starters, we ordered two different types of poke – one was the octopus poke with tobiko, mustard leaf kimchi, and fingerling potatoes:
And the second one was the big eye tuna poke with macadamia nuts, pickled jalapeño, and seaweed:
Everyone preferred the big eye tuna poke because the flavor was lighter (the mayonnaise in the octopus poke made it seem like a potato salad with kimchi).
Next arrived the hearts of palm with beets, crispy shallots, cilantro, smoked tofu:
And the kalua pork croquettes served with cabbage and katsu sauce:
We didn’t like the beet dish with the hearts of palm (and we were really looking forward to that dish in particular because per se has a really delicious hearts of palm dish).
Another starter was the crispy soft shelled crab with a yuzu sauce:
The soft shelled crab was a special of the evening and it was probably my favorite (next to the masubi!)
For our main course, we started with the mentaiko spaghetti with smoked butterfish, aonori, and chili:
This spaghetti was very rich so I’m glad we shared it with three other people. One bite was enough – very buttery, but way too rich for me.
We also ordered the pineapple braised pork belly with yams, rainbow swiss chard, and peanuts:
The mochi crusted halibut with pole beans, chinese bacon, fermented black bean:
A very interesting take on halibut; I thought the mochi crust would be a little sweeter, but the fermented black bean was a familiar flavor with the fish. As a kid, we used to eat meaty white fish with fermented black bean sauce so I’m not sure I appreciated this dish enough since my mom made this dish a lot when I was a kid.
The restaurant sent us some desserts (well, sent Ryan some desserts and we were just lucky enough to be there to help him enjoy them!) This was the tri-star strawberries dessert with coconut mochi, red beans, and strawberry ice cream:
The crispy mochi waffles with whipped peanut butter and honey:
I love the idea of using a waffle maker for things that aren’t waffles, but this mochi waffle tasted like packing peanuts and the size of the waffle was too big to put in my mouth with the peanut butter and honey.
My favorite dessert was the bruleed Hawaiian pineapple with lime zest and ‘alaea salt:
A good combination of textures, flavors and it looked beautiful.
We had a really fun time at Noreetuh and the service there was really great. I don’t think anyone was super wowed by the dinner but we did have a good meal there.
Recently, I went to a rooftop bar in Battery Park (Loopy Doopy) where they served boozy popsicles inside a glass of prosecco. I thought it was a really interesting idea and went home and started googling recipes. I found a great one with Aperol (and Aperol goes really well with prosecco!) so I made a bunch, invited my friends over to try them, and had a fun housewarming party with some coworkers. The popsicles came out so well that I made extras to have just in case:
And me with the large bag of backup popsicles:
The ingredients are easy to procure and the total time of work is probably 10 minutes! The recipe:
- 1 cup simple syrup
- 3 cups grapefruit juice (you can also use orange juice, but add some lime juice to the OJ to make it more tart)
- 1/2 cup aperol
Mix all three ingredients together, then place in the popsicle mold and let it freeze overnight. The next day, they’re ready! The aperol makes the popsicle kind of slushy and they go really well with the prosecco (pour the prosecco first, then place the popsicle in the glass). The popsicles are fun (and delicious) to eat on their own. One person liked them so much that she had four popsicles!
I bought a bunch of small bites from Whole Foods, Bedford Cheese Shop and Trader Joe’s and it was a super fun party! Excited to host more people in the future (and to try new recipes for boozy popsicles!)
Ken and I are always trying to find new ways to keep dinner exciting. We’re both pretty busy at work so grocery shopping is the last thing we want to spend time doing, especially on weeknights. Ken’s coworker mentioned Hello Fresh, and we signed up for a free week of meals. Hello Fresh is similar to Blue Apron, Plated, and the other recipe and food delivery services that have popped up in New York. We’ve tried Blue Apron a few times but decided to stop because the recipes took too long to actually make. I also burnt some of the ingredients once because I overcooked them (but according to the directions on the recipe card).
Hello Fresh arrived at our apartment on a Tuesday morning and was packed with lots of freezer packs for the proteins and vegetables. One thing I really like about Hello Fresh is everything is compartmentalized; you get three boxes that have everything except the protein, which is packed under all of the boxes with the freezer packs to keep them cold:
With Blue Apron, sometimes it was a hassle to separate out all of the ingredients and figure out what went together (and to put everything in the fridge, it was annoying to have little pieces of garlic or herbs just sitting around).
For our first week’s delivery, we received three different types of proteins and ended up liking two of them. The third option, the mahi mahi, had a prepare by date that was before we got to it so we decided to throw it out just to be safe.
For our second week, Ken and I made the steak with cabbage and a Pastrami-like sauce:
We weren’t sure about this recipe because of the cabbage that required cooking down, but it ended up being really tasty. I love Sir Kensington ketchup (and all of their products) and this delivery included a travel size ketchup and mayonnaise AND a coupon for a full sized version of either! The recipes are very straightforward, which I appreciate (although one of my friends that has tried it said he thought the recipes were a bit on the bland side). The steak was easy to prepare as was the cabbage and the accompanying sauce. We seared the steak while we were sautéing the cabbage and then plated it with dill:
The steak was very tasty (it included a Pastrami-like rub that was also sprinkled on the cabbage) and the meal was so easy to make. We really liked the two weeks we did Hello Fresh but ended up canceling it (for now) because our travel schedules were unpredictable and I didn’t want the food to go bad if we weren’t going to be home. The portions were also a little more generous than Blue Aprons, which meant I had enough to bring them for lunch the next day! I definitely recommend trying Hello Fresh if you’re looking for a recipe and food delivery program and I think we’ll be back in the fall!
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