Charlie Bird

By grace.g.yang · November 21, 2014
Under: American,Desserts,Dinner,Drinks,Grace's Picks,Italian,My Life,Tribeca



Earlier this year, I took a break from blogging because I was going to the same restaurants and didn’t want to blog about them. We were trying some new restaurants but I was disappointed by the places we were visiting. And then I went to Charlie Bird NYC and now I can’t stop thinking about the restaurant and how amazing the food and atmosphere were! I went with Erika, who was visiting from San Francisco, on a Monday night and were seated at a long (semi-communal because the seats were so close) table.

I started with the old pal, made with Rye, vermouth and Campari:

Charlie bird

Charlie Bird is the second casual restaurant I’ve visited recently that gives tap water and sparkling water for the table (the other restaurant, if you’re curious, was The Smith):

Charlie bird

They also give you rosemary focaccia with olive oil:

Charlie bird

To start our meal, we shared the farro salad:

Charlie bird

The farro salad is ridiculously delicious; for the colder weather, they’ve changed it to roasted pumpkin, mint, pistachios and radishes (in the summer, they usually add arugula and grape tomatoes – the recipe is here). The farro is cooked in apple cider so it has a lot of flavor on its own, but with the different textures and flavors of the pistachios, radishes, Parmesan and basil, it’s an actual party in your mouth. We split the farro salad but both said we could’ve ordered another just for ourselves.

We also ordered the Tuscan chicken liver with balsamic raisins, capers and walnuts:

Charlie bird

I love chicken liver and usually have to order it when it’s on a restaurant’s menu and the chicken liver here was minerally, rich and absolutely phenomenal. We were a little worried that we didn’t order enough but the chicken liver was so rich I was worried that we had ordered too much!

After the chicken liver and farro salad, we moved onto the pasta – the linguine nero with blue crab, chiles and lemon:

Charlie bird

They make their own pastas at Charlie Bird and it was delicious, but not my favorite dish (I mean, everything was so good this was just a close second). Erika said that after the farro salad, this was her favorite!

We also ordered the caramalized cauliflower with almonds and lemon:

Charlie bird

I love cauliflower and the flavors from this dish were bright and citrus-y. I loved the additional textures from the almonds and pancetta.

For dessert, we ordered the olive oil cake with Marscapone and salty oat crumble:

Charlie bird

We loved the food, the atmosphere (the bathrooms have little jars of Life Savers – mint and fruit flavored!) and the music, which is a tad loud but all good hip hop, and the service. We will definitely be back!

Charlie Bird on Urbanspoon

Peter Pan Donut Pastry Shop vs. Moe’s Dough Donut Shop

By grace.g.yang · November 19, 2014
Under: American,Brooklyn,Cheap Eats,Desserts,My Life,Snacks,Things to do in NYC

After reading about the doughnut war in the NYTimes, my coworker decided we needed to try a blind taste test and find out for ourselves which place was better. I’ve had Peter Pan donuts in the past (thank you to Kevin, my coworker from Gilt, for introducing those to us!) but had never tried Moe’s Dough.

The doughnuts side by side:

Charlie bird

(Left side: Moe’s, right side: Peter Pan’s)

All of the doughnuts from Peter Pan:

Charlie bird

And the doughnuts from Moe’s:

Charlie bird

So, we tried all of the doughnuts (cream filled doughnuts side by side was the official test since it was a huge mix of doughnuts my coworker brought in). The clear winner:

Peter Pan Donuts!

The cream doughnuts from Peter Pan’s were fresher, the dough kept better during the commute from Greenpoint to our office, and the texture was much smoother and less heavy. Moe’s Doughs were ok (and I definitely had more than my fair share of those donuts after all of the Peter Pan doughnuts were gone), but the donuts from Peter Pan are just on another level!

Moe's Doughs Donut Shop on Urbanspoon

Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop on Urbanspoon

Koi

By grace.g.yang · November 17, 2014
Under: Asian,Dinner,Drinks,Japanese,Midtown West,My Life,seafood



Last Friday night, Laura’s dad was in town and invited all of us out to dinner before he went back to Chicago. We decided to eat at Koi, which was close to his hotel and Laura and Ken’s office. I think we’ve all been for lunch but never for dinner, so I was excited to try their food.

We started with a bunch of appetizers, like the steak tartare and foie gras:

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The wagyu beef potstickers:

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Rock shrimp:

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And tuna with crispy rice and jalapenos:

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All of the appetizers were good, with my favorites being the tuna with crispy rice and the steak tartare and foie gras.

For our main entrees, we also shared everything – Ken and I shared the striped bass in a mushroom broth:

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David ordered the steak with sweet potato puree and spatzle:

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Laura’s dad ordered the sauteed prawns with squash:

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And we all shared lots of rolls:

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We ordered some sashimi (salmon and my favorite, the egg custard). Laura also ordered some snow crab sushi with soy wrappers:

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And we ordered some miso glazed green beans:

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All of the dishes were all very good and the portions were very hearty. They serve pretty good quality uni and we ordered a lot of it to share – David and I both love uni!

Here’s all of us enjoying our meal at Koi:

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I enjoyed the meal at Koi (thanks, David!) and always love spending time with my family. The restaurant is a little far for us to return (especially for dinner!)

Koi on Urbanspoon

Good

By grace.g.yang · November 14, 2014
Under: American,Cheap Eats,Desserts,Dinner,Italian,My Life,Prix-fixe,seafood,Things to do in NYC,West Village


On a recent Sunday night, we did a family dinner with David and Laura at Good. Earlier in the day, I was getting my hair done and Ken was watching football at home so I had to tell him where to meet us for dinner. Looking up a restaurant named Good is not as easy as it seems; when you put it into yelp (on your phone at least), it comes up with restaurants that are well rated/where there’s good food. I finally found the location and sent it to Ken and we decided to do an early dinner.

Good has a Sunday dinner special that is kind of unbeatable; before 7pm, you can do a pre-fixe for under $40. The regular menu is pretty much on the pre-fixe menu and the portions are the same! David, Ken and I decided to do the special, Laura said she was going to order a salad and nibble off our plates.

They started our meal with homemade cornbread and butter:

Good restaurant west village

Ken started with the farro salad:

Good restaurant west village

While David and I started with the regular house salad:

Good restaurant west village

The salads were plain but well dressed; Ken enjoyed the warm farro salad mixed with the large slices of cheese and the different flavors and textures from the dried fruits that were also in the salad.

For David’s main course, he ordered the steak:

Good restaurant west village

Ken ordered the fish tacos:

Good restaurant west village

I ordered the chicken with couscous:

Good restaurant west village

And Laura ordered the large chicken salad with peanut sauce:

Good restaurant west village

All of the dishes were very good and David really enjoyed his steak dish. Ken also liked his fish tacos but I would have preferred corn tortillas instead of flour.

For dessert, we went with the chocolate cake with chocolate ice cream:

Good restaurant west village

The homemade bread pudding:

Good restaurant west village

And the olive oil cake with the first pomegranate seeds of the season:

Good restaurant west village

I ordered the olive oil cake but ended up liking the chocolate cake the most. We all enjoyed the the desserts and thought the meal was pretty good. Laura said they have a pretty good brunch as well – I think we will go back someday and try it.

Good on Urbanspoon

Blue Ribbon Brasserie

By grace.g.yang · November 13, 2014
Under: American,Dinner,My Life,Snacks,Soho


The first time I went to Blue Ribbon Brasserie, I sat next to John Mayer at 2 in the morning and ate bone marrow while listening in on his conversation (unsuccessfully). On this visit, I went for a late night meal and ended up sitting next to no one because the restaurant was empty (maybe because it was past 11 on a weeknight?) I was in the mood for French bistro food and as soon as I saw escargot on the menu, my heart skipped a beat. I love the garlic and parsley mixture and dipping the bread into the small divots of the escargot plate and was very excited to do this so late into the evening, but the waiter told me that the escargot was prepared differently at Blue Ribbon; instead of the garlic, olive oil and parsley mixture, it’s a bourguignon preparation and stewed with red wine, bacon, mushrooms, carrots, and bread:

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The dish was on the sweet side; it tasted like lots of brown sugar was also added to this dish and turned me off completely. I couldn’t finish the snails because it was so rich and sweet – almost like dessert!

We went with a staple, the Blue Ribbon fried chicken:

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The fried chicken is served alongside collared greens and mashed potatoes – the ultimate comfort food. It doesn’t compare to the fried chicken we had at Blue Ribbon Brasserie on Urbanspoon


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