Jeff Koons on the Roof

By grace.g.yang · May 1, 2008
Under: Things to do in NYC,UES

Last night, Chris and I were lucky enough to go to the Met to attend a social gathering with Bloomberg and Jeff Koons. If you recognize the name but you’re not sure from where, maybe it’s because you saw his name and artwork on Google; his chrome tulips were on the homepage:

Google launched iGoogle Artist Themes yesterday and had his tulips on display (his tulips weren’t on display at the Met rooftop because they’re too large for the space). Google is also showing some of the artwork from their 70 collaborators this weekend in the meatpacking district – you can find more info here. (I’m not sure if anything by Jeff Koons will be there…but I’m going to check it out anyway!).

The Bloomberg/Met event was fun and we were able to see Koons’ work and listen to him explain his amazing stainless steel sculptures that are currently being shown in the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden. Here are the three sculptures on display:

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Who doesn’t love a balloon dog?!:

The detailed creases made me want to touch it to make sure it wasn’t an actual balloon. :)

Sacred Heart:

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Coloring book:

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Coloring book is supposed to be a sloppily colored-in illustration of Piglet – cute, right?

The exhibit runs through October 26th and is worth checking out – if you don’t want to see the art, at least check out the amazing view of Central Park and the Manhattan skyline!


By grace.g.yang · April 29, 2008
Under: East Village,Japanese

I’m always on the lookout for great noodles. We LOVE ramen, udon, and soba, so we decided to check out Sobaya for some noodley goodness. The interior is small but neat and we decided to sit at the counter for dinner. The menu doesn’t have that many options, but you can choose the type of protein you want (duck, shrimp, tofu skin, etc) and the noodle (either soba or udon). Their soba and udon are both handmade and fresh, so we decided to do one of each – I ordered the duck with udon and Chris went with the tempura with soba.

My duck with udon:

The udon was very chewy, but the broth and the duck didn’t taste right (there’s orange zest in the broth, which totally threw me off). The duck also had a lot of fat, and was tough and hard to chew.

Chris’ tempura with soba:

Chris’ tempura shrimp was tasty, but his soba noodles weren’t that good. They were a little overcooked (at least I thought they were).

If we could do it again, I would’ve paired the tempura with udon and the duck with soba, although I think I’d pick a different protein since I didn’t like the duck broth with orange zest. Sobaya has a good deal for lunch (a huge lunchbox for $15 filled with lots of goodies), but they don’t serve it for dinner, so we were out of luck.

Tip: get there early because it gets crazy around dinner time. You might end up waiting up to an hour for a bowl of homemade noodles on any given night!

How to get to Sobaya:

229 E 9th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenue
New York, NY 10003

DuMont Burger

By grace.g.yang · April 28, 2008
Under: Brooklyn,Burgers,Dinner

Back in March when I was looking all over Manhattan for an apartment, I met a broker that used to be a waitress at Aqua Grill in Soho. Even though I didn’t find a place through her, I got some good restaurant recommendations, including a burger joint in Brooklyn – DuMont Burger. I meant to check it out sooner, but getting to Brooklyn is a hassle. :)

Chris and I took the L train to Brooklyn for dinner, which is a pretty big deal because taking the L train on the weekends can be a huge pain in the butt; there is always some kind of construction going on! We ended up getting to Brooklyn and finding DuMont Burger:

Initially, we walked into the take-out portion of the restaurant (we were a little disappointed because it was a hike from the subway stop to DuMont Burger and we didn’t see any chairs to sit in while we enjoyed dinner), but when we got up to the counter to order, the cashier told us there was an actual restaurant a couple doors down – whew!! DuMont Burger is actually an extension of their restaurant, DuMont; they opened up DuMont Burger because people always ended up waiting forever for burgers and bar food. We walked into the restaurant, took seats at the bar, and ordered a cheeseburger with fries and macaroni and cheese.

Chris’ cheeseburger with fries:

Juicy medium rare:

The burger was actually pretty good – I’d say it’s worth it if you’re in Brooklyn, but not worth the hassle of going to Brooklyn JUST for a cheeseburger. It was juicy, flavorful, and the brioche bun was the perfect proportion in relation to the meat. The lettuce, something I hardly ever mention in burger posts, was very crisp and the perfect size as well (boston lettuce, I think). Their fries were all small bits (similar to Soho Park’s leftover fries!!).

Since I didn’t want to order the same thing as Chris (we because we always switch plates halfway through our meal), I ordered the DuMac and Cheese:

Remember how I said that the burger isn’t worth going to Brooklyn for? Well, the macaroni and cheese DEFINITELY is; it has an amazingly cheesy crust, lots of perfectly cooked rotini noodles, lots and lots of gooey cheese, and bacon. TONS OF HUGE BACON pieces. I was so amazed at how much pork was in the macaroni and cheese (it was even better than Artisanal’s).

The walk back to the subway didn’t seem as far as the walk over because I was so stuffed from the macaroni and cheese and the cheeseburger. I will definitely go back – for their mac and cheese!

What to order: The DuMac and Cheese, tempura onion donuts, and the DuMont burger.

DuMont Burger on Urbanspoon

Olafur Eliasson: Take Your Time

By grace.g.yang · April 27, 2008
Under: Midtown West,My Life,Things to do in NYC

Yesterday, Chris and I went to the Olafur Eliasson’s exhibit at the MoMA:

Part of the exhibit is in Queens (at P.S. 1), but we didn’t have a chance to go – we’re definitely going soon because we’ve heard it’s equally interesting there. Here are some of my favorite pictures from yesterday’s visit:

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A fan, suspended from the ceiling, floats just above people’s touch:

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I forgot this was part of the exhibit and leaned against it:

The artist installed intense orange lights down two halls:

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Jumping around a room that changed colors:

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P.J. Clarke’s

By grace.g.yang · April 24, 2008
Under: Burgers,Midtown East

For a while, Chris and I were checking out all the major cheeseburger joints in the city. We visited JG Melon and had a mind blowing experience (even with the two hour wait – review coming soon) and wanted to see how the other famous burger joints stacked up. We visited P.J. Clarke’s to sample their cheeseburger and other goodies; the wait wasn’t too long – only about 30 minutes for a table around 3PM on Saturday (which is nothing compared to some of the waits we’ve endured for a burger). We definitely wanted a cheeseburger, but P.J. Clarke’s also has a large menu of seafood items, so we decided to order a cheeseburger and an order of mussels. Our cheeseburger:

It looks like a standard cheeseburger (maybe even a cheeseburger you’d grill at home), but P.J. Clarke’s has a special combination of meat that makes the cheeseburger both juicy and flavorful. The onion sits between the bottom bun and the meat and you have to request other toppings (we asked for a side of tomatoes and lettuce). If I ranked my favorite burger places in the city, P.J. Clarke’s would probably be in my top 10, but nowhere near the top 5; the burger wasn’t juicy enough and it was a bit small for me.

Initially, we ordered mussels with white wine, but later found out that they sold out of mussels for the day (SHUCKS!). Since we were still hungry, we decided to order macaroni and cheese:

P.J. Clarke’s interpretation of macaroni and cheese was more of a Fettuccine Alfredo; they used shells, a cream sauce, bacon, and peas in their recipe and it didn’t resemble your typical mac and cheese. I definitely think it’s mislabeled and wasn’t a fan of the dish; the alfredo was too watery/runny and the shells weren’t cooked properly.

Based on our waitresses recommendation, we ordered hash browns instead of your typical French fries:

The hash browns were good, but didn’t match the rest of the dishes we were eating (it was too much of a breakfast food).

I’m not sure I’d visit P.J. Clarke’s for their burgers again, but I’m interested in trying their seafood offerings since they have mussels with white wine that sound like they’d be pretty good. Hopefully the next time I’m in the area, P.J. Clarke’s will actually have mussels in stock!

P.J. Clarke's on Urbanspoon

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