On Saturday, the weather was absolutely dreadful and Ken and I were not in the mood to cook, so we were thinking we might be able to get a seat at Han Dynasty, the new Chinese restaurant from Philadelphia that opened recently on 3rd Avenue in the East Village. I called just to ask if we could put our names down over the phone and found out that the wait was going to be an hour and a half! When it was disgusting out! I couldn’t believe how long the wait was so we opted to just put in a take out order and pick it up since we live pretty close to the restaurant.
We started out with Dan dan noodles:
We also ordered the dry hot chicken, one of their specialties:
And pea shoots with garlic:
For takeout, I was shocked at how well the Dan dan noodles held up. The flavor was a little inconsistent because I don’t think I mixed the sauce well enough since it was stuck in a container while being transported, but it was spicy, had a little peanut taste, and was overall very enjoyable. The noodles were also very al dente, so it’s definitely something that can travel at least 10 blocks without being ruined.
The dry hot chicken was fried and served with a ton of hot peppers – spicy, but not spicy to the point that it wasn’t enjoyable. I think this dish could be better when served at the restaurant because the chicken is fried and supposed to be very crispy. The pea shoots were well prepared and not too salty.
I’d love to try the restaurant some day when the wait isn’t an hour and a half and try everything fresh from the kitchen – for our first experience of Han Dynasty, I’d say that it’s a really good option to add to our take out list!
Before I went to Chicago for the end of the year, my friend Christine and I met up for tea at Tache. Tache is located on the lower east side and sells chocolates, teas, gelato and also teaches chocolate making classes in the basement. While we were there, a father and daughter took a class together and there was also a large birthday party for group of girls. The location is very quaint:
The chocolates are sold in the front of the store and are all very well made:
They also sell cakes, puddings and cookies:
The server brings out all of the different teas they have and you smell them before picking your selection:
We picked our teas (I chose a Jasmine tea and Christine chose a black tea) and the server brought us our teapots and semi-matched tea cups:
The tea was brewed and then the tray of tea sandwiches and desserts were delivered:
The top row had homemade chocolates and pretzels to dip into chocolate:
The second row had chicken salad sandwiches and tuna salad sandwiches and the bottom plate had different fresh berries to dip into the chocolate and an orange marmalade. I missed the scones and Devonshire cream that usually comes with tea, but these three plates of food were all very delicious. Christine and I caught up since we haven’t seen each other in almost four months and enjoyed ourselves on a sunny afternoon on the LES.
· January 13, 2014
This is a late post, but Happy New Year! I had big plans for December, but traveling got the best of me and I ended up running out of time! Then during the holidays, I was very sick (coughing up a lung at my in-laws house in Chicago!) and ended up staying in bed everyday until we flew back to New York in January. Luckily, I’m all better now (thank you, antibiotics and lots of rest) and I’m ready to start 2014! But first, a few photos from our December in New York and Chicago!
Ken and I exchanged gifts in New York the night before flying to Chicago to be with our families:
Celebrating our first Christmas together as a married couple at Babbo, where we shared way too much delicious food:
Me and my niece on Christmas evening before we opened up our family gifts – we’re also with her pet owl that she got for Christmas from Santa:
Making dumplings (which is becoming a New Year’s Eve tradition with my mom) in Chicago:
And spending lots of time indoors, not only because I was sick, but because it snowed over 9 inches while we were there!:
It was a relaxing December and now we’re ready to tackle 2014!
· December 11, 2013
Last week, I was invited to an incredible dessert tasting at Michel Richard’s new patisserie shop, Pomme Palais, in the Palace Hotel. We sampled their specialty cakes for the holidays, which were all delicious and beautifully prepared. I can’t wait to buy these cakes for an upcoming holiday party!
It’s difficult to pick a favorite from all the cakes we sampled, but this one was definitely the most beautiful:
The cake is called the “Charlotte cake” and is made with tons of raspberries, blackberries, passion fruit yogurt mousse and lady fingers:
The cake isn’t too sweet but has a very fresh and light flavor. Definitely a good pairing with green tea!
The second cake I tried, the Lemon Eggceptional cake, was also a work of art:
This cake had layers of sponge cake, lemon curd, French meringue and it was topped with white chocolate lemon eggceptionals:
The opera cake, layered cake of coffee, chocolate, and almond flavors, was very decadent:
And the cutest dessert was Michel’s snowman, which is purchased to go:
It’s a white meringue snowman that’s wrapped with a sugar scarf and a marzipan-chocolate hat. The inside is hollow so you can fill it with ice cream (or pudding, whipped cream, or anything that fits into the meringue) and serve with the raspberry sauce it comes with…the cutest part is that Chef Richard illustrated how to assemble the snowman. We had ours prepared with chocolate mousse:
The meringue was beautiful and so tasty! Definitely a great gift to bring to a holiday party (or just fun to eat at home!) The event was so fun and Pomme Palais is right in between my office and Ken’s office, so we meet there sometimes for an afternoon snack and coffee break. I can’t wait to go back and try more of their desserts!
My friend, Stephane, recently went to Paris for the holidays and to visit family, take care of family business. While he was there, he ate a lot of foie gras, canales, macarons, and basically all of my favorite foods! Luckily, he is nice enough to bring treats back for his friends (like me!) – look at the goodies he brought back for me this time:
The bread is from Poilane bakery, which pairs well with butter or foie gras (once toasted). Ken was out of town when the loaf arrived…it doesn’t exist anymore because I ate it all before he got back.
The chestnut spread comes in a small, cutely decorated container:
Stephane said that it’s very sweet and the perfect size for travel…specifically, for when you’re skiing in France! I haven’t opened this yet (waiting for Ken) but the packaging is really cute and it’s available in multiple sizes. This size is a single serve, Ken is lucky that I’m willing to share.
My favorite gift is the chocolate from A l’Etoile D’Or, possibly the best chocolate shop in Paris. The chocolate bar Stephane gave me is usually only found in Lyon, but Denise Acabo, the owner of the chocolate store, is able to source the chocolate. The bar I received is dark chocolate with caramel (another gift that I’m willing to share with Ken once he gets home!) David Lebovitz’s wonderful blog has a post about the chocolate shop!
So excited to have all these wonderful treats from Paris – it reminds me of the wonderful time we had in Paris over the summer. Thank you, Stephane, for thinking of me and bringing back these treats!
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