For our first Christmas dinner as a married couple, Ken and I decided to have dinner at Babbo. The last time I was at Babbo was in 2007 (my post about the Babby visit here) and we wanted to go eat casually at the bar. The weather was unseasonably warm (this was the weekend in December when the temperature hit 65 degrees!). We walked from our apartment to Babbo and were hoping to walk in and sit at the bar. Luckily, we snagged two seats at the bar right away because I think we arrived a few minutes before the big dinner rush.
The beginning of our holiday dinner:
We started off by sharing an Octopus appetizer:
Then shared two different types of pasta – the first, a papardelle with a very rich Bolognese sauce and lots of Parmesan cheese:
Then, of course, we had to order the beef cheek ravioli:
It was a little bit heavy and rich, especially since we already had a large portion of the parardelle, but definitely worth it. I’m glad we shared the pastas – by the time we finished, I was ready to head home and lie down…but we still had our final course, the halibut:
They roast the halibut, present it to you at your table, then take it back to the kitchen to debone. Our dinner was very filling and by the time we finished, we were so stuffed that we had to walk back home!
· February 3, 2014
,Things to do in NYC
I was lucky enough to spend an early Valentine’s day at Circo with their executive chef, Alfio Longo. We spent an afternoon in his kitchen preparing some of the dishes from his Valentine’s day pre-fixe menu and made a video for people to recreate the dishes at home. The pre-fixe menu was really delicious and I recommend making reservations now, but if you aren’t in NYC, these dishes are easy to prepare and will definitely wow your Valentine.
I’ll post recipes later this week – enjoy the video!
· January 17, 2014
For Christmas this year, Ken got me the best present ever – a Fitbit Force:
Right after I got the watch/bracelet/fitness tracker, I got sick and watched my step count go from 5,000 to approximately 2,000 per day. That was me going from my bedroom to the kitchen (also walking up and down stairs), from the bedroom to the bathroom (approximately 5 steps), and walking around the living room. Luckily, as soon as I got home, I was feeling better and started going to AKT in Motion again and I saw my steps go from 2,000 to 20,000! So excited to continue watching my progress – I can track my water, food and calorie intake, and also see my steps, and calorie burn. The best part is that it syncs with my iPhone! AND, it also acts like an alarm and will track my sleep cycle. I’m not a huge fan of wearing anything on my wrists while I’m sleeping so it’s still something to adjust to, but the app will tell you how often you’re restless and how often you’re actually sleeping. Such a huge fan of the Fitbit! Did you get one for Christmas? If so, friend me!
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.
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