foodcapades part one
Twenty-eleven already? Happy New Year, folks. I hope your holidays were full of incredible food and hearty laughs – mine certainly was.
I took off a good 2.5 weeks from work to visit New York City before heading to Texas for Christmas and New Years. My vacation revolved around food – cooking it, eating it, walking to it, walking it off, talking about it, photographing it. I’ll recap my foodcapades in two different posts – one on NYC and a second on Texas.
I was in the city for four nights, each one commemorated by a feast.
A return to Roberta’s for pizza in Bushwick. I ordered the Good Girl with tallegio, kale, pork sausage and garlic. Our 6-pack all ordered different pizzas.
“Can I have a bite of yours?”
“That egg is AWESOME.”
Sharing = caring = happy clap
Dinner at David Chang’s first baby, Momofuku Noodle Bar in East Village. I had a moment. I was so excited to rattle off my order, I was just giddy – one of those uncontrollable smile moments. Plus, the spectacularly-designed place is humming with people, it’s hard not to feel their energy pulsing through your veins. I ordered steamed pork buns, smoked hamachi (my favorite of the night), and momofuku ramen with pork belly, pork shoulder, poached egg. STUFFED.
A recreational cooking class at the Institute of Culinary Education. A group of 14 strangers cooked a 9-course meal, pivoting on the theme of traditional Spanish dishes served at Christmas time. Between three teams, we cooked pan con tomate, Spanish tortilla, a gorgeous rack of roast lamb, fried rabbit with garlic aioli, lobster soup, croquetas de jamón, almond gazpacho, croquetas de bacalao (salted cod), and crema catalana (basically crème brulee). The chef, Anthony Sasso of Casa Mono, leading our class also snagged a prized hunk of foie gras from the school’s inventory. He topped a toasted baguette topped with seared foie gras, apple chutney and apple cider reduction. PLUS, we got slices of jamon ibérico – cured slices of ham from pigs specific to Spain/Portugal who feed on acorns.
I also stopped in Eataly before hopping across the street to take my class. A crowded, 50,000 square foot maze of Italian paradise with crazy salami my dad would love. Farinetti, Batali and the Bastianichs should be pretty happy.
SPLURGE. 6 course tasting menu at Gramercy Tavern. I dined with friends MK and aspiring restaurateur, Sir Bradley Hoffman. I felt self-conscious resting my elbows on the table, but I was on vacation, and comfort trumps etiquette when I’m off the clock. I couldn’t bring myself to whip out the camera. So there are no pictures, but here is the Winter Tasting Menu I loved:
- Fluke, Radish and Trout Roe
- Nantucket Bay Scallops, Cauliflower and Almonds
- Smoked Trout, Cippollini Purée and Pickled Onions
- Rabbit Fettuccine, Brussels Sprouts and Parsnips
- Venison Loin & Sausage, Rutabaga Purée, Parsnips and Sesame Seeds
- Tasting Dessert – a chocolate and banana layered sweet I can’t precisely remember under my food coma.
It was by far the best meal of the trip, and I’d say the venison was my favorite with rabbit fettuccine a close second.
Add in brunches including one at Prune with my always sagacious and ever gracious friend Shehzi.
Starting with top left and moving clock-wise:
1. Roberta’s Good Girl pizza (tallegio, kale, pork sausage and garlic) 2. Bar of Momofuku Noodle Bar (MNB) 3. MNB steamed pork buns 4. MNB smoked hamachi with apple, butternut squash, nori 5. MNB patrons 6. MNB brisket ramen 7. Toasted baguette, foie gras, apply chutney and apple cider reduction from cooking class 8. Breaded, poached eggs over chickpeas from Prune