Annisa Review

I had a really great date the other night.  It was so easy to just start up a conversation, we laughed all night, ate wonderful food in a beautiful restaurant…it honestly made me fall in love with the city all over again! I was in Sex and the City!

Mostly because, just like Sex and the City, this was a gal date.  Not the kind of date where you spend hours getting your smoky eye just right, buy a new push up bra so you can rest your chin on your boobs, and order a tiny salad so you look like a dainty eater.

 

That girl is a liar.

 

 

No, this was a date where i slapped on some lip gloss, threw on some super comfortable leggings, and knew that I would be in for a totally gluttonous dining experience!

 

 

 

 

 

I met up with Grace of Gracenotesnyc.com for dinner at Anissa.  She is doing this totally kick ass thing of touring all the Michelin starred restaurants in NYC…basically, the eating equivalent of the tour de France.  So meeting her was kinda like meeting Lance Armstrong…except i can do what she does :)

 

 

 

Anissa is the rebirth of Anita Lo’s Chinese influenced restaurants-the first location burned down.   This time around, Lo hired a feng shui expert to ensure the restaurant’s luck and prosperity.  The room is small-it only seats about 50 diners-with a bar in front overlooking Barrow Street.  The room itself is done in tans and creams-very soothing, and with the candles, very romantic.

 

 

 

 

As Grace and I sat down , we got bread and butter.  The bread was sadly-eh.  Not warm, and though the texture was good-very doughy and crusty-the taste was kinda blah. The butter-now THAT was good stuff!  unsalted, room temperature, just reminding me how much I loooove dairy!

 

Our amuse bouche was an escargot in a pastry shell.  This was my FIRST TIME eating escargots!  Yep…I was a snail virgin…touched for the very first tiiiiiime…

…ANYWAY…

 

 

 

This was FAB! I was scared that it might be rubbery or bland, but it was totally tender, and reminded me of a clam.  It was very mild tasting and just blended perfectly with the lightly garlicky butter and the crisp, flaky pastry shell.  It was delish!  Next time I am in Paris-I am TOTALLY ordering a whole plate of these suckas and a big ole baguette to mop up the sauce!!

 

Grace and I ordered a la carte because we both wanted to try this dish:

 

 

 

Seared Foie Gras with soup dumplings and jicama

 

Upon arrival, this dish looked like a little piece of seared foie on top of regular old dumplings, filled with pork or veggies or whatever.  Not that insanely impressive.

 

Then I put a dumpling in my mouth.

 

HOLY HEAVEN AND EARTH!

 

 

 

Thin and stretchy skin broke, giving way to an explosion of the most insanely foie-gras-y sensation I have ever had the pleasure of tasting.  It was fatty in a not unpleasant way, and a little bit sweet and deeply meaty.  I really didn’t taste the jicama, but the fact that the foie gras taste was not overpowering must have been due to the use of the light and somewhat bland jicama.  The balsamic sauce decorating the plate and the perfectly seared foie on top (crusty outside, meltingly tender within) completed this dish.  Was it a soup dumpling?  No-not really brothy enough.  Was it amazing? Um YES!  GET THIS!!!

 

We also split the Barbecued Squid with Thai Basil and Fresh Peanuts.

 

 

 

 

The first thing I popped into my mouth was a brown thing that looked like edamame.  There was edamame on the plate, so I figured this was just a different breed or something.  But no, this was sweet and meaty, and salty, and…soft!  Grace assured me that these were boiled peanuts!!  PEANUTS?!  They were so delicious and salty but in no way tasted like peanuts.  Whatevs.  They were gently spicy and fragrant with the Thai basil…Grace just decided to let me have these.  She didn’t want to gt into a fight.  Smart girl ;)

 

The squid was delish but kinda lukewarm.  At a Michelin restaurant, there really shouldnt’ be any mistakes like temperature, right?  The squid was very tender, tasted of the sea and the bbq, and was really nice with those light, fresh edamame.  The touches of hoisin and sriracha really elevated the dish. This was a great preparation of squid!

 

While we waited for our mains, we discussed Mad Men, sample sales, and people who overshare on facebook.  Yeah, I was definitely having an AWESOME first date!

 

 

 

Our first main course was the Veal Tenderloin and Sweetbread with Artichokes, Oyster and Black Truffle Sauces.

 

 

This was outstanding.  The veal was cooked perfectly, and was tender, mild, and rich.  The sweetbread was crisp and iron-y in the way only offal is.  The artichokes and black truffle were so perfectly matched-light and dark tastes, bright and deep.  The oysters were not particularly noticeable, but he whole dish was so buttery and well salted, that they must have figured in there.  This was a totally wonderful dish.  The meat and mushrooms were so wonderfully mated-the truffle scent just hung in the air as we ate the dish.  Grace and I both loved this dish and I would DEF order it again.

 

We also split the scallops with sea urchin sauce, cucumber, and loofah.

 

 

 

Delish.  cooked just until done, with a salty, crispy crust and a sweet, soft center.  They were so sweet, and the urchin was buttery and tasted freshly of the sea.  Some peopleomg cream of the sea…I think I just became sea urchin’s press agent…

 

…ANYWAY…

 

Though the scallops and urchin were excellent, this was not my favorite dish of the night. It had some squid ink that I found sort of offputtingly bitter, and the cooked cucumbers were mushy and distracting from the scallops’ lovely texture.  The loofah did not look like a sponge at all-it looked and tasted like glass noodles!  For my enjoyment of the scallops, the price was a bit high.  I definitely thought the veal was a better thought out dish.

 

For dessert…cause ANY great date ends with dessert…we got the Pecan and Salted Butterscotch Beignets with Bourbon Milk Ice

 

 

 

WOWOWOWOWOOW

these were so great.  Warm, dense little bombs of sugar coated, lightly salted, pecan filled goodness.  The bourbon milk ice had the texture of a rock and the alcohol content of Lindsay Lohan…

 

 

I was not feeling it.

 

 

 

But those doughnuts…so  incredibly comforting and Delicious.  Like dinner at Grandma’s…if your grandma were a top rated chef with a Michelin star.

 

Grace wasn’t too keen on these, so you know what I say…MORE FOR ME!

 

We finished with these mignardises from the chef:

 

 

from right to left we have a

 

guava popsicle (naturally sweet, guava licious, could have eaten about 15 of these)

candied ginger(WAAAY too strong)

mint chocolate truffle(like a very decadent thin mint cookie…i liked it real good, yessiree i did)

 

 

The bill was about 120, which was a little bit pricey given the ingredients-while foie and veal are expensive, squid and sweetbreads are certainly not. There were a few missteps in the meal (bourbon ice milk, candied ginger, cooked cucumber), but far more hits (veal, doughnuts, squid, foie gras DUMPLINGS!!!)  This place seems to have gone a little markup happy, but you know what?  The food really was wonderful.  Refined, well portioned, beautifully plated, with sophisticated Asian flavors melding with classical techniques.  It was a great first date place, which is why even though Grace and I went home separately after dinner…I definitely felt like I got lucky ;)

 

Annisa on Urbanspoon

Crif Dogs Review

When you have a free afternoon in the middle of the week, it TOTALLY feels like playing hooky.  I’m talkin no work, no laundry, no world problems to solve, just…you and your desires.  And occasionally, your desires can include things like wieners

 

 

THOSE kind of wieners.  You pervert ;)

 

 

Crif Dogs is a well known hot dog restaurant in NYC.  They are touted as some of the best in this city that is literally teeming with frankfurters, and are known for both the quality of the dogs and the variety of toppings.  They are also supposed to have this super swanky bar called PDT (for please don’t tell) that you enter through a phone booth. Ooh la la!  But I didn’t feel like getting schwasted at 2 pm (for once!), so I settled on the far more casual hot dog restaurant itself

 

 

After you go down a few steps, you enter into a small, dark restaurant, with a counter at which to order, a few tables, and a few counters to stand and eat.  I hear this place gets CRAZY busy on weekend nights, so that is probably where the stand up counters figure in.

 

 

There was also an arcade game, if you are into that sort of thing.  If it was crowded and I had to wait in line, I could easily be into that sort of thing.

 

 

The phone booth entrance to the secret bar.  Very James Bond!  I absolutely want to go back there!

 

 

 

The first dog was the Chihuaha, which was a bacon wrapped dog with avocado and sour cream.

 

Sound weird?  Well it was KILLER!

 

 

 

OMG this was great!  The natural beef and pork hot dog was salty, vaguely spicy, and meaty, and the bacon added a crispy and smokey flavor and texture.  the avocado was buttery and the slick of sour cream cooled the heat the hot dog brought.  The bun was standard, but when everything else is so awesome…who the heck cares about the bun?!!? This was my favorite dog!

 

 

 

We also got the Spicy Redneck-a house dog, bacon wrapped, with chili, cole slaw & jalapeños.  That same spicy, smokey dog with mayonnaise tempered, cooling,  slightly crisp coleslaw and vinegary, biting jalapenos.  And the chili…YEAH DOGGIE!!! This was as close as I have come to finding my beloved Der Wienerschnitzel chili (GAWD I miss California sometimes!!!).  All beef, no beans, tomatoey, thin, cumin filled, savory and spicy goodness.  This chili would be SO KICK ASS on some fries…or…

 

 

some TOTS

 

 

These tator tots kicked Ore Ida’s ASS.  Freshly fried, crispy, greasy, creamy, salty…omg, I have no words for how amazing these were.  These were the KING of the day. Swiped through some ketchup and mustard…next time I will only improve these by ordering some chili on the side and making an amazing little dish all my own.

 

 

 

Yeah we didn’t like these too much

Well, all I can say is-get yourself over here!  We actually ordered another hot dog too, a customizable one, but our flavor combo was nowhere near as great as the dogs this place dreamed up.   Bacon, chili, avocado, TOTS?!  AND you can get beer here.  AND there is a secret bar next door.  AND it is cheap. So yeah…a-MAY-zing.  Get yourself there fast.  And if you see someone eating tator tots with a gigantic ladle and smears of chili all over his/her face…that’s probably me or Bruce Vilanch.  Aww who am I kidding…it’s probably me!

 

Crif Dogs on Urbanspoon

Trestle on Tenth Review

There is something in the air in NYC. And, no, for once I am not talking about the foul smell of the gas of the person walking in front of you.  I am talking about Fall.  Now, I have mixed feelings about this turning of the seasons.  The cons are that it gets dark earlier, there are no more outdoor movies at Bryant Park, and-of course-WINTER is on its’ way…gee, do you think i am a sun worshipper or what?  On the pro side, however, you do get to buy really cute chunky sweaters, enjoy the return of such wonderful television as The Office, and eat that comforting cold weather comfort food.  Apples, root veggies, and carbs-I’m lookin at YOU!  To celebrate this onslaught of autumn deliciousness, I went to a restaurant I have been dying to try for awhile-Trestle on Tenth.

 

 

Describing itself as a Swiss and French restaurant, I would say the restaurant is more seasonal with Swiss influences.  It is a small, streamlined, modern space with a pretty looking garden outback.  It is casually modern and comfortable, with a small bar at the center of the space.

 

 

After being seated quickly, we were brought sourdough bread with unsalted, whipped butter.  YUM-hole filled, sour, stretchy bread with nutty, wheaty crust and some spreadable fat product…does it get any better than that?

 

Oh yes-it DOES get better than that when you upgrade from butter to chicken liver pate and rabbit rilletes for the fat content you spread on the bread.

 

I had never had rabbit-I’m not squeamish about it, I just hadn’t had the chance to try it before.  And, when presented with an opportunity to try a new meat in a presentation that means it was cooked for hours in butter and it’s own fat?  Um, yes please, that’s how I would like my rabbit.

 

And by like, I mean LOOOOVE. The rilletes were this spreadable, mild, meat jam.  Not at all gamey or strong tasting, it tasted almost porcine in its sweetness and mild, fatty flavor.  The addition of some excellent whole grain mustard added sweet and hot to the creamy and gentle flavor profile.  This is DEFINITELY the way to introduce someone to rabbit…I almost forgot I was eating Thumper.

 

And the pate…this wasn’t yo mama’s chopped liver (though heaven knows there is NOTHING wrong with my mama’s chopped liver…I seriously love that stuff).  This was creamy, delicate, rich with a deep, almost mineral-y liver flavor.  I think some sort of sweet wine, like Sauternes, must have been added to the pate to give it a almost heady, elusive flavor, and caramelized onions probably figured in to the sweet background flavor.  It was absolutely on par with pate de foie gras.  I could have eaten this plain, sans bread.

 

 

 

Clearly, I almost did.

 

There were some very good house made pickles, as well as some walnuts and blueberries, on the side, but they were all but irrelevant next to these luscious meat products.

 

We also ordered some oysters.

 

 

 

Though these were fine-certainly fresh and served with some very feisty and horseradish-y cocktail sauce-they were not up to the par that the meat spreads had created.  They were fresh but not outrageously creamy or briny.  they were a little…tasteless?  They just didn’t make me stand up and salute the way a great oyster does.  And yes, I really do stand up and salute for great shellfish.  That’s just the kind of gal I am.  Also, the mignonette sauce was kind of perfume-y tasting.  Too much thyme, perhaps?  Too heavy of a vinegar?  Alas, I shall never know.

 

But fear not, because next, we got these

 

Fried Duck’s necks.  WHAAAA????  Imagine baby back ribs.  Then shrink them.  Then braise them for hours so the meat literally falls off the bone.  Then infuse those ribs with the deep, dark, slightly gamey, rich taste that duck has.  Then DEEP FRY those suckers in garlicky, salty breadcrumbs.  And that is this appetizer.

 

 

 

Yes, you should indeed be jealous.  Picking every inch of tender meat out of the crevices of these little bones is my new favorite activity.  I’m adding it to my facebook page.  Served with a mustard-y garlic aioli, I ate these suckers naked.  Just let that pure, duck-y, fatty flavor engulf my palate.  I already want more.  MORE I SAY!!!

 

 

We also tried roasted beets.  THIS is why I love fall.  These beets were so simple-no foam, gastrique, or fancy artisan cheese.  Just fresh beets, rolled in olive oil and parsley, and roasted until all their sugars developed and they were able to cut with a knife, yet still al dente.  They were sweet, hearty, lush, filling, and just screamed “FALL IS HERE!  WOOHOO!!  GET OUT YOUR STRETCH PANTS AND EAT ME!”

 

 

 

Our last item ordered was pizokel with caramelized onions and gruyere.  If you have ever had spaetzel, you have had pizokel.  Lumpy, toothsome, pasta shaped dumplings.  These were sauteed in butter and onions, and served under a blanket of crusty, sharp gruyere cheese.  Butter, cheese, onions, and pasta…these are the main four food groups, right?  This is something else that I can ONLY eat during times when I know I won’t soon be wearing a bathing suit.  Aww, who am I kidding-I could eat it in the summer too if only I wouldn’t take up all my stomach space with ice cream.

 

The whole meal was about $52, including all that food and two sodas.  I can NOT recommend this restaurant more as a delicious and fairly priced lunch with a date, a foodie friend, or by yourself at the bar.  As a side note, it also seems like it is run by really nice people.  I saw a homeless man quietly walk in and ask if he could get his water bottle refilled.  He was obviously not dangerous to anyone, just a guy down on his luck-and quickly and courteously, the bartender filled his water bottle up, and then the man went on his way.  I doubt anyone else in the crowded restaurant noticed this encounter, but I did.  And it made a difference to me.  I want to patronize a place that is run by responsible and kind Samaritans.  Who make awesome food.  For a fair price.  And it seems like Trestle on Tenth sorta fits that bill!

 

Trestle on Tenth on Urbanspoon

Wundubar Wien

That means wonderful Vienna in German.  And ein means one in German.  And-to misquote the inventress of the striptease, Gypsy Rose Lee-”That concludes my entire performance in German”.  Then she strips down to a sparkly G string and does an exotic dance.  Well, she was getting paid, and I ain’t, so all I’m gonna do is describe a wonderful midday snack I had at Cafe Sabarsky.

 

Cafe Sabarsky is set in the Neue Galerie in a gorgeous old mansion on fifth avenue.   Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt used to live there…if that doesn’t impress you, then you are either A) stupid, or B) really, really rich, and thus someone who should be my friend.  Really.  Call me.  Let’s hang out and buy me a purse.  This is the one I want, for reference:

L.A.M.B. Haswell Leather Handbag

ANYWAY…

Back to this glorious temple of delights.  Because that’s really what it is.  In Austria, there is a charming habit of everyone stopping work or play at around 4 pm and going to a cafe or tea house such as Demel in Vienna.  There, they sit and chat with friends, or read newspapers or books.  They sit for 20 minutes or for hours.  And they rest, recharge, and focus on the rest of the day and what is happening that night.  And, of course, they eat.

 

Cafe Sabarsky really captures this old world charm in a setting that was probably once a sitting room.  It is all dark walls, high ceilings, and small marble topped tables. The moment you walk in, you start humming the Blue Danube Waltz-it really is that lovely and evocative of old time Vienna.

 

This beautiful art deco chandelier hangs in the cafe.  They don’t sell them at Ikea.  I checked.

 

A piano for their cabaret acts Thursday nights-very swanky.

 

A rack with every newspaper you could want.

 

And then there is this.  A marble counter laden with all the sweets a diabetic’s dreams are made of.  Pies, cakes, pastries, tarts, candies, chocolate, coffee, fruit…if you can eat it, they can dream it.  And make it.  And then put it out for you to see which one of these lovely treats you want to order.  To start with.  Because you will probably order more than one.  Unless you are a wimp.

 

Marmie got this elderflower spritzer.  Elderflower (which comes from elderberries) is a sweet and fruity flavor kind of like raspberry-blueberry-pomegranate.  Though I found it way too saccharine when mixed with just club soda, Marmie loved it.  I prefer the flavor it gives the liquor St. Germain.  It makes for an excellent cocktail.  But then…I am a lush.

 

Marmie ordered the openfaced liverwurst sandwich.  Liverwurst is just what it sounds like-beef or duck liver mixed with herbs and spices into a soft sausage like meat.  But there are some people who are weirded out by liver, and I get that.  We live in America-it isn’t a widely eaten food.  So if you are skittish about trying this-PUT ON YOUR BIG GIRL PANTIES, SUCK IT UP, AND TRY THE LIVERWURST!  It has the deep meatiness of a bone in ribeye, the garlic and spice of the sausage on your favorite pizza, and the texture of very creamy goat cheese.  If you have tried it and don’t like it, that is one thing.  I can respect, if not understand, that.  But not to even try it?  Puh-LEEZE!  It’s not going to come back to life and bite you.  Try everything in life!    This was homemade, so it was especially meaty and delicious, with a garlicky, peppery bite.  On tangy sourdough rye bread with a sweet topping of onion jam…there is nothing more savory and satisfying in the world.  Oh, and there was a very nice looking salad.  I say nice looking because I didn’t touch that piddly little thing.  No, like a real Austrian, I saved my room for…

 

The dessert.  O. M. G.  I thought I ordered the fruit tart but I must have ordered my heart’s true desire cause that is what this WAS!  That airy looking white puff?  That is schlag.  No, not whipped cream.  Schlag.  It is unsweetened and tastes like the richest, lightest, dreamiest puff of cream that ever left a cow’s teat.  Yep, I said it.  If I could, i would worship that cow.  Or just order an side order of schlag and eat it as dinner.  Either way.

 

The cake is a buttery, finely crumbed, dense, vanilla scented brick of love.  Set upon a crisp shortbread-like crust and crowned with juicy strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries, the cake was incredibly fulfilling.  The berries had been macerated in sugar, so the juices fairly spilled into the cake, making it doubly moist and sweet with the fruit’s juices.  With some of the schlag, each bite of this treat was moist, crispy, creamy, sweet, tart, fresh, comforting, and vanilla filled.  It was simply a joy to eat, and gone all too fast. Perhaps that was because I ate all the schlag when Marmie went to the bathroom.  Yep. She got one bite, then I stole the rest.  You are forewarned-if you come eat with me, I WILL steal the best bits of the meal and feel no remorse.

Really, the whole meal was nothing less than an imaginary trip to Vienna.  For awhile, i was there on the

 Karntnerstrasse, shopping in boutiques, listening to Mozart on the street, and eating fabulous food in beautiful

 surroundings.  Well, at least one of those things actually happened!  Cafe Sabarsky was beautiful, delicious,

 and VERY fairly priced.  With a menu ranging from breakfast through dinner, a full wine list, and live piano

schlag.  And please…get me that purse :)


Café Sabarsky on Urbanspoon

Luzzo’s Review

Is there anything better than eating pizza after a fun night out?  The only answer to that, of course, is NO!  I mean, unless you go to eat the pizza with a bunch of your friends at a pizza place you have always wanted to try!

 

Luzzo’s is an east village pizza joint that many pizza afficionados swear by. Awesome thin crust pizza topped with premium ingredients in a laid back atmosphere…it sounds like everything I am LOOKING for in a relationship…I mean lunch…it’s so easy to mix the two up, you know?

After an easy trip downtown, we went into a casual, dark restaurant.  There was a tv showing the US open up by the full bar, and a back room with more tables and booths.   This is a place you come with friends and family, not a first date location (unless your first date was a foodie who likes to wear stretch pants, and then just marry that person on the spot!). There was definitely plenty of space and DELICIOUS smells coming out of the kitchen…YUMMMM

A friendly and efficient server took our order and then turned into a camera diva.  He loved it.  I loved it.  We were bonding and i hadn’t even eaten any carbs yet!

 

I didn’t care for the bread.  It had good texture, but the flavor was pure flour and water.  There was no salt, no sourdough taste, nada.  Though some of the excellent house brand olive oil and chili infused olive oil (that stuff was HOT and SPICY…if i am saying that, you know it was great!) helped, it wasn’t worth my stomach space.  Not when cheese laden dough was in our immediate future.

And now, for the main event….

JFDSIOAPFJREWIORFEWIOFJH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That senseless exclamation is the only way to convey my stomach grumbling, saliva producing, teeth gnashing THRILL at seeing and smelling the piping hot Bufala, Salsiccia, and Michele pies set in front of us.

Kate and Ben were ready to dig in too!

The charcoal burning oven had cooked the crisp but not brittle crust to perfection-slighly charred, foldable, supple but strong enough to eat by hand without the toppings falling off.

And what toppings they were!  Sweet, fresh, stringy cheese.  Tangy and tart tomato sauce. And that SAUSAGE…now that sent me to the moon.  Full of red pepper and fennel, the pork sausage was crumbly, sweet, spicy, and filled with the rich fulfillment only pork gives.  Turkey sausage is NOT the same, I don’t care WHAT my rabbi says!

And the Michele pizza-be still my HEART!  This sauceless pizza had prosciutto, mushrooms, mozerella, basil, and truffle pate.  What is truffle pate, you ask? Well, it seems to be thin shavings of pure love and self fulfillment.  That is how amazing the taste is, and the chef was NOT stingy with this luscious stuff. The heat warmed the truffles through until the earthy scent floated up in dreamy, savory wafts.  The salty prosciutto, creamy cheeese, meaty mushrooms, and fresh basil served as backdrops to this star ingredient.  It was freakin exceptional. The prosciutto is of special note here.  Not waxy or dry, as so much lesser quality prosciutto is, this stuff was tender, paper thin, and dissolved in delightruly fatty strips the moment it touched the tongue.  Though I tend to be a tomato sauce lover, this pie was perfect without it. The sauce would have been too bright for such a deep and grounded flavor. This pizza was a dream and I plan on ordering this baby again and again!

This was all excellent pizza.  Not heavily spiced or loaded down with toppings, it seemed to be distinctly Italian.  Where American pizzas tend to be about crazy flavor combinations and huge amounts of toppings, this pizza was showcasing the freshness and tastes of each individual ingredient.  I could really taste the sweet tomatoes, the yeasty crust, the milky cheese, and the pleasantly fatty sausage.   And that intoxicating, umami filled truffle pate…I still taste that in my DREAMS. The flavors didn’t slap you in  the face, but rather invited you in.  We all seemed to eat more slowly here, rather than guzzling down these slices.

Without a doubt,  Luzzo’s was a fantastic time!  The pizza was delicious, the service quick, and the prices very reasonable.  Come down here for some real Italiano style pizza and some real Americano style fun!

Luzzo's on Urbanspoon

 

Snack Restaurant Review

There are times when I am a good blogger and take fabulous pictures of otherwise ordinary food



And there are times when I am a crappy blogger and take horrible pictures of wonderful food




What kind of post do you think this will be?


If you guessed option B, you are so right!  I went to a teensy little restaurant called Snack that I have heard about for ages but never frequented.  By the time I got there and ordered, I was ready to eat my own fists, so the pics i took were horrid…really, i am about to embarrass my family with these atrocities…




It is, like so many places i frequent, teeny and delicious.  It has a Michelin star, is top rated in Zagat, and every foodie from The Amateur Gourmet to the staff  at New York Magazine raves about the authentic, fresh food at this shoebox sized, inexpensive dining space. And it really is worth squishing your ample sized hips into the tiny booth for some of this amazing Greek fare.  





This sad little picture is of my totally transcendent order, the Tuna 1.0 With hard-braised yellowfin tuna with artichokes, tomatoes, cucumbers, portabello mushrooms, scallions and shaved viahotiri cheese in a lemon vinaigrette on ciabatta bread



Let me tell you something.  This is-without a doubt-the BEST TUNA SANDWICH I HAVE EVER HAD!  I am one of those folks who, though I love mayo, can’t STAND creamy fish.  Fish should be flaky,not creamy. The thought of mayonnaise laden fish stirred into a paste on squishy white bread makes me want to do this:



Yep-GAG!


But this tuna-gently poached until it is just cooked through-was left in full, meaty chunks.  I could taste the sea, the savory flavor, and the salt in each bite.  The portobello mushrooms brought in meatiness and earthiness, and the dressing was vinegary and tart.  The tomatoes were sweet, the cukes refreshing, and the artichoke hearts soft and full of that vinegar flavor.  The scallions were inspired-they had the gentle bite of onion with none of the abrasive harshness-i am SO using scallions in my tuna sandwiches from now on.  The cheese-which I have NEVER used with tuna- was not at all overpowering, just added a subtle and salty sharpness to the dish.  The flavor and delicate, semi-hard texture reminded me of Grana Padano cheese. And the ciabatta was so fresh it tore neatly with the teeth-no need to saw through layers of rock hard dough here.



Please ignore my horrid picture.  And if you very smartly decide to eat here,  leave your claustrophobia at home.  For about $12 and change, i got the freshest, lightest, most satisfying sandwich that i could imagine.  It perfectly melded sea and earth, tart and sweet, light and meaty.  And this baby was HUGE-i def ate half there, and half for dinner that night.  So if you want one of the best tuna sandwiches out there, go to Snack…and if you want to see a better photographer than me, check out Diane Arbus.  But she doesn’t take as many pics of food porn as I do…hey, we all have our shortcomings ;)


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