FPB Flashback

*I am getting married this week – Wow! I am working, taking care of  my small family, and also tying programs and please heaven let me have time to get a pedicure. This week is going to be cray-cray. In light of that fact, today I am featuring one of my oldie-but-goodie posts that no one got to read when I posted them because…well…I think I had 47 readers. Enjoy!*

Bakery opening!  Woohoo!!! Is there anything quite so thrilling as entering a bakery?  The savory scents of butter and flour in the air?  The chocolate and fruit glistening before you?  A whole place devoted to CARBS and DESSERTS???

…ANYWAY…

 

Francois Payard Bakery recently opened in Soho, and when I was walking by before lunch, I popped in.  Because what is a better appetizer than sweets?  Am I right? 

 Payard is a very well respected French pastry chef with expensive and luxurious pastry shops all over the world. It is not unusual for a creation of his to go for over $60 a pop.  Yikes! But this new incarnation is a much more casual, relaxed, and inexpensive one.  Flavor stays, expense goes.  Me likey.

 

 

 

 

 

It is a small space, but well laid out, with a glass pastry case lining one wall and a few small tables facing it.

 

You can also see the bakers at work through the plate glass wall!  I love seeing bakers and chefs doing their thing-to me it is really seeing an artist at work.

 The pastries all look gorgeous and the smell in that shop was DIVINE-it was reminiscent of a time before Splenda was part of our vernacular.  Oh, sweet memories.

 There was a huge selection of savory goods too-creamy quiches, cheese laden sandwiches, and even pissaladiere-my FAVORITE use of caramelized onions!  But I had my eye set on one thing and one thing only:

 The coffee macaron

 

A macaron is a cookie made out of egg white, almonds, sugar, and whatever flavoring you like-anything from plain old vanilla to passion fruit to chocolate chili!  Then you take two of those cookies and sandwich them together with a rich ganache-it can be a different flavored ganache, complimentary to the cookie flavor, or it can be the same flavor ganache.  These cookies are crispy, light, very sweet, and very rich all at the same time.  People are obsessed with them. They are the Justin Bieber of the cookie world.

They are often small, like the size of Nilla wafers.  This was closer to a whoopie pie in size.  NICE.  And the taste?

 Oh sweet Caffeine Deities, bring me to your lair and let me live with you. This was COFFEE! Rich, deep, sweet with butter and sugar, slightly salty from the almonds, and just barely bitter from a true, well roasted coffee bean.  Seriously…these were to DIE for.  Taste wise at least.  Texturally…this was not the macaron I am used to.  Fluffy and soft versus light and crispy, this did lack the necessary crunch that makes a macaron a macaron.  But the flavor was really so delicious, I can overlook that.  The ganache was LITERALLY the stuff of dreams.  Thick and rich as nutella, powerful and flavorful as an Italian espresso…this was some seriously outstanding ganache.

 Not a cheap place-$4 for a macaron-but what do I always say?  Ya get what ya pay for,  kid!  And here you pay for world class ingredients, made fresh every day, right in front of your eyes.  My only regret about this place is that I didn’t get 2 macarons.  Will I ever learn?

 

François Payard Bakery on Urbanspoon

 

Sensational Room Service at The Trump SoHo

Bachelorette trips are a thing now.

Did you know that?

Not a bachelorette party…bachelorette trips. We are talking anything from a long weekend in New Orleans to a week-long trip to an all-inclusive resort in the Dominican Republic. We are talking 8 – 15 gals shelling out for plane tickets, hotel rooms, bars, restaurants, wine tastings, trashy clothes, and wi-fi in the room.

I just didn’t have enough energy to plan that or enough faith to let anyone else plan it.

But just because I had a traditional bachelorette out on the town didn’t mean that I didn’t have a getaway that weekend.

My incredibly cool sister took me away on a mini staycation. We stayed at a chic, cool hotel, had a spa day, and generally did sister stuff for the 48 hours surrounding the bachelorette shindig.

And we ate a TON of room service.

Expect a full write up of the Trump SoHo soon, but the room service needs its own post. It’s phenomenal. Better than the St. Regis, better than The Plaza, and on par with the Mandarin Oriental. Everything we ordered was excellent:

photo 2 (22) A burger ordered at 2 AM was delivered in 30 minutes. Seared to an ideal medium rare with a minerally, rich taste. It’s extremely beefy – a bit dense for my taste, but still juicy and well seasoned. Order it on the crisp English muffin or chewy/soft pretzel bun, and do me proud and get it with blue cheese melted on top. It’s enough to fill you up for the day or sop up the booze at night, but not so big that it gives you an overly filled, leaden feeling.
photo 3 (14) The continental breakfast. The pastries are so-so (muffins) to crave-worthy (The fluffy cheese Danish with warm, sweet cream cheese filling), but the fruit is a STANDOUT. Fresh, juicy, and sweet - where the hell do they get grapefruits that taste like they are dipped in sugar and pineapple that reminds me of Hawaii? The Donald might have some fake hair, but dude has real fruit connections.

photo 4 (15) Caesar salad

Not a full on kale caesar salad, just a few small, tender leaves added into the mix for texture and a more earthy taste. The dressing is aggressively salty and savory – not like you need a gallon of water after eating it or anything, but this isn’t watered down mayonnaise. This is a lemony, cheesy dressing that clings to the crisp romaine and hearty kale. There are small slivers of anchovy throughout, adding their umami taste to the salad. Fresh croutons, no bigger than a baby’s pinky nail complete the dish.

photo 5 (7) There is an entire eggs Benedict section of the menu…did y’all know that something like that even existed? Plain, Mexican, Norweigian…the choices go on and on. The classic comes on perfectly toasted bread with light hollandaise sauce, crispy home fries, and peeled asparagus.

They PEEL THE ASPARAGUS.

If that doesn’t scream class, there is also two ply toilet paper in the bathroom.
photo 1 (19) Club sandwich

I’m somewhat of a club sandwich connoisseur. I have had them everywhere from California to Rome, from cruise ships to Jewish camp (turkey bacon just ain’t the same). I love a club sandwich. And I have NEVER had one as good as the one I ate here. The trick is using smoked chicken instead of the traditional turkey – such a simple swap but an inspired one. Chicken naturally has a more mild, delicate flavor and texture that blends with the other ingredients instead of dominating them. Crisp bacon, buttery avocados, fresh veggies, and the thinnest white toast imaginable. All it needed was  a healthy dollop of mayonnaise. And those fries – sensational. Hot, crispy, and well seasoned with Parmesan and herbs. So many times, room service fries arrive cold, stale, or – the worst offence, in my book – soggy. These are hot, crisp, and deliciously seasoned each and every time.

Who needs tropical beaches and foot long drinks?

I had room service all weekend long. Happy bachelorette to me.

Sexy Mexican at Toloache

Another day, another chance to eat Mexican food, amirite?

When I was invited to come try the menu at Toloache Soho, complete with margarita pairing, I was like…OKAY!

And that’s it for the valley girl portion of the review, I promise!

The tasting menu was long and winding, so instead of featuring the  (very few) misses, I’m going to focus on the hits!

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Spicy guacamole (in the top right corner)

Maybe it isn’t the newest thing on the block but it might just be the best. The slow, smoky burn of chipotle with buttery avocado and salty cotija cheese is the ideal dip for freshly fried, almost saltless tortilla chips. The complimentary salsa is thick and smooth,with a fruity, very mild heat – perfect for those who are a little scared of spicy foods.

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Crispy tostada topped with avocado pure, crabmeat, sea urchin, and Oaxacan peanut salsa.

My favorite bite of the night, no question. The sea urchin is a little on the oceanic side, but I love that – if you only like mild Santa Barbara uni, this isn’t for you. For me, the salty uni with the sweet crab and crunchy, savory peanut salsa is a  dynamite starter. It’s maybe the best iteration of Mexican seafood that I have ever had. Of course, the tiny tuna ceviche taco you see ain’t so slouchy either!

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Brisket taco with horseradish crema (lower lefthand corner)

Mm-mm good. Very tender, with a strong beefy taste – not too many spices here to take away form the pure, mineral-y taste of the beef. The horseradish crema is extremely mild, but enough to accentuate the beef’s texture and cut through the fat.

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Carne Asada

This is the stuff. This skirt steak is cooked perfectly – that’s not an exaggeration, it is textbook perfect. Charred on the outside with a pink, tender interior that is neither raw nor chewy – how do they do that so well? It’s marinated in something sweet that goes well with the best gratin I have had outside of France. It’s classically made – thin, tender potatoes in a creamy, cheesy sauce that is equal parts gooey cheese and delightful burnt edges. The mole is way too bitter and heavily spiced for my tastes – some mole, like this, tends to taste like tobacco to me – but the accompanying guacamole is delicious.

photo 3 (7)

Roasted Pineapple Tres Leches Cake

Get this. Do not be swayed by the excellent churros nor the appealingly jiggly flan. Go straight for this – it’s pina colada in cake form. Intensely sweet pineapple, made even sweeter than usual because it is roasted, sits atop a cloud of whipped cream. The cake, soaked in heavy cream, milk, and sweetened condensed milk, breaks apart if you look at it the wrong way. It’s sweet, creamy, and rich.

That’s what she said.

Toloache excels at meats and most desserts. Stick to them and you will be pleased. Oh, and that uni tostada. And those chips are really swell…

What am I saying? You can’t go wrong here. It’s busy and trendy – perfect for a date or a night out with a best friend. 

Oh, and why didn’t I mention the margaritas? Because I couldn’t choose just one to feature. Every single one was top notch. Fresh, potent, and all too drinkable.

And those margaritas are why Mexican food is ALWAYS a good idea. 

Disclaimer: I was here for a press meal. My meal was covered by the restaurant. I was not required to write a review and my opinions are my own. 

A Less Than Perfect Valentine’s Day Meal at Public

I have been incredibly lucky in my Valentine’s Day dining experiences. I have dined high on the hog. I have slummed it and enjoyed it. And I have always, somehow, gotten my money’s worth in both food and special atmosphere.

Well, don’t worry if you are feeling jealous. It seems as if the lucky streak has ended. I had a seriously disappointing Valentine’s Day meal at Public.

I have wanted to come here for a long time. It’s well-regarded as an Australian inspired Michelin starred restaurant with a chef who excels at cooking game meat. It’s also supposed to have a great bunch, and its website promises a super romantic atmosphere.

I could get down with some romance.

However…this isn’t what I would call romantic. Dark and candlelit, yes. Also  jammed in like sardines with a deafening din and such narrow aisles that I was nervous about servers bumping into my chair all night. It is very hip and totally fun – but not what I would call romantic. Sorry, not at all.

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The bread sounds great but it is standard. The Aleppo pepper is literally undetectable in the cottony roll, but the orange foccacia comes out better with a strong citrus aroma and tangy flavor.

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Pear and lavender gazpacho with smoked tofu and truffle oil

Better than I thought it would taste. The lavender is very mild just adding a hint of floral scent to uplift the smoky, meaty taste of the tofu. The truffle oil adds another savory level to the sweet, fruity aroma of the soup. However,this lacked flavoring for – there were no spicy notes, too much smoke in the tofu, and it was generally boring.

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Roasted carrots with cilantro, avocado, and Meyer lemon confit

Enjoyable. The carrots are sweet and covered in nutty sesame seeds. the avocado is buttery, a nice texture juxtaposition to the tender-crisp carrots. The lemon really perks up the dish, adding zest and brightness to such a grounded, earthy dish. The cilantro is a very good addition, keeping the dish from being to one note. This is good, but not destination worthy.

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Wagyu carpaccio with fried polenta and truffle aioli

By far the best dish of the night. Mm, mm good the beef is thinner than tissue paper, so well marbled that it is pale pink, not red at all. The fat actually melts on the tongue, with the meat following up with a gently mineral taste. The fried polenta is a hot, crunchy counterpart and the truffle aioli releases its heady scent thanks to the polenta’s heat. This is what I want all the dishes to taste like – it’s well seasoned and varied in texture. It lets the raw ingredients shine while still providing interesting cooking techniques. It is a definite high point.

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Lamb with Bone Marrow Toast, White Beans  and Romanesco Sauce

This is forgettable. The lamb is tender but not grassy or deep the way that lamb can be. The beans are buttery but where is the creamy, warming, hearty nature of them? The romanesco has some salt and garlic, but mostly parsley…who wants a mouthful of that?

I really can’t remember a whole lot about it, and no I wasn’t drunk. I just ate so much awesome food this last weekend and I can’t distinguish this dish.

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Sticky chocolate cake with milk foam

A very strong finish to an up and down night. The cake is indeed sticky and dense, taking more like milk chocolate than the bitter, dark stuff. It’s like a mixture between a brownie and sticky toffee pudding, with soft innards and delightfully crunchy, caramelized edges. Teh milk foam is a creamy, light component that is a fun play on vanilla ice cream.

If this restaurant didn’t get so much hype, I would have liked it more. If it hadn’t advertised itself as a cozy, romantic spot instead of a buzzy hip one, I would have liked it more. If i hadn’t had other wonderful Valentine’s Day meals out, I would have enjoyed it more. But it did. And I have. I can’t excuse a restaurant for a merely okay meal and okay service when they are charging  a premium, no matter how busy the night. Because I have had exemplary food and service on Valentin’s Day. And I hope that Public is capable of more – I feel that with the Wagyu and the dessert, there may be hope – it will just be awhile before I get up the nerve to go back and see.

Five Points – Always in Season

This piece originally appeared in Whisked Foodie

The most important dining movement in the last 10 years hasn’t been tail-to-nose whole beast feasts. It hasn’t been veganism, and it hasn’t been the raw food trend. It has been eating seasonally.

People started to realize that strawberries taste sweetest in the summer and that game tastes the richest and funkiest in the late fall. This idea of eating with the seasons instead of just eating whatever is available without paying attention to what is in season plays into locavorism and supporting local farmers. Luckily, it also plays into taste. Such is the premise behind Five Points.

peels pizza beef stew polenta vandaag rockog 162

Five Points, a NoHo staple since 1999, is the brainchild of chef and owner Marc Meyer of Hundred Acres and Cookshop. Meyer has been a proponent of eating seasonally since the restaurant opened, and though his menu has a few perennial staples, most of it changes several times a year. There is also a plethora of daily specials, including a rotating raw bar.

The restaurant, named for the part of town in which it is located, carefully walks the line between hip and comfortable. The main dining room is dark and buzzy, but there is a large anteroom with a skylight that lends itself towards parties or a brunch. The restaurant gets quite busy at peak dinner times, where it is great for a group of friends catching a casual dinner or for a couple enjoying drinks and snacks at the bar.

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Start with the famous potato pizza, made with sliced Yukon gold potatoes, fontina, and white truffle oil. The crust is cracker thin and properly charred on the bottom, contrasting with the extremely creamy and soft fontina cheese. The thinly sliced potatoes are butter, with the skins providing a bit of pleasant chew next to the soft flesh. The touch of truffle oil is perfect—its heady scent reaches the nostrils before the mild taste of the pizza reaches your mouth. This is the ultimate potato lover’s pizza.

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Then go for a seasonal entree, like fresh fluke with rye berries, strawberries, red onion, jalapeno, walnuts, mint, and yogurt or the ever popular Amish Roasted Chicken, which can come with anything from creamy polenta to crisp french fries and butter lettuce doused in herbaceous Green Goddess dressing.

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The prices are fair, the food is delicious, and the service is efficient but also convivial. Though there is a heavy hand with the salt, the food is just so delicious that the dehydration that follows is worth it. When you dine at Five Points, you aren’t just eating a meal, you are eating a philosophy. It just also happens to be extremely tasty.

Get Downtown to Lafayette

I’ll cut to the chase – Lafayette is awesome.

I like it even better than The Dutch.

Why doesn’t Lafayette get more buzz? The atmosphere is a livelyy, spacious brasserie that’s more casual than Balthazar but nicer than Marseille. I would love to come here for brunch or for a birthday lunch with friends.  The menu is full of playful French classics – just like all of Andrew Carmellini’s restaurants, it is rooted in tradition but loaded with fun and personal twisted.

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Bread

Don’t miss it. The man takes his carbs really seriously. You can spread it with the soft, creamy butter or you can eat the tangy, slightly burnished crust alone. It’s phenomenal.

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Beet salad with curried cashews and yogurt

Yes, yes, yes! This is a well done salad. The beets are roasted until they are tender but not mushy and are extremely sweet. They are served with this tart yogurt and this fresh, earthy lettuce. The kicker where are the rings of perfectly pickled onions – they are piquant and bright against the other flavors. Though I didn’t like the cashews (can’t help it, I hate all cashews), this salad is very well portioned and is actually enough for a light meal with some of the very good bread alongside.

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Steak tartare

Very good, if a bit low on heat. Luckily, there is a bottle of Tabasco provided to up the spice quotient. Other than that, this is exemplary. It’s well portioned and made with soft, coarsely ground beef. It’s layered with classic flavors of pickles and served with as swath of mustard on the side and a wonderfully creamy quail egg yolk on top. It’s nothing groundbreaking but it’s super satisfying.

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Pumpkin brulee tart with pomegranate and whipped creme fraiche

The standout of the meal. A warm, whipped pumpkin pie underneath a shattering sugar crust. It’s scattered with tart, fresh bursts of pomegranate and plated with very dense, creamy whipped creme fraiche. It’s a really fun twist on pumpkin pie and I couldn’t stop eating it. This dessert isn’t only recommended, it’s unmissable.

I just love Lafayette! The service is great, the prices are what you would expect to pay at a Carmellini restaurant, and the food is just wonderful! I can’t even believe that I’m sharing this secret with you but, hey, – get there asap!

Frozen S’mores – The Next Cronut?

I’m posting this blog just in case this becomes the next cronut.

I want it on record that I had it (almost) first.

Dominique Ansel, about whom I have raved before on this blog, obviously took the world by storm with the cronut.

I haven’t tried one of these croissant/doughnut cream filled hybrids yet because I have NO desire to get up at 4:30 AM for a chance to eat one of these things (no,that is not an exaggeration. And on my recent visit to the bakery, they sold out of cronuts a few people before me in line, and those people had been online for 3 hours. Another girl walked in and proudly pronounced that she had just sold her cronut for $30. Really?!). There are imitators popping up all over the world, it has been featured on TV and the radio, and it’s poised to become the next queen of the world.

Obviously, the future king is George.

So, now that Ansel is the darling of the culinary world, I listen when he creates something new. And I go try it.

At 10:30 AM, because no time is a bad time for s’mores. 

pix 015 After you order your frozen s’more, you wait for it to be torched to crispy, brulee-d perfection.

pix 017 Frozen S’more

Here she is, in all of her sugary beauty. A huge, sticky marshmallow burnished to a nutty, caramelly finish. It isn’t as dark or bubbly as most marshmallows toasted over an open fire, but it intensely buttery and sweet. It’s also quite thick – you will have to chomp through a bit before you get to the filling.

pix 018 The filling…layered with deep, crunchy chocolate wafer crumbles around frozen custard. The vanilla bean flecked custard is rich and creamy next to the sweet stickiness of the marshmallow. The finished effect of the perfect bite of this is crunchy, sticky, sweet, creamy, cold, and hot.

Try saying that three times fast.

The frozen s’more is a fantastic treat! It’s a little pricey, but it’s made to order with quality ingredients and the thing is huge – it comes to you on a foot long skewer! I really do miss the melty, ooey-gooey component of warm chocolate, but there really isn’t a way to do that without the whole interior melting.

And this IS called the frozen s’more.

And when these start selling on the black market for $40 a pop, remember…you saw it here (almost) first!

The Indescribable Corner Bistro Burger

There are some experiences that defy description:

The first time you hold a newborn baby.

Crossing the stage and receiving your diploma.

The way the sun feels on the first really warm day of Spring.

And going to Corner Bistro on a Saturday night to have one of the best burgers in town.

pix 090 I’m talking about the original Corner Bistro, not the lovely clean, easy-to-access one in Long Island City. This one is dark, dingy, and as crowded as a John Mayer concert circa 2002. People stand in line for an hour or more, unless they can grab bar seats. Be sure to get in the back of the line unless you want a stern rebuke. It is hot, loud, and sweaty. The scent of sizzling meat and beer fills the arena. People are hungry, tired, energetic, and ebullient.

It’s really quite perfect.

pix 094 As you inch up to the front of the line. you can see burgers being cooked in a large, salamander-like device. The meat goes in as rosy domes and comes out burnished a robust brown. 
pix 096 Bistro Burger

Very much like the one in Long Island City. Thick and juicy with a thickly charred crust and a really deep, meaty flavor. Crisp bacon, tangy american cheese, and a thick ring of onions. But this tastes more real somehow. Darker, wilder, more authentic. Maybe it’s due to the waiting around or the gin and tonics in my system, but this is always a fantastically satisfying burger. It’s hearty enough to be fancy but cheap enough to be lowbrow.
pix 097 Fries

Shoestring. Mouth-burningly hot. Perfectly salty and perfect IN ketchup.

pix 095 You are going to wait forever to sit. When you do get a table, you’re gonna be crammed in there like sardines in a tin. The service is fast, more than competent, and if you are sitting you had better damned well be eating and drinking.

And with some of the greatest late night burgers in the city, you will be.

Corner Bistro…so great that words can’t really do it justice.

Corner Bistro on Urbanspoon

Dominique Ansel’s Dreamy Caneles

I’m going to Paris this summer and I can’t wait. The sights, the streets, the shopping…and the food. Oh the food. There is nothing like eating in France. You can cook the same recipes here in the US, but the ingredients just aren’t the same. Sometimes, though, when I am lucky, I taste something that really reminds me of Paris.

pix 025 Like every single thing that I ate at Dominique Ansel Bakery. This tiny bakery, with a few tables and backyard garden, is the namesake of the baker who made his name with Daniel Boulud. He is known for his rich, authentic Parisian pastries and delicious desserts. He is also known for his croissant-doughnut mashup called the cronut, but I didn’t wake up early enough to snag one of those.

pix 026 In fact, lots of his pastries run out early in the day, so set the alarm clock if you have your heart set on something particular. Don’t worry, the bakery sells made to order madeleines throughout the day.

pix 027 Blackberry Pavlova

Frankly, this is wonderful. Airy meringue sandwiching rich pastry cream, tart blackberries, and some concentrated syrup so sweet and jammy that it is a pure burst of summer. This is light but very sweet. Elegant and fulfilling, ideal after a rich lunch. 

pix 029 Flourless chocolate cookie

This is just an excuse to eat a personal sized cake. Dense and fudgy with gooey chocolate chips melting even at room temperature. It’s sweet, but not overly so. It has a warm, deep flavor that only comes from truly high quality chocolate. It’s decadent but not too much to handle on your own.

pix 028 Canele

Do you like bread pudding? If you do, then you will love this canele. The thickly burnished crust is sugary but not just sweet – it also has a slightly bitter edge that makes it really complex and interesting.

pix 030 The interior is eggy and soft, almost melting in the mouth in contrast to the stiff outer crust. It is heady with vanilla and the faint backnote of rum. It isn’t overtly alcoholic tasting or heavy  - it’s light and custardy, a wonderful blend of different tastes and textures. This is better than many caneles I have had in Paris and was the hit of my visit. 

Dominique Ansel is a slice of Paris right in Soho. It is fairly priced (though not cheap) and the  pastries are just perfect. I would absolutely go back, and plan to.

It might just hold me over till summer vacation. 

Dominique Ansel Bakery on Urbanspoon

The Dutch – 2 Years in and Holding Up Perfectly!

Let’s have lunch like it’s 2011!

pix 014 That’s the year that Andrew Carmellini opened The Dutch in Soho and it became the hottest joint in town. Casual but hip, the kind of place that is great to impress a date or business colleagues as long as they are true foodies.  This chef, straight off his success at Locanda Verde, had the golden touch. You could barely get in the door by 5 pm, let alone any really prime dinner hour. Two years later, it’s not quite as difficult to get a reservation but is the food still as good?

pix 015 Chipotle cornbread with butter

Good but not amazing. A little dry and crumbly, with sweet corny flavor and some smoky heat throughout the bread.  A  fine way to whet the appetite, but nothing more.

pix 018 Uni with espetlette pepper and pickled shimeji mushrooms

Here is where the culinary fireworks started. Smooth, briny uni is refreshing but sweet at the same time. A slight kick from the pepper builds to a quite tingly heat, tempered by the uni’s creaminess and the firm, tangy pickled mushrooms. Pairing the uni with such earthy flavors is really inspired - it brings a whole other dimension to the food. I loved this dish and would absolutely recommend it. 
pix 020 Hamachi with American caviar, lemon, sorrel, and yogurt

Another winner – The Dutch really knows how to combine ingredients to let each one bolster the other. The buttery fish, the salty caviar, the tangy lemon, and the creamy yogurt make a very memorable dish in a city rife with crudos and sashimi dishes. The caviar is particularly excellent here – it is briny and punchy, and adds a little pop of texture that jazzes up the dish. Add to that the tiny dices of asian pear and croutons and you have a dish that is mild enough for people who are wary of fish but interesting enough for those who (like me!) could eat it all day every day.

pix 022 Steak tartare with grilled ramps, radishes, and mustard dressing

An excellent tartare, if not a particularly unique one. The beef is obviously high quality – tender and iron-y with a clean, imerally taste and some pearly streaks of fat. The mustardy dressing is piqant and strong, standing up to the rather sweet radishes and the mild grilled ramps. Served with grilled seedy, grain-y rad, it is tasty and worthwhile, it just isn’t as stand out as the other dishes I had.
pix 024 Malfatti with Spring peas, bacon, and broccoli rabe pesto

Stop the presses. This is absolutely crave-worthy. The best pasta dish I have had in so long because it is so wonderfully seasonal. The peas are so sweet and grassy. The bacon is more like lardons- crunchy and soft and fatty and salty. The cheese atop is salty an sharp and that pesto…oh that pesto. It’s lightly garlicky and thick with olive oil and bitter enough to make the peas taste even sweeter than they already are. The pasta is really yellow and rich with egg yolks. It’s thick and substantial, with an al dente texture that stands up to the rich pesto. This is a must order dish, and since it’s so seasonal, it may be off the menu soon!

The Dutch is a totally great, destination worthy restaurant. The vibe is still very cool and foodie-friendly, you can wear jeans, and the service is knowledgeable without being abrasive. The price point is high but fair and the food is really unique and tasty – be sure to get a few selections off the raw bar or crudo.

After all this time The Dutch still brings the heat.

The Dutch on Urbanspoon