Category Archives: Food Porn

Birthday monster eats

I have a twin who was born a few years and about 9 months after me.

This is what we ate his birthday week, which also happened to coincide with the hurricane that tore up the Northeast.

Uni special from Taro
On Wednesday, sushi delivery from Taro. After several days of homecooking, pizza, and leftovers, we decided to get delivery. We ordered the sushi dinner for two and the uni special. Normally this is just two pieces, one from CA and one from ME. Tonight they had uni sashimi in the uni shell. Unfortunately, it was rancid and tasted of iodine overdose.
The other uni was fine, but it left a bad taste in my mouth.

Thursday night, we had a drink at Tooker Alley while waiting for our table at Bar Corvo. We’ve learned to stick to the pastas there, as the entrees usually fall short.
We started with the roasted beet and ricotta salad and “crispy beef tongue.” Which was basically fried pieces of beef tongue, crispy on the outside and soft and juicy on the inside, served with horseradish-black pepper aioli. Seriously one of the best things I’ve eaten in a while. If you are around, GO THERE. ORDER THIS.
We also had the semolina gnocchi with oxtail ragu, which was baked like a mini casserole. The gnocchi was soft and polenta-like, ragu fatty and rich.
To contrast this we had the cavatelli with wild mushrooms and kale, accented with lemon.
No pictures – too dark to bother.

Lamb Kimchi Chigae
On Friday I made kimchi chigae, with lamb. We had leftover dashi (bonito and kombu boiled in water, then strained – the base of many Japanese soups) and tofu, as well as kimchi from Mimi’s mom.
I browned some garlic, then cut up the lamb rounds into small pieces and browned it in a pot along with the bone pieces. I added shiitake mushrooms cut into thick slices as well as the bottom (root) sections of a bunch of scallions and a drizzle of sesame oil. Then I added the dashi (about a quart) and two more quarts of water. After bringing it to a boil I added a huge scoop of miso, a couple of handfuls of kimchi, and firm tofu cut into large cubes. Salt and white pepper as needed. I simmered this for about 45 minutes and served it over rice with some chopped scallions on top.
As expected, the lamb taste was a bit strong, but not overpowering. A really good, hearty soup for this new cooler weather we’re having.

Ryan's bday dim sum
Birthday dim sum – salt & pepper squid, veggie-pork-peanut dumplings, beef tendons, char siu sa, shumai, turnip cakes, tofu fa, egg custard…

Bone Marrow & Oxtail Marmalade at Blue Ribbon Brooklyn

Dinner at Blue Ribbon
…And birthday dinner at Blue Ribbon in Park Slope. We had reservations at Quality Meats in midtown but with the transportation situation we decided to stay on foot.
Bone marrow with oxtail marmalade and Greek salad to start; NY strip, steak tartare, and kanpachi usuzukuri for dinner. Creme brulee for dessert. With all the usual alcoholic accompaniments.
Not mind blowing but solid.
I have to add here that we were also seated next to the most annoying, loudmouthed, crass individual. We could hear her side of the conversation word for word, and she tried talking to us a couple of times, even though we were not very receptive to her drunken advances. To say the least, it was uncomfortable.
We ended the night by heading to the theater on Court St. in downtown Brooklyn to catch RZA’s The Man with the Iron Fists – stupidly entertaining, as expected.

Football food
Brunch at Tom’s (the usual corned beef has though this time with carcinogen-laced burnt up homefries) and a football snack of crostini topped with butter-cucumber-English Tickler cheddar and Dijon-duck rillettes from BKLYN Larder.
Ending the night with leftovers, The Walking Dead, Boardwalk Empire, and knitting. This past week I’ve made two hats and am working on making our Christmas stockings and some knit trivets. It’s hibernation time.

Happy birth week, Ryan.

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The food we eat

I can’t believe it’s the end of summer already. There’s a lot of stuff that we’ve eaten that wasn’t really worth mentioning…or mentioning AGAIN (Hi, Talde!) and also I’ve just been lazy to post. Apologies  but not like there’s a gaping hole in your life or anything. Stuff we’ve been eating lately:

Flounder en brodo, miso corn
Farmer’s market dinner: flounder with roasted heirloom tomatoes and onions, miso corn, parsley rice.

Brisketlab with Mimi and Ryan
Brisket, pickles, cole slaw, and Six Point beer at Daniel Delaney’s Brisketlab.

No 7 4th Bday
The spread at No 7‘s 4th Birthday dinner – a sampling of favorites from the past four years. My favorites: spaghetti squash salad, fried chicken, and brussels sprouts.

Our home at Boatel
Our home for a night at Boatel, located in the Far Rockaways. I’d booked this a couple of months in advance and so had no idea that the following day a tornado would touch down at Breezy Point. It’s at the other end of the island but as far as I know, we were the closest. Yeeee!

We arrived after sunset – Mimi and I had planned the menu. She brought watermelon, 2 lbs of Italian sausage from Eataly, and buns. I made my red cabbage slaw with marinated Bulgarian sheep’s milk feta from BKLYN Larder and toasted walnuts. I used the oil that the feta was marinated in (with rosemary) to make the dressing. It really made a difference. Now that we are on our own we can buy the good quality olive oil without worrying that a nasty Gremlin is going to use it up and not replace it. We also grilled some corn. And that was a very good, simple dinner.

Chilequiles at Rockaway Taco
The next morning we went to Rockaway Taco for breakfast and had chilequiles. Delicious! Putting this on the list of things we need to make.

Pesce en brodo
On a rare trip into Manhattan, we bought bathroom things and headed to Eataly for dinner ingredients. Cod, Manila clams, and shrimp. Some heirloom tomatoes, basil, garlic. Ryan made pesce en brodo (seafood in broth) and we made crostini with olive bread I’d bought previously.

Howard's Peanut Noodles
Howard’s Peanut Noodles at Mission Chinese. We finally got to try this place the weekend we moved. Got some Chinatown massages, then headed over just before they opened. We were seated in the first round and ordered the Mouthwatering Chicken (too spicy, and the Sichuan peppercorns altered our tastebuds in unsavory ways), cold peanut noodles with pickled mustard greens (delicious!), Salt Cod Fried Rice (a childhood favorite), and Pork Jowl with Radishes (good but the sauce lacked flavor/seasoning). Would love to go back and try some other dishes.

Il Lab
After Chinese food, a trip around the corner to Il Laboratorio, one of my favorite NYC spots ever. Pear sorbetto and Amaretto gelato are my go-tos.

We are currently on our second day in SF. I’ve been planning this shit for months now – we have a Google map and spreadsheet all centered around eating. Stay tuned for notes about AQ, House of Prime Rib (my brother’s bday spot), Burma Superstar, oyster shucking at Hog Island, eating our way through wine country, and more. Woop woop!

The death of me

Happy new year
I think I’ve told this story about 500 hundred times already. Ryan and I met last year. But before that I’d been a pretty regular customer of No 7 Sub at The Ace Hotel, where he ran the kitchen. I had a boyfriend at the time. I’d come in at least once or twice a month, and at some point started getting free cookies in my bag. The first time it happened, I thought it was a mistake and they’d given me someone else’s order. But then it happened again. And again. At work we started a joke and started calling him “No 7 Boyfriend.” But I had no idea who it was! I thought it was Dave, the expediter. And I was like “Nooo, not my type.”

One day my coworker/friend T came with me, intent on finding out who the mystery cookie person was (I’d already broken up with my boyfriend by then). Well, it was Ryan. Finally last May (this is 6 months after I found that first cookie in my bag, by the way) I went on a day that my office had dubbed “Mad Men Friday” where everyone was to dress up and drink martinis all day. I went to get a couple of subs with a coworker and in my bag was the usual cookie…this time with a business card attached to it for “Lt Chef Commander Ray Ray Steele, Sous Chef/Timecop.” And on the back, a note that said “We should be friends.”

WTF? I WAS SO MAD.
Because I loved those stupid sandwiches so much and now I could never go back there. OR I’d have to beg my coworkers to bring one back for me. Either way, he’d messed everything up. Well I got nice and drunk from red wine and scotch during happy hour and decided to call him and yell at him. Except he was in DC with family eating a huge tasting menu at Komi. So I left him a not-so-mean message. He called me back the next day and we ended up talking for a long time, mostly about the meal he’d eaten the night before. And then he called me the day after that. Etc. We got along really well….You know how old jeans feel? Like that.

Everything has always revolved around food and what we’re going to eat next. As it should be. Food was always central in my childhood, from weekly dim sum at Mao’s Palace to raclette at La Locanda and birthdays spent at House of Prime Rib and Thanh Long. My family’s businesses revolved around food as well – we owned a supermarket in Daly City and now a Filipino food import/distribution company.
Ryan also grew up around food – his dad runs a kitchen in Florida, and Ryan grew up working with him, working his way up from bus boy to back of house/kitchen. So really, we didn’t have a choice.

We celebrated the day we met with a dinner at Frej, which was amazing. Most of these photos aren’t mine – I found them on Flickr. So thanks, The Food Doc, for taking such excellent photos.

Frej
After an amuse of fried sweetbreads, we were served our first course of Maine shrimp with kohlrabi and oyster cream. Ours also had cucumbers. Can I just say one thing: OYSTER CREAM. Some of the kohlrabi and cucumber were pickled, which added some tart mouthwatering-ness to the dish. I really just did that.

Frej
Next we had Scallop Ceviche with cabbage, pickled ramps, and fried seaweed. This was my least favorite of the courses – I can’t quite put my finger on why…the cabbage and fried seaweed just didn’t seem to go together on my taste buds.

Frej
This is photos is hake, but we got pike. There are potatoes and sprat milk on the plate as well.

Sadly, I cannot find any photos of my favorite course, which was the pork belly. This was sliced and served atop creamy smoked cheese and nettle puree and topped with slivers of fried rye bread. I’d never had nettle before but it’s great – it tastes like green! (Note to self: make anchovy-nettle pasta this summer)

Beef cooked in hay
This is beef cooked in hay with onions and garlic mayo. At this point I was getting pretty full – those little courses add up!

Frej
For dessert we instead received the Chamomile Parfait with Carrot Cake. Strangely good! Just like everything else we ate. It was like eating super creamy ice cream that didn’t melt.

I normally shy away from fancypants dinners and tasting menus like this. Mostly because they’re expensive and just seem pretentious, with a lot of squeeze bottle nonsense. I prefer simple, rustic food. But this was really great – I would really love for them to find their own place so they could be open all week.

Our actual (?) anniversary is the 19th, which last year was Father’s Day. That’s right, folks. The Time Cop asked to be his girlfriend on Father’s Day, at the beach. We have been inseparable ever since, much to the chagrin of friends and roommates (roommates mostly, I think). I suppose it doesn’t help that we also live about eight blocks apart.

After much debate on where to eat, we decided to go with Minetta Tavern. I love it because the first time I ate there I sat at the bar with OR (Other Ryan…Castro) and next to us was an elderly couple who shared a giant steak. After finishing it woman picked the bone up in her hands to gnaw at it, and at the end of dinner, they also shared a chocolate soufflé. I thought that was the best shit I’d ever seen. Still do.

Here’s what we ate:
PAIN

I didn’t get a photo of every single dish because that’s kind of annoying (yes, I realize it is…) but here is a photo of the crazy bone marrow appetizer we got:

Bone Marrow. Destroyed.

MEAT. BUTTER. That’s 1 1/2 whole shanks. When the waiter brought it to our table my eyes bugged out of my head – SO MUCH BONE MARROW! I should’ve been smart and ordered a salad as a second app but Ryan really wanted the oxtail & foie terrine so I said yes to that. I also should’ve made us split the Black Label Burger but we each got one. Do you see where this is going?

I was so uncomfortably full. For dessert we got the chocolate souffle for two. We don’t even like chocolate!! I was grabbing my stomach, making horrible faces, and nearly in tears. But it was a magical pot of choco-goodness. Seriously – souffles are hard to get right but this was was damn near perfect.

We waddled out of the restaurant and it wasn’t until we were halfway home that I started to feel normal again. To quote my parter in crime: Yeah I guess I did go a little overboard…

Story of my life. I’m eight pounds heavier and I’ve gone up a pants size. You can buy new jeans any time, but you can’t always find your other stomach monster.

Food Porn

Lunch from Mile End
Catering from Mile End – my pick for Friday lunch at work.

Post Hunger Games face stuffing
After watching The Hunger Games, we got hungry.

My plate at Talde
Talde #5 with Dave & Karell

BACON RILLETTES
Bacon rillettes from The Meat Hook, front & center. Tom Mylan: idol status.

Dark chocolate rootbeer float at Ample Hills
Dark chocolate rootbeer float at Ample Hills. This, after chomping our way through Flushing.

Mexico Blvd
Al Pastor & Bisteca tacos from Mexico Blvd.

Yumcha Sundae
Yumcha Sunday with RR & Mimi. Salt & pepper squid, sticky rice with pork & peanuts, clams.

Bufala Mozz & Beefsteak at Dino
Bufala mozz and beefsteak tomatoes at Dino. “Everything needs salt.” Fort Greene has been surprisingly disappointing lately in restaurant options/quality.