11.20.2009

goodbye













Goodbye Daul. I will miss you dearly.

"He could not be mistaken. There were no other eyes like those in the world. There was only one creature in the world who could concentrate for him all the brightness and meaning of life. It was she."
- Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

11.11.2009

japonais and momofuku milk bar: just a little taste

Photos from a late night supper at Japonais. I love the extra attentive service here - its really quite nice being pampered when you're used to all the pushing and shoving on our crowded streets. That plus the fact that they serve Japanese white sweet potato french fries - something of the likes I've never seen before! I don't think I've ever written on here how much I love white sweet potatoes. Since I can remember, my mom roasted them for me whole in the oven back at home and while I've tried to replicate that taste in my own apartment in New York, some classic dishes, no matter how deceivingly simple, should be left to be made by a mother's hands.

Japonais on 18th and Madison Avenue





Tuna maki


Lobster spring rolls with mango relish and blood orange vinagrette


Calamari with wasabi vinagrette


Crisy soft shell crab sandwich with bibb lettuce, shallot escabeche, avocado, and wasabi mayo


French fries made with Japanese white sweet potato

Peach sangria


Momofuku Milk Bar on 13th and 2nd ave

This place is one of the most interesting food concepts come to life that I've ever encountered in the city. All the sweet and savory treats offered on their ever changing menu board are a true testament to how exciting experimentation with food can be: some dishes are failures and some are real gems but nothing lacks personality and punch.








If you're going to try something at Milk Bar, I would definitely recommend getting a cookie. At $1.85 a pop (for a fairly hefty sized cookie) or 3 for $5 if you're feeling a bit spicy that night, this little guy is a real steal for how good it is. I sometimes forget the "real" price of baked goods outside of the city with $5 cupcakes and $3 cookies becoming the norm here but my friends at Momofuku have given me a friendly reminder with this mound of sugar-packed goodness.










Banana cake with banana cream, hazelnut crunch, and gianduja fudge
This is so good and intensely sweet - just a few bites will have you buzzing on a sugar high for the rest of the night


Cornflake chocolate chip marshmallow cookie. The sweetness intensity level is off the richter scale as well for this cookie. Take a few nibbles, wrap it back up and tuck it in your bag for a rainy day. An energy bar I can finally get on board with.







** thank you to one of my readers Ammu who left that lovely comment about Truman Capote and sensory traveling. I love learning new things from you guys and reading comments like that really make my day.


Though I go to you
ceaselessly along dream paths,
the sum of those trysts
is less than a single glimpse
granted in the waking world.

- Ono no Komachi

11.06.2009

balthazar: well done

I've been itching to go on a vacation for the past few weeks... the lure of foreign land seems to increase during the height of fall's romanticism.

Obligations keep me rooted in the same place for now but I guess there's no better city to satisfy my desire for a bit of adventure than new york. The sights, smells, sounds, voices at every street corner offers up the opportunity to be transported to a new country.

Off to France we go via Balthazar on Spring Street.







Onion Soup Gratinée


The infamous Balthazar's french fries.


Grilled Brook Trout over a warm spinach, walnut, and lentil salad


Scrambled eggs in puff pastry with wild mushrooms and asparagus


Scrambled eggs: so iconically breakfast but so poorly done most of the time. Balthazar's version is an exception and I would say it's all in the seasoning. The best chefs will tell you that every layer of a dish must be perfectly seasoned. Most people seem to totally ignore that key ground rule that is one of the vital foundations of cooking and either leave it up to the diner to season as they please once the dish arrives (i.e. the food is incredibly bland) or they overcompensate for not seasoning a dish properly by throwing too much seasoning on at the end after it's already been plated. Both are not a good option. Chefs and cooks take note: befriend your salt throughout the cooking process! Your audience will love you for it!

The top layer of the mini puff pasty offered in this dish, that has such an inviting glaze, is really just a pool of melted, delicious, salted butter. No one understands butter quite like the French.