Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Due Mari

I told you I was conquering the rest of Chef Michael White's restaurants for my birthday this year, didn't I? Well to remind you, I went to Costata and Ristorante Morini. Due Mari is the last restaurant to cross off the list. After this, I can proudly say I've been to all of his restaurants! How's that for a fan following? You're probably tiring of hearing me say how much I love this cooking. I'm probably sounding like Charlie Brown's teacher at this point. Buuuuut, before I begin my review, I would like to mention that Due Mari does a 4-course prix fixe meal for $58. That's a steal compared to the prices in NYC. We ordered a la carte at Due Mari but would definitely opt for the prix fixe with a smaller group. So, enough with the yapping, onto the food porn!
To start, we shared a bunch of appetizers like the arancini ($6) which came with 5 generous orbs of risotto balls in pomodoro sauce. Crispy fried breaded crust and creamy filling. Perfect for a group.
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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Toro

For my birthday with a group of friends, I decided to do tapas. It's easier to share and I get to try a bunch of different dishes. While I was trying to pick a place to try, I read a lot of Toro. This Boston restaurant got rave reviews and had opened a location in Manhattan. I jumped on the opportunity since it was a larger space and allowed for bigger groups to dine together.

When we arrived, the hostess graciously informed us that a larger table and cancelled last minute. That group had booked the special chef's table but we were allowed to sit there and order from the regular menu per our original reservation. We jumped at this opportunity because we got to sit closer to the kitchen and away from the crowd of the people waiting. It worked out wonderfully.

We looked over the menu and ordered a variety of things from each section.  So please enjoy the wonderful pictures of the delicious things we ate that night.

Chorizo Iberico de Fermin: Spanish sausage ($15), Paleta Serrano de Fermin: Spanish ham ($17), Jamon de pato: aged duck ham ($15).
Delicious Spanish meats but skimpy of the serving size based on the price.
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Monday, April 28, 2014

Ristorante Morini

It is no secret that I really enjoy Chef Michael White's restaurants. In fact, I like them so much that I made it a point to visit all of them. And so for my own birthday this year, I decided to go to the rest of the Michael White's restaurants. You know, the ones that he's recently opened and the ones that are not easy to reach (meaning the NJ ones). So for the first Michael White, I went to Costata with my sister and her husband which was a fine meal. But when I went to Ristorini Morini with The Feisty Foodie and Dessert Zombie, I was graced with an even more fabulous meal. It was a meal that brought me back to wonderful Convivio which I had loved so much.
But enough about my love for this mid western chef's food. You're here for the food. But before I start, I would like to mention that we all did the $84 4-course menu but the prices I show below are for the a la carte. And so here are the starters. I had the Capesante ($26, +$6 supplement) which had seared sea scallops, hen of the wood mushrooms, black truffle, and butternut squash puree. Delicious! Sweet tender large scallops with earthy mushrooms, sweet squash, and funky truffles. It was a really great start to a meal. Light yet flavorful.
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Friday, April 25, 2014

Lunch Week 15: Turkey Enchiladas

So every Sunday, I head over to the kitchen to whip up a big batch of food for lunch the next week. Yes, I brown bag. And I almost always do it every week unless I become too busy to even buy cold cuts from the deli. I do it for several reasons being health, finance, and laziness. Now, you may think that spending hours on a day off to prep and cook five meals at once is hardly lazy. But let me remind you, I hate it when the time comes to decide what to eat for lunch every day. I work in Midtown so the choices are endless. My problem, the more choices, the harder it is for me. So it's much easier for me to have my lunch ready and already decided.

So my lunch for this week is: Turkey Enchiladas
Now that I'm all well rested from my trip, I'm back to cooking more elaborately. So for lunch this week, I had turkey enchiladas. Sure you can use shredded chicken or ground beef instead. But for health reasons, I used turkey. It is about 95% lean which is a huge difference from other meats. Oh and this dish lasted really well through the end of the week. It was a true make ahead dish.
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Lunch Week 11-14: Cobb Salad, Salad, Jap Chae, Pesto Pasta with Shrimp

So every Sunday, I head over to the kitchen to whip up a big batch of food for lunch the next week. Yes, I brown bag. And I almost always do it every week unless I become too busy to even buy cold cuts from the deli. I do it for several reasons being health, finance, and laziness. Now, you may think that spending hours on a day off to prep and cook five meals at once is hardly lazy. But let me remind you, I hate it when the time comes to decide what to eat for lunch every day. I work in Midtown so the choices are endless. My problem, the more choices, the harder it is for me. So it's much easier for me to have my lunch ready and already decided.

So my lunch for the last few weeks were: Cobb Salad, Salad, Jap Chae, Pesto Pasta with Shrimp

Even though I wasn't blogging for over a month, I was still making lunch for each week. Some weeks were more interesting than others. I took pictures of what I thought would be more interesting to you.
So for lunch 4 weeks ago, I made cobb salad. If people normally dislike salad, then this is the salad they would like. Much less lettuce and greens but more hearty ingredients like hard boiled eggs, blue cheese, bacon, chicken, and avocado. Truth be told that this was a bit too heavy for me on a daily basis for a week. But I enjoyed it. Having a salad like this once in awhile is quite nice.
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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Umami Burger

So what's this hoopla about Umami Burger? Best burger in the country? Wow, that is a bold statement but with that kind of press, I really have to go and see what it's all about. Lucky for me, Dessert Zombie decided to pick Umami Burger as his choice to celebrate his birthday (this was month and month ago).
Since Umami Burger doesn't take reservations, we tried to arrive before the evening rush to grab a table. When we arrived, they weren't taking names down because of some system issue. So we just had to wait until our entire party arrived. When we did all get there, they were taking names down. WTF! We were annoyed! Why did they lie and say they weren't taking names down when they clearly were doing so at some point? They need to work on the front of the house.
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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Barbuto

Months ago, a bunch of us FBM friends went out to celebrate our dear KC's birthday. She always wanted to try Barbuto but never had the chance. So why would we and not help make that birthday wish come true?
The great thing about Barbuto is that it's a casual restaurant but the place feels fancier. The cool neighborhood decor with lots of windows and the open kitchen are all key. And now the food. Oh my! What can I say about the food? If you don't know about Chef Jonathon Waxman, then you're missing out on something. He's often described as a Jedi with a cool, laid back approach to food. Food can be comforting and delicious if it's sourced well and cooked well. No fancy tricks here. Just good food.

So after our dear KC scared the waiter with her Human Centipede scarf, we ordered a bunch of appetizers to share, and then entrees for ourselves. First, the calamari fritti ($15) with lightly battered squid tossed with frisee salad, chilis, and olive dressing. Fried calamari can often times be very heavy but not this dish. Nope. In fact, it was light, tender, and flavorful. Even though we were in the dead of wintry weather hell, this dish kept it interesting with the heat. This dish is very versatile. It can definitely be served in warmer weather. A good all season plate.
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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tuesday Nights: Kipsey's

Towards the end of  one year, my friends thought that we weren't hanging out enough. It's true, we weren't. So they started Tuesday night get-togethers. Every Tuesday, we'll pick a bar to drink, eat, and hang out for a couple of hours. Whoever can make it will attend. If you're busy, it's okay. There's always next week. So this is Tuesday Nights on Tasty Eating where you will find bars that serve food and how we like them.

On this recent Tuesday Night, we headed out to: Kipsey's

Before I start reviewing Kipsey's, I would like to put out there that the owners/managers reached out to me. They asked me to come in and try their food. They even offered to meet me. However, to keep things anonymous, I declined the offer to meet and assured them that I would in fact go and try out their food.
My friends and I all piled into Kipsey's on a cold winter night. We looked over the menu and decided to get our own dishes instead of sharing a bunch of appetizers. I looked over the menu and definitely decided to get the Kipsey's Burger ($12) which comes with the choice of salad or fries. I definitely opted for the latter. The burger itself looked small but it made up for that with height. A thick patty cooked to my specification (medium) then topped with cheese (+$1) and served on a toasted homemade bun. The meat was well seasoned and flavorful. The cheese was fully melted and the bun soft yet held up through the last bite. It was a very enjoyable burger and I wouldn't hesitate to order it again. The fries were crispy yet fluffy inside. And it was also well seasoned. Unsalted fries are sad.
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Monday, April 21, 2014

Ginger Sushi

When I moved to NJ, I was nervous about the take out/delivery options I would have. I got really spoiled in NYC with the plethora of choices around my home. I certainly wasn't expecting a close representation of the kind of places I had in Hell's Kitchen. But I did need to know if I could count on some of the basic meals I ordered frequently. Sushi is such a meal. When it comes to this delicious Japanese cuisine, there are kinds for me: moderately priced and high end. The latter is usually set aside for a special occasion. What I wanted was a moderately priced neighborhood sushi restaurant that I can count on. Now, you may have noticed that I didn't say cheap. In general, I do not enjoy cheap sushi. I think the quality lacks so much that it's worth paying just a bit more for something substantially better.
So Mr. M&P and I one night decided to try out Ginger Sushi which was only a block away from our home. The convenience was clear. But what about the quality of food? Well, a good sign was that the restaurant was regularly filled through all nights of the week. At least the ingredients were having a good turn around rate. That's important to me when it comes to sushi. But the real test was actually going there and trying it for ourselves. For the first attempt, we went to the restaurant to eat in. We started with a seaweed salad ($3.75) which is a simple staple. The serving size was quite small and the addition of fake crab meat was neither warranted nor needed. Otherwise, the seaweed salad was just fine as it met every one of my expectations.
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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Sorry Readers!

Hi Tasty Eating Readers!

I'm sorry that it's been a while since I've last posted. Life got in the way as usual. Work was super busy. And I took a fantastic vacation to Spain. And yes, I will work on those posts for you. In the meantime while I get my reality back together, I'm just taking a short break in order to focus and prioritize. I haven't forgotten about you! I'll be back soon enough.

Thanks for staying with me through all this time. And if you're interesting in seeing what I'm doing in 140 characters or less, check out my Twitter feed (https://twitter.com/tastyeating).

Cheers!
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