Thursday, January 25, 2007

Dinner at 4

It's the chic new dining hour. Actually, it's the hour to dine if you want to squeeze in seven courses before sending someone to the airport. How did I prepare? I ate crackers for brunch and noshed on a handful of gummy bears while driving to "dinner." As much as I loved the savory courses, dessert was my favorite, and another reason why I'm probably headed for a heart attack after this month's (season's?) excess. Banana Souffle. At least it's fruit.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

E is for Excessive

After a delectable fifteen course tasting menu for dinner, I woke up to noodles for brunch (not my idea though very tasty), a field trip to Zachary's Pizza for a late lunch, ice cream at tea time, and then a very late (think midnight) dinner. Today included four hours of wandering the Fancy Food Show after which I went straight to dinner. Eeek.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Brilliant Conversation

Me: How was your day?

AW: I ate barbecued ribs and brisket. And mac and cheese. And for breakfast I had coffee cake and a blueberry muffin

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

More Morimoto

How could we not order a dish called Angry Chicken? By the time it arrived, we had already made our way through a series of small plates, all of which were colorful, interactive, and bursting with flavor. Lamb carpaccio with a ginger-scallion dressing was meaty, though we all agreed it was lacking in lamb flavor. Then there was the chawan mushi, super smooth egg custard infused with foie gras. All I could do was savor every drop of fatty flavor. The dish was white on white, quite a contrast to the blocks of colorful morimoto sashimi that appeared next - layers of sashimi stacked like a terrine. Adding to the fun were five pipettes filled with dipping sauces ranging from yuzu to arugula. Then to our table arrived a pot of soy milk. With the addition of a magic solution and ten minutes of waiting (during which we polished off the soft-shell crab roll), we had tofu, made tableside, which we topped with lobster sauce and ate with relish.

Finally though, the Angry Chicken arrived. The chicken was tender, the fried noodles crisp and crazy looking, and the finger peppers, as I soon discovered, hardly innocuous. On my first bite all I detected was sweet with a hint of heat. I popped the rest into my mouth and all too quickly realized my mistake. I spent the next 15 minutes alternately laughing at my own stupidity, trying not to gulp my wine in one go, and crying to the amusement of my dining companions. At one pont, I started scooping up the butter sauce that came with the poached lobster, as if that would help matters. Happily, as quickly as my mouth burst into flames, the fire receded, and with all taste buds intact, I moved on to sample the surf and turf, kobe stye. Rounding out our meal was the ishi yaki buri bop, thick slices of yellowtail seared tableside in a stone pot, served over sticky rice decorated with hijiki.

While the food at Morimoto was varied and flavorful, the Iron Chef was no where to be seen. The decor can only be described as stylish, with a penchant for glass walls, first noticeable in a dramatic glass bottle wall and echoed in the glass walls separating the tables into "booths." The ceiling had a shell-like texture and moved in all directions. If I wasn't staring at the food, I was staring at my surrounds.

Shockingly, after all this food, we even had room for dessert - twice. At the restaurant, the berry tart was overshadowed by the chocolate hazelnut mousse cake which featured a lovely crunch. Arriving home, desert part two was better - cupcakes from Eleni's. I'd insisted that we pick up dessert before dinner and so we sampled maple walnut, chocolate, lemon and vanilla cupcakes. The cake was a bit dry, but the flavored frostings were quite delicious. The super stars though, were the cookies. I was skeptical that such highly-decorated cookies (in the literal sense) would be as delicious as they were beautiful. I'm glad I was wrong.

Morimoto Sashimi

Surf & Turf

tofu made tableside

soft shell crab roll

ishi yaki buri bop

Angry Chicken

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Pies of a Different Sort

Too lazy to trek to Grimaldi's, this trip brought a visit to Lombardi's Pizza where we sampled a simple combination of basil and mozzarella. A very fine pizza, but something in my pizza memory likes Grimaldi's better. The sauce here tasted a little too processed and the saltiness of the mozzarella was a tad distracting. Still, it's didn't stop us from polishing off the the entire pizza and a salad (to make our meal ostensibly "healthy").

Next up, tuna pizza at Morimoto. Thick slides of tuna layered on a thin cracker crust, all crisscrossed with what seemed to be wasabi creme fraiche. This "signature dish" was as good as advertised (and yes, I heard the advertisement many times while on hold for the reservationist). Marketing does work!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

New Math

Stacking and transporting Christmas cookies usually results in many cookie casualties, so it was with great excitement that I arrived at my cousin's house with mostly whole cookies this year. That is, until I heard "where are the broken ones?" from not just one person, but three. It turns out that eating broken cookies is like eating no cookies at all. Since you can't count them, consumption = 0.

Next year I will bash the cookie jar against the counter a few times before I set off on my journey.

Meal Respite

My cousin and I decided we should partake in some of NY's cultural offerings. When I met him at MOMA, he was having breakfast. More specifically, a breakfast of chocolate-covered strawberries. We bought our tickets, checked our coats, and armed with museum maps (which we never consulted), made our way to the galleries. We somehow navigated ourselves to not one, but two of MOMA's cafes before actually seeing any art....

As I stood in the MOMA garden some hours later, I called around for afternoon tea reservations.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Last Night I Dreamt About Cheddar Cheese Apple Pie

Met up with Penguin for a meandering lunch which spanned four hours and four stops. Our original destination was the Lower East Side, but we detoured at the bright pink Automat, where we shared in the genius that is the mac and cheese kroket, basically fried mac and cheese. So good! Unbelievably, this fine establishment also makes a fried peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Also fantastic. The cheeseburger, though very good, didn't provide the same entertainment value. Mere blocks later, while still ambling colorful St. Mark's Place, we came upon Crif Dogs. We knew we had to pace ourselves since this was clearly not the end of lunch, so we split a BLT Dog. Yes, more genius to be found in the bacon-wrapped hot dog. I never said this was a healthy lunch.

Our next stop took us to the Little Pie Company near Times Square where Penguin had raved about the sour cream apple walnut pie. It really was divine. The apples slices are paper thin thanks to a mandoline and layered in between is sour cream. To complete this delightful combination is a not super sugary walnut topping. Our other pie selection was the cheddar cheese apple pie, with bits of cheddar cheese embedded in the crust. Apparently this is a New England combination, but being new to me, I had to try it. Delicious, but if I could only choose one pie, sour cream it would be. Another bonus about this lovely pie shop is that you can see the pies being made. With the open kitchen, it's a buttery, cinnamon scent than greets you at the door. Though bowled over by our previous three courses, were were close enough to Sullivan St. Bakery (oddly enough, it's not on Sullivan Street) that I dragged Penguin there on foot. Truth be told, walking was pretty much the only thing that would keep me awake at that point. Sadly, the bakery was closed, but a peek through the windows indicated beautiful breads (and really good cookies, I'm told). So much for having two dessert courses with lunch!