Saturday, June 2, 2012

NYC, where walking across the street is considered parkour...

Typical New Yorker.  
Have you ever been driving downtown and realized you just hate that no good t-shirt you're wearing?  Well, in Manhattan, stop the car in the middle of a green-lit intersection, remove ugly shirt, showoff your rolls/fur, turn up music, ignore the horns, look for - and eventually find wrinkled worn out golf-tee, put on, then drive through red-lit intersection. 

I went to NYC to be a stagiaire at three of North America’s top restaurants. To be sure, I will blog on those spots individually, but I also went to a lot of places where I was there just as a foodie.   

I socially media’ed (new word) the crap out of my trip at the time, but did not do the city adequate justice.  To be brief, NYC is culinary Viagra to facilitate ones addiction to food porn.   

Inside the kitchens are a bunch of kids, most straight out of very expensive culinary schools. They’re YOUNG, fresh, and not-as-yet feeling the long-term effects of the 4 cans of Red Bull they call lunch/dinner.  They are motivated, passionate and have a flare for tattoos everywhere. Most are fantastically nice.  The odd guy is a douche who is always skinnier than me.

Outside the kitchen, NYC is the top pinnacle gastronomic destination probably in the history of mankind.  Think of it; at what other time and place will you source out, find, and have such a wide array of great quality food in such close proximity? I hit as many places I could remember in my fantasies (Babbo, Momofuku Noodle Bar, The Spotted Pig) and was rarely disappointed (David Burke). 

Okay, I shut up now and let pictures do the talking.

Quick link, NYC plans to ban 16.oz Sugar Waters!


 I love everything Mario does.  This was a place I actually waited outside at 11:30am on a rainy Thursday just to be sure I could get in. (Only one there...)

Antipasti - Asparagus "Milanese" with a Duck Egg ($15) was three poached asparagus with a sunny-side duck egg on top and shaved parm.  $15 for that eh... 

Primi - Pappardelle Bolognese ($20)  When in Rome... This was actually perfect.  So happy.

Dolci E Formaggi - Olive Oil and Rosemary Cake with Olive Oil Gelato ($13) was refreshing and texturally beautiful.  

Momofuku Noodle Bar

Just walked in at 2:30 and sat at the bar with no problem.

Yuzu Soju Slushy ($5) I could seriously develop an addictive personality with this one.

Buns - Pork, hoisin, scallion, cucumber ($10)  Amongst cooks, these are famous.  You go to NYC and they will ask if you have tried them.  I have.  They are meth-addictingly wicked.

Side - Soya Egg, crispy shallot, chive ($2)  Momofuku has menu items that are $2. 

I managed to check out a taping of the Daily Show with Jon Stewart while in town.  Fun times, but more relevant to this blog, a bunch of lesbians picked me up while in line and brought me to a bar for pre-show drinking where they specialize in $4 glasses of wine and Tater Tots...
Here is Tater Tots, Franks Redhot, and Blue Cheese.  

The Spotted Pig
What a cool spot.  At 4:00pm it was still bustling. It's hipster/feminine attitude throughout, but what caught my attention most was the cooks wearing chef jackets and shorts... 

 Roll Mops ($8) Pickled Herring, Creme Fraiche

    Sal and Carmine
Routinely acknowledged as one of the top spots of a slice in NY, Sal and Carmine is located on Broadway towards the Bronx.  It is worth the trip. I think it's just Sal now, but they have been open since 1959 and everything (from the decor, to the recipes) are apparently the same.  Sal does not talk much.  Just order the slice and put $4 down.  Perfect ratio of cheese to sauce, the right toothiness, and a good amount of grease.  Go.


Check it out. A wide variety of fresh mushrooms.  I have never seen this before.  Eataly is both a grocery and casual dining spot.  It is the kind of spot you can sip moscato and have a plate of parma while eye-balling what fresh  Ricotta Gnudi you'll take home.  If the rent wasn't $3000 comparable to here... 
At least porter can fly you there for $200. 


Beer Garden on a rooftop above Eataly, this is a bad place to be right before doing a stagiaire at one of the most respected restaurants in the world.  REGARDLESS I soldiered on.  The food was a perfect 10/10.

Biroldo - ($21) Toscana inspired blood sausage served with cannellini beans and pickled turnips. Best blood sausage I have ever had.
Overrated.  ($18-F*** Off!) You know what kicks this in the teeth easily?  

Serendipity 3

This place is where you bring a hot girl to.  This is not the place you go when you are male, alone, and rely on your blackberry as a crutch companion.  I was out of sorts with this one, but it was a necessary trip.  This place is known for its $1000 Golden Opulence Sundae, which I did not order as I have a mortgage and brain.  I did sip a chocolate cappuccino which was tasty but awkward as I faced three girls who I could tell where trying to figure out if I were a danger to them.  The place is charming enough and the next time I am around, I will be happy to bring my wife.

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