Inspired by "Grub Street Diet", I wanted to start chronicling my meals for posterity and sharing my favorite dishes with others. Each diary will cover food eaten in one week, no matter how big or small.
We kick things off with New Year's Eve 2015...
I didn’t have any New Year plans this year (Does Netflixing alone count?) so I was delighted to get an invite from my friend Howard (who eats out more than me) to spend New Years with his friends over a special ten-course tasting menu at Contra and snacks and champagne at Wildair. Over the next few hours, we were treated to some fantastic dishes, with lobster, squab, sunchoke with uni being my favorites.
As we were leaving, the bartender told us to hurry up and go to Wildair because Aziz Ansari and bff Jennifer Lawrence were there. I was already imagining the funny, sad, and silly selfies I’d be taking when I scanned the room and learned they had just left 10 min prior. Sigh. I drowned my sorrow with crunchy toast covered in a layer of seaweed butter and lardo covered in black truffle, and spicy tuna topped with caviar. After nonstop nibbling for 4 hrs straight, we counted down to the new year and toasted to 2016!
Woke up late and hungry and walked one block to Ma Peche for some breakfast: honey-glazed brisket and latkes! For dessert, an order of pork buns (I don’t love every single David Chang dish but his pork buns will always be #1 to me)
With a 75 min wait on Seamless, I decided to solodine at nearby Marea. The 5 minute walk was so cold I almost turned back but I’m glad I didn’t. I would have missed out on some polenta, strozzapreti with uni and lump crab and some decadent short rib agnolotti. (Tip: half-portion sizes are available if you can’t decide between multiple options and end up getting everything)
I don’t always brunch (I don’t believe in 1 hr waits for eggs benedict) but when I do, I like Osteria Morini. Their cotecchino is still the best sausage I’ve had this year and of course, you can’t step foot in a Michael White joint and NOT get pasta. Eating at the bar is the best. Minimal wait and the bartenders are hilarious.
Met up with my boys (slo-mo, Doug, and Sammy) for a dinner at Giuseppina’s which was free because Sammy lost in CCR (credit card roulette), a common occurrence in these food diaries. We enjoyed 2 pies, a nice pepperoni + shallot and a sausage + prosciutto pie which normally tastes great but even better when it’s free. Thanks Sammy!
For dessert, we hit up Shake Shack for custards and shakes, paid for by Slo Mo (roshambo). I decided to try the Chicken Shack since every blog was raving about it. It didn’t hold a candle to my beloved ChickFilA, although ordering it with 5 minutes before closing wasn’t the best idea.
We ended the night at Steve’s apt, sipping on whiskey and watching Wayne Brady’s talented freestyles
Citibiked to Totto Ramen and enjoyed a pork bun, spicy tuna don (the main reason why I go to the 52nd/10 location), curry ramen, jasmine tea. My kind of sunday brunch.
Dinner was 2 blocks away at The Burger Joint - 2 burgers with order of fries, takeout. Enjoyed these while catching up on Quantico. Priyanka <3
Sohee brought the office some goodies from Korea: yakgwa and yoogwa. For lunch, a group of us went to Maman Tribeca and I enjoyed the red pepper + goat cheese quiche, egg salad sandwich, pineapple brioche, and cortado.
Dinner was a soup dumpling, cabbage, and hot and sour soup order from Joe’s Shanghai. To the haters out there, this is the closest Chinese joint near central park and I really like their cabbage with dried shrimps. Also, their Seamless delivery guys are fast on their electric silent bicycles (avg delivery time is 21 min).
Walked to Columbus Circle and got lunch at Bar Masa - a hearty bowl of short rib, daikon, and broth. I asked for a bowl of white rice and combined everything. Delicious.
Met up with my college buddies, Cheryl and Kellyann at Wildair. Yes, I know I just ate here on 1/1. We ordered tartare, pork milanese, beets, fried squid (the best), uni on fried potato, and 2 desserts, a delicious tangerine pannacotta and a choc, peanut butter tart (think Reese’s Cup for adults). Amazing.
I was walking home when I passed The Burger Joint. 10 minutes later, I was cradling a cheeseburger and fries in my arms.
Had lunch with coworkers at Arcade Bakery. Inhaled a delicious cauliflower pizza, Counter-Culture iced coffee, and my favorite pastry, the lemon sugar brioche (fragrant with lemon, sweet, and sticky with caramelized ends).
After some heavy photo editing in the evening, I walked to Blue Ribbon Sushi near Columbus Circle and ordered takeout: 18 piece sashimi + oxtail fried rice. Paying $20+ for fried rice is ludicrous BUT this version is worth it. Ample amounts of sauteed mushrooms, braised oxtail, and bone marrow. Everything melts together with the rice and the portion is big enough for 2 meals. I was very impressed or hungry….or both.
Grabbed lunch with Sammy at Ho Yip, a solid (the only) chinese restaurant near Battery Park. Lunchtime is a zoo and for good reason. The selection of their buffet has your staples (chow fun, beef and broccoli) but also a station of fried goodness (fried chicken, fried fish, latkes, egg rolls).
Dinner was with Gina, a new transplant from Chicago. I was instructed, by a mutual friend, to take her out and show her some yummy eats. Our first stop was at Raku - we enjoyed ankimo and big bowls of curry and short rib udon. Apparently, Aziz was there the previous night and ordered the same curry udon I did. 2 near misses in one month. Oh well, at least we have similar tastes.
Second stop was Bruno Pizza where we started off with gnudi with uni foam and duck liver mousse. We then had some cotechino and finished with brown butter sorbet. We stumbled out of there, clutching our bellies.
Hell of a start for 2016.
Dined out: 19 times
Restaurants Visited: Contra, Wildair (2x), Ma Peche, Marea, Osteria Morini, Giuseppina’s, Shake Shack, Totto Ramen, The Burger Joint (2x), Maman Tribeca, Joe’s Shanghai, Bar Masa, Arcade Bakery, Blue Ribbon Sushi, Ho Yip, Raku, Bruno Pizza
Highlights: Ma Peche; honey-glazed brisket and latkes | Osteria Morini; cotecchino | Blue Ribbon Sushi; oxtail fried rice | Wildair; fried squid | Bruno Pizza; duck liver mousse
Next Week's Eats HERE