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.
This week: Moving Day, back-to-back Basta Pasta, and meeting someone off of Instagram who turned out to be normal
On the way to lunch, I stopped by Arcade Bakery and picked up dessert: lemon sugar brioche and s’mores danish for Sammy to try.
Whole Foods gets a bad rap but I personally like having lunch there. Fried fish poboys next to the chicken tikka masala. A few feet away, you’ll find quinoa, kale, and other healthy things I don’t get. The variety of selection is overwhelming but you’re bound to find something tasty. Sammy got a nice golden rotisserie chicken while I enjoyed moist pork shoulder, risotto, and sauteed mushrooms. I ordered a matcha lemonade but they ran out of mint so they comped it for me while a barista ran to grab more mint for the line of waiting customers. We enjoyed the pastries while listening to screaming, crying babies. Note to self: Don't sit in the kids section next time.
Dinner was a seamless order from Angelo’s Pizza.. I had enjoyed their spaghetti and meatballs last time so I tried the Chicken Marsala. Delicious sauce and ample portions of chicken that retained juice despite being delivered.
Showed up at Golden Unicorn for dimsum with Sammy and his friends. After a brief wait, we were led to the 2nd floor and sat at a massive table while carts of happiness whizzed by. The egg tarts here are my favorite - perfectly flaky crust and the egg custard actually tastes like egg instead of the usual sugary, artificial filling. Unfortunately, you can’t just buy these a la carte anytime….they’re only available during dimsum.
After bringing some boxes of items to my new apt, I took a break and had a quiet solo dinner at Basta Pasta. I ordered a mushroom risotto to start (kinda watery and underseasoned) and their classic pasta that is submerged into a giant wheel of Parmigiano, tableside.
Moving Day! To start off the day, I had breakfast at Sarabeth’s near Central Park. I made the mistake of going with the Restaurant Week menu and I don’t even remember what I had. On the walk back to my apt, I took it all in. The horse-drawn carriages plodding along Central Park, Columbus Circle off in the distance, and the Plaza Hotel where I enjoyed many Luke lobster rolls. Gonna miss this neighborhood.
After moving into my new apt in Union Square, my roomie and I celebrated with a dinner at….Basta Pasta. I had a very satisfying plate of homemade silk handkerchief pasta, mixed mushrooms, lemon zest, ricotta cheese. We split an uni pasta (uni is not created equal because their version is watery and not flavorful), and the roomie had a nice seafood vongole.
Cold day means Thai Son. David and I ordered the usual stewed beef pho and spring roll appetizer. We discovered an ingredient that improved the flavor profile of the noodle soup: a generous squirt of lime which added the perfect amount of acidity to the tomato based broth.
Later that evening, I met up with Rebecca, a food blogger on instagram. We’ve commented on each other’s posts over a few weeks so I arranged for a face to face meeting at Sakagura. Highlights included the miso short ribs, and silken tofu with bonito. Botan ebi was meh in its raw form but was resurrected in an improved tempura form. We talked about likes and dislikes (bell peppers for her and eggplant for me) as well as our shared penchant for pho. I made plans to take my new foodie friend to my favorite pho spot in NY called Khe-Yo.
Yesterday was vietnamese lunch and japanese dinner. Today’s lunch of green curry from Lan Larb Soho was fiery Thai. Coworkers smirked and smh-ed as I went through 10 paper towels for the beads of sweat perched on my eyebrows. Next time, I’m bringing a towel from home.
Second lunch was the office birthday lunch that was catered by Uma Temakeria (think sushi burritos and spicy tuna handrolls). It was a hit for the whole office - for those on a health kick and for those with gluten/kosher/food allergy issues. This was one office lunch that didn't elicit mass food coma afterwards.
After two lunches, I decided to have a light dinner on my way home at Republic, an Asian American bistro with a brigade of 10-15 chefs. Chatted with Caroline, one of the managers there and she recommended the vietnamese chicken salad. The chicken thigh chunks were juicy and the ginger marinade was light. My go to salad even though I hate salad.
Walked to Gourmet Garage with David and Xavier and split a whole rotisserie chicken with David. Paired it with an awesome sweet corn chowder. Cheap and filling.
Dinner was with some old friends (christine and Ken) and new friends (since undergrad). It was great to meet Nancy and her husband, Ted and we ordered the majority of the menu at The Milling Room on the UWS. The wood adorned decor and candlelit tables really made for an intimate ambiance. I ordered a thick porkchop which was a bit overcooked and slightly dry. The table unanimously agreed that the duck and the squid ink spaghetti were standouts.
Dined out: 14 times
Restaurants Visited: Arcade Bakery, Whole Foods, Angelo’s Pizzeria, Golden Unicorn, Basta Pasta (2x), Sarabeth’s Central Park, Thai Son, Sakagura, Lan Larb Soho, Uma Temakeria, Republic, Gourmet Garage, The Milling Room
Highlights: Golden Unicorn; egg custard | Sakagura; miso short ribs | The Milling Room; duck and the squid ink pasta