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: What to eat in a blizzard and $2 dumplings to $200 Michelin-starred kaiseki
Nursed my hangover with stewed beef noodle soup and some crunchy spring rolls at Thai Son. When you order this dish, make sure you repeat “no tendon” because today’s bowl contained lots of tendon. Fail.
Dinner was a fail too. Getting two al pastor tacos with hard shells via seamless delivery from Tehuitzingo was a rookie mistake. The flavor was there but the shells disintegrated in its own pork juices. Ordered another dish knowing there would be a blizzard tomorrow. The pork ribs in red sauce were succulent and perfect with the slight heat from the sauce.
Enjoyed my pork ribs leftovers for brunch and trekked to Central Park West to hang out at Christine’s apt to spend Blizzard Day watching Duke basketball and enjoying homemade pumpkin ginger waffles. On my way home, I picked up a cheeseburger and fries from The Burger Joint cause I had the munchies.
Was in an Italian mood so walked past Carnegie Hall to Trattoria Dell 'Arte, a spot popular for pre-theater dining. Enjoyed the presentation and flavor of the 101 layer lasagna and the lobster carbonara. Ate half of each dish and boxed the leftovers for dinner that night.
Cafe Clementine has this amazing special that comes around infrequently, so when I see that it’s available, I drop all lunch plans and run to get the thinly sliced steak sandwich with jalapeño and pickled onions. Melted cheddar and havarti. Spicy and sour flavor profiles. Crunchy bread and gooey cheese textures? Game over.
Ventured to Eataly after work with coworker/friend/partner-in-crime - Julia. Noshed on a charcuterie and cheese plate and inhaled a filet o fish sandwich (the fried skate was too salty) and grabbed drinks at the upstairs bar which had transformed temporarily into a ski chalet.
After Eataly, I made my way to midtown for dinner at Hide Chan with coworker/gastronaut/food crusher - David. This kid’s eating prowess never ceases to amaze. He ordered a mega ramen with all the fixins plus extra pork. Reminds me of my voracious appetite when I was 15. While I struggled to finish my bowl, he polished his before me. Well done, sir.
Went healthy today and ordered a earth bowl and small butternut squash soup at Sweetgreen, an entity that prints money. Lines are always 50 deep, no matter the day. No wonder they are expanding all across the city. Met up with Jess, a potential roomie at the time (now we’re current roommates) to talk about the apt. Wait, hold up. Walking distance to Basta Pasta, City Bakery, and Ootoya? That’s all you had to say. Sold.
We then walked to Grandaisy Bakery to pick up a nutella cookie and a raspberry cornbread muffin for dessert.
Got hungry again from all the healthy food so I grabbed 10 pan fried pork and chive dumplings for $2.50 from Tasty Dumpling with coworker/graphic designer Jordana (she designed my scrumphsus logo!) and then picked up a chocolate cupcake from Sharkey’s Cafe.
Dinner was mapo tofu and hot and sour soup from Joe’s Shanghai for this frigid night.
Cafe Clementine’s other special is a fragrant rosemary pork shoulder sandwich with broccoli rabe and provolone with jalapenos. Juicy and bursting with flavors. Love the rosemary and jalapeno interplay. Also added bbq chips, butternut soup, and cowboy cookie.
Dinner was with Slo Mo Steve and my cousin Dan who was visiting from LA. Last visit, we went out to Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare and tonight was no different. We stepped into Rosanjin, a 1 Michelin Japanese eatery, known for its creative kaiseki format. Our first course was a soup but it came in a bubbling glass jar. Another highlight was their uni dish which included chewy wheat cake rolled up into a fried yuba wrapper. My favorite course had two amazing components: thinly sliced raw wagyu but more impressively, the white miso broth that we dipped the raw meat into. Complex, nutty, and so full of flavor. The meal ended with kamameshi, a huge bowl of rice and mounds of uni and mushrooms. The server saw our eyes light up so she gave our table some well-received seconds. The only downside happened after our meal when the server revealed that due to rent hikes, they were closing. When I asked when, they said…tonight after service. What a shame.
Really liked the seasonal special pizza at Arcade Bakery. It was a cauliflower pizza with walnuts and lemon parsley - best vegetarian pizza ever. A lemon sugar brioche was the perfect sweet ending.
Ken and Christine came by for my homecooked dinner: baked salmon with couscous and cherry tomatoes with squash. It’s a simple and foolproof recipe I learned from a managing director at my company. You basically put salmon on top of blistered cherry tomatoes and let it poach in that tomato juice liquid for 20 min. Comes out moist and tender every time as if it was sous vide.
BAKED SALMON AND TOMATOES
Use of a dutch oven pot is highly recommended. If you don’t have one, make sure you have a pot with lid. Cooking time is 20 min first round and 20-25 min second round. Prepping is done in between.
Serving size: For two
-1 lb of salmon cut into 2 pieces
- few cloves of garlic
-1 shallot bulb or small onion
-1 container of cherry tomatoes
- Optional veg: asparagus, mushrooms, squash
-S&P (Baleine sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper)
1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. Wash and rinse your dutch oven pot, tomatoes nd then slice cherry tomatoes in half. Put sliced tomatoes into a bowl.
3. Add few swirls of live oil to inside of dutch oven pot. Drop in sliced tomatoes and a light dusting of &P.
4. Once oven has reached 350F, cover pot of sliced tomatoes with lid and place carefully into oven. 20 min on the timer.
5. Mince your garlic and chop your onion or shallot. Wash and chop optional veggies for sides. Examples: asparagus, mushrooms, squash, whatever you want.
6. Wash salmon, pat dry. &P both sides. keep skin on because that keeps the meat moist like a Canada Goose parka. You can remove skin later after it cooks (I recommend eating with skin for max flavor).
1. After round 1 timer goes off, take out dutch oven with oven mitt and put on your stove. lift up lid slowly away from you to avoid steaming your eyebrows off. Tomatoes should be nice and blistered, just ready to burs. Fragrant juice should be pooling at the bottom of the pan. hot dam.
2. Add half a spoon of garlic and shallot and gently mix with tomatoes. Gently place fish fillets on top of the tomatoes. drop a few sprigs of thyme in there.
3. Cover the lid, put back into oven. timer 20 min for med rare, 25 min for medium.
4. After timer goes off, take out pot and put on stove. Portion everything according to how many guests you’re cooking for. Garnish with some fresh thyme, few drops of lemon over the salmon, and black pepper dusting to taste. I also like to add some red chili flakes for a kick.
Dined out: 15 times
Cooked at home: 1 time
Restaurants Visited: Thai Son, Tehuitzingo, Burger Joint, Trattoria Dell 'Arte, Eataly, Hide Chan, Cafe Clementine (2x), SweetGreen, Grandaisy Bakery, Tasty Dumpling, Sharkey's Cafe, Joe's Shanghai, Rosanjin, Arcade Bakery
Highlights: Rosanjin; white miso broth and wagyu (RIP)| Cafe Clementine; rosemary pork shoulder sandwich w/ broccoli rabe, provolone, jalapenos