you don"t need to save the crystal for a special day, even water tastes better in a "Fancy Glass"

Monday, April 21, 2008

Barack in my home city

Friday, April 18, 2008

I love cheese

Back from NYC now, but will be waxing poetic about the trip for weeks to come I am sure...

One restaurant we went to twice was Artisinal. OMG delicious, gracious service, good vibe, nice decor, but the best best best thing was the CHEESE!

Besides being a wonderful bistro, Artisinal specializes in Cheese. Small Cheese producers selling amazing product. They even have a tiny retail cheese counter/shop right in the back of the restaurant with hand written staff tasting notes and recommendations. There is a cheese-ista to ask questions to and cheese boards, tasting flights, and fondues feature prominately on the menu. This is definately an alter to the cheese gods/ godesses.

At Brunch, which was amazing, we started out with the cheese board above. It comes with it's own cheese description/ menu. And fresh fruit, bread, salamis and french butter. It was totally delectable. And there are demonstrated health benefits from fermented foods (yeah! Cheese)
Strong and interesting cheeses can be an acquired taste and need some educational research, but they are well worth the acquisition.

I have to find a good Tokyo restaurant with a cheese board...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

change the players


Monday, April 07, 2008

18 miles of books

Another pilgrimage-- I took not 1 but two trips this week to The Strand, a huge fantastic bookstore on 12th and broadway. The catch copy is 18 Miles of Books! Who could beat that??? They have everything and in this old jumbly building with stacks and racks, carts and bundles everywhere. Bargains, and used books, classics and new stuff! Both trips were unfortunately too short... maybe I can sneak down there one more time before we leave. Maybe I will try the St. Marks bookstore instead, recommended by a blogger friend (thanks, Jen!)

addicted? yup- 'fraid so. I am a bookworm for sure.

Oh-- and I got a cool messenger bag and tshirt too. If you go back and reuse your strand bag you save 25 cents everytime. nice.
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Saturday, April 05, 2008

cupcake pilgrimage

Ok, to say I am into cupcakes would be an understatement of extreme proportions. With this in mind- I set out yesterday on a quest to find and eat cupcakes from the Magnolia Bakery! Magnolia has gotten quite famous for their cupcakes and other old fashioned desserts... all homemade, natural, no preservatives- these are no twinkies, hoss!

above you can see a partial shot of the outcome of my grail-quest. The bakery limits the # you can buy to 12 per person-- to manage supply and demand. And I kid you not, there was a line outside and around the corner.

Address is 401 Bleecker, NY. NY. near 11th.

Excuse me while I buzz along on my sugar high.....buzzzzzzzzzz

I would be remiss if I did not post two other cupcake sprinkles of knowledge.

best cupcake site on the web- blog love goes to ChockyLit

and the world famous magnolia recipe for the vanilla on vanilla.

oh... and I bought a t-shirt too!

The Magnolia gets the honor of a 5 Fancy Glass rating, and it lived up to my every expectation!!!

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An Amazing Evening at Jean Georges

Friday night; with the help of the hotel concierge we were able to get a reservation at JeanGeorges, the chef's signature restaurant on Central Park W. The service, menu, decor and most importantly the food itself were beyond wonderful. Jean Georges has no ala carte menu, there are 3 choices. The Jean Georges classic tasting menu, A Seasonal Tasting menu, and a 4 course choice menu. I chose the Spring menu, hubby chose the Classic Jean Georges menu. We had wines, and course after course, each one unique and artistically concieved and executed.

The collage above shows snaps of the many different tastes and textures we enjoyed.

I especially liked my first course, "Egg Toast, Caviar and Dill." Also the last course, "Rack of Lamb with Thai Pepper, Mint, and Sweet Pea Puree." Hubby's fave was the "Lobster Tartine, Lemongrass, and Fenugreek Broth with Pea Shoots."

The desserts were goregous, wine pairings lovely and as a nice little surprise at the end of the meal we enjoyed chocolates and homemade, flavored marshmellows cut and served out of a lovely glass jar, tableside.

Unforgettable tastes and textures.

Only two downsides for me... 1. the large bank of glass windows behind me produced a persistant and uncomfortable draft right on my neck... it was distracting and it sadly did detract from the meal. 2. the amuse bouche and several other elements of the meal were a bit overly salty in my opinion.

Overall though-- a wonderful and memorable meal.
Next stop... Fri. night we have a reservation at BABBO.

Fancy Glass Review

Atmosphere 4 FG (cold windows and a so-so bathroom were detractors)

Service Amazing 5 FG

Menu/ food flavors 4 1/2 FG

Presentation 5 FG gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous...

Overall Impression 4 1/2

d e l i c i o u s

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Lunch NYC style

My first afternoon, yesterday, in NYC I did a lot of walking and looking and looking and walking. Stopped for lunch right across the street from the iconic literary heart and soul of NYC; the New York Public Library. Before going over to pay tribute, I had fantastic turkey chilli and a coke at the Devon & Blakely bakery and deli. Very tasty business. Fresh bread, homemade chilli that I had over rice, and an icy cold coke all made for a satisfying and simple lunch. A good counter point for our evening planned at Jean Georges at 1 central park w.
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Thursday, April 03, 2008

first night in NYC

I am on a trip in NYC with my honey, he on business, me happily tagging along. I joined him last night, arriving after a long flight from tokyo- through toronto to NY...
After arriving in our lovely boutique hotel, The Roger Williams. (more on the RW later) We went to a near by recommended restaurant, Artisanal

Artisanal is a bistro/ cheese shop. And it has truly earned its fame for cheese. They offer a little retail counter, plus on the menu many cheese tasting options, flights and even fondue. YUM. The rest of the menu is lovely focused bistro fare.

I really enjoyed the whole experience.

we started out with a cheese and wine tasting flight. We chose the "Unusual" cheese trio. which included

Cabecou Schnaps (Goat, France)
Gorwydd Caerphilly (Cow, Wales)
Pecorino Foglie Noce (Sheep, Italy)
Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Domaine L’Erriere 06
Koehler Santa Ynez Valley 05
Chianti Classico LaSala 05

My favorite was the Wales one, and the best wine was the Muscadet.

Then for his main, he had
A La Grande-Mère & Chestnut Pappardelle

and I chose--
H A N G E R S T E A K F R I T E S (shown above)

The service as nice, though there were too many waiters at our table to know who was OUR waiter... And the host was lovely, he seated us as quickly as he could even though we did not have reservations, and he stopped back to check on us. He made a excellent wine suggestion for me. It was a perfect match for my steak;
Toro Numanthia Termes Dominio de Eguren Tempranillo 05
totally delicious.

The restaurant has a killer wine list and has won a bunch of awards from Wine Spectator. We are even planning on going back, though our time in NYC is short and there are many places we want to go. One point... steak should have been smaller and fries, to give me a shot at having room for dessert. Sadly I was tooooo full.

Fancy Glass Review;

Service 4 fancy glasses

Atmosphere 5 fancy glasses

Food (esp. the cheese) 5 FG

Overall Impression 4 1/2