Thursday, September 30, 2010

Bloodies et al at Hundred Acres

So, the brunch at Hundred Acres was pretty OK (the glazed buttermilk cake doughnuts with milk chocolate dipping sauce plus a particularly refreshing grapefruit-vodka cooler were the highlights). But what a great idea to have a shucked oyster sitting atop a spicy bloody Mary (the other came with a skewered hot pepper).

I'd order this every time if I saw it on the menu. Sadly, I've yet to find it anywhere in SF ... but as with all things New York, such goodies are bound to make it sooner or later to the left coast.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Adding to Cart: The Meatball Shop

It's always fun getting together with my pals from the Martha (as in Stewart) days, especially since we always find something good to eat. This time, we hit relative newcomer The Meatball Shop in the Lower East Side, and we chowed down on what was to become my 2nd fave meal during my 9-day visit to NYC.

Undeterred by the frosty hostess who told us the wait for a table would be an hour and a half, we 3 gave her our name and number, then strolled next door to sip on some vino. Lo and behold, she rang us up not 20 minutes later. We knocked back our drinks, popped on over and sat at the long farm table inside (after giving up our seats outside—gusty winds were not conducive to relaxed noshing).

The place was noisy, the people around us boisterous. But no matter. The music floating through the resto was the best of the '80s—it was as if we were in the middle of a John Hughes flick. Pretty in Pink, anyone? And our bright, no-nonsense waitress showed us the ropes with the big mix-and-match menu of all kinds of meatballs—from beef to veggie and that night's special, lamb—with varying sauces—like tomato and parmesan cream—not to mention sides and so on and so forth.

Along with a side of mashed potatoes for the table, I ordered the uber-savory meatball smash: 2 pork balls smashed between fluffy brioche buns, oozing zesty spicy meat sauce and melted mozzarella cheese, served with a side of arugula salad.

Holy meatballs, were they delicious, well-seasoned with a really nice, crumbly texture. The Meatball Shop has most certainly made my short list of places to go whenever I visit NYC.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Walk Down Butter Lane

Butter Lane's cuppers will definitely do in a pinch when Sugar Sweet Sunshine is just a few blocks too far to schlep to for a post-dinner splurge. This here's the yummy salted caramel frosting on mini choco cake.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Ode to Ippudo

The poem is in the picture (actually, it's in the bowl): tsuke ramen, Ippudo's summer special of cold noodles and salty, hot pork broth to dip 'em into. Mmmmmm.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Loverly Locanda Verde

My fave meal during my recent NY stay was at Tribeca hotspot Locanda Verde (and I'm not just saying that because MK's the sous chef ... heyyyyyy girl). My dining mate, a hedon/glutton in her own right, was also super thrilled with the dazzling array of deliciously delightful dishes that came our way. That said, I think I'll leave it to the pictures to tell the story ...

Just above: two kinds of crostini—sweet corn with smoked shiitake and prosciutto (in front) and creamy bacalao (aka salted cod, in back).

Home-made, al dente orecchiette with crumbly, home-made duck sausage, crisp-tender broccoli rabe and piave, a nutty cow's milk cheese.

More home-made pasta: Trofie with fresh basil pesto, toasted pine nuts, green beans, gaeta olives and plenty of parmigiano-reggiano.

The fire-roasted rosemary, garlic chicken is meant for two, but I gotta say an entire chicken with a pile of roasted veg will feed four folks easily. It's also the most succulent roast chicken I've ever had the pleasure of devouring.

We made heavy inroads into all of the above along with a fresh arugula salad with black mission figs, shavings of asiago cheese and American speck. By the end, we were thinking we could maybe work in one dessert ... And of course MK sent out 4. Holy cow.

Pastry Chef Karen DeMasco has won awards for her creations. Suffice it to say we were in heaven. What we inhaled: peach and blackberry crostada with peach swirl gelato; sweet corn budino with blueberry sorbetto and caramel popcorn; chocolate-pistachio tart with raspberries and pistachio gelato; and the la fantasia di fragola with fior di latte gelato, strawberry-prosecco sorbetto, sbrisolona (aka crumbly cake) with a white balsamic meringue.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Nom Nom Num Pang

I'd been jonesing for good banh mi, so when I was to meet a friend for lunch one day near Union Square, off we went to Num Pang on 12th and University. Thanks to DY for giving me the heads up on this Cambodian sandwich shop (num pang means sandwich in Khmer). Yes, the meat fillings aren't quite the same, but the toasted baguette, cilantro, cucumber and pickled carrots are like any really tasty banh mi I've ever had.

As it is, the filling I did try—the pulled duroc pork with spiced honey—was super satisfying, tender and full of flavor, and nicely set off by Num Pang's home-made chile mayo. My main regret is that I didn't have time to go back and try a few other sandos—like the coconut tiger shrimp or the hoisin veal meatballs. Well, I guess it'll have to wait til the next time I'm in New York.