Tuesday, February 8, 2011

NYC Recap

Back from NYC - thought I should do an update before I forget :)

Did not try any prie fixe at any participating restaurants!  Went to 7 out of the 11 of the places I wanted to try - and my list definitely grew longer after the trip :P  Highlight of the week definitely is NO WAIT TIME at any restaurants including the Spotted Pig!

Quick recap-

Monday- lunch @ Joe Shanghai; dinner @ Dervish

verdict: the soup dumpling taste good... doesn't look as good... i wouldn't make a special trip there but it's worth a visit if i am closeby.  Food is delicious at Dervish (I had the stuffed eggplant)  but service can be improved.

stuffed eggplant @ dervish
Tuesday- lunch @ Carmine's; dinner @ Spotted Pig

verdict: didn't know Sicilian actually means thick crust... but the topping is very delicious (we ordered a custom pizza with artichokes, hot peppers, and pepperoni - would do pancetta instead next time).  apparently, this place is very highly rated on Urbanspoon.  Spotted Pig definitely is one of the places I have VERY HIGH expectations for... did they meet it?  definitely!  am I "wow-ed"? that's still a question mark.  The food definitely live up to the expectation.  Very unique menu items and they definitely delivered.  So why wasn't I like "jumping up and down like T. Cruise" - no clue.  Highly recommend the gnudi and be adventurous!  This would be a place I would try anything the chef makes.

Sicilian pizza @ Carmine's
Gnudi @ Spotted Pig
Ox Tongue @ Spotted Pig

Wednesday- lunch @ Carmine's; dinner @ some random chinese restaurant in Chinatown
verdict: ordered the mozzarella tomoto & prociutto hero (aka sandwich) - edible, nothing too special.  my co-workers wanted to go for chinese for budget purpose since we probably broke the bank @ the spotted pig.  Since it's the chinese new year's eve, Chinatown actually felt dead.  Everything closed early.  The food wasn't bad.  It's authentic but again, I am very hard to please when it comes to Chinese food.  Went to a bar with the co-workers (we pre-drink too)... I know I drank a lot... but surprisingly I didn't feel it... (must be the fried chicken I had for dinner)

Thursday- lunch @ Carmine's again!! dinner @ some random Irish pub; dinner #2 @ Sapporo
verdict: had the lazania - this is GOOD.  we originally wanted to go to the Long Room for dinner but the crowd is just too much so we went to this other place.  You can already tell I am not impressed since I don't even remember the name of the place... it's either o'nelly or connelly or something.  I ordered the "peking duck" burger and got a regular patty covered in cheese...  this is what I called false advertising... instead of getting something else, I went to eat ramen at Sapporo with my brother afterwards.  Prices are reasonable for a ramen shop right in Times Square.  It's good - but again, not wow-ed!  (I felt like I am turning into a snob)

Friday- lunch @ Nobu 57; dinner @ Chennai Garden; dinner #2 @ Yakitori Taisho
verdict: been wanting to go to Nobu for a long time- had the chirashi- not impressed.  Ridiculously expensive, not worth it in my book... maybe for people who have that kind of cash to burn... (it's off 5th avenue and 57th street so it's a rich area) lunch for 2 with tax and tip $110- and this includes a fried uni appetizer ($14), unagi don ($38) and chirashi don ($34); met up with a friend at chennai - food is yummy here! prices are reasonable too!  I was stuffed but my brother said he was hungry so here we go again.  Love NYC since you can find and eat good food no matter what time of the day it is.  After we sat down, I recalled my friend told me Oh! Taisho is better... oh well, i will just go there next time.  I just love East Village- we saw a bar doing 5 shots for $10 all day, all night... well... not going to do that with my brother... how can that be fun anyway?

Fried Uni @ Nobu 57

Chirashi @ Nobu 57
Masala Dosa @ Chennai Garden
Bhindi Masala @ Chennai Garden
Saturday- breakfast @ Magnolia Bakery; lunch @ Shimizu; tea @ Rice to Riches & the Best Chocolate Cake in the World; dinner @ Lombardi's; after dinner drinks @ the Long Room + Waldorf Astoria

verdict: cupcake for breakfast, enough said.  Shimizu is excellent for the price ($9.95 for the lunch special).  In fact, I think the Chirashi is even better than the one at Nobu.  Rice pudding is just not my thing but I can see why people went crazy over it and the flourless chocolate cake is actually better than the one I had at the Spotted Pig.  Pizza was good.  I kept it very simple (napolian toppings + pancetta) as good Italian food should be... (they used st. mazano tomatoes) I think I would like it more if the crust is thinner.  Tried the appetizer at the Long Room, not bad.  Drinks are actually cheap.  Had the cocktail coupons from waldorf so I had to use those up...

Orange Cupcake @ Magnolia Bakery

Mini Chirashi and Udon @ Shimizu

Traditional Pizza @ Lombardi's
Sunday- lunch @ Menkui Tei

verdict:  originally wanted to go to a place closer to the hotel called Donburiya but they only open for dinner so we headed over to Central Park.  Scared that I might missed the train/flight, I just looked up a restaurant with the highest rating on Yelp in the area and found this.  Portions are generous and price is cheap.  It is also delicious, which is always a plus.  Must return to try their rice balls!

Menkui Ramen @ Menkui Tei
Newly added and other notes:

Ippudo- heard mixed reviews and scared of the long line.  Since I wasn't in the area so I decided to skip this time.  When there are places like Menkui Tei and Sapporo, I doubt I would overpay for a bowl of ramen.

Peter Luger- you are still on my list... even though people keep telling me I can get good steak outside of NYC...

Donburiya, Fat Witch Bakery, Kodama, Kunjip- I shall meet you next time :)


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