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Posts Tagged ‘food’

Guess it’s time to go back to restaurant talk! Last week I went to dinner with my fabulous friend Mara in Park Slope at Al Di La. It is just adorable and there’s a really nice chandelier, and you know those fascinate me. And the house wine is pretty dang good, which I know because Mara works in the wine industry so for her to say that means it’s really legit! We had some. Of course. And we shared entrees. Mara got the braised rabbit with polenta and I got the duck. Both were good but I would recommend the rabbit, although I’m pretty sure you actually couldn’t do any wrong here.

This is the swiss chard and ricotta gnocchi which was A-mazing.

And then for dessert we had some chocolate ice cream thing with hazelnuts and whipped cream which was also A-mazing.

Yep. We went big at Al Di La! They also have a little wine bar next door if you can’t get a table at the Trattoria. I highly, highly recommend going here. Their website may be the worst website in the history of the world, ever, but apparently it’s not stopping them from getting any business – so hey!

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If you’re a Michigan State Spartan, as I am, The Breslin means something very specific to you: basketball. But in New York City, it’s a newish restaurant in the Ace Hotel that everyone has been talking about. And so we meet the lamb burger.

Above is Nora who came to town for New Year’s Eve. We started with a seafood sausage which is whaaat seafood made into sausage. I don’t even remember all the seafood involved, definitely some lobster but it was phe-nom-e-nal. You must try it. Sounds strange, yes, but SO GOOD.

And here is the lamb burger which is so good it is now tied for favorite burger ever with The Spotted Pig. This burger is lamb (duh) and there’s a block of feta on it which is AWESOME. I always order my burgers plain, no cheese, but feta is the exception as feta can do no wrong. So there’s that.

For dessert we had the doughnuts which were warm and covered in sugar. The sauces were sea salt caramel (I think), maple, and something cranberry. The caramel was the best, naturally. While eating this I thought I really need to take my mom there.

So The Breslin is cute, it’s kind of decorated like the Spotted Pig now that I think about it. But the Ace Hotel is trendy, trendy and there’s usually a wait, ours was only 20 minutes on a Thursday night – so not too bad.

So yes, I would definitely recommend The Breslin to anyone – Spartan or not.

Also, a sidenote – I think it’s funny when people complain about limited menus. The Breslin doesn’t have a lot of entree options but I personally think that’s one of it’s strengths. What’s wrong with just focusing on some really great dishes and who needs a thousand choices anyway? So I dig it.

Another sidenote – my rent just went up crazy huge this week (16%!) so yay for that! I may have to resort to eating cereal for dinner a few nights a week because I am not ready to move out yet. Moving sucks! Am I right or am I right?

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Are you sick of looking at Christmas party food yet? Nope? Good. Soooo I mentioned going to a party Christmas Eve at Jeff’s. Well we returned Christmas Day for round two of food, friends, and festivities. This is part of the spread above. The turkey is from Jive Turkey in Brooklyn which is freaking awesome. They sell all kinds of fried turkeys. We had roasted garlic and jerk turkey. YUM! Apparently you can spend seven or eight hours waiting in line during Thanksgiving.

My contribution was this salad. It’s actually a recipe from my Aunt J and I had to make the dressing and coat almonds with sugar to make it soooo very delicious.

Also there was green bean casserole:

This is before it was done being topped with Frosted Flakes. Yep, FROSTED flakes. Ha.

One of my favorite pictures from the evening comes from when all six of us ladies were sitting on the couches while all the guys were working in the kitchen. AWESOME! And we were all wearing different colored/patterned tights.

Aaand here’s the whole crew:

After we had dinner and dessert we played this game called Quelf which was hilarious and makes you do slightly embarrassing things. It was fun. And I thiiiiink that is my last Christmas post so Merry Christmas one more time. :)

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Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas…

So this year’s Christmas was a little off the norm. Usually I’m at home in Detroit with my family but this year there were some different traveling plans and moving plans in my family so I decided to stay in New York. It’s funny because at first I thought it would be a super chill Christmas watching movies the whole time, but turns out quite a few people I knew stayed in town! My friend Missy stayed with me a couple nights (I’m housesitting for some friends) and we tried to keep some of our family’s traditions even though we weren’t with them. For Missy all she needed was some chocolate milk and I needed to start Christmas morning by making cinnamon rolls. Mmm! Also you can see some pretty Christmas cookies from Ladybird (same as Two Little Red Hens) and some cut up fruit. It was pretty perfect.

Missy also made a traditional Spanish tortilla. She’s not Spanish but she’s studied abroad there with MSU and really loves the culture. I really loved the tortilla.

Mmmm. On Christmas Eve we went to my friend Jeff’s apartment for some hors d’oeuvres, eggnog cocktails, and Scattergories.

Who loves Christmas?

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Oh man, why do I do this to myself? Post pictures of amazing meals when yesterday I pretty much just had soup and a sandwich. Yey. What I would have liked to have was the steamed pork buns and ramen from Fatty Crab on the UWS (above.) I went to Fatty Crab with Kelly and Chloe not this past weekend but the weekend before after seeing The Nutcracker at Lincoln Center. Perfect.

Well, hello, that’s me taking a bite out of a pork bun. And this picture also makes me realize that I’ve been wearing this dress pretty much every day for the past three weeks. But that’s what I do. I get something and I wear the crap out of it, eventually retire it and then bust it out occasionally as needed. So right now I’m wearing the crap out of this Madewell dress.

I will say one thing… it’s an interesting experience when everyone at the table has their camera out and is snapping pictures of the food. I’m actually not sure I can handle it!

That above is the chili crab which is AMAZING. It’s crab that you have to pull apart, crack, whatever to get at the meat and it’s soaking in this chili broth and there are also big pieces of bread and it is SO GOOD! A lot of work to eat but really delicious. I will likely go there again and order that again because it was good. Take a looksies:

 

And there you have it. Also part of Fatty Crab is Fatty Cue in Brooklyn, which I need to get myself over to stat. It’s been on my list for months and months and months now. I just saw on their websites that they are both open on Christmas Day, so there you go.

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Dan’s not going to like this. He’s very particular about his photographs (as are many guys I know… hmm) but as he said, there’s not much he can do if I put a picture of him on my blog. Hehe. You people know what you’re getting into when you go out to dinner with me. Let’s be real.

So there is Dan and myself at The Spotted Pig, aka my new favorite restaurant! I’ve said this to a few people since dining there last week, and pretty much everyone’s reaction to me has been, “What?! You’ve never been there before?!” Hard to believe, I know, but it’s true. I have not yet been to every single good restaurant in NYC. And I probably won’t!

But The Spotted Pig. It is cuuuuute. There’s a downstairs and an upstairs, and the upstairs has a bar too. We had to wait maybe 25 minutes so we had a drink upstairs by the bar before they found us and gave us a table downstairs. There are pictures everywhere and it just has so much character! I remember pointing out that they had strings of lights in the shape of pigs. Pigs! Who makes those!? Anyway, they are famous for not only being cool, but also for their fabulous burgers, which we both ordered.

And here is a picture of Dan’s cheeseburger with a flash (funny because he scoffed at me taking pictures originally and then was all, “Now, you’ve got to take a picture of THIS” when he looked at the inside of his burger).

Oh yeah, those fries are crazy too. HEAPS OF FRIES!

We also had devils on horseback which were figs with pear wrapped in bacon? I think? Delicious. And we also had the sheep’s milk ricotta gnudi with basil pesto which was CaRazy. Flavor!

The only thing I wasn’t as thrilled with was this:

Flourless chocolate cake. Now, I have tried many flourless chocolate cakes and I’ve never really understood why it matters if there is flour or not, but this wasn’t really like a cake at all. It was more of a slice of frosting/fudge if you can imagine. Extremely chocolatey and a good flavor, just not what I expected. For the record, Dan doesn’t really care about chocolate and he thought it was great. He wanted you to know that.

So there you have it. The Spotted Pig is the ISH and the service was impeccable and I would glady, glady return.

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I like hamburgers. My favorite hamburger in Michigan is at Red Coat Tavern in Royal Oak. Btw, they don’t even have a website. I have loved Red Coat Tavern for years. They have THE best burgers and THE best clam chowder. EVER! Sigh… I always tell Kelly about it, and one day we will both be in Michigan at the same time and one day we will both be at Red Coat Tavern.

Remember when you had a job in high school and every paycheck was just play money? We used to take our play money over to Red Coat. Me, my homeboy Eugene, and Michelle. Oh… those were the days. Phone bills? Rent? Never! Just hamburgers and Coney Islands. So when I’m home in the D, I like to bring back those memories with those people. And it’s kind of great. So take a look at the most glorious burger and plot Red Coat Tavern on your map if you’re going to be in Michigan.

By the way, it’s really dark in Red Coat Tavern and the lights are red and the booths are red which is why this photo looks the way it does because when we first got there I didn’t want to annoy people with my flash. But when we got the burgers I thought one flash picture and people could get over it. So why is the clam chowder so great? Well first, it’s probably the thickest clam chowder you’ll ever have and that scores huge points with me. Also, the chunks of potatoes and clams are plentiful. There’s really not much else to say. The best thing to do is get a cup of chowder and split the burger with a friend. Or get your own, I won’t judge. And when you split the burger, they split it for you and you each get your own pickle spear. Yay!

Btw, when we were there, I got a parking spot right in front of Red Coat which has never happened in all my life. It gets packed and there’s always a wait and I felt like I had won some major lottery with that parking spot. And I laughed to myself because parking spots is such a funny thing to care about, especially since I never think about that in NYC.

And there you have it folks, one of my top 5 favorite restaurants in Michigan and THE best burger in town: Red Coat!

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