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Archive for the ‘nyc foodings’ Category

EVERYONE and their grandmothers have been talking about the newest ramen place in the East Village. Of course that means it’s what I need to try it the next time I’m in New York and that’s exactly what I did. I’m currently living in 3, yes 3, different cities at the moment. Munich for work, Missouri for the Boy, and NYC, ya know, for the food. I think I’ve been at home in New York a total of 10 days in the last two months. Anyways, back to the restaurant. The place I’m talking about is Ramen Setagaya. It’s a tinyyyy, let me re-emphasize, tinyyyy place with at most maybe 20 seats. I went directly after work with two of my girl friends one day and we didn’t have to wait for a table.  If you want to beat the line, and there is normally ALWAYS a line, go around 6PM or earlier. 

There was also an Asian tapas place behind the ramen shop which I also tried, but I’ve since heard they’ve closed down.  I think it’s such a tragedy because I actually enjoyed the tapas place more than the ramen.

ramen settagaya outside

First of all, I have to acknowledge my love for tiny eateries.  It must be the intimacy and the familial-ness that draws me in.  This may also be why tiny eateries who make bad food just makes me want to cry.  I take their short-comings to heart.  While Setagaya does not make me want to cry internally, it does make me a little sad.  They have all the staples of a good tiny eatery.  Line shooting out the door.  Seating for less than 20.  Quick service.  You can see into the kitchen and the cooks from virtually any seat.  But I’m left with a few reservations after my experience.

setagaya kitchen opening
feels like he’s taking a take-out order, doesn’t it?

 First, I’m going to quote from silverjay; he says that there’s a “Japanese impression of American tastes is that we like things strongly flavored” and I think that may contribute to the saltiness of the broth.  I do have to acknowledge that they use a salt based broth, or shio rather, made with, none other than, real salt.  However, I don’t believe that a salt broth should be so salty that one doesn’t even want to drink the broth at all.  At this point, I was thinking that I should have tried their dipping noodles instead.  I could then control how much of the broth should go on my noodles.  Needless to say, my companions and I thought it was overly salty.  Setagaya uses pork and chicken bones did make for a very deeply favored broth, but the shio made it difficult to enjoy.  Silverjay went closer to the grand opening of the Setagaya and said that the dried scallops and anchovies gave the broth a stronger seafood taste than pork.  I didn’t taste any seafood and I have a strong seafood radar since I’m allergic to a bunch of it. 

I do enjoy the texture of the ramen noodles, they had a little spring in their steps when I was eating them.  Some people say that their noodles are too chewy, but I actually liked that.  I also got 4 pretty hefty sized pieces of pork, which was marinated beforehand and half a half oozing egg. 

classic pork ramen

For me. the best thing from the ramen house wasn’t the ramen, it was the mini rice bowl.  This was awesome.  I mean Perfection.  But then again, it’s hard to mess up chicken and rice, right?  Minced chicken with an organic egg garnished with seaweed and green onion.  I don’t care how bad it is for me, egg yolk over warm rice is the best thing everrr, with a little drizzle of soy sauce of course.  I even have a Persian friend who does the egg yolk over cold rice, she says in her family, warm rice is taboo.  If you ask me, I’d come here again just for the rice and maybe the dipping noodles.  Although, I heard that they use different noodles for that dish, so I may have to request this particular ramen.  I guess we’ll just have to wait and see!

chicken rice

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!!!PER SE!!!

My friend and I went to Per Se in celebrating of her birthday for a veryyyy expensive lunch.  And our consensus?  It was AWESOME.  I’d have to say that it was probably the most amazing experience I’ve ever had at a 5 star restaurant.  Not only was the food gastronomically spell-binding, but the two guys who worked our table were so entertaining.  There are probably more pictures than words, but I’m sure that doesn’t bother anyone.  If you’ve got $250 burning a hole in your pocket, dial as fast as you can to make a reservation at Per Se.  They’re always changing their menus [everyday I believe, and I’m guessing they recycle their dishes?] so I’m already wanting to go back again.  =X  My birthday is next month… hmmm…  =X

So first, here are a bunch of pictures of the actual place.  All very chic and minimalist, save for the tons of green in thee faux garden area before you get inside.

per se, outside 2
cute fake garden, eh?  nice photo op 😉

entryway
main hallway 

entryway
entryway to the main dining room

The menu was so comprehensive.  They had something for everyone.  At the end of the meal, it was like a transition into a dessert tasting.  They also have this really delicious beer [I swear he said beer] bread.  It didn’t taste like beer, and I just can’t describe it.. it’s like your typical baguette type bread- crunchy on the outside and soft on this inside.. but better.. and more flavorful yet not overbearing. 

Also, note the vibrant colors of the food.  Don’t they all just scream “eat me!” ?

Note that half courses aren’t included in the menu and the negative courses are the amuse bouches [or so I take them to be].  

Course -1:  Pão de Queijo.  Brazilian Cheese balls.  They’re like warm cheese puffs with ooey gooey warm cheese centers that melts in your mouth.  I usually encounter these at the churrascarias, where I can’t allow myself to eat too many of them because I have to save my stomach for the unending skewers of meat. 

cheese balls

Course -2: Salmon cones.  It’s salmon tartare in a pylo cone with creme fraiche.  The creme fraiche is stuck in the bottom, so you kind of have to try to eat the whole thing together in order to get the full experience, or you’re just going to end up with a lot of creme fraiche an cone- no salmon.

salmon cones

Course 1:  Cauliflower “Panna Cotta” – w/ Island Greek Oyster Glaze and Sterling White Sturgeon Caviar.  I like eating caviar only because of the mother of pearl spoons I get to use.  It’s so fancy and girly.  The cauliflower threw me off in name, but wasn’t too bad in practice.  It was just like lightly flavored pudding with yummy salty caviar on top.  Caviar has such a distinct salty and fishy taste, that I’m glad is only offered in small portions because I definitely cannot eat a whole can of it [much less afford to buy one].

caviar

Course 1 1/2:  From the best of my recollection, this was fluke or some type of fish with caviar and a piece of grapefruit.  The grapefuit was sweet and complimented the fish well.  

sashimisashimi
Their platings are all very elaborate.  This is just one example. 

Course 2: Salad of Marinated Abalone Mushroom – Slow baked heirloom beets, grilled young red onion and garden mache with pickled shallot gastrique. 

abalone

Course 2a: “Peach Melba” – terrine of Hudson Valley Moulard duck foie gras, marinated Frog Hollow Farm’s peaches, peach jelly, red onion, cilantro shoots, “melba toast” and puffed carolina rice.  It was $30 extra for this slab of foie gras that my friend ordered, and I’m not a fan of the terrine, so she gulped it down all by herself.  She says she likes the complement of the sweetness of the peaches with the foie gras. 

peach melba

Bread Break 1:  The kick ass bread mentioned earlier is in the hero form in the picture below.  We were also given two types of butter, regular butter and French butter in the little tin.  One of them was salted; whichever one that was was the good one.

breads 1

Course 3. Crispy Skin Fillet of Barramundi – Sauteed Italian Eggplant, candied marcona almonds, golden sultanas, spanish capers and petite mint w/ madres curry “aigre-doux”.  While I enjoyed the different flavored paired with the fish to offer a sweet and savory taste, the fish was seared in a bit more oil than I would have liked.  It was heavier than expected, but still made a good impression.  I’m not used to sweet; it’s usually either salty or picked. 

fish
It’s a fish eye!  Get it?  Har Har.  Yea, I know, I suck.  =P

Course 4. Scottish Langoustines “A La Plancha”- handmade farfalle, globe artichokes, nicoise olive “petals”, grilled red endive and EVOO emulsion.  I didn’t eat this b/c from the looks of it – I am sure to be allergic to langostine.  It’s suppose to be similar to lobster, and it looks like shrimp.  I’m allergic to both!  It would be terrible if I ended up having an allergic reaction at Per Se, like I did at Jean George’s Dune in the Bahamas when I accidentally ate crab.  =T

langostine

Course 4a. Pan Seared Cod with fresh string beans and potatoes on a bed of forgotten identity sauce.  As an alternative to the langostine [don’t you just love that word?  langostine!  It’s such a fun word], I was given more fish- cod, this time.  The vibrant colors of the sauce and veggies in contrast to the white of the fish was very aesthetically pleasing.  The flavor of the cod and its veggie accompaniments made this a very light summery dish. 

cod

Course 5. All day braised Berkshire pork belly– compressed watermelon, young fennel, roquette leaves and pork jus.  Tell me this doesn’t look like a prettified piece of roast pork from Chinatown!  If there was any moment in the whole 2-2.5 hours we were there that I ever felt gyped, it would be the moment I got served this.  I do have to admit that the pork belly was really soft from the long hours of braising and it came apart really easily, and almost melts in your mouth, but no so much that it’s gross b/c it’s meat kind of way.  However, mine came with the hughest piece of fat inbetween the meat and the skin that I was disgusted.  Usually, I can just rip that part out and it would be fine, but this layer was THICK.  On the other hand, the watermelon was awesome save for the sprig of mint on top.  Compressed watermelon = a TON of juice in one mouthful. 

roast pork belly 

And it was soo salty!  Look at her reaction! 

salty pork

Course 6.  Rib-eye of Marcho Farm’s nature fed veal– “fricassee de ris et cervelle de veau”- herb-scented spatzle, watercress leaves and Tokyo turnips w/ brown butter veal sauce.  At first, I thought that the bits of white spots on there were spots of fat and I was not happy about that.  MORE FAT?!  But no.  I was just overreacting.  It was sea salt.  *whew!  Of course, the two big pieces were kind of expected.  I didn’t think there was anything special about this course.  The butter veal sauce was unremarkable because it tasted similar to any red meat sauce I’ve ever had [it was good but just nothing noteworthy is all].  Are turnips from Tokyo suppose to taste different?  I’m guessing yes, but I didn’t get that.  I know the Japanese pears kick American pears’ ass.  Soo juicy… *drools…  And is this spatzel just a fried version of the German spaetzle?  This didn’t have much flavor and frying it made it a bit soggy.  BTW, spaetzle is the shit.  Especially if it were to be served in this type meat sauce.

veal

Tea Break:  We were freezinggg so we stopped to get some tea to warm ourselves up.  I’m always having trouble retaining body heat and you saw how skinny my friend by that last picture, so you know that she doesn’t have any place to store heat.  =X  Eva, I still love you!  I’ve got to say that Per Se has an awesome tea menu, not because they have an especially good tea selection [it’s just the regular white tea, oolong, green, etc].  But the actual MENU is awesome in that the names crack me up.  “Drum Mountain White Cloud” and “Golden Monkey” are two examples.  Haha I think I ordered the Golden Monkey for the hell of it.   

Course 7. Petite ardi-gasna- salad of summer squash. “pain de campagne”- cherry tomatos and opal basil with saporoso vinegar reduction.  What can I say about this?  Cherry tomatoes?  Yum.  Basil?  Flavorful.  Vinegar?  Tastes like balsamic.

squash

Bread Break 2: Cranberry walnut, if I’m not mistaken..

cranberry bread

Course 8. hibiscus sorbet– mango coulis, dragon fruit and shaved coconut

There were two variations to this dessert b/c they thought my friend and I would appreciate trying two different things instead of just one.  =D  Aren’t they sweet?  Unfortunately, while they paid careful attention to my allergies, they forgot about my friend’s.  She can’t have coconut!  Well, the servers and the kitchen couldn’t remember if those were real coconut shavings or if they replaced it with something else, so they decided not to take that chance.  So what did they do with the other dessert?  They gave it to the fatty; in other words, me!  Desserts are pretty self explanatory.  The dragon fruit was sour as I expected, but the mango really hit the spot. 

coconut dessert 1

alternate dessert

She ended up with this.  Dragon fruit sorbet with mint jellies.

dessert 2

Course 9. Tentation au chocolat noisette et lait – milk chocolate “cremeux” and hazelnut “streusel” w/ condensed milk sorbet, “pain au lait” sauce and sweetened salty hazelnuts.  I thought that there would be too much chocolate in this dish for me so I didn’t order it.  I now wish I would have tried the milk sorbet though.  How creative.

chocolate

Course 9a. “degustation de fruits d’ete”- tristar strawberry “consumme” and “frangipane croustillante” w/ lemon curd ice cream.  Although I really love sorbets, I felt like this dish didn’t need the sorbet on top.  The fruits with the biscuit shortcake was enough.  The strawberry consumme was light and not overly sweet.  I didn’t think the sour lemon really went with this dish. 

fruits

Course 9 1/2:  Individual creme brulee.  Whoops!  I nearly forgot about this one last dessert that was not on the menu.  Actually, a LOT of things weren’t on the menu [not that I’m complaining, who can say no to free food?].  My friend and I each got individual creme brulees.  It was the cutest thing ever.  The sugar shell was thicker than I expected, hence, providing more sugar than I would’ve like for the custard inside.  Yet, the custard itself wasn’t too sweet, so I was able to include some of the shell while eating.  Usually, I just crack the shell and scope out the inside because the custard’s already too sweet for me.  As you can tell, I’m not one to order creme brulees much, if at all.  

creme brulee

Lastly:  Mignardises– preciousness.

chocolates

chocolates

My selection: Vanilla & coffee.  The vanilla way wayyy too sweet.  The coffee was good, but I couldn’t finish it.

chocolate inside chocolates

Our parting gift.  Macaroons!  Almond base instead of coconut so my friend wasn’t allergic!

macaroons

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I love that the LES is such a booming place for bars and restaurants now because all these places are much closer to me!  It speaks volumes to my lazy ass.  However, it may not be doing as well for the ever expanding waistline of mine.  My friend from down the block and I walked a whole 10 minutes to Brown, which is the restaurant part of Green Brown Orange.  The Green is the catering facility and the Orange is the epicerie for private dining events.  Brown is a tiny place, with a few tables outside, and two long tables inside with two window booths [one to the left and right of the door].  It was hot the day we went but they didn’t turn on the AC, so it was steaming instead, especially with the sun beating down my back.  But I love summer days, so I can’t complain too much. 

brown outside
the dinky outside – looks kinda rustic doesn’t it?

brown inside
the tiny restaurant quarters inside

Aside from the forced coziness of the place, the food was fantastic.  Everything was organic and delicious.  I especially enjoyed the presentation.  It all seems very rustic, with the huge piece of bread and the pile of greens.  I ordered the baked eggs with roasted tomatoes, asparagus, and a huge slice of manchego cheese with roasted potatoes and onion and mixed greens on the side.  Just looking at the iron skillet/pan makes my mouth water- not to mention that it’s 45 mins away from lunch for me.  The reason why I’m intrigued with the baked eggs is that it’s like a sunny side omelet.  You get all the goodies associated with the omelet, but you also get the gushy egg yoke!  I carved out pieces of the baked eggs and made little sandwich bites atop the bread with the greens. 

baked eggs

eggs close up

sausage
i believe this is a side of the wild boar sausage that my friend ordered

finished
all done =X

As you can see from the last picture, I was a beast with my breakfast.  It’s rarely the case when I completely clean off my plate[s].  My friends tell me that it’s very un-Chinese of me to not clean my plates, but sometimes, I just can’t help it.  I think this last picture speaks for itself.  Brown is a lick-the-last-remnants-off-a-burning-skillet type brunch place.  ;D

 

Happy Eating.

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toc, entry

Event: Taste of Chinatown 
Date: April 21, 2007
Location: Streets of Chinatown, New York

I wasn’t going to attend this event because I thought it wouldn’t really reflect authentic Chinese food.  And at $2 a serving, things were overpriced if you know Chinese prices.  I went anyways because a group of my friends were excited to go, so I figured it couldn’t hurt to check it out.  You know what?  My intial thoughts were right.  It was a disappointment. 

The set up was pretty clever.  Participating restaurants would set up stands in front of their own restaurants and serve whatever they wanted.  However, I noticed that a lot of the restaurants didn’t serve their signature dishes.  Many restaurants opted for what my fellow Chinese and I refer to as “watered down Chinese food.”  There were more stands that offered fried chicken wings than I could count.  I don’t thing Big Wong even had their cha-siew [roast pork] out , but I could be wrong.  They could have sold out of it when I was walking by.  Wonton Garden had some unappetizing looking wontons out.  I think that the two stands that stood out the most for me were the one for the Peking Duck House and Ten Ren tea house.  This is probably because the two knew what they were good at and served only those things, unlike stands that tried to offered an array of dishes.  Mr. Tang’s [foods pictured below] offered typical general tso’s chicken, fried rice, and lo mein.  The lo mein and fried rice portions were smaller and more expensive at $2 than I would have paid at a regular street vendor.  I thought the food was sub-par for Chinese food, but satisfying to the empty stomach.  I managed to snag a couple chicken skewers from one of the restaurants closer to Canal street, and they were very good, but still, not very worth the price.  The chicken was oily, but moist and flavorful- more meaty and better than a lot of the chicken satays at Thai restaurants.

Let’s go to the pictures…

the crowdtents
the hoard of people i had to fight my way through & tented areas for grubbing

stand
what a typical stand/vendor looked like

Mr. Tang’s booty: General Tso’s chicken / fried rice / lo mein

gen tso's chicken 
fried rice 
lo mein 

chicken skewer
The yummerful chicken skewer

ten ren 
Passionfruit green tea with tapioca

Peking Duck House.  They carved the duck [the key to peking duck is the super crispy skin] in front of you and wrap it up with cucumbers in something similar to a flour tortilla and flavored with oyster sauce.  $2 per piece.  This is one thing worth trying, but the line was wayyyy too long. 

peking duck

peking duck

Lastly… say hi to Iron Chef Piggie.  They were being sold at the event.  It’s currently sitting on top of my radiator, by my window sill.  ;D

iron chef piggie

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A little while ago [meaning … March], I was obsessed with drinking Thai iced teas– don’t ask why.  I think it’s because the weather started warming up a bit, and I kept going to Thai restaurants with my friend JJ so I couldn’t stop drinking them!  It came to the point where I would just walk into a Thai restaurant and just order a Thai iced tea to go.  These are just some of the Thai restaurants I went to during the month of March.  My obsession got so bad that McTwinkle had to put his foot down and forbid me to have any more.  But where did I take him for his birthday ?  To a Thai restaurant ;p.

I went to Seain Williamsburg twice… in one week.  The second time, I had my Thai friend go schmooze with the hostess so we got a table with a quickness.  =X  The first night I ordered the massaman curry with chicken, the second night I ordered curry noodle soup with chicken.  I enjoyed the massaman curry as it was mild but flavorful.  The curry soup was a bit disappointing as the flavor was just in the soup, everything inside including the noodles were bland and overcooked and the chicken was overdone.  Their thai iced tea was made overly sweet the second time around so I had to send it back to get them to lessen the sweet factor.  I also got to try a few of their appetizers- I tried both of the spring rolls [crispy basil spring rolls &po-pia sod], which were okay and ordinary.  I enjoyed the crispy ones more b/c it didn’t have mint in it but I did like the summer roll type skin on the po-pia sod.  The Sea chicken wingswere actually really good- I’m not sure what the sauce is – it looks like jerk chicken, but definitely tastes a lot better.  I also had the fried ice cream for dessert.  They pour a whole buttload of rum on the plate and lit it up so you get the cool blue flame effect below.  The rum seriously overpowered the whole dessert, which was a bit disappointing, but the actual fried ice cream was really good.

What I hate about going to Sea is that their service sucks.  I mean the workers there are nice enough- it’s not like I got into a spat with any of them directly.  However, they are always trying to accommodate more people than is politically correct so they are always rushing customers to finsih their meals.  I had a server/bus boy pull my plate from under me just as I was picking up my last spring roll.  Now, that is just plain rude!

thai iced tae

chicken wings

curry noods 

flaming ball of ice cream

McTwinkle, Arthur and I went to Kittichai for lunch one day and got seated in their lounge area b/c their space downstairs wasn’t opened- there was no explanation why.  We sat on plush seats surrounding a black bar in the middle.  The tables were very small, as they normally only hold drinks, so it was a bit difficult trying to balance three people’s lunches on two of those small round tables in the picture underneath. 

kittichai- space

We ordered both thai iced teas and thai iced coffees, which we got to sweeten and milk to our own tastes.  I got the thai salad to start, but I had meant to order the duck salad, but my mind was somewhere else and I ended up ordering the wrong one.  The salad was just a simple medley of lettuce, cucumbers, salmon, and peanuts with a crunchy rice paper look-a-like chip.  There’s nothing in regards to the salad to write home about.  McTwinkle and Arthur shared an order of their beef skewers, which were amazingly juicy and not-beefy tasting.  I don’t know what it was basted with, but I’d definitely eat it again.  I’ve been trying to open up more to meats lately.  The skewers came with a mango salsa, which resulted in the three of us wrestling for the mangoes.  We definitely should’ve ordered more of the skewers. 

thai iced tea

salad

beef satay

I thought their entrees were small but made very well.  I had the massaman chicken curry, which came with mashed potatoes and a side of rice.  It was very innovative that they decided to swap regular o’ potatoes for mash b/c I loveeee mash!  I think massaman may be one of my favorite curries because it’s mild in spice and on the sweeter side.  Sometimes I crave a spicier dish, like a vindaloo, but when I’m craving curry, I’m usually craving it for its sweetness- like the Japanese curry.  Mmm.  McTwinkle ordered a much spicier curry- a red curry with pork and capers that set my mouth on fire, which is exactly how he likes his food.  He drenched his rice with the sauce so all you can taste is the curry.  We have no idea what the pork really tastes like, this dish was definitely concentrated on the curry.  Arthur wasn’t really hungry so he ordered the tuna tartare.  They came looking like mini sandwiches, with the tuna acting as the bread with a slice of tomato and arugala in between and a beet on top.  The tuna had a nice red color in the middle and the pesto sauce complemented the tuna well. 

massaman curry 

spicy pork

tuna

While I enjoyed Kittichai, especially the mellow atmosphere and their presentation of both food and drink, I have to say that dishes here are just too expensive and small for the amount we paid for it.  If you’re in the mood for a nice lunch and want to just sit back and chill, this would be the place to go.  No one will bother you and the food is good.  The boys also give a thumbs up to the restaurant’s cute hostess.

I also revisited what is quite possibly my favorite Thai restaurant in NYC, Kai Kai Thai.  There’s something about the close-knit family vibe and the small kitschy dining room combined with a mason jar of thai iced tea and some home-cooked noodles to hit the spot.  We sat in the back of the small dining room, which was made to look like a front porch of a house, looking out onto  Thai movie posters and trinkets of model houses along the walls. 

I had ordered the pad siew again and it was just as good as I remembered it.  Soft broad noodles pan fried with chinese broccoli with chicken, carrots, and egg.  The chicken was a bit on the dry side since it wasn’t marinated- it’s good in small pieces mixed with the sweet [oyster sauce based?] sauce used to fry up the dish.  JJ ordered a heavily chilied dish that had similar ingredient as mine, only spicier.  She ordered in Thai so I have no clue what she asked for. 

 kaikai inside

thai iced tea
mason jar style ;P

pad siew
pad siew

spicy noods
ultra spicy version of my noods

I walked about two weeks ago and realized that the dining area to Kai Kai Thai is now gone!!  They still have their little take out area with a lone two seater table, but now they’re basically a solely take-out business!  The space is now used for doggie treats!  It’s like a 50s style ice cream parlor, but for doggie treats.  *sigh.  There are no words left…

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My friend JJ came to visit from Springfield, MA and I took her to brunch before a day of shopping in Soho.  My concierge friend recommended The Cupping Room, which is conveniently located on the cusp of Soho and Tribeca.  It’s a very cozy spot, with tables squished very closely together in order to accommodate the utmost amount of people.  The restaurant is split between a cafe section in the front and a main dining room in the back.  We decided to stay in the front because there was a really long line for the tables in the back, and didn’t seem much difference except the noise level increased about 5 decibels in the main dining area.  Also, all the servers and waiters hang out around the front cafe section because that’s where the kitchen and coffee bar are located. 

cupping room, outside

cupping room, coffee bar

The item that caught my attention immediately from the menu is the espresso whipped eggs and steamed, which obviously, is what I ordered.  The very first time I read the menu, I thought it was some sort of eggs with actual espresso liquid whipped into them.  I was disappointed to find out that my imagination got the best of me, and what they meant is just eggs whipped with an espresso machine.  You should’ve seen the look on my face when the waiter clarified that for me.  It was like all my hopes and dreams crashed into the abyss.  I suppose espresso flavored eggs would be really odd, but there’s a chance it could’ve tasted good… right?

So my espresso whipped eggs came out more airy than regular scrambled eggs, but it was also more watery.  Along with my eggs, I had a side of classic home fries- potatoes with peppers and onions – nothing particularly special.  I convinced my friend to get the eggs benedict, my brunch usual, since she didn’t know what to order.  She ordered it with smoked salmon, and that also came with home fries.  Her eggs benedict came drenched in hollandaise sauce that my eggs looked mild and wimpy next to them.  I didn’t try any of the eggs benedict so I can’t comment on sauce or fish, but I didn’t hear any complaints.  Sadly, my friend has a tiny appetite, and the hollandaise is a heavy sauce, so she only finished about a little more than half her food.

espresso whipped eggs

eggs benedict

I also ordered a glass of fresh orange juice, it came in the tiniest wine glass.  Where were all the high balls?  Grr!

oj
$4 OJ ! highway robbery!

The Cupping Room is a nice brunch place for those who are in the area or plan to be in the area that day.  I don’t think it’s one of those places that you need to go out of your way for.  Aside from the egg dishes, I did hear that their brioche french toast is to die for, along with the stuffed french toast – the bread is homemade- so maybe those are worth traveling from afar for.

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A friend and I had lunch on the East Mezzanine of Grand Central Terminal [not Station] at Charlie Palmer’s Metrazur.  With all the natural daylight shinning thruogh, the whole place lit up through the large windows.  This is the only restaurant of Charlie Palmer’s that I’ve ever eaten at even though he owns several throughout the US. 

I looovee this space!!  I love how it’s so open and if you get a table by the railing, you can look down at all the people [like me in the mornings] running for the escalators to the MET building, or for theMetroNorth trains!  And then there are all the tourists posing and taking pictures of the clock and the ceiling.  I know that an hour later, I will be the dumbass that’s running for those escalators trying to make it back to my cube. 

metrazur

The menu is small and offers basic American fare – everything seems pretty simple and straight forward.  I did notice that even thought their website had a prix-fixe lunch menu- the menu the hostess gave us didn’t have the option on there.  I had to ask her about it before she would bring the menu over.  Our entree would have cost $19 each if it weren’t for the prix-fixe.  With the prix-fixe, three courses cost $20.12.

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Aside from the 3 lunch courses, we ordered 8 littleneck clams which came with cocktail sauce, Tabasco and lemon.  These were some meaty clams- see how they’re almost spilling out of the shell?  It was great and went down smoothly without too much of a fishy taste/scent.  The shucker didn’t do the cleanest job though; I tasted/saw bits of shell in some of my clams. 

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I got a salad of baby lettuce, tomato carpaccio, crisp fingerlings with sherry vinaigrette for my appetizer.  My companion got the soup of the day, which happened to be white bean.  The leaves to this salad were huge- it made the salad look all fluffy; I think it was one of the only times that a salad warranted a use for my knife!  I loved the potato chips [that is essentially what they are] on top! 

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There is only one entree option, so the menu isn’t very broad but it was okay with me since it was my first time there.  It’s a wood grilled salmon [you can pick between salmon, chicken, or beef] with tomato paste, olive oil and served with the day’s market selection [which were mashed potatoes and string beans and carrots the day I went].  My friend got the beef sirloin.  There was a bit too much olive oil for my liking, but the tomato paste went well with the salmon.  The salmon had perfect grill marks [as you can see] and was not too over or underdone.  The mashed potatoes were remarkably soft and smooth.

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I realllllllly wanted ice cream so I skipped the creme brulee and ordered vanilla ice cream.  The presentation was really nice and I loved the cookie curl on top!  I stole my friend’s since he ordered ice cream too after I got him craving it.  Cookies and ice cream- who can beat that?

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If it’s a nice day and you have time to spare, go have lunch at Metrazur.  Ask for the prix-fixe menu!  It’s offered all year around.  It’s definitely too pricey for me to order off of the regular menu for lunch.  *sigh.  Midtown and its expensive lunches.

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