This is a long overdue post. Last weekend I had the most amazing dinner at the best restaurant in New York. From start to finish it was a perfect meal. Eleven Madison Park lived up to the hype and the three Michelin stars. It was an extra special night since chef Daniel Humm was joined in the kitchen by Christopher Kostow another three Michelin star chef. We got the 4 course tasting menu but actually got 14 different dishes. It all started with a bakery box with 2 savory parmesan and black truffle black and white cookies, a New York classic and came full circle with a traditional-ish black and white cookie. A couple highlights were an apple tea that was totally unexpected and delicious. It was sweet, smokey and full of apple flavor. I was shocked when I took my first sip. They cater the menu to your tastes, so no goat cheese for us and no fish for my date. So instead of the goat cheese lollipops the other tables were getting we got a mushroom and sturgeon zabaglione served in an eggshell. So good! Another highlight was the egg creams made table side. They send home the ladies with a jar of granola for breakfast. It was a perfect night. The weekend was topped off with Book of Mormon. So good!
Last night I found myself in my old hood, Hell’s Kitchen. I was starving so I went to my favorite Thai restaurants, Pam Real Thai, which is only 3 blocks from my old apartment. Needless to say I was a regular. I am used to my neighborhood Thai place now, which isn’t bad, but every time I’ve had Pam since I moved I think oh yeah, this is what Thai food is supposed to taste like. The service is great too. They are all very accommodating and always have a smile on their faces. You may even catch them singing along to the Madonna song playing on the radio. You can usually spot Pam in the kitchen too. I’ve taken many people there and all have enjoyed it. One had just gotten back from 3 months in Thailand and it passed the test with him. It’s one of my parent’s favorite places to eat when in town and it’s always on my sister’s must eat list while visiting. She’s the one who actually discovered it. All the food is good but my favorite is Pad Kee Mao. Oh and it’s cheap!
Today was another great day for the farmers market, I actually went twice. I love that it is so close! It’s really starting to feel like summer and it’s nice to see more and more variety at the market. I was also happy to see there was still strawberries available!
You may be wondering what those long green things are. They are garlic scapes, the part of garlic that grows out of the grown. They have a nice garlicky flavor without the heat when eaten raw. I am going to make basil pesto with it.
Oh how I have missed my Saturday morning routine. Yeah it’s been nice being in a different city the last 3 weekends but it’s nice to be home. The selection at the farmers market has gotten much better since the last time I was there. Strawberries, peas, peonies (my favorite)! I still haven’t decided what to make with the peas and asparagus so let me know if you have any suggestions!
I used the eggs, milk and strawberries to make some pancakes. I used my day after Thanksgiving breakfast recipe. The best!
The day wouldn’t be complete without a cocktail. Nothing says summer like strawberries and mint!
I have been a terrible, terrible blogger lately. It’s really hard to do since I haven’t been cooking anything. Work has been taking over my weeknights and I’ve been away the last few weekends. Hopefully, it’ll slow down soon. I spent Memorial Day weekend upstate visiting my parents, enjoying Lake George and eating at some of my favorites. It was a much needed break. One of the first (and always the last) stops I made was is getting an ice cream cone at Martha’s. The best!
I’m a purist so I love vanilla but some of their other flavors, like black raspberry, are great.
The best restaurant in the area is The Club Grill at the Sagamore Golf Course. You are guaranteed to get a great meal there. A new addition to their menu this year was fontina stuffed tater tots. I have never seen homemade tater tots before let alone cheese stuffed ones. It has been added to my Made From Scratch to-make list. So tasty, just like the rest of the meal!
Both places are only open seasonally so it makes them even more special.
Last weekend I attempted to make sourdough focaccia. It didn’t turn out too well. I combined two recipes (this one and this one) and the flavor was good but the texture was somewhere between a cracker and a biscuit. The dough kept tearing apart so I made individual sizes.
Not too bad looking on the inside. Now that I know my sourdough starter is good I will continue until I have success.
I definitely ate my way around Seattle this weekend. My wonderful hosts, Eva and Christian, took me to all corners of the city eating the best of what Seattle has to offer. We even baked some mini pies. I had a great time!
Each morning we had breakfast and a Stumptown latte or two.
Fried chicken at Ezell’s was amazing and one of the few places actually serving food late. Who knew you could get fried chicken that good in Seattle. Unfortunately we devoured it all before I got to take a picture.
Saturday morning brought an equally delicious breakfast at Glo’s. Another meal we devoured. Loved the pancakes!
More fish and chips. The garlic vinegar was great.
Salty and sweet ice cream, my fave.
My friend hosted a craft day at her place so we baked mini pies using ingredients from their local farmers market to serve. Even on vacation I can’t get away from cooking. It was fun though and a success! We didn’t follow any recipes but we found some inspiration on Martha Stewart.
Yesterday, I ate my way through my neighborhood. I met my friend at Cheryl’s which is right around the corner from my apartment, for brunch. The meal was delish, I had the buttermilk pancakes with berries and a tasty whipped cream, my friend had a mushroom sandwich and we shared a side of bacon. Another great part is that you get coffee and a mimosa or bloody mary included with brunch. We then stopped by the farmers market, where I picked up apples, mushrooms and tulips. My friend got a cup of hot apple cider which we spiked with some rum. So good! After that we went on a shopping trip in Park Slope. We came back to my neighborhood, to one of my favorite restaurants, The Vanderbilt. We just wanted to have a drink or 2 but ended up staying for 3 hours! I sipped on the Vanderbilt Pimms, a lovely cocktail of gin, pimms, basil and lemon. To eat we had blistered shishito peppers, you can find a recipe here, pork belly and multiple orders of the Serano ham croquettes. A great day of eating and drinking.
I ate a lot of crumb cake growing up. I saw this recipe in Martha Stewart Living a couple of month ago and it keeps popping into my head so I decided to give it a try this weekend for Easter breakfast. My sister made it and confirmed that is was great. There is an optional jam layer between the crumb and the cake. I used blackberry because that’s what I had. The recipe uses a whole pound of butter and 6 cups of flour but it is totally worth it. The cake is nice and fluffy to go with the crunchy topping. I had it for breakfast this morning with homemade bacon and coffee. Yum. My coworkers are going to love me tomorrow!
James is a cute little restaurant in my neighborhood of Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. I have wanted to go there since I moved to the neighborhood last December. A couple of weeks ago I had brunch at James, which was really good, but I still wanted to have dinner there. When I found someone who was willing to come to BK on a weeknight for dinner I jumped at the chance to go to James. It worked out even better because they had a special game tasting menu. I had read about it through Tasting Table but forgot it was going on so it was a nice surprise. I’m not big on game meats but I figured this was the place to order it at so we both got the Huntsman’s Feast. It was very tasty. See the menu below.
My favorite course was the quail. It was so good! The polenta underneath was a nice addition. The venison was really good too. It was so tender and the parsnip puree was eye-opening. I didn’t realize parsnips could taste so good.
Now I have to go back and try the regular menu.
21 Club, I wanted to like you so much but you totally let me down. I went there last night for another restaurant week dinner, thankfully I was not paying full price. 21 Club is a former prohibition era speakeasy and legendary NYC restaurant. Honestly, that has to be what it is keeping it open because it is certainly not the food. It could have been the fact that it was restaurant week that the food was sub-par but that is just a sorry excuse to me. A restaurant should want to serve good food always, no matter how much the customer is paying. My friend’s dinner was better than mine but still not anything to rave about. I had a tortilla soup which I could taste the thickener in, a cauliflower risotto which was lacking seasoning and a red velvet cake whose frosting was way too sweet. In addition, the service was fine until the end when they left us sitting with our finished desserts for over 30 minutes when we were finally able to flag down someone for our check. A 2 and a half hour dinner. The only positive thing was the company and that we brought with us. Not Recommended.
Check out my other restaurant week post for a highly recommended restaurant.