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Single (and cooking) in the City

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dining out

Sweet Potato Hash Saturday

Put an end to lazy Saturdays! Because those don’t generate mouth-watering dishes like this:

Off to a productive start – Kel had finished his morning run and the polish on my nails had just dried after a trip to the salon (my definition of productivity is obviously slightly different) – we met up at the supermarket. Two red skinned potatoes, one yam to substitute for sweet potato, a red onion, and a bunch of scallions. Working with the red pepper already sitting in the fridge, this breakfast cost less than $2.

Sweet Potato Hash

  • 2 red skinned potatoes, 1 sweet potato – little cubes
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 scallion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 2 eggs, poached

Boil the potatoes until tender, 10 minutes. Saute the onion and red pepper, then add potatoes. Spread it out in a thin layer so you can get that sizzle and browning on the bottom. Stir occasionally and add the scallions, salt and pepper. Get someone who is good at poaching eggs to work their magic.

Plate, eat, and chat about how wonderful the previous night was…

The beautiful Imperial No. 9 at the newly opened Mondrian Soho

Gorgeous greenhouse meets ABC Kitchen look, with a delicious sounding seafood centric menu from Sam Talbot (according to Kel, a hunky Top Chef alum). We tried the small raw bar sampler, amazing peppery cocktail sauce, and the dessert – banana bread pudding – which I could eat endless plates of.

The crab was salted on the shell, which I’ve never noticed anywhere else before. That little bit of detail made it taste all the more amazing.

Looks like someone got the to the dessert before my camera did, but trust my description: this was a deliciously playful plating of 2 cubes of bread pudding, alternated with semifreddo discs and smears of chocolate. I’m looking forward to trying more of the menu next time.

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Back from Taiwan

10 days. 1 city. way too much food. After this “vacation” I could barely stand to stomach 2 bites of food without experiencing a bit of stomachache and nausea.

At the very tippy top of my list – Din Tai Fung – home of my favorite soup dumplings red bean dumplings.  (I still love the soup dumplings, but considering some closer and just as amazing options here… I think I could skip the 13 hour plane ride.)


You will be kicking yourself if you don’t order some small dish appetizers. These 3 brown ones… are the best. (I am useless. I don’t remember the names, but there is a dish of spongy tofu, bean sprouts, and a “house special” mix.)


Veggies and dumplings – this picture brings a tear to my eye.


Pleats intricate enough to give Issey Miyake a run for his money.


You can never have enough dumplings… especially if they are filled with red bean.


And the lightest, fluffiest sponge cake (made from rice flour?) I’ve yet to find in New York.

Man, its so depressing to be back.

Sushi at Marumi

The most amazing place in the world!!!!! MARUMI!

For $26 you can get the Chef’s Choice – a mini sushi omakase.

I’ve been here about 4 times now, chef’s choice each time, but only took pictures twice. Favorite pieces – tuna (because I’m boring like that), the squid with uni (almost always eaten first or second), and that weird thing that looks like maybe a clam. Oh, and the shrimp, so sweet, and the eel.

Their cooked food always smells amazing and is extremely tempting to get, but I just can’t bring myself to not order the chef’s choice. So that’s why I always go with a date. 😉

P.S. You don’t see me writing about Japanese food a whole lot, so believe me when I say this one is fantastic.

I LOST MY FOOD

…pictures. Good bye old cell phone. Hello to making new food memories. The slate is wiped clean!

(I could’ve shown you the massive amounts of seafood we had in Rhode Island, first trip of 2011, most memorable was the night we got in and stumbled in, rumpled, to The Mooring Restaurant, highly rated on Yelp, and listed as one of Giada’s favorite places in Newport. But I can’t. Because I lost all my RI pictures. How sad…)

So instead, I will show you pictures of the food we had at Scarpetta… the reliably wonderful dining institution in NYC.

Tasting menu presents enough food to feed 100 hungry Wendys. What an amazing deal.

5-course meal begins:

Crudo- Yellowtail and Tuna. Yellowtail wins!

Fritto Misto to share, incredibly light and amazing with the addition of fried herbs and strips of vegetables.

Another set of appetizers – fried mozzarella accompanied by the most amazingly flavorful tomatoes, and super tender, melt-in-your-mouth shortribs.

To share – a can’t miss dish at Scarpetta, the polenta topped with truffled mushrooms.

Unbelievably stuffed at this point – three pastas arrived to share. From top, cavatelli with braised rabbit, spaghetti with tomato and basil, and the agnolotti, which I’ve always felt tasted mysteriously like a Big Mac… (If I had a choice, I’d trade the other two in for another portion of the spaghetti… to go.)

The set of mains – A snapper subbed fish (forgot which), and less-sticky-and-sweet-from-what-I-remember capretto, amazing this time with super crunchy and adorable little cubes of potato.

The final set – dessert – both of which I’ve had before and enjoyed greatly. A light and fruity pannacotta and warm chocolate cake. My favorite part of the chocolate plate were the little crunchies hidden underneath the caramel ice cream. MORE CRUNCHIES PLEASE!!!

The Best of 2010

New Year, new eats. Aleady off to a amazing start: New Years Day, as we were checking out of the Ace Hotel, as we were polishing off our first breakfast of 2011 at The Breslin, as we licked the last couple crumbs of croissant off our fingers, we decided — ROAD TRIP!! To Rhode Island!

But before I post the photos taken on the trip with Kel and Randal and myself (as the 3rd wheel), I wanted to recap the most memorable dishes I’ve had towards the end of 2010…

Since I am nearly in love with all things uni.. first there was the fattiest, most decadently prepared piece of uni I’ve ever had – uni, resting on a slice of crunchy toast, peeking out from under a warm and melting blanket of glistening lardo.

Uni and Lardo Crostini at Marea

And then there was the roast suckling pig dinner at The Breslin for Kel’s birthday – juicy with crackly skin, we tore that sucker apart.

Everyone knows what a roast pig looks like… this is what a delicious roast pig looks like.

This is what the most beautiful (and delicious) piece of oyster sushi looks like at Sushi Yasuda.

You know a savory dish has to be good in order for me to get that in lieu of the usual sweet breakfast/brunch I prefer. The pasta at Michael White’s new place Osteria Morini is that exception. Gramigna – photo taken when there was actual light in the place!

Something I can eat over and over again… if I could get a table at ABC Kitchen at a decent hour! Crab on toast.

Did you think I’d forget dessert? The best one – a pear cake studded with chocolate chips at Al Di La in Park Slope. It’s a good thing that this restaurant is all the way in Brooklyn and up a steep hill that used to have me breaking out a sweat in the dead of winter.

And homemade – a tiramisu cupcake that was just as amazing on day 4 in the fridge as it was hot out of the oven. I’d make this more often, but baking up more than a dozen at a time, when I am hardly in the mood for sharing, is a bad idea.