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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.

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!!!

Osteria Morini – Opening Night

I really should have just gone home. Gossip Girl wanted me to be a couch spud. Even Mother Nature was doing her best to make me uncomfortable, spray misting me in the face with the cold rain, and yet, after work I felt unbelievably compelled to just take a peek around the corner on Lafayette Street, just to see if Michael White’s new place had opened as promised on numerous food blogs.

I started across the street, and upon noticing the warm glow from the restaurant’s windows, I walked a bit closer. There were some empty tables towards the front of the restaurant, and the atmopshere was buzzy, so I made a quick phone call, “Kel! Come back out to Manhattan! Guess which restaurant is OPEN?” The hostess informed me that a table would be available at 9:30, so I took a walk around the corner to do some window shopping, snacking on a truffle that my coworker had bought me as a Thank You gift. (Isn’t that sweet? Thank you for saving my stomach from ingesting itself.)

An hour later, waiting with Kel at the front of the restaurant, Michael White stopped by and said a quick a hello, I tried unsuccessfully to check in on foursquare so I resorted to yelp (achieved duchess-ship!), we had a glass of sparkling wine, and a table was ready for us! 8:30 – perfect.

Michael White. Pasta. An already perfect combination creates yet another temple for me to worship in — the rustic Osteria Morini. This will be for when that pasta craving hits, and I have less than a subway stop’s time to get my fix before the shakes take over.

anxious to eat!

amazing spinach and cheese beignets

strozzapreti – priest stranglers!! uh oh. will the various religious institutions out there be burning my blog now?

tagliatelle in a delicious ragu

of course there would be a side of roasted brussel sprouts

…and no shortage of dessert. This is panna cotta.

And this.. I forgot the name of! I think it was their version of a floating island mated with a parfait.

Nothing works better than a big plate of meaty and homey pasta to warm up a damp and cold night. Thanks, Michael White! I am filing this favorite right under Marea.

Convivio

Tudor City Place is this teeny tiny little street over on the east side of Manhattan, perched high overlooking the United Nations building and the East River. It is unusually quiet compared to 2nd avenue, only a block over, where you will find a smattering of Grown-Up-Frat-Boy dive bars. What sorts of people live on this street? I’ve often wondered. The apartment buildings are tall, with stone bases and brick above, and beautiful windows gridded with mullions. If you aren’t specifically looking for an address in this location, I doubt many would often visit this neighborhood. The change in elevation from the avenues below is enough to make any un-chauffered fashionista cry foul. And the day someone actually finds parking on the little 3-block long (and riddled with reserved and illegal spots) Tudor City Place will be the day I give up eating pasta.

Of course, one of Michael White’s gems would be hidden on this quiet little street. During the night, the sidewalks are completely deserted save for the sunken patio in front of Convivio which is turned into a little outdoor dining area, glittering by candlelight and lively with chatter. Open the heavy wooden door and draw back the thick velvet curtain and everything is instantly red – the color of the dark bar directly in front. Turn right, and you’re in another space altogether. The drastic change from dark to light is like entering heaven… a heaven that allows you to gorge yourself on pasta and wine until you are giddy and overwhelmed and would swear you’d never be hungry again. The $62 4-course prix fixe is amazing. And completely worth it. In fact, you could argue that it is quite the bargain!

Not pictured: my feet sitting in a pool of blood later that night, the flood contained only by keeping on my heels, the lipstick matching red Louboutins.


Polpettine en Brodo – pork meatballs, an excellent start


Cornish Hen wrapped with Bacon – melts my heart, and I usually dislike chicken.


Malloreddus with saffron, sea urchin, and crab – amazing, for a stronger seafood flavor, I prefered the pasta at Marea.


Maccheroni alla Carbonara – I once made carbonara which tasted exactly like its ingredients : raw egg, salt, and pepper. It was disgusting. This almost makes me want to try my hand at it again. But I’m still scared.


Perfectly cooked rare steak.


Even more amazing were the lamb chops!


I’m starting to fall in love with Semi Freddo. Much like ice cream, but the cold doesn’t hurt my teeth. Believe it or not I’ve never had figs.


Budino. Dark chocolate. Hazelnut gelato. No other words.


It was a celebration with his family. I do not want to look at that check.

Little Pigs at Maialino

I had come so close to cancelling a reservation the day following a feast at Mermaid Oyster Bar and awoke early and groggy last Thursday morning. With one eye barely open, I was lucky I managed to find some clothes to pull on before hopping on a nearly empty train downtown. The hostess greeted us brightly as we were escorted past a thick wood counter bar and a glass display case housing pastries sitting on pedestals. Suddenly, my mouth was watering and I was hungry again.

The exposed wood beams in the space channeled many of the restaurants you can find in Italy, except here everything still appeared new. And after a moment spent reminiscing about my time spent in Rome many years ago, I knew what I wanted to start with – un cornetto e cappucino. Then followed a moment of indecisiveness generated by nothing less than pure gluttony. Baked eggs in tomato or the fruit, granola, and yogurt made exceptional with a drizzle of vin cotto? Luckily I didn’t have to choose!

Tasting Table was offering subscribers an amazing deal at Maialino – a prix fixe breakfast for only (I know, I’m now officially spoiled) 21 dollars. And so tacking on that extra order of fruit/granola/yogurt was no big deal. After all, I’d be a fool not to order as my heart pleased, since I was already the fool who would wake up an hour earlier than is necessary for work, on a weekday, to go out to have breakfast.

We went whole hog, by normal breakfast standards. Our order included toffee glazed brioche, cornetto, baked eggs in spicy tomato, poached egg on crispy pork terrine, spinach pecorino sausage, thick cut bacon, and oh, that last grasp at healthy eating – granola and yogurt with fresh fruit. Everything was beyond amazing. And I was so stuffed I walked the 20+ blocks to work.

Glazed Cornetto

Amazing Toffee Covered Brioche

The Best Yogurt Granola I’ve Ever Had

Baked Eggs in Spicy Tomato Broth

Poached Egg on Crispy Pork Terrine

Bacon

We Cleaned Up