What I Ate This Week - February 24th, 2014 Edition
I'm really going to have to start cooking at home soon...but there are so many new places I want to try, I have major FOMO!
The bottom line is that Piora still has the best sunchokes I've had so far, and order the roast chicken when you go to the NoMad.
Yes, back here again. This time, for dinner. It helps that it is really close to my apartment. After I got home from Killington, I headed straight here for some food. I grabbed a spot at the bar - even the bar was packed solid!
I ordered the fresh ricotta, crispy prosciuotto, and date pizza, along with an order of sunchokes. The pizza was delicious. I'm not sure where the chefs procure their ricotta from (didn't look at the back of the menu - it lists all purveyors there), but it was very fresh. And a nice homage to the bacon wrapped dates stuffed with manchego that I had prepared for our apres ski snack the night before.
These sunchokes were a tad bit spicy and had a nice crunch with the addition of the hazelnuts, but...not quite as tasty as Piora's. I wouldn't order them here again.
I was too full for dessert, but I promise to order dessert next time!
I look forward to coming back here and ordering an entree - maybe the fried chicken or the sea bass. My sister is coming in a few weeks and I am planning on taking her for dinner here. It is easier to order dessert when you are sharing. (This is an outright lie. It will be more like my sister will take one bite and I will eat the rest).
Blue Dog Cafe
I normally pack my breakfast and lunch for work, and this past week I've been bringing in smoothies. I totally forgot to make one the night before, so I was going to run to Starbucks to pick up some oatmeal. While I was skimming Into the Gloss, I saw an article about how someone likes the King of the Jungle smoothies from Blue Dog. Off I went to try something that had a bit more veggies and fruits than the standard oatmeal.
King of the Jungle is basically what I put in my smoothies - banana, almond milk, with the addition of kale and spinach. A healthy start to the day, and good in a pinch if I forget my breakfast or want something lighter than a Chop't salad for lunch.
I've been meaning to check out Contra for quite some time. The menu is a a $55 5-course tasting, and changes nightly. You can order a la carte at the bar though! The two chefs have worked at places such as Le Chateaubriand and Noma. Oooh fancy.
The menu of the day...
This evening, there was a supplement course available, which was roasted lamb with an eggplant sauce. We decided to order that as well as the bread and the cheese. Start with the bread! It comes out warm and chewy.
The first course, the beef tartare, was fantastic. The mushrooms looked like rose petals and added a meaty but not meaty flavor to the already meaty tartare. The second course was monkfish, which was also tasty. It was served with something that looked like spinach, which I think was the spigarello. I've never had that before!
Sadly, the chicken and the lamb were utterly disappointing. The lamb came out cold and rare. We all know how much I love rare, but this was difficult to cut and chew. Fail.
Before dessert, we were served our cheese course. Nothing memorable, I would skip this option.
The last two courses were dessert, and both of these were fantastic. Phew, I was worried we would have a sad ending. The first of dessert was popcorn in the texture of graham cracker crumbs and the extra buttery scent was a nice accompaniment to the orange granita. I loved this!
The second dessert was yogurt ice cream with beet and hazelnut in the form of something moussey. When I first took a bite, all I got was a extra bitter taste from the yogurt. Then, all the flavors meshed together and it was wonderful! Definitely a unique dessert, I really enjoyed this as well.
So all in all, I would not come back here for the tasting menu. I would stop by for a drink, order the tartare, and some dessert. I was way more impressed by Luksus in Greenpoint.
Daniel Humm (also here!) runs the restaurant at the NoMad hotel. I came in for brunch with a friend. If you are really in the mood for something decadent, this is the place to come...for the chicken sandwich. Whaaat? How can a chicken sandwich be considered decadent?
Um well...let me tell you...The NoMad's most popular dinner item is the chicken with black truffle, and foie gras rubbed under the skin. Magnificent. For brunch, this chicken is topped on a brioche bun for a sandwich.
The fries were just okay. But the service was top notch. Also, another reason to come here for brunch / day time dining is that the dining room is under a large skylight, so you will find your best light for photos (for instagram, of course).
I have heard that The library bar here is also good for cocktails, so I look forward to coming back for dinner and drinks!
We ordered the brussels sprouts and rotisserie beets to start. Skip the sprouts, stick to the beets.
I found the beets to be very similar to the causa I have had both here and here. They were served with creamed horseradish and something that tasted potato-y, so those flavors combined evoked what I have previously had with South American cuisine. Cool!
In a humorous twist of events, I was ordering our mains, and I said to the waiter, "we will have the scallops and the loins". We all burst out laughing and the waiter retorted, "it's a bit early for loins don't you think?". I clarified that I meant the lamb loins. Yes, the lamb loins...right. I was one cocktail deep and couldn't even pull myself together to order our meal. Sheesh.
The lamb was wayyyy better than the lamb from Contra, phew. It was encrusted with spinach, and also served with a spinach pie item that tasted very similar to something you would find in an Indian restaurant.
The scallops were also well prepared - and served with some golden beets and spaghetti squash. I don't think I've actually had spaghetti squash before - I liked the lamb more.
As our sides, we ordered the carrots and the sunchokes. Sadly, nothing seems to compare to the sunchokes at Piora, and the carrots were just okay. I would skip those next time.
And now time for dessert. We shared the bittersweet chocolate tart. This was served with curried caramelized bananas and espresso ice cream. The chocolate tart resembled something molten lava-y, but I think the menu planning people were probably too embarrassed to write molten lava so they named it a tart. Well, combined with the bananas and espresso ice cream, this was a perfect end to our Sunday night supper.
For the record, the name of the restaurant hails from Andre Balazs' (the owner of The Standard) prized cow from his upstate farm.
You will also find a mirrored ceiling as you go downstairs to the bathroom. Selfie central!
Though there were a few misses from our dinner (brussels sprouts, carrots) Narcissa is a solid place and close to my apartment, so I will be back. Next time, I will try the sweet potatoes and the baby chicken. Anyone want to come with me?
Tonight, I am having dinner at a supper club named I Forgot It's Wednesday (yes, on a Monday night). I will let you know how it goes!