Mon, Mar 29, 2010 by
It had been a while since I had a burger from Shack Shack. It was a decent day, not to cold to be outside. More importantly, it was around 3:00 in the afternoon. The Shack Shack line will hopefully be short and not wrapped around Madison Square Park.
When I arrived there was a line but not the typical mid week lunchtime line. I got myself a single burger. The double burger is way to big. You are better off getting 2 singles. It will be a couple extra bucks but it’s worth it. The Shack Shack burger is one of my Fav’s in the city. I think I share that feeling by the looks of the line every time I go there.Continue reading...
Sun, Mar 28, 2010 by
It was more like brunch but still way too early for cookies. When they are fresh baked and topped with a coarse sea salt, I think anytime is cookie time. The General Greene, in Fort Greene Brooklyn, does the best warm chocolate chip cookies this side of Mom’s house. Nine cookies for four people at 1pm on a Sunday is an understatement if called indulgent. It is down right evil. This morning we were bad (place grin and villainous laugh here)Continue reading...
Fri, Mar 26, 2010 by
You all know my love for underground dinners. Many of you have attended one of my own little backyard-gastro-movie-suppers. (New season opening soon). As I travel around the globe, I love to pop into supperclubs where ever I land. I have compiled quite the list with all the travel lately. In fact, upcoming dinners have started to influence my destination decisions. It’s even better when you attend a dinner you have been trying to get to for a long time. That’s exactly what happened a couple of weeks ago with SPICE.
Ben Long, a good friend and chef de cuisine, takes his club into a random restaurant each month and converts it into a SPICE evening. From the food to the ambiance to the service everything exudes Ben’s flavor. Knowing what a night like this entails, I immediately give Ben respect for the meal he is about to serve up. I poke around the kitchen checking out the walk in, peering over at the flat top and checking out his sous, Greg Clapp, finishing the mise en place. After my jealously fueled kitchen tour IContinue reading...
Sun, Mar 21, 2010 by
Another installment of the chicken and rice game. This time, the chicken tastes like lamb. The Famous Halal guys on 6th and 53rd st in NYC know how to do street food. They are a staple on that corner. Rain or shine as you will see in this clip.Continue reading...
Sat, Mar 20, 2010 by
I thought I had explained this tradition last year but I can’t seem to find it in the archives. So, once again OR maybe for the first time, Thanksgiving (OBSERVED) was coined by my cousin Brian and born from my family being way too big to spend it with everyone at once. This day is all about the Anello’s and the Crocitto’s getting together much like we did years ago when all us “kids” we just a few years old. Our parents used to live in the same apartment building before we showed up and I think that was really the start of the two families being close. We have grown in numbers over the years. This year we maxed out for the first time with all four “kids” having their significant others at the table.
I am sure it comes as no surprise that the eating at this event is off the charts. As we placed each dish on the 12 foot wooden table we quickly ran out of trivets and shortly after ran out of table surface. With a full table the only option was to start eating so we could make room for what could not yet fit. The above picture (See it bigger) captures the antics that ensue when this loving crew get together. For further explanation see the very bottom of this post. But first, the food…Continue reading...
Fri, Mar 19, 2010 by
Jay and I headed out to Huntington Long Island to meet our family on the night of the past big storm. Driving was not the safest that night. The wind was blowing the truck all over the place and the rain was coming from all directions. However, we knew when we finally made it to Huntington we were in for a treat. Bravo Nader is a small restaurant that our family loves to go to. The food is always outstanding. We never order our entrée’s off the menu, EVER. Their specials are just that, special. We call ahead usually to make sure they have the Ossobuco special, seen above, because someone at the table has to have one so we can all try it. It’s Killer!! This table had the entire special list that night including two gigantic Prime Rib’s that Mr. Nader himself told us about on the down low. Here is a rundown of the special specials. There are so many I had to put them in a slideshow.
After we left the rain was still coming from all directions. Long Island was starting to flood and was loosing their power left and right. We spent the rest of the night in the dark playing a board game. No, I didn’t win but had fun playing one of the games I haven’t played since I was a kid. I wasn’t on my game. My mind was probably still focused on the delicious meal we ate at Bravo Nader.Continue reading...
Wed, Mar 17, 2010 by
Sometimes you eat in a place because you like it. Sometimes you eat in a place because you are forced to. And, sometimes you eat in a place for both of those reasons. Silicon Valley is a sea of tech complexes and campuses that do not promote leaving once you arrive. Because of this, many of the cafeterias are like visiting Epcot Center. You can eat Indian, Chinese, Italian, Mexican or American all at the same meal. In the many years that I have been visiting one very special spot in the valley, I have found several staples that keep me excited about my next meal. Above is the grand winner and it is not what you expect.Continue reading...
Wed, Mar 17, 2010 by
After my parents delay travels to get in the city and brunch at Penelope’s we lounged around the city. I took them to Madison Square Park to do something that we never do as a family. We just sat on a bench and chatted while doing some people watching. I think as New Yorkers we forget to just sit and relax sometimes. I know I am guilty of that. I’m always trying to use every minute of the day to get things done or make each moment of the day a productive one. I forget sometime to just relax in a park and absorb New York City. We had a good time but it was getting late and we needed to fill our bellies before my parents went to their show.Continue reading...
Tue, Mar 16, 2010 by
With in the first five minutes of meeting Chris and Andrew I felt I’d known them for three hours. Three solid, carnivorous, men-hanging-out-talking-food-smack hours. And, that is precisely what followed. Let’s back up a bit.
NYC sees a new restaurant open ever day. In this mid-recession restaurant boom, which defies rational economics, these newbies try everything from a celeb chef to locally grown everything just to occupy a little mind share and influence choice. This has left my mind scrambled when it is time to actual choose a restaurant. What happened to the simply days when we would thumb through a slim, burgundy book and reserve a table for 2 with a telephone call? Enter the internet and everybody-is-a-foodie craze. You can’t open a magazine, a browser or a television without some new, hip joint claiming to be BETTER than the best meal you ever had.
Chris Stang and Andrew Steinthal have brought me back to the days of Zagat bliss by giving me one stop for all my NYC restaurant needs. Through their fairly new site, Immaculate Infatuation, they give me the non-foodie run down on such over hyped spots as The Spotted Pig and Char No. 4. Chris and Andrew come from the music biz. The site was born from the sheer number of restaurants they ate in while entertaining clients and bands. Deciding to put this experience to use, they started writing basic, human, reviews of the places and foods they consumed setting the “Infatuation” on fire.
A few weeks ago I met up with them at Tom Colicchio’s refurbished Craft Steak spot, Colicchio and Sons for a prix fix throw down. In those first five minutes I mentioned above, one of us dropped an F-Bomb, we jumped through four different conversation topics and it was determined one of us would NEED to order a diet coke. (a test to Tom’s very public endorsement deal for the beverage) Quick friends are made from those with similar passions. In this case talking to people and eating. After the meal it was clear that we had the same opinion of each other and of Tom’s NEW restaurant so we decided that more Immaculate Infatuation/Forking Tasty chow downs were in the near future. Until then I will simple pick from their ever expanding list of reviews and block out the hundreds of PR, money driven, in the know, swank, green, sustainable, celebrity-hyped reviews that give me more A.D.D. then an ex-vegetarian at a hipster butcher shop.
Thanks guys for simplifying at least part of my life. Now if I could just figure out my overstuffed inbox problem.
What we ate: But trust me, the guys tell the story better.
Gnocchi with Chestnuts
Squid with Cavalo Nero
White Bean Agnolotti
Spice Roasted Lola Duck
Braised Loup De Mer
Coconut Cream Doughnuts
Beignets with bourbon panna cotta
Mon, Mar 15, 2010 by
My parents were coming in to visit me because they had a show to see later on in the evening. They have not been to my apartment in a while so they decided to come in a little early. My parents like to be on time and that morning it just was not going to happen for them. I wanted to have some brunch with them when they arrived because I know they would be starved. I told them to meet me at Penelope’s, a cozy brunch place near my apartment…Continue reading...