Sunday, April 26, 2009

What I Ate in New York - April Edition


I haven't blogged in awhile, I know. I have had to make all my meals using leftover Easter food for a long time because we made way too much. And leftovers can't always be amazing, they sometimes just are good enough to curb your hunger and get you through to the next meal. Example: pairing asparagus and mushrooms from the Easter strata with the tortillas and cheese from fish tacos to make a quesadilla. Certainly not something pretty or interesting enough to blog about.

Then I spent a weekend in Hayward, WI for a girls weekend eating terrible food (pizza, pasta, DQ chicken strips and fries) that was horribly uninspiring and also not conducive to intelligent food blog posts. Then, two frantic days at work before jetting off to the Big Apple once more for a visit with Cass and to show my mom my favorite city (so far) in the world.

While in NYC, I had some notable meals that I feel the need to share! First, Wednesday night at Balthazar, I had what they called Koulibiac, which is salmon and spinach in puff pastry with a very delicious creamy mushroom sauce on top. I was hesitant in ordering it because it sounded so heavy and rich, but the dish really was very light and lovely. It was one of the best things I've eaten in a restaurant in a VERY long time. This is to me the very definition of a great give you a fabulous meal you could never imagine making at home in a way that would taste even remotely as good!! I didn't have a camera with me, but I found this picture on Flickr (from roboppy) that shows the dish:

Thursday for lunch, we went back to the same neighborhood to hit up a New York classic - Lombardi's - the self-proclaimed first pizzeria in America. I had been here before (in 2004) on a weekend, waiting 2 hours for a table, got seated in the basement, poor service, and bland pizza. But, I was willing to try it again for the sake of giving my mom a true NYC experience.

And this time I had a completely different outcome at Lombardi's! We went at 3pm on a weekday and were seated immediately in a nice section with Sinatra crooning on the sound system. We had a house salad and bottle of chianti (both delicious) and a regular pizza (thin cracker crust, san marzano tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, basil) and added mushrooms, kalamata olives, and sliced fresh tomatoes. WOW. It was to die for! I loved it! My hypothesis here is that tourist traps probably have sub-standard food and service at peak hours, but when not under such intense pressure they can show why they became popular in the first place. I recommend Lombardi's pizza!

Finally, late Wednesday night we went right next door from our apartment on St. Mark's Place to Mamoun's Falafel. For only around $3 we split a killer falafel pita with hummus, tomato, lettuce, and tahini. HIGHLY recommended for cheap eats in the East Village (and then you have money left over for Pinkberry, which is on the other side of our apartment door!).

So, it was a very quick trip, but packed full of tourist-y sight seeing (Chinatown, Little Italy, SoHo, Times Square, Grand Central Station, Central Park, Rockefeller Center, WTC site, Battery Park/Statue of Liberty, etc), friend visiting (Cass!!!), celebrity sightings (Jon Bon Jovi!!!), and great food and drinks.

I HEART NY!!!!!!!

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