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eG Foodblog: Megan Blocker - Food and the City


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SoHo - South of Houston Street. There's also TriBeCa - Triangle Below Canal Street. There are others too, but I won't go on. You get the idea.

Indeed - NoHo ("North of Houston"), NoLIta ("North of Little Italy"), and so on. You also often see acronyms used for other neighborhoods, though you would read these as the entire name, rather than pronounce the acronym: LES (Lower East Side), UES (Upper East Side), UWS (Upper West Side), and so on. :wacko:

ETA: And how could I forget the (relatively) freshly-coined SoHa ("South of Harlem")?

Ahh geeze there is something called SOHA now.. Thats ridiculous.. Techinically, most of Manhattan is SOHA.. :biggrin:

Edited by Daniel (log)
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I'm so oblivious to celebrity sightings. Sandra Bernhard walked right by me at the Whole Foods in Chelsea, and I didn't notice her until my husband (who is oblivious to just about everything else) pokes me and says in a stage whisper, "there's Sandra Bernhard!"

I saw Sandra Bernhard in a Whole Foods, too. In Seattle, no less. Strange.

I am thoroughly enjoying this blog - this slice of NYC. I think this blog may end up giving a slight increase to NYC tourism, as you continue to inspire us to plan our next trip to the city, and all its food fabulousness.

Robin Tyler McWaters

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I've had Li-Lac chocolates--a friend bought some back from a trip to NYC when I was living in Boston--and they're luscious. Good to see they're still around.

Finally, it was back to the subway and up to 86th Street and home...

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A mass transit shot! God bless you.

Your pre-foodblog karma must have traveled 90 miles south this morning. A catenary wire problem on the R3 West Trenton shot the R3 Media/Elwyn schedule full of holes. After arriving at Market East at 7:44 to see that the 7:16 was 75 minutes late (and obviously later still) and the 7:47 (my usual train) 55 minutes late, I decided to take the Market-Frankford El to the 109 bus instead. I got to work at 9:10, as I usually would taking the slow route at this time.

ObFood: Lots of coffee and a decent diner lunch.

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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Also, for Sandy, who requested a view of my fridge.  I haven't done a big produce shopping in over a week, since with my mom here I ate out for four days straight.  The lower shelves are usually filled with lettuce and fresh herbs, and whatever meat I've bought or am defrosting for dinner.  As you can see from the door and top shelf, I am a condiment fiend!!!

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Makes two of us.

But I don't think you have to refrigerate the Sriracha.

OTOH, there may be no pantry for you to put it in, so I guess that makes sense.

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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SoHo - South of Houston Street. There's also TriBeCa - Triangle Below Canal Street. There are others too, but I won't go on. You get the idea.

Indeed - NoHo ("North of Houston"), NoLIta ("North of Little Italy"), and so on. You also often see acronyms used for other neighborhoods, though you would read these as the entire name, rather than pronounce the acronym: LES (Lower East Side), UES (Upper East Side), UWS (Upper West Side), and so on. :wacko:

ETA: And how could I forget the (relatively) freshly-coined SoHa ("South of Harlem")?

I dunno-- I think DUMBO ("Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass") is even better!

Trivia: I think SoHo also caught on because of the association it conjures up with the London district of the same name (lowercase "h"), which is IIRC fashionable in its own right and not too far from very fashionable Kensington and Knightsbridge (the latter home to Harrods and its world-famous Food Hall).

After that, the deluge of geographic acronyms.

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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I dunno-- I think DUMBO ("Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass") is even better!

When I hear that, I think of the elephant with the giant ears. My brain works in very strange ways.

BTW, what are the boundaries of SoHa?

Karen C.

"Oh, suddenly life’s fun, suddenly there’s a reason to get up in the morning – it’s called bacon!" - Sookie St. James

Travelogue: Ten days in Tuscany

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I dunno-- I think DUMBO ("Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass") is even better!

When I hear that, I think of the elephant with the giant ears. My brain works in very strange ways.

No, it doesn't. I'm sure that's what the people who coined that acronym wanted you to conjure up.

BTW, what are the boundaries of SoHa?

Yeah! What are they? I didn't know there was unclaimed territory south of 110th Street.

(Wait a minute. The tracks leading to Grand Central Terminal come out from underground at 96th Street and Park Ave, and I believe it's at that point that the UES ends. Conversely, the UWS continues all the way to Cathedral Parkway (110th) and beyond a bit to the Columbia campus (at 116th).

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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I dunno-- I think DUMBO ("Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass") is even better!

When I hear that, I think of the elephant with the giant ears. My brain works in very strange ways.

No, it doesn't. I'm sure that's what the people who coined that acronym wanted you to conjure up.

But DUMBO's cool and edgy and hip. Or is that Williamsburg (no acronymns). Doesn't invoke thoughts of Disney. Speaking of which, I wonder if Disney has any lawsuits filed about using that acronym.

Karen C.

"Oh, suddenly life’s fun, suddenly there’s a reason to get up in the morning – it’s called bacon!" - Sookie St. James

Travelogue: Ten days in Tuscany

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Good afternoon, all! I'm back from a good afternoon of fooding and walking, and have lots to share with you all. First, let me show you two pieces of equipment integral to long walks in New York:

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Playing today on my iPod was Rufus Wainwright, who wrote and sings one of my favorite food-related songs, "Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk." These are just a couple of my cravings/Everything I seem to like's a little bit sweeter, a little bit fatter, a little bit harmful for me... LOVE him. :smile: Another fave of mine for long walks is the Amelie soundtrack - it makes even the most mundane errands seem romantically cinematic.

First stop on leaving the house was the dry cleaners (SNORE), and then I walked west to Madison Avenue. After a brief bout with my demons (who won), I bought a pair of shoes at Banana Republic and then walked south. My ultimate goal will be revealed in a moment, but first I stopped in at E.A.T., another branch on the Zabar tree.

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Next door to the cafe is a little gift shop, full of trinkets ranging from Lulu Guinness umbrellas to useless keychain doodads. I spotted this huge assortment of baby dishes toward the back. They also had some cute bibs, for anyone who's in the market.

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Continuing south on Madison, I turned east on 78th Street and reached my goal: Lady M Confections, a bakery and cafe (they call it a "tasting salon"). I love this place. It's aesthetic is clean and modern, but luxurious - everything is white or silver, the tables are that lovely crackled enamel, and there are crystal chandeliers. The tea is served in fine porcelain cups and the flatware is sterling, and the cakes are divine. They are notoriously guarded when it comes to press, so I wasn't allowed to take pictures inside, but here are some shots from the street:

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I had a pot of the Lady M Gray tea and a slice of my favorite, the mille crepes cake. This is a cake made of twenty crepes stacked with alternating layers of pastry cream "lightened" with whipped cream. The topmost crepe is covered with a fine layer of bruleed sugar. I LOVE this cake.

The offerings at Lady M make me think of Patrick S' creations - decadent but restrained and clean in appearance. What a lovely combination.

After leaving Lady M, I caught the bus on Madison (give those tired feet a break) and headed up to 93rd Street, eager to pay a visit to Kitchen Arts and Letters, a food and wine bookstore at 93rd and Lex. This section of the UES (heh heh, acronyms rock!) is called Carnegie Hill, and it is indeed quite hilly, and very pretty - full of grand old apartment buildings and beautiful little townhouses. Here's a shot of a clapboard townhouse (unusual in Manhattan) and its brick neighbor on 93rd between Lex and Park:

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After ogling the real estate for a bit, I headed across Lex to the bookstore, whose front window housed a display of books on - what else - chocolate!

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Unlike Lady M (harumph), the folks at KA&L were really nice about letting me take loads of pictures, so here's a mini-tour!

The place is crammed floor-to-ceiling with books on food and wine...drool.

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Some of the things that caught my eye...out of print selections, a section on medieval eating habits, and some smaller volumes of primary source material dating from the 17th century. Also available is a biography of Mrs. Beeton!

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I did make a purchase there, but it's a gift for someone who may be reading this, so I'll have to wait to reveal what it was! :wink:

After leaving KA&L I walked down Lexington to Likitsakos' Nature's Gifts, a tiny little market where I do most of my produce shopping. It's tiny, but the prices and variety are pretty good - quality is about as good as what you find at Eli's (though not always as exotic), and the prices are about half that. I bought tomatoes, a couple of oranges, romaine, baby spinach, some fingerling potatoes, parsley and some rosemary, and the total came to about $14.00, which is about half what I would have paid for the same stuff at Eli's.

Here's the entrance to the market, on Lex between 87th and 88th:

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And here are the fruit, veggie and dairy sections. The yogurts are homemade!

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I also stopped at Gristedes, one of the New York supermarket chains. I usually go there for my basics, like pasta, flour, sugar, and so on. Their prices, I find, are way better than Food Emporium, which is the other large supermarket within easy walking distance of my apartment. To give you an idea of scale, here's a shot of one of the aisles at Gristedes - all I bought there today was a box of capellini, which I'll be using for dinner tomorrow...

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And that was my afternoon, folks! It was nice and leisurely...I rarely get to spend this kind of time just walking around and enjoying the city, so thanks for the opportunity (and the excuse)! :wink:

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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I dunno-- I think DUMBO ("Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass") is even better!

When I hear that, I think of the elephant with the giant ears. My brain works in very strange ways.

No, it doesn't. I'm sure that's what the people who coined that acronym wanted you to conjure up.

But DUMBO's cool and edgy and hip. Or is that Williamsburg (no acronymns). Doesn't invoke thoughts of Disney. Speaking of which, I wonder if Disney has any lawsuits filed about using that acronym.

i live past the manhattan bridge (not really DUMBO but the real estate agents like to call it that), and i was reading a magazine (i forget which) where someone called our area RAMBO- "right after the manhattan bridge" :laugh:

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Enjoying your NYC blog, Megan.  We only visit Manhatthan and I know I get sticker shock everytime we do. What do you really think of the prices of things in New York as opposed to other places you have lived. I would never be so crass as to inquire of your income.  But do you consider your self to be an average sort of New Yorker in terms of  income and lifestyle. In particular as to eating and drinking out?

Hope you don't find this question to be offensive, I do not intend it that way. Simply when we visit we always say how much we would like to live in the city, but that we just can't imagine affording it.  That may be due to visitors not being hip to value that you folks who live in New York know of.

Hey, Mike! I don't find it offensive at all.

I would say that I live on a fairly average-for-NYC salary for my age (26) and education level (bachelor's degree). I have friends (working mostly in front-office banking jobs or as lawyers) who make more, and many (who work in publishing, etc.) who make far less than I do. I eat out (meaning, go to a restaurant, not ordering take out) about once a week, and I do buy my lunch almost every day, unless it's provided at work for some reason or another, like a training class or all-day meeting.

That said, it is an expensive place to live, especially when it comes to rent. It's not unusual for people to pay half of their income or more in rent, especially in my age group. It's easy to spend way too much money on things, especially if you don't do a good job of searching out places where you can get quality for lower prices. The big names (Zabar's, Eli's, Fairway, Citarella) don't always have the best bang for the buck, but are truly excellent for certain items. Similarly, places like Gristedes might have the right price, but the quality may be lower.

The best way I've found to stick to a budget is to shop in a way that seems more European than American - visiting several shops, each for a specific thing, rather than one big store for everything. It takes a little more time, but it's worth it in the end.

The hardest part about New York is looking around at the people who have enough money not to worry about anything, who can take cabs everywhere, eat wherever they like at any time, etc. I cure my jealousy by making my home as inviting as possible, so that I don't mind spending time there :wink:, and by reminding myself that I'm only 26 - I'm not supposed to be spending money like a 40-year-old, because there's no reason I should be making the same kind of money.

So, yes, I think it's possible to live here on a budget, and salaries are at least somewhat proportionately higher here, so that offsets some of the cost. But it's not always the easiest thing to do. :laugh:

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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But I don't think you have to refrigerate the Sriracha.

OTOH, there may be no pantry for you to put it in, so I guess that makes sense.

There is a pantry, but it's pretty crowded, so into the fridge goes the Sriracha! :laugh:

As for SoHa, yes, Daniel, it is annoying as hell. I think it's really more a subneighborhood of the UE and UW sides, like Carnegie Hill or Yorkville. Don't know if it has set borders...if pressed, I'd say 100th to 110th...teeny tiny. :wink:

After I got home, I realized that I'd only had sweets to eat today, and also that my dinner reservation tonight is a late one. Soooo, I made myself a sandwich. I took some tomato, red onion, Eli's bread and some leftover steak from one of my dinners out with Mom and slapped it all together. On the bread, some mustard a friend brought me from Napa.

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No pics of the finished sandwich, because I was just too hungry. :laugh:

Edited by Megan Blocker (log)

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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- As for Magnolia, I'm sort of "eh" about it.  You can get decent cupcakes all over the city, and there are plenty of places far closer to me (Magnolia is kiddy-corner across the island from my apartment, far south and west) where you can get one.  The frosting doesn't bother me (with cupcakes I often find myself licking the frosting off first no matter how much there is, anyway), but I do know it bothers some of my friends.  My friends Miles and Hall, who live in the West Village and therefore are close to Magnolia, are very divided over this issue.  I'll see if I can get them to weigh in for your edification! :wink:

Okee-dokee, folks. My friend Miles has just weighed in with his opinion on Magnolia. Without further ado, for your reading pleasure...

The desserts at Magnolia are fine for what they are - tall American cakes with sweet frosting, framed on stands in retro 50's plastic domes.  The problem with Magnolia is that it doesn't/can't live up to its hype.  Though it's not really my taste, it is good at what it does. But it's not life-changing.  Moreover, when you have to wait in a line that literally goes around the corner and then when you get inside, a large tattooed individual is shouting at you to hurry the f*** up with your order (because obviously you should already have made your choice from outside around the corner) , there's just no way you can have a rewarding experience.  So when you can go around the corner to Mary's off Jane and have the same dessert for the same price with none of the wait and none of the attitude, why not?  It's a case of meeting or falling short of expectations-but this is true of everything, not just Magnolia bakery or food experiences.

And there you have it. Now hurry the f*** up and tell me what you think. :laugh:

Edited by Megan Blocker (log)

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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I have a favor to ask of all of you...tomorrow night will be a dinner party chez Meg, and I'll be serving sweetbreads to start. I think I'm going to try and adapt a dish I've had and loved at Ouest, which has crispy sweetbreads served on top of garlicky, creamy capellini.

Here's my question - what's the best wine (at a reasonable price - no more than $10-20/bottle) to serve with a course like this? Would love your input, as I am a wine neophyte. I know the basics, and I know a good wine when I meet one, but I'm no expert at pairing...

And I leave you with that question. I'm now off to get dressed for drinks and dinner! :smile: TGIF!

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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Hi, Megan. I'm glad you're feeling better! Having blogged myself, I know how time-consuming it is to edit and upload photos, so I'm quite amazed at how many photos you're inserting into this blog! I also noticed your night photo. I have such trouble getting night photos to come out without glare that makes them unusable. What kind of camera do you use, and do you carry a tripod?

I have to say, I'd never heard of "SoHa," and I'm sorry I now have. I still think "NoLiTa" is a ridiculous name and don't accept it, especially as there really is no Little Italy to speak of for it to be north of. But it just goes to show how things change in New York, with nomenclature not the least of them. I relatively recently found out that York Avenue used to be called Avenue A (you can see the evidence in the form of street signs on a public junior high school on York in the 70s or so). My father still refers to Park Avenue South as Fourth Avenue, which is what it was called in his childhood. Lots of avenue names were changed to aid in real estate promotion, and the real estate promotions changed the neighborhoods. Those changes were of course reflected in the nature of the restaurants and food shops that serve those neighborhoods. It's an interesting process, and the longer one lives in New York, the more one observes seemingly unimaginable things taking place, like the gentrification of the South Bronx, a once-chic neighborhood that was more recently synonymous with urban decay, neglect, and building-torching. But if you ask me, rich or/and poor, Harlem is still Harlem!

Hmmm...speaking of East Harlem, do you go up to Patsy's from time to time?

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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...tomorrow night will be a dinner party chez Meg, and I'll be serving sweetbreads to start. I think I'm going to try and adapt a dish I've had and loved at Ouest, which has crispy sweetbreads served on top of garlicky, creamy capellini.

That's a challenge. I'm always trying to make a case for red wine, and probably would recommend a big red such as a Bordeaux-like blend or a full-bodied syrah if not for the cream sauce -- or Zinfandel if the sauce was herby or real garlicky. However, a creamy sauce may call for a white. Perhaps a dry to medium-dry riesling, or that style of German wine or Alsace riesling? (I don't know much about German wines.) A match that is less risky and more likely to please might be a bubbly, such as M&C White Star. If a Champagne is not in your budget, perhaps a California sparkling wine -- extra dry I would say. Overall, sparkling is probably your best bet, but if I come up with a more specific suggestion, I'll be back.

Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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I'm so oblivious to celebrity sightings. Sandra Bernhard walked right by me at the Whole Foods in Chelsea, and I didn't notice her until my husband (who is oblivious to just about everything else) pokes me and says in a stage whisper, "there's Sandra Bernhard!"

I saw Sandra Bernhard in a Whole Foods, too. In Seattle, no less. Strange.

I don't quite know how to say this. I don't want to shatter anyone's illusions, but we all know Sandra Bernhard can't be everywhere at once?

The people you saw were probably just "Sandra's Helpers".

SB :unsure:

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Yay Megan! So happy to see you blogging and visiting some of my favorite haunts, as well as some more obscure (at least to me) places. Looking forward to your visit to Pegu!

I was just at Chelsea Market about 3 weeks ago and was stunned by the number of bakeries per square foot! Every other storefront was a bakery! Must be the population density that requires so many baked goods. :smile:

That Blondie looked really good... :biggrin:

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Good evening/morning, all.

Just home from drinks at Pegu and dinner at Babbo - both were wonderful, in their infinitely gorgeous ways, and I cannot wait to share them with you. However, it's pretty late here (about 2:10 AM as I write this), and I need to hit the sack in order to rise at a reasonable hour.

So, I'll check in with y'all in the (real) morning, with much to report.

Cheers!

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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Not much has changed since I was at Chelsea Market two years ago. My cousin works in the marketing department at Chelsea Market, so he gave Tapenade and me the grand tour.

I love that Italian shop. They really have a nice selection. We were shocked when we saw the prices of produce at the green grocer, but we are a bit spoiled here.

There is also a restaurant supply house there that has some very cool things. We bought a truffle shaver there.

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Well, first off, let me just say...wow. What a great night. The drinks and the food were excellent, but the company was just out of this world.

Yesterday, as I was standing outside of Lady M (see above :wink:), my friend Cristin called me to ask me to have a drink with her. Since I already had plans to meet Lisa (of Chelsea Market and chocolate pilgrimage fame, again, see above) for drinks at the Pegu Club and dinner at Babbo, I invited Cristin to come along for the fun. I called Babbo, added one to our party, and prepared myself for a rockin' night.

Since I hadn't seen Cristin in a while, I arranged to meet up with her a bit earlier, around 8, and Lisa came to Pegu around 9. Cristin and I lurked near the bar and were able to grab seats on the corner before we'd finished our first drinks - a Last Word (gin, maraschino liqueur, green chartreuse, lime juice) for me, and a Jamaican Firefly (lime juice, ginger beer, dark rum, simple syrup) for Cristin.

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Later drinks included an Old Cuban (for me), which is a sort of Champagne mojito, a Tantris Sidecar (for Lisa), which is a variation on a Sidecar and includes pineapple juice, and a Ritz cocktail (for Cristin), another Champagne cocktail. However, as is the way in bars, as the evening wore on the light got dimmer, so the pics of those didn't come out! :sad: Trust me when I tell you they were beautiful - and potent. :wink:

A few minutes after 10, we bundled ourselves out onto West Houston Street and walked northwest to Babbo, which is on Waverly Place just west of Washington Square Park. (Click here for a map of Greenwich Village, where our evening took place.) I'm not gonna lie, people - it was f-ing cold last night, but it was worth the walk.

We were seated immediately at an upstairs table. Ordering was easy - we knew we wanted to go with the pasta tasting menu and the wine pairings. Cristin and I both started off with a glass of something bubbly - for me, a Brut from Lombardia, and for Cristin, a Prosecco from the Veneto. We drank these with our amuse, which was a chickpea bruschetta:

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This was very tasty - someone on the Babbo thread said that the flavors at Babbo don't whisper, they shout. This amuse was a good example, as were many of the dishes in this meal. It was garlicky and had a slow, low burn - I didn't notice that it was spicy until the plate with the few lonely chickpeas on it had been taken away to make room for our first course.

First up was a black tagliatelle with parsnips, pancetta and chives. This was, by far and away, my favorite dish of the night. It was sweet and salty and just slightly rich, all at the same time. The textures were lovely - the slightly chewy pasta, the firm, verdant chives, the soft cubes of parsnip and the small, meaty pieces of pancetta each brought their own mouthfeel...oh, I loved this one. And it was so pretty! It was paired with a 2004 Pecorino, which had a light flavor but was acidic enough to cut through the fattiness of the pancetta. Swoon.

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The second course were two ravioli (termed "lune" on the menu) filled with roasted fennel and herbs, and topped with a green sauce (more chives, I think) and some wilted kale. I am not normally a fennel lover, but this dish won me over - it was intensely aromatic and, of course, the pasta was fresh and delicious. This one was paired with a Bastianich wine, a Tocai Friulano from 2004.

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Next up was garganelli with mushrooms...again, very good. The dish tasted of mushrooms touched with butter and was slightly richer than the dishes preceding it. This was paired with a Langhe Nebbiolo from 2003, which, apparently, means that it came from a very warm year and is therefore a slightly richer wine than the 2002 or 2004. I trust them when they tell me this, as I know nothing about it. :laugh: Me likey the wine, though, and by this point, I'd had quite a bit to drink. :wink:

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Fourth course. This is a marathon, people, not a sprint. "Pyramids" (little pasta pouches) filled with braised meat (God forgive me, I can't remember what kind of meat - maybe beef cheeks?) and served with a light tomato sauce. The fourth course was my least favorite - possibly because it was slightly more acidic than any of the others, and did not agree with my (by then very full of booze, wine AND food) stomach. It was good, but I did not love it. This was paired with a lovely red wine - a Nero D'Avola from 2000.

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You will note that this is about the time we'd had enough wine and girl talk to begin forgetting to photograph the food before digging in - hence the forks. :laugh:

The fifth course, and last of the pastas, was the famous pappardelle bolognese. This was easily the best bolognese I've ever had outside of a home kitchen. It was meaty and slightly sweet, and clung to the wide, flat pasta beautifully. It was paired with another lovely, full-bodied red, a Montefalco Rosso from that hot summer of '03.

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Finally, it was on to the desserts. The first two were really dessert amuses, and they were goooood. First up was an espresso panna cotta garnished with a cherry and served with Recioto della Valpolicella (2002), a red dessert wine. Yum. I am a sweet wine addict (ice wine, Sauternes, you name it), and this one was delish.

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Just like with a real espresso, there were tiny little grounds in the bottom of the panna cotta. :smile:

Next up was a chocolate "salami" filled with nuts served with a moscato zabaione. This was also good, though not as much to my liking as the panna cotta. It was served with a slightly herbal, minty dessert wine, a Barolo Chinato.

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Finally, to finish things off with a bang, a flight of three full-sized desserts, served with a Malvisia Passito from, again, 2003. I loved this wine, and all three of the desserts were really delicious. The first was a goat cheese cheesecake, which was very light and was served with chunks of pineapple:

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Um, sorry for the blurry picture on that one. :wacko:

The second was a ricotta cake laced with just a touch of chocolate. Also very, very good.

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Last up, and my favorite, was a date and walnut cake, served with vanilla gelato. I LOVED this. It was like the ultimate version of a tea cake. Not too sweet, very moist, but not heavy.

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When we finally clattered back out onto Waverly at 1:30 AM, we were the last people to leave the restaurant. We had a marvelous time - the waitstaff were accomodating, kind, and knowledgable, and easy to engage in conversation or with questions. We had the best kind of dinner three single girls can have - amazing food, fantastic wine, and great conversation ranging from politics to shoes and everything in between.

What a great night.

Edited by Megan Blocker (log)

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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Okay, now I'm getting hit with a king-hell wave of New York nostalgia too. smile.gif

Damn, me too! And how: I used to live on 85th and East End so Megan is smack in the middle of my old stomping grounds. I remember only Gristedes (I was a wee lad at the time) so all those cool shops and coffee places are new to me. Nice to see the 'hood again.

MB: do you ever stroll around Carl Schurz Park? I also remember a busy german brathaus on York ave just above 86th I think. I lived in Yorkville when there were still a few germanfolk around I recall a few little places with sausage hanging in the windows.

Great blog! Beautiful photos! Keep 'em coming! :smile:

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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So, Babbo was great. But then there's the morning after.

I woke up at 5 AM from a dream that someone was force feeding me pasta. :laugh: Lisa called me to check in, and it turns out she had the same experience!!!

And despite the five glasses of water and two ibuprofen I took last night before retiring, I'm feeling a wee bit shaky this morning. Solution? Run across the street (in my overcoat thrown on over my PJ's) to grab a liter of Diet Coke, nectar of the gods.

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When I worked in investment banking, we used to drink like fish every night and show up hungover (or worse) almost every morning. On Friday mornings, if you didn't RACE to the soda machine first thing, the Diet Coke would be gone. This stuff is the best cure for what ails ya. Ever. :laugh:

Now that I've had about half the liter, it's time to head out to the grocery store. My friends Miles and Hall have just returned from an extended trip abroad, and I am having them over for dinner tonight. The menu is (for now):

- Crispy sweetbreads with garlicky capellini

- Garlic and rosemary lamb chops and fingerling potatoes roasted in schmaltz

- Baby spinach salad with caramelized shallots and a sherry vinaigrette

- Orange madeleines

- Creme brulee

Shopping list is:

- Flour

- Sugar

- Cream

- Eggs

- Lamb

- Sweetbreads

- Rosemary

- Sherry vinegar

And with that, I'm off to collect what I need - back with a full report and pictures soon! :smile:

I'll also answer all the posts that came in last night and this morning when I get back...sorry to run off on you like this!!!!

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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