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Posts Tagged ‘dinner’

I am so trendy. First The Standard and now The Dutch. Okay, then. Actually this post has been a long time coming.

I finally, finally went to The Dutch a few weeks ago when my roommate’s brother was in town. We tried a million things. Oysters to start, obviously. I am SO glad that I like oysters. Seriously.

Broccolli rabe and mashed potatoes. I enjoy mashed potatoes.

And now with Asian White Boy Ribs (what?). I enjoy ribs.

And the chicken that is no longer on the menu. Now there’s chicken stroganaff which I would not mind trying. This particular chicken (sorry about the color, btw) had foam with it and foam just doesn’t impress me. But the chicken itself was very good. This was one of those meals where you’re like, “Ok, I’m full now” and then you keep eating. I guess that means it was good!

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It’s fancy time!

But first… a word from our sponsor: Michigan State University.

JUST KIDDING. Obviously my university does not sponsor this blog but after the glorious win against the Michigan Wolverines this past weekend, I just have to say something. I have lots of friends that went to Michigan and most of them are great, and we’re playful about the rivalry and it’s all in good fun. But some are just nasty and I’m hoping since now we’ve beat them in football four years in a row I won’t hear a peep for awhile. Have some respect! Go green!

AND back to the topic at hand- gettin fancy!

I had seen a list of “top lobster rolls” in the country and was surprised to see a restaurant from Texas listed. So I did a little research on this place, Perla’s in Austin and decided that while in Texas, I had to go there. And also my friend Stacy had suggested we go there as well, from the positive things she had heard about the restaurant as well. So by the time I finally made it there, I had built it up pretty big in my head.

AND IT DID NOT DISAPPOINT.

Oysters, as you do. Some East Coast and some West Coast but I can’t remember for the life of me what they were besides absolutely delicious. I told the server which kinds I typically go for and he was a huge help and his suggestions were spot on.

And then you wait for the good stuff:

I have had a lot of lobster rolls in my life and dare I say *gasp* this may be the best one I’ve ever had! PERFECT. And the fries were good and we also had brussels sprouts and asparagus and my dad also loved his lobster roll and Stacy really liked her fish. So basically if you go to Austin I highly, highly recommend eating here and I highly, highly recommend getting the lobster roll. When I return, I hope to eat here again. Because it was so good! My dad and I talked about it for days. DAYS afterward.

And the place is really cute, too.

Ahhhh thinking about this again is making me think about going back to Texas immediately! Who is coming?

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Say hello to some gnocchi. I love gnocchi.

Left Bank is on Perry Street in the West Village and it’s a new restaurant from old Mermaid friends Laurence Edelman and Micheline Gaulin. I loved working with them both back in the day and I am loving visiting them in their new restaurant now. I was there opening week and told Laurence how much I enjoyed everything and he said, “You know we’re just getting started.” EXCITING!

This is my homegirl Mara, whom you’ve met lots of times. I knew she’d be the one to take to Left Bank because she, like me, loves trying new restaurants and also she works at LeDu Wines just around the corner from Left Bank. It was perfect! That very large glass in front of you is an “International Stud” named after the gay bar that used to be in the space and also featured in this video of my friend Colby making it while wearing a Knot By Tiffa bowtie. Yes I am shelling for my friends’ companies right now (Knot by Tiffa included) but they are all pretty legit.

For our meal we also had a beefsteak tomato salad and the pork rillettes. Don’t think I’ve ever had pork rillettes before but they were fun to eat and delicious. And of course the beautiful salad was, too. Tomato salads are so perfect for summer.

We also had a pan-roasted pork chop with sauerkraut and mustard. Look at that sauerkraut! My mom would have died. A happy death, of course.

For dessert we had some really delicious cheese, and I never get cheese for dessert. I always think dessert = chocolate but I’m trying to branch out. And cheese is fancy. More cheese, please!

So that’s it! Head on over to Left Bank and tell ’em I sent you. I know I’ll be there again soon. :)

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Happy birthday, Jordan! This girl was a little upset I hadn’t blogged about her birthday dinner the other week yet so here it is. And more of this girl on City Mitten coming up.

For her birthday, some of us girlies took Jordan out to Buttermilk Channel. Excellent choice and now Brooklyn favorite.

Above is Jordan with her birthday “cake” – chocolate chunk bread pudding with salted chocolate butterscotch. It was very nice. And now I will guide you through half of the menu.

Hush puppies:

I made Jordan hold the glass to show you A) her pretty nail polish and B) the size of the hush puppies. Just so you know. They were teeny tiny. And now, a beverage:

The Chelanga: Milagro tequila, honey, grapefruit, and jalapeƱo with a lime salt rim. And pretty! I love pretty cocktails. I had a Shenandoah Fizz myself, because I’m pretty down with aperol cocktails with sparkling wine and orange bitters. Oh, and Dolin Vermouth Blanc, too.

Back to foods. Duck meatloaf:

Why yes, that is a giant onion ring on top.

Caputo’s fresh linguini with sweet peas, spring onion, green garlic toasted bread crumbs, chile oil and pecorino:

I tried a bit of it, delicious.

And now what half of the table ordered: chicken and waffles!

Oh, chicken and waffles (with bonus of my fizz cocktail on the upper left). I never heard of chicken and waffles until I moved to New York. And I never tried it until I had brunch at the Stanton Social when my friend (now roommate)’s parents came to town and took us all out to a fancy tapas brunch. They were delicious then and they were delicious now. You can barely even see the waffles in this picture as there’s half a chicken on top of it, but I assure you they are there. This dish also makes your table smell quite nice. Very good. And since there’s half a chicken on your plate, you can almost guarantee they’ll be some left over to take home. Bonus next day lunch!

Also, I have heard many a time that Buttermilk Channel also has kick-ass brunch. So now you’ve heard it, too. And I need to check it out.

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The best meal we had in Chicago a few weekends ago was the last one. Thanks to my awesome cousin who rules Chicago and her suggestion, we went to GT Fish & Oyster. It’s a gorgeous and fun setting, the service was fantastic and the food phenomenal. Easily the best meal of the year so far. Thank you, Chicago!

The menu is made up of small plates so it’s best to order a few. Or five thousand. As we did. Our server was so awesome and he made it really fun for us as we told him we were celebrating Nora’s birthday. Also – he could have sold us a plate of salt if he wanted to. He had us in the palm of his hand. If he suggested we try one more thing, we did. If he suggested we get more drinks, we did. Dessert to split? Yes, please!

So we ordered a lot. I am showing approximately four percent of the dishes that actually came to us. Starting with the clam chowder as you see above. Isn’t it cute how it was presented? And it was so good. You know I love me some clam chowder.

We got some oysters, duh:

Do you know how much fun it is to like oysters? I am so glad I am a fan. Here is an oyster I don’t remember which kind (shame on me for slacking with my Oysterpedia app!) and some mignonette on top. Delicious.

This was PHENOMENAL. Black gnocchi with squid ink, carrot lobster broth, prawns and fiddlehead ferns. AMAZING. I love gnocchi (esp when it’s good) and I love prawns. Excellente.

This is the lobster roll. They were kind enough to cut it in three for us. Also delicious. I’m excited because it’s going against The Mermaid at this year’s Tasting Table Lobster Roll Rumble, which naturally I’ll be at. Also the fried onions behind it – normally couldn’t care less. NOPE. Delicious and addicting.

The last picture of food I’m going to post is the lobster mac and cheese:

Ok these are my favorite kind of noodles that mac and cheese is made with. Yes. And they brought this dish to us last, which we appreciated, so it didn’t fill us up in the beginning (like I said before – we ordered five thousand other things I am not posting.) Perfect.

An all-around excellent meal. I can’t talk it up enough. If you go to Chicago, you must absolutely, absolutely go here. And here’s one last photo of me and my ladies before Kayti and I headed back to Michigan and said goodbye to Nora and my newfound love and appreciation of Chicago:

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I’m not sure if pictures will do this place justice. First off, Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder Co is like a cave on the inside. A very old-timey bar and you give your name to a man who does not write it down but remembers your group in thirty minutes any way. So that’s pretty cool. Also – this is not pizza. This is pizza PIES.

But first.

The world’s best greek salad. Nope, the picture does not do it justice. Nor does it tell you it’s size but it is HUGE! And it comes with two dressings, which the server told us are best when mixed. It was true! One was sour cream based (what?) and I think the other was a vinaigrette. Perfect combination. And everyone at the table liked feta.

Now the pizza pies.

Just kidding. I forgot we got another appetizer. Which was bread – Mediterranean bread – because you’re never eating enough bread when you’re getting pizza. This was delicious, especially when you dipped it in one of the dressings.

And now the pizza pies:

They kind of look like mushrooms. The server actually brings them to you faced down and he then scoops out the plate or whatever was below it. It’s interesting. Your options are meat or no meat. Get the meat. It’s a very homey dish. Not really like pizza, kind of like a lasagne or something. It’s good. But it’s not pizza. So if you’re sitting there thinking, “I can’t wait to eat pizza!” you might be in the wrong place. But the salad and the bread. That’s what you need.

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Roasted oysters (with smoked bacon and leeks) are fun. At Brooklyn Fish Camp with my girl Jordan. Since there’s a post for you today you can safely assume I’ve been procrastinating like nobody’s business on the whole packing thing.

Yellow tuna sliders.

Pan fried cod sandwich and Jordan eating french fries. Who doesn’t love french fries? Jordan goes to Brooklyn Fish Camp a bit and she says the po’ boys are fantastic and I am also interested in trying the lobster roll. Brooklyn Fish Camp is cute. I like it. They were also nice enough to not make a big deal about the giant stack of oversize boxes I had along with me (did I mention I’m moving?! It’s the worst!). A dude asked me on my way out if I was going to make a fort. I wish!

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As you can see, we are definitely back to our regular programming. I had the pleasure last week of going to The Vanderbilt with my friend Mara, who happens to be one of the awesomest people in my life. The Vanderbilt is in Prospect Heights and since I’m moving out of Lefferts Gardens in four seconds, it seemed like time to finally try something in the neighborhood next door. So Vanderbilt we went.

The Vanderbilt had a special St. Patty’s prix-fixe menu, so we ordered one of those and then we ordered some other stuff to go with it. This was the crispy fried egg with blood sausage and potato hash. Do you see that? They fried the ENTIRE EGG. That was awesome. Pretty much any dish with an egg on top of it is awesome.

We even had TWO dishes with eggs in them. Because we *want* to die. To the left, we’ve got some lamb (delicious), and to the right we have slow poached pasture raised egg with spaetzle and bacon. MOM ARE YOU READING THIS? My mom luuuuvs spaetzle and now we must add The Vanderbilt to our list of restaurants to eat at if they keep this dish. It was the Bomb with a capitol B.

Other things that were Bomb: dessert! Poor Mara, she doesn’t even like dessert and I keep making her try things with me.

Since it was around St. Pat’s, Mara’s dessert was soda bread with stout ice cream. Interesting! Mara wasn’t upset I had her get dessert anymore.

I had the pumpkin toffee cake.

Yep. I don’t even care about pumpkin or toffee but the couple next to us had their dessert and were diving right in quite nicely and so I stared at them and the girl told me I pretty much had to get it because it is fabulous. And it was! She was right. Phew. So get this. Our server sold me on it too, he was great. Vanderbilt was GREAT, PEOPLE. Go eat there.

After The Vanderbilt we hopped across the street to Weather Up for a quick drink and that place is cuuuute. See, I just planned the perfect Prospect Heights date for you. You’re welcome.

And now we have reached the point in this post where I digress and tell you how horrible I am at packing up my room for my move on Thursday. Yep, I’m moving on Thursday. Still in Brooklyn and still awesome, don’t you worry but I am getting the hex outta here. I’ve got half empty boxes all over my bedroom floor and clothes and random things of whatever like everywhere. It’s not looking good.

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Guess it’s time to go back to restaurant talk! Last week I went to dinner with my fabulous friend Mara in Park Slope at Al Di La. It is just adorable and there’s a really nice chandelier, and you know those fascinate me. And the house wine is pretty dang good, which I know because Mara works in the wine industry so for her to say that means it’s really legit! We had some. Of course. And we shared entrees. Mara got the braised rabbit with polenta and I got the duck. Both were good but I would recommend the rabbit, although I’m pretty sure you actually couldn’t do any wrong here.

This is the swiss chard and ricotta gnocchi which was A-mazing.

And then for dessert we had some chocolate ice cream thing with hazelnuts and whipped cream which was also A-mazing.

Yep. We went big at Al Di La! They also have a little wine bar next door if you can’t get a table at the Trattoria. I highly, highly recommend going here. Their website may be the worst website in the history of the world, ever, but apparently it’s not stopping them from getting any business – so hey!

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If you’re a Michigan State Spartan, as I am, The Breslin means something very specific to you: basketball. But in New York City, it’s a newish restaurant in the Ace Hotel that everyone has been talking about. And so we meet the lamb burger.

Above is Nora who came to town for New Year’s Eve. We started with a seafood sausage which is whaaat seafood made into sausage. I don’t even remember all the seafood involved, definitely some lobster but it was phe-nom-e-nal. You must try it. Sounds strange, yes, but SO GOOD.

And here is the lamb burger which is so good it is now tied for favorite burger ever with The Spotted Pig. This burger is lamb (duh) and there’s a block of feta on it which is AWESOME. I always order my burgers plain, no cheese, but feta is the exception as feta can do no wrong. So there’s that.

For dessert we had the doughnuts which were warm and covered in sugar. The sauces were sea salt caramel (I think), maple, and something cranberry. The caramel was the best, naturally. While eating this I thought I really need to take my mom there.

So The Breslin is cute, it’s kind of decorated like the Spotted Pig now that I think about it. But the Ace Hotel is trendy, trendy and there’s usually a wait, ours was only 20 minutes on a Thursday night – so not too bad.

So yes, I would definitely recommend The Breslin to anyone – Spartan or not.

Also, a sidenote – I think it’s funny when people complain about limited menus. The Breslin doesn’t have a lot of entree options but I personally think that’s one of it’s strengths. What’s wrong with just focusing on some really great dishes and who needs a thousand choices anyway? So I dig it.

Another sidenote – my rent just went up crazy huge this week (16%!) so yay for that! I may have to resort to eating cereal for dinner a few nights a week because I am not ready to move out yet. Moving sucks! Am I right or am I right?

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