Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Holidays & Happy New Year!

I will be taking the next two weeks off from eating & blogging to celebrate the Holidays and ring in the New Year. I look forward to bringing more news of Brooklyn eateries in 2010.

Happy Eating!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Brunch at Buttermilk Channel #4

After a late Saturday night, I wasn't about to fool around with a new brunch spot. I needed to know I was going to eat well and have a good experience. So I headed over to Buttermilk Channel (524 Court St. at Huntington St., 718-852-8490). It's just so good, I knew it would perk me up. After a short wait, two seats opened at the bar which we snagged fast. It didn't take long to figure out what I wanted either - the Eggs Huntington, a short stack of pancakes and a side of homemade breakfast sausages. We got some coffee, a latte for me and regular for him, and our complimentary mimosas and watched the hustle and bustle from our cozy perch.

The Eggs Huntington are named for the cross street at which Buttermilk Channel is located. Poached eggs (perfectly done, btw) on top of a flaky & moist buttermilk biscuit and country ham, topped with fine hollandaise sauce and served with a small side salad. It's absolutely wonderful.

The Buttermilk Pancakes are also perfect. They're light, fluffy and slightly moist and served with real maple syrup & fresh sweet cream butter. I find them divine, with just a hint of powdered sugar sprinkled on top.

The Breakfast Sausages are no joke, either. They keep changing slightly from visit to visit, these were made with dried pear and were spicier than I've had them. They're also juicy and tender and taste amazing when some of the maple syrup gets too close!

If you haven't been here, you need to. They're Brunch menu is one of the best around. The wait staff is also pleasant, friendly and helpful and the space is bright and cheery, just what you want on a Sunday morning (they don't serve Brunch on Saturdays).

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Dinner from Enoteca on Court #2

Another long day at work and another meal ordered in. There's something that happens during these last few weeks of the year where it becomes really difficult to stay on top of one's regular cooking schedule. So we decided to try Enoteca on Court (347 Court St., between Union & President St., 718-243-1000), a new place that opened early this past summer at which we ate once for dinner. We started with the Gorgonzola Bruschette, two large pieces of Italian bread cut on the diagonal with gorgonzola cheese mixed with mascarpone and drizzled with honey. I swear I took a photo, but I don't have one! It was delicious though - soft, dense, chewy bread with sharp cheese, creamy mascarpone and sweet honey. We also chose the Spinaci Baby salad - baby spinach, pear, pancetta, mushrooms and balsamic dressing. The salad was generously portioned, with basically a whole, sliced pear, lots of fresh greens and plentiful slices of cured pancetta. All the flavors intermingled well and complemented one another.

For our main entree we ordered the Proscuitto Pizza made with the cured meat, arugula, mozzarella and parmigiano cheese. The meat was cured to perfection and was generously placed atop the pizza. The mozzarella was fresh and creamy and slightly sweet, melted on top with the fresh greens. The crust was wonderful as well. Crispy, chewy and substantial without being overwhelming.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Pizza from My Little Pizzeria

There are a ton of pizzerias scattered throughout Brooklyn, but some are better than others, and My Little Pizzeria (114 Court St., between State St. & Atlantic Ave., 718-643-6120) has always been a stand out. Here is a sampling of two of their most basic slices - the regular and the Margherita, with fresh mozzarella.

The sauce is slightly sweet and the cheese is spread evenly around the dough which is thin and nicely chewy. The Margherita with the fresh mozzarella is a nice upgrade from the regular slice if you're looking for something a little different; it also has a subtle sprinkling of oregano. Both slices have a good crust that is browned just so and has a nice, clean taste.

My Little Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

Friday, December 11, 2009

Dinner from Wild Ginger

After an evening of shopping with my mom and my sister, we were hungry and in need of sustenance. Both of them are vegetarian so when we got out of the subway, we headed straight for Wild Ginger (112 Smith Street, Between Dean St. & Pacific St., 718-858-3880) to get some takeout. The space is really nice though, and I'd like to go back to have dinner there. It's very tastefully decorated, dark and cozy with dark mirrors that make the space feel twice as big as it is. Within minutes we were on our way home with dinner.

I chose the Satay Tempeh, cubes of tempeh grilled in a satay sauce. It was really good, but I was a little disappointed as I was expecting a peanutty satay sauce - instead this was slightly BBQ flavored.

My mom ordered the Hijiki Salad - marinated black seaweed with edamame peas. Slightly salty, peppered with edamame - it was a lovely dish.

She also got the Tofu Salad because it was described as being made with beets. That was just a little misleading. Little strings of shaved beet sat atop big, pale chunks of tofu and mixed greens. It was good, if on the plain side. A citrus-ginger dressing came with.

We got an order of the Cold Noodles for my step-dad, which are made with green-tea noodles and topped with a sesame sauce. This, too, was on the light side, subtle and a bit disappointing if you were hoping for a more peanutty crunch. Not that it was bad; it was very good, but not your typical cold noodle flavor.

We love our appetizers, so my mom also got an order of Shumai stuffed with spinach. These cute little green packages were very tender and tasty, especially dipped into the soy sauce that accompanied them.

I ordered the Singapore-Style Mei Fun noodles, cuz, how can you resist that name? Thin, angel-hair noodles in a slightly curry-flavored sauce, with nicely cooked strips of tofu and slices of mushroom and bell peppers were tasty and quite filling. I ate half of the dish and it looked like I had barely made a dent!

My sister got the Vegetable Yaki Udon, sans tofu, as it's her favorite but she hates tofu. This was the best dish of them all as far as I was concerned. It was the most flavorful and had lots of different veggies (peppers, cabbage, mushrooms) packed in.

So, a big Thumbs Up to Wild Ginger. I'd definitely go back here for dinner sometime as the food was good and the space was lovely to be in.

Wild Ginger on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Donuts from Peter Pan

My boyfriend used to live in Greenpoint and on weekends we'd either go out to Brunch or head to Peter Pan Bakery (727 Manhattan Ave., between Meserole Ave. and Norman Ave., 718-389-3676) for a donut or a gigantic iced cinnamon roll as big as your head that'd last us all day. I can no longer just pop over for some deliciousness and often think about their donut holes and those cute Polish girls in their mint green jumpsuits. So it was with great delight that we found ourselves strolling down Manhattan Avenue the other day, at that point in the day when you just need a small pick me up, so we stopped in for a Chocolate Glazed and a Bavarian Cream Eclair.

Oh MAN those donuts are good. I mean, really really good. No chemically aftertaste, pure, rich chocolate frosting, light fluffy sweet bread, and the cream filing was pretty amazing as well. Thick, vanilla flavored and delicious. They were even still a little warm! Oh joy! They also have bagels, muffins, coffee, milkshakes & eggcreams and and a really good classic egg & cheese sandwich on a roll. Get there soon and see for yourself!

Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop on Urbanspoon

Monday, December 7, 2009

Brunch at River Barrel

I read about River Barrel (160 Franklin Ave. at Kent St., 718-389-8881) on Greenpointers when it first opened about a year ago and have had it on my list ever since. I finally made it over there recently for Brunch. It's in a great corner space with huge windows that drench the place in sunlight during Brunch. There's a cool chandelier in the center of the ceiling made up of what looks like water glasses, nice exposed brick walls and a tin ceiling that should be a nicer shade (copper or reddish instead of matte brown). Scanning the comments about the place, I saw a lot of complaints about the service, however our server was quite attentive & friendly, and the food came out in good time. The music was fun too - sort of an 80's mix, but with songs rarely heard (Billy Ocean & Bonnie Raitt anyone?).

I chose the River Barrel Sardou, poached eggs on an English Muffin with shaved artichokes and creamed spinach. It looks kind of intense, but was marvelous with the flavors of the artichokes and the sweet spinach mingling. The eggs were expertly poached and runny. The side of potatoes was ok - I prefer mine crispier.

My boyfriend got the Eggs Benedict with Smoked Salmon. The salmon was very smoky tasting which kind of overpowered the dish. The Hollandaise Sauce was good though - often where this dish goes wrong.

We also got a side of the Applewood Smoked Bacon - three thick strips of meat nicely done.

I liked River Barrel a lot, and would like to go back for dinner and drinks sometime. It seems like it'd be a cozy spot in the evening.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Ki Sushi To Go

A friend of mine who lives in Manhattan has been spending a lot of time recently in Brooklyn, and told me I should check out Ki Sushi (122 Smith St., between Dean & Pacific Streets, 718-935-0575). So after a long day of work, when I wasn't feeling much like cooking, I ordered delivery.

I got a Garden Salad to make sure I got some greens. There was some iceberg, some mixed baby greens, and a few grape tomatoes - all of it fresh, plus the citrus, ginger dressing was great. Tangy, zesty and light.

I chose three rolls as well. The Yellowtail with Scallion and the Lobster Tempura Roll are pictured below. The yellowtail was flavorful and fresh albeit small, but the Lobster Tempura tasted very much like a Soft Shell Crab Roll, so that was a bit disappointing. It was also wrapped in thinly sliced cucumber which was nice, but took away from the subtle lobster taste with it's distinct flavor and papery texture.

I also ordered an Angel Roll - seared tuna & asparagus inside, topped with salmon, avocado, eel & tobiko. The pieces of eel were a bit chewy, but the rest was incredible. Fresh, tasty and packed with fish and crunchy asparagus.

Ki Sushi was good, but a bit on the pricey side. My guess is that it's better for a dining in experience, and if you just want take-out, another spot would suffice and be easier on the wallet.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Lunch at Superfine

Over the years, I have tried to go to Superfine (126 Front St., at Pearl St., 718-243-9005) a number of times. It was either closed for vacation, there was a private party, or some other weirdness that prevented me from trying it out. Well, everything changed this past weekend, when the stars were aligned and Superfine was open when I went to have lunch (Brunch is only served on Sundays). We were given the Bar Menu which is limited - some soups, a sandwich or two, but no salads. The light is gorgeous with the late afternoon sun pouring in, and the space is interesting, with a bar right when you walk in, and seating up a few stairs to your right and at the rear.

We started with some Butternut Squash Soup. A rich orange color, it was thick, creamy and nicely flavored - a little earthy & nutty.

We then ordered two plates of assorted goodness to share. The Antipasto Plate came with segments of cauliflower, marinated slices of red pepper, Soppressata and the most amazing slices of portobello mushroom I've ever had! Three crusty slices of bread accompanied the plate as well with assorted olives in the middle.

The best however, was the Cheese Plate. Large slices of Manchego, dry, sharp Cheddar and the most buttery, creamy Brie in the world. It was heavenly. Slices of apple and pear joined the cheese and bread, as did a dollop of honey, which I thought was a nice touch. In the center sat a ramekin of roasted almonds. It was wonderful and easy to share.

I'm eager to get back here for the famed brunch, and maybe even for dinner. The bar looks like it'd be a fun spot to have a drink or two as well. Yay Superfine!

Superfine on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Eat Pie & Shop!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Dinner at Henry Public

I knew as soon as I walked into Henry Public (329 Henry St., between Atlantic Ave. & Pacific St., 718-852-8630) that I was in for some good times. The space has been restored to it's original specialness by the team that opened Brooklyn Social, with close attention paid to the details like the wood floors and photos hung on the walls while maintaining simplicity. A transformation has taken place where last there was a TV & Radio Repair Shop and now there's a spot to grab a drink and a bite, even if it's 2am (it's open until 4am on the weekends)! The first room houses the bar, the back room is the dining room. Everything is done up in black, white and wood, with tables for two and low lighting. I loved it.

The menu is small, with burgers, cheese plates and salads, but there's an interesting cocktail list, in addition to a few beers on tap. The meat is grass-fed & organically-raised, as are the eggs and dairy served. The pickles are house-made and the bun specially crafted for Henry Public. I started with the Wide Awake Cocktail made with gin, lemon, ginger (fresh & liqueur) & scotch. It was strong, fresh, bitter and delicious.

My boyfriend got the Turkey Leg Sandwich with french-fried potatoes. Out came a GIGANTIC sandwich with deliciously moist turkey - kind of pulled-pork-meets-tuna-salad in texture, but with that earthy turkey taste. The bread was thickly cut and fresh and the fries were perfectly crispy & salty.

I ordered the Hamburger with Cheddar Cheese (an incredibly dry, sharp cheddar), also served with fries. The burger was wonderfully charred on the outside, flavorful and juicy on a bun that does not overshadow the patty. Tangy slices of pickle added a nice bite.

It's definitely on the pricey side, but the quality of ingredients and atmosphere costs, right? A positive addition to the neighborhood, and nice to have a late night option!

Henry Public on Urbanspoon

Friday, November 27, 2009

Dinner at Hotel Congress

On our last night in Tucson, we went to the Cup Cafe at Hotel Congress in downtown for drinks and dinner. Hotel Congress is a really cool place, with funky decorations and dark, private nooks scattered about. Built in 1919, John Dillinger & his crew hung out there until he was arrested in 1934 after a fire. There are also stories of ghosts roaming the halls, and there's a bar, a performance space and a restaurant all located within the building.

In addition to all this, the food at Cup Cafe was wonderful, as were the delicious, unique cocktails like the the El Camino Martini made with Tequila, grapefruit juice and agave nectar and the Ghost Orchid made with Citron Vodka, Domaine de Canton (ginger liqueur), ginger root and a drizzle of prickly pear. Great beers are on tap as well.

We started with a Seared Scallop appetizer from the specials menu, made with big, tender sea scallops topped with greens and blue cheese. They were cooked to perfection, deliciously flavored and the cheese really added a nice depth to the dish.

We also got an order of the Hotel Salad, made with baby spinach, spiced candied pecans, fresh pear slices and gorgonzola tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette. Everything tasted so good, with each ingredient shining through as well as enhancing the others. The portion was substantial enough to be shared between two people.

I loved it here, and will mke sure to go back on my next trip to Tucson!

Cup Cafe (at Hotel Congress) on Urbanspoon

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

It's my favorite holiday today! A day to take a moment to acknowledge all that we are grateful and thankful for in our lives & to sit with family and friends to share their company and eat delicious food. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Dinner at Cafe Poca Cosa

The best meal we ate in Tucson was at Cafe Poca Cosa. Located in Downtown Tucson, this swanky spot offers traditional northern Mexican food made from fresh ingredients, which change daily & seasonally. Naturally, I started with a Margarita, straight up with salt on the rim. It was so smooth and so delicious, I had two of them!

My boyfriend chose the Carne Asada en Morron (Bell Peppers) y Remerito. The presentation of all the entrees was amazing. Each dish was lovingly assembled, with a side salad, fruit and veggies arranged just so. Everything was incredibly flavorful, hearty and smooth, with just a little bit of heat.

My Dad got the Pastel de Pollo en Mole Negro, again presented with a side salad and fruit and drowning in a thick, rich, chocolate-y Mole sauce. The chicken was tender and slightly sweet and each of the flavors enhanced the other.

I went out on a limb and ordered the mysterious Plato Poca Cosa which is a selection of any three of the entrees, chosen by the chef. I ended up getting the Carne Asada dish I described above, a vegetarian dish made with spinach and mushrooms and the Crema de Elote con Jalapeño which was a cornmeal-based dish (like polenta) covered in a banana cream sauce with just a hint of jalapeño. It sounds kind of crazy, but it was delicious. Sweet, thick, creamy and hearty at the same time, it was perfect as part of a three-dish selection. I loved this meal!

We were pretty stuffed by the end, but we HAD to try a dessert, so we ordered the flan. It was delicate, subtle-y sweet and slightly caramel-y. Lovely.

So, definitely get yourself to Cafe Poca Cosa if you find yourself in Tucson for drinks and dinner!

Café Poca Cosa on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Ice Cream at Frost Gelato

A very popular dessert spot is Frost Gelato, serving the "best ice cream in the world". The owners were inspired by Gelato they had in Rome so they enrolled in a Gelato University, learned the process and opened up a shop in Tucson that serves upwards of 60 flavors of Gelato & Sorbet ranging from Strawberry to Pistachio to Chocolate Chocolate Chip. They currently employ Nazario Melchionda from Bologna, Italy as their Master Gelato maker and use only ingredients imported from Italy, save milk and sugar, as well as Italian machinery and display cases. In addition to frozen treats, they serve chocolates, coffee, root beer floats and affogato (espresso & gelato), plus you can get pints, quarts and buckets of ice cream to go.

What you see below is Chocolate and Pistachio. The chocolate was so rich, so decadent it was unbelievable. And the pistachio was so true to the nut, not fakey-fake.

We also tried an order of strawberry and coffee. The coffee was on the subtle side, not as strong as I prefer it, but the strawberry, a flavor I usually don't order, was delicious. Fresh-tasting, creamy and fruity.

If you find yourself in the Tucson area, head over the Frost Gelato, you won't be disappointed.

Gelato on Foodista

Monday, November 23, 2009

Tucson Meet Yourself

One of the best things in Tucson also has the funniest name. Tucson Meet Yourself started as an attempt to acknowledge and celebrate the diversity that exists in the town most known for Southwestern/Mexican/native American culture & cuisine and has evolved into a three-day festival complete with all kinds of cuisine, musical acts, dance troupes and cultural tchotchkes. Turns out, there's quite a number of countries represented within the Tucson city limits, and they all come out to showcase their cuisine at this huge outdoor festival.

We started with an Empanada from Costa Rica packed with olives, boiled egg, beef and veggies. I was hungry, so I ate it, but it wasn't anything special.

I made my way over to the Ghanaian booth where they were making Sweet Plantains, one of my favorite dishes.

They were great, and super spicy too, different from how I'm accustomed to eating them (the sweet, El Salvadoran way).

I also made sure to get some Tacos from the Mexican booth, since I was in the Southwest after all! One with Beef, one with chicken. The beef tasted a little strong, but the chicken was just right. Sprinkled with some lime juice and covered with shredded cotija cheese, they hit the spot just right.

For dessert we went to the Danish booth.

They were making fresh Aebleskiver, little pancakes shaped in a sphere. They're similar to popovers and not too sweet, served with jam on the side and a little sprinkling of powdered sugar. We also got some Danish Kringle, originally a pretzel-like snack which developed into a puff-pastry filled with fruit or nuts. This one was almond and subtle, not too sweet, but a nice little treat.

There's so much to see and eat at Tucson Meet Yourself! It's a yearly celebration of Tucson's multi-ethnic make-up and is worth checking out if you're nearby!