Entries Tagged as 'east village'

Dinner With Jeannette

June 13th, 2007 · 7 Comments

Last night I met up with Jeannette at Kasadela on 11th and Avenue C, which is basically Japanese small plates… or a fancy izakaya. My first experience with izakaya was when Ryan took us to Tokkuri-Tei in Honolulu earlier this year. I like it. It’s fun to order drinks and small plates and share.

Busy Bee Cake @ Black Hound Bakery
Busy Bee Cake, Black Hound Bakery, East Village, Manhattan

After dinner we tried to go to Chikalicious, a dessert bar on 10th and 2nd, but it was closed up and only open on Wednesday – Friday Sunday. Instead we stopped by Black Hound Bakery on 11th and 2nd to share a little mini Busy Bee Cake, which consists of three layers of chocolate butter cake, two layers of almond butter cake, two layers of bittersweet chocolate mousse and on layer of marzipan… all covered in marzipan and bittersweet chocolate and decorated with marzipan and almond petal bees. It was so delicious, but so rich that we couldn’t finish it even though it was the tiny mini version.

Afterwards I walked Jeanette to Union Square, at about 14th and Park, where she caught the train home to Long Island City in Queens. Feeling like I’ve been eating far too much dessert without any exercise, I walked up to my hotel at 48th and Lexington Avenue. It was a long walk, but not hard. The hardest part was that I was carrying my laptop bag and it started to get feeling really heavy.

Grand Central
Grand Central Station, Midtown East, Manhattan

I haven’t seen friends much in the two weeks that I’ve been in New York on business so it was good to see Jeannette. Also, I love the people I work with, but it was nice to have one night away from the office.

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Back in New York

June 7th, 2007 · 5 Comments

Taj Restaurant
Musicians at Taj Restaurant, East Village, Manhattan

Not to confuse you because I still have photos from my Memorial Day weekend trip to New York, but I’m back in New York again, this time on business. Monday afternoon and night we all came together at Taj Restaurant on 6th Street, right in the heart of Indian Restaurant Row, which is on 6th between 1st and 2nd Avenues. The music was great but the service and ambiance was questionable. They did keep the Taj Mahal and Flying Horse beer flowing though, which was a good thing. The food was reasonably priced and was pretty tasty if you could break through the language barrier to get your order in!

Don at Bar 82
Don, Bar 82, East Village, Manhattan

Afterwards we had a few drinks at Bar 82 and then made the long walk back to our hotel, the craptacular Radisson on 48th/Lex. It’s not that bad, it’s just so random. Like the wallpaper is peeling in my room and there are only hooks and stains where the artwork used to be above the bed, yet my room has a flat screen TV and a Herman Miller Aeron chair.

Spice Market
Vietnamese Coffee Granite with Vanilla Meringue, Spice Market, Meatpacking District, Manhattan

Tuesday was our first day at Google and was completely overwhelming with all of the information to take in. It’s really exciting to be working there officially. I think everyone is psyched. .. if only we can get our heads around everything. We had dinner at Spice Market, which I’d read so much about and was excited to try. It was about 100% fancier than the Indian restaurant that we’d been to the night before. The interior was really beautiful, if not over the top, and sort of Middle Eastern looking, while the cuisine was kind of Vietnamese/Thai/Indian. The Onion and Chili Crusted Short Ribs Egg Noodles and Pea Shoots was absolutely the standout dish of the night. I was expecting something like kalbi ribs, but it was the most tender bone-free beef I’ve ever eaten, I think. So delicious. For some reason I only took a photo of our desert. It was Vietnamese Coffee Granite with Vanilla Meringue. That night some people went out to the bar at the W, but I was so tired. I just stayed in and went to bed.

Tiny Beers
Mini Beers, Bar 82, East Village, Manhattan

This is turning into a food blog of the week, but Wednesday night we had pizza at John’s on Bleecker. Later on we had a couple beers at some generic Irish pub in Midtown. Everyone was too tired to really put any effort into staying out, so I hit up Duane Reade for some shampoo because the stuff at the hotel stinks and then headed in for the night.

Everything is so overwhelming this week. I’m waiting for Friday and looking forward to nothing on Saturday. Sunday I’m flying back out here.

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May 31st, 2007 · 2 Comments


I don’t know how we got on the topic, but when Jess and Jeannette and I were having dinner at Volo when they were visiting me in Chicago, we started talking about Mario Batali‘s restaurant OTTO. And more specifically, the olive oil gelato. Sold! On this trip to New York I decided I had to go to OTTO. The funny thing is that I’d never been there before and everyone who met us there was like “Yeh, this place is great, we go here all the time.” I guess I chose a winner! Well, let’s wait til after the food to decide.

While we were waiting for everyone to get to OTTO, we sat in the front area, the enoteca. This is the wine bar and it’s supposed to be reminiscent of an Italian train station. It has long rows of tables that are maybe supposed to remind you of benches? And behind the bar there’s a big clock. In the back, where you check in, there’s a big board. After talking to the host/hostess, you’re given a ticket with a train name on it. When that train departs, the name of the train flips up on the board, you go to the host stand and your party is then seated. In the enoteca I had a really fabulous white wine that I, of course, do not remember the name of because I didn’t note it. I told the server there that I wanted something not too sweet and not too dry and he brought over a couple he thought I’d like. I tasted each and picked the one I liked best. I thought that was cool. Then I wasn’t guessing what I’d like and having to pay to find out I didn’t like it. Also, in the enoteca they serve wine by the bottle or the quartino, which is about a 1/3 bottle. So, you get a small carafe along with your glass. I was joking that it was like when you get a homemade shake somewhere and they give you the extras in the metal cup on the side. So, I liked the wine bar very much.


For dinner we all decided to order family-style and share. I put in requests for 1 or 2 things but mostly let the people who had been there a bunch of times before do the ordering. I don’t know everything we ordered, but this is what I remember as highlights:

  • A meat plate with Prosciutto, Coppa, Lardo, Testa, Salumi
  • A cheese plate with at least 6 cheeses on it
  • Olives (Gaeta, Sicilian, Alfonso)
  • Eggplant Caponatina
  • Asparagus & Pecorino
  • Funghi & Taleggio Pizza
  • Margherita D.O.C. Pizza (Tomato, Bufala Mozzarella, Basil)
  • Napoletana (Tomato, Anchovy, Capers, Olives)
  • Pepperoni Pizza (Tomato, Spicy Salami, Cacio, Mozarella)
  • Pizza del Giorno (the Pizza of the Day was Ramps)
  • Linguine con le Cozze (mussels, saffron, marjoram)
  • A penne pasta that I remember being good, but can’t remember which it was!

I know there was more, but I can’t remember what it was. It seems like we ordered tons of food, but there were 10 people, so it was just enough to go around. I like ordering lots of things and sharing. Then you get to try all different dishes. And it’s fun! And all of the food was really well prepared and tasty.

Two things before I move on to dessert. 1. I didn’t realize that “Testa” on the meat tray was pretty much head cheese. Wikipedia’s entry for Head Cheese says that in Genoa, Italy “A similar preparation goes by the moniker testa in cassetta, literally ‘head in a box’.” I don’t know if I had that meat in particular… I knew I picked a few off the tray… but if I did, it was delicious. 2. This was the first time I tried an anchovy. How was it? Salty & fishy.


For dessert, everyone got gelato. How could you not? I was dying to try the olive oil gelato so I got the Olive Oil Copetta (cup). It had olive oil gelato, rosemary brittle, candies kumquats, olive oil and Maldon sea salt. It was such a delicious mix of savory and sweet. Really good. And kind of buttery on the tongue. We all ordered different gelatos and passed them around. The gelato was so good. Actually, though, I think Tien said the pistachio was not that great. I remember everyone loving the milk chocolate chip one.

After dinner we went back to the enoteca for some more drinks. I was so stuffed! I could barely even drink one more glass of wine before calling it a night. What a great time though. I think getting together with friends and sharing food is one of my most favorite things. OTTO was fabulous. I’d go back in a heartbeat.


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