Saturday, April 26, 2014

An Epic Meal at NYC's ABC Kitchen

Jean-Georges's ABC Kitchen has been an NYC favorite for several years now. Even to this day a reservation is extremely hard to come by especially on the weekends. Having been in the industry for a while now, I've certainly seen my share of "sustainable" restaurants. Descriptions such as "Green Market" and "Farm to Table" are thrown around like rag dolls all over Manhattan and other up and coming foodie cities. One does wonder how these statements really hold up. Part of ABC Kitchen's success is they practice what they preach. Their food is not only creative, delicious and presented beautifully but also incredibly fresh. It's literally something you can taste. The first "green flag" is the menu actually does change seasonally. If you're at a "Farm to Table" restaurant and the menu stays the same year around or you're there in the summer and the majority of the menu is made with winter produce, you know you've been duped. This being said, we all live in different climates and areas so it's pretty difficult for all menu items and their components to be locally sourced and organic. The point (like ABC Kitchen states) is to offer the freshest ingredients possible and for them to be pesticide and GMO free, always honoring global sustainability. I love it!

ABC Kitchen's executive chef, Dan Kluger, has been in the New York food scene for over 15 years. The man knows his stuff. I am so in love with his menus. I love how approachable they are. I can totally appreciate when chefs spruce up dishes with liquid nitrogen and/or uses exotic ingredients and techniques, however there's so much to be said for simple, pure food. A huge plus is the prices are also fairly approachable (for NYC standards of course:-) and the portions are plentiful. I loved the pastas and whole wheat pizzas! I also can not say enough about the ambiance. Being that the restaurant is part of ABC Home, a high-end furniture store and design firm, you would certainly expect some impressive decor. Yet again, ABC Kitchen exceeds expectations. Everything you see from the moment you walk through the doors is impeccably designed and placed. I loved the little florals and table settings, too cute. The service was also wonderful. Everyone was friendly, down to earth yet knowledgeable and I adore that they wear flannel. Very cool.

Menu standouts from our first time include the Kabocha Squash Toast, The Mushroom Pizza with Egg, Every Pasta, The Organic Fried Chicken and Seasonal Doughnuts. For your drinking delight: The Sour Cherry Old-Fashioned. I can not wait to go back. To my absolute glee, I see a lot of ramps on the menu for spring...

ABC Cocina, the newest concept under the ABC umbrella, is on my must go-to list. 
Blog post to come! 

Kabocha Squash Toast with Ricotta Cheese: One of the best bites I've had in a long time. Heavenly. 

Our assortment of cured meats & local cheeses with accompaniments...need we say more?

Can you say "food porn"? That egg...YUM!

Fried Organic Chicken. This batter was insane. Thick and crunchy served with a deletable hot butter sauce. I'm pretty sure this was a chicken breast but it was so juicy and tender, it could easily be mistaken for dark meat. 

Fresh, house made donuts to finish off the meal. 

Eat Up!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Foodie Things to Do In NYC-Make Some Mozz!!!

Yet another fun find on Gilt City. A mozzarella making class at Tommy Lasagna! I've seen this offer on Gilt a few times and have heard good things. Chef Tommy Mosera is the chef and owner of this fairly new gem in NYC's Gramercy neighborhood. Judging from reviews the food is pretty kick ass. Since I live on the West Side it can, at times, take an act of god (or insanely good food) to get me to head across town. A mozzarella making class with my hubby that includes cheese, lasagna samples AND wine is a sure fire way to get me to the East Side;-)

Chef Tommy teaches the class himself which I love. They offer a mozzarella making class for $74 per person and a lasagna making class (which we're definitely planning to go to) for $95. Chef Tommy was awesome. Not only was he super knowledgeable and informative but uber pleasant. A genuinely nice guy. He started the class by pouring everyone a glass of crisp white wine to compliment the cheese. We went through all the steps: warming the curds for stretching, adding the salt, checking proper temperatures which is a MUST when making fresh cheese. We made 3 different types of mozzarella-a fresh ball to take home, Bocconcini (little marinated balls of joy) and fresh mozzarella rolled with sopressata. Through out the class we sampled our cheeses and at the end...had the pleasure of sampling Chef Tommy's famous lasagna. I mean there's a reason the restaurant is named after the Italian staple. The class and the food get an A+. Ryan and I can't wait to go back. 

If you're looking for something fun to do, have company visiting or gift hunting for a fellow foodie, a class at Tommy Lasagna is a good way to go. FYI-classes really do fill up fast so plan ahead and check out Gilt for specials!

Notice the "Eat Up" ;-)

The man himself...

Our soon to be yummy cheese curds warming up for stretching!

Our marinated mozzerella knots with olive oil, fresh basil and crushed red pepper. Yum!

The hubs enjoying a little piece of heaven, aka Tommy's Lasagna with meat sauce and bechemel.

Eat Up!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Last Week's Food Porn: Key West-South Beach-Orlando

Hi friends! I know I’ve fallen off the face of the earth for a week but I’ve been making my way through Florida soaking up some spring sun and spending time with friends and loved ones. Ryan had some scuba adventures in Key West, we had a swanky South Beach wedding to attend AND we met up with my fam in Orlando for a little Disney fun. I’ve decided to share some of this past week’s food porn with additional blog posts to come later. It turns out Florida has quite the foodie scene...


Fried Mahi Mahi and Shrimp with crispy fries and a succulent “Shrimp” Burger 
(like a crab cake but made with shrimp) from Key Largo Fisheries Backyard Cafe

Chocolate Covered Key Lime Pie on a Stick? Um, YES PLEASE!

A tender Churrasco with rice and sweet plantains from El Meson De Pepe. OMG.



The best Fried Oysters you’ll ever have. Juicy, crunchy and served with house made cocktail and tartar sauce. When I return, I’ll definitely be ordering these again. 

I’m not a big coleslaw lover but Joe’s creamy concoction is no joke. It’s served in a bit of a deconstructed fashion as you have the “slaw” at the bottom, with the mayo plopped on top & the tomato and relish on the side. The “slaw” however already has a tangy, pickled flavor. So delish. Combined with the whipped mayo, crunchy relish and tomato and you have one hell of a side dish. Enjoy!

A decadent chilled seafood platter complete with Joe’s famous Stone Crab Claws. 



Ryan’s Shrimp and Scallop Tempura. For $30 you get a bowl of seafood and vegetable tempura, beef fried rice, a noodle salad, pickled cucumbers AND select sushi. We shared it and left stuffed.

Tuna Sashimi from Tokyo Dining with Lemon and Truffle Oil. Amazing.

Enjoying a little Sapporo beer in Epcot with the hubs, my sissy and brother-in-law. 
Naturally Ryan and I decided we want to return and eat / drink in every represented country:-)

*Side note-I’ve also eaten at the La Hacienda restaurant in Mexico at Epcot and it was phenomenal. So far I’m very impressed with the food, well done Disney.