New York Restaurant and Food Service Show-2011 randomness (plates) (labeling) (pre made but not pre-baked) (maryland crab cakes–not exciting but maybe we can get a second taste)
http://www.digitalmenubox.xom (coffees -frozen) (ice machines, refrigerators, freezers) (machines that make softserve, yogurt and shakes) (uniforms, accessories and equipment) (premium beef) (little disposable plastic containers for drinks, desserts, etc–by the 1000s)
Hudson Valley Baking Company–awesome looking cakes–Mamaroneck, NY (magnets) (silpat molds for baking) (fridges, fryers, ovens, microwaves, display cases, induction ranges)

Places to eat according to Eater NY-July 2010

Caution–of course this will change again by the time Restaurant week is over. Someone else will be on top for the summer season. You be the judge.


Most fine dining restaurants in New York have some kind of multi-course tasting menu, but only a few truly achieve epic, once-in-a-lifetime status. Some of these are classic four-star dining experiences, proper, others are meals that impress on the level of both quality and quantity, and some are just so strange and compelling that they must be tried at least once. Here now is a map of Twelve Epic New York Meals to Try Before You Die:
47 Course Feasts! Nose-to-Tail Pig Parties! King Crab Four Ways!>>

Map data ©2010 Google – Terms of Use


Kaiseki Tasting at Kyo Ya
94 E 7th St
New York, NY 10009
(212) 982-4140

For authenticity’s sake many of the ingredients in the the Kaiseki tasting at Kyo Ya are shipped in directly from Japan. This special $150 meal clocks in at … around eleven or twelve courses, including a series of pastries and amuse-bouches, a sashimi course, a surf and turf course, a “simmered” meat course, and a few others that involve salads, pickles, rice and soup. Requires reservations made at least two days in advance.
Read More: Law and Food’s Kaiseki Tasting, 06/22/10
N 40° 43.35749 W 73° 59.7486

12 or 20 Course Tasting at WD-50
50 Clinton St
New York, NY 10002
(212) 477-2900

A lot of people associate Wylie Dufresne’s restaurant with wacky molecular gastronomy technique and off-the-wall presentations, but the real reason to go … here, is to experience the bold flavors of his food. Order the $140 tasting menu for a sample of some of the chef’s classics, plus several new creations, or do as one blogger did, and opt for one of everything on the menu: all 20 course, for somewhere in the ballpark of $240. Some have suggested that seven years into its run WD-50 is at its peak right now.

Read more: The Ulterior Epicure’s 20 course tasting, 06/17/10.
N 40° 43.10588 W 73° 59.4822

The Whole Shebang at Alta
64 W 10th St
New York, NY 10011
(212) 505-7777

“The Whole Shebang” is one of the most sublimely decadent deals in town: a full tasting of every single item on the Alta menu, priced at … $420 (or $140 a head in a party of three). The restaurant’s mixed Mediterranean-style small plates may not impress Tapas purists, but the menu offers a wide variety of inventive, fresh, and consistently tasty dishes, and none of them are duds. Take a seat, order a pitcher or two of sangria, and settle in for a nice long 47 course meal of some of the most creative small plates in the city. [link]
N 40° 44.3652 W 73° 59.53681

Lunch at Momofuku Ko
163 1st Ave
New York, NY 10003
(212) 500-0831

Ko’s lunch special, only available on Fridays Saturdays and Sundays, is a whopping 19 courses of Japanese, Korean and French inspired dishes, with the usual … playful Momofuku twists and flourishes. There’s bit of everything: some sashimi, some charcuterie, pastry creations, cheeses, a few masterfully prepared premium proteins, and dessert. The whole thing will run you $175, and if you only have the funds for one big, over the top meal at any of David Chang’s restaurants, this is the one to save up for.[link]
N 40° 43.44428 W 73° 59.4822

King Crab at Pacificana Restaurant
813 55th St
Brooklyn, NY 11220
(718) 871-2880

The Cantonese style dim sum here is superb, but for a really unique dining experience, order a whole King Crab, priced at $30 a pound. The beast will be presented … to you table side before its brought to the kitchen, only to return in four different unique preparations: a soup with lump meat, fried legs, joint meat over noodles, and the biggest pieces mixed with custard and scallops as the main course.
Read More: Pete Wells’s New York Times Review, 03/21/07.
N 40° 38.18106 W 74° 0.24638

Gourmand Tasting at Eleven Madison Park Restaurant
(212) 889-0905

Daniel Humm’s food strikes a perfect balance between modern thinking and classic technique, and the $175 eleven course “Gourmand Tasting” at EMP … is sure to knock the socks off of anybody who likes the high-minded arty stuff, or just flavorful food in general. Things start off with five or so playful, market-centric dishes, before moving on to several courses of perfectly executed, hefty proteins, followed by an array of colorful sweets and treats to finish things off. When you consider the amount of food on offer, the casual, comfortable elegance of the dining room, and the always attentive but unobtrusive Danny Meyer hospitality treatment, The Gourmand Tasting is easily one of the best, if not the best fine dining experience in Manhattan, right now.
N 40° 44.28989 W 73° 59.14902

Dinner at Brooklyn Fare
200 Schermerhorn St
Brooklyn, NY 11217
(718) 243-0050

Dinner at César Ramirez’s twelve seat restaurant (soon to be 18 seat) is one of the more unique dining experience in New York right now. Ramirez, an … ex-protégé of David Bouley, has both a mastery of classic French cuisine, and a great intuitive mind for pairing unusual ingredients. On a given night, the $115 fifteen course meal might include six or so tastes of things like shellfish and charcuterie, each complimented by any array of delicate sauces and reductions. Things are capped off by a few larger portions of prime meats and seafood, plus a dessert course or two. The entire meal has a highly personal feel to it as Ramirez is the sole chef and prepares every dish in an open kitchen directly across from the dining room table.[link]
N 40° 41.20094 W 73° 59.9380

Chef’s Tasting at Le Bernardin
155 W 51st St
New York, NY 10019
(212) 554-1515

Precisely prepared, extremely fresh fish dishes are the backbone of the eight course $185 Chef’s Tasting menu at Le Bernardin, but Ripert also breaks up the … courses with some less severe, but totally mind blowing smaller dishes. The chef knows how to integrate Asian flavors, without detracting from the clean taste of the fish, and the result is one of the more exciting fine dining experiences in the city.[link]
N 40° 45.41101 W 73° 58.55894

Large Format Feast at Resto
111 E 29th St
New York, NY 10016
(212) 685-5585

You need at least eight people to lock down one of Resto’s large format meals, but when you do, you will basically be guaranteeing yourself a nutzo seven or … eight course meat party. You start by picking an animal to be the centerpiece of the feast: pig, goat, lamb, or even fish (they’ve done veal too, and management tells us they’re pretty game for any animal you want so long as they can source it). The first three or four courses will be amuse-bouches, charcuterie, and lighter dishes made from some of the smaller cuts of meat (offal tacos are not out of the question), followed by three or four more courses centered around prime “thorax” cuts like the chop, the ribs, or the loin, cooked in a variety of French and American barbecue preparations. The entire meal is around $65-$75 per person without tax and gratuity, and includes a dessert of Belgian waffles and ice cream.[link]
N 40° 44.37712 W 73° 58.57763

The Farmer’s Feast at Blue Hill at Stone Barns
630 Bedford Rd
Tarrytown, NY 10591
(914) 366-9600

Many of the courses in this $135 prix fixe feature elegant and simple preparations of vegetables from the restaurant’s accompanying farm, but the menu is not … purely for veggie freaks. Barber, a chef savvy to the Manhattan dining experience, intersperses these dishes with servings of things like bone marrow with caviar, pork belly, and house cured meats. Dinner is somewhere around eight courses (sometimes more depending on the various amuse-bouches and tastes on offer), and all based around “the day’s harvest.” It’s a dining experience every bit as refined and exhilarating as any to be found at the great gourmand palaces of the city, with the added bonus of a beautiful setting and a cool day trip to the country. Read More: Behind the Burner’s Review, 08/16/09[link]
N 41° 5.54679 W 73° 49.51988

Sushi Chef’s Tasting at 15 East
15 E 15th St
New York, NY 10003
(212) 647-0015

Sit at the counter and put yourself in the hands of master chef Masato Shimizu for one of the seven course, $120 Sushi Chef’s tasting. Prior to the sashimi … course, you will be treated to an array of bites and small plates — some of these are cooked preparations that incorporate elements of French cuisine, others are simply clean, perfectly cut slices of seafood. As an added bonus, any meal here includes a hands on lesson of sorts from Shimizu: if you don’t know what kind of fish you’re eating, the man will crack open a worn sushi bible, flip to the correct page, and show it to you. Read More: Rambling$ and Gambling$ Meal, 06/23/10[link]
N 40° 44.12004 W 73° 59.33496

Chef’s Tasting at Per Se
6 Columbus Cir
New York, NY 10023
(212) 823-9335

For all the hype surrounding Per Se, the $275 Chef’s Tasting is a grand feast that’s easy to enjoy. Yes, there’s some bonkers technique and …

I have only been to ALTA so far. My wallet can only handle so many special occasions in a year. Maybe we will hit another one of these this year. Enjoy. PLEASE share if you have been to any.



For my Valentine gift to my boyfriend, I took him to ALTA Restaurant. It is a tapas restaurant in the west Village. It is tucked away on 10 street about 200 feet in from the main street, 6th avenue. If you do not know it is there, you will never know to visit.

You enter through a small wine bar that is bright enough to see but dim enough to feel relaxing. It is reached through the 1/2 basement entrance. The bar was ¾ filled and we walked to the hostess who’s spot was tucked between the bar and a wall. (like they were hiding her 🙂 ) I had made reservations, which were highly recommended. When I got there it was mostly full. Pass the bar was a sunken spot, then a partially raised dinning room with what would amount to a Spanish middle ages tavern like interior. It was not as loud though but not quiet like a purely white-gloved establishment.

We went upstairs to a table that overlooked the bottom dinning room. It was again dimly lit and from there we were able to get a better idea of the place. I peeked into the kitchen(one of them I think) later on and saw 6-7 male Latino cooks and all the ingredients used to make the tapas. The little plastic containers we had used to take away our food in school and also for preparing, they used as well.

Our waitress was nice. She had just started a few weeks before so she was not an expert on the menu in terms of taste, but she was helpful in identifying cooking style. We ordered in stints of two, the following: bacon wrapped olives with dates and almonds, beef Carpaccio w creme fraiche, micro greens and orange supremes, then we had a warm crab salad w warm jalapenos sauce, then had lamb sausage and falafel. Next we had a warm duck crostini w spicy cabbage and finally Brussels sprouts with pistachio, apples and some crème fraiche.

We really enjoyed the bacon wrapped olives. Next we liked the Brussels sprouts and the crab salad in that order. I thought that the crab salad sauce could have been stronger. The crab was very light and mild and would have benefited from a more full sauce. What we liked the least was the beef Carpaccio (thinly sliced raw meat). We liked the sausage and the duck about the same. I enjoyed the duck more than my boyfriend. I also liked the falafel and could see myself eating the lamb sausage again. To each his own, right?

The waitress was decent. She walked by many times and we just had to stop her to get her attention most of the times. We did not have to yell even though there was music in the background. The plates came out as soon as they were ready so we were always eating for the most part. I ordered as we were almost finished with a dish.

We had dessert. We asked the opinion of the server/waitress. She mentioned beignets out of the four I suggested. It was like a cross between zepoles and donuts. It was light and very lightly flavored. The dipping sauces were apple butter, nutty cream sauce and pure maple syrup. If we were piggish, we would have ordered a second batch or a second dessert.

Beignets with applebutter, nut cream and maple syrup

Beware, they only take cash or American Express. My bill was high but this is a once in a long while thing. I did however stay within the budget I set. If you do that you will only spend what you mean to spend. Minus the dessert, and the drinks, and it would have been about 30 dollars less.

I give an 7.5 for ambience.
I give 7. for food.
I give about 4.5 for costs. You can’t go with a light wallet.
I give about 7 for good service.

Worth a try and there is the whole menu for 429 dollars. You get everything on the menu. It serves 9 plus people. I would say 20 is a fair number. We had 6 dishes and were full but not at the busting point. I prevented that as we passed on the sliders.

Until later. Ciao and happy eating.

Wildwood Barbeque Restaurant

We had an official movie night recently. We were actually stationed up the street from Blue Smoke but walked down Park Ave and then saw Bid Daddy’s Diner. It was one of these nouveau diners with lots of young people inside (all staff), and I got a queasy feeling on the outside so there was no way I would be going inside.

We walked further and though we had already chosen Cosi in our head, we ended up going to Wildwood Barbeque. So without much speaking we decided to go in. I am not a fan of tight tables as I think it makes it intimate but that is not always wanted. It is winter as well, I had a jacket meant to brave the cold so it was long and fat and I had to fit in a small space. Ever been to BLUE NOTE–cozy but not with a coat.

Our waiter was very helpful and he even helped us pick out a dessert. I must admit that the apple pie was good. It was in a bowl usually used for French Onion Soup but not so potbellied. The warm (not overly sweet) apples were just the right texture and covered with what felt like crust just broken up. On top of that was a scoop of ice cream (not overly sweet). It did not melt quickly also.

We had a sample platter with ribs, pulled pork and then bacon. On the side we had brussel sprouts and mac & cheese. They were both good and the meat was satisfying enough. The portion for one was enough for the both of us.

Back to the apple pie, I had a friend stay at a hotel in Manhattan, one of these large ones on Broadway and the apple crisp we had there was so amazing. It did not even come with ice cream. Amazing-such that we totally ignored the pear tart that we also ordered. The serving was large enough for two.

So the experience was okay. I enjoyed the meal. I would say 7 out of 10. 7 because of the awesome waiter. We even filled out cards for him pointing that out.

Until next time-we go an apple pie/tart/crisping. (or eat out)

Dad’s Wacky Cake- from Cakes and Cupcakes book, Hearst Books

Okay, so I wanted to try a non complicated chocolate cake. I also wanted one that was really tasty. So I went through my cake book. I have tons of other cake recipes but this one was easy to find as it is a dedicated book. Be ware-this cake has no egg and very little butter so if you plan to do “creaming” or mixing forget it. I was also kind of doubtful of their approach so I made a few changes.

here is their recipe and then below is mine

1.5 cups of a/p flour 1 tblsp distilled white vinegar
1 cup sugar 1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tblsps cocoa powder 1 cup cold water
1 tsp baking powder 1 cup semisweet chocolate minichips
1 tsp baking soda vanilla ice cream (for the end my dears)
1/2 tsp salt
5 tblsps butter, melted

1) oven to 350, sift flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a 10X7″, 8″ sq or 9″ sq pan. with index finger make 3 holes in flour mix. pour batter into one hole, vinegar into another, vanilla into another. pour cold water over all, stir all until well combined. (NO EGG)

2) bake 25-30 mins or until center is clean. immediately top with chocolate chips and bake 2-3 minutes or until softened

3) with spatula spread chips evenly over top of cake. cool in pan on wire rack.

Adjusted to what I had and my doubtful nature.

I mixed all together (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt). Then instead of cocoa powder (as I only had hot chocolate mix) I used semisweet chocolate, about 2 ozs and about a handful of butterscotch chips. I put the butter in a small sauce pan and melted it, then added the chocolate, mixed, and then added the butterscotch. I added that mixture to the dry goods and also at the same time added the water. Then I mixed well. I also added about 1 tblsp of fudge powder.

I poured into a muffin pan but it is more appropriate for a cake pan. At the end I tried the chips thing and it did not work well with the muffin pan. ( had taken them out of the pan and was going to do one by one) With a cake pan it can take the pressure of the spreading of the chocolate chips, which have to be almost melted and that may take more than 2-3 minutes. Melted-in the way that it basically loses form when you touch it, not runny like chocolate syrup. If that happens, your cake is probably burned.

Someone needs to try this and tell me what they get following the original recipe. If you try my way, tell me what happens. I DID NOT USE THE VINEGAR AND COCOA POWDER.

Chocolate Dreams. Ciao.

A. J.’s Burgers

Burgers and Fries-an American classic, just as oysters are to the people of Normandy France. Though I am not a fan of mollusk, I have to say, it definitely smells good when cooked right. I once dipped much bread into the white wine sauce made with the mussels and clams. Everyone seems to deride me when I say do not like that stuff. They claim that as a culinarian I should like everything and try everything. In time, I believe. If I want to I will and if I need to I shall or bargain my way out of it. My claim is that, as long as I can prepare it for others, I do not need to eat a pot full of mussels to prove anything.

Back to the burgers and fries discussion, which I like but in small doses. Even popular food has its limits. I have to crave it, like after a wacky work week and trying people. Then I can feel satisfied. Now it is not the Mc Donald’s, Wendy’s or Burger King kind that excites me. See, I feel sorry for all those who cannot afford alternatives. Lucky enough, I can eat others as a choice. This past weekend I ate AJs burgers. The owner, AJ, was nice and welcoming and he could see that I was having difficulties with choosing. Sometimes there is too much on the menu (good or bad) and other times I am so tired and lazy, having to now examine a large menu and choose is like an eternity. So I just caved, though I would have normally gone for the chicken, on account of lower calories and fat. I ordered the sliders. Can I just say how pleased I was with them—right off the grill, juicy with simple toppings-cheese, pickle and ketchup. I had some fresh cut fries on the side and a lemonade.

You get that feeling of glazed eyes, peace, and all is well with the world feeling. When that happens, you have met a good meal. For me, I say AJs is good, sticking with a classic, simple food and not turning it into an art and science contest. That is what every neighborhood needs and a good pastry and breakfast place. People need to feel all warm and fuzzy in their own town. They need a place to hang/chill/relax, like a Starbucks, without the commercial factor. Thank you AJs. I will remember you when I want my burger and fries. Also at 9 bucks for a meal and around there, it is not a bust on the wallet.

On a scale of 1-10, I give AJs a 7.5. I like the relaxed burger joint atmosphere and the friendliness of the owner (naturally as it is fairly new). The portions are decent

Happy Beef Day! Ciao for now.