I'm a little bit lazy, and I have much catching up to do, lots of posts backed up, so I will try and minimize my editorials. Public is an airy space, leaning on the cavernous side. But it's beautifully lit, according to M, it's by the same people who brought you the pretty lights of Sapa.
Marinated White Anchovies quinoa croquettes with spicy saffron aioli - really flavorful, as you can imagine, what with the anchovies and all. The croquettes had the texture of a softer falafel ball. I loved the pickled red onions that came with the dish, their acid cut right through and brought everything together.
It appears they've taken this dish's description down from the website, so I will just have to give you what I remember, which is fried sweetbreads. They were a bit heavy and large. I like the sweetbreads at Momofuku Ssam Bar and Trestle on Tenth better. M was daydreaming about them since the last time he went, though.
My main dish, on the other hand, had me dreaming about it for days after - Snail and oxtail ravioli with pickled shiitake mushrooms, oven dried tomatoes, pea shoots and smoked paprika oil. I love love love oxtail dishes in general (especially when my momma makes them in a stew), and this one was definitely one of the best I’ve had – it was meaty and the ravioli had a thicker wonton wrapper feeling. Yes, it’s heavy, but are you starting to see a trend here? Everything, at least to me, is high-end comfort food with a twist, so I wouldn’t go if you’re not super hungry.
Chocolate chili mousse with passion caramel sauce and golden nuggets – VERY rich. It’s like eating a huge hunk of pure chocolate essence, but with a bit of kick from the chili.
Sticky toffee pudding with
Yuzu cheesecake with macadamia nut crust, blackberry sauce and basil seeds – a little lighter than the other two desserts, but no less flavorful and it came with the best dessert wine pairing.
I would definitely go back to Public. They also have a bar scene, but a romantic vibe going on, so it's good for lovey dovey dinners and bigger, more boisterous groups. Plus, they give you free house-made soap in their bathrooms! I mean seriously, why wouldn't you want to go? (Good call, M! We will return whenever the cravings start. I feel a quiet rumbling already)
210 Elizabeth St. (near Prince St)
I strolled by the Blue Ribbon Bakery (the little shop near the restaurant) and engaged in a impromptu honey tasting. And boy, was it fun. They had four types of honey, each one either from a different flower, processed differently or from different seasons. I decided to go with the autumn flower, because I liked the grainy texture and it wasn't as cloying sweet as a couple of the other ones. It does have a really intense flavor, though, and a little goes a long way.
Continuing deeper into the Village, I stopped by Murray's Cheese, and picked up this kooky yogurt from Iceland. The label looked homemade-ish and slightly more ghetto than your regular Dannon. Damn, that stuff was thick and a bit sour, which is how I like my plain yogurt, because the honey balances it out. But I could only eat half the cup, because the texture was so thick (and even thicker with the added honey) that it was almost like eating glue - in a good way, if that's possible. Since then, I've tried the honey with other yogurts, and I'd say greek yogurt, specifically Fage, is really great with it.
On one of those steamy summer days, I decided to drop by Vosges because I saw a peanut butter ad in their window. Visions of chocolate-peanut butter ice cream were floating through the bottomless stomach in my mind as I entered their Soho chic store. I didn't see any peanut butter, but the skinny (how do you work in a chocolate shop and stay skinny is beyond me) lady behind the counter offered me a sample of their bacon flavored chocolate. And HOLY PORK GODS, it tasted like bacon and chocolate and it was pretty fantastic, actually. I know, my first reaction was EW? But I was instantly converted.
They also let you try their ice cream before you buy it. The skinny (seriously, how?!) hipster guy said wattleseed was his favorite, wattle-what, I'm sure you're asking me as I asked him. I don't think he actually explained what it was, but it tastes a good deal like coffee ice cream AND it has little chunks of macademia nuts in it, so can it really be that bad? I really enjoyed it and the flavors got better as I ate more of it. Ah, I just looked up wattleseed in wikipedia - it's in the Australian Acacia family and apparently has a high nutritional content. I knew my body was getting something else out of the ice cream besides a happy, warm feeling inside. I didn't sample it, but they had an Indian curry flavor that sounded intriguing and I'm sure I'll be back soon to try it.
My health trend continued when my stomach insisted I find chocolate chip cookies immediately. From my office to Milk & Cookies was quite a hike, much longer than I anticipated, but boy, was it worth it. It was a cute little shop with a little kid feel (they host parties for children and adults) and relaxed vibe. After choosing the chocolate chip, I was trying to decide between the oatmeal raisin and the mint chocolate, when the woman helping me said they were both her favorites and that I should ditch the chocolate chip cookie for those two instead.
And as you can see, that is just what I did. No regrets here, none at all. The mint chocolate was better by a smidgen. I could use one of those cookies now.
Blue Ribbon Bakery
35 Downing Street (at Bedford)
254 Bleecker Street (between 6th and 7th Avenues)
132 Spring Street (between Green and Wooster)
Milk & Cookies Bakery
19 Commerce Street (between 7th Ave and Bedford)
Lee Ann Wong from Season 1 works for Top Chef now, so she was there, chilling. She's so cute!
Ilan's so full of it. Winner of Season 2. I don't know how.
Everybody's favorite diabetic hottie chef, Sam. The girls were swarming him. I will say that in person, he is pretty hot. I felt like he was irritated by his good-lookingness or other people's (read every straight woman and gay man within 50 ft) reactions to his looks - like I know I'm good looking, you know I'm good looking, let's move on. But hey, you agreed to be on TV, so deal with it.
Now I will stop adding to the Top Chef furor. Thanks for letting me borrow your camera, J!
K hadn't had lunch yet, so she went with the Vegetarian Souvlaki, which featured a cornucopia of tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, feta cheese, butter beans doused in tzatziki and wrapped in a cushy pita. I didn't taste it, but K enjoyed it immensely, groaning under the weight of all those beans and fresh veggies. I would imagine from its size that one of those babies would really fill you up. Since I had made a trip to brgr for lunch earlier that day, I decided to just get a snack, really (ha. ha. a pun!). So I went with their baklava, which was served pie style, rather then the rectangle format I'm used to. The layers of fillo at the top were really thick, but it was great - nutty(obviously), with cinnamon dusted on the sides, and honey drizzled all over the place. I wouldn't say it was the best I've ever had. I prefer the fillo a little thinner and crispier. I had one of their frappes, which according to them is a Greek style iced coffee and that was worth going back for. It was strong, but not rip-your-stomach-lining-into-shreds strong.
I did go back once I started working and had the Roasted 2.0 with a cup of their mint lemonade. The Roasted sandwich is served on stirato bread, which is this sort of flat, crunchy bread that's difficult to bite into. The eggplant that's inside is roasted quite nicely, still a bit firm with good flavor. Although I almost feel like it would be better with a boiled egg inside. Their lemonade, though, is supremely refreshing. It seems that they get their drinks right every time. On my next trip, I think I'll try a different sandwich, and maybe not on stirato bread - it's messy and I end up looking like a geriatric whose teeth aren't sharp enough to rip through some bread.
105 Thompson Street (between Prince & Spring St)
I went to San Francisco about a month ago, originally to see if I wanted to live there, but since things have changed and I'm staying in NY, this turned into a brief, amazingly fun fooding trip. This picture makes me think of SF just as much as a picture of the Golden Gate Bridge. Their row houses or whatever they're called are so colorful and beautiful. I wouldn't mind living in one of these.
Treats from the famous Tartine Bakery:
The BEST pain au chocolat I have ever tasted. I'm tempted to say even better than in Paris, but I don't really remember the ones I had there, so I could be unintentionally provoking the anger of Parisians everywhere.
At the Ferry Building Market, more scrumptious goodies. Had a really good mushroom leek tart from this stand.
A myriad of fancy mushrooms await you at the Ferry Market. I've never even heard of these varieties.
Gelato at the Ferry market: on top of both cups is pistachio, bottom of the left-hand one is pumpkin, on the right is mocha. I wouldn't recommend the pumpkin, but the pistachio is YUMMY - creamy and smooth, with a great pistachio crunch.