I tend to feel late to many New York restaurants, and Colonie is no exception. I’m “late” in the sense that it’s been on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn Heights for a while now. Years ago I remember filling a rental car up with gas across the street once, watching as a scene from Gossip Girl was filmed. Yet it remains a new restaurant in my mind, and I’ve been in no rush. Given that the owners apparently couldn’t afford a “y” I felt secure in my aloofness.
Odd spelling aside, it was on my 28th birthday that we finally stopped in for a bite and a drink. Though we didn’t have reservations (and my cloying “but it’s my burfday” sad face didn’t work), we were able to sit at one of the high chairs overlooking the kitchen. These seemed like the best seats in the restaurant. What could possibly go wrong? Continue reading
Oh, it’s a restaurant? Shit, I totally knew that. Eats Meats West is totally not on an anniversary vacation at Comic-Con. And totally not phoning it in with more food porn.
Immediately after being seated at Nom Wah Tea Parlor’s vintage delicatessen counter (after kicking out two straggler girls that weren’t eating), I was fully on board. Nom Wah underwent major renovations in 2010, making it paradoxically New York City’s oldest yet most contemporary — in a retro-modern way, of course — dim sum house. Continue reading
Henry Public is just not good for brunch. I want it to be. But it is really not a brunch spot. It just isn’t. Sure, they technically have a brunch menu, but even basic things like hot coffee appear to be a total mystery. The service has never quite been lacking, but there’s certainly no urgency to the staff’s attention to your needs. Overall, I’d say there is somehow something very unsatisfying about it all, which is a shame given how wonderfully comfortable, charming, and novel this neighborhood bar really is [at night].
For whatever reason, I’ve only ever gone to Henry Public when we have guests visiting. Perhaps it’s the thrift store-sourced interior, or the variety of house-this and house-that (pepper vodka, pickles, etc.), or the frequency with which it appears in travel and food magazines, but Henry Public is a consistent “must.”
Regardless, the food is not worth reviewing in details, so instead I present Eats Meats West’s latest food porn installment:
Occasionally here at Eats Meats West we will partake in an interesting meal — complete of course with helpful moments of food photography that are awkward for everyone involved — that nonetheless don’t merit a full review. If looking at pictures of food that other people ate is your thing, well today is your lucky fucking day my friend, because these lovely gems are finally going to get some exposure! Photography pun.
Today we’re looking at Bin 54 Steak and Cellar in Chapel Hill, NC. Funny Nurse lost an Oscar bet and treated Eats to a fantastic meal consisting of a wedge salad, prime dry aged New York strip, shared cheddar bacon grits & haricots verts, and too many old fashioneds. We recommend you go to this place. Oh yes, we do. Continue reading
On one particularly pleasant Saturday afternoon, J and I decided to walk due east of our apartment in Cobble Hill until we stumbled upon a restaurant we’d 1) probably always wanted to try, yet 2) didn’t really have any plan as to how to find said establishment. Crossing the treacherous zone known as 4th Avenue in Brooklyn, we eventually made it to Park Slope’s 5th Avenue restaurant corridor.
It’s been three long years since Eats Meats West was able to dine at Lucali. There have been too many failed attempts to recall, really. But we were dedicated. Finally! Finally, we were able to get a spot last week, and with two guests in tow no less. Within a few days we would end up going again.
Along the way there were several notable surprises, not the least of which was a run-in with Beyonce. Sort of.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. First let’s talk about the pizza. Just kidding, let’s talk about the farce that is the waiting/reservation/cache’ system at Lucali.
Oh yah, get all up in that tarragon chicken salad tramezzini! Don’t go light on those pickled cauliflowers, girl. Lather up aside that sumptuous bread pudding with Chantilly-macerated fresh berries and mascarpone. Then rinse with a crisp frisee salad topped with a poached egg and smothered with decadent lardon vinaigrette. Mmm, yah.
Turned away by a long wait at the suddenly ultra-hip RedFarm, J and I trotted around the West Village looking for an appropriate replacement. Mary’s Fish Camp isn’t new to us, though we’ve been only the one time, and it’s certainly been a while in any case. Despite the absence of Tyrion Lannister, the place was nonetheless packed with a lively crowd. I ordered two raw oysters (really gotta start writing their names down), crawfish beignets, and the fish tacos. J had the fried clam and oyster appetizer as well as, what else, the lobster roll. Our only real complaints are that 1) fries of this miniscule girth continue to have no place at the table (really, there is just no flavor, and they’re so small they lose heat immediately), and 2) there’s perhaps an over reliance on dips and sauces (tartar, chipotle mayo, chili salsa). Still, it’s a great dinner spot. Check out the rest of the photos after the break.
So plump and delicious. Such absurdly large pieces of lobster tail. Oh, and those fries. Do what we did right away and toss those greens aside.
Oh, and a bonus shot of the delicious Fourme D’ambert salad is after the break.
Aww, Sunset Park. You’re so fucking far away, I keep referring to you inaccurately as Bay Ridge too. I saw exactly one gay dude (with his mom no less) while I was there. But I can’t stay mad at you. No, I definitely can’t, because your dim sum is way too amazing! We’d been meaning to try the dim sum down south (south of the good part of Brooklyn, I mean) for quite some time.
When another couple of foodies were in town, we decided to give it a try. Much like Ocean Jewels in Flushing, Queens, it’s an odd feeling to spend an hour on the subway on a Sunday afternoon heading away from Manhattan, only to emerge in a fantastically be-China Town’d setting, seemingly out of no where. But of course we weren’t no where; we were in one of the many Chinese enclaves peppering the city.
Seersucker is certainly not alone in its desire to abide by the farm-to-table ethos, but we’ve seldom seen a restaurant be so utterly earnest about it all. We arrived without reservations (though to be fair to us, really early for a Saturday night) and were very kindly told we could sit if we were OK with leaving in an hour. It’s been my experience that it is never a bad thing to agree to such a stipulation; it’s up to them, afterall, to provide you swift service, so if they have a self-imposed deadline it will hardly be your fault when your dining goes over the allotted window of time. Plus, are they really going to kick you out after exactly an hour (or how ever long you’re quoted)? Surely not.
The greeter — who, again, and I don’t mean to belabor this too much, was so hopelessly hipster that I’m sure she has a sitcom airing on the CW Friday nights — cheerfully tapped our names into her tablet, which I quietly observed was the ill-conceived Dell Inspiron Duo. Even if the food were perhaps beyond our understanding, at least I could judge this place’s questionable choice in electronics.
Eats Meats West recently travelled to Austin to do — what else — eat and then think of things that aren’t eating to supplement more eating. Eat! Since basically everything we tasted was amazing, it seems rather pointless to post formal write-ups of the restaurants. Instead, we present a few notes on each followed by a gallery of images. Oh god, now we want this stuff all over again!
As we’ve said before, Bocca Lupo is not necessarily your typical neighborhood standby, but it’s nonetheless a dark horse candidate in the nightly where-do-you-want-to-eat competition. You never really consider it, but every time you go it’s perfectly fine; the service is fairly prompt and friendly, the prices are reasonable, the menu is considerable (although to be fair, the dishes are almost all pretty small, with the exception of the nightly pasta and pizza specials), and of course the food is very good, if not excellent.
So it was on two such occasions — where no other restaurants made sense, yet we couldn’t quite count out Bocca Lupo — that Eats Meats West had the opportunity to dine in the mouth of the wolf once again.
Not much new to report on Hibino other than that they [SPOLER ALERT] continue to make great food. We arrived fairly late for lunch, so the only bento box available was the shrimp dumpling. Sadly they were out of the salmon collar. Curiously, the tempura vegetable was baby corn. I always associate baby corn with those pickled yellow phalluses that pop up every once in a while in salad bars. Nope, these were in fact fresh baby corn…which is a thing you can buy? Sure enough, one of the chefs was busy shucking away, as you can see in one of these pictures!
FYI: The Bedford in Williamsburg currently has a 4-6pm happy hour consisting of $1 oysters, $1.50 grilled oysters, 2-for-1 cocktails, and $3 Stellas. Not bad. There was some grit in one of my oysters, the cocktail sauce tasted basically like ketchup with horseradish, and the pickled onions were unpleasantly crunchy…but I’m nitpicking because damn, girl, those oysters are cheaps!
It’s been a while since the last time Eats Meats West visited Prime Meats, and this was our first lunch outing at the establishment. If you weren’t already aware that Carroll Gardens has long since become an enclave of work-from-home, post-hipster food snobs…well fuck a duck because boy you are in luck, as Prime Meats is here to inform you!
This is not to say that there’s anything overtly unpleasant or alienating about PM. It’s just that, good lord, there were at least 5 apparently not working people who came in and ordered, of all things, an iced coffee! That’s it, just a coffee! Confused for much of our meal, we later noticed a [of course hand-painted] sign prominently announcing that Prime Meats now had authentic cold-brewed coffee. Gee whiz, the novelty! I point this example out mostly to highlight how absurd the slow/local/seasonal food movement has taken it. Yes, obviously millions of people order Starbucks everyday. And yes, I realize especially in a metropolis such as New York, people make all kinds of excuses for not making their own coffee, among other thing. But to buy it from an expensive [for the area], upscale but pretending-not-to-be upscale ostensibly German restaurant! When there are numerous equally pretentious coffee shops around? Jeez Louise, people, have some humility!
The Brooklyn Brewery offers free tours on Saturdays and Sundays, where obviously the real draw is fresh drafts and a relaxed atmosphere. On Wednesdays and Thursdays, however, they offer an $8 “small batch tour” that occurs only at 5pm, is by reservation only, and includes four pours. We foolishly arrived ten minutes early, and finding no semblance of an entrance or welcoming party, promptly called the main number. “Doors open promptly at 5pm,” barked the person on the other end. Hrmm…OK. Did you forget you’re a brewery?
Anyway, after a short intro on the sidewalk, which is by now covered in a light drizzle, we’re led inside. Immediately I notice a cat who shows little interest in any of the 27 visitors storming his turf. “That’s Monster,” our tour guide explains. The cat promptly captures two birds from the street and drags them inside the brewery, displaying to the horrified crowd just how bad-ass (bad-cass?) he is. The various barkeeps and barmaids wander around aimlessly drinking beer as if it were water, and I think to myself, “yes, that is what I would do, if I worked at a brewery.”
Terrible naming aside, Two 8 Two is a new and somewhat unassuming burger bar with a small menu, but a lot to offer. It fills the niche of better than 5 Guys but not as expensive as Henry Public (and the sort).
We had walked by one Sunday, many months ago, and noticed the well designed interior and interestingly short menu (mostly burgers), but it wasn’t open until 5pm, oddly. Now it’s open every day for lunch/brunch. We went for an early Summer Saturday dinner — having literally looked at menu after menu of other restaurants seeking a burger but feeling jaded by the $14+ options available — and ended up staying past dark.
UPDATE: Went back for a second time one week later, and the service was noticeably better for whatever reason. This time I had a Billy Burger and once again the onion rings = perfection. The Brooklyn outpost of Shake Shack may be looming, but I’m not necessarily going to jump ship.
As we wound down our
cavalcade of awful dining experiences 2011 Restaurant Week, J, two friends, and I met up at Brasserie 8 1/2. You know, from that Sex and the City episode where Stanford first meets Anthony (SPOILER: They offensively “marry” in the second feature film), Samantha poses naked for some reason, and Charlotte has a bummed-out vagina. What I most remember about it, though, is the whole Carrie-as-famous person/model plot line. The designer, played by Alan Cumming, asks her to walk in his runway show along with other “celebrities,” and in the end she’s forced to wear glitzy panties and falls satisfyingly flat on her face.
Um, wow. Where to begin with this one? Well just to get some of the nice things out of the way (because girl, this one’s not going to be real positive I can tell you that right now!):
The layout and decor of Mr. Chow – TriBeca were pleasant, and the various servers and attendants were friendly and helpful. I never found myself wanting a drink to be refilled, nor did our server ever make it seem like we were anything other than normal [non-restaurant week] patrons.
Other than those minor points, wow this place is dukes.
What’s the greatest danger of eating at a seafood bar? Oh you thought I was going to say bacterial infection? Ah ha ha ha ha, as if I’d be stopped by that (insert ironic link to obituary)! No, the greatest danger is that one person might order the lobster roll, inciting jealousy and bitterness from those who foolishly ordered something else.
Such was the case this evening, when out of the four diners I was somehow the only one to do the prudent thing and stick with the lobster roll at Mermaid Oyster Bar.
It seems like every time we visit Aburiya Kinnosuke, something has changed; once we were told they didn’t do [and never had] sushi, another that they didn’t know what almond jelly was [even though it was our favorite dessert]. Most likely, this has been a trouble with translation, but after seven previous visits it’s become apparent that no matter how used to the experience we become, we’re never quite on top of things.
And so it was no different, on this very special birthday edition, that we were confronted with another change. The various menus had since been consolidated into one large binder, including the drinks. While this might seem like a mundane point, you have to realize that there are literally upwards of 100 dishes, taking into account that many have secondary options (like rice balls with sour plum vs. rice balls with salmon). Though the text is now hand-drawn and thus hard to read, they’ve at least segmented the myriad dishes into major categories like “fish,” “meat,” and “rice.” Are they mainstreaming? The menu’s easier to read but still far from what I’d call simple. With a large group, usually one would order 2-3 dishes per person and share as they’re brought out in the order in which they were cooked (or sliced I suppose, for sashimi).
With our shochu sours (shochu + soda water + choice of citrus juice, freshly squeezed table-side) arriving, we were ready to order. I was hoping to partake in the prix fixe eight-course menu, which I’ve done twice before, but it’s inexplicably not on the menu anymore despite still being on the website. Instead, we went omakase. At $70 (which is again, not reflected on their website…get on it folks!), and not exactly what I had wanted, I was expecting a lot. Needless to say we were not disappointed.
Well, well, well, what do we have here…Le Cirque for lunch? How indulgent! Let’s just get this out of the way: it was restaurant week. Many of our complaints probably stemmed from that fact, not that it’s a valid excuse, but since it’s our first visit we have no control against which to compare.
But let’s back up a bit.
Ugh, I know what you must be thinking: “How could you ever consider this cumstain of an establishment as anything resembling a restaurant — much less one worthy of review?” Well, to answer your question: We were returning from a Hudson Valley road trip, and this Bronx island was a nice stopping point before switching drivers and heading into the chaotic New York City landscape. Also, watch your dirty mouth.
For our third and final stop of Brooklyn Restaurant Week 2010, Funny Nurse and I thought we’d try Po for brunch. Unfortunately, some douchey owner felt it necessary to open 30 minutes late and smoke outside instead. Well then why did you leave the door open? So that we could embarrass ourselves by halfway walking in? Why does your website say 11:30am? No thanks. So instead we trotted up to Sue Perette, which is ostensibly some random French place a block away, which also happened to be participating in Restaurant Week. Though the prix fixe seems a good deal, I never received my salad or coffee to accompany this triple-decker sandwich, which also took kind of a while to come out. The fries were oddly thin and not satisfying. It was like eating nothing. Plus, I think the waiter was crying. Or it could have been allergies…but the point is that something was off. On the other hand, the boozy drinks are crazy cheap, and at least there were no strollers. Kind of a throwaway, but the price is right. I’d love if they could alter the light fixtures to appear less like they are two seconds from falling on me, since they seem to be held in place with some stray wires and a bit of luck. But to each his own.
For our second stop on the Brooklyn 2010 Restaurant Week tour, J and I checked out Stan’s Place, which serves New Orleans cuisine. We first past it early in the morning on our way down Atlantic Ave towards Fort Greene and returned around 4pm because their prix fixe menu seemed the least disagreeable and most promising. As it so happens this particular Saturday turned out to be a welcome preview of the spring to come. Unfortunately, we were a bit early for dinner and too late for brunch, but curiously they offer a “pre-dinner” menu. I kind of wish more places did this. Think of it as happy hour for food. Stan’s Place’s “pre-dinner” menu is comprised of various snacks, salads, and sandwiches. J ordered an oyster po-boy, and I tried the shrimp po-boy. Call us shellfish queens, if you will! As you can see we washed them down with a healthy carafe of peach sangria. My po-boy was simple but hit the spot, and at $10 there was little I could complain about. Sure, the prior strenuous walking coupled with the sangria probably were contributing factors to my overall hunger. But on the other hand, I think the total bill with tip came to something like $40, which is ridiculously low. All in all, a perfect lazy Saturday afternoon. I’d go back.
As you can no doubt see, the [official] flea market of Brooklyn is like no other. It’s currently housed in the old bank within the Williamsburgh Savings Bank Tower, which is one of Brooklyn’s tallest, most phallic edifices. For whatever reason the Williamsburgh Savings Bank abandoned this namesake astoundingly ornate structure so that a gaggle of fauxhemians could sell vintage clothes and tweet about their child’s achievements in soccer. But I’m not complaining. The literally underground food scene is showcased in the bank’s original vault. It was tough to pick just a few places at which to eat – what with the Red Hook Lobster Pound calling out with its sweet succulent lobster rolls – but we settled on a hot dog and a cupcake. Specifically, Asia Dog is mildly famous in Brooklyn, at this point, but I’ve yet to sample their wares. I asked what the classic toppings were and was directed to the “Vinh,” which is in the classic Vietnamese banh-mi style (aioli, pate, cucumbers, pickled carrot & daikon, cilantro, and jalapeno). Washed down with a little hibiscus iced tea, this loaded dog was very satisfying. Feeling refreshed but not bloated enough, we scoped out the sweets tables. Immediately the tiny (and $1) cupcakes from Kumquat Cupcakerystruck our eye. With a healthy hunk of bacon on top of a maple frosted vanilla cake, how could it be any better than this?
For Brooklyn Restaurant Week J and I started with Lunetta, an Italian joint on Smith Street that’s been on my list for a while.
The interior’s cozy and that vaguely modernly rustic chic we’ve all come to expect these days. That and children chanting. Loudly. Here’s the deal: I’ll naively pretend I can enjoy an adult evening free of screeching spawn, and you naively pretend that there is something left of your adult life to salvage. We ordered a potato croquette, a white been bruschetta (literally a slice), fried chicken, a pasta with lamb, lemon cake, and a chocolate budino (basically a dollop of gelato in an espresso). The croquettes faired well in the crunchy/gooey dichotomy but were a little lacking in the flavor department. Basically just potatoey.
Eats Meats West has yet to eat at Char No. 4 for dinner, always seeming to do brunch and/or booze instead, and…that tradition continues.
After an extended scrutinizing of the menu, we were told the specials were a beef brisket hash, sour dough French toast with maple butter, and a chorizo omelet. We ordered all three in varying amounts. I tried the Bloody Mary, with its house pickle and smoky whiskey. It was a little fruity but overall fine. Right before our food arrived, a huge group of people, led by Rat-Tail from Project Runway, coagulated at several tables behind us, blocking the fire exit.
I will tear my way through your bohemian enclave, Rat-Tail, and make no mistake about that!
While we waited for our coffee – itself a wait for our unnecessary Breslinwait – in the Stumptown Coffee inside the Ace Hotel, J texted me “This is so douchey.” Was he referring to the taxidermy display in the lobby, or was he thinking that waiting on The Breslin three times in one season is overkill? If you haven’t already noticed, we’re not big on waits at Eats Meats West. But alas, we had guests in town, and it was determined that brunch was a reasonable means to give The Breslin another shot. Ostensibly, we went because the English Breakfast had been voted best in the city by NY Mag, plus they seemed to like the three-cheese sandwich. To back up a bit, the fake short supply of tables was in full effect, though to be fair we were seated faster than our quoted 30 minutes. Right away there were some stumbles.
While it may seem like at Eats Meats West our food-habits are often – if not almost always – dictated in some part by our love of booze; this isn’t necessarily the case. Well, maybe there is some truth to that. Ok, so it’s probably a contributing factor to our love handles.
Sometimes at Eats Meats West, we find ourselves unexpectedly in a restaurant with no camera tagging along. Maybe we were meeting a friend for congratulatory drinks after work, and/or maybe we couldn’t be bothered to search through our murse to see if the backup camera just happened to be on hand. This was one of those nights, and as such, there are sadly no pictures to elaborate upon this retelling of one meal at Boqueria. In any case, everything but the artichoke + mussels + shrimp dish was just great. The Valdeon-stuffed dates had so many different textures; they were smooshy and salty with occasional chunks and some sort of meatyness coupled with a good degree of sweetness. It sounds gross, but trust us, it was delishination. Well, to be fair if they were any bigger they would probably be a gross mess in your mouth. The potatoes bravas are a standard, and per usual they were well made and as simple as they should be. You really can’t go wrong with them when ordering tapas. The seared lamb dish had a surprising amount of herbyness, but otherwise it wasn’t a very memorable plate. The bread on which the meat was presented was kind of pointless and indeed a bit troublesome to force into your gaping maw. The toast that came with the mussels/artichoke/shrimp dish was perhaps its only redeeming feature, on the other hand. The flavors of the shrimp and mussels were lost in the broth, which itself had an odd bittery sour aftertaste, perhaps from the artichokes? It wasn’t appetizing and was fortunately our last plate. I drank a gewürztraminer, sauvignon blanc, muscat cuvee; which was pleasant. A Gramona “Gessami” Blanco from 2008, to be exact. The menu for some reason abbreviates the grapes, so sauvignon blanc is listed as “SB” and cabernet sauvignon as “CS.” We get it, Boqueria; you’re trying to be cute. But these are grapes…not US states. We aren’t there yet!
We have no idea what is on top of that dumpling. Alien embryo?
Ah, The Breslin. So many free tables, yet still a wait. Why? On a rainy cold Tuesday even. Perhaps our presence swung the balance away from the fratty Northface guys who seemed to be ingreat abundance, so we had to wait. Or perhaps it’s standard practice to feature table after empty table, yet comment on how “unusual” it is that we got a table “this quickly.” Yah thanks, snarky waitress. Also, you’re a waitress! We were seated in the upstairs section, which is cool – I guess. Except for that drippy pipe.
At least there’s another bar, and you’ve somewhat of a view. On our way upstairs we walked past a very large table, feasting on what looked to be a whole pig. I must have missed that on the menu. Instead we dined on the mussel soup with curry butter toast, the onion and bone marrow soup with parmesan toast (they like toast points, apparently), a Caesar salad, a pear salad, and a burger.
J and I ventured recently to parts east [of Cobble Hill] to the much-loved, over-strollered, mildly-hipster Park Slope. Specifically, we wanted to revisit two former foodie haunts, neither of which were operating in Cobble Hill (or never were). Miriam specializes in Israeli cuisine and stiff, fruity cocktails. Or so we thought.
Shrimp Toji Maki
Niku Miso Tofu – Homemade Tofu with Miso-Meat Sauce (Beef)
Fried Oyster Roll – with Avocado, Cucumber, Tobiko and BBQ Mayo
Scallion Yellowtail Roll
Yaki Saba Bo Sushi – Round Pressed Bo Sushi with Lightly Grilled Mackerel, Shiso and Shaved Kelp
I loved how the fried oyster roll is constantly considered a “special” and included on the chalkboard. It has literally never not been a “special” when we’ve gone. It is always on the chalkboard. Always. Can they just go ahead and put it on the laminated menu, or what? I mean, you have a blog!
Eats Meats West is just not that into soup dumplings. Or at least, we’ve never had any that really spoke to us in a transcendent way, as they seem to come off when so many others describe the ones from Joe’s Ginger and Joe’s Shanghai. They’re just a generic meatball with some melted gelatinous broth. Big whoop. But I digress, and I’ve covered this already in great detail.
Let’s back up a bit: The day was Chinese New Year, and it was fast becoming the year of the tiger.
Joining our 4 train on the way to Chinatown was a man playing Whitney at top volume through his cell phone. And not an iPhone, a Blackberry, or even generic featurephone. Like straight up a random cell phone. No headphones, no preaching to accompany it – just straight up holding his cell phone to his ear blasting the theme fromThe Bodyguard while we all pretended not to notice. Had he been obviously of the ‘mo variety, I might have let this kind of thing go. You know, maybe he’s like returning from a fruitful night of hooking it. But he wasn’t. He seemed otherwise very normal. In fact, he was slightly scary in his city “realness.”
There’s nowhere to hide.
Don’t make me close one more door.
I don’t want to hurt anymore.
Stay in my arms if you dare.
Something something soprano screaming up and down the scales!
I have nothing. Nothing. Nothiiinnng…if I don’t have youuuu.
This was going to be EMW’s first post about Prime Meats, but when Funny Nurse and I arrived at 6pm we were told the wait was an hour to an hour and a half. Hell to the fucking no. That’s almost as bad as Trader Joe’s! We naively lingered in the entrance area for a hot second while some random visiting mom gave her phone number to the maître’d; apparently, she was going to wait. The point when they started to bond over her 317 Syracuse area code was the point when we realized it was just not in the cards. We scurried across the street over to Buttermilk Channel, which is actually not very high on my list, and they too were full. Nearly about to call it quits and eat in, FN and I gave The Grocery a call.
Where IS the door to Mary’s Fish Camp, anyway? Too hard to tell. Thankfully, our colleagues knew the way in, or else Eats Meats West may have given up early. It was Monday night. I mean, I’m just saying it was almost a deal breaker. No sooner did we cram our fat assess into the wall-to-wall tables did we recognize Peter Dinklage two tables away. Oh, you don’t know Peter Dinklage? You know, that guy from The Station Agent. We slowly stumbled over the wine list as we recounted our lives over the past few months. J gave his usual “I’d like something with a smoky buttery oakiness” requirement, which was of course in jest. I swear the waitress did actually use two of those adjectives to describe the white we eventually chose.
What kind of host would Eats Meats West be to our guests, who have proven how ready they are for trying new things, without a stop to Golden Unicorn? We’ve made no secret of our admiration for dim sum at Golden Unicorn, and sure enough there were no complaints today. This time, though, J and I were trying to cater to two newbies while still getting all of the requisite dishes (shumai, chow siu bai, shrimp noodles, baked custard buns, and lotus leaf rice) out of the way.
Following Aburiya Kinnosuke and a long cab ride (one where the video screen won’t turn off – what’s up with that anyway?), we ventured to One Girl Cookie. I don’t know how I lost track of this, but apparently they no longer do the late night dessert flights with paired wines. WTF. We unceremoniously left and headed down to The Chocolate Room, which was incredibly crowded, even for a Saturday night. It was only around 8:30pm too. In any case, we were eventually seated. J and I went straight for the brownie sundaes. I chose the coffee ice cream, which was heaven, paired with a glass of Rosenblum Late Harvest Zinfandel. Odd combination? Yes. Also, I thought it would be a cold white wine. Sue me, it was a craving. No, turns out it’s a warm sweet red wine. Whatevs. In any case the waitress was ill-impressed with each of our choices, but she was nonetheless friendly and helpful.
Oh, Aburiya Kinnosuke. If Eats Meats West were granted a last meal, it would surely be from you. Your myriad of inexplicable sauces wouldn’t deter us. Nay, they would enliven us! Often we would ask you what this or that sauce was. “Oyster,” it probably sounded like. Or maybe it was “worcheschestire?” Obviously, neither. Your partial English notwithstanding, there are few places that compare in our mind. Just look at the relative lack of non-Japanese people. That’s always a good sign. The curious robata grill, encircled by whole fish skewered on vertical stakes, imparts the most amazing char.
Eats Meats West didn’t really go into BLT Fish Shack expecting Le Dome or anything. The original thought was to ensure compatibility with a Gramma’s tastes. It is the more casual and less expensive version of its upstairs cousin, BLT Fish, after all. In New York “casual” often means you can untuck your shirt and not wear a belt, but you have to iron first and wear a matching watch. That was the expectation for the food. BLT Fish Shack is not that kind of casual. It’s Times Square casual.
I mean, I feel like there may have been a surfboard on the wall. Speaking of Times Square, check out the giant cheesy garlic roll! Despite all this, the lobster roll was delicious. It’s my first one, so judgment will be reserved for now. Double meh on everything else. One musical and a short walk later, we chanced upon an outdoor30 Rock filming, including Tina Fey. Ahh, New York…