Italian in the East Village
An Italian dinner with a great group
A Tasting Menu and Wine Pairing Celebration at The Gander
Happy Hour with Sad Oysters
Delicious BYOB Italian spot in Williamsburg
A Fashionable Happy Hour
My Fashion Law class concluded a couple of weeks ago and I suggested to our professors that we host an end of semester Happy Hour. This was the first semester that the class was offered to both law students and business students at the same time. Also, there are already countless graduation celebrations - so what is one more?
In researching a place, I wanted to pick somewhere that would be well-lit, not too loud and offer a variety of beverages and nibbles. I also wanted to look for somewhere near campus, as that is a central meeting place for all of us. I ultimately decided to go with Corkbuzz Wine Studio (http://www.corkbuzz.com/), located near Union Square.
I ordered the $15 Blind Tasting of White Wine (also offered in Red Wine too). This deal features three 2oz pours of wine but you don't know what varietal of wine it is - hence the Blind Tasting aspect of it. I'm not sure when it is offered - we went on a Monday and I was told it is offered until 6pm. I couldn't tell from the website if it daily or only on certain days - make sure to ask when you go! When you check in on your first visit here (I don't remember if it was Yelp! or Foursquare) you receive a complimentary flute of sparkling wine. Do it!
We ordered some nibbles to share. We got the Crispy Fingerling Potatoes with cilantro, red chile and black garlic aioli. Although the aioli looks like disgusting brownish goo, it is DELICIOUS. Do not be scared of it, embrace it!
We also ordered the chef's selection of cheeses. I believe it included a semi-soft cheese, blue cheese and ricotta. It would have been nice if there was a jam or fruit paste served with it to offer a contrast.
This location has a great vibe to it and the perfect ambiance for a date, dinner with friends or family gathering. Maybe don't come here to watch the game, but other than that, this is a great location. I'd like to come back here sometime for brunch or dinner.
La Lanterna di Vittorio Offers Excellent Italian in Greenwich Village
I love spending time with Aish - we met in a class we had together last semester with our mutual friend Michelle.
We all caught up briefly at beer blast (the weekly happy hour Stern hosts in the building basement) and then Aish & I headed to dinner. I am currently reading a great book (Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan) and two of the main characters are professors at NYU! In the book, they were set up by a mutual friend and had their first date at La Lanterna di Vittorio (http://lalanternacaffe.com/), an Italian restaurant with an enclosed garden right near campus.
I am a huge fan of reading (especially guilty pleasure books such as this one) and even a bigger fan of exploring new restaurants - I knew I had to check this spot out! We each ordered a glass of red wine: the Carmenere Cab. It was delicious and under $10.
We decided to split two items: pizza and lasagna. Since Aish is a vegetarian, we stuck to items both of us could enjoy and ethically enjoy :)
For our pizza, we ordered the Pizza con Cipolla e Caprino (topped with goat cheese, caramelized onions, walnuts and extra virgin olive oil).
Do not be deceived - those slices that LOOK like sausage are caramelized onion! The pizza was super delicious EVEN without meat! It was thin-crust and made to order. I'm glad we split it so we could try two different items.
The other entrée we split was the Lasagna Quattro Formaggi with Black Truffle Paste! NOM! It was like a cheese explosion accented with truffle yumminess
The lasagna was delicious! I took a bite and burned my mouth off - so be cautioned food is served HOT here. Also, I didn't realize this had no tomato in it so when compared to the pizza dish, there wasn't much contrast (cheese vs. more cheese). Next time, I would order the pesto one or meat sauce (damn vegetarians! hehe).
The garden were we sat is beautiful - the rest of the dining space seems a bit dark/cramped, so the outside area is wonderful.
I highly recommend this spot: the prices are right (most pizzas are $12-$14 depending on toppings) and the ambiance is awesome.
A Tasty Meal in the West Village
I got to catch up with one of my favorites, Aish, last week! We've both been bogged down by school and we haven't been able to catch up. What better way to spend time together than over glasses of red wine and yummy Italian food? Otto Enoteca Pizzeria (http://www.ottopizzeria.com/restaurant.cfm) is right near campus, so it was the perfect place to go to!
We split the Baby Spinach, Ricotta Salata and Truffle Honey salad. It was delicious! If anything, it may have been a bit overdressed, but it was very tasty.
I ordered my favorite pasta from Otto, the Carbonara. It was tasty but not as much as I remembered.
Aish ordered the pizza and she was pleased with it. This is a really fun, casual Italian spot. It is low key and the quality far exceeds the price points.
An Experience at De Santos Leaves Much Desired
A week or so again, Melissa and I tried our luck at De Santos (http://desantosnyc.com/). We had never been but there was a great deal on Living Social, so we snapped one up. I'm always hesitant about deals because I've gotten burned before with Groupon...but this wasn't Groupon! I had my eyes on certain menu items so it was exciting that we would each get to pick an appetizer and an entrée as well as two glasses of wine each! OR....so we thought! Once we arrived, we shared with our server that we had the Living Social deal. I guess this is fairly popular option since they had a separate pre-printed menu. Most of the entrees on the menu are in the same price range, so we thought we could pick up to a certain value and then just pay the difference. Apparently, that was wrong. So, our options were limited to 2 appetizers and 3 entrees.
I'm always down to try Mac and Cheese, so the Truffled option wasn't a big deal to be "forced" to order. I would have preferred a different appetizer (I read RAVE reviews on Yelp! for the Beef Carpaccio), but I was being flexible. For my entrée, I wanted to swordfish or the duck, but went with the salmon as it seemed the most appealing to me at the time.
As we waited for our courses, I was pleased that the bread was fantastic. I got a bit scared we wouldn't get it because it wasn't explicitly listed on our Living Social deal, ha! The bread was served warm with a honey butter - SO good!
This Mac and Cheese was SO SAD. It was as if the pasta was just in a big bucket and they slopped some into an individual serving dish. Typically, places finish it off in the oven so it gets a nice crust. I'm not sure if the presentation suffered because we had the Living Social deal or if they just executed poorly. Either way, it could have been so much better.
The salmon was quite good. It was cooked to the right temperature (medium) and the Greek salad served with it went nicely with the dill cream sauce. While it was good, I probably would have preferred a different entrée.
For the wine, we could pick a house red or white. The red was just fine, but I guess it was the quality you'd expect with a Living Social deal.
I'm undecided if I will return. I'm not sure if these restaurants realize that through a deal, many customers are experiencing the restaurant for the first time. If I paid full-price, I'm not sure I would be pleased with the money spent.
Visiting New York Vintners for a Lovely Weekend!
Last week, I went with a group of Sternies to New York Vintners (http://www.newyorkvintners.com/) for a night of pizza "making" and wine. The reason I used the quotes is because I was much more focused on appreciating the fine wines we were offered (featured below) than getting my hands dirty. I loved both of the reds, the sparkling and the first white wine. The Chardonnay didn't do it for me.
Some of the attendees got in on the action. I am typically all about this type of activity. I love cooking! That night, I took a back seat because I wanted to relax and catch up with some of my friends that were there (Katharine and her lovely boyfriend, Dan, for example).
We had a variety of pizzas made! My favorite was the confit chicken with Boursin cheese. It was DELICIOUS! I had more than one slice for sure - oops! The other ones offered were roasted veggie and roasted pork with blue cheese and bbq sauce. The veggie one was nice. The pork one was ok - the pieces were a bit huge and unwieldy to eat. Smaller pieces of meat would have been a lot better.
My main criticism would be no dessert. I am a sweets gal and would have loved a dessert pizza! This would have been a nice touch. While people were making pizza, I saw cookie dough. I was silly to think it was for us. It was merely a tease for another event. Not cool!
Even though my sweet tooth was not satisfied, I still recommend this spot and would love to go back. Events range in price from $30 to $75 (majority at this price point), so you can find something in your price range: http://www.peek.com/widget/calendar/530ffd60c41aae6def001bc0
Fresh Vegetables Served Up in the East Village
I caught up with my best friend's (WARREN!!) sister-in-law Tammi last night for dinner! She was visiting the city from Philadelphia with some of her girlfriends. As the resident local, I knew I needed to recommend an awesome spot for dinner that was very New York! Two friends, Lauren and Elizabeth, recently raved about B4 (http://www.b4nyc.com/), a New American restaurant that serves up reinvented comfort food in the East Village.
While we were looking over the menu, we were enjoying the delicious bread. There is a toasted garlic-bread and a fluffier focaccia style bread. I was glad they were generous with the refills! I ordered a glass of the Cabernet Sauvignon. Serving it in a mason jar was on theme for the restaurant but I prefer a wine glass. My grandma heavily influenced me into believing that the glassware changes the taste of the wine. I'm sure it's in my head, but it does change my perception.
We ate our meal family style and shared all of the courses. The first course was a bit tricky - Butternut Squash SOUP! The dish was fantastic so we got over sharing from the same bowl.
The flavor of the soup tasted like the butternut squash had been prepared with apple juice, onions and a hearty broth. Like a traditional casserole, it was dotted with marshmallows. This sweetness brought out the flavor. It also had a sherry-infused cream drizzle.
The sweetness of the pears and the sharpness of the Gorgonzola balanced the peppery bite of the arugula. It was topped with a honey chili vinaigrette and spiked pumpkin seeds. Loved it!
Kale is still super popular, which is great for me because it is yummy! This salad was served with an herb buttermilk dressing, cucumbers (HUGE slices), pickled red onions (gave great flavor and color) and cornbread croutons.
This meat was delicious and moist!!! The pan seared heritage pork chop was served with an apple bourbon reduction and a warm fennel-cabbage-red onion slaw. The combo of the slaw and the sauce were scrumptious!
This dish was my least favorite. The raviolis were served in a sage brown butter sauce. The filling wasn't that flavorful or that plentiful - they could have been a bit more stuffed. Also, the duck confit seemed a bit overdone - I think it was potentially over fried. It was still good, but compared to all the other knock-out dishes, it didn't stand a chance.
I loved this dish! The butter poached salmon had a mustard glaze, shitakes, red peppers and an INSANELY awesome butternut squash wild rice salad. I could eat that salad by the bucket! The salmon was also the perfect temperature - medium/medium rare and so tender.
If you come here, YOU MUST GET THIS DISH! By far the star of the night. A pan-seared Moulard Duck Breast is prepared in a General Tso's style. It is served on top of a ginger carrot puree with haricots verts (fancy Fresh green beans). I wish I just ordered this for myself so I wouldn't have to share it, it was THAT good!
Check out the awesome vibe of the spot - so relaxed and welcoming.
This is a wonderful restaurant. It has outstanding food and an inviting atmosphere. I look forward to coming here again and trying more dishes.
A Meal to Remember
I have the pleasure of serving as a Teaching Fellow for an undergraduate course. As part of the course, my class (along with four other sections) traveled to Santiago, Chile for about a week to learn more about international business and specifically business in Chile. There were over 200 people on this trip - we all made it back in one piece (mostly)!
It should be no surprise that I was focused on the food and beverage aspect of this trip. I love experiencing another country through its cuisine. There is a group in my class of very sharp and clearly very food-focused students and I overheard them mentioning they made a reservation at a culinary mecca in Santiago: Borago (http://borago.cl/?lang=en). Naturally, the nosey person that I am, I asked if I could invite myself. I am lucky that I have a great group of students and they warmly extended an invitation! Extra Credit for them :)
We got dressed up and called taxis to get to the restaurant.
Once we arrived at the restaurant, there was a bit of a SNAFU. Allegedly, the restaurant never got our reservation - that pesky internet can be unreliable! Oh well, our group was resilient and the host made a reservation for us at incredible restaurant: Astrid y Gaston (http://astridygaston.com/). You will need to translate the page with Google to English...unless, of course, you can read Spanish! This is one of the top ranked restaurants in Latin America as well as the world. It is Peruvian - my friends that are Peruvian are quite proud of this culinary gem!
We did the Tasting Menu with the Wine Pairing. There were 6 courses and as many (if not more!) wine pairings. The food was spectacular and the wine complemented each course. It is one of my most memorable meals to date; not only for the food but for the company as well.
If the table setting was an indication of the quality of the food, I knew I would be in for a real treat. We were served up delicious bread. It wasn't just tasty, it was warm! There was a hearty brown bread, a garlic focaccia-like bread and a seeded roll. The butter was also delicious - the perfect temperature. I hate when it is too cold.
As we hit the 5th course, I knew I shouldn't have eaten any of the bread. I got too excited at the beginning. Next time, I need to think that a Tasting Menu is a marathon...not a sprint! Now...the first course!
I tried to get the exact descriptions off the site, but naturally, this is a struggle because the menu changes daily and it is translated oddly. It would have been nice to have gotten a printed menu, but oh well! On the left, was a puréed sweet potato stacked with crab and served with two sauces that brought out the flavor profile. On the right, a beautifully prepared ceviche. Next up, the second course!
What is that above you ask? Let me tell you! On the left, a freshly prepared scallop served in its shell and on the right, a panko-crusted shrimp. I loved both of these!
This course was a great combination - salmon served over risotto with a shrimp sauce.
All over Santiago, I saw on the menu a super expensive type of crab: large spiny crab. About $200! This pasta had a bit of the meat in it to not break the bank. Very tasty though!
The last savory course was veal served with a soy-sauce, egg, french fries (or as the Chileans say, papas fritas!), and rice. I really liked the taste combo but I couldn't finish it. I was too full! I even had to pump the breaks on the wine - so cray cray!
This plate was full of stars! From left to right, a hot fruit soufflé, sorbets served in a cookie shell and Peruvian style donuts with ice cream!
This was an incredible meal and a great deal! The food was $60 and the wine pairings $24! In NYC, a similar experience could be over $200 a person. If you find yourself in Santiago, Chile and have time for an incredible meal (it took about 3 hours), this is the place to go!
So Tasty, it Will Leave You Numb!
I heard so many RAVE reviews of Han Dynasty (http://www.handynasty.net/) that when Liv suggested going to dinner here with Christine, I was thrilled! This lovely Szechuan restaurant has locations in Philly and Cherry Hill, NJ as well. Now that it is in the East Village, there is simply no reason to not RUN here!
This restaurant is quite popular and does not take reservations. However, they have an iPad reservation system, so if you are nearby, stop in and give the hostess your phone number. You can grab a cocktail at any of the nearby bars in the East Village and get a text when you are ready to be seated!
We ordered a bottle of wine for the three of us. The pricing is incredible - we got a nice bottle (Dreaming Tree) of Cabernet for about $30.
To start, we obviously got the Dan Dan Noodles. THESE ARE SO YUMMY!
I could have easily eaten the whole bowl myself, but I remember that we ordered other food, so I held back. The spicy level was high (8 out of 10) but it is more of a numbing heat than a hot heat if that makes sense. I've found many times I've had Thai food that is significantly spicier even if it is only "medium" at the restaurant. It is the type of spice that matters as much, if not more, than the quantity!
Aside from the Dan Dan Noodles, we asked for the gentleman that took our order to give us some guidance on what to order. He suggested the Spicy Crispy Cucumber, Dumplings in Chili Oil, String Beans with Minced Pork, and the Dry Pot Style Lamb.
These were yummy! They had a great bite to them and were a nice contrast to some of the heavier/carby dishes. I highly recommend them.
SO TASTY! I could eat a bucket of these. You get at least 6 dumplings, so it is certainly enough to share with others, or be selfish and just get for yourself!
These string beans were ok but couldn't compare with the rest of the dishes. The amount of pork wasn't really anything to write home about. Next time, I would order a different veggie dish.
This is the style of preparation that Han Dynasty is famous for!! The entrée is served in a sizzling mini wok and cooked in a spicy hot pot sauce with black mushrooms, bamboo shoots, bell peppers and Sichuan peppercorns. We were advised to get it with a fattier protein than chicken so we got lamb. It was very tender and delicious! Normally this is the spiciest item on the menu (10 out of 10) and we asked for it at a level 5. I loved eating and could not feel my lips afterwards, so who knows how much the spice was actually adjusted.
This is somewhere I will take my parents when they visit. My dad LOVES spicy food and I know he will greatly enjoy eating here!
Check this spot out and try going during off-times to avoid the lines!
Restaurant Week Begins!
In New York City (and in cities across the country), Restaurant Week is a magical time. Not only do you get to visit many restaurants that may be outside of your price range for $25 for lunch and $38 for dinner, the week breaks rules of the universe. The "week" lasts from February 17th to March 7th - amazing! Also, if you have an American Express card and register it to save $5 for EACH Restaurant Week transaction (https://enroll.amexnetwork.com/US/en/winternycrw2014/).
I'm a big fan of the Top Chef franchise and winner of the first season, Harold Dieterle - this is his third venture in NYC (also owns Perilla and Kin Shop). The Marrow has German and Italian influences. The menu for Restaurant Week is key - even if the spot you're going to is well-known for certain dishes, make sure some of them are on the reduced-price menu! Otherwise, what is the point of visiting it?
We arrived a bit earlier and each ordered a cocktail at the bar. I got the Eye of the Tiger, made with Cognac, 7 year old rum, vanilla and cinnamon.
The cocktail had a wonderful profile; I loved the touch of the single massive ice cube too! Aish ordered the Miss Roberts' Cobbler, made with Owney's Rum, Pear Jam, Lavender and Thyme.
She loved it so I had to try a sip - it was tasty! Once our table was ready, we were seated and given the menu. We already looked it over before we came so we knew exactly what to order!
We did noticed that the menu featured three bottles of wine for $38! We ordered the Red, the Pittnaur Velvet 2008 from Burgenland, Austria.
I'm glad we split this - for about 2.5 glasses each, that is a great bargain. While we waited for our entrees, we were served a freshly baked (and HOT!) pretzel style roll with mustard and oil.
Just as we were finishing up our rolls, we were served our first course. We both ordered the Roasted Sunchoke Soup topped with toasted sunflower seeds and snipped chives.
The soup came out PIPING HOT! After it cooled down for a hot second (no pun intended), we enjoyed each and every spoonful. The soup had a velvety texture and was utter perfection.
For my entrée, I ordered the Sautéed Skate Wing, served with Black Forest Ham, Cabbage and Warm Mustard Sauce. I'm a huge fan of Skate, so I was excited to try it.
The German-style prep on the Skate was different and incredibly tasty. I was very happy with my order! Aish, the vegetarian that she is, ordered the Housemade Pappardelle served with braised forest mushrooms, lemon thyme and pecorino.
She really liked it, or at least I assume she did, since she inhaled it. This is why we're such good friends!
For the desserts, I ordered the Spiced Streusel Kuchen, served with roasted apples and caramel ice cream.
This dessert was delicious!! Aish wanted no part of it since she isn't a big fan of apples - weirdo! Just kidding. She went with the other option, the Milk Chocolate Panna Cotta, served with grape jam and peanut biscotti.
I much prefer dark chocolate to milk, but Aish loved it. I was happy for her. She avoided the apples, so she was a happy camper.
When we were given the check, we were presented with MORE food. Two gingersnap style cookies - so great.
I was very happy with the overall experience. I look forward to coming back here to order some other menu items, especially the Pan-Fried Duck Schnitzel!
Happy Restaurant (Three) Week(s)!
Malatesta Trattoria For the Win!
I recently posted about Otto, an Italian place near school. This post spurred a bunch of helpful recommendations from my friends for other favorite Italian spots. My friend Nikki suggested a spot in the West Village, Malatesta (no website; http://www.yelp.com/biz/malatesta-trattoria-new-york). I put it on my list of places to try out.
Coincidentally, I was going out with my friend Aish for dinner and a West Village cocktail crawl AND she suggested Malatesta for dinner - small world indeed! I was super pumped now - two people I respect recommended this spot. I was ready for dinner!
When we were seated, we were quickly brought a plate of sliced focaccia bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
The handwritten menus add a personal touch to the restaurant - both the regular and the daily menus are handwritten.
While we were looking at the menu, we decided to each order a glass of the house Sangiovese.
It was light, fruity and delicious. We split two of the pasta dishes. One of the regular favorites: Homemade Spinach Gnocchi with Gorgonzola Sauce; and one of the specials: Artichoke Ravioli.
The sauces for both pasta dishes were delicious - a perfect dipping vehicle for the bread. Both of the dishes were full of flavor and tasted incredibly different, even if they were both green!
I'd recommend coming to this place before it gets super crowded - before 7:30pm for sure. It is a TINY restaurant and you sit fairly close to other diners. Either way, it is worth the trek over to the West side to check out this spot!
Divine Short Ribs
I first visited Hill and Bay a couple of weeks ago for drinks and planned to return for a meal. The opportunity struck when I wanted to grab dinner with a date before a movie at Kips Bay Theater. Side Note: We saw Dallas Buyer's Club and it was great.
I looked at the wine list and decided to order a glass of red wine. I can't recall which varietal I ordered - all glasses are price between $9 to $12. I knew I wanted to order the Braised Short Ribs, served with creamy polenta and crispy shallots ($23). Based on Yelp! reviews, this seemed like a safe bet and I do love cooking this dish at home!
The meat was absolutely tender. The wine I ordered really complemented the sauce. I was so happy with what I ordered!
When I looked at the dessert menu, I knew exactly what I was going to order! I love bread pudding, so naturally I ordered the Brown Butter Chocolate Bread Pudding, made with dark chocolate and served with ice cream ($8).
This is my favorite type of dessert: the juxtaposition of the hot (bread pudding) and the cold (ice cream) rocks my world. So yummy!
I'm glad I came back to this spot. Solid entrees and desserts!
A Lovely Dinner at Chelsea's Pepe Giallo
After grabbing drinks at Hudson Malone, I met up with Melissa for dinner in her neighborhood. She has a favorite spot near her apartment that serves up affordable Italian dishes and makes fresh pasta! Pepe Giallo (http://pepegiallo.com/) has a great vibe - very quaint and warm.
We decided to order the house red (Montepulciano). The 1/2 carafe is $14 and the carafe is $23 (save $5 for double the wine). Which do you think we ordered?
As we nibbled on the warm bread, served with olives and olive oil, we looked over the menu and sipped our wine. Melissa has been here many times, so she was full of super helpful tips and recommendations. We decided to split the Apple, Goat Cheese and Tomato Salad, served over Organic Greens ($8).
This salad was super yummy and a decent portion size to split. I was torn between a couple of the pasta dishes. I wanted to get the Rigatoni with Salmon and Mushrooms in Cream Sauce ($13) but I wanted to try the homemade pasta. For an upcharge of $2, I changed the pasta to the homemade fettuccini. AWESOME CHOICE! The salmon was delicious (not fishy) and super tender. The sauce was creamy without being too heavy. I loved it.
Melissa ordered the Fettuccini with Chicken and Mushrooms in Alfredo Sauce ($13). I tried a piece of chicken - delicious! I did prefer my dish more though.
I will comment that the portion sizes are great, especially considering the reasonable prices, and the amount of protein in each dish was awesome as well! Great spot! I cannot wait to return!
A Delightful Meal at Craftbar!
Last week, there was a bit of a snow storm! Did it stop me from meeting Ingrid and her friend Ashley (up from sunny Bermuda) for dinner? Of course not! Ingrid lives in Flatiron and suggested Craftbar (http://www.craftrestaurantsinc.com/craftbar-new-york/). I wanted to go to that spot for a while. Also, the snow didn't stop the train from running, so I bundled up and met her!
In order to cope with the snow, we ordered a bottle of Montepulciano (I have to thank my friend Melissa for opening my eyes to this wonderful red varietal!). The bottle was reasonably priced around $30.
We decided to split two appetizers. The Pickle Jar and the Pecorino Arancini, served with spicy tomato sauce. The pickles, including other vegetables like cauliflower, were a bit to sour. Some of the vegetables were too porous and absorbed too much of the pickling liquid.
The Arancini, or rather the yummy balls of risotto and cheese, were so tasty! Much better than the pickles. For our entrees, Ingrid and Ashley both ordered the Veal Ricotta Meatballs & Capellini, served with Basil and San Marzano Tomato. Ingrid didn't finish her meatballs so I gave her a hand and tasted them. They were delicious!
I chose the Skate, served with Brussels Sprouts, Apple, Brown Butter, Crème Fraiche and Horseradish. SO TASTY! I love Skate and the preparation really complemented the character of the fish.
To round out the meal, we split a dessert: The Flourless Chocolate Cake, served with Passion Fruit Caramel and Coconut Ice Cream.
The dessert was a wonderful conclusion to an all-around outstanding meal. The food and service are both top-notch. I look forward to coming back!
Baoburg in Williamsburg is a Little Gem!
Last week, I caught up with Christine at a lovely little (this is an understatement!) restaurant in Williamsburg. The spot is called Baoburg (http://baoburgnyc.com/) and it describes itself as "artisanal cuisine" - the dishes certainly lived up to this hype. The restaurant has about 20 seats and many of the seats are counter style. We ended up sitting on two counter seats facing a mirror. This choice made it easy for me to check that I had nothing in my teeth, an unintended benefit.
To start our meal, we ordered a bottle of Ramon Bilbao Albarino, a nice Spanish white that was reasonably priced at $25. Our server presented the wine a bit awkwardly. It wasn't chilled already, so he brought it over in an ice bucket but did not open it. We were sort of confused since the bottle cap was a screw off - do we open our own bottles now? Is that what "artisanal" means? I attempted to take it off and it didn't work, so I asked the server. Naturally, I loosened it for him so it was soooo easy for him to open. Once it was open, it was a nice wine. We were desperate for a drink, so warm was going to have to do for the first pour!
We ordered several plates to share and were very pleased with our choices! We started with the Cheesy Truffle Fries with BACON ($7). The fries were a lovely start while we waited for our entrees to come.
Our first entrée that arrived was the Sparkling Ribs ($12), grilled baby back ribs tossed in a Cola cider sauce with truffle fries potatoes and a pickled garnish. This was absolutely fantastic! I was concerned I'd have to eat the ribs with my hands and this would result in sticky fingers. To my delight, the ribs were fall-off-the-bone tender. The cola marinade was so yummy.
Our next arrival was the Lamb Stew. I didn't take a snap of the menu and the entrée must be new as it is not yet on the Baoburg site. The dish was fantastic and influenced by Asian flavors. It was served with a poached egg on top, it really added to the creaminess of the sauce and overall nom-factor.
The final entrée was the Seared Duck Breast Noodle ($16). This dish was my favorite! Seared duck breast is served on top of fresh, thick ramen noodles, bok choy, shiitake mushrooms and poached daikon in a duck consommé. Since this is a broth based dish and awkward to share, I asked our server to have the chef split the entrée into two portions. Instead of splitting it PRIOR to bringing to us, he brought two extra bowls for us to split it. This was a bit awkward but I managed because the dish was THAT delicious.
Overall, this is a solid new spot. I highly recommend checking it out!