1/31/13

Pancakes to Blow Your F****** Mind

I also can't forget to mention the other best part about February...Pancake Month at Clinton St. Baking Company!


I'd highly recommend getting there early, grabbing your flapjacks, and then hightailing it over to City Bakery for your hot chocolate fix. Again, don't think. Just do it. Go. 



Now.



What are you waiting for?



Seriously?

Hot Chocolate to Blow Your F****** Mind

Ready for the best news of the new year!?!? City Bakery's annual hot chocolate festival begins TOMORROW!!!


I'm intrigued by these "Ode to the Polar Bear" and "Sunken Treasure" flavors and I can highly recommend the caramel flavor from past experience and likening it to crack. Again, I'm going to also stress that you get the peanut butter cookie as well. Don't think. Just do it.

1/28/13

Meet Your New Favorite Pre-Theater Prix Fixe

Eating out pre-theater can often be a hassle. While there is a huge selection of excellent restaurants especially 9th Avenue, they are often overcrowded and overpriced between the hours of 6-8pm. So imagine my delight when I found a rather large restaurant with an affordable and variable menu (not to mention a $25 prix fixe with a glass of wine) right on 9th Ave and 54th Street.


Pier 9 Restaurant specializes in both American and Mediterannean cuisines, boasting especially fresh fish and innovative flavor combinations. I was invited with a friend to try out their restaurant last week and we were thoroughly impressed.

Back part of the dining room

We each started with a glass of wine ($10), although I was very tempted by some of their unique cocktails. For bread, we were brought a very hot iron pan of cornbread. Honestly, I could subsist on good cornbread, and this stuff was delicious! It was lighter than your average recipe, but that just made me feel like I could eat more of it...teehehe!

Cornbread!

For appetizers, we tried the Shitake Arancini ($12), risotto balls stuffed with shitake mushrooms and mozzarella cheese with spicy tartar sauce, and the Spicy Roasted Mussels ($12), mussels in a lemon, chili oil, garlic, white wine and crispy basil broth. The arancini were heavenly and one of my favorite parts of the meal -- perfectly cheesy and crispy, yet not oily. The shitakes really added a nice earthy flavor as well. As for the mussels, these were some of the most giant mussels I've ever seen in my life! Good thing they were also perfectly cooked and pretty tasty. Ten extra points for grilled bread to sop up the broth once the mussels were gone.

Shitake Arancini

Mussels

For entrees, we both took our waiter's suggestion and ordered fish. I had the Big Eye Tuna Au Poivre ($28), sushi grade tuna seared to perfection served with spinach puree of roasted onion, carrots and au poivre sauce, and my friend had the Horse Radish Crusted Scottish Salmon ($22), golden crusted horse radish salmon served with melted "holland" leeks, black lentils and finish with ver jus. Both dishes were great, if not rather large (though is that really a problem?). Mine was served with sauteed spinach and I loved the sauce. The baby carrots were a little weird for me, but only because cooked baby carrots are weird for me in general. I absolutely loved the salmon as well. I was thinking of ordering it but was turned off by the thought of something covered in horseradish. It is in no way overdone, and the horseradish actually makes the fish pretty dynamic.

Big Eye Tuna Au Poivre

Horse Radish Crusted Scottish Salmon

You would think we were too full for dessert, but good thing we left plenty of time for digesting. We ended up ordering the Caramel Rice Crispy Treat ($7) layered with chocolate mousse and mascarpone and served with maple ice cream and papaya. The papaya was a little out of place, but I just got back from Hawaii so it worked on my palate.


Now more about that prix fixe...from 6-8 you can get a 3-course meal with a glass of wine for only $25. That is an especially great deal since the salmon alone costs $22 and that is one of the options on the deal. If you don't feel like eating that much food, I also noted that Pier 9 is on Scoutmob with a 50% deal, so you should definitely check that out. Pier 9 is definitely a solid option for a good meal, and they are constantly running specials (like their upcoming $60 themed Valentine's Day dinner that comes with a cocktail and live music) so pay them a visit and let us know what you think!

Pier 9 on Urbanspoon

1/24/13

A One, Two Punch at Golden Boy

Even after several years in NYC, I still consider it a treat to go to the theater. An even bigger treat still is meeting the cast of a Broadway show and getting to pick their brains a bit.


A few weeks ago I was invited to a preview of Lincoln Center Theater's revival of the play Golden Boy (now open at the Belasco Theater) and a pre-show reception at The Lambs Club across the street. Having never been to The Lambs Club before I was excited as it felt very exclusive. Waitresses milled about with themed drinks and appetizers like yellowfin tuna tartare, spicy veal meatballs and pork belly with puff rice.

Drink Selection

My "Golden" drink had a GIANT ice cube!

Cast members Danny Mastrogiorgio, Danny Burstein, Brad Fleischer, Karl Glusman and Seth Numrich were milling about and couldn't have been nicer if they tried. Established thespian Danny Burstein, whom I loved in Follies, told me he still fears forgetting his lines, while Seth Numrich, who played the lead Joe Bonaparte, told me he trained at a real boxing gym in Venice, CA and then in Brooklyn to get in tip-top fighting shape for the show.

Danny Burstein and Me

Seth Numrich and Me
Also on display were sketches of the costumes designed by Catherine Zuber. According to a long-told story of an actress haunting the Belasco Theater, the designer included a blue dress which actress Yvonne Strahovski (of Dexter fame) wears as Lorna Moon.

Costume Sketches

Golden Boy closed January 20 but told the story of a young boxer who rises to fame and the love and family he gains and loses along the way.

Screw the Cold! Order Delivery and Get Free Stuff!

I have to admit, I don't order food for delivery that often. My philosophy is if I'm going to spend money on food from a restaurant, I'd rather make a night of it and enjoy the ambiance. However, on frigid days like today (and on lazy, especially rainy days) I make an exception.


So what did I want for lunch, I thought to myself at about 10:45 this morning when my stomach began to rumble. I could be like everyone else and use Seamless, but instead I opted to go with Delivery.com, and I'll tell you why. The basic concept is the same--login, pick a cuisine, add your items to your cart, list any special instructions, hand over your credit card info and the rights to your soul, and soon food will be delivered right to you without you ever having to interact with a human being (with the exception of the delivery person of course). However, Delivery.com is a smaller operation compared with Seamless and hence offers more perks to try and lure new customers.

For example, instead of choosing a cuisine first, I entered my office address and opted to sort the available delivery choices by discount. Low and behold there were 6 different restaurants that offered a 25% off deal for your first order. Score! I decided to order from Marrakesh because I was in the mood for hummus and I could get a shish kebab combo platter for $12.95 (includes a garden salad or rice, 2 pieces of pita, and 2 vegetarian sides including hummus, grape leaves, falafel, etc.).

Nothing surprising so far, BUT not only did I get my food and my 25% off discount, but I also received 316 loyalty points and one stamp on my loyalty card. Basically, the points can be redeemed for anything from a $5 charity donation (10,000 points) to a $50 iTunes card (125,000 points) to an 11 inch Macbook Air (1,380,000 - you have to order A LOT of delivery for this guy but I guess it's incentive to take the office's lunch orders!). In addition, you get one "punch" for every order and a $5 credit for each 10 orders no matter how much you spend.


There are other ways of earning points as well. You get 1,000 just for signing up, plus 1,000 more for each friend you invite to Delivery.com. So what are you waiting for? Start making your delivery dinner plans for the rest of this awful freaking cold week!

1/8/13

A Borrowed New Year's Eve

A few weeks ago, I asked all my fabulous readers to help me choose a dress to rent from Borrowed Closet for New Year's Eve. Well, the winner was....


The Sequin Stripe Dress!!!

I have nothing to say but positive things about my experience with Borrowed Closet and would definitely encourage you to check it out. My package arrived within days of my order and I was able to rent not only the dress, but a black leather clutch and gold dangly earrings. The whole ensemble was one of my best New Year's Eve outfits to date, and I'm thrilled that I did not have to pay an arm and a leg for everything. After all,  it's not often that I wear backless, sequined dresses. 

Now all that's left is for me to package up my rentals and send everything back in the postage paid envelope provided to me. So what do you think of my experience? Anyone tempted to join?


Happy New Year's to you and yours from Awesome in New York!