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$24 or $37 prix-fixe lunch at David Burke Townhouse

Prior to re-joining the workforce, I’d embarked on an epic week of face stuffing which began with a whimsical three course lunch at David Burke Townhouse. It surprised and delighted me at every turn. From the glass balloons in the hallway to the speckled egg hatchling logo, I found myself smiling with each detail and discovery.

You can choose from two different three course lunch menus: one for $24 and the other for $37. Click to see the lunch menu here. The dishes marked with the speckled egg are those eligible for the $24 menu vs. your choice of any three courses (speckled egg or not) for $37 at lunch. Since I was in a decadent kind of mood AND because I desperately wanted the scallops and head-on prawns, I went with the $37 prix-fixe.

If the decor alone wasn’t enough indication of the fun that was to come, the bread and butter clinched the deal. We were served a fluffy onion/garlic popover with a carefully constructed butter swirl sticking up off a slab of what looked like pink quartz.

This is what the parfait of tuna and salmon tartar looks like in real life.

And this is a sketch of how it is constructed, potato tuile, creme fraiche, and all.

I really enjoyed the pretzel-crusted crab cake, though I wouldn’t say it was particularly pretzel-y at all. The pretzel bit of the crab cake was actually a little on the breadier side, and in the picture below, you’ll see the pretzel breadsticks surround the crab cake making it visually attractive, but functionally, the pretzels and the sesame seed crust provided texture and a nice little crunch. I liked the yellow mustard-based sauce although I didn’t care much for the sweet orange sauce, but it worked out just fine because I ate around it.

The prawns and scallops were phenomenal. This dish alone was worth every single penny of lunch. The three perfectly seared scallops and two grilled head-on (mmm… brains…) prawns were quite filling. The sauce was so rich and buttery that I forgot I was eating what was essentially a vegetable slaw.

The beef pot pie was probably the dish that delighted me the most. I keep using the word “delighted” because I can’t think of any other word more fitting. Chunks of succulent roast beef, tomatoes, asparagus, garlic cloves, and onion were nestled in a creamy ring of mashed potatoes and topped with a flaky pastry crust round freckled with miniature flecks of chive (meant to represent peas, I think) and carrot. This dish warmed the cockles of my heart.

Dessert was just okay. I think we should’ve gone with the cheesecake lollipop tree since both the strawberry shortcake and butterscotch pudding were overly sweet. I didn’t care a whit, though. I was already in a near-catatonic state of ecstasy post-app and -main.

There was so much pot pie left over that they packaged it for us to go. Overall, an excellent meal, and my favorite lunch so far in the city. Strongly recommended.

DB Townhouse also does a $35 Sunday Supper prix-fixe. Do it.

Also, they just opened David Burke Kitchen at the James Hotel in SoHo a few weeks ago. The website doesn’t tell you much just yet, but the hostess tells us it’s supposed to be a young, trendy spot for beautiful downtowners to meet for drinks and dinner. You know. Le hot stuff.

Eat: David Burke Townhouse (UES) 133 East 61st Street at Lexington Ave.; New York, NY 10065. (212) 813-2121. Lunch prix-fixe available weekdays only. Prix-fixe brunch menu available on weekends for $39. Sunday dinner prix-fixe $35.


Yumi Kim $50 Daily Deal
December 1, 2010, 1:06 pm
Filed under: Shop | Tags: , , , ,

One of my fave designers (how can you not love those prints?!) Yumi Kim has announced a 25 day-long daily deal where she will be offering one item a day at $50.

Today, it’s the Ivana dress in the blue triangle print, originally $187. Visit Yumi Kim to buy, and click on the “sale” link on the menu on the left to see the new sale item for the day. Happy shopping!

Sushi UO blows me away (again)
November 12, 2010, 3:57 pm
Filed under: Eat | Tags: , , , , , , ,

I’ve written about Sushi UO a couple of times already, which seems unfair because I have dined at several other restaurants and have failed to write about those experiences even once. But I just enjoyed one of the best sushi dinners I’ve had in a long time, and I felt I should encourage you NYC sushi lovers to go here once more. Don’t get swayed by the hype or the haters – Sushi UO’s celebrated Chef David Boudahana left several months ago and gone are the days of hot, tatted 23 year-old wunderkind sushi chef slicing fish and taking names.

On my most recent visit to Sushi UO last night, I opted to sit on the side of the sushi bar where two Japanese sushi chefs joked and laughed with one another as they worked away at fulfilling orders on a bustling Thursday night. He may not be 23 years old or covered in tattoos, but watching him slice, score, and roll, I thought he was pretty hot. It was definitely the best seat in the house. I felt like I was at a dinner theater, except better.

The first dish to arrive was the Creamy Rock Shrimp Tempura Duo with wasabi aïoli and spicy red pepper aïoli ($13). The shrimp is just barely cooked through, the tempura batter is unbelievably light, and there is just the right amount of sauce. No soggy bits, no gushing oil, no rubbery texture. Just delicious, bite-size pieces of creamy shrimp. Also, this is a huge appetizer. Can easily be shared between 4 people, so for $13, it’s a steal.

Sitting at the sushi bar is a great way to get a feel for the other dishes at the restaurant. Someone, presumably on a low-carb diet, had ordered a lovely roll wrapped with cucumber instead of rice. It was just four pieces, albeit four very large pieces, and immediately Sara and I had food envy. When we asked what it was, we were told it was the No Rice Roll #2 with yellowtail, tuna, kaiware (daikon sprouts), and Asian pear. Since that sounded light and heavenly and was just $8, we went ahead and ordered one for ourselves. The Asian pear brings a hint of unexpected sweetness that truly makes this roll stand out. This is going to be a roll I order every single time I come here.

Sara and I ordered the $49 sushi and sashimi platter for two. We didn’t know what would be on it or even how many pieces, but somehow we felt it would be a good call. And it was. The platter included 18 pieces of sashimi, 10 pieces of sushi, and an 8-piece crunchy spicy tuna roll. The rice-to-sushi ratio was perfect, and the fish was impossibly fresh.

This might be a little blasphemous, but I actually think I enjoyed the salmon here at UO more than the salmon I had at the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo. The salmon was melt-in-your-mouth soft, almost buttery, without any of the harsh fishiness of stale salmon. The tuna was so fresh and so perfectly cut that the fish was almost falling apart at the striations between the grain (I don’t know the proper terminology – sorry!).

The crunchy spicy tuna roll was good, but that’s fairly standard, I think. I usually don’t enjoy unagi. I think eel has a tendency to taste way too fishy, and I feel like the sweet sauce usually just masks the flavor of the eel rather than enhancing it. At UO, this was most certainly not the case, and I really liked the taste and texture of my unagi, finding the sauce to complement rather than hide the flavor of the fish.

After we had stuffed ourselves silly with sushi, the waitress brought us a two-bite dessert of flourless chocolate cake with raspberry ganache. The perfect end to an already-excellent meal.

Next time I head to Sushi UO, I plan to order the Botan Ebi Sashimi ($9) two pieces of shrimp sashimi, one topped with ikura (salmon roe) and the other with uni (sea urchin roe). It looked positively amazing. I will also be getting the omakase, a Japanese phrase meaning “It’s up to you.” The sushi omakase is $38 and the sashimi omakase is $46, 9 pieces of the chef’s choice depending on the freshest fish of the day. It is beautifully presented with fried shrimp head and tail, and the chef takes you beyond just the standard tuna, salmon, yellowtail, etc. that you usually find in the sushi/sashimi platters.

If a guy were to take me on a date to Sushi UO (without having known that I totally love this place), I’d be thoroughly impressed. It’s small and intimate, dark and sexy, and the food is really effing good. Quality sushi for a reasonable (not cheap) price. Sake flight also available for $14, I think.

Another important note for you dealseekers: Sushi UO serves an impressive $24.07 3 course prix-fixe menu daily from 6 to 7 pm. Sushi UO is closed on Sundays.

Eat: Sushi UO (LES) 151 Rivington St. between Clinton and Suffolk, upstairs. 212-677-5470. They take reservations starting at 5 pm, or you can reserve seats on Open Table.

NYC November sample sale linkstravaganza
November 10, 2010, 8:57 am
Filed under: Shop | Tags: , , ,

It’s November! Designers are slashing prices. If you’re in NYC, this is good news for you. Here are some of the November sample sale roundups I’ve found.

  • Refinery29 – must read
  • Daily Candy – must read – has anyone been to the Kathryn Amberleigh sale? I have a pair of her boots and they are HOT. I get complements every time I wear them out… wouldn’t mind scoring a pair of pumps.
  • New York Mag – not strictly sample sales, but some are listed here.

I’m most excited for the Archetype and eM Showroom sample sales which carry casual, urban brands like Gar-de, Grey Ant, LnA, Quail, and others. I also think the Colette Malouf sale will be the perfect place to pick up sweet holiday presents for the special ladies in your life. Go forth and shop!

Meat & 3 Mondays at Seersucker Brooklyn
September 29, 2010, 9:12 am
Filed under: Drink, Eat | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Southern-inspired cooking at this well-loved Brooklyn eatery has been praised by NY foodies and food critics many times over. The Seersucker Tuesday night fried chicken special is already popular, and now they’ve introduced $17 Meat & 3 Mondays. There’s a menu of meat specials (meatloaf, country ham, stew, etc.) and sides (collard greens, grits, mac & cheese, green bean casserole, etc.). You pick one meat and three sides. Simple, right? The hard part is going to be deciding what to pick. They’ll also serve cornbread and all you can drink sweet tea. The menu changes weekly, but you can check out Zagat here to see what the usual fare is like. If that’s not enough to get you there, Dixie Beers are just $3.

Go: Seersucker (Chef Rob Newton) 329 Smith Street between Carroll and President, Brooklyn, NY 11231
*Coffee: Mon-Fri, 8-3 *Lunch: Mon-Fri, 11-3 *Dinner: 6-10:30 seven nights a week *Mondays: Meat & 3 *Tuesdays: Fried Chicken *Brunch: Sundays 11-3

Twitter: @seersuckerbklyn

$1 coffee smoothies at Jamba Juice
August 19, 2010, 1:06 pm
Filed under: Drink | Tags: , , , , ,

I’m doublefisting $1 chai & green tea smoothies from Jamba Juice in SoHo. Today 8/19 only, all coffee, mocha, chai, and matcha green tea smoothies (16 oz.) with free boost are at $1 apiece. Limit 2 per customer. $2 for lunch? Yes, please.

Sushi UO’s $20.10 Restaurant Week Dinner Menu
July 22, 2010, 12:31 pm
Filed under: Eat | Tags: , , , , ,

[tweetmeme]Sushi UO for dinner again. This $20.10 3-course set menu is awesome. This week only!LES speakeasy-style sushi den Sushi UO has an appropriately underground Restaurant Week menu through Saturday, July 24 (closed Sundays). It’s not listed on the NYC RW website because they’re not officially participating, but they are definitely running a simultaneous promotional prix-fixe menu for $20.10, which is way better than the $35 dinner for participating RW restos. Now you, too, can dine like Lady Gaga, Michael Stipe, and Drake (all spotted dining at UO in the past 4 months) without going broke. In two trips with friends, I’ve tried all of the apps and many of the mains. And I still want to go one more time.

Sushi UO Restaurant Week Menu 2010

First course:

  • Miso consomee with heirloom tomatoes and house-made tofu. Excellent. I would come to eat this soup alone. The miso is strained to remove the cloudy soy particles and there are tiny bits of heirloom tomatoes floating in this clear broth. The house-made tofu is served cold in a separate bowl, and you are encouraged to try the consomee and tofu separately before having them together. The tofu is silky smooth and clean in flavor. More courses after the jump.

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