eat. shop. love. nyc.

Curried lentils with fried egg
March 15, 2011, 9:45 am
Filed under: Cook | Tags: , , , , ,

I had breakfast at the Breslin one morning last year and decided to go with the curried lentils served with a poached egg, some mesclun, and a toast. The toast was vicious – like they had taken too-stale bread and attempted to revive it – but the combination of curried lentils and egg remains a favorite for me, and it’s so easy to make at home!

Ingredients (makes 4 quarts):

  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 ribs of celery, chopped
  • 1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes or 2-3 fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 cups water or vegetable broth – I used 5 cups of water plus 5 Maggi veggie bouillon cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups whole lentils
  • 1 tablespoon of soybean or other oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon of cumin – I used a mix of cumin seeds and ground cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon of madras curry powder
  • 1/3 tablespoon of coriander powder
  • 1/3 tablespoon of turmeric powder
  • 1/3 tablespoon of paprika
  • 1/8 tablespoon of garam masala
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat oil in a frying pan and add the onions and garlic. Sautee over medium heat for 3-5 minutes, until onions become translucent.
  2. Add all of the spices (cumin, curry, coriander, turmeric, paprika, garam masala) to the sauteed onions and garlic. If you’re missing any of the last three, it’s not a big deal. Just add more cumin, coriander, and curry powder to compensate.
  3. Throw all of the remaining ingredients and sauteed onions and garlic in the slow cooker. Set it on low if you are leaving it all day, high if you are starting it around lunchtime.
  4. The curried lentils should have some soup, but will be very thick. I like to cook it down until most of the water has evaporated and you get a sort of gruel-like texture, but you don’t necessarily need to let it go that long.
  5. Fry an egg, sunny side up, and salt lightly. Serve curried lentils in a bowl, and top with the fried egg. Dust with paprika if desired. If you’re not allergic to carbs, a side of toast is a nice addition.

Solid breakfast sandwich at Zaitzeff
January 28, 2011, 11:01 am
Filed under: Eat | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Zaitzeff is best known for its juicy Kobe beef burgers, but what you probably didn’t know is that they have a really delicious egg and cheese breakfast sandwich that is $4.75. It’s made with organic eggs and melted cheddar cheese, and you can request tomatoes, avocado, or bacon. I just requested Tabasco.


The bacon here is not nearly as delicious as the bacon at Frankie’s/Cafe Pedlar at 17 Clinton St. just on the other side of Houston, but the eggs are cooked much better than at Frankie’s (just cooked, not overcooked), and I like the Portuguese bun better than an English muffin or biscuit any day. On a street where you have several excellent breakfast sandwich options (Clinton St. Baking Co., Frankie’s/Cafe Pedlar), Zaitzeff is definitely one to try.

Eat: Zaitzeff (EV/LES) 18 Ave. B at 2nd St. Sun – Thu, 12 pm to 11:30 pm; Fri & Sat, 12 pm to 1:00 am. There are also locations in Financial District and Midtown.

Brunch & 5 courses of pig at ‘inoteca
October 17, 2010, 11:01 am
Filed under: Eat | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It can be tough to grab a seat at always-bustling ‘inoteca on the Lower East Side. The constant bustle is understandable. The small plates are tasty, and ‘inoteca offers a vast selection of wine, featuring over 600 selections by the bottle and 25 by the glass or half carafe from the many wine-making regions of Italy.

One trick for scoring a table is to go for brunch instead of trying to elbow your way in at dinnertime. Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday from 10:00am until 4:00pm, which is earlier than most LES restaurants which open at 11 or noon. Click here for the menu (scroll down for brunch under Prima Colazione).

My brunch go-to is the truffled egg toast ($9), which is essentially a fancy bird in a nest – just better bread with better cheese and a richer, truffle-oil laced egg served with bits of asparagus. Asparagus, eggs, and parmesan cheese are a combination sent from the heavens. You just can’t go wrong. Add truffle oil and some crusty bread and the combination is elevated to something otherworldly.

If you’re in the mood for something a bit heartier, go with the egg bollito (beef) or egg porchetta (pork). It’s an open-faced egg and meat sandwich, but the meat is so well seasoned and one whiff of the herbs will get you salivating.

If you’re in the mood for lighter fare, there’s also the warm farro with roasted fruit. Yum! And of course, it’s breakfast, so why shouldn’t you have a mimosa or some prosecco to wash it all down?

If you’ve got your heart set on dinner, you can take your chances with trying to fanagle a table sans reservation, or you can sign up for one the upcoming pig-centric dinners. Starting in October, the ‘ino restaurant group will be hosting a five-course dinner highlighting the choicest cuts of their Raven and Boar Farm pig prepared according to various Italian regional cooking styles. The first dinner is Tuscan-themed and takes place tomorrow at corsino, ‘inoteca will host an Emilia-Romagna themed dinner in November, and the third and final dinner will be Alto-Adige-themed at ‘inoteca e liquori bar in December.

  • corsino: Monday, October 18th, 8:00pm, Toscana
  • ‘inoteca: Monday, November 15th, 8:00pm, Emilia-Romagna
  • ‘inoteca e liquori bar: Monday, December 13th, 8:00pm, Alto-Adige

Tickets include the five-course dinner, wines paired with each course, tax and gratuity. The price is $160 per person. Additionally, if you’ve got money to blow and you love Italian cooking and more importantly, pork, then a ticket to all three dinners can be yours for the discounted price of $400.

Eat: ‘inoteca (LES) 98 Rivington at Ludlow, New York, NY 10002. (212) 614-0473

Asian “deviled” eggs
June 8, 2010, 3:15 pm
Filed under: Cook | Tags: , , , ,

My friend David lives in the relatively unspoiled and supremely fertile Tasmania, and it allows him access to a wide variety of fresh organic produce from all over the world that is grown locally.

He sent me the following note some weeks ago:

Hey you! Try this: Hard boil some free range eggs and quarter them lengthwise. Lay them side by side on a long dish. Dris them in Tamari, Japanese mayo, dots of wasabi and then sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and toasted granuated garlic. I think it looks as good as it tastes! Ciao!

His is definitely a Japanese “deviled” egg. I only just got around to testing out my own version based on ingredients I had on hand, and I am admittedly lacking in my presentation skills so it didn’t turn out nearly as nicely as I imagine David’s did. Not only do I lack imagination, I lack counter space, and I also lack photogenic dishware and a camera with a decent low-light sensor. Forgive me.

It tasted great, though. Like an Asian deviled egg, though I didn’t remove the yolks and blend before returning them to the whites, so it’s “deviled” with bunny ears, not actually deviled. Recipe after the jump. Continue reading

Breakfast at the Breslin
June 3, 2010, 12:33 pm
Filed under: Eat | Tags: , , , ,

One early Thursday morning, my beloved Meggo breezed into town from LA for a wedding. I woke up at 6 am to meet her for breakfast at 7 am, and selected the Breslin at the Ace Hotel because (a) it’s hot right now and (b) it’s one of the only breakfast places open at 7 am on a weekday that is not a 24-hour diner setup. Only the best for my Megs.

She had the frittata, which was reportedly excellent. I have one of those iron stomachs – I can eat anything for breakfast, be it ramen, steak, pasta, pizza, seafood, or, in this particular morning’s case, poached eggs with curried lentils and toast.

Mmm, curry for breakfast. The poached eggs were deliciously oozy, and the curried lentils served as an exotic and aromatic kick start to my morning. And who doesn’t love cilantro? (Pardon the harsh lighting in the photo – blame my BlackBerry.)

At 7 am, the Breslin was a ghost town. We were the first people there, but by 8 am, the place was abuzz with hotel guests and local business people trying to squeeze in an early meal. At the table next to me was a group of pretty young gals, fabulously dressed and presumably having some kind of power breakfast work meeting. They were sitting so close to us that we could hear every bit of their conversation… so if you’re worried about people overhearing you, don’t have breakfast at the Breslin. If you’re interested in having something out of the ordinary for breakfast, and you want to impress your guests with how trendy you are and be somewhere that’s not a diner for a morning meeting, the Breslin is a solid choice.