eat. shop. love. nyc.

Spotted Pig burger 0: striped bass 1
September 28, 2010, 9:34 am
Filed under: Drink, Eat | Tags: , , , , , , ,

I was really looking forward to trying the much raved-about burger at The Spotted Pig over in the West Village. Maybe my expectations were too high. Maybe it was an off day. Whatever the case, I was underwhelmed.

The $17 Chargrilled Burger with Roquefort Cheese & Shoestrings seems like it should be delicious, meaty, rich and Roquefort-y. Meaty it was, and it was mostly good, but there was just not enough juice dribbling out of the meat (medium rare wasn’t rare enough), not enough salt, and not enough Roquefort. Look at that Roquefort. Doesn’t it look sad? Meager? Overwhelmed by the massive amount of meat? The meat itself was underseasoned and could have used a larger dollop of cheese for sure. The shoestring fries were crispy and delicious with rosemary and crunchy little garlic slivers, and I shoveled the fries into my mouth by the handful.

And then there was the striped bass.

The striped bass redeemed it all. How they got the crust on that bass without overcooking or drying out the fish will never cease to amaze me. Pan Roasted Striped Bass with Tomatoes & Saffron, $28. There were no tomatoes on the plate and to be honest, I can’t really remember tasting any hint of tomato, but the saffron-infused sauce lent a slightly sweet, slightly bitter complexity. A little more tomato might have been nice for some acidity, but man, oh, man, was that fish cooked to perfection or what.

The Spotted Pig is cozy, welcoming, and it has a small but tasty selection of beer, including their home-brewed cask ale. I’d recommend you check it out, but you might want to ask them to be a bit more generous with the Roquefort.


Bone Marrow Madness in NYC

I truly love bone marrow. I grew up eating it mostly in Korean seolleongtang soup and other beef or oxtail broths or sucked out of galbi bones, but as an adult, my eyes were opened to the joys of roasted bone marrow. I had been scrolling through my Twitter feed when I saw this tweet from Michael Voltaggio:

“Colicchio and sons bone marrow with anchovy, need I say more! Great dish..

I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t post about bone marrow earlier (this blog had been saved in “drafts”), as it seems Yelpers have now beaten me to the punch and now I just look like I’m just hopping on the marrow wagon when I’ve been a longtime passenger. Whatever the case, I thought I’d get to typing and put together a little bone marrow roundup for y’all.

I recently had the bone marrow at Jo’s, which is cut lengthwise and topped with anchovies and crusty parsley bread. The anchovy adds another level of complexity that elevates the bone marrow from something that’s already great to something even better.

Still, there’s something to be said for the simplicity of roasted marrow served on its own, with nothing to detract or distract from its ooey gooey rich and fatty goodness. The marrow at Prune is served just this way, the bone served intact and upright with a side of salt and fresh parsley.

Here’s a list of restaurants in NYC where you can try bone marrow different ways. If you try any, let me know what you think! Full list of roasted marrow and marrow soup restos after the jump: Continue reading

NYC Oyster Happy Hour Roundup

[tweetmeme]Another reason to love living in NYC – oyster happy hours! Below is a list of restaurants in lower Manhattan (sorry, I rarely make it uptown) where you can find great oyster and/or drink specials during happy hour:

Oyster happy hours I have tried:

  • Jo’s (Nolita/SoHo. 264 Elizabeth St. at Houston. 212.966.9640) My fave oyster happy hour. Dimly lit restaurant with $1 oyster happy hour (and $4 beers on tap, $5 well drinks, $7 select wine) weeknights from 5-8pm, only available in the bar room which has seating at the bar and along the walls (can accommodate groups of 4-6 at the tables). Service is slow if you’re not seated at the bar, so you’ll have to go to the bar to order and to pay. Oysters change daily depending on what the fishmonger brings by – I’ve had Blue Points and Miyagis here. Jo’s isn’t crowded on weeknights, happy hour goes until 8 pm, and the people here are awesome.
  • Lure Fishbar (SoHo. 142 Mercer St. at Prince. 212.431.7676) Stellar happy hour from 5-7pm on weeknights, at bar area only. Arrive early to grab seats as it gets really busy, you may have to throw some elbows to place your order at the bar. $1 oysters and $1 littleneck clams are the best bet; top quality oysters. See happy hour menu here. Shrimp tempura with black sesame seeds is delish. Do not get the lobster croutons. You’ll be sad when you realize there are 4 extremely teeny (MAYbe 1cm squared) cubes. Select beer $5, select wine $6, and select cocktails $7.
  • Essex (LES. 120 Essex Street, entrance on Rivington. 212.533.9616) On Mondays and Thursdays, $1 oysters all night and half price drinks (except for pitchers) from 6-9pm. I think that makes the beers $3, the wine $4, and most cocktails $5-$6. The oysters are decent, but not as good as Lure’s or Jo’s. Still, it’s a great location for grabbing a drink and a snack before doing a Thursday night out in LES, and you really can’t complain when you get to drink an Ommegang brew for $3. Also, this is a huge space, and can accommodate large groups.
  • Bondi Road (LES. 153 Rivington St. between Suffolk and Clinton. 212.253.5311) If quantity is more important to you than quality, and you like shrimp cocktail, then this is the place you will want to be spending your Thursday night. On Thursdays, Bondi Road does all you can eat raw oysters, shrimp, and Oysters Rockefeller (though I have read that sometimes they have oyster shooters instead) for just $9.99. Of course, they will try to convince you to take the $20 all you can drink for 2 hours deal on the side, but you can politely decline and just order as many beverages as you need.
  • Ulysses Folk House (Financial District. 95 Pearl Street between Coenties Aly & Hanover Sq. 212.482.0400‎) This is not really for happy hour, but Ulysses does have an all you can eat Sunday brunch that includes all you can eat oysters on the half shell for $20, along with fruits, breads, cheese and crackers, bagels and lox, sausages, corned beef, roast beef, ham, turkey, potatoes, veggies, salads… and a dessert tray. It also includes a Guinness, a (not very tasty) bloody mary, or a mimosa. It’s best in warm weather when you can eat outside at the picnic tables on the cobblestone street, but don’t expect 5 star food.

Oyster happy hours I have yet to try: Continue reading

Jamie Lidell and me
September 13, 2009, 11:28 pm
Filed under: Listen, Love | Tags: , , ,

Jamie Lidell Me

So I get a chance to take a pic with Jamie Lidell as he’s leaving Le Poisson Rouge and after so many years of practice, my self-photography failed me right at that moment. Of all the times for my aim to be off… sadness.

He was clearly trying to skedaddle, but was so gracious when I asked for a picture. Heart!

Jamie Lidell at Poisson Rouge
September 4, 2009, 12:45 pm
Filed under: Do, Listen, Watch | Tags: , , , ,

And I’m going! When I saw the Jamie Lidell show last summer, I was completely blown away by his spirited, jazzy, funky, high energy R&B electronica. It was seriously the most fun I’ve ever had at a show, what with all the crazy lighting and deejay tricks, and I can’t wait to see him again at Le Poisson Rouge at 158 Bleecker Street (West Village) tomorrow night (Saturday, Sept. 5). Click the image on the right for more info.

$20 advance purchase Click here to buy tickets
$22 at the door and same day

He’ll be performing a solo show, and Born Ruffians and Hundred in the Hands will also be playing at other times during the night.

$25 gift certificates for $2 on
August 21, 2009, 2:14 pm
Filed under: Eat | Tags: , , , , ,

Update: Now 80% off (instead of 70% off as per the post below.)

$2 — $25 NYC Restaurant Gift Certificates, 80% OFF* new

Last Update: 8/26/2009, 1:01 AM ET

1200+ Restaurants in New York

Through Aug. 31

By Kevin Kitchen
Travelzoo Staff just released a new sale on restaurant certificates that cuts an additional 80% OFF already reduced prices. For purchases made by Aug. 31, $25 certificates are just $2 nationwide.

The offer features certificates for 1200+ restaurants in New York, including popular spots throughout the city. Below are a small sample of restaurants included in this sale, but many other restaurants both locally and nationwide are available that fit every taste.

  • A. J. Maxwell’s Steakhouse
  • Ethos
  • Neo
  • Esca
  • Mars 2112
  • City Lobster & Steak
  • Salt
  • Bamboo 52

Other denominations are also available for some restaurants and certain restrictions apply like a minimum food purchase (usually $35 or more). These certificates are limited and can sell out quickly.

This offer expires August 31.

To purchase:

  1. Click here and enter a zip code or pick a state to find the local participating restaurants
  2. Select the gift certificate amount (if more than one choice is available), then add it to the cart
  3. Upon checking out, enter the discount code SAVE on the Shopping Cart page
  4. After completing the transaction print out the gift certificates to take to the restaurant Continue reading