Showing posts with label new york. Show all posts
Showing posts with label new york. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Chef Dan Barber Tackles Food Waste with Delicious Fare

I don't often have guest bloggers that I don't assign a particular restaurant write for my blog, but food waste is a problem that I've always been interested in. America waste 70 billion pounds of food each year. Let that number sink in a bit. Ashley is also passionate about this issue, so I agreed to have her publish a post here to promote what she's trying to do in educating people on food waste!
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This blog post originally appeared on Ending Food Waste (http://www.endingfoodwaste.co) and is written by Ashley Gelineau (http://www.endingfoodwaste.co/your-foodprint-and-how-to-reduce-it-with-ashley), a food activist looking to educate people on food waste and its impact on the environment.

In many cultures, cooking with food remnants that we in the United States deem ‘waste food' is common, and often encouraged. Home and professional chefs around the world have been creating delicious meals from whatever they have for years; this isn’t anything new. That said, many of us in America simply haven’t experienced the marvels of making something tasty out of scraps when it comes to food. 

In a recent article by The Guardian A chef’s Manifesto: Let’s Tackle Food Waste with Good Fare (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/world-on-a-plate/2015/oct/30/a-chefs-manifesto-lets-tackle-food-waste-with-good-fare), Dan Barber’s philosophy on this exact matter is brought to light. The article states, "Waste is central to Dan Barber’s cooking, and yet, he’d rather you didn’t sense that when you eat it. In fact, if you’re experiencing anything other than sublime thoughts when you taste his food, he’ll consider it an unsuccessful dish.”

Dan Barber is the executive chef at the famous Bluehill Restaurant in Manhattan, as well as Stone Barns in upstate New York.  He recently released a book called The Third Plate, in which he writes about sustainable cuisine practices that explains his core belief; stop TELLING people to cut food waste and start using it to make irresistibly delicious dishes.  To attain this goal, he transformed his restaurant into a pop-up called wastED. The menu contained “fried-skate-wing-cartilage” , “pock-marked potatoes” and “carrot-top marmalade."

Many Cultures Use ‘Waste Food’, Why Not America?

Barber claims that America is an anomaly because we’re such a young country. “…When we came over here we had all these virgin soils. You’d put a seed in the ground and it became a garden of eden. We’ve never been forced into the kind of negotiation where we develop dishes that take full advantage of what the landscape can provide. In many other parts of the world the idea of a waste dinner wouldn’t be possible, or if it were possible it would be appealing to the very elite and wealthy [because ‘waste food’ doesn’t really exist].”  It’s in a chef’s DNA to turn something that is ugly or uncoveted into something that is delicious and desirable for the ‘eater.’ Cultures around the globe have been doing this since the dawn of time; it’s time for America to follow in their footsteps.

Back in September, Barber and Sam Kass (former senior advisor for nutrition policy at the White House), made headlines when they served waste food to world leaders in a meeting at the United Nations. The menu? A vegetable burger made of the pulp left over from juicing and fries created from the starchy corn that would typically go into animal feed. “It’s the prototypical American meal but turned on its head. Instead of the beef, we’re going to eat the corn that feeds the beef,” said Barber.  http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-09-28/world-leaders-given-trash-to-eat-at-un-to-highlight-food-wastage/6808838

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Lunch Prix Fixe at Mario Batali's Del Posto (New York, NY)

One of the things I love about New York is the lunch prix fixes, allowing you to try some of the city's best restaurants for a lot less money. When I went with my mom and my aunt last time, we tried Del Posto's lunch: $49 for three courses (with an option to add pasta for $10). With three of us, we got to try a lot of things!

The lunch started with some complimentary finger sandwiches and Cauliflower soup

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Bread service
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The menu at Del Posto is seasonal, of course, though you might still find some mainstays like this
Vitello Tonnato (olive crostone, caper shoots, lime cells, lemon basil)
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Vitello tonnato is a Piedmontese dish of veal slices served in a creamy tuna sauce.

Cotechino (stewed pistachios, chopped Preboggion - that's just mixed green leafy vegetables)
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Cotechino is a pork sausage, but the distinction is that this pork sausage is typically made by boiling over low heat for a few hours. It gives a softer flavor than many other charcuterie.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

10th Anniversary Celebration for Jean Georges' Spice Market (New York, NY)

Jean-Georges' Spice Market recently celebrated their 10th anniversary. It doesn't seem to have been that long since he opened this Southeast Asian spot in Meatpacking district! I sent over a couple of guest writers to cover 10th anniversary party, and you can read about their experience below:

by Michael Judice and Cathryn Hunt

When we received our invitation to a party at the Spice Market we were excited and grateful to attend. We were honored to do our duty in tasting every dish offered, in service of the greater good. The neighborhood isn’t our usual vibe or budget, but we jumped at the chance to taste some good food and decided to approach it with open minds, sharpened senses, and willing palates.

Upon entering the space we were taken aback by the low lighting, and décor that could easily be oversimplified as rustic. Indirectly lit copper pendants accented the rough-hewn exposed wood beams. This gave the space an overall glow of firelight. This feeling of warmth also seemed to radiate from the choice of colors used in the décor.

Spice Market

Friday, June 8, 2012

Anchor Bar (Buffalo, NY): Home of the Original Buffalo Wings

Anchor Bar may no longer be the best place to go for buffalo wings in Buffalo, NY, but it will forever be the place where the wings were first invented. Naturally it still draws plenty of tourists; it's after all fun to go to "the home of the original buffalo wings!"

The buffalo wings were said to have been invented by Teressa Bellissimo in 1964, when she served them to her son and his college friends late one night. Now, there's a 15-30 minute wait for a table. Photos of celebrities at Anchor Bar and articles fill the walls. Shot glasses and t shirts are available as souvenirs.

We got a "bucket" of 50 wings ($39) to share among 8 people. I was worried about the spiciness and we ended up ordering a "medium" which the waitress said had a good kick to it but wasn't too spicy. Well ... the "medium" was actually super mild ... even for me!

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The skin on the wings were nice and crunchy, but we could barely taste the buffalo sauce. They were still good wings, but towards the end of the bucket, I decided to ask the waitress for extra hot sauce. It was much more flavorful with the hot sauce, but she charged us for it.
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Monday, April 2, 2012

Pre-Theatre Prix Fixe at Boulud Sud (New York, NY)

Early in the evening, Daniel Boulud's new Mediterranean restaurant, Boulud Sud, has a pre-theatre prix fixe menu, three courses for $55. Since I was going to see War Horse and the restaurant was just a stone's throw away from the Lincoln Center, I thought it would be a perfect time to check it out.

The restaurant was pretty full when we got there, but it was still quiet enough to hold a conversation.

Bread
The "bread", of course, was Mediterranean. 
For my first course, I ordered the Octopus a la plancha with marcona almonds, arugula, Jerez vinegar
Octopus
I liked how the subtle accompaniments showcase the flavors of the octopus itself, which also had a great texture.

My companion ordered the House made lamb kibbeh, swiss chard, feta, pine nuts
Lamb Kibbeh
It was not what he expected, apparently. It was good but I thought it was a little dry and we both preferred the octopus.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Junoon, a Michelin-starred Indian? (New York)

An Indian restaurant with a Michelin star? I couldn't really imagine it with the Indian places in LA, but I'm sure London would have plenty great restaurants and it seems like NYC is trying to catch up with Chef Vikas Khanna's Junoon.

Lunch was a great opportunity to dip our feet into Junoon, with their $24 deal for 3 course prix-fixe (limited menu) or $38 for 3 course a la carte prix-fixe (can order from the entire menu). The spacious and lavish decor is certainly Michelin-star worthy.

I was curious about the dishes on the regular menu, so I had the a la carte prix fixe while my companions ordered the $24 deal. For the appetizer, I went with the Adraki Bater (quail marinated in cumin, ginger juice, and lime juice)

Adraki Bater
These tandoori quail may be my favorite dish that we tried. It was both interesting and very flavorful and moist.

DestinationEats ordered the Piri Piri Shrimp in a Goan chili sauce with avocado and jicama salad
PiriPiri Shrimp
Not as spicy as Indian food can be but packed with spices nonetheless, and the shrimp were well cooked.

Friday, January 13, 2012

La Mar Cebicheria (New York)

The first time I visited La Mar in Lima, Peru, I fell in love. With ceviche, with causa, with Peruvian rice. We loved it so much we went back for a last meal before we left Peru. I was very excited when La Mar in San Francisco opened. Alas, I was disappointed - I think the service (and lack thereof) contributed to my bad impression (I received the wrong ceviche and when I told his waiter, his response was "ok". No apology and no correction was made).

I gave La Mar in the US another try with the New York location, where the kitchen is managed by executive chef Victoriano Lopez who was Gaston Acurio's right hand man for almost twenty years. Unlike the casual, outdoor Lima location, the New York La Mar is lavish and posh.

We started with the Cebiche tasting, pre-set to consist of three types: elegance, popular, and nikei cebiche) - $28

Ceviche sampler
The "elegance" was a cebiche with warm water fluke, red onions, Peruvian corn, and yam in a "leche de tigre of five elements" - whatever the five elements are. The "popular" had salmon, shrimp, and Spanish day-boat octopus in a green leche de tigre with crispy calamari. The "nikei" is reminiscent of an ahi poke, made with yellowfin tuna, red onion, cucumber, daikon, avocado, and nori in a tamarind leche de tigre.

All three of the ceviches were very good, with all of us having different favorites (mine was the "popular"). On the other hand, for the price the portions were really small. Since there were four of us, it was definitely not enough and we had to get a full order. I wanted to try something different so we ordered the Limeno cebiche (fluke, Spanish day boat octopus, calamari, scallops, blue shrimp, in aji limo leche de tigre) - $19
Limone Cebiche
The seafood used was really fresh and unlike many ceviches I had in LA where the leche de tigre is so tart, we even drank the ones here by the spoonfuls even when the fish was finished.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Di Fara Pizza (Brooklyn, NY)

Domenico DeMarco opened Di Fara Pizza in Brooklyn in 1964 and has been manning the oven ever since, personally crafting your pies to order, sprinkling the basil and drizzling olive oil for that perfect thin crust pizza. He's 74 now and still the only one responsible for your pizzas.

Di Fara Pizza
Despite numerous visits to New York over the years, I have yet been to a first rate pizza place. Last year, I finally decided to go to Di Fara, perhaps one of the quintessential New York pizza joints, a 30 minute subway ride from Manhattan. I was joined by Tiny Nancer, who had recently relocated there.

The wait isn't that long to order, but it takes a while for your pizza to be ready, as there's only one man making all of them. It's well worth it, though.
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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Pastrami Pilgrimage to Katz's Deli (New York)

After finally trying the pastrami sandwich at Langer's Deli in downtown LA and falling in love with it, I decided it was time to make my way to the famous Katz's Deli in New York.


They give you a card when you come in that you have to return upon leaving. The ordering system was confusing to me, and apparently there is a special seating area for table service only. I hadn't realized this and had already ordered from the counter, so I sat in the back area. It was fun seeing plastic tubs filled with blobs of meat leaving the kitchen, though.

Yes, this is another Katz vs. Langer's comparison, so I'll make it short.

Katz' Pastrami
While it was undoubtedly good pastrami, I definitely preferred Langer's. The pastrami at Langer's is fattier and thus more tender and flavorful. The cheese and cole slaw in Langer's #19 are definitely pluses and the bread is better there as well. Sorry New York Katz's lovers, methinks you lost this one ...

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Katz's Deli
205 E Houston St
New York, NY 10002
(212) 254-2246
www.katzdeli.com
Katz's Deli on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

New York Giveaway! A Pair of Tickets to A Taste of Home

Hey New York readers! Here's a chance for you to win a pair of tickets to A Taste of Home: A Chef Tasting and Benefit Party hosted by Alex Guarnaschelli.

A Taste of Home is a benefit put on by Housing Works Bookstore Café and hosted by Alex Guarnaschelli, Executive Chef of Butter Restaurant and The Darby, and host of Food Network’s Alex’s Day Off.
All proceeds from the event goes to the Housing Works Mission of fighting AIDS and homelessness.

The event will also feature food by:
* Brad Farmerie, Executive Chef of PUBLIC, The Monday Room, Double Crown and Madam Geneva
* Colleen Grapes, Pastry Chef, The Red Cat and The Harrison
* Luis Nieto, Executive Chef, The Palm Tribeca
* And our own Tessa Liebman, Executive Chef of The Works Catering.

To ensure good times, there will also be Hendrick’s Gin cocktails, wine by Broadbent Selections, beer by Whole Foods, and Intelligentsia Coffee.

The deets: 
Tuesday, March 29, 2011 at 7:00 PM
Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, 126 Crosby Street, New York, NY 10012
(212)334-3324

Tickets are usually $65 or $100 VIP ticket which includes a private hour (6–7pm) to mingle with the chefs over wine and cheese. But all you have to do is leave a comment below with your email to win a pair of tickets! Tweet about the giveaway (and let me know via a comment) for an extra entry.

The giveaway closes 11:59 PM next Tuesday, March 22nd.

If you don't win but want to attend, you can always buy tickets here.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

New York

New York City

Azalea
Bouley **
Boulud Sud (pre-theatre prix fixe)
Center Cut
Del Posto (lunch prix fixe)
Dessert Truck
Di Fara Pizza (Brooklyn)
Eleven Madison Park *
Gramercy Tavern *
Ippudo
Jean Georges ***
Junoon
Katz's Deli
La Mar Cebicheria
Le Bernardin ***
M. Wells (Queens/Long Island City)
Marea *
Momofuku Noodle Bar
Russ and Daughters
The Stanton Social
Yakitori Totto

Buffalo

Anchor Bar

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

M. Wells Diner: A Real Gem in Queens

As the end of the year nears, it's time that I blog about one of the best things I ate this year. It was inarguably the best dish I had in New York this year, although I had great meals are Lincoln, Marea, Di Fara, and Osteria Morini. It's the mussel hash from M. Wells diner in Queens. A nicely browned stack of hashbrowns is topped with tender braised brisket, fresh, perfectly cooked mussels, and a runny poached egg drizzled with an unusual and exceptional scallion dressing.

Mussel Hash at M Wells

I had the same reaction as my friend whom I asked to accompany me to M. Wells. Going all the way to Queens for a diner?

Friday, June 4, 2010

Real New York Bagel and Lox, at its Best

Anthony Bourdain listed it as one of the 13 places to eat before he dies, but this place goes beyond that. Russ & Daughters has been a specialty purveyor since 1914 and this institution has been handed down four generations of the Russ family.

You can get their smoked fish to go, or some caviar, or a gift package. Bourdain talks about their traditional Jewish style herring and their smoked sable. Me, I was there to grab a bagel and lox for my flight back home. I didn't think I should attempt taking herring on the plane and eating it. (Should I?)

There's always a line to order, and when you get to the front you better know what you want. Which can be difficult. Very difficult.

The bagel: plain, onion, everything, sesame, etc?
The cream cheese: plain, scallion, tofu, or - if you want to be extra indulgent - caviar?
The lox: Scottish, Nova, Norwegian?

I wanted to focus on the cream cheese and lox, didn't want to splurge extra, and for bagel it's always scottish salmon for me, so this is what I ended up with:

Plain bagel, scallion cream cheese, scottish smoked salmon

Priced around $9, how was it? First, the bagel. It was the only bagel I ate in New York and it was better than the ones in L.A. Anything better in NYC? Probably, I wouldn't know. The scottish salmon was of course excellent. Russ & Daughters definitely acquired high quality products for their smoked fish. But I can get high quality lox elsewhere, so in the end, it's all about the cream cheese for me. It wasn't just the variety, it's the fresh double-whipped creamy spread, with the fresh chopped scallions.

Was it worth the $9? Oh yes.
(Was it worth the extra cab fare for the detour between Times Square and JFK, plus the wait time while I get the food? Well ... maybe if I had walked down the street for Katz also, because that ended up being one expensive cab fare :P )

Russ & Daughters
179 E Houston St
New York, NY 10002
(212) 475-4880
www.russanddaughters.com
Russ & Daughters on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

NYC: Eleven Madison Park Tasting Menu

The best dinner of my last NYC trip? Easy. Eleven Madison Park.

"Taste of Autumn" menu - $125 (yes, this was back in late November - a belated post) in a art deco dining room with magnificently high ceilings. It's quiet, it's classy. Frank Bruni gave Executive Chef Daniel Humm's food four stars before leaving NY Times, so I came with high expectations. Luckily, they were met.

Warm gougeres to start the meal that will be marked by courteous and professional service.

A plate of pretty and whimsical amuse bouches came immediately after: beet marshmallow, foie gras pate, fried sweetbread mini come (and another which escapes me at the moment).

Hawaiian Prawns Roulade with avocado, lime, and yogurt
First impression: gorgeous. Lasting impression: a delicious play of crisp prawns and the smooth and creamy avocado, both of which were so fresh their flavors scarcely needed the yogurt.

Sea urchin cappuccino with Peekytoe crab.
The uni here contributed to a rich creaminess, but the flavor did not come out as strongly (to the delight of my companion, who didn't like uni all that much).

Dover Sole. Slow cooked with Matsutake sabayon and Nasturtium.
Firm yet moist and tender, the Dover Sole's texture was little overwhelmed by the creamy sabayon, but the flavors worked quite well.

Four Story Hill Farm Suckling Pig Confit with spiced plum chutney, cipollini onions and cider jus.
Tender confit topped with crisped crunchy skin. The spiced plum chutney was both interesting and had nice flavors, but was perhaps unnecessary for this confit. The combination was a bit too rich and sweet. Regardless, the confit itself was excellent.

Millbrook Farms Venison, herb roasted with gingerbread puree, porcini, and black mission figs.
See how pink it is in the center? Loved it. It's tender, it's almost rare, it's a little gamey, it's perfect. The venison and the figs were a winning combination.

As a palate cleanser, "Kir Royale" on a ceramic pillow. Cassis, meringue, champagne emulsion.
A light palate cleanser that did its job nicely.
Oh and that ceramic pillow almost fooled me. Good thing I didn't break it :P

Araguani Chocolate Ganache with Sweet Potato Dauphine and Chestnut Honey.
A rich and decadent Valrhona ganache will get my vote anytime, but the sweet potato dauphine was surprisingly good for me who was never all that big on sweet potato (I like it but I don't love it like many people I know).

Mignardises involved macarons and chocolates.
Some of the macaron flavors were almost as whimsical as the amuse bouches: violet, peanut butter and jelly, black sesame.
The chocolate truffles also involved me going "Ohh, hmm ..." when they asked me which flavors I wanted.

A box of fruit jelly for the ladies to take home. My snack for the next two days.

It wasn't just the food. It was the space, the service. After rushing around the city, I felt calm and relaxed dining here, but never were we waiting too long for the next course slightly annoyed. The food itself deserved three or four stars. One Michelin star? If you ask me I'd give them at least two.


Eleven Madison Park

11 Madison Ave
New York, NY 10010
(212) 889-0905
www.elevenmadisonpark.com
Eleven Madison Park on Urbanspoon
Eleven Madison Park in New York

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Hot and Soupy #2: Ippudo, NY. Best Ramen in the States

A New York trip calls for Ippudo - if you haven't been there, that is.
I met up with an LA blogger (now Destination Eats) who's relocated to NYC, and his girlfriend for lunch during my trip.
There was a 45 minute wait, so we went to Momofuku Milk Bar to get some goodies while waiting for a table, but Ippudo's staff wouldn't let us take our cookies into the dining area. We had to leave them in the staff closet to be picked up when we leave.

We had fun observing the wall of ramen bowls behind the bar, and wondered what would happen during an earthquake. Well, good thing they're not in California!
After a while we were called to be seated and walked through a fairly large dining room - much fancier than other ramen joints I've been too, but I guess this is a popular spot in NY after all.

I've heard good things about their pork buns, so we ordered some. But beware although at the bar you can order them for $4 each, when you're seated at a table you have to order two at a time for $8! Why? Who knows. Because they want to?
Some people may kill me for this, but I actually liked Momofuku's pork buns better ...
The problem with these are the mayonnaise. Too much mayonnaise that it overwhelms the pork flavor. While the oyster sauce in Momofuku's pork buns are reminiscent of Beijing duck, mayonnaise just reminded me of ...well ... sandwiches?

But the main attraction here is the ramen. I ordered the Akamaru Modern ($14)
Akamaru means 'red circle,' Destination Eats' girlfriend explained to me. The red circle most likely referred the dollop of spicy miso paste in the middle.

Some food porn shots for you: thin straight noodles in true Hakata-style, thick chashu, medium boiled eggs.
This was indeed an excellent bowl of ramen. I liked the firm Hakata thin noodles, the tonkotsu broth is rich and flavorful, the chashu thick and succulent, and the half boiled eggs added an extra texture that neither poached nor hard boiled egg can. It is indeed a magnificent bowl of ramen that hints of the gloriousness that you might get at the original Hakata outpost.

The $14 price tag aside, the attitude about the pork bun ordering and taking cookies in aside, this was conceivably the best bowl of ramen I've had in the US. Whether or not you should pay $14 for a bowl of ramen, though (even if you are in New York), is entirely your decision.

Ippudo
65 4th Ave
New York, NY 10003
(212) 388-0088
www.ippudo.com/ny/
Ippudo on Urbanspoon
Ippudo in New York

Saturday, May 30, 2009

NYC: Gramercy Tavern

I've been making my Michelin rounds in NYC. Gramercy Tavern was another amazing dinner from my last NYC trip back in November. With a much more casual ambiance than Jean Georges or Le Bernardin, this was the perfect choice for our big group dinner, as we can all talk and enjoy ourselves.

Gramercy Tavern only had one big table (bigger than 6) so the only time we were able to snatch a reservation for 8 was at 5:45 pm since there was another party coming later that night. We stayed waaay late and felt bad for the incoming party, but they didn't rush us at all. Instead of the tasting menu, we went with the prix-fixe $86 for 3 courses.

As usual, some of the first courses made it around the table so we can all sample.
Veal Cappelletti (Cauliflower and sage)
Tender and flavorful veal with al dente pasta. I liked the slightly herb-y sauce due to the sage. In a cold night in NYC, this was one satisfying comfort food. This was a good start and a good intro to the Gramercy Tavern meal. Simple, flavorful, well-executed.

Black Tagliatelle (chorizo, mussels, and calamari)
The black tagliatelle is typically made black using squid or cuttlefish ink, which also adds another layer of flavor. I only had a bit of this dish but really enjoyed it. The calamari was nice and chewy and went very well with the pasta.

Lamb Pappardelle (Olives, lemon confit, swiss chard)
This was another great dish with shreds of tender lamb. It was very flavorful, if not a tad salty. As a warning, the last two pasta dish was definitely a little on the salty side, but not overwhelmingly so.

For my second course, I ordered the Sea Bass (spaghetti squash, sherry sauce)
This is rather unlike me to order a fish (instead of my usual red meat), but boy was I glad I did! In my opinion, this was the best dish of the night! The fish was very moist and had a great texture, and I absolutely loved how it paired with the spaghetti squash! Compared to the first courses, the sauce here is slightly more delicate but still has a lot of flavor. This was definitely a hit.

As far as desserts go, there were two that stand out. The first stood out because it's unique and interesting:
Coconut Tapioca (Passionfruit and coconut sorbet, passionfruit caramel, and cilantro syrup)
I thought this was a creative and well-executed dessert. The flavor is fairly light. I like the flavor combination - the cilantro added a refreshing kick for me (though I know some people don't like cilantro).

The second stood up simply because of how awesome it was:
Warm Chocolate Bread Pudding (Cacao Nib ice cream)
It was warm. It was a gooey rich chocolatey goodness. It was comfort food dessert to the max. Simply put, it was an amazing chocolate bread pudding.

We finished off with a nice little plate of petit fours.
Gramcercy Tavern was a no fuss meal. No foam, no spherical liquid. Just straight-up a delicious and satisfying meal you enjoy among friends. It's a total comfort food for me back in that freezing New York "fall".

Gramercy Tavern Reserve Now!
42 E 20th St
New York, NY 10003
(212) 477-0777
www.gramercytavern.com
Gramercy Tavern on Urbanspoon

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