My dear friend and restaurant publicist invited to a fabulous Italian restaurant in Upper East side...yes, a place no one really think of when it comes to a great Italian restaurant. Il Tesoro opened bit over a year ago and has already became a neighborhood favorite as well as many Italian cuisine lovers all over the city as well as neighboring boroughs.
レストラン関係の広報をしているバリバリのニューヨーカー、ミリアムの招待でアッパーイーストにあるイタリアンレストラン、Il Tesoroに行ってまいりました。 あまりこの辺りで飛び抜けて美味しいイタリアンって思い浮かばないのですが、これがなかなか。。。良いのです！
Always sassy and stylish.....a true New Yorker!
In addition to the spacy and cozy 2000 sq ft. main dining room which has been beautifully decorated by the chef/owner AJ Black, the 1500 sq ft wine cellar, Tuscon home style private room looks fabulous. Highly recommended for any kind of intimate gatherings.
２，０００sq ftのゆったりとしたメインダイニングルームはオーナーシェフ、AJ Blackさんのアーティストの奥様が素敵にデコレートしたそうです。写真は下にある１，５００sq ftもあるワインセラーをかねたプライベートルーム。これ又大きくて落ち着いたタスカニースタイル。素敵です。また結婚するなら、こんな所でレセプション。。とかフッと思ったりして。。。いかん、仕事、仕事。
The owner/chef AJ Black was born in Italy. His family ran a restaurant and he also was trained in Culinary Institute in Rome. He has another restaurant in Florida's Sanibel Island. He is such
a creative and charismatic chef who value tradition but welcomes new flavor and techniques.
He called it as "new classical". Well said!
オーナーシェフのAJ Blackさんはイタリアでレストランを経営する家庭に生まれ、ローマのカリナリーインスティチュートで修行。その後イタリアとアメリカで数個のレストランをオープンさせ、現在ではこことフロリダのサニベルアイランドにもう一つレストランを持っている。 伝統なイタリア料理に新しいアイディアと加えた、彼いわく、ニュークラシックスタイルのイタリアンを作り出している。彼自身もいくつかの本に掲載されているカリスマシェフだ。見かけより気さくな人でした。
Carpaccio Di Pesce
Thinly sliced wild salmon & yellow fin tuna topped with endive, blood orange, balsamic. Very unique and lovely combination of salmon and tuna. Great balance with not so overbearing blood orange sauce.
Carpaccio Di Carne
Thinly sliced filet mignon topped with arugula, capers, shaved parmigiano finished with olive oil & balsamic. Not seared like many other Italian restaurant. This one is true to an authentic method. Fabulous!
Sicilian rosemary sweet & sour sardines over tomato salad. Fresh sardine was so flavorful and perfect with salad.
4 formaggi e pomodoro. Nice and warm for the cheesy one and fresh and refreshing for the tomato one. Perfect for sharing.
Grigliata Di Pesce
Mix fresh grilled seafood over baby greens in a dijonaise sauce. Shrimp, scallops and salmon were all grilled perfectly. The dejonaise sauce had just right amount of acidity with creamy and delicate taste. Any seafood lovers will be happy with this heavenly trio:)
Served with a white wine lemon butter sauce with baby vegetables and fingerling potatoes. Dover sole cooked to perfection...very delicate, light, but buttery. Heaven!
Creme Burlee. Not too sweet..creamy bliss.クレームブリュレ。 甘さが日本人にぴったり。
1578 1st Ave
(between 82nd St & 83rd St)
New York, NY 10028
Neighborhoods: Yorkville, Upper East Side
ウォール街にある隠れ家的イタリアン、Albellaへ行って来ました。 場所がちょっと目立たない為、まだあまり知られていない様だが、お昼時には近くの裁判所や、FBIヘッドクオーターからのスタッフで結構いっぱいになる。面白いのは、セルフサービスでカジュアルの部屋とフルサービスで、シックな落ち着いた部屋とに分かれており、気分とお財布の具合によって選べること。 今日は白いテーブルクロスとオーナーがイタリーから持ち帰った馬のテーマの装飾品でいっぱいのフルサービスの方でランチをいただきました。
Great find in the Financial District, "Albella" is an Italian restaurant that serves decent Italian cuisine at reasonable price. It has two parts: a casual self service part and a nice and quiet sit down white table cloth part. Because of it's location, it's still a hole in a wall and not fully discovered yet, but still, when it comes to lunch time, the place is full with tourists, staff from near by Court house and FBI head quarters. Today, I had lunch at the white table cloths side which was surprisingly quiet and dozy which was rustically decorated with horse themed objects from Italy.
As soon as you sit down, the friendly waiter will bring you this bread basket filled with home made garlic knots and rolls. The garlic knots were chewy and boy, packed with that powerful garlic bits and pieces. Very tasty....a must try item as long as you don't have a date afterwards....
They are still in the process of creating the wine list. They do have basic selection, but nothing really special yet.
スターターのムール貝のマリナラソース。 シンプルながらムール貝はふっくら柔らかく、ソースもサラッとしていてムール貝の風味を十分に生かしている。 どこにでもある一品だけに、シェフの腕が判る。
For an appetizer, I ordered mussels in light marinara sauce. The mussels were plump and soft and perfectly cooked. The sauce was very flavorful, but light enough to not to not to over power the mussels. It's a popular dish that you see everywhere, but not many places can do this right. So far, so good!
My friend ordered Insalata Greca. Interesting to see a Greek salad on an Italian restaurant menu, but hey, this is NYC, what can I say? Very colorful and pretty salad with nice balance of fresh feta on top.
today's special, Porgy with shrimp, mussels and clams. Each items were perfectly cooked and even a seafood snob (like me!) could be fully and happily satisfied. The sauce was marinara, but tasted even more delicate and lighter than the one used in mussels dish I ordered for the starter. Definitely worth wiping off with bread!
友人はグリルドサーモン。 本来は中がしっとりとミディアムレアで出してくれるのだが、友人の様に稀なウェルダンの要望にも気持ち良く応えてくれる。 しっかりとしたボリュームで、この値段はお得である。
My friend ordered grilled salmon. Usually, I'm sure they'll serve it medium rare, but if there is a request for well done or other preference, they'll be more than happy to oblige. The portion was very generous and very reasonably priced. You'll never leave hungry from this place!
Dessert should not be skipped in this restaurant. We ordered the fruit and cheese plate and the pannacotta and pear compote dishes. The pannacotta was light but extremely creamy and was loaded with aromatic vanilla beans. The pear compote was not too sweet like some other restaurants' and had enough fresh flavor while being soaked well in rich wine syrup. If you happen to be in the neighborhood and want fine dining in a relaxed and quiet sit down place without breaking the wallet, Albella might be worth a visit.
10 Reade street, New York, NY 10007
Kids have been waiting for this for a long time.....blow fish! Well, actually these guys are called "puffer fish" and don't have the trade mark poison. But, still a type of blow fish and enough to bring that extra edge to the table.
coat them thinly with little flour.
Pan fry them until golden brown and ready to be served. Don't forget to squeeze lemon!
Since we're having puffer fish, the regular rice is a bit boring....take turn and pound it until nice and sticky.
roll it in the palm and then flatten it to make a thin wafer.
pan fry these, too until nice and crispy. Voila, crispy rice dish...yummy!
Today's ingredient, yes, Octopus! To be honest, I wanted a bigger one, but oh well, they're octopus regardless of their size.
Kids were all so excited....but guys, seriously, stop naming them! I mean, how can we boil and chop "Bobby".....!
Boiled and gotten even more smaller.
Our staple octopus dish!
I've gotten so much better making these balls.....good to have some back up plan when I go out of business!
Catering for a client who has been asking for my service more than a year. Today, an eclectic selection of traditional Japanese autumn dishes.
scallop sashimi with ponzu jelly and yuzu chilli paste. Black sesame tofu with edible flower
agar agar terrine with shrimp and snow pea topped with sea urchin
Marinated tomato with bonito and konbu dashi. Topped with shiso leaves and grated cucumber.
squid and scallion with sweet and sour miso dressing. I got this squid from the fisher man....so fresh, you can eat this as sashimi!
simmered egg plant with grated ginger. I fried the egg plant first before simmering them in bonito dashi for half an hour.
Stuffed turnip with chicken and simmered dried daikon radish. When daikon radish is dried, it has completely different flavor and texture from the fresh one.
savory egg custard with shrimp, chicken, dried shiitake mushroom and mitsuba leaf.
fried puffer fish with green tea salt
simmered daikon radish with red miso sauce
flounder sashimi. I forgot to take a photo, but I served flounder ceviche before this. I fillet the whole founder, so I wanted them to taste 2 ways of same fish.
burdock root wrapped with thin beef
キノコ雑炊。椎茸、えのき、しめじ、舞茸の４種類のキノコがタップリ。１０年前は日本のキノコがこんなに気軽に手に入らなかったのだよね。今ではenoki, maitaki, shimeji はそのまま英語の名前になってます。偉い！
for dessert, tofu pannacotta with strawberry. It was such a fun experience to serve such a fabulous foodie group. They finished every single dish! An absolute pleasure for a caterer.
People often envy my son that he gets to eat my Japanese home cooking all the time. Not so much....look at this huge smile in front of the burger at our neighborhood bistro. My son is so used to eating what people would categorize as "gourmet", he fancies burgers, fries and pizzas......it's always the case, the next door lawn is greener.... I have such a mixed feeling about this, but sort of understand his side of story, too....
Never seen him so "focused"....I ordered mussels with pomme fritte. Hate to say this, but I can do better.....yeah, yeah, I can be a snob when it comes to food....!
Great find....Italian restaurant tucked behind the Port Authority with no frill, but all very authentic Italian dishes that makes even Italian grandmas happy!
Antipasti: Affettato Di Cinghaiale (paper thin slices of wild Boar): The wild boar was tender and not as gamy as I thought. The drizzled wine reduction had some hint of berry flavor and the sweetness of the sauce went so well with the boar.
Another Antipasti, the popular mini crab cake. The exterior was nice and crunchy and the inside was filled with crab in creamy sauce.....reminded me of Japanese version of cream crab croquette. Yummmy!
They make their own bread sticks, Focaccia , pasta and dessert. Freshly made Focaccia....doesn't get better than this!
squid ink past with lobster. Divine! Juicy and plump lobster cooked perfectly goes so well with home made squid ink pasta with amazing texture. Truly, truly a must try!
Of all the interesting dishes from the menu, I chose this Trippa Dell'Oste. Stewed honey comb tripe cooked until tender with other vegetable. Very rustic dish, but to do this right, it takes skill and time. I happen to be a very tough critic when it comes to any tripe dishes......and this one, I take my hat off! Tripe was so tender, it melt in your mouth and it didn't have any of that unpleasant tripe smell which means the chef knew how to pre-treat the tripe before cooking. Bravo! Their menu has some other unique dishes and I can't wait to go back to try them all!
507 9th Ave.(at 38th st.)
Of all the yearly events, the Halloween is our #1 priority......here we go again!!
So for some reason, he decided on being a cow boy...yee ha!
Then, naturally, I'm a cow girl!
Gatta admit.....I'm having more fun than my boy!
Look at these beauties!
We're having fish tonight! Gatta say, my sashimi making skill is getting better....and I didn't slice any of my fingers this time.
Oh and nothing to be wasted. The bones from porgy and flounder makes an amazing stock! Miso soup using this stock.....to die for!
As soon as the Labor day is over, things picks up the pace and the summer break is over. Back to the daily grind. Today was the kid's cooking class's first day. New student joined the class ;) Let's start cookin'!
Of course we start from the fish store. Everyone was hooked on super lived blue crab!
These little crabs were soo feisty. Kids got kick out every time they snapped their claws.
Brought them back and observe.
got some flounder, too!
flip them, poke them....observe really well!
even played with konbu kelp which we used to make stock for miso soup
Whet it come to eating crab, doesn't matter if it's kids or adult or any other nationalities, people tend to become super quite....lovely!
I did it. Pulled off 50 people catering with an enormous help form my greatest food gurus. My client wanted the best quality, so I ordered all the fish from the distributor that provide top notch tuna, yellow tail and salmon from a distributor to the top restaurants in the city. Sounds good, ha?! Well, when I received the delivery and opened the huge box, I froze for good 10 seconds. There were a whole salmon, half of whole yellow tail and 15lb chunk of tuna with skin on. It takes some skill and experience in order to make sashimi out of these, especially the tuna. You can't just cut out the portion....there is a specific way to cut out and slice. I cried for about 5 minutes...it's true. But then, there was no going back...I mean these ingredients cost hundreds of dollars. Then I thought about my former fish teacher who I haven't in touch for more than 3 years. She is an amazing fish master, but very strict. I expected her to be cross with me for asking for help, but to my big surprise, she came right away with her knives. With in an hour and half, all the fish were beautifully filleted and sliced into sushi ready pieces. I don't think I'll ever get to her lever, but am so lucky to have someone who would help and support me when I'm in a real pinch. I could not have done this catering without her and my other friend who used to be a chef at an Italian restaurant in Japan. So, so lucky to have some great people around me...but I can't rely on their generosity all the time, so I need to come up with better setting for the future.
prepping like crazy!
super helper, Ms. M
I actually pulled all nighters a day before....reallyl sleep deprived!
live sushi makin"
veggie sticks with hummus and home made miso dip
This was a hit! Simmered pork belly in steamed bun
roasted fingering potato with corn salsa and flower carrots
mini phyllo cups with shrimp and tri colored pepper salad
lamb meat balls with mint sauce
fresh figs with prosciutto
sauteed shishito peppers with soy sauce and sesame oil
Shimeji and shiitake mushroom frittata
The party was on the roof top, so it was some what challenging to get the food up in time. I came home 3 in the morning......really, talk about "maxed out"!!! So glad it's done and what's so priceless? Everyone loved the food....tons of work, drama and some tears, but it's all good!
I went to the farmer's market with my son today. We bumped into one of the mother of my student from the cooking class. She asked me what I'm doing about the food from Japan. She was referring to the contamination of the food by the radiation from the nuclear power plant accident due to the earthquake. "Here we go again..." I thought. I was getting tired of those comments by the people who were over reacting due to the luck of knowledge and information. Ignorance is a bliss, sometime, but often it can be dangerous and hurtful. I am not underestimating the danger of the radiation, but to think food in Japan in general are all contaminated is ridiculous. However, I should understand this mother's paranoiac reaction....some people in Japan are also behaving this way even with so much information available. Things like virus and radiation are so scary to us since they're not visible.....how can we protect ourselves from something we can't see? This is why some of us choose to take extreme measure by shutting off everything related to the source to be 100% sure. Sounds reasonable, but I can't forget the testimony by the nuclear bomb surviver who came here last month. She said her agony was not only surviving the injury and loss by the bomb. She had to live her life as a "bomb surviver" and had to deal with so much discrimination from the society. She was very concerned for the victims of this March's nuclear power plant's accident, especially for children who might become the victim of this cruel discrimination just like what she had to live through. Of course this is little different from the fear of food, but it's similar in a way to be alarmed and to reject without adequate information. Japanese farmers and food industry are facing major survival crises. Many have already gone out of business. We're all trying to support them by eliminating excess fear due to the wrong knowledge and by encouraging people to keep buying Japanese products. "Do you believe the government?" this mother asked. My answer to that is yes and no. Japan is not a communist country. Even though government is not always straight forward to the public, there are number of credible resources for the information . Also, other countries are very cautious about importing food and goods from Japan now. Before they are imported to U.S., it's been inspected at least by 2 parties. (WHO website has better information on this) Be cautious, but there is not need to reject everything from Japan, at least for now. So, chill out.
Right by the Lincoln Center, this gem sits rather quietly, but offer an amazing array of beautiful and delicious dishes as well as great selection of cheese and wine. Eve on Monday night, it was pretty packed by 9pm. The ambiance was warm but really sophisticated.....place for a true grown ups! Of course, it comes with high price tag, but totally worth it. Oh, and great service as well....dress up a little and indulge some adult conversation for a change!
As a starter, cheers with Prosecco.
I chose olive bread. Deliciously salty!
Amuse Bouche : Cauliflower mouse with carrot sauce topped with fried capers, almond bon bon and foie gras pate Pretty impressive from teh amuse bouche, especially the cauliflower mouse that sinfully melts in your mouth.
Hamachi Cru with citrus soy dressing, jalapeno, sesame crumble
Lobster "newberg" redux. Butter poached lobster with chanterelles, PX sherry
squid ink fideos with ruby red shrimp, pquillo peppers and pimenton-aioli
Diver sea scallops with morels, asparagus and bearnaise cloud
Painted Hills farm sirloin with pommes lyonnaise and rossini flavors
Lemon Verbena Panna Cotta with strawberry-rhubarb textures, Balsamic vinegar
Tarta de Santiago with cherry soup, goat cheese, and cherry beet sorbet
From the appetizers to the dessert, all the dishes were perfectly executed. But by the time they brought the petite four, even I didn't have any space for a tiny delights.....for a split second, I was going to ask "Can I bring this home...for my bulldog? (my son, of course)", but didn't , coz I thought that might ruin the grown up ambiance. Now that I think about it, DAMN! What was I thinking? Screw adult time.....totally missed out on that bon bons!
35 W.64th.(bet.B'way &CPW)
I thought it's nice to have a place for all the kids to show their families and friends what they have learned in my cooking class. With so much support from their parents, we have opened an one day restaurant which kids named "Gohan Castle"(rice castle) and invited all the families to be the customers. They also came up the menu from the appetizer to the dessert:
Appetizer: shrimp and sweet potato tempura
cellophane noodle salad
main: chicken cutlet with miso sauce
broccoli with soy sauce and sesame oil
dessert: green tea truffles
drink: tofu and strawberry smoothie
We begun preparation for the event a few weeks ago. They made more than 100 gyozas and folded some origami container to hold the dessert. They also decided to provide the entertainments, so each child practiced their acts to be absolutely ready. End result was "Phenomenal!" All the guests enjoyed their food, services and great entertainments. Good job all.....I'm just so proud of them!
House special "sushi cake"
huge hit amongst the guests, cellophane noodle salad
The customers have arrived! Busy, busy, busy!
After the dinner, the entertainment by the kids begun. The opening act was Lucy's Japanese folk story telling. Perfect way to start the show!
Next act is the jokes by Alice. Pretty gutsy!
Then my son's magic trick. Not bad considering he had just a day to practice. No sweat for him...tons of sweat for me!
Luna's guitar....so cool and sassy!
The last act was a skit by Lydia. She even wrote her own script!
There were almost 30 guests including the walk ins. Huge success guys!
It's about time. After researching tons of sources, I finally decided on Nikon Coolpix P300. Love, love, love this one. It's more than what I wanted to spend, but boy, it takes amazing pictures. I have never been so attached to a camera....I'm seriously thinking about naming this new love of my life....!
Tuna Carpaccio. With olive oil, spicy yuzu, lime and soy sauce, it's a bit of a fusion carpaccio.
As you know, I love broccolirabe. Today, I used a bit of Agave syrup , Japanese spicy mustard and soy sauce to season. Fabulous!
for summer dish, this bean sprout salad is so refreshing and tasty. Quickly blanch the bean sprout, cool them in the ice water immediately. Get rid of all the excess water and season with rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil and black pepper. Scatter some chopped green pepper for the finishing touch. Chill and enjoy!
Most of my clients are non Japanese, but once in a while, I take japanese client upon request. Today's client was a super young and cute Japanese girl preparing to become a good wife (whatever that means...sorry, it's just that I'm totally jaded on that field...!) Since I'm getting some nice okura, I thought we prepare a dish with okura and natto(fermented soy bean). Both of them are very sticky and gooey....something we Japanese love, but might be an acquired taste for the Americans. When we chop something into small pieces, we say "tataki" which literally means "slapped" in Japanese. I asked her to "tataki" the okura and turned my back for a second. Then I heard a "slapping" noise. As I turned around, I saw her slap the okura with her bare hand.....for a moment, I thought she was being silly. Then I realized she was damn serious......you know, Ive been through some rough things in my life. When I was a teacher at a public high school, I've witnessed my student ODed during the class and pass out. It's so rare that I become speechless, but boy, this one did it for me. You know, getting old is not bad after all....life is full of surprises!
Around noon, my cell rang. It showed the number of my son's school.....for a split second, my instinct said "run away!"....but my sanity kicked in and realized it won't help to run since I'd be running with the cell in my hand.... Anyway, it was from his teacher and to my pleasant surprise, it wasn't about my son being in trouble. It turned out that the lunch box's lid was stuck and even a couple of male teachers tried, the lid did not come off. A,ha. My's son's Pokemon lunch box is from japan. As with other Japanese products, it's functionality is made to perfection. The packing on the lid is so well done that there is no leakage of any food, BUT, if packed while food is still hot, it creates an impeccable vacuums inside. All you need to do is to slip a butter knife in between and let the air in. If you try to simply peel off the lid, it won't open....I just pictured bunch of male teachers trying desperately to yank off the lid with bunch of Pikachu.....sorry, but quite funny. My son came home and told me that they couldn't open, so ended up giving him a cheese sandwich. Lucky day for him!
I haven't been posting my kids class lately, but it's still going strong! Since it's almost at the end of school year, we thought it'll be nice to throw a year end banquet prepared and hosted by the children for their families. It turned out to be a full course with appetizers, main course and desserts, so we had to get cracking from today even though the banquet is in two weeks. Today, we tackled 100 gyoza dumpling making. What's so great about gyoza dumpling is that they can be frozen until needed and still taste fabulous. I have to say, my students are almost at a "pro" level when it comes to making gyoza....possibly a good match with those Chinese ladies at the dumpling specialty stores in China Town! They all started from squished ones....boy they came such a long way....pass me the tissue...! They'll also provide the entertainments at the party. Honestly, I'm so impressed how every one of them are so super excited to show their talents. There will be a story telling, comedy, guitar and an original skit. They would continue to rehearse endlessly if they could...talk about the showman ship. I'm starting to realize that all we want to do as grown ups are to make some good childhood memories for our children. I'd be more than thrilled if they could reflect the time spent in my class as "good old days" when they grow up.
For this past few years, there has been a huge boom of "tonkotsu"(pork bone stock)ramen noodle here in Manhattan. It's undoubtedly delicious, but I find it a bit too rich to eat on a regular basis. It's been rain after rain and has been really depressing, so I thought today is a perfect day to try out a new ramen noodle recipe. Instead of using pork bone, I used chicken and cooked it for 5 hours along with konbu seaweed, dried shirmp and whole lot of veggies. I scooped out all the scam and excess fat during the process to make rich, but clear broth. Easy, but quite labor intensive, oh, but totally worth it. The end product was to die for. I didn't have ramen noodle on hand and was too lazy to go shopping, so I used a special angel hair noodle which was sent from Japan. I wish I had a picture to show...please bare with me. I'm still researching which camera to buy. Anyway, I think I make pretty dame good ramen noodle. Hell I pay 13 bucks for a bowl of ramen noodle!
I had a privilege to work as an interpreter for the atomic bomb surviver of Nagasaki and Hiroshima in last year's peace conference at UN. This year, two survivors came from Japan again to give their testimonies to inform the terrifying truth about the atomic bomb and to ensure the need to abolish all the nuclear weapons from this world. More than half of Americans consider the usage of nuclear bomb in Japan as the right choice. When the topic of nuclear bomb come up, majority say "Remember the Pear Harbor." But atomic bomb destroys the whole human race as well as the lands. Even some survive, they suffer from the after effect from the radiation, along with the discrimination the fact that they are radiated and even their children are deeply effected by the radiation from the bomb. Human and atomic bomb can not co-exist. No matter what the war is about, the nuclear weapon should not be used. The testimony of the bomb surviver is beyond our imagination. They have gone through "Hell." As I was interpreting, it was so hard to hold tears. It's not about who is right or wrong. We have to work together to abolish nuclear war from this beautiful earth....for our children. As an individual, I can't do so much, but I will continue to pass on the truth about the A-bomb to the next generation. If my generation can't abolish the nuclear weapon, hopefully they will.
I'm now affiliated with an organic farm called Holton farm in Vermont. It's been such a pleasure working with them since they are one of the kind CSA. They grow organic produce and deliver to NY area. What makes them so unique is they have various new projects. They have their own food truck that sells prepared food using their produce including cheese, meat, pasta and eggs. They also want to have a test kitchen where they can test various recipes and also educate the consumer how to use their produce. They also have their own butcher who works at the Chelsea Market and can cut the organic grass fed beef according to customers' requests. I take a part in developing the products using their produce.....the great thing about this is that they'll grow vegetables I request...priceless! This is is their first year as an organic CSA. We had a party for the press at the hotel and I brought my staple sushi cake and tofu salad with shiso dressing. The party was a huge success! Look for us in your neighborhood and I'll promise you...good eats all the way!
Had a lunch date with my friend at Nougatine on Columbus Circle. This restaurant has been there since my parents were here and is filed with so many good memories. I was really looking forward to going back, but it turned out to be a big disappointment. When I dine out, I know how "turn off" it is to complain about food. During my long dining history, I've only returned the food once at a high end restaurant known for it high price tag. Food was horrible, but what I learned from that experience was how it made me feel terrible afterwards. As my father says, "Complaining something as puny as food is such a wasteful thing to do"....I vowed to not to do that again. BUT, my sauteed red snapper (they only had black fish) was away too cooked and dry and cold. The worse part was the sauce. It was very, very salty. Unless they brought me a bowl of rice(!), there was no way I could eat anything as salty as that. I was fighting whether I should say something or not, especially I didn't want to be a party pooper for my friend. But when a waiter came and asked "Is everything OK?", I could not lie.....I tried my best to be as polite as possible, but had to tell him it's very disappointing. The manager came and as soon as he realized the problem, he said "Maybe the chef had too much to drink last night.....it's hard to make every dish perfect." Well, I guess super chef is also human. Bound to make some mistake, but look, it's Jean Georges. Has some reputation to keep up, buddy! Anyway, it's not really worth getting angry at. Guess I was very unlucky. Next time, I'll wear my lucky bunny leg or something. The red snapper was not charged after all....gracious customer care, but I just wanted to enjoy my lunch with friend......!
Nougatine at Jean-George
1 Central Park West
Green peas are available all through the year since there are canned and frozen ones. Have you ever tasted the ones from fresh out of the shell? Look, I'm a victim of the peas and carrots....I went to University in England. I had my life supply of them, trust me. BUT, this all changed when I tasted the fresh green peas farmer's market. They are so sweet and plump
. Of course you have to work a little to shell them for the pods, but it's all worth it. I came up with a perfect recipe to keep the green color and the plumpness of the green peas for the Chopsticks NYC magazine. No ones want s to mess with me when it comes to the green peas rice recipe, honey!
My mother's day started out like this.....at breakfast, I found a huge burn with blister on his elbow. Apparently he fell from the bed and burned his elbow with a radiator. Since he was still half a sleep, he climbed up the bed and went back to sleep. If it was iced then, I don't think it's gotten this bad...but my son's determination to going bak to sleep won over the pain. It's not worth it to bring him to a chaotic ER, so I'd have to take him to the doctor's office first thing on Monday, which is packed with work for me....I'm already in "exhausted" mode. Then, he said " Mom, I'm going to the park to pick some flowers for you!" with big smile. S.son, thanx, but it's illegal to pick flowers from the park(unless you do it in secret!)......thanx, but not happening. Then he brought his piggy bang filled with small coins he got from taking out the garbages. He said he wanted to buy me a flower using these coins. This really touched me, but also made me sad. I didn't want him to use his savings on me. So, we've settled for him to draw me a nice flower picture. For dinner, it was everything I liked. Scallop sashimi from the fisherman at the farmer's market, clam, oyster and mussels from the neighborhood fish market. I steamed the mussels using the shiso pesto I made for yesterday's magazine shooting, made oyster half shell and grilled clams. This mama is HAPPY with half bottle of my favorite Pinot Grigio! It's been almost 10 years since I became a mom. Still clueless and tons of struggle, but absolutely no regret. Bring it on baby, I can take more to come!
I found some "Kyoho" grapes from Chili at the neighborhood market. Kyoho is a Japanese grape and amazingly juicy and sweet. It has thick skin, so most Japanese peel the skin which slips right off before eating. It's 100 times tastier without the peel, but I wonder if people here know about this. When I came here, I was amazed how people eat everything with skin on...apples, grapes, peaches, etc. I learned to enjoy the convenience of eating with skin on, but to be honest, things taste better when the tough part is removed. So, if you happen to find the Kyoho grape, please peel before popping them in your mouth. And if you really want to eat like Japanse (for whatever reason...), then take out the pits, too! Bon appetite !
I've been making my own Japanese pickles using rice bran for the pickling bed. The rice bran helps the fermentation process and gives great flavor to the vegetables. The catch for this delicious pickling making is that you have to babysit it and turn it everyday with hands. Also, every house hold has their own recipe and have their own recipe. It's very high maintenance pickles...I call it the diva of the pickles. In my recipe, I put many things to add extra flavor, such as ginger peel, konbu kelp, dried yuzu peel, etc. You also have to adjust the salt as well. For the spring version, instead of putting salt, I put "salted cherry blossom flower" as an experiment. This morning when I tasted it, it absolutely was fabulous. When you eat the pickles (I used cucumber), it taste regular cucumber pickles, but has this delicate cherry blossom flavor as an end note. OMG, I think I'm on to something.......
Amongst Japanese community, there is this misconception about how American education is "relaxed". Well, I've been here for sometime and have been raising a child for 9 years, but still haven't seen the 'relaxed" side of it yet. The standardized test starts from the 3rd grade here...come'on! My son goes to a school which doesn't really do "tests". It's great for other reasons, but when it comes to these mandatory standardized test, not so good. In order to prepare him, I had to start with "OK, asking questions is good, but that's not the case for tests" and "You can't draw Spiderman and Spongy Bob on the answer sheet....." Anyway, after prepping him for 2 intense weeks, today was the day. I thought I treat him with his favorite dish, Japanese curry. When he came back from school, I thought of greeting him with "Hey, guess what? We're having curry tonight", but it was shuttered by his "Mom, they gave me tons of donuts for treat after the test!". What??? All you can eat donut after the test? I just received from the school director "please end a healthy snack with your child" letter.....that does not make sense when school is feeding our our child with Doritos and donuts. My son loves curry and he would at least go for 2nd or 3rd serving. This is not gonna work after a donuts frenzy. Quickly I hid the curry sauce on the counter and change the menu to the pot-au-feu. using the same ingredient as curry. Onion, carrots, potatoes, chicken legs and instead of celery, a whole head of cabbage. Truly an exhausting day...BTW, when I asked him "How was the test?", his response was "I did my best!". I'm not sure if I want to find out what exactly he meant.....
There are many fusion restaurants, but only a few does it right. Today's restaurant, SHO Shaun Hergatt was one of this few restaurant that doesn't serve "fusion confusion". What's so great about this place is first, presentation. It was both tasteful and beautiful. All ingredients were fresh and high quality and was cooked to perfection. The sauce and foam (!) were not over powering and well balanced. Extensive wine list and on top of this, they sake paring was also available. Great service and quite atmosphere. Perfect for the "special" outing. Comes with the price, of course, so I guess I'm happy to go back there like in 6 months.
SHO Shaun Hergatt
40 Broad St, 2nd Level at The Setai Wall Street New York, NY 10004
Cross Street: Exchange Place
Ordinary people go for a walk to relax and enjoy the peaceful moment. Well, that's what I always intend to do. But my wild animal instinct for "hunting" always comes in between. I have this amazing radar to find "wild edibles". Just within Riverside Park, I found wild blueberries, black berries, chestnuts, etc. etc. If I go to the beach, it often turns into a clamming outing. I'm a natural born food collector...not that cool, but might come in handy when lost in the wild. Anyway, today, when I was taking a walk with my son at the Riverside, I found "fiddlehead fern"! My favorite spring mountain vegetables. I was all ready to start picking, but then it hit me. That spot was in middle of a busy path and even though it wasn't so high, there was a fence in between the ferns and me. It's like love of your life is in front of you, but a mean, ugly and short mother in law gets in between.....sooo tragic. If it wasn't for my son who pulled my hand, I would've be standing in front of it even still now. It breaks my heart to even think those ferns will continue to grow in front of me to become inedible regular fern. Curse you, fence!