Mar 27, 2012

NYC Day 3

On Sunday, Lucy and I went to brunch with Courtney, my friend from Charleston who moved up to the city a couple years ago. As of couple months ago, Courtney and her husband are Vegan, as is Lucy. Courtney found us a cute little Vegan brunch spot called Blossom. For being strictly Vegan, they had a menu full of delicious sounding meals. I opted for the French Toast with fresh fruit and tempeh bacon. DSC00284

The French toast was crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside. I was nervous to try the tempeh bacon, but I ended up liking it.

Both Lucy and Courtney had the Tofu Scramble  with sautéed onion, mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes, and soy sausage. DSC00285

I wish we had more Vegan restaurants in Charleston. There were a lot of menu items I’d like to try and ultimately experiment with in my kitchen. Maybe I’ll use the menu as inspiration. Thanks, Courtney, for picking out a great spot and meeting us! :)Blossom on Urbanspoon

We also took Courtney’s recommendation to walk through Chelsea Market and pick up a cherry cream scone at Amy’s Bread.IMAG2041

I had just eaten breakfast, but couldn’t resist digging into this soft, buttery scone. It was incredible. Scones aren’t my typical go-to baked good, but I’m so glad I listened to Courtney. The girl is smart. I want to make these at home, too!IMAG2043

Amy's Bread in Chelsea Market on Urbanspoon

Sunday evening, Ben and I had a really fun dinner at Mario Batali’s restaurant, Casa Mono. First, while waiting for a table, we had a glass of wine at Bar Jamon, which is adjacent to Casa Mono. We both had the Nita, a blend of Cariñena, Garnacha, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah. I liked it a lot.

Dinner was so exciting. We sat at the bar that overlooked the kitchen. Watching the chefs prepare everyone’s food was quite a show. They were quick, yet so particular about plating, and it showed in each dish.

Casa Mono is a Spanish tapas restaurant so we ordered several different plates.

Round 1:

Bacalao Croquetas with Orange AlioliIMG_2372

Razor Clams a la PlanchaIMG_2371

Sepia with Salsa VerdeIMG_2385

Of these three, I liked the croquetas best. They were glorified fish sticks – so light and the orange zest really added to it. The razor clams were garlicky and in a delicious olive oil. The sepia, a cuttlefish, had a chewy texture but were great.

Round 2:

Mussels with Cava and Chorizo - $15IMG_2378

Lobster with Spicy Sweet Potato and Agua de CocoIMG_2377

Seared scallops with a cherry parsnip pureeIMG_2383

Each of these plates were amazing. I avoided the chorizo in the mussels and, even without it, the broth had so much flavor. The cherry parsnip puree with the scallops was one of the best flavors I’ve had in a while. I really enjoyed the fruit + seafood pairing. This was definitely a memorable dinner, both for the incredible food and the entertainment. I so badly wanted to jump over the counter into the kitchen with the chefs. Casa Mono is a must for your (and my!) next visit to NYC.Casa Mono on Urbanspoon

Dinner would not be complete without dessert. Both of us were in the mood for cookies, so we headed over to Momofuku Milk Bar. They have some crazy desserts, including cookies, pies, ice cream, truffles, milkshakes and more. We stuck with cookies and brought home 3 types:

  • the famous Compost Cookie (pretzels, potato chips, coffee, oats, butterscotch, chocolate chips)
  • Peanut Butter
  • Blueberry & Cream (dried blueberries, milk crumbs, white chocolate)

The PB cookie was pretty standard, and while the Compost Cookie was good, it wasn’t as earth-shaking as the reviews I’d previously read. There weren’t any pretzels in it and it mostly tasted like coffee! I really liked, no loved, the Blueberry & Cream cookie.

Momofuku Milk Bar on Urbanspoon

What’s your favorite type of baked good?

Do you like tapas style restaurants?