Saturday, January 25, 2014

Dominique Ansel Bakery

What could be in this package?

The grapefruit lavender pavlova from Dominique Ansel

It even has pieces of fresh grapefruit inside! Delicious!

And because it's too hard to choose just one thing:

We also have the flour-less chocolate pecan cookie

Overall Rating:  8.5/10

189 Spring St
New York, NY 10012

Monday, January 20, 2014

O' Merveilleux

This weekend we stopped by a Belgian bakery in my neighborhood called O' Merveilleux which is known for their Merveilleux cake: a meringue-based cake with plenty of whipped cream all around

According to Daniella, "Merveilleux" means "marvelous" in French, and the pastry that carries this name pretty well matches up

They normally have 3 flavors (chocolate, white chocolate, and Speculoo (ginger cookie flavor)) but when we arrived they were down to 2: the white chocolate and Speculoo

Both were pretty delicious, but I'd say that the Speculoo was marginally better. The meringue wafers in the middle and on the very bottom of my cake were a little bit too sweet, but the whipped cream and other cake parts were melt-in-your-mouth light

White Chocolate:


I also got a sugar cookie on the side:

And Daniella helped herself to a few meringue cookies:

The interior of the bakery was large and comfortable - possibly a great place to work/study if you can resist eating everything in the display counter up front

Now just for kicks - a few shots from my visit to the Guggenheim on Saturday:

Just because I can't resist :) My first time there!

Overall rating: 8/10

1509 Second Ave
New York, NY 10075

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Masala Wala

Last night I was craving Indian food, so Daniella and I headed over to a place called The Masala Wala in the Lower East Side. It's had plenty of positive reviews, but fortunately hasn't been "discovered" enough yet for it to be impossible to get a weekend dinner reservation

We started off with the Chandni Chowk: Semolina puffs with potatoes, chickpeas, and yogurt

These were VERY yummy - in addition to the yogurt there was also a sweet tamarind sauce, basil,  and the puffs were light and crunchy. As Daniella and I were snacking though, the server stopped by to point out that we were eating them wrong. "No - No! You must pick up with your fingers and bite!" (We were trying to eat them with our knives and forks, and apparently he found it ridiculous)

Here's a look at what was inside:

We were pretty hungry, so we also decided get an additional appetizer - the Wala Non-Vegetable Sampler: (Mumbai chicken samosa, Malai tikka, and Malai tiger shrimp)

For entrees we got:

Lamb Rogan Josh: classic Kashmiri curry made with tomatoes, spices, and slow-cooked lamb

and the Palak Paneer: fresh creamed spinach with cubes of Indian sour cream

Don't be fooled by the picture - this dish was delicious. Better than any Saag Paneer that I've had at all of the Indian restaurants in  Murry Hill  (also known as "Curry Hill"where Lexington Ave is PACKED with Indian food options). The Palak Paneer was slightly spicy, but it was a pleasant degree of heat that wasn't overwhelming

Garlic naan: not the most amazing naan ever, but the rest of the food was good enough to make we willing to overlook this imperfection

After dinner we were so stuffed that we waddled more than we walked, in order to get to the subway and home

Overall rating: 8/10

179 Essex St
New York, NY 10002

Friday, January 10, 2014

Two Little Red Hens

What could be in these boxes...?

Mini coconut cream pie!

Almost too perfect to eat... but I'll do it anyway

And a slice of cherry cheesecake!

Perfect way to spend a day off that would otherwise have been ruined by rain

Overall rating: 8/10

1652 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10028

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


The last time I was in Chinatown for dim sum, my friends and I walked by a restaurant called Cuttingboard on our way back from getting bubble-tea. Pictures posted outside included some yummy-looking noodles, and a green tea chocolate dessert that Jen really wanted to try.

That's why this weekend we made a trip there for dinner.

It was freezing outside, so we started off with some hot drinks. Stephanie and I got the almond milk tea:

This was some of the best milk tea EVER. The trip was worth it just for the tea alone

Jesse had the black sesame milk tea which was equally awesome:

Jenn was the only one who decided on a cold drink: opting for the honey aloe tea

This she wasn't such a fan of... at first she could only taste the plastic of her jumbo pink straw, and later once she got a sense of the actual flavor behind the tea, she thought it was very artificial

Jen (yes - there were two Jennifers at dinner) ordered the Ovaltine. We were all a bit surprised when hers arrived in a to-go cup:

Maybe they didn't think she planned to stay with us for dinner...?

As for the food, once I saw uni noodles on the menu, I knew what I wanted. I love uni :)

Unfortunately, they were a bit stingy with the uni in my noodles. The flavor was still nice and the the sauce creamy, but dammit - I wanted more uni!!!

Jenn ordered the beef curry omelet rice, which came with "butter" rice:

Apparently they were pretty light with the butter, so it didn't end up tasting like a Paula Deen meal

Jesse ordered the udon with pork katsu:

Jen chose the pork katsu with rice:

And Stephanie decided on the creamy clam rice:

Although she said the rice was delicious, the ratio of rice to clams was a bit ridiculous. Her dish came with 4 clams, and a mountain of rice

Overall the food was good in flavor, but very carbohydrate-heavy. We noticed a pattern where the rice/noodles drastically overwhelmed the amount of meat that came with it. I would still definitely come back though, because I would love some more almond milk tea :D

Overall rating: 6.5/10

53 Bayard St
New York, NY 10013

Monday, January 6, 2014

Back Forty

Saturday I finished my week of working nights: it ends up that six nights is the exact amount of time it takes for my sleep cycle to become completely warped.

Since I couldn't sleep well after my shift on Saturday morning, I convinced John and Liz to join me for brunch at Back Forty in Alphabet City.

I've been here once before and enjoyed the food a lot, but it was a first for both John and Liz.

To start, we got a doughnut to share:

It was soft and airy and practically melted in our mouths. The sauce was an apple caramel sauce with a dash of rum.

Last time I was here I had the Brioche French Toast (with whipped Marscapone and "local fruit"), which was absolutely delicious. I recommended it to Liz, and after I explained that Marscapone
is the type of cheese that is used in Tiramisu (one of Liz's favorite desserts), she was sold:

The "local fruit" that came with the french toast was apples

One of the people seated next to us ordered the Israeli Style Baked Eggs (eggs with stewed tomatoes, red peppers, and house yogurt - served with bread), and after he got a good look at it, John knew he had to get the same thing:

He described it as "amazing" - which is pretty high praise as far as adjectives go

I ordered the chicken and waffles:

The portion size was huge (I got three whole pieces of chicken! THREE!!!), and even after I gave John one of my pieces of chicken, I was still stuffed to near explosion.

People say that a pigeon will eat enough to make it's stomach explode if given sufficient access to food (because pigeons are dumb dumb birds. I don't care that they can be "trained" to carry messages - they're not smart. I pretended to kick a pigeon once and it actually flew AT (and therefore collided with) my boot rather than flying AWAY. As a result I looked like an animal abuser when in reality I had been banking on the darn bird having enough natural instinct to not get hit. In fact, we could argue the the silly thing attacked me!) Anyway the purpose of this tangent was to explain that my tummy felt like a pigeon's that ate too many seeds and was about to explode

Everything was as delicious as I remembered from my first visit, and John and Liz will definitely be coming back. Two converts! Yay :D

Overall rating: 8/10

190 Avenue B #1
New York, NY 10009