Members and their guests wander throughout the brownstone – in the high-ceilinged first floor lounge, the lantern-lit back garden, and the swankier third floor bar area. All of this provides plenty of creative space for aristocratic artists to play catch-up on their strange activities such as attending the odd artist festivals world-wide or even deer hunting in Scotland. The service is good, which it should be considering the thousands of dollars the members pay annually and the $20 drinks.
Monthly Archives: January 2009
Priorities for the bar:
Just to be sure that I would like to try to help him in his endeavors, we planned another dinner for next week! This time he will be serving pesce (fish)…I think it is only necessary for me to try both land and sea dishes.
I have heard the word “Michelin stars” thrown around a lot in the restaurant industry, but I never actually looked into the source. I thought, for sure it wasn’t actually related to the TIRES! Boy, was I wrong…Michelin stars are given by the Michelin Guide, which is a rating system sponsored by Michelin, the tire company. Once I learned this, I had to do some research.
-The quality of the products
-The mastery of flavor and cooking
-The “personality” of the cuisine
-The value for the money
-The consistency between visits
Two stars = excellent cuisine, worth a detour, with specialties and wines of first-class quality.
Three stars = exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey, where diners eat extremely well, often superbly. The wine list features generally outstanding vintages and the surroundings and service are part of this unique experience, which is priced accordingly.
1 head of cauliflower
202 is a restaurant inside of a high-end store for clothes, housewares, and antiques from Paris and the South of France. The idea was London designer, Nicole Farhi – she also has a store in Notting Hill with the same name. The menu leans British and Mediterranean, with dishes like warm goat cheese salad with salty prosciutto, sweet figs, and toasted pistachios to English favorites like fish and chips. Their signature cocktails include honey mojitos, which have conjured up quite the talk around town.
From what I can gather from others who have been there, they either love it or they hate it. I guess some people don’t want to browse the blouses while chowing down on a salad. To each is own!
I will be going to 202 this evening to meet up with my ‘pumas’ – I am sure I will enjoy one of those mojitos and maybe try a dish, but in this economy I’m likely not to buy a Nicole Farhi item. At least this restaurant/store concept gets you for one or the other!
75 Ninth Avenue in Chelsea Markets
@ 16th St.
I have even found myself looking for a more genuine, honest, and economical reality. I have found a place in NYC that offers these exact qualities: Joe – the art of coffee.
So, last night was “puma night” at my apartment! I cooked, the girls brought vino, and we chatted and chatted as good friends should. One week had passed since our last “puma night” which left plenty of catching up to do.
Being that we were four ladies, I tried to come up with a healthier menu. My previous recipe for Roasted Broccoli with Shrimp was perfect, but I changed it a bit by added more vegetables than just broccoli. I added asparagus, red bell pepper, onion, mushrooms, carrots, zucchini, and cherry tomatoes. They all roasted beautifully.
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 teaspoons minced ginger
boil stock, ginger and rice in a small pot until boil
add frozen peas and carrots
lower heat and let simmer until stock is absorbed – approximately 25 minutes
fluff with fork and let stand for about 5 minutes
add sesame oil, sesame seeds, peppers, water chestnuts, soy sauce and peanuts
mix and serve
How easy is that?! When you serve, put the rice on everyone’s plate, then top with the roasted vegetables and shrimp. Yum-my.
For dessert, I prepared a fruit salad with mangos, strawberries, raspberries, kiwi and blackberries. In the end, everyone was looking for chocolate or cookies. I guess I shouldn’t have pushed it over the health edge with the fruit. I think the wine made up for anyone’s cookie-craving. Always does.
First impressions of L’Artusi were very good – comfortable, clean, simple, well-designed, good service. Seeing the kitchen with the pots hanging in the back, the cushioned bar stools, and the striped ceiling all made me very excited to sit down for a nice dinner on a rare Sunday night out before a Monday off from work. The waitress was delightful and very attentative to our questions for recommendations – although many of the her suggestions are what led MM and I to a sub-par review of the restaurant.
A few rare Italian offerings got MM and I excited for our dinners, but also nervous at the stakes of them not pulling them off correctly. Pizzoccheri, for instance, is one dish MM and I love very much in the Northern region of Italy, in Bormio, to be exact. We even went so far as to ask the floor manager to be sure it was authentic, when he responded with the incorrect pronounciation, our worries were varified. Even still, MM ordered the pizzoccheri and the wild boar dish. The pizzoccheri resembled more of a lasagna – there was no whole wheat pasta in a shape similar to tagliatelle and it was definitely baked with a strong emphasis on what “baked” can look and taste like. The real pizzoccheri in Italy is actually a pasta dish and not confused confused with lasagna by any stretch of the imagination. The wild boar arrived with a huge, and unannounced, dollop of sour cream. MM hates sour cream and neither of us enjoyed its presence in the dish. I ordered the yellowtail crudo, which wasn’t even comparable to Scarpetta’s mind-blowing version, and the octopus entree. The octopus was more like a couple of shavings of spicy octopus with the main focus of the dish being the little bread cakes underneath.
I don’t mean to put such a negative slant on my feedback about our experience at L’Artusi, but I feel it is necessary to explain that the dishes they are attempting to pull off have little to no resemblence of the actual dishes. Putting a different spin on Italian classics is expected with talented chefs, but not when presenting very rarely done dishes such a pizzoccheri. Also, when ordering “octopus,” I’d expect it to be the primary ingredient on the plate. Hasn’t Gabrielle Thompson seen “Iron Chef” where the judges tear the chefs apart if the secret ingredient isn’t the main flavor on the plate???
228 West 10th Street near Bleeker Street
Figgy Veal Chops
4 veal chops, each 3/4 inch thick (about 1 1/2 pounds total)
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup Merlot or other bold red wine
2 cups water
2 to 3 tablespoons demi-glace concentrate (see note below)
2 tablespoons fig preserves
-Season chops with salt and pepper.
-Heat oil in a large skillet and brown the chops on both sides.
-Add the wine, bring to a boil and lower the heat so the liquid simmers.
-Simmer for a few minutes, until the wine is reduced to a glaze.
-Add the water and heat until boiling.
-Stir in the demi-glace until smooth.
-Cover and simmer until the chops are not quite firm – about 5 minutes.
-Transfer the chops to a serving plate.
-Stir the fig preserves into the sauce in the pan and boil until the desired consistency is reached. The sauce should be shiny and just thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
-Season to taste with salt and pepper, and spoon over the chops
Demi-glace concentrate is available at kitchen and gourmet shops – Sur La Table and Williams-Sonoma. A 1 1/2-ounce container yields about 2 tablespoons.