The New French

After reading Amateur Gourmet’s post declaring, “The Best Tuna Sandwich in New York is at The New French” I emailed Zubair, “let’s go!” And so we met up, one very rainy Sunday. The New French was fairly quiet during peak brunch hours…calm and pleasant :)
The sandwich is a deal at $10, and comes with a crazy mountain of crisp fries, they practically bury the sandwich! “Fresh Tuna Salad on Pizza Bianca with Shallots and Lemon.” Tuna poached in oil, lemon aioli…so beautiful…here’s a close-up shot of the sandwich.
We also shared the Goat Cheese, Peppers, Mushrooms Crepe, which came with a salad. And then it was back off to work! Showed many awesome apartments in the West Village that afternoon…this area still remains my favourite part of the city, real-estate-wise :)

The New French
522 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10014
(212) 807-7357

Sometimes it is ok…

…to have a Sicilian slice at Two Boots for an early afternoon snack…
…and a margarita slice at Artichoke for late afternoon snack. Even if you drank Diet Cokes on both occasions. And even if you had (some pretty glorious) cookies by Dorie Greenspan in the morning, and brioche in the afternoon, and lots of chocolate and cheese the hour before ;) Happy Monday!

Two Boots

201 W 11th Street
New York NY 10014
(212) 633-9096

Artichoke Basille’s Pizza and Brewery

328 E 14th Street
New York, NY 10003
(212) 228-2004
Artichoke

Marea

Shots from last Friday’s dinner with John.

We did the chef’s tasting…food was lovely, company was great, but service was quite awful. Disorganized, forgetful, and at times, downright rude.

Upon finishing our last savoury course, we were handed a dessert menu. I returned it to the waiter, “we’re having the tasting.
Yes, but you pick the dessert.
Oh.
So we perused the menu, selecting a dessert.
Another waiter came by minutes later, and removed our menus.
Oh actually, you don’t pick the dessert.
But…we don’t?
Your dessert is coming soon…” and just as he said “coming,” it landed on our table with no further explanation.

If that isn’t confusing, I don’t know what is…better service would be expected when you charge $150 per person for the tasting :/

I can’t help but wonder if they put the second rate service staff in the crudo lounge, where we had our meal. There were no reservations for the time we wanted in the main dining room, so I made reservations for the crudo lounge. The reservationist assured, “same menu, and same great service,” as in the main dining room. Either she lied or it was a fluke night :/

Shots below. Luckily, great dining company can redeem unpleasant service to a certain degree.
Ricci: Uni, Lardo, Sea Salt
Oysters: Pemaquid (Maine), Wellfleet (Massachusetts), Totten Inlet (Washington)
Pacific Jack Mackerel, Prosciutto
Bigeye Toro Tartate, Ligurian Olivada, Fried Capers
Lancia: Blue Marlin, Sturgeon Caviar, Mussel Vinaigrette
Astice: Nova Scotia Lobster, Burrata, Eggplant al Funghetto, Basil Seeds
Ferratini: Manila Clams, Calamari, Hot Chilies
Cavatelli: Red Shrimp, Controne Puree, Rosemary
John Dory, Marinated Salsify, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Fresh Pancetta, Saba
Cocoa Nib Crema, Hazelnut Chocolate, Fior de Latte Gelato
Truffles: Mint, Caramel, and Peanut Butter

Marea
240 Central Park South
New York, NY 10019
(212) 582-5100

Oahu Starbucks: Oatcakes

May 13, 2019 update: 

A second update (and good news). Thanks to Robert from Mililani!

“I also spoke with a very kind lady at the Honolulu Baking Company who said that she will be offering the oat cakes at Costco in packs of six (6). She added that they freeze well for up to a month.”

May 10, 2019 update: 

Hi, everyone. Some upsetting news today. Thank you so much to Robert from Mililani for the below email:

“Last week I went into Starbucks to purchase my oat cake only to learn that it had been replaced with a lame substitute from the Mainland… not EVEN close.

Very sad day for a foodie ;-(“

I agree it is a very, very sad day. And I have no idea why Starbucks would do this. I’ve been eating these oatcakes since middle school time and it breaks my heart that we won’t be able to get them anymore. They were the main reason I went to Starbucks. And they were SO delicious. I’ll ask around and see if Honolulu Baking Co. might be able to share recipe now given the situation.

June 1, 2018 update:

I originally posted about Hawaii Starbucks Oatcake in 2006, and then again in 2010. Over a decade later, this post remains one of the most popular posts on the blog. I would have never expected that! But it’s pretty cool. And fun. I still eat Oatcakes often when I am home in Hawaii (some habits never change). A few updates I want to note:

  • Not sure if Honolulu Baking Co. still bakes the Oatcakes or if they’re baked by another company.
  • I haven’t personally made the recipe Ken sent below. There seems to be an issue with the lack of blueberries in the recipe (which is supposed to give the oatcakes that blue/grey color).
  • I am trying to find out who the current baking company is. And get a recipe straight from the company. It would also would be fun if we could get into the kitchen to see the production process. I will keep you posted.

Original post (February 4, 2010):

In 2006 I made a post about the Oatcakes that you can find only at the Hawaii locations of Starbucks. They are wonderful.

A few things about these oatcakes (and why pastries at Hawaii Starbucks are much better than those on the mainland):

  • The pastries are baked locally, by the Honolulu Baking Co.
  • Locals are so addicted to these oatcakes that Betty Shimabukuro at Star Bulletin did an article on how to recreate them
  • …actually, make that two articles!
  • Oatcakes: not so pretty but very tasty
  • About 500 calories apiece

I recently received an email from a reader, Ken. He had fallen for the oatcake (no one can resist the charms of this oatcake) and emailed Honolulu Baking Co. for the recipe. And they gave it out, just like that! Ken was thoughtful enough to email me the recipe (thank you, Ken!). I thought we’d share it with you ^-^

The recipe makes plenty so plan accordingly…

Dry Ingredients

  • 7# oats
  • 4# whole wheat flour
  • 1 oz. baking powder
  • 4 tsp salt
  • 3 cup/1#4oz. brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 6 cup pecans
  • 4 cup cranberries
  • 3 cup dates

Wet Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 # butter (melted)
  • 2 1/2 # water
  • 2 cup honey

1. Sift flour, baking powder and salt together.
2. Combine all dry ingredients.
3. Add liquid, mix just until everything is incorporated.
4. Scale into 5 oz. balls, and press into 3″ cake rings.
5. Bake at @350F for 25 minutes.

The very first post about Starbucks Oatcakes (August 31, 2006)…

LINK HERE! I’ve also cut and pasted the post below for your reading pleasure ^-^

The Starbucks Oatcake. Only found in Hawaii. And not even all of Hawaii. Only on the island of Oahu. Kinda neato, eh? I was introduced to these mysteriously ugly brown rounds by my friend Noelle. She would bring them into our high school newspaper office every so often and munch on them for breakfast/lunch/snack, or whatevers. I was intrigued. It took quite a while to eat, those heavy monsters. And they weren’t very attractive at all.

Then one day, out of sheer curiosity more than anything…I bought one. $2.25. Weightwise, I felt as if I were carrying 3 or 4 of their scones. I pulled it out and inspected it. Ugly. Moldy appearance. Hard. I couldn’t wait to dig in :)

And you know what? These things are awesome! Close your eyes and eat. Eat bit pulled off (I wouldn’t suggest biting a piece off with your mouth) is a bit chewy with the faintest taste of honey. Lots of nutty oats and the occasional bit of blueberry, but more often, dried cranberries. Blended with ground walnuts, it’s not too sweet yet satisfies my dessert and lunch craving. And at 500 calories a piece, you bet it’s a lunch! So add this on you list of excuses to come visit our little island: I need to go to Starbucks. And please don’t turn your nose up high. I like Starbucks. Besides, the oatcakes aren’t shipped over from some random place but are baked by our very own local Honolulu Baking Co.

And make sure to visit early as they sell out fast – islanders are addicted to these Hawaiian Hockeypucks. Here’s comment posted by “MR” on the Starbucks Gossip post on the general crappiness of Starbucks pastries, “The only Starbucks that has good pastries are the ones in Hawaii. Why? They use local vendors. That’s what all of them should do! They have a killer oatcake!” Indeed. Why in fact, it’s caused quite a bit of experimenting on the part of Hawaii’s newspapers and local homecooks more than once. But after reading the recipe, I think I’ll stick with purchasing them!