Sunday Supper: Northern Spy Food Co.

Sunday supper with Lauren. Restaurant? Northern Spy Food Co. I’ve been coming here a lot in the last month…dinner, brunch, lunch. I love it because the food is excellent, and the prices are just right. Entrees in the teens, sandwiches and salads in the tens, and all desserts $6. It’s hard to find prices like this with food this wonderful. AND it’s super close to my apartment. There is little to complain about!

But even at these prices, there are deals to be found. Every Sunday evening, the restaurant showcases a Sunday Supper special. The menu goes up around 4pm on Sunday afternoon, posted on their twitter account. Here’s the deal: $20 for three courses. Appetizer/Salad, Entree, and Dessert. For $20!!

Last week’s menu started with beets and Dunbarton blue cheese, then an entree of fried chicken and warm potato salad. Dessert was Chocolate cake sundae. Ohlala indeed.

This week’s Sunday Supper started with a celery root and arugula salad, a tangy vinaigrette, and a trio of fried nettle fritters…they sort of look like falafel, no? ;) Super light, and not the least bit greasy.
Then we moved onto the Coq au Vin with chunky mashed potatoes, skin and all. The maitake (aka ‘hen of the wood’) mushrooms were an extra special touch. First time I had maitakes were in April 2008 when Don included them in his roast chicken dish. I remember that meal distinctly, those mushrooms so robust and glorious, earthy, soaking up the juices.

In dreamland, my lover would whisper sweet nothings of “maitake, maitake” in my ear, while feeding me those same meaty mushrooms, sautéed in plenty of butter. Oh so much butter! Ahh, dreamland indeed.
Every time I see bread pudding on a dessert menu, I like to pretend that they put it there just for me. Because. Bread pudding is indeed my most favourite form of dessert. It’s quite popular in Hawai’i, but I feel like bread pudding just hasn’t “caught on” or whatever here in New York. Oh well. This is why when I see bread pudding on a Manhattan menu, I run towards with a flopping, eager belly and open arms…I LOVE BREAD PUDDING. At Northern Spy, the portion was generous, bordering on massive. Lauren and I looked at our bowls and was like, oh man, no way we can finish this. But go figure, oh yes, we both finished the dish. Licked it clean in fact.

The pudding was supple and warm, equal parts custard and bread, just how I love it. Plump raisins and cuts of apples for variety, a sweet burst of fruit here and there. But it was the unbashfully creamy, vanilla bean-flecked semifreddo that rounded the dish together. It’s the same semifreddo that comes with their apple pie. And if they sold it by the pint, I would be waiting at the door to purchase one for today and one for tonight and maybe one more for tomorrow.

Northern Spy Food Co.
511 East 12th Street
New York, NY 10009
(212) 228-5100

When It Rains On A Weekday Afternoon…

…the best thing to do is call up a close friend. One you haven’t seen in awhile. Pencil it in. Thrown on a big scarf, don’t forget the umbrella! Tea for two at Podunk in the East Village.
The chairs are mismatched, some tables too high, some too short. But the owner, Elspeth, is sweet and kind, and nothing else matters much when she passes you that big teapot of earl grey. There are many ‘tea sets’ to choose from…we were in the mood for the Nibbler Tea that afternoon, an assortment of savoury and sweet bites.
Now will you look at that! Cayenne-cheddar biscuits, little bitty scones with cream and a duo of jams: strawberry-basil and peach. There were almond tea cakes (though these were more like cookies than cakes), and gorgonzola-stuffed apricots. We also ordered a few cookies on the side…sugar crackles and chocolate chip.
And then you may linger away the hours with idle chit-chat…or if you’re both real estate brokers, as in our case, then chit-chat is simultaneously conducted with scheduling client appointments, reviewing listings, negotiating, and trying to talk sense into an unreasonable mortgage broker. Work, play, it’s all the same :)

231 East 5th Street
New York, NY 10003
(212) 677-7722

Starting The Mornings Off Right…

There was Friday morning at Abraço with Shann. A latte and cured olive cookie for Shann…
…and cortado for myself. I don’t often wake early enough on weekdays for a stop at Abraço, but we set our alarms extra early for that particular morning. Frigid weather! Hot liquids! It was promising start to the weekend.

Lunch was at Pecan with P in Tribeca. We both work in Tribeca, making for very convenient lunch and coffee meet-ups. For coffee in the neighborhood, we have RBC NYC, Moomah, Kafe 1668, and La Colombe. Lunch options? Bouley Bakery, Locanda Verde, Kiva Cafe, Little Pie Co., and Columbine. Pecan is a pricey though very solid neighborhood cafe…the seating is plentiful…lots of running into coworkers and nearby Citi-Bank employees. My soup + sandwich combo totaled just over $10.

Dinner? P took me out to Jules Bistro, which he assured me, being a Parisian himself, that the restaurant was indeed very French. It was my first visit to Jules, even though I only live four blocks away. Live jazz in the evenings, dishes of filet mignon, a bottle of wine, café liégeois for dessert, and it was as if we were in Paris.
Saturday (late) morning started off at Third Rail Coffee with P. A latte for him…
…and macchiato for myself.
We made our way further west into the village where I had to do a bit of real estate work. Midday meal at Le Pain Quotidien where we shared a trio of bites including Quiche Lorraine…
…split pea soup…
…and a chicken curry salad tartine.

Hope you are having a lovely weekend!

Tickets for Hawai’i in May and San Francisco in June are booked! There will be Barcelona and (hopefully) Paris in the fall. And Hawai’i again in the winter. Nothing like Hawai’i in the winter :)

86 East 7th Street
New York, NY 10003
(212) 388-9731

Pecan Cafe
130 Franklin Street
New York, NY 10013
(646) 613-8296

Jules Bistro
65 Saint Marks Place
New York, NY 10003
(212) 420-0998

Third Rail Coffee
240 Sullivan Street
New York, NY 10012

Le Pain Quotidien
550 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10014
(212) 255-2275

In The Afternoon…

…met P for lunch at Bouley. Post-meal cortado at RBC NYC. We nabbed the plush couch seats. Already have the Vietnamese Coffee planned for tomorrow ;)

And then it was off for an afternoon/evening of showings. Made it through the Village to Tribeca, then Chelsea and the LES today. A beautiful two-bedroom around the corner from Baohaus…another afternoon snack! My last client appointment was at an East Village condo, a convenient three blocks from my apartment. Dinner? A night in – big steak and hot rice.

71 Worth Street
New York, NY 10013
(212) 226-1111