All Prepared on Astor

Look at all these sanitation trucks parked along Astor Place. Prepared!

Snapped this on today’s afternoon run to CVS when I had one of those panic moments 

what if we don’t have enough food/drink for the hurricane?

Not a soul on the street. Slightly eerie.

Hurricane Sandy aside, hope everyone had a good weekend. We saw an interesting

exhibit in Soho, got pizza delivery (the Calabrese) from Nicoletta, checked out the new location of Azaleas*, went to the New Amsterdam Market for cheese and ginger soda, had lunch at Dim Sum GoGo, and our usual Sunday dinner at Otto.

*In another life I wanted to open a lingerie store. I even had a name for it: Bralettes and Bottoms. Ha! More on this later :)

Paris | La Pâtisserie By Cyril Lignac

For this rainy Monday, a visit to La Pâtisserie By Cyril Lignac.

We stopped by this 11th arr. pâtisserie on the way to London. Croissants, sandwiches and sweets for the train ride. Will have to return on our next Paris trip…also because Bistrot Paul Bret is just a few doors down. That pepper steakAhhh goodness.

My dad (he of the ) was in heaven.

More on the croissants here.

We also got a few sandwiches. Tuna, olives, and lettuce on baguette…

…and another of roasted peppers, cheese, and ham.

Here’s a look inside, butter on both halves of the baguette.

A puffy olive loaf because my sister is obsessed with anything that involves olives.

And wobbly wedges of flan for myself. Baked in a flaky tart shells and topped with caramel, the whole thing perfumed with vanilla beans. This alone is worth a visit.

Madeleines are sold by the sets of three…

…one plain, one with a sour cherry jam center and another with honey.

An (Extended) Cider Week Menu at Gramercy Tavern

I prefer to stay in on Friday nights…restaurants are too crowded and the idea of staying home, cooking a good meal (I’m in charge of the food, Pierre takes care of the wine) seems much more appealing. But we’ll make an exception every now and then.

Yesterday, an early (6:30pm!) dinner at the bar of Gramercy Tavern. They’re doing a special Cider Week menu that runs till the end of next week. Arctic char tartare with pear and fennel to start. Followed by…

…scallops, mussels and clams. Served with black beans, apples, and squash.

For the main, grilled rabbit with broccoli rate and and roasted fingerling potatoes. I’ve always wanted to learn how to cook rabbit…maybe we will do that tomorrow night!

A pear crisp finished with vanilla bean ice cream and ring of hazelnut brittle.

Though this specific menu is for cider week, Gramercy Tavern always offers  of $48 four-course menu in the tavern room. Add wine pairings for another $20.

Clockwise from top left:

  • Apple Cider, Poma Aurea, 2007, Asturias, Spain
  • Apple Cider, Eve’s, Autumn’s Gold, NV, Finger Lakes, NY
  • Apple Cider, Farnum Hill, Kingston Black, NV, Lebanon, NH
  • Apple Ice Wine, Eden, Heirloom Blend, 2010, West Charleston, VT

Such a good value…and don’t forget about their “secret” lunch deal ^_^

Sugar Rush’ed…

Happy weekend! I write the Sugar Rush column for Serious Eats.

Pictured above is Dominique Ansel’s Marshmallow Apple. Every once in a while he creates these limited edition treats, they’re always so whimsical. And most importantly, delicious. Remember The Perfect Flower? This apple is actually a gigantic vanilla bean marshmallow dipped in a shell of chocolate. Split it open and…

…voilà! A gooey salted caramel core.

Indulgences from this week…
Tube de l’Ete at La Maison du Chocolat
Marshmallow Apples at Dominique Ansel Bakery
Butternut Squash Muffins at Cookshop
Molasses Cake and Almond Pear Tarts at Stumptown
Fresh and Frozen Yogurt at GRK

View from Asiate

There’s a hurricane heading for the Bahamas and the weather is supposed to get stormy in NYC. Call me crazy but I’m looking forward to a possible weekend of endless rain and wind. Look at those clouds! Open the curtains for a front row view and light the candles, Woody Allen movies all night long. I snapped this photo inside Asiate at the Mandarin Oriental this afternoon. It’s one of the prettiest restaurants in NYC…

…how could you ever tire of this view?

It is indeed spectacular. We’re facing Central Park from the south-west corner. Anyone know what that super tall, skinny building is? I’ll try find out.

P.S. The mountain berry tea I love so much is still on the menu and they added a fall apple cider drink. Stirred with pear nectar and delivered with a cinnamon-sugar rim.