NYC | Annisa

Dinner for two at Annisa.

Quiet, elegant and understated. One of my favorite restaurants in the city. The seven-course tasting begins with chicken liver mousse with cranberries and mustard.

Course 1: Fluke crudo with radishes and black lime.

Course 2: Soup dumpling filled with foie gras mousse and jicama, then topped with seared foie gras. The balsamic reduction replaces the black vinegar usually paired with traditional soup dumplings.

Course 3: Miso-marinated sable with crisp silken tofu. Served in bonito broth…with a generous hand of tobiko.

Course 4: Frog legs and lobster with white speckled grits and seared okra

Course 5: Long Island Duck, three ways:

  •  Duck confit layered with potatoes and topped with a quail egg
  •  Duck breast, seared and served over foie gras hollandaise
  •  Duck gizzards tossed with frisée in a tangy vinaigrette

Course 6: Seven cheeses with walnut bread and grapes “dried on the vine.”

Clockwise from top:

  • Toma Walser (Cow, Italy)
  • River’s Edge Siltcoos (Goat, Oregon)
  • Pecorino Ginepro (Sheep, Italy)
  • Quadrello di Bufula (Buffalo, Italy)
  • Tetilla (Cow, Spain)
  • Ewe’s Blue (Sheep, NYC)
  • Roquefort (Sheep, France)

Course 7: Poppyseed bread and butter pudding. One of the best bread puddings around. It comes to the table hot, plated on housemade meyer lemon curd, and with a crunchy, sugar-dusted crust. Sink your fork deep and inside is all custard soft, sweet with vanilla and poppy seeds in each bite.

Pear posset (think panna cotta minus the gelatin) with elderflower and shiso. This was a second dessert, but I can never get over the warm bread pudding ^_^

Mignardises: frozen mint truffles, candied ginger, and pineapple popsicles.

Annisa, 13 Barrow Street, New York, NY 10014, (212) 741-6699

NYC | Grand Marnier Soufflé

When’s the last time you had a proper Grand Marnier Soufflé?

It’s called Soufflé Chaud at DBGB where <a href=" the steam. And pour in the vanilla anglaise. All of it.

Warm and cloud-like, just boozy enough with that finish of sweet anglaise.

Man, we are lucky to live in NYC.

All the Details I

1. A quiet afternoon at Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria. I come often for weekend lunch, but there’s something so nice about a quiet weekday afternoon. Whatever you do, don’t skip the

bottarga spaghetti


zuppa inglese

for dessert.

2. Never underestimate the power of a good candle. I usually have a candle burning on my desk in the evening. Right now it’s

Orchid Rain

from Jason Wu, a base of white orchids rounded out with Asian pears, goji berries, pomegranate, and pink pepper.

3. It’s a 10-minute walk from the apartment to my daily wine class at the ICC. My morning routine often includes a stop at Balthazar Bakery for croissants,

oat scones

, and that oh-so buttery

chausson aux pommes


4. I make 

marbled tea eggs

 by the dozen. Black tea, shoyu, dried mandarin peel, brown sugar, star anise, Sichuan peppercorns and hours of simmering on the stove. So easy, so rewarding. Going to turn the next batch into


marbled tea eggs.

5. I’m gradually making my way through the classic scents by Atelier Cologne. For rainy (and super cold) days, I reach for

Oolang Infini

. It’s haunting, mysterious with oolong tea and bergamot as the key notes. It also edges on the masculine side with smoke and leather. Totally up my alley…


they have a

matching candle


6. A steaming mug of hot chocolate is my go-to order at La Colombe. I love that it comes unsweetened. It’s almost bitter, but still creamy and intense. I add two little sticks of sugar: one white and one brown ^_^

Barcelona | Tea with Tiffany & Co. and Mandarin Oriental

Let’s fly to Barcelona…

…so we can stay at the Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona and go for afternoon tea.

Did you hear about their new afternoon tea? It’s a collaboration with Tiffany & Co., dainty sweets and savories reinvented in hues of Tiffany blue. What’s not to love ^_^

P.S. Variations on afternoon tea from Mandarin Oriental, New York


Fashion afternoon tea


Mandarin Oriental


NYC | Dessert Tasting at Gotham Bar and Grill

Cross your fingers…dessert tastings are coming back in NYC ^_^

Years ago we had a bunch of dessert tasting options (wd-50, Room 4 Dessert, etc). They slowly disappeared. But then last year, Per Se launched a dessert tasting, and now Gotham Bar and Grill has one too. Huzzah!

The theme is Valrhona Chocolate. Each course features a different chocolate, light to dark. Three courses for $30, plus $20 for wine pairings. Might as well go all the way.

1st Course

  •  White (35%)
  •  Salted Ivoire Chocolate
  •  Lime, white rum gelée, compressed pineapple and coconut sorbet

Love how the white chocolate is grated in a flurry over the top. That extra bit…

…of lime zest makes this reisling all the more appropriate. We’re drinking the Riesling Kabinett “Maximin Grünhäuser Herrenberg” von Schubert Mosel, Germany 2010.

2nd Course

  •  Brown (40%)
  •  Jivara Chocolate Mousse
  •  Macadamia sable, praline, and coffee ice cream

Pairing: Sherry, Pedro Ximenez, “Solera 1927” Alvear Montilla-Moriles, Spain NV

3rd Course

  •  Black (72%)
  •  Araguani Chocolate Cremeux
  •  Blood orange, black cocoa cookie, and chocolate sorbet

Here’s a closer look. The courses are thoughtfully balanced, you don’t feel heavy at anytime throughout the tasting. With this dessert, there are juicy blood orange segments to offset the multiple chocolate (so many textures!) elements…

…and a glass of port to finish.

This is the “Late Bottled Vintage” Quinta do Noval Porto, Spain 2005

And mini financiers before heading home. Dark chocolate, almond, and pistachio.

Ron Paprocki (the pastry chef) used to be a baker at Financier. These are a sweet nod to those days ^_^

Previous posts on Gotham:

Gotham Bar and Grill | 12 E 12th Street,  NY, NY 10003 | (212) 620-4020