Showing posts from March, 2013

Tommy Lasagna

Shout out to my girls, Christie and Julia!
When one of my girlfriends said we were going to have dinner at a place called Tommy Lasagna, the image I conjured in my mind was of a rustic stone chamber with a rickety wooden table and splintery chairs, a kindly portly grandma serving us pasta with her famous Sunday sauce and pouring wine from a jug of grape juice she fermented in the cellar, and the candlelight casting long shadows against the wall.  Y'know, something romantic and picturesque and smacking of Italia.
Tommy Lasagna was sort of the exact opposite, but the food was equally as delicious and the whole experience was divine.  Tommy Lasagna is in the Gramercy neighborhood of Manhattan.  Its decor is sleek, modern, and minimalist - nothing like the rustic, rural Olive Garden-esque wannabe I had in mind.  My dining companions were starving by the time I arrived, so we ordered quickly and we maaaaaay have experienced that "your eyes are bigger than your stomach" pheno…


If a place sells baked goods, there's a good chance Alex and I will pop in for a whiff and a taste of its goodies.  One of our favorite places to visit is the traditional Italian bakery.  I'm fortunate to have a few of these near me in Bensonhurst, and we've gone around to Ferrara's and Veniero's in Lower Manhattan.  Another cutesy Italian bakery right near NYU is Rocco's.

As per the Rules of Italian Bakery-ship, there is a vast glass counter filled with a huge variety of pastries, cakes, cookies, and nibbles.  The sensory experience of an Italian bakery is unmistakable and intoxicating; the eyes take in the glistening pastries, the nose picks up whiffs of dough and powdered sugar and sweet almonds, and the mouth starts to drool.  The staff bustle behind the counter, taking orders and packaging goodies.

This trip, we had a napoleon and a key lime mini pie.  I liked the napoleon, though the cream was too sweet for my taste, and the key lime pie filling was a st…

Fatty 'Cue

Oh, brunch.  The beautiful meal for beautiful weekends when the weather is finally warming up and the skies are sunny and blue and the snow from yesterday's storm is melting away.  A meal that is supposed to be a hybrid of breakfast and lunch foods but can be eaten even into the late afternoon before spending the rest of the day wandering and discovering the city's great treasures.
This weekend, we had a lovely brunch at Fatty 'Cue with a group of friends.  I've heard a lot of good things about Zac Pelacchio's Fatty Crew, which includes Fatty 'Cue and Fatty Crab, both located in the West Village.  How I'm guessing the story goes: American Chef goes to Asia, has an gastronomic epiphany, goes back to America to cook fusion Asian food for hipster New Yorkers.  Anyway, I'm very thankful for whoever persuaded Chef Pelacchio to make his sojourn because I loved Fatty 'Cue and I can't wait to visit its cousin Fatty Crab.
When we first arrived at 'C…

Murray's Cheese Bar

Murray's Cheese Shop is a foodie mecca located in The Village. It's right behind NYU, so that insured a lot of visits to sample cheeses and view all the funky offerings sitting quietly and gracefully in glass cases.  Murray's has an actual cheese cave in the basement where they age their cheese.  A cave.  Isn't that wild?!  One of my dreams will be to go cheese spelunking with Murray's professional cheesemongers!
Right next to the cheese shop is Murray's Cheese Bar, a restaurant that serves the unique and local cheeses sold in the shop.  Most of their cheese are local in the sense that they are milked from New York cows...and local in the sense that they have been aging in the cave in the basement.  Their menu includes cheese fondues (savory and sweet), grilled cheeses, cheeseburgers, and most importantly, the Cheesemonger's Flight (charcuterie platters with meats, cheeses, and condiments).
We had a mixed plate of cheeses and meats and condiments on a beaut…

Paco's Tacos

When we last left off, my group of dinnermates was left on 86th Street in Brooklyn, hungry and cold and angry at Mona Lisa Bakery.  So we went across the street to our tried-and-true Paco's Tacos.  Before you yell out hysterically that Paco's Tacos can't possibly be authentic Mexican food and whatnot, relax: I agree.  Paco's Tacos is sort of like Chipotle with a few extra entree options and a full bar.  Since they opened in the fall, I've been there a bunch of times and Paco has not disappointed me like La Jaconde has.
We were seated immediately - complete with water in cute Mason jars and unlimited tortilla chips and salsa - when we arrived at Paco's.  I had my Usual (yeah, I'm sort of shocked at myself that I have a Usual at a taco place): BBQ chicken burrito with everything inside.  What you get is a very fat burrito with shredded chicken in a sweet barbecue sauce and the "everything inside" refers to tomato, lettuce, raw onion, and sour cream…