Showing posts from March, 2014

An Ode to Baklava

Today, one of my interns brought a tray of assorted baklava to the office.  To reiterate how my previous post started:
"Sugar crash is a very real and very brutal thing, my friends."
Turns out her parents own Hookah Nuts, a store in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, that sells hookah and nuts.  Along with a bunch of hookah devices (although they are colorful and kind of elegantly shaped, I find them scary looking, like some sort of medieval torture instrument) and bins overflowing with nuts, they also sell dried fruits, candy, knickknacks, paddywhacks, nougat, and delicious baklava, the topic of day's ode.  Side note: their nougat is also amazing, but I could rhapsodize about that in an entirely other post...

Look at that macro phyllo dough action!  The delicate sprinkling of ground pistachios!  The glisten of sticky syrup!  Finally, the pièce de résistance (one you cannot see in the picture), is the ever-so-subtle hint of rosewater infused in the baklava.  The texture is at first c…

Macaron Day 2014

Sugar crash is a very real and very brutal thing, my friends.
Today is the first day of spring and today is Macaron Day NYC 2014!  You couldn't have asked for more perfect weather for the annual macaron scavenger hunt, organized by Chef Francois Payard and inspired by Jour du Macaron in Paris.  Bakeries, patisseries, macaron-eries all across the city participate in handing out complimentary macarons, with the added charitable aspect that a portion of any macaron purchases during the day will be donated to City Harvest.
Behold, my macarons (which I think are some of the food porn-iest things to photograph, for some reason.  Those feet!  That bulge!  Such colors!  Ooh la la):
Francois Payard Bakery / Francois Payard Patisserie
 orange blossom
Mille-Feuille Bakery
all the goodies
salted caramel
Sugar & Plumm

Bisous Ciao

passionfruit, blood orange, and blackberry

Spot Dessert Bar
 green tea
Epicerie Boulud
 vanilla hazelnut

Grand Central Oyster Bar

Grand Central Station is one of those classic, iconic New York City landmarks with which I have only recently fallen in love.  From the ceiling constellations to the glitzy Apple Store to the shopping galleries and market stalls aplenty, there's certainly something for everyone from wide-eyed tourists to frazzled commuters to, well, me.  One of the special offerings at Grand Central Station is the Grand Central Oyster Bar down in the lower level.

If the train station upstairs is beautiful, then Grand Central Oyster Bar is super-sexy beautiful.  The restaurant is nestled in the tiled vaults of the station.  It is lit with an amber mood lighting that renders the Instagram filter unnecessary.  There are three distinct sections: the restaurant proper (where we dined), a grouping of lunch counters where they presumably shuck raw oysters right in front of you, and a big sports bar alcove off to one end.

I found the waitstaff to be very friendly, knowledgeable, and especially passionate…