Monday, December 15, 2008

Momofuku and Other New York Foods

Karen and Jasper and I went to NYC for five days last week. Here's what we ate (not including baby food). It starts on a travel day, upon our arrival at the Fulton Street subway stop in Bed-Stuy Brooklyn.

  • Late lunch was a couple mediocre NY slices, five garlic knots, and a Jamaican beef patty (for Karen).
  • After a long walk in the bitter cold, we made some miso tofu soup and watched a really awful movie on the couch.

  • Brunch at a dive in SoHo (my huevos rancheros were nachos with two eggs and Hormel chilli on top). A crappy joint, totally out of place in the boutique shopping Mecca, but at least we had no qualms feeding Jasper at the table.
  • Dinner from a Bed-Stuy Trinidadian restaurant, Folukie. Discovered "roti," a kindred spirit to the mission-style burrito (a la Chipotle or Cafe Ole).

  • Breakfast in hipster haven Bedford Ave in Williamsburg. It was a crunchy granola style coffee shop with some really tasty tofu scramble on a so-so bagel.
  • Late Lunch: A fantastic $3 falafel w/pickles and cabbage
  • Dinner at Momofuku in the East Village. This was a major birthday present for Karen. The experience was so fantastic, I'm going to try and describe each item. But first, about the context... this place is in the restaurant district and it was one of the only places that wasn't empty. Since Momofuku is a noodle bar, it's not fine dining. Seating is cramped, with strangers squeezed into short communal tables and/or the bar. Despite this, we each ordered a beer (mine was a 22) and got comfortable, really excited with expectation (check out the press section of their site to find out why):
  • Seven spice potato chips: hand cut and perfectly seasoned, kinda tasted like "crab chips" but asian.
  • Egg with soy sauce: Not believing that they would really bring me an egg topped with soy sauce, I agreed to the $2 price tag and ordered it. When it came out, the soft boiled egg was cut in half and there was rich sauce on top adorned with sauteed garlic. Delicious!
  • I ordered the ginger scallion noodles with seasonal vegetables. The sauce was insanely good. No idea what they put in it. The noodles were hearty. For $11, it may have been the only item without animal products, but it was very satisfying.
  • Karen ordered the skate wing with brussel sprouts, kimchi and bacon. She was blown away by the caramelization on the sprouts. The fish was cooked better than I've had it before (even though it's been great at Edo's and Baccus), with a crispiness on the outside and really tender and slightly chewy on the inside (that's a defining characteristic of skate). Her plate was freakin' profound. She especially liked the use of bacon, although it wasnt' evident in the skate, mostly the sprouts/kimchi.
  • For dessert, we split an order of smoked maple soft serve ice cream with praline topping. If this sounds strange, you might have to taste it to get it. Think balsamic on strawberries. The sweetness and smokiness really played off one another. Neither of us could believe what we were eating. This dish had us floating out the door with our heads in the clouds. (update! I totally forgot the pumpkin horchata that was sweet, light, and delivered the essence of pumpkin without the predictable spice blend). Momofuku!

  • Breakfast was skipped, but Karen heated up some Morningstar Farms sausage links.
  • At Chelsea Market, we had cupcakes from Elenora (maple walnut w/cream cheese icing was our favorite). Bought a $12 bottle of truffle oil (100ml), cuz the last one lasted me a year. We picked up a couple panini's for a snack while running between Times Square and FAO Schwartz.
  • Stopped in Greenwich Village for Thai food (pretty good stuff) and a round of Stella Artois. We also popped into Murray's famous cheese shop to pick up some apps for dinner at home that night. We got a baguette, misc. olives, a head of roasted garlic, a small wheel of a brie-like raw milk cheese called "Constant Bliss" from Jasper Hill Farms in Vermont. Also, a bit of goat cheese rolled in crushed red pepper. By the way, cheese is going to become a theme on this blog, so I hope you're ready for more.
  • Did I mention that this was Karen's official birthday? To celebrate, we bought four creme puffs from Beard Papa's bakery (you have to visit the link to understand how this French bakery run by Japanese women, got its name). Later, we put candles in them and chowed down. The puffs were out of this world.
  • Back at the house, Kyong's roommate made a big batch of Indian lentils, spiked with coconut milk for extra richness. Really tasty. Jasper was coaxed into sleeping by himself, and then everybody got drunk.

  • I made some eggs and soysauge. We went for a walk in the rain and picked up savory chive and cheddar scones from a bakery in Clinton Hill. Back home for more lentils and then we headed to the airport. Since our flight was delayed, we ate a cold sandwich at the terminal and fed Jasper some apple sauce from the snack bar.
The End.

1 comment:

  1. I am so jealous! I've heard such good things about Momofuku and I so love noodles!


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