Monday, April 30, 2012

Dinner at The Stanton Social in NYC

I think watching all these food network and food shows like Top Chef has made me stalk different NYC restaurants.  After waiting for quite some time, I finally got to go to Stanton Social with Jordan.  The food was all wonderful and the order that they brought it out somehow was perfect because everything got better with each new course. I also love trying as many different things as possible so tapas-style is always preferred.  There are still so many things on the menu that I want to try, but for now I would recommend each adn every dish we tried.  Great job Chris Santos!
White bean amuse bouche.  I always like it when restaurants give you free things, even tiny ones ha

Red snapper tacos with creamy avocado and spicy mango

Maryland Jumbo Lump Crabcake Corn Dogs...heavenly

French Onion Soup Dumplings - most popular and I can see why.  Super packed with flavor and much less messy than eating the soup itself.  Also the dish was so cute with the little holes

Thai Spiced Baby Back Ribs with hoisin BBQ glaze, jicama slaw, and lemongrass oil

Warm doughnuts.  SO DELICIOUS.  Caramel sauce, chocolate sauce, and raspberry sauce for dipping.  Excellence in that order. Perfect.

Red Velvet Twinkie with cream cheese filling.  The doughnuts were significantly better but still good to try, and only four dollars

Endorsement for Chris Santos with your check haha

Home-made Vegan French Toast + Bacon

Best breakfast combo ever...vegan french toast and bacon.  The epitome of diverse eating haha

More fun with the deep fryer

So I claimed that I was going to try to eat healthier as I have two weddings coming up soon and the Bar will be starting, which means extra temptation to pig out so that I don't cry over my giant Bar study books.  It has been a rocky start so far since acquiring this new deep fryer.  I had the idea of a salad with something deep fried on top.  But then I realized that was not really healthy, so might as well go balls-to-the-wall as some people say haha.  Thanks to Bobby Flay and Rachael Ray for their inspiration on these bad boys.
Hand-cut sweet potatoes fries - tasty but next time I will cut a little thicker

Sweet potato fries with chipotle ketchup - CK was SOO GOOD.  Heart you Bobby Flay for the recipe

Buttermilk Fried onion rings. Again thanks to BF.

Buttermilk Fried Chicken Tenders - Thanks to Rachael Ray for these

Fried Chicken Salad - almost an oxymoron. Romaine lettuce, navel oranges, tomatoes, chicken tenders, and home-made honey mustard vinaigrette.

New Doritos Locos Taco at Taco Bell

I almost feel sacrilegious posting this up here, but it is a legitimate food review.  Dan and I went to Taco Bell to finally try the new Dorito-shell taco a.k.a. Doritos Locos Taco.  And I cannot even claim there was a particular need to have this type of food - I just wanted to try it and nothing else jumped out at me as a better option of my first meal of the day.  The first bite was a little WTF/saltapalooza, but as I ate on it got better.  At the end I actually overall enjoyed it, but a weird start.  Would I drive all the way (or rather, have Dan drive all the way) to a Taco Bell to try this?  Probably not in hindsight.  But I'm glad I tried it.
How cute it comes in its own cardboard container so you can avoid getting excess cheez powder on your fingers haha

Regular not supreme

Dinner at Thirty Acres in Jersey City, NJ

A new farm-to-table type restaurant just opened up in downtown JC on Jersey Ave.  An excellent location - the restaurant is currently BYOB and is right next door to Jersey Ave Wine and Liquors.  The woman working there even had suggestions of wines to pair with particular dishes on the menu.  She got me to happily drink red wine for the first time in forever.  The owners of the restaurant are a young husband and wife - the wife was actually on the floor talking to customers and helping serve and expedite.  The husband was a chef for Momofuku in NYC.  Overall a high quality meal and I actually felt like I was in a restaurant in the city.  Super packed all the time, but fortunately while we waited we could shop for our booze ha.
Raw Fluke with carrot, tobasco, cilantro, and trout roe

Delicious wine but what is it in English?  We do not know

BBQ squid salad with pickled pearl onions, jalapenos, and cilantro.  Hands down best part of the meal

Whole roasted trout with baby turnips, cippolini onions and bacon.  Tasty but a little oily

Grilled Spanish mackerel with mushrooms, ramps, and salsa verde.  Again tasty but very, very oily.

Grilled Asparagus with hummus, mustard seed, and black olive vinaigrette.  Good but probably not worth $11

Kevin's Mom's lemon bar.  That is really the name.  Tasty and not overly sweet.  I wish it were more lemon-y though rather than buttery/carb-y.

Christening the Deep Fryer

Ham and cheese Croquettes
Thanks to Dan, who decided to get a me a compact deep fryer for my 27th birthday. Isn't it romantic?

Dinner at Brownstone Diner II in Jersey City, NJ

Spring Salad - Mixed greens, endive, radicchio, dried cranberries, almonds and gorgonzola cheese in a balsamic vinaigrette + grilled chicken

Salmon Funghi Salad - Grilled salmon, portabella mushrooms, baby spinach and almonds served with homemade key-lime dressing

French fries + gravy yumm
So we've probably gone to Brownstone like dozens of times, but here's the second posting: the "healthy" edition.  Meaning salads + gravy fries haha.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Family birthday celebration in Clifton, NJ

SO MUCH delicious filipino food.  Plus my favorite cake ever - carrot cake from Little Pie Company in NYC.  Hungry Panda is at least temporarily no longer hungry :)

Bangus (fried milkfish) from the Filipino Store

Best carrot cake in the world (minus the one I make :)

Crispy Pata from the Filipino Store

My dad's panko-encrusted fried shrimp

Paella Valenciana from The Portuguese Tavern

Pancit Palabok from the Filipino Store

My dad's Pinakbet (veggie stew)

Pork BBQ from the Filipino Store

BEST RIBS IN THE WORLD courtesy of HP's dad

Dinner at La Conguita in Jersey City, NJ

Laura, Jess, Kavita, Michael and I went to La Conguita for Jess's birthday.  Have been there several times and each time I leave extremely full and satisfied.  This time was no different, except we tried the sangria and it was delicious and super cheap - $20 for a giant sized pitcher.  I got my usual pernil but everyone said their food was great.

Jess's bistec palomilla with maduros, rice rice, and chimichurri sauce

My pernil, red beans, rice, and maduros

27th Birthday Dinner at Seven Spring Food and Wine in NYC

Vegetarian Baby Spring Rolls

Steamed pork shumai - delicious and definitely tasted freshly made

Lobster bisque with two large shrimp tempura

Ebi shrimp tempura

Vegetarian organic tofu & shitake mushroom tacos

Korean beef bulgogi tacos w/kim chi

Trio Sliders B: Wild Boar, Kobe beef & Antelope. Wild boar was my fav! 

Kitchen Sink sushi roll - shrimp tempura, crabmeat, tuna, salmon, avocado with lime wasabi and eel sauce

Seared Spicyi Tuna tacos

More korean bulgogi tacos w/fries

A group of some of my best friends joined me for my 27th birthday dinner at Seven Spring Food and Wine in NYC.  There were Dartmouth friends (Pooja, Greg, Karem), high school/elementary school friends (Risheen & Elena), and of course law school friends all together (Tracy, Nicole, Laura, Kavita, Jess, Dan, and Andrew).  The food was a great though somewhat odd mix of Asian fusion and exotic meats.  The food was all delicious and super rich, and the drink deals were awesome too.  I'd definitely want to come back to try some other things on the menu.  Somehow I got super full though I don't think I really ate that much.  Must just be a sign of how great the place is.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

All You Can Eat Mussels at Bistro La Source in Jersey City, NJ

Bistro La Source has probably one of the best all-you-can deals that I've EVER seen!  On Monday nights they have all-you-can eat mussels for $10 per person.  They have six different kinds of mussels and you can refill with different sauces each time.  Dan and I made it through three rounds each, so we got to try each of the different sauces.  I must say, the price and food were definitely worth it, but you need to have some patience as the service is a bit spotty.  Our particular waitress seemed out of it, even asking me after we had asked for the liquor menu and after I ordered cider, whether I knew that the cider was, in fact, hard.  Meaning she thought I didn't know it was alcoholic.  WTF.  Also we ordered fries to go with our mussels, and they didn't arrive until the end of round two.  We also were not offered bread likes some tables, but had to ask for it from same waitress and didn't get it until after we had devoured the first round.  However later when we asked from a different waitress, we got it right away.  So again, spotty service.  There was also outdoor seating but the wait was long so we decided to eat indoors.  Overall though definitely worth a Monday night trip.  $10 for like a gazillion mussels haha.
Bowl #1: Thai - coconut milk, garlic, ginger, Thai basil and chilies

Bowl #2: Normandy - mushrooms, bacon, onion, and cream. $1 supplement for this.

Bowl #3: Diablo - tomato, garlic, red chilies

Bowl #4: Curry - cilantro and cream

Bowl #5: Mariniere - garlic, shallots, white wine, and butter

Bowl #6: Provencale - tomato, garlic, white wine, herbs

Mussels Monday Menu

If I had to rank them, they would be as follows:
(1) Normandy - cause bacon makes everything better!
(2) Curry - it's tough but I thought this had slightly better flavor than Thai
(3) Thai - nice coconutiness, but slightly less powerful than curry
(4) Diablo - a lot of flavor but for me overpowered by spicyness
(5) Provencale - tasty and tomato-y but nothing that memorable
(6) Mariniere - traditional white wine butter sauce. Just way too salty and comparatively not as exciting