May 10, 2014
A brief stop at The Lobster Place in Chelsea Market, before going upstairs to tape Close Up at NY One with Sam Roberts. I love the energy of this place, which is almost always packed with people tearing steamed lobsters apart with their fingers, slurping oysters at the bar, eating sushi or simply browsing the extensive seafood offerings. I thought I was just looking around, but when I saw whole sea urchins at the oyster bar, I couldn't resist.
Even though they weren't as well-cleaned as they might have been, each fat orange lobe was sweet, sexy, singing of the sea. It felt like the most indulgent treat – just the thing on a gray New York day.
How can something as simple as a broccoli rabe frittata be so satisfying? Stopped in to meet some friends at The Breslin, thinking I'd have just a few bites of this puffy little egg cake before moving on. It turned out to be so delicious I had to order my own. Deceptively simple and utterly seductive, this was gently bitter, soft yet slightly crisp, spare and somehow rich. I litterally couldn't stop eating it. Then I had to steal some of this spectacular Caesar salad, dripping with anchovies, larded with crisp croutons and wonderful finger food.
Wandering down Elizabeth Street on my way to the Leonard Lopate show, I walked by the new Black Seed Bagel. I'd heard there was always a line. There wasn't. Impossible to pass up this opportunity to get in the door. It's a tiny place, spare and very crowded, and I stood for a while, studying the offerings. In the end I decided to go old school. This is the #1.
I like the size of the bagel, the density, and the way each one is baked over fire. Such a relief not to be faced with those airy baseballs that pretend to be bagels in New York these days. Small and compact, this one was delicious right out of the oven. But I can't help wondering what the bagels taste like once they cool down. Next time I'll get some to go.
Traveled on to Boston, where I ate one of the most delicious sandwiches of my life: heaps of rare roastbeef with crisp shallots, cheddar and Thousand Island dressing on a lovely little brioche from Cutty's in Brookline. It was so delicious – and I was so hungry – that I'd eaten the whole thing before I thought to take a picture. But I'll be back for another.
But here's my favorite flavor of the week.
After our talk at the Brattle Theater, Barbara Lynch took me to B&G Oysters. The oysters were perfect: cold, gorgeously opened, spilling with liquor. These clams, however, were even better. Fried Ipswich clams are my guiltiest pleasure. I've loved them my whole life. When the bellies are fried just right they turn into a kind of crisp, mysterious clam pudding. The B&G clams were so spectacular I ate two orders almost single-handedly, and I know I'll be thinking about them all week. I wish I'd eaten more when I had the chance.
Just one of many reasons to go back to Boston.
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