September 19, 2015
Summer lingers in the city. The weather's wonderful, and I’ve been wandering the streets, stopping in to meet friends. Here are a few of the most delicious things I’ve eaten over the past few days.
Riding the crosstown bus the other day, I got a text from Lisa and Hiro; they had just sat down at the bar at Le Bernardin. I looked up; we were crossing Seventh Avenue, and I hopped off and went to say hello.
And ended up staying for a few delicious morsels, like that fluke in ponzu-chimichurri sauce above.
I really didn't meant to stay, but when these crisp little caviar sandwiches, with gruyere and smoked salmon arrived, how could I possibly leave?
Then there was this pounded yellowfin tuna, with jamon Iberico and sea beans.
I got up to go, but seduced by the joyous beauty of hamachi with rice krispy in kochujang sake vinaigrette sat down again. It was just so much fun! (And such a pleasure to eat.)
Finally, I really had to leave. I stayed for one last bite – lobster tail in lemongrass consomme with a refreshing little spring roll on the side – and walked out the door, feeling as I always do, that a great restaurant lifts your spirits and leaves you feeling both refreshed and fortunate.
That night I had the immense pleasure of stopping in at Food 52 for breakfast as dinner. It's a lovely space that feels more like a cozy cabin than a working office, filled with people who seem to revel in their work. We had a delightfully eccentric evening meal: matzo brei, corn pudding, peach cobbler, a summer squash casserole and fat slices of bacon – and even better conversation. You'll be able to hear all about it soon, on their podcast.
The next day, walking downtown after a radio interview I ran into Mario Batali, carrying a dozen eggs. He was off to the Four Seasons to celebrate his birthday (it's today). I was on my way to meet friends at Il Buco Alimentari, but along the way I ran into yet another friend, and pulled her along with me. I love it when this city feels like a village.
Lunch was impressive. My favorite moment? These figs, topped with lardo, marinated kombu and maracona almonds and sparked with lime zest. Spectacular – and unusual – combination.
Still, try though I may, I can never resist their version of spaghetti caccio e pepe:
Lunch was over, but not the day. Last night Bruce Cost cooked these gorgeous prawns. Fished from a tank, they were so lively they tried to jump from the pot. Is anything better than a perfectly steamed prawn?
For a final flavor he served these pig feet stewed in rock sugar with lots of vinegar and ginger. It's a dish you eat slowly, savoring every delicious morsel, thinking how lucky you are to be alive.
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