Tis the season for those excellent, sweet, crunchy, HONEYCRISP apples at the farmers market.
My new favorite shoe line, DIEPPA RESTREPO, and their collection of boldly awesome oxfords and loafers, which are perfect for lazy Sunday walks from one cafe to another.
Sunday roast will be PORCHETTA, you can check out Sara Jenkin’s recipe that I’ll be following, or just go visit Jenkin’s PORCHETTA in the East Village.
Rent BABETTE’S FEAST, curl with with a SIDECAR, and watch what is supposed to be one of the best food movies of all time.
photo from vandaagnyc.com
For the first time, I thought I could live in a restaurant. Vandaag is light and airy, clean lines, modern, the loudest details being subtle textures like wood slab ceilings and tiled walls. There are big windows looking out onto the East Village Streets. An old Lynyrd Skynyrd song plays. The servers wear cute printed aprons and converse. The restaurant has a clear focus: food from Denmark and Holland, genever (gin) and aqvavit. Not a bad focus.
I know nothing about Dutch food, but I do know I was in the mood for simple comfort food, whatever that may be. We tried a romaine salad with crumbled sausage, bitterballen (braised oxtail croquettes), and gravlax. They sent out an amuse bouche of hen pate, which was lovely, but made me feel like I was due to have a fancier meal than expected (or desired). The food is super creative and thoughtful. The owners come from Mayahuel, an expertly conceived tequila restaurant, so it’s no surprise they left no Dutch detail untouched. It’s a niche restaurant in fine form.
Will I return? Yes. I really want to try their Ham Burger, with gouda and charred onion, and maybe one of their beer cocktails. I might come with a group, as they have nice big booths to squeeze into, and the airiness of the restaurant is such a refreshing change to the usual table-upon-table setup of most New York restaurants. You almost feel like you left the city altogether.
Vandaag, 2nd Ave bet 6th and 7th Sts, East Village. For more information visit vandaagnyc.com
photo from Mermaid Inn Newsletter
They may not be the most glamorous thing in the world, but blue plate specials are primed for a comeback in the NYC restaurant scene, as evidenced by today’s announcement from my one my favorite seafood spots, The Mermaid Inn:
First introduced in the 1920’s as a way to give people
a great meal for not a lot of money,
the Blue Plate Special seems especially right for the times.
The Mermaid Inn
will be offering its own monthly version of this timeless classic,
starting with our ever popular
Lobster Sandwich, Fries and a Blue Point Beer for $20
Available everyday between 5:30 and 7:00 at both locations.
$20 for all that deliciousness? Back in the day before my 401K sank into a black hole, I happily shelled out $26 for a lobster roll. I didn’t blink an eye at the $8 beer to gulp down alongside it. So this deal seems particularly sweet. Of course, you do have to eat dinner before 7PM, which is unheard of when one lives in the city and/or doesn’t have kids.
Mermaid Inn does a FANTASTIC lobster roll with crispy Old Bay seasoned fries, and I’ve always been a fan of the bar there- it’s like you’ve stepped out of the East Village and into Cape Cod (I cannot say the same for the UWS location as I haven’t been there yet.)
The Mermaid Inn, 96 Second Ave bet 5th/6th St. East Village, NY Visit their website here: http://www.themermaidnyc.com/
the porchetta sandwich at Porchetta in the East Village
…until your first bite, when you realize the porchetta sandwich at aptly named Porchetta exists in a much higher stratosphere of things eaten between two pieces of bread. This is pork that has been rolled with herbs and spices like garlic, sage, rosemary and fennel pollen, the last of which chef/owner Sara Jenkins’ family sent directly from Italy. It spends hours roasting, until the skin becomes crispy like bacon, yet the inside stays moist and richly flavorful. A Sullivan St. ciabatta roll serves as the vehicle upon which this porchetta rides.
Frederick Twomey knows how to create a mood. At each of his wine bars around the city, you walk in and feel an aura of another place: the sexy rambunctiousness of Italy at Bar Veloce, passionate vitality at the Spanish-themed Bar Carrera, and the casual sophistication mastered by the French at the most modern of his wine bars, Solex.
something bubbly just seemed like an appropriate beginning in such a lovely spot