Tag Archives: Brooklyn

Adventures In Gastronomy

All those glasses of wine were mine.

While I have spent the last eleventy-billion days writing about my recent trip to New York, I’ve failed to adequately describe the portion of our trip that would make any gastronomist jealous. That of course, was our adventure in food. I can say without a doubt that there is just so much to try in NYC, one could never cover it all. Granted, we gave it the good wholesome college try.

Our breakfasts included stops at Good Enough To Eat, Crumbs, and a random Irish Pub whose name eludes me. I opted for traditional irish oatmeal at Good Enough To Eat, a non-dairy cupcake at Crumbs (also known as the breakfast of champions), and the most perfectly poached eggs I’ve ever had at the irish pub. All were quite delicious, but I’m pretty sure that I slipped into a sugar coma after the cupcake. I honestly couldn’t eat it all – it was just too sweet.

Lunch at the Habana Outpost - fish tacos, Diablo chicken, and roasted corn on the cob.

My favourite lunch was definitely at Cafe Habana. Traditional Cuban food, a great environment, and did I mention the food? I had the Diablo chicken, while Steph and Gerarda both opted for the fish tacos. They also enjoyed a Cuban version of corn on the cob – roasted, with mayo and cheese. I am assured it was worth the clogged arteries. Of the lunch places to go to in NYC, I highly recommend this one. It’s the original Cafe Habana, and the one that spawned the Habana Outpost in Brooklyn – the same Cafe Habana that I was introduced to by my friend Mark during our visit last year. Seriously – you really need to go to this restaurant. Phenomenal.

This is about midway through dinner. Clearly I'm feeling no pain.

There were several dinners that require mention. First was the Argentine restaurant (Sosa Borella) that I chatted about here. I had the ceviche, and really would love to go back to try their other food. It was one of the better ceviches that I’ve tried. The atmosphere was great; probably a great place to spend a romantic evening with a loved one.

The next dinner that requires mention was of course the visit to Maloney & Porcelli’s for the weekend wine dinner. I started my meal with raw oysters, then followed that with rack of lamb. Finally, dessert included home-made fig newtons with amaretto and a coffee. Clearly that is more food than I can eat in one sitting, but I did the best that I could. The dinner was also paired with four wines: a bubbly, a very nice Chardonnay (which I’m not normally a fan of), a Cabernet Sauvignon – which I didn’t try, and a really delicious Malbec. Sadly, I didn’t get the name of any of them. Likely because of all the wine.

Chocolates and martinis at Ayza

Finally, there was the dinner at the Ayza Wine & Chocolate Bar – a restaurant with a name that we couldn’t resist. The restaurant specializes in wine, and chocolate obviously, but also in other things like cheese, and martinis (as if this wasn’t heaven enough for me, what with the wine & chocolate, they also had to throw in martinis?) I thoroughly enjoyed a really delicious smoked salmon tartine, paired with a chocolate almond martini and several dark chocolate chocolates. Be warned however, the serving sizes here were perfect for me. That is, I actually ate an entire meal! This clearly means that the servings are on the smaller side. But fear not, what they may lack in size (for some) they more than make up for in flavour. On the bright side, the meals definitely leave you ample space in your belly to sample the various chocolates; which I have to say were some of the best I had on the trip.

Of course, the trip also included multiple other chocolate stops that I’ve previously mentioned, as well as random coffees here and there. And there was a requisite visit to The Dead Poet so that I could continue on my quest to drink 100 pints of Guinness (item #185 on my Not-So-Bucket-List).

Amazingly, despite all of the food and beverages consumed I’m pretty sure I didn’t gain any weight. I bought some new pants from Hugo Boss and still comfortably fit into a size 28. I assume this is related to all of the walking, and the fact that I didn’t actually consume a large quantity of any one thing – just tastings of as much as I could.

Anyway, I’d love to say that it’s nice to be home and back to my regular food schedule, but honestly I miss New York and I can’t wait to go back. But don’t worry folks, that’ll be sooner rather than later.

Dear New York: The Doctors Are Coming For You

I can’t believe my next trip is in four days! That’s right folks, I’ll be boarding a plane on Thursday with Dr. Steph and Dr. Gerarda, heading to the Big Apple. This will be about my eleventy billionth visit to New York, and I’m still stoked about it. Okay, maybe not so much my eleventy billionth, but my dad did suggest that perhaps I should just get a place there and ‘vacation’ back here. I’ll have to give that some thought.

Regardless, I’m rather stoked for a few reasons, which I shall present to you in list form of course:

  1. Book of Mormon This play has won a bunch of awards, was written by the guys who created South Park and the guy who wrote the next play (item 2). Gerarda has already seen it, and has raved about it. Clearly, that was enough for me. Plus I love South Park, so seeing this really is a no-brainer.
  2. Avenue Q Since we were going to see Book of Mormon, we figured why not also see Avenue Q – the play created by the other writer of Book of Mormon. Also, it’s a play about puppets. How could I not see it?
  3. Cafe Habana Several trips ago, I was introduced to this restaurant by my friend Mark. The food was incredible and I’ve been raving about it to Gerarda ever since. While we won’t be able to go to the Habana Outpost in Brooklyn (since it is closed for the season), we are going to the original restaurant. My mouth is already watering.
  4. Dear chocolate: I'm coming for you.

    Chocolat Michel Cluizel This will be a first time visit for me. And it all came about because of The Twitter. Specifically, I was having a conversation with @NewtonsNoGluten (also known as Jeremy Newton). He had suggested I try this particular chocolate because he had enjoyed it so much. A quick query of the all-powerful Google informed me that Michel Cluizel has a shop not far from my hotel. Clearly the universe wants me to eat this chocolate.

  5. Maloney And Porcelli Gerarda introduced me to this restaurant on one of our previous trips to the Big Apple several years ago. The wine dinner they offer is exceptional. Great food, and 4 different bottomless bottles of wine. It’s usually a crazy wine filled night, and is always followed by a visit to number 6 on this list.
  6. The Dead Poet A most excellent little pub on Amsterdam Ave. As of my last visit, I decided to join the 100 Pints of Guinness club. The point of the club is simple; drink 100 pints of Guinness. Not in all one sitting of course. Basically, if I manage to drink 100 Pints, I’ll have my name engraved on the list of people who have already accomplished this feat. If I get to 500, they give me my own engraved plaque. Clearly, this is something I have to do before I die.
  7. Crumbs This is a staple of our trips to NYC. Due to the use of butter-cream frosting, I don’t partake in the cupcake-y goodness. However, I have sampled some of their other products and they are awesome. Plus, the bakery smells incredible.
  8. Magnolia Another staple of our visits. This bakery smells like what I imagine heaven would smell like. So freaking delicious.
  9. Dear gin: You're not safe either.

    Breuckelen Distilling Company I discovered this distillery by complete fluke just the other day. That is, I was checking out videos on Vimeo, when I noticed a channel entitled Made By Hand. The channel descriptor suggested that it offered short documentaries about artisans who, clearly, made things by hand. The first episode was about a young man by the name of Brad Estabrooke who, after finding himself unemployed, decided to throw himself into the ring of spirit-making; thus making himself the first gin-distiller in NYC since prohibition. While watching the video I found myself wondering about the gin. Hence, I’ve decided that if I can get there, I’m going to try it. For your viewing pleasure, I’ve linked the short documentary about the distillery below. It’s only about 7 minutes, but well worth the time.

Anyway, New York is always a blast and always offers something new and entertaining whenever I visit. I’m sure this trip will be no different. And it doesn’t hurt that I’ll be travelling with Dr. Steph and Dr. Gerarda; two of the best travelling Doctors that have ever existed.

Made by Hand / No 1 The Distiller from Made by Hand on Vimeo.