Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Use Your Noodle - Try Ippudo

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To celebrate the start of winter, with the snow piled on the streets of New York six-feet high, the foodies headed out for the kind of meal that not only warms you up physically, it warms you from the inside out…We passed on the traditional comforts - mac & cheese, meatloaf and mash potatoes and opted for comfort food Japanese style, ramen. We choose Ippudo located on the UES.

Some very important facts before we share our “feelings” on the evening:

1) Ramen noodles are way more complex that that instant noodles that you got through freshman year of college. Good ramen noodles are hand-pulled. )What does that mean? Check out this video from the New York Times and their awesome Dining reporter Julia Moskin). Ramen is the official food of Japan (although it is believed to have been conceived in China) and is considered a staple in Asia—today most Asian cultures have there own form of the dish.

2) With NY-based chefs like David Chang and his Momofuku empire, ramen has grown significantly in popularity (see my Oct 28, 2009 post on Momofuku)

3) Ippudo, our pick for the evening, has 40 locations in Japan and has been around in more than 25 years. The NY location is its first forray outside of Asia.

4) The restaurant does not take reservations and even on a Tuesday there is a wait… a long one. Even with several feet of snow on the ground and on a “school night” we waited for more than hour….

At the bar, we partook in some excellent cocktails while we waited… and waited… Once we were admitted into the dining room, there was a certain bustling in the air. The wait staff shouts at each other in Japanese (including the Americans). We sat at a big round communal table. We were hungry.

Cutting to the chase… the pork buns were out of control… literally the best I’ve ever had… It was like eating perfectly cooked, not too fatty piece of pork belly on little clouds. The buns were so light they melted in your mouth. I wanted to order more for dessert, but was turned down! We also got a short rib and fried chicken appetizers, both were great, but if you remember one thing from this post – GET THE PORK BUNS!

We then shared two ramen dishes a Tori Ramen a classic ramen dish with a light, clear broth, pork, soft boiled eggs and other goodness. We also shared a special, darker ramen on the menu for the winter season.

If you like noodle soup, pork products and salt, Ippudo could easily become your favorite.

65 4th Avenue (between 9th and 10th)

Friday, February 11, 2011

FC Nibble: Commerce - It’s not JUST about the Birthday Cake…..

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So, my cousins, The Altenaus (Michael and Maureen), were coming to the city. They wanted to take in a day at The Whitney and then (very generously!) take me out to an NYC dinner. Because of our blog, they asked ME where to go for dinner. Oh the pressure! So I went to my go-to human Zagat and fellow Foodie in NYC, Danielle, who did not disappoint!

She had gone to Commerce (not a “new” place but one with a great reputation) for dinner on New Year’s Day and she was pissed. She was pissed because her boyfriend and fellow friend of the Foodies, Mitchell, talked her OUT of having the birthday cake at Commerce for dessert. The nerve! So Danielle, after having a fabulous meal at Commerce, she went home dessertLESS with birthday cake on her mind!.

Needless to say, Danielle had Commerce on the mind. So when I went to her with my dilemma, she immediately recommended I take my beloved Altenaus there immediately.

So I made a reservation (which is a must)! Right away Michael was drawn to the cocktail menu, specifically the Sazerac, which is an old-fashioned type cocktail with rye and absinthe - a la Mad Men. He was skeptical, but gave big kudos to the bartender (by ordering a second)!

What then followed was a wonderful dinner of gnocchi with Italian sausage, papardelle with lamb and finally, broiled skate. Did I mention the homemade bread?! I have to say, for someone who doesn’t like seafood, the skate was….good! I don’t know that I would order it, but I was pleasantly surprised (and Mo almost licked her plate).

But now onto the pièce de résistance – the birthday cake. Out came a four-layered vanilla cake with rich chocolate icing, sprinkles and a candle! We ordered the banana pudding as a side dish for the dessert and it was delicious! So Danielle, thanks for the recommendation – and Mitch, take her back to Commerce for the birthday cake!

50 Commerce Street
New York, NY 10014

Monday, February 7, 2011

WTFood Bite of the Day

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The McNuggetini: A Chocolate Milkshake With Vanilla Vodka, Rimmed With BBQ Sauce And A Chicken McNugget

While we, the Foodies In NYC, pride ourselves on being adventurous foodies (and drinkies!) we're not sure there is EVER enough alcohol to make THIS sound good!