Gabriel Kreuther: 6 Course Carte Blanche (NYC)

Gabriel Kreuther currently has 1 Michelin Star as of 2018. It is located in the Grace building, right across from (my favorite) Bryant Park. The restaurant serves classic French, specifically, Alsatian cuisine.  I took my parents here to celebrate Mother’s Day and we each had the six course carte blanche, wine pairing for myself since my parents didn’t drink.

Gabriel Kreuther

Savory Scallion Kougelhopf 
chive fromage blanc
Of all the breads that were offered that night, this was my favorite. I also enjoyed how light and tart the fromage blanc was.

Gabriel Kreuther

Tarte flambée is an Alsatian dish, composed of bread dough rolled out very thinly, topped with onions and some form of lardon – reminds me of pizza but more delicate and light. I’ve only had it once at La Tarte Flambée in NYC.

Gabriel Kreuther

Earth & Air 
beet bon bon, horseradish
yuzu-lychee cloud, rosewater glass
I loved air. These were little bites that just melted in your mouth. Of course, I’m a sucker for yuzu.

Gabriel Kreuther

Fire & Ice Pate de fruit
cucumber, gin, mint
mezcal margarita, kumquat, chili
Ice was refreshing while fire had a kick to it. Kind of like a refined jello shot.

Gabriel Kreuther

Foie Gras Terrine & Pistachio Praline
medjool date jam, strega, fennel pollen waffle
This was a pleasant surprise since I didn’t think that foie gras should be mixed with anything, but the praline added a nice crunch to it. I still prefer whole foie gras though, like a barbarian.

Gabriel Kreuther

Langoustine Tartare
flying fish roe, salty fingers, cauliflower-macadamia puree
Cracking through the creme brulee-like top, you reach the scrumptious langoustine inside. This was one of my top dishes that night.

Gabriel Kreuther

Green-Walk Hatchery Trout 
scallion crema, rye cracker, champagne sauce 

Gabriel Kreuther

Castle Valley Mill’s Polenta 
poached farm egg, parma prosciutto, green tomato

Gabriel Kreuther

Rosemary Buckwheat Rolls
whipped lardo, chili, garlic
There was ample bread to go around all night.

Gabriel Kreuther

Black Angus Beef Tenderloin
green asparagus, roquefort, leek vinaigrette 

Gabriel Kreuther

Cucumber & Citrus 
cucumber granita, lemon cream, crystalized mint
This was a refreshing prelude to dessert.

Gabriel Kreuther

Decadent – Chocolate Caramel
mixed media crumble, chocolate mousse, caramel ice cream
So decadent I couldn’t finish it!

Gabriel Kreuther

Chocolates, petit fours 
Sugar overload. I had heard about Gabriel Kreuther’s famous chocolates and these did not disappoint. Loved the setting.

I also had the wine pairing but the menu they sent me had some errors on it – amateur mistake on my part for not jotting down the wine names as they were presented. I had assumed they would print me the correct menu. Oh well.

Gabriel Kreuther 
41 W 42nd St
New York, NY 10036
Reservations available via OpenTable

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Bacon Omakase at Belly

Belly

I was very fortunate to have been invited to this private supper club at Belly and briefly met Chef Johnny Wooh. His staff was warm and welcoming, and there was just enough bacon. (Just kidding, there can never be enough)

Belly

We started off with toast with kimchi butter, which was already amazing.

Belly

BACON SUSHI – in my opinion, the best dish.

Belly

Rib & pork bellyyyyyyyy

Belly

Bacon taco. Yes, you can fold it in half.

Belly

Spicy stuffed pepper (sausage inside) – bringing the heat!

Belly

Of course you musta have-a pasta.

Belly

They even make vegetables tasty.

Belly

Donuts with (HOLY) SMOKY CREAM mm mmmmm.

BELLY OMAKASE

355 WEST 14TH STREET
(BTW 8-9 AVE)
NEW YORK, NY 10014

Reservation is required (Omakase dinner is available exclusively for 12 guests per day every Friday and Saturday)

Tanoshi (NYC)

Tanoshi offers one of the most affordable omakases in NYC, and it’s quite easy to make reservations online. I also love that it’s BYOB. For $99, you get 10 courses of amazing fresh fish, and you can add more if you want from their menu on the wall (which changes according to what’s in season).

Tanoshi

Tanoshi

Tanoshi

Tanoshi

Cherry trout

Tanoshi

Amberjack with cherry blossom leaf

Tanoshi

Sardine

Tanoshi

Botan with uni (one of my faves)

Tanoshi

Blue fin toro

Tanoshi

Tanoshi

XXX (FAVE)

Tanoshi

Tanoshi

Miso soup

Tanoshi

Tanoshi

Tanoshi

Additional courses that we ordered a-la-carte.

Tanoshi

Tanoshi

Salmon belly

Tanoshi

I had to get more of this!

Tanoshi

Yellowtail belly.

Tanoshi

Nakaochi

Tanoshi

Sea eel

Tanoshi

Crab brain

Tanoshi

 

Tanoshi
1372 York Ave
New York, NY 10021
b/t 73rd St & 74th St 
https://www.yelp.com/biz/tanoshi-sushi-sake-bar-new-york

Eleven Madison Park’s 11 course menu (2017)

It’s been one year since I last updated this blog. I guess I’ll get back to it and start off with food. Last year, Eleven Madison Park offered an 11-course retrospective tasting menu featuring signature dishes from the years it’s been opened, for a limited time only. Named “The World’s Best Restaurant” of 2017, I booked a table right away, since I had never been there. Pro tip: ask for a tour of the kitchen. They brought us to the back after the meal was over and mixed us dessert cocktails! That was probably the highlight of the entire meal for me.

Eleven Madison Park

Gougère with grated gruyere (2006)

Eleven Madison Park

Eleven Madison Park

Sea Urchin – cappuccino with peekytoe crab and cauliflower (2006)

Eleven Madison Park

Little neck clam – clambake with velouté and parker house rolls (2011)

Eleven Madison Park

Eleven Madison Park

Prawn roulade with avocado and yogurt (2007)

Eleven Madison Park

Eleven Madison Park

Foie gras torchon with maple syrup and pain d’epice (2004)

Eleven Madison Park

Eleven Madison Park

Eleven Madison Park

Carrot tartare with rye toast and condiments (2012)

Eleven Madison Park

Eleven Madison Park

You have to put in a little work here, mixing according to your liking.

Eleven Madison Park

Eleven Madison Park

Turbot poached zucchini and squash blossom (2007)

Eleven Madison Park

Winter in Provence – black truffle, celery root, potato and chèvre frais (2009)

Eleven Madison Park

Eleven Madison Park

Suckling pig confit with rhubarb, leeks and cipollini onion (2010)

Eleven Madison Park

Milk and honey with dehydrated milk foam and bee pollen (2010)

Eleven Madison Park

Chocolate palette with peanut butter and popcorn ice cream (2008)

Eleven Madison Park

More desserts.

Eleven Madison Park

Eleven Madison Park

Complimentary apple brandy at the end.

Eleven Madison Park

Goodie bag with the menu and granola.

Eleven Madison Park

Sushi on Jones (NYC)

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Sushi on Jones 
Bowery Market
348 Bowery
New York, NY 10012

The timer starts. It counts down from 30 minutes. You have 12 courses of sushi presented to you individually and beautifully seasoned. Plus a hand roll for $12 extra. The omakase is only $50, quite a steal in New York City. Oh, and it’s outdoor seating only — 4 seats, for which you have to make reservations for (via text (917) 270-1815). Late for 2 minutes and you don’t get to eat.

We made sure we would be early — in fact, we were in the area an hour before. A few blocks away is Coffee Project, where the deconstructed latte lives.

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But I digress.

Back to the Bowery Market.

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This outdoor foodie paradise has quite a variety of eateries — tacos?

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The Butcher’s Daughter.

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Still waiting…

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There it is. The 4 coveted seats.

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Tea is $2.50 extra. And it’s Yogi tea. Felt a little jipped. No real matcha? Boo. But that’s not what we’re here for. Ready?

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One of the creamiest uni I’ve ever had.

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What you come here for. Uni on wagyu action.

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After the last course, the chef asked if we wanted anything else. We asked for the uni wagyu hand roll, of course!

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At the end of the meal, I wasn’t quite full yet, but the quality is definitely top notch. After the extra hand roll, tax and tips, it came out to be about $84 per person. Try it and let me know what you think.

Lavender & Wine: North Fork, NY (June 2016)

went to North Fork almost 3 years ago and had been meaning to go back since then. I love it there! It’s quite a long drive from Queens (2.5-3 hours), but worth it.

I love road trips (when I don’t have to drive)!

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I’m responsible for feeding driver.

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We found a campground in Suffolk to camp out the night before. Wildwood State Park! No grill at the campsites though, only in the designated picnic area.

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No unicorns were harmed during the trip.

I liked this campground because it has clean & spacious bathrooms and is next to a beach. But mostly because of clean bathrooms.

The next morning:

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Lavender by the Bay opens at 9am — go to their website for hours and facebook for updates on blooming. Due to my busy work schedule, we only had this one weekend to spare. The lavender field just had its first bloom of the summer, so some parts you’ll see are still bare. It usually lasts for a month depending on the weather, so there’s still time to see them!

$5 admission.

North Fork 2016

North Fork 2016

North Fork 2016

North Fork 2016

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North Fork 2016

North Fork 2016

Obligatory frolicking pic.

North Fork 2016

North Fork 2016

North Fork 2016

North Fork 2016

North Fork 2016

North Fork 2016

North Fork 2016

North Fork 2016

North Fork 2016

Some parts were not blooming yet.

North Fork 2016

They also sell them!

North Fork 2016

North Fork 2016

North Fork 2016

North Fork 2016

North Fork 2016

You can find SOME of these products at the Union Square market in Manhattan, but they have more here!

North Fork 2016

North Fork 2016

After that, we went to Wednesday’s Table for lunch. IT WAS AMAZING. Seriously, go there.

Wednesday’s Table
53345 Main Rd 
Southold, NY 11971

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Mushroom truffle grilled cheese – Truffle-scented mushrooms, caramelized onions, sharp gruyere and soft provolone cheese on sliced sourdough bread

North Fork 2016

Fried jumbo shrimp roll – Panko-crusted jumbo shrimp, pickled kale, daikon, & carrots drizzled with a wasabi-soy mayo nestled in a toasted long brioche roll

& Arnold Palmer (with green tea)!!!!!! So refreshing.

Next: wine time!

Mattebella Vineyards
46005 NY-25
Southold, NY 11971

North Fork 2016

Mattebella for their sangria:

North Fork 2016

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This sangria sure is unique — it’s made with triple sec. The mint and apples were so good.

North Fork 2016

They make amazing wine.

North Fork 2016

North Fork 2016

North Fork 2016

I liked that it’s a small family vineyard with comfy chairs and sofas outside (don’t worry, there’s shade!). I also really appreciated the music in the background.

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North Fork 2016

North Fork 2016

After one drink each, we drove to the nearby Sannino Vineyard for flight tasting (now one of my FAVORITES).

Sannino Vineyard
1375 Peconic Ln
Peconic, NY 11958

North Fork 2016

North Fork 2016

The ladies there were so nice and friendly! Definitely felt the warmness from their staff.

North Fork 2016

North Fork 2016

They give you a blank sheet of 6 wine spaces where you fill in the number and they’ll give you the corresponding wine in each spot. Love that there were lots to choose from.

North Fork 2016

His.

North Fork 2016

Took a stroll in the vineyard.

North Fork 2016

North Fork 2016

North Fork 2016

We quickly stopped by Harbes Family Farm for some fresh strawberries…

Harbes Family Farm
715 Sound Ave
Mattituck, NY 11952

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SO SWEET.

Driving back to NYC, we had to eat again of course.

Lobster Roll Northside. Despite the mediocre Yelp reviews, I really liked it!!

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If you go to Lobster Roll Northside, of course get a lobster roll.

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Martha Clara white blend, $6 and SO GOOD.

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Soft shell crab sandwich was real good.

North Fork 2016

 

 

Memorial Day Weekend Part 2: Whitecliff Vineyard & Dia:Beacon (NY)

This was a hidden campsite off the side of some road that I will probably never be able to find again. No itineraries, just winging it. I set my alarm for midnight to watch the stars. It was spectacular but I suffered the wrath of mosquitoes afterwards (one on my palm!!!?!)…

Anyway.

Memorial Day Weekend 2016

In the morning we ate another Mountain House product for breakfast:

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The breakfast skillet. It was SO delicious! Well, for what it is.

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Hashbrown!!!! Just add hot water.

Then we headed over to Wallkill View Farm Market in New Paltz.

Memorial Day Weekend 2016

Memorial Day Weekend 2016

Cinnamon apple cider donuts!

Memorial Day Weekend 2016

ICE CREAM! The bourbon pecan and kahlua calypso were soooo good. Ice cream for breakfast!

Memorial Day Weekend 2016

They also sell jam, sauces, anything you can cook with or bake with, they have.

Memorial Day Weekend 2016

I wanted to buy some plants too – they got rosemary, thyme, all the herbs!

Next up: Whitecliff Vineyard

Memorial Day Weekend 2016

(You get to keep the glass if you buy a tasting flight, which you should anyway)

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The menu for wine flights. I got the fruity one and Rosé one. I enjoyed the 2014 Traminette the most out of all of them. They’re also known for the Awosting White and Redtrail.

Memorial Day Weekend 2016

Memorial Day Weekend 2016

Now I have glasses from Robibero (also nearby!) and Whitecliff.

After that, we went to Dia:Beacon. $15 admissions. As we approached the museum, we saw lots of people walking over from the nearby Metro-North station. We were about to be turned away from the full parking lot when one car came out and we got to take the spot!

I loooooved this place. All natural light. The exhibitions were spaced out so that you’re not crowding around people trying to get a good look.

Memorial Day Weekend 2016

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I thought it was cool how the lights show up as different colors on phone pictures (the top was taken with a DSLR, this one was taken with my phone)

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Notice the difference when you tilt the phone vertically vs horizontally.

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Secret agent pic.

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I highly recommend Dia:Beacon if you are hiking nearby or visiting the wine trails.

For lunch, we went to the nearby Kitchen Sink (recommended to us by the nice lady at Whitecliff).

Memorial Day Weekend 2016

Chicken liver biscuit sliders

Memorial Day Weekend 2016

Memorial Day Weekend 2016

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Memorial Day Weekend 2016

Grandma’s Brisket Grilled Cheese — SO delicious

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24-Hour Banger Banh Xeo

Memorial Day Weekend 2016

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Panna cotta with rhubarb

Memorial Day Weekend Part 1: Hiking Indian Head/Twin Mountain (NY)

The Indian Head and Twin Mountain hike is an 8.4 mile loop that involves steep scrambling (getting on your hands and climbing). Its difficulty was rated 10/10 according to this site, which I use quite often to find new places to go.

The first half of the hike had several sections of scrambling, which I enjoyed. The second half was pretty boring going downhill, with lots of rocks and twigs on the ground. The views were okay, not as grand as I had expected.

For activities on the way back to NYC: (on the next post)

So back to the hike.

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Indian Head first, then Twin Mountain. Follow the red markers to Indian Head.

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Continue with the red markers to Indian Head.

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Here’s where we went the wrong way. Once you see this sign, don’t follow it. If you do…

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This is when you know you’ve gone too far. Turn back. Go back to that sign. Find the red marker and turn into that path instead. The path wasn’t well marked, which is where we got confused.

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Outlook!

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Panorama. It was just an okay view.

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Some steep rocks. We saw a couple with 3 dogs trying to figure out which peak to hike up to. I wonder if they made it.

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Perhaps it would be better in the fall?

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Twin Mountain.

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Another panorama.

The way back down was pretty boring. It felt like we were walking in neverending forests. It took us about 5 hours total.

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This Mountain House rice & chicken was really good. Just add hot water.

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Dat camp lyfe.

 

Maxine & Eric (Port Washington, NY)

I first met Maxine & Eric in college back in 2006, when they were just freshmen and newly in love. Maxine and I crossed paths again and again after that. Fast forward to a girls’ get-together dinner in December 2014, I randomly predicted (or ruined the surprise, hoho) that Eric would propose to her the next day (he did, she was surprised). And on December 10, 2015, they were to get married and I was honored to be a part of it. To this day, they are still madly in love with each other and it’s something amazing to witness.

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

After the “First Look”, we drove over to Port Washington to catch the sunset.

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

They always make each other laugh.

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

 

Baby Photo Session at Coney Island

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