Posts Tagged ‘Restaurants’

I know a lot of bloggers do weekly round ups, and I’m a huge fan. Typically published on Fridays, they get me excited for the weekend, and it’s always fun to catch up on things I’ve missed online during week. If there’s one person who never wants to miss anything on the old internets, it’s me.

I thought I would jump on board and start doing round ups, but I got to thinking about how Mondays are the day when I actually need the most motivation and distractions. Everyone knows Monday is the worst day of the week (sorry, Monday), so I thought it would be more fun to put together some things to look forward to for the week ahead.

Here we go!

I read Bon Appetit’s Southern issue yesterday, and it includes some seriously awesome looking recipes. I’m trying this one for Chicken & Dumplings tonight. It involves making your own gnocchi, and I can imagine that you could use them as a base for dozens of other dishes in the future. I’m also dying to make their Potlikker Noodles with Mustard Greens, Chickpea Stew and Stir-Fried Lettuces with Crispy Shallots, among many, many others. Bon Appetit is so good lately, do you agree?

This Sunday is Super Bowl Sunday! I am beyond excited that the Giants are playing. With my husband being from Indy, and me being a huge Peyton Manning fan as a result, we’d initially hoped to go to the Super Bowl in Indianapolis and watch the Colts play this year, but it wasn’t meant to be. But, let’s be serious: I’m from New York, so I’m just as pumped about Eli and the Giants being there. On Sunday, I’ll be making this recipe from Smitten Kitchen for Scallion Meatballs with Soy-Ginger Glaze and trying not to freak out, have a heart attack and die during the game.

From the above, you may be starting to think that I all I think about is food. You’re pretty much right, but in an effort to be a more rounded (and skinnier) person (the months in Italy took a toll, people!), I’m trying to get into a running routine. I set up my Nike+ account this morning, and I have to say: it is so cool! I have the Nike+ iPod sensor, which fits into a slot in the bottom of my shoe, and it makes running outside SO much easier. It syncs with your iPhone and a little voice alerts you to each mile you’ve completed as you listen to music (in my case, all 90’s jams). I was mapping runs using MapMyRun prior to this, and using the Nike+ sensor is just so much easier. After you finish your workout, you can upload the details to Nike’s website, where they save all the info on how far you’ve run, plus you can set goals for yourself and create a tiny avatar of yourself running and saying motivational things (see mine above). I highly recommend it. Disclaimer: you pretty much do need to have Nike shoes with the slot for the sensor in them for this to work. Luckily, there’s a Nike Factory store in NOLA, and they had some really affordable running shoes.

Lastly, here are a few more links to things around the web to spice up your Monday afternoon:

How to defriend people in real life.

Paula Deen has been getting so much flack lately that I kinda feel bad for her even though I am very turned off by her diabetes-announcement-strategy thing. I don’t want to pile on, but this slideshow from Complex showcasing her 10 Deadliest Recipes is worth a gander. They’re pretty gross (cheeseburger with donuts for buns or deep fried butter, anyone?).

There are so many great new restaurants opening in New Orleans it’s getting hard to keep track. Next on my list to try are the French-Vietnamese restaurant Tamarind at the new Hotel Modern and Manning’s, Archie Manning’s new restaurant in Harrah’s.

Speaking of Mannings, if you’ve been following the drama regarding Peyton Manning’s future in Indy, this article from yesterday’s New York Times is worth a read (sob).

I love the Best American Short Stories anthologies. The 2011 one is out and I can’t wait to finish it this week.

And, J. Crew has some awesome colored jeans. It’s important to wear bright colors, so people know you’re alive.

Happy beginning of February! Hope everyone has a good week.


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I was pleasantly surprised about how good the food was in Vienna. As I mentioned here, the street food was excellent, seriously every restaurant we went to was delicious (post on this to come shortly), and to top it off, it’s home to Naschmarkt.

Naschmarkt is Vienna’s most popular food market. It’s a small strip of food vendors quite close to Museumsquartier, and within it, you’ll find food vendors galore: everything from fresh fruits & vegetables to freshly caught fish, butchers, cheese shops, spice shops and wine and beer stands.

Quite simply, it’s heaven for food lovers. You can find anything your little heart desires.

It’s the kind of place that makes you want to buy whatever produce looks the best and rush home and cook up a feast immediately. Plus, mixed in within its stalls are gourmet restaurants and an antiques market on Saturdays.

We had lunch at a posh restaurant spot called Nemi. Given how much Italian food we’ve been downing, is menu of Israeli and Middle Eastern specialties was super refreshing.

My only regret? That we didn’t have more time to explore. I could have spent weeks here.

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Although we visited Prague in October, it was still pretty cold. We walked everywhere – all of the neighborhoods near the city center are interesting, so I didn’t mind – but making frequent stops to warm up with food and drink was completely necessary. As was my daily glass of hot wine at 5pm. (Really, really need to learn how to make hot wine.)

We booked an inexpensive hotel (Aparthotel, if you’re interested), so more Czech krona for us to spend on food. If happen to be traveling to Prague soon, here are some of the places I loved.

La Degustation
I have to list La Degustation first, because it was by far the best restaurant we visited in Prague. You have two choices, both of which are a 7 course tasting menu: the international menu or the Czech menu. In addition to the 7 courses, we also got approximately 5 amuse bouches, so needless to say, it was a lot of food. But it was so delicious! And the Czech menu was really the star. I also recommend doing the wine pairing.

Cafe Savoy
This cafe was close to our hotel and worth a trip to check out the interior alone. The ceilings were beautiful as were the chandeliers, and per my guidebook, they were both hidden during the Communist era because they were deemed too ornate. It’s a good spot for breakfast or lunch, and while we didn’t indulge in dessert, the pastries looked amazing. Cafe Savoy is owned by the same group as La Degustastion, which is worth mentioning because it seems like there are two companies that own all of the good restaurants in Prague.

Hergetova Cihelna
This restaurant (sorry, can’t type the name again, too hard) is right on the river and has an unbelievable view of the Charles Bridge. Its menu is made up of international favorites, and I think it’s a perfect spot to visit for a first meal in Prague. You’ll spend 75% of the time gazing out the window and that’s perfectly ok.

Located on the top floor of the Dancing House designed by Frank Gehry, this restaurant also has amazing views. On a clear night, you can see Prague Castle. The menu features mostly French inspired dishes, and we had a great meal. I started with a pumpkin soup served in a pumpkin, which was adorable and tasty. They also have a very large cheese cart which they wheel out at dessert time, another huge pro in my book. Ask to go up to the roofdeck after your meal for an even better view of the city.

Klub Architektu
We stopped in this cozy cave-like restaurant for lunch and were glad we did for two reasons. First, the restaurant’s design is really cool and second, I ordered a traditional Czech dish called Smažený sýr. It’s a hunk of fried cheese and, served with a side of fries, it makes no effort to hide the fact that it’s ridiculously unhealthy and naughty to eat. I felt too embarrassed to finish it, but now I can say I’ve eaten a piece of fried cheese, which is important.

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Here’s the deal: I ate cacio e pepe at a restaurant called Roma Sparita on Saturday night and it blew my mind. There’s not too much to say aside from that. The cacio e pepe is served in a bowl made of cheese. You eat the bowl afterwards. It is pure brilliance.

Please excuse the photo above, because it doesn’t even begin to do justice to how delicious this dish was. I had seen approximately 25 orders of cacio e pepe arrive to other diners before it was my turn, and I could barely pause two seconds to take this photo before I had to eat it.

Afterwards, I considered ordering another round. But, I live only 15 minutes from the restaurant, so I kept my dignity intact and just asked for the check, knowing I’ll be back quite frequently. I seriously plan to eat it as many times as possible before I leave.

As an added bonus, the restaurant is right next to this church. It’s gorgeous at night. When we visited before dinner, a choir of nuns was singing in the church. Even though I’m not very religious, it was really a special thing to hear.

PS – if anyone has seen Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations” Rome episode, this is the place where he eats cacio e pepe and raves about it. In fact, in the episode, he won’t reveal the name of the restaurant for fear that it’ll become overrun by tourists and ruined. That’s nice of him, but it was in my guide book, so I don’t feel bad telling all 10 of my readers about it too. Everyone must experience it!

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I had such a glorious lunch on Thursday. The kind of lunch that you might want to get on a plane and come to Rome just to eat.

To tell you how I got there, you must know that since arriving in Italy, I have become obsessed with carbonara. I’ve never liked the dish in America (too creamy and alfredo-like most times I’ve tried it), but here, I could eat it at every meal. The sauce is so light and velvety and meaty and delicious, even at restaurants where the food is otherwise disappointing [Update: I’ve since had a very bad version of carbonara in a restaurant with a very good reputation, making good carbonara an even better find.]

Naturally, though, since I’m in Rome, I wanted to take my carbonara experience to the next level. Being the internet lover that I am, I started searching all over for what was considered the best place to get carbonara in Rome. One restaurant repeatedly came up: Roscioli, a salumeria near Campo de’ Fiori.

So I tried to go for lunch two days in a row, successfully scoring a table on my second try. I was seated with a cheese case on my left and a wall of assorted wines on my right, which if you know me, means I had already died and gone to heaven.

It gets better.  As a “welcome,” my waiter (clad in a beautiful pair of Gucci pants) brought me a plate of goodies from the salumeria/cheese counter.

As I was seated face to face with the cheese counter, I’d already observed that the cheeses ran sometimes up to 95 Euros/kg, so I was truly excited to get to try one. It did not disappoint. Note to self: go back here to pick up meats & cheese to serve to out of town guests and pretend I eat like this all the time.

Then my carbonara arrived, and I can tell you that without having taken a bite, I knew I would agree with all my internet friends out there who’d sung its praises.

It’s made with all gourmet ingredients from their salumeria, the merits of which I could not even begin to tell you about besides that they are completely and totally delicious. The guanciale is cubed and super crisp and undoubtedly the most memorably fantastic part of the experience.

Lastly, my glamorous waiter capped off the meal by bringing a plate of cookies with a side of  hot, melted chocolate.

Roscioli is probably not the kind of place you take yourself out for lunch on a random Thursday. The service is impeccable and I’ve heard they have a gorgeous downstairs wine cellar that you can dine beside. So it’s actually a really elegant choice for a date night. But don’t worry: I’ll be doing that too!

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Bywater Breakfast

I love my neighborhood – Uptown – in New Orleans. The streets are lined with oak trees, the lovely Audubon Park is a short walk away and Creole Creamy, which serves the best ice cream I’ve ever had, is an even shorter walk away (the walk takes exactly the amount of time it takes to eat one scoop of ice cream).

Sometimes I love Uptown so much I’m guilty of not leaving it enough. This morning I woke up thinking about a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich that I had at Satsuma Cafe in the Bywater right after Thanksgiving. It was served on an everything bagel with cheddar cheese and was so flavorful and delicious and everything I love about breakfast all at once that I couldn’t believe I haven’t had it since.

So I got in my car and took a ride to the Bywater and was charmed by its quirkiness and funkiness all over again. If you’ve never been, the Bywater is home to a colorful collection of shotgun houses and a Bohemian vibe that is almost palpable. Its residents define the word hipster and while I definitely don’t fit in there (I was wearing Nantucket red shorts on this morning’s trip), it’s a fun place to visit.

Here are some photos from the morning, ending with the delicious BE&C. Also, if you haven’t made lunch plans yet, check out Satsuma Cafe’s website. The photography is gorgeous and, if nothing else, it will most definitely make you want to eat a tomato.

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Walk to Patois

There are few things more magical than talking a walk through uptown New Orleans at dusk. Last night, I was set to meet some friends at Patois for dinner. Despite the still steamy temperatures, I decided to relish my last week in New Orleans this fall by walking there. I love wandering through my neighborhood, looking at the beautiful houses and imagining the lives that are going on inside them. Here are a few photos from my walk to Patois last evening. If you can’t tell, I really sweat front porches.

Ps – the food was dreamy too! We started with crispy pork belly & seared scallop topped with Steen’s cane syrup and then I indulged my red meat craving with the grilled hanger steak with red wine & marrow reduction. Go big or go home, right? As you can tell, I’ve been quite deliquent about starting my cleanse. Too many things to do in Nola this week. Hopefully next…



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