The first Ootoya, a chain from Tokyo specializing in Japanese comfort food, opened in Flatiron early this summer. I went for the first time this weekend, and it was a slight disappointment. The problem? Because of Hurricane Sandy, Ootoya hasn’t been able to get their shipment of “Ootoya pork belly” from Japan. (Many items at Ootoya are sourced from their own factory and farms.) I’d had my hopes set on Buta Cinnamon, grilled pork belly with cinnamon and sugar, but it wasn’t meant to be. DAMN YOU SANDY! But in any case, I made do… MORE »
Yes, this is a picture of a whole roasted suckling pig. No, I did not eat it all myself. A few weeks ago, I was invited by Cindy, a.k.a. Chubby Chinese Girl (who is in fact, far from chubby), to partake in a pig feast at The Breslin with some of her friends, which included bloggers Katie, Henry, and Addie.
Eataly — the 50,000 square foot Italian food hall by Mario Batali, Joe Bastianich, and Lidia Bastianich — is becoming one of my favorite places in New York. If you haven’t been yet, I always tell people it’s like an Italian version of Mitsuwa (Yaohan for you old-schoolers that can’t accept change), but more cramped. If you’re not familiar with the Japanese marketplace in New Jersey, it’s like Whole Foods combined with a fancy food court. Or better yet, a food court for old people. Eataly isn’t perfect. Layout is problematic; dining areas are haphazardly scattered about, so it’s not unusual to have your table bumped by a cart as the driver rounds the corner to the fresh pasta case. People bumping is also common. On my last visit, I was treated to a show when two couples got into a shouting match over one party getting pushed by the other. But if you can get beyond the crazed environment, a great meal plus dessert can be easily had. MORE »
Last month, to the joy of my sugar-loving boyfriend, I was invited by Melissa to Top Ten Pastry Chefs 2010, an event announcing the “the top toques of tuile, cocoa and sugar” according to Dessert Professional. During the event, guests were given the opportunity to walk from kitchen to kitchen at I.C.E. (The Institute for Culinary Education) and sample desserts from participating chefs. A lot of chocolate, sorbet, and even pop-rocks were eaten, but my favorite by far was Chapeau Chic by Nicholas Lodge of the French Pastry School. MORE »