Monday, April 25, 2011

Asiadog - Manhattan

Thumb-Deep in Toppings
What kind of sadistic genius carpets a beef dog with cubes of barbecued pork belly?  I'd read the ingredients before ordering but somehow it didn't quite hit me until I had it in my paws.  There they were, cow and pig together, in optimal forms, cucumber and scallions sitting shotgun.  I really enjoyed it, staining my jeans in the process.  It was my first time eating an Asiadog, and it didn't take long to realize that the place is not so much about the dogs as it is about the additives.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Cocoron Soba - Manhattan

You Better Be Good With the Sticks
One more hour of tweaking powerpoints and I was going to snap.  I hoped a faraway lunch adventure would break up the drudgery.  No planes involved, only a NYC subway ride to Cocoron Soba.  Just what the doctor ordered - pork croquettes and plenty of noodles.  However, there's work to put in - the chopstick variety.  You better be able to maneuver with the wooden sticks - at Cocoron you may have to dip your own soba into boiling broth, one pinch at a time.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Dans le Noir - Paris

No, Not What You're Thinking
I doubt it's a coincidence that Dans le Noir has a slew of lovely, dark ladies working the front door.  However, it's not about that at all.  It's not really about the food either.  It's something so strange that you have to try it.  That is, if you can handle it.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Le Meating - Paris

French Steakhouse Fail
Back in grammar school, the unlucky ate the cafeteria food.  A few of us carried our lunch from home in a  brown bag.  Without imagination, I'd attack in order: first the carrot sticks or apples, then the sandwich and finally the dessert.  One day I noticed a kid who was eating his dessert first.  I asked him why.  He looked at me as if I'd asked to pee on his shoes.  "In case I get full, at least I've had my dessert!"  This kid was clearly brilliant - he probably grew up to be an astronaut.  At Meating, had I been able to start with dessert and go backwards, I would've been much happier.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Nomiya - Paris

Living the High Life
So rarely do the fancy places impress.  After overpaying I often feel disgust, feign indifference or burst out in laughter (Joel Robuchon.)  Then there is Nomiya.  It sets such a high bar and hurdles it so effortlessly that I don't consider it another "fancy" - I place it in separate orbit.  We compared notes and decided that this may be the best lunch we've ever had.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Le Verre Volé - Paris

Is Canal St Martin the Paris LES?
On the train to work each morning, I squeeze my Kindle with stubby fingers and read the NY Times like it's a lifeline to home.  Rarely does the Times strike a false note but today, as I read a story about Paris restaurants, I bristled at the comparison between Canal St Martin and New York's Lower East Side.  The LES?  Seriously?  News flash - ALL the interesting neighborhoods and food in NY are in the outer boroughs, mainly in Brooklyn and Queens.  It would be more apt to say that Le Verre Volé resides in Paris' equivalent of Williamsburg, Red Hook or maybe even Gowanus.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Nanashi II - Paris

Japarisian Deserves a Second Look
I've always admired the hard-working Japanese ladies at Rose Bakery.  They wake up early to make me scones and carrot cake for breakfast.  I like to get there early to peoplewatch them mixing and kneading next to the towering double stove.  One of them, Kaori Endo, left to open Nanashi in the 10th and I figured it would be a no-brainer success.  When she quickly opened another in the 3rd, I was surprised.  It's right in Rose's backyard.  I tried it out today and while not quite ready for primetime, it deserves a repeat visit.