Friday, April 16, 2010

NYC trip: Let's talk about the food Part 1

Now that I have the "Oh isn't NYC pretty in Spring time" blog out of the way let's get to the real reason to go to New York City - the food. Our first stop was Chinatown. We had a hankering for some Dim Sum. I learned to love it in San Francisco. The very concept of Dim Sum is a foodie dream. You sit at a table and get this - the servers roll up to you with little carts of hot, steaming, tiny food. What a concept. No reading a menu and scratching your head about what to order. They roll right up to the table and remove the covers and rattle off in unintelligible English what they have to offer. It doesn't really matter that you can't understand the waitress you can look at it and make your decision! You say "yes please" a few times and before you know it the table is covered with bamboo steamers and sauces and small plates full of little two bite surprises. Is Ping's the best Dim Sum ever? No but it wasn't half bad and it fit the bill for our first stop in New York after driving 8 hours.
No blow by blow for each meal. Some were caught on the fly as we headed to a broadway show (Promises Promises and A Behanding in Spokane) or began our next trek to the next chcocolate shop (that's an upcoming blog). So some "fast" food from the weekend is not worth mentioning. Except for the hot dog in Central Park. Kind of like a restaurant with an ocean view. Not really about the dog - more about the experience and the view- by the Carousel, near the ball field and Sheep Meadow. Spring in full bloom. Oh and did I mention we bought dessert at Bouchon in Columbus circle and carried it with us? Nobody makes a giant Oreo like Thomas Keller. Let's just leave it at that.
The highlight of the trip was at Bar Boulod Saturday night. I left the camera behind. Kind of felt like taking pictures at church! And I wanted to savor every minute. Bar Boulod is right across the street from Lincoln Center. It is a small shotgun of a place. The ceiling is curved like a wine cellar and the walls are lined with famous red wines stained on linen with the names etched on the glass so that the shadow is more readable than the etching. I like a good wine stain. I have created a few myself. We settled ourselves into a comfy booth.

We started with the charcuterie plate. This is what Bar Boulod is all about. Besides its extensive wine list, it is famous for its signature terrines and pates. The terrines and pates are served in tiny triangles on a small square platter. One particularly beautiful one was a rabbit and vegetable terrine. The elements were suspended in the aspic in a jewel like configuration - cubes of vivid carrot and zucchini, and chunks of rabbit all stood out clearly in the suspension. Along with the pates there was house made ham, sausages, a few cornichons, frissee and mustard. My favorite kind of starter, lots of little things to taste and combine and "ohhh" over.

The highlight of the entrees was my fish cooked with an extra crispy skin and an onion and artichoke topping with notes of lemon and olive oil. Finesse is what a resturaunt like this is all about. Everything cooked perfectly, arriving at the table piping hot and each mouthful a moment to stop and savor. No salt and pepper on the table and none needed. Perfectly seasoned and executed.

The real highlight for me was my dessert - the thing I am still trying to taste in my head a week later. I ordered the "grapefruit mousse, cinnamon lady finger chartreuse, macerated golden raisin, cinnamon-ruby red ice cream" for dessert. Wish I had brought my camera to help me keep the memory - a great combination of tart, sweet, cold, pillowy, cakey, and citrus. John's Rhubarb Tart for two was not really enough for two. He finished it quite handily. The lychee rose sorbet was wonderful. Grace had a chocolate caramel tart with espresso foam.

Dinner was topped off with a walk around Lincoln Center on an unusually warm spring night. The Met was performing "La Traviata." The fountain was on. A perfect end to a perfect day in New York.


  1. I wish we could have been with you. It sounds like so much fun.

  2. Dim Sum sounds fun...I am sooooooo jealous of the NYC trip!! Have not been in over a year and have the DT's for that city....AND the food. Is it only 8 hrs by car from your house???
    And...want to know how you liked Kakao chocolate?!

  3. Anonymous9:03 AM

    Love it...sounds great and yummy too! Tnks 4 sharing w/pics. - would've liked to see the creation still dancing in your head!

  4. Lisa-
    Your trip to New York sounded wonderful. I enjoyed every calorie as you described it! The most wonderful part was your passion and your description of each gastronomic encounter. Vicarious pleasure!

  5. I am drooling now... mmmmmmmm.