Baby Nom Nom is HERE!

5 Jun

Sorry for all the radio silence over here… but we’ve been a bit busy:

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Welcome to this delicious world, Hudson!

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Boulud Sud and using the Reserve App

28 May

I have been fortunate enough to amass a network of really smart people throughout my life.  One perk of working in digital technology for a few years is that connected me with some great minds who are always developing.  One of those smarties brought the app, Reserve, into my life.  Reserve is like a virtual concierge that gets restaurant reservations at some exclusive restaurants (currently in New York City, Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco and Chicago).  You pay a small fee and they get you in, but it also helps pay the bill because you just load everything into the app and (like Uber) once you’re done, you are done.  No need to wait for the bill nor for the waiter to come swipe your card.  You can just walk out.  Ahhhh technology.

I had been meaning to try it for a while, so one night when I was feeling especially energetic (a huge rarity now in my last month of pregnancy), I decided to see what they had available for a Friday night.  A little after 6pm I opened the app and requested a reservation from a few different restaurants in the areas I was interested.  By 7:30pm, we were sitting in Boulud Sud, a very good restaurant from Daniel Boulud, a place we had been t0 a few years prior and really enjoyed. (And were not sure why we had not returned to).

When we came in, we were greeted like royalty.  Apparently Reserve was so new that we were our waiter’s first Reserve table. And while he had been trained on the app, he was excited to have his first table.

We started with a lovely bread plate and oil.

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We then tried the House-Made “Taramasalata” with Smoked Cod Roe and Dill Potato Chips.  It was all very tasty.

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I went right for the crispy artichokes alla romana with Nipatella Aïoli. These were excellent. Great artichoke flavor and not a bit of greasiness.

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We were then presented with a fun surprise.  The chef sent over a garden of season veggies “planted” in a dip whipped feta cheese topped with dehydrated Niçoise olives “dirt.”

What a lovely way to present (and enjoy) crudité.

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Mike chose the lamb chops which came with a great variety of seasonal vegetables and was incredibly well cooked and flavored.

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I got the gnocchi which also came with the freshest of vegetables from the season.  Another great dish that made Spring sing.

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For dessert, Mike chose the Sweet Moroccan Couscous which came with a pomegranate poached pear with pistachio anglaise and lemon-yogurt gelato.

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A very unexpected dessert, but very tasty.

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I got the dish that I remembered most from Boulud Sud all those years ago: The Grapefruit Givré.

This came with sesame halva, rose loukoum, and grapefruit sorbet.  If it’s even possible, this was even better the second time.  I LOVE halva, so the shreds on top were really enjoyable with the crispy textures and smooth sorbet. A dessert I have never had anything remotely like before or since, and incredibly memorable.  Absolutely love it.

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And then, as simple as that… the check was paid.

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A fantastic restaurant.  A fantastic app.  I love when technology makes life easier.

I have been recommending Boulud Sud to many people over the years, and I’m very glad we went back again.  Hopefully there will be less time between our next visit.  (However, with baby probably days away, it’s anyone’s guess!)

Total Nom Points: 8 out of 10

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Alder’s New Tasting Menu

26 May

We went to Alder in the opening weeks after loving our meal(s) at WD-50 (from the same incredibly well respected and loved Chef Wylie Dufresne).  WD-50 had to close down recently, sadly, but they decided to add a Tasting Menu to Alder.  We quickly booked ourselves a table.

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We started with drinks, including this wonderful cherry mocktail that I really enjoyed.

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Our first amuse bouche was a tiny pastry shell filled with… something… foie gras? liver? I’m not sure, but it was a taste of savory heaven.

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Our second amuse was a take on grilled cheese (I think?) that was another bite of wonderful.

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We added an order of Pub Cheese to our tasting after hearing great things about it.  It came with “potato crisps” and pistachio and fig.

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It was much more lavender than we expected and tasty, but didn’t blow us away.

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Our first item on the menu was the scallops, which I REALLY enjoyed with the red grape.  It brought out all the right flavors in the dish.

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Our next dish was split, because I couldn’t have the black garlic potatoes on the menu.  SO I had an grain dish of some kind which was quite good, but not overly memorable.

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Everyone else really enjoyed their black garlic potatoes with consommé and chorizo.

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Our next dish was right out of what makes Wylie Dufresne’s cooking so creative.  It looked like a tiny stack of pancakes with a slice of butter and syrup (poured table side) but it was actually Okonomiyaki (a Japanese pancake) with grilled octopus and kewpie mayonnaise.  This was a bit of a trick on the palette, with lots of ginger flavor.  You couldn’t quite tell what you were eating, and I can’t say I loved it, but it was an interesting dish.

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Our last main dish was my absolute favorite. Lamb with ramp panisse, smoked yogurt, and vandouvan.  The lamb was perfectly cooked and the smokiness of the yogurt made for an absolutely incredible dish.  By far the stand-out for me.

 

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Our dessert was brie with cherry and pistachio.  A very nice way to end the meal with something that wasn’t quite dessert but certainly left you with that great sweet end.

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The petit fours were matcha chocolates and madeleines.  Both were a teeny little sweet and capped the evening off well.

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We all really enjoyed the tasting menu and were glad we decided to try it out.  It wasn’t nearly as good as what we had at WD-50, but it felt like a great experiment with food that combined great flavors with great artistry.  Definitely worth trying out.

Total Nom Points: 7.5 out of 10

Total Nom Points: 7.5 out of 10