wd~Ansel Egg Bake from Chefs Dominique Ansel and Wylie Dufresne

18 Jan

I am coming out of baby-hiding for a moment to put up a quick post about my awesome day today. I was following Dominique Ansel’s Instagram and saw that he was teaming up with Wylie Dufresne to do something special for this long weekend. And then they posted a teaser and then, a few days later, this description: soft scrambled eggs with a confit egg yolk, homemade cheese (a la Wylie), black truffle, bacon, and maple flakes, served on a smoked English muffin, with extra crisp truffled hash browns on the side.

How could I not go? So today, on the 3rd and last day of this special, I left the baby with the nanny and took advantage of my day off to brave the chill and head downtown with 2 fellow food adventure seeking friends.

We ordered (surprisingly quickly, even though it was packed, the line was contained to inside the very small space) and as we were waiting for our food, Dominique Ansel brought out Wylie Dufresne and thanked him for the collaboration, and then they posed for some photos. So of course I got one!

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As did our friend Mike (his fiancé, Wendy, was saving our seats so she didn’t get in on the action, but thanks again, Wendy, for being awesome!)

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And then, it was time to eat!

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The sandwich itself was pretty good. I wish that the consistency made it a bit easier to eat and enjoy, but that hash brown was sensational. And the egg was pretty sexy when we cut through it.

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But then my favorite part… the dessert…

I finally got to try the Ultimate S’more I’ve been eyeing: Speculoos cookies, shards of Maldon sea salt chocolates, a dark chocolate ganache with Cabin Fever whiskey, Caramelia-covered puff rice, and one gigantic all honey marshmallow.

The marshmallow is a piece of baking perfection and the little shards of sea salt made those bites into absolute bliss.

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We also tried the butter lemon tart and lavender grapefruit tart (pictured above). Both were really great. I just love Dominique’s dessert creations.

And then, to top it all off, Dominique posted one of his famous AnSelfies with his customers (who he never fails to humbly acknowledge) and I hit my pinnacle of coolness:

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Another awesome day, thanks to the incredible Dominique Ansel.

Testing out a new food platform: Munch Ado

4 Nov

My day job is in digital media, so when people ask me to test out a new site or app in the food space, I am both delighted (I love what I do) and concerned (I’m very particular about the quality of the platforms I use online).  I have very little patience for apps/websites that do not work, make my life harder, or try to solve for a problem that doesn’t exist. But Munch Ado had an interesting proposition and I was happy to try it out (and they kindly gave me $100 towards using their service, which enabled me to treat some of my coworkers to a lunch delivery).

The pitch was that it’s a NY-based start-up that is working on “redefining food discovery and connecting restaurants with people (and vice versa).” Right now, I personally use a big combination of Seamless, Yelp, OpenTable, Eater, Chow, FourSquare, UrbanSpoon, and a few others for all my food needs. The idea of having this all in one place is appealing, though I was skeptical if there really could be a one-stop shop that combined all the best of each so I could find a restaurant, reserve a table, order food, and get deals all while taking reviews into consideration so I could find the best ones.

So does Munch Ado deliver?

First… a tour:

(Home screen)

 

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(Browse for restaurants by location)

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(See local restaurants on one map)

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(Look for deals… there were a number available for Hispanic Heritage earlier this week)IMG_9175

(Details of the deal)
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(Some more deal stuff… this on delivery)
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I liked a few of the features, namely that whether I was looking to dine in or dine out, it was all in one place. The idea that was most appealing to me is that I could not know where to go for dinner, pull up the app and look for fun deals in the area, and choose that way. So the “deals” aspect I think was the most interesting.

I was severely missing the reviews to help me decide, however. There are a few reviews but I don’t see any kind of ranking or way of sorting by reviews just yet (it automatically searches by distance, with A to Z, Best Match, and Price being the other options). Also, I didn’t get any easy prompt to add my review, so I think building that will be difficult at first unless they pull in reviews from other places.

My biggest hang-up: I am still not sure what allows a restaurant to qualify for their list, and it’s not like it was just listing the best restaurants, which makes me wonder how exactly I choose.  So picking a place to go is not as easy as I would have liked, leaving me flipping through the entire list of places that delivered to me at that time.

So when I ordered, I went with a restaurant I am already a fan of to deliver.  The process of ordering delivery was pretty easy (though, be warned, you can’t add tip until they deliver and you add it on the receipt) though I wish there was more information on each dish like there is in Seamless.  I also had no idea how long it would take to arrive until after I checked out (I might have missed this but not sure) and then when it was a bit late, I didn’t know who to contact or how.

We all did enjoy a lovely lunch delivery, however! (Thanks again from me and my coworkers, Munch Ado!)

The usability was nice and I liked the look and feel of the app. I also like the cheekiness of the messaging (though I wish they allowed opt in for text messaging rather than automatically sending).

Overall, I think Munch Ado has definite potential, but a key is that it has to do each function as well, if not better, than the individual sites/apps I currently use to truly replace them. I gave them some feedback on how to get closer to that goal, and they were SUPER receptive. So hopefully this is just the start of something fabulous.

Let me know what you think if you try it out!

 

UrbanSpace Vanderbilt: A new awesome food market near Grand Central Station

30 Sep

I have been a big fan of Chelsea Market for quite some time, especially because it’s a great collection of delicious things. Then when Gotham West Market came along, I was excited, because it took that to the next level by allowing a group to all get delicious things from different places and then meet in the middle to eat together.  We also took a quick walk through Hudson Market downtown, which seemed great. So when I saw that a new food market was opening near Grand Central Station (where I commute through every day) I was thrilled.

Welcome to my life, UrbanSpace Vanderbilt. (These are the same operators as the pop-up food spaces around town, such as Mad. Sq. Eats and Broadway Bites, which I blogged about before. AND they are going to be doing the new Anthony Bourdain Market which has to be the most anticipated opening of the next few years)

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Urbanspace has the communal tables (though far fewer than Gotham West… so I have a feeling this could get VERY crowded if you want to stay) as well as bars at a few of the stands around the space.

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There are so many great food selections to choose from, some of which are very familiar and some I had never heard of.

Dough:

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Redhook Lobster Pound:

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Toby’s Estate (coffee, including coffee milk shakes which were outstanding):

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AsiaDog (which also had awesome sounding juices):

 

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Maiden Lane:

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Bar Suzette (with crepes):

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Sips & Bites:

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Mimi’s Hummus:

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Hong Kong Street Cart:

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Delaney Chicken (from the famous Delaney Brisket world):

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Bangkok Bar:

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Roberta’s:

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No. 7 Veggie (from the No. 7 Subs guys):

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Sigmund’s Pretzels:

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Ovenly:

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And a few other places that looked great for picking up a bowl of deliciousness:

 

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We got some delicious items from Mayhem & Stout as well as Red Hook Lobster Pound:

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The short rib sandwich Mike got from Mayhem & Stout was very good.

Honestly, I wanted my lobster roll to be better.IMG_7921

I was disappointed that the entire bottom was lettuce with just a few pieces of so-so lobster on top. (Though I really think I should be banned from judging lobster in any way since I am completely convinced that lobster loses flavor when it crosses over the Maine state border)

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I also tried a truffle pretzel from Sigmund’s (no pictures because we ate it on the way to the theatre) and that coffee shake from Toby’s. Both were outstanding.

I’m very glad to have this place so close to my commuting hub and can’t wait to try more in the very near future.

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