Tag Archives: Chelsea Market

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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Date-iversary 2013: Del Posto

7 Jan

We have been celebrating the anniversary of our first date for 6 years now. Every year we trade off our anniversary and Valentine’s Day and choose restaurants to surprise each other with.

This year, we had to rename our event to our Date-iversary, since our real anniversary is now our wedding date. (Awww)

But the tradition will not go away! Now we just have one more day to celebrate (and eat)!

This year, Mike chose Del Posto as our date-iversary meal.  Del Posto is famous for being one of the all-time best in NYC and is owned by Joe Bastianich, Lidia Bastianich and Mario Batali.  I had been there once before for lunch (and thought it was good but not great), but he hadn’t been yet. I was excited to go back with my honey.

They offer a 5 Course Tasting menu, which we opted for, at $126 each as well as a Captain’s Menu with 8 courses at $179.

The restaurant itself is stunning.  Sweeping interior with very dark wood and cream accents.

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And I especially love the circular balconies on the 2nd level.

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Everything is set formally yet modern.

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And there are little statement pieces throughout, for instance, this pitcher. (So not my style, but I loved the aesthetic in here)

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The lower level has the wine cellar, private rooms, and some restrooms.  The stairs that connect the two levels are equally stunning.

 

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And I love the collection of old globes under the stairs.

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We sat our table and started with cocktails. They were strong but very well done.

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Our amuse bouche were a collection of truffled goodness, including mini lobster rolls (top right), celery root parsnip soup with a truffled rim (botttom), and dried rice pasta puff in parmesan (top left).

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The rim of dried truffle on the soup made for quite a decadent few sips.

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And just in case lobster isn’t good enough on its own, adding truffle ain’t so bad!

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The bread basket had 4 different breads, each better than the last, with lardo and butter.

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The lardo was nice in small doses, but I preferred the very creamy, flavorful butter.

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Our first course of the tasting menu was Truffled Beef Carne Cruda with Grana Padano and Watercress Buds.  The beef carpaccio was seasoned perfectly and all the flavors and textures went very well together.

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Our second course was Charred Octopus with Umbrian Garbanzo, Celery Hearts & 25 year Aceto Tradizionale (Balsamic Vinegar).

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The char on this octopus was really flavorful and I really enjoyed the warm octopus and beans with the cooler and crisp greens. The sweetness of the balsamic was really nice on the dish.

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There is no way to photograph this next dish nicely, so you’re just going to have to trust me that this Luna Piena (moon shaped pasta) with Castelmangno & White Truffle Butter was out of this world.  What it lacked in color it had in flavor (in spades).  The truffle was fantastic and the pasta really tasted like pasta. (While this seems obvious, I’m always saddened when pasta tastes like nothing)

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We then had Traditional Del Posto Garganelli Verdi al Ragu Bolognese.  The pasta was green from spinach and the bolognese was lamb and veal.  All the flavors were rich and hearty.

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Next was the Lobster with Artichoke, Almond, Basil Salad, & Gangerine Essenza.  The lobster tail was from Maine (and finally tasted like it!)  I absolutely loved loved loved the sauce on this. It perfectly complimented the dish without taking away from the delicate lobster flavor.

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Next was labeled as follows: “Veal & Beef: Cosa Viene Prima? – Rocky Mashed Potatoes, Brussels Sprouts & Barolo Fondo”

Cosa Viene Prima translates to “What came first?”  While the usual end of this question is the chicken or the egg, in this term, it referred to the fact that it was beef wrapped in veal (or was it visa versa?) and it was served tableside with jus.

Very nice, meaty dish, with some mild offal flavor and nice richness.

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They then changed out our napkins very formally.  Funny that both Mike and I recognized this.  Fancy service is still so surprising.

We then moved into the sweeter courses with an intermzzo of Sfera di Caprino with Celery, Fig Agrodolce & Celery Sorbetto.  This was a sphere of goat cheese in a bread crumb crunch.  I usually really dislike celery as a flavor, but this was light and it all went very nicely together.

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While we decided not to do wine pairings for this meal, we sipped our cocktails throughout and then went for some dessert wines.

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Both were really fantastic.

And then it was time for some celebratory desserts (sorry about the photos, lighting was very tough in here).

We had a Tartufo al Caffe with Dark Chocolate, Sant’Eustachio Coffee & Candied Bread.  I really enjoy a tartufo. Something about breaking through that outside shell to the ice cream inside fills me with childhood joy. It helps that this was a deliciously executed version.

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Also included in the tasting was a Butterscotch Semifreddo with melon Agrumata & Crumbled Sbrisolona.    I loved the fruit with this and the butterscotch semifredo was fantastic.

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There were also a few extra desserts, including this apple fritter, which I absolutely loved.

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And this fun grater box with candies below and petit fours above.DSCF2892

Very whimsical, and nice bites of everything.

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And at the end they sent us home with a specially printed menu and a box of treats for the next day.

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Overall, our meal was fantastic.  Great execution, excellent flavors, very well paced, and it built from start to finish.  Each dish was unique and very tasty and felt classic yet somehow fresh.  You really can’t go wrong at this New York institution.

Total Nom Points: 9 out of 10

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Food Network NYC Wine & Food Festival Grand Tasting 2012 Review

13 Oct My favorite bite of the event. A very well cooked short rib with delicious beans.

For the past 3 years, Mike and I have had a tradition of going to the Grand Tasting event at the Food Network Wine & Food Festival in NYC. I get Early Access passes as a treat for Mike’s birthday and it’s a tradition we very much look forward to each year.

Today, we went to the first day of the Grand Tasting (they do it all again tomorrow).  We went with our plan that worked well in the past, arrive early, collect the goodie bag, and make a beeline right to the back and then move forward. It leaves the back half of the (large) space nearly empty for us to peruse (and nibble) for about the first 30 minutes.  It works out well.  We went up the one side and noticed that at least 3/4 of the booths were various kinds of alcohols (mostly wines, but also liquor, sake, mixers, etc).  We decided to start our trip down the other side, figuring that must be where most of the food was.

Well… it wasn’t.

Same story: barely 1/4 food.  Most of the food there was the packaged goods found in ShopRite. While having this food is typical for this food festival (and kind of cool to see what new packaged goods are out there), this is usually complimented by many restaurants (including some famous ones in New York and Celebrity Chefs).  This time, there were hardly any restaurants. I’m not sure what happened, but it left us kind of disappointed! It’s the first time we left there not feeling like we got our money’s worth. I mean, don’t get me wrong, sampling all that wine was great, but we can do that (for a lot less money) at the Wine Show.  We go to this Grand Tasting specifically to try some of the best restaurants in the city.  These just weren’t there today.

And then we had another disappointment… most of the places ran out of food by 4pm. The event goes until 6, and while we saw many run out of food in the past, it wasn’t every single restaurant and it was more around 5/5:30.  Something just went downhill this year.

Total shame.

Here are the noms we had (any time I remembered, I took a picture of the sign and description of the dish, then that is followed by the dish.

 

Only one real stand out: the short ribs from Monkey Bar.  And while it was VERY good, we were hoping to have some bites that would make us say “Wow! We really need to try that restaurant!”

Not this year.

Bummer.