Tag Archives: chocolate mousse

NYC Restaurant Week Summer 2014: Bread and Tulips

3 Sep

Mike and I had to kill some time in the city (so weird that we don’t live right in it anymore!) before meeting up with someone, so we chose Bread & Tulips for our Restaurant Week dinner. I had passed by a few times and always meant to stop in, so this was the perfect motivation to finally do so.


The space has a really nice feel to it, with clean white subway tile and some rustic influences. It was dark, however, so apologies in advance for the lack of light on the pictures.


I was impressed that the menu included Gluten-Free spaghetti.


And they included a card to come back and have a drink on them after dining with them for Restaurant Week, a really nice touch to bring people back.


The bread was rustic and incredibly tasty.


We started with the housemade meatballs with san marzano tomatoes and ricotta.  Really tasty little balls of meat.


We also got the gorgonzola figs with rosemary and honey.  These were delicious.  Little mouthfuls of sweet that really started the meal well.


For our entrees, Mike got the Flatiron Steak Tagliata with roasted garlic potatoes.  This was good but not outstanding.


I got the housemade papparadelle with braised leg of lamb and grana.  It was quite delicious, however, I was hoping for more lamby flavor.


For dessert we got a chocolate & hazelnut mousse cake with hazelnut gelato.  It was good but very rich.


We also got the vanilla bean pana cotta with seasonal fruit.  This was tasty but a bit weird. The texture just wasn’t right.  It was very, very soft and wet.


We were given two little almond cookies at the end of the meal, which were very good and a nice touch.


Overall, I didn’t love my meal. It was good but not great.  I felt like we got a good meal for the price, however, I’m not sure how I would feel if I paid full price for it.  I would go back to try them again, but I’m not in any rush. Though that free drink ticket sure has some allure for an afterwork treat!

Total Nom Points: 5.5 out of 10

Total Nom Points: 5.5 out of 10


Restaurant Week Summer 2013: Ai Fiori

28 Jul

Next up on the Honeymoon adventure queue is French Laundry, but before we get to that, it is currently Restaurant Week in New York!  We try to go to at least 3 new restaurants each Restaurant Week season (Winter and Summer) and here is the summary and links to all the places we have visited so far and the blog roll of all the individual reviews.

One place I hadn’t intended on going to was Ai Fiori, but when a friend pinged me during lunch time and asked if I had any plans, how could I say no to revisiting one of our favorite Michael White restaurants? Especially to try their Restaurant Week menu.

We both commented on the absolutely stunning orchids on all the tables.


We decided to do one order on the Restaurant Week menu ($25 for a 3-course menu) and one off the regular menu ($42 for 2 courses).

First, off the regular menu, we tried the Crudo di Passera: fluke crudo, american sturgeon caviar, meyer lemon.

This was a stunning dish. Fresh flavors with the caviar bursting in your mouth, brightness from the lemon, and fluke that tasted like the sea.  Brilliant.


Off the Restaurant Week menu, we tried the Country Terrine: housemade pâté, frisée, mustard, cornichons.  This was so so.


I was surprised that it was, if anything, kind of bland.  Even the pistachios in the terrine were bland.  Disappointing, especially for how good everything else we have had there has been.


From the regular menu (bottom of the Restaurant Week menu), we tried the Agnolotti: braised veal parcels,squash purée, sunflower seeds, black truffle sugo.

Only now looking back our my previous review do I realize it’s exactly what I ordered (and enjoyed) last time. The sunflower seeds added a nice crunch to the flavor packed and rich agnolotti.  The sauce was awesome and we enjoyed sweeping our bread through it to lap up every bit.


The Restaurant Week entree selection was the Razza: pan roasted skate wing, zucchini, artichoke purée, blistered cherry tomatoes


I REALLY enjoyed this dish.  Skate is something I only recently tried and I am constantly impressed with how it is like a fish but tastes like shellfish.  It’s like a lobster flavored fish filet.  This was an ever so slightly crispy wing with tons of flavor.  The vegetables were perfectly cooked and nicely sweet.  A simple presentation of a really bright and fresh dish.


For dessert, we split the Restaurant Week selection and went with the Crostata diCioccolato: dark chocolate mousse, olive oil gelato.  The mousse was very good but the olive oil gelato was extra special.  Great flavor that created a lovely foil for the chocolate mousse.  This wasn’t too rich but had a lot of nice textures going on with the mousse top, soft base, crunchy chocolate under the gelato, and a crumble of what appeared to be nougat.  A very nice dessert that didn’t weigh me down at lunch time.


A lot of times when I go out to a nice weekday lunch I feel as though my afternoon work performance is certainly subpar.  It was not so after this lunch, with a good amount of food that left me satiated without being overfull.  The skate was really a highlight for me and made the so-so terrine worthwhile for Restaurant Week.  I would certainly recommend, but definitely swap out the terrine for one of the other options.

And the regular menu, as before, was excellent all over.

Total Nom Points: 7.5 out of 10

Total Nom Points: 7.5 out of 10


Tenpenny- A surprisingly great meal near Broadway

23 Apr

We live near Broadway, so we go out in the area more than most.  The Broadway/Times Square area is not known for having great food. There are some gems, but almost the entire area is over priced, over crowded, and underwhelming.

We were looking for another hidden gem so I pulled open my Immaculate Infatuation app and found their recommendation for Tenpenny. They had a reservation at the right time (and wound up being pretty empty at the early, pre-theater hour we visited) so we went for it.  It is also within walking distance of Grand Central station, so it’s located near a lot of places where I am frequently asked to find restaurants.

Tenpenny is located in the Gotham Hotel on 46th Street. The restaurant has a great feel and you certainly wouldn’t believe you’re right in the middle of all the city action here.


There is a skylight in the back that offers a lovely NY high rise view and lots of sun light on a nice day like when we went.


Immaculate Infatuation also had mentioned crispy artichokes (which are one of my favorite foods ever), however, they were not on the menu this time. ::sad face::

The bread was a really nice crispy crust and fluffy inside. And I really enjoyed the garlic and rosemary sliced into the olive oil. (The other was red pepper flakes, so I had to stay away).


We tried the OPP or “Other People’s Pinot.” It was a Pinot Noir and we really enjoyed it.


It was from a winery called Mouton Noir and I really enjoyed the cap.


We decided to start with the crostini and we tried the smoked salmon & dill creme fraiche crostini and the crispy pork belly, spiced yogurt & fuji apple crostini.  The smoked salmon and dill one was okay (though I’m not a huge fan of salmon) but I really enjoyed the crispy pork belly.


The bread on both was fantastic and I really enjoyed the pork and apple combination on the second one.


Mike went with the Lamb Porterhouse which was cast iron seared Colorado lamb with house butter. It had a great lamby flavor that we both really enjoyed.



I chose the Heritage Pork Rach which was house brined, pan seared, and served with bourbon pork jus.


There was a really nice sear on the chop and it was surprisingly juicy and tender all throughout. The bourbon jus was also a really great compliment.


It also came with a small onion tartlet that I really enjoyed. The onions were perfectly caramelized and the pastry itself had great flavor.


Tenpenny serves their entrees as mostly just the meat, so you do need to get a side on its own (which definitely puts the meal further into the pricey category). We chose the brussels sprouts. They were delicious and the way we like them (with pork) but weren’t as crispy as we like. We are quite particular about our brussels, however!


We then decided to try some dessert, and we started with 2 glasses of after dinner drinks. I chose a dessert wine and Mike got a port.


Mike chose the pecan pie with cinnamon gelato and caramel sauce. This was quite good.  The pecans were nicely cooked without being over sweet, and the  pastry was a nice compliment to the sweetness.


I went with the chocolate caramel mousse with espresso anglaise and toasted hazelnuts.


The mousse was the perfect texture with the crisp chocolate on top and cookie-like crust on the bottom.  Really nice dessert and looked beautiful.


Overall, Tenpenny was a great find. A bit expensive (especially since the entrees don’t really come with any sides), but the quality is there to make it a worthwhile place to eat and worth the midtown price tag. It’s hard to get away from a costly meal in that area of town, but with the others being much lower quality, I think Tenpenny is a great place to go.  All our food had great flavor and was cooked and presented with obvious care. It’s also just a nice place to spend an evening. We sat and leisurely enjoyed our meal and drinks.

Total Nom Points: 7.5 out of 10

Total Nom Points: 7.5 out of 10