Tag Archives: quality meats

General Assembly

24 Mar

We had spent the beautiful, 60 degree day walking all around NYC.  We walked down the High Line, across to Union Square, wandered our way up to a meeting with our mortgage broker, and then popped into Eater’s Heat Map to see if we could find a fun place to have dinner near Midtown East.  No less than 30 minutes, we were walking in to the very new General Assembly, which opened earlier this month.

It was ringing a bell in my brain, but I couldn’t place it until I saw the Quality Meats card on the host desk and realized that both restaurants are from the great restaurant group, Fourth Wall (also of Smith & Wollensky fame).


The space has a great aesthetic, with a lot of light woods, white walls, and very well placed mirrors.


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A cute private room downstairs.



And their logo stamped on their butcher paper table covers and all tableware.  (I like a good logo branding job… it’s the advertising part of my brain… what can I say).


Right after we ordered, beautiful warm parker house rolls were served with a basil-like crunch and salt on top and nicely warm butter.  A great start to the meal.


Our drinks arrived moments later, including a great cocktail called Hop Scotch On the Rocks — Blended Scotch Whisky & Homemade Citra Hop Infused Honey. (Loved it)


And Mike got a Geary’s beer, from Maine, one of our favorite stops in Portland.


We started with an appetizer of gnocchi & Viking Village Scallops with a bacon beurre blanc sauce.  Holy smokes! This was insanely good.  Crazy good. Certifiably ridiculous.  The scallops were sweet and perfectly cooked, cut to the same size as the pillowy gnocchi with bacony bits and (I think) fried potato skins for crunch and chives on top.  The sauce was just so damn good.  Buttery and a bit tart and bacony and just… damn…

It was also a good portion for an app (could make for an entree, really, if you wanted something a bit on the smaller side).


For his entree, Mike got the steak frites, which came with either Colorado lamb or Creekstone beef.  Mike chose the lamb and it was a very good choice.  The fries were nicely crisped and flavorful, and the steak had a beautiful char and hotel butter on top, with a lamby goodness that was hard to beat.




I went with the Hudson Valley duck confit with gingered kumquats & apricots.


It had a very nice crispness to the skin and I really loved the gingered, candied apricots and kumquats with it. Mike wasn’t as big a fan, but I’m the duck confit person, and I thought it was great.


For sides, the Quality Meats superstar was on the menu: Corn Creme Brulee.  It was as good as I remembered it from our last meal.  I really love this side!


We also tried the crispy artichokes with malt vinegar aioli. I really enjoyed the fry on this, since it was light but added a great crispy. And the crisped basil on top with the aioli made for nice foils to the fry.


Unfortunately, we were really full by the end, so we were not able to take part in the desserts, which included a tray of custom, fun sounding eclairs.


We strolled home and it was a perfect moment of dusk which made the city look even more beautiful than it usually does.




A great way to end a great day. (I freakin’ love this city)


Overall, our meal was really fantastic.  From start to finish, there were items that were really good and then a few that were absolutely great.  That scallops appetizer alone is worth the trip to midtown.  It’s pretty close to my office, and I’m thrilled to have a great place to go for nice lunches.  The service was also attentive and speedy, without feeling rushed.  Totally worth checking out.

Total Nom Points: 8 out of 10

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Top 10 Noms of 2009

31 Dec

What is a New Year without a Top 10?  I have been blogging for exactly 325 days and have enjoyed every moment of it.  I love food… and I’m so happy that I have some very faithful readers who have joined me on this journey (THANK YOU!). With that said, here is my top 10 Noms from 2009:

10) Disney World stands out in my mind for a very memorable eating trip in 2009.  The dinner we had at Marrakash comes up often and I still can’t remember ever having a better sundae than the Ghiradelli one I had at Downtown Disney.

9) When Mike and I took the Culinary Walking Tour of Greenwich Village, we didn’t really know what to expect. It wound up being great for both food (we have gone back to these places a few times since then) and history. 

8) I actually wound up going to Becco twice this year (Becco 1 and Becco 2).  They are awesome for having an unlimited pasta tasting from their three pastas of the day and a pretty extensive wine list for under $25.  But their Osso Bucco is what dreams are made of.

7) Every time I go to Koi it is amazing.  It’s one of the very, very few restaurants I can go to over and over again (even multiple times in the same week).  The crispy rice is amazing and I credit the Miso Glazed Cod with having started me eating fish for the first time.

6) The short ribs at Charles were great (well… I thought so until I had #2 on this list). We first sampled them at a nice fund-raising food festival and then I won a gift certificate by bidding $60 for a $75 gift certiciate.  The braised lamb shank was exceptional and highly recommended.

5) Quality Meats had been recommended to me time and time again.  While the steak was great, but not my favorite, the corn creme brulee was so good that I dream about it.

4) Eating at Montenapo, especially on someone else’s dime so we could order multiple courses without guilt (well, except waistline guilt), was a HUGE treat.  It’s brand new and in the middle of an area that is known to wimp out on food.  The Osso Bucco was the best I’ve ever had (even though I just had a taste of someone else’s) and the desserts were sensational.  There wasn’t a bad bite in the entire meal. 

3) I have loved Keens Steakhouse since the first time I tried it, however, the bar is especially amazing and I’m so glad Lori joined me for my first time.  That potato and steak was heavenly and more restaurants should make merengue… especially if it’s that good!

2) The number two slot goes to a yet to be blogged about meal at Bottega (Michael Chiarello’s restaurant in Napa Valley).  Why was it so good? You’ll just have to read the blog to find out!

1) My birthday dinner at WD-50 was epic. It is hands down the best meal I’ve ever had.  We went whole hog and got the full tasting menu.  Each dish was a new adventure… and not just because it looked cool.  There were such wonderful flavors in everything and I really loved this place.  #1 for the year… probably lifetime #1 to date.

Runners up:

Happy New Year Nommers!

Mike’s birthday dinner- Part II: Quality Meats

17 Oct

Deciding where to take Mike for his birthday dinner was quite difficult this year.  I cooked him his favorites on Friday, however, I wanted to take him out somewhere special.  After my birthday at WD50 with the best meal I have EVER had, I knew I wouldn’t be able to beat it, but I had to make sure it was a good place.  I was debating Ninja, but I hear that while the entertainment is fun, the food is only so-so (and horrifically expensive).  I thought about a classic like Gramery Tavern or Bouley, but then I heard such rave reviews about Quality Meats (on West 58th Street between 5th and 6th Ave) that I decided to take a gamble and try it out.

The decorations were nice with all old fashioned light bulbs and wines stacked to make partial walls.  The downstairs had an interesting room with 2 chairs, and antique phone, and a bull… which lent itself well to a good, cheesy photo op.  (Mike is such a ham.  Love it.)

For the wine, we chose to take a chance with the “Sommelier’s Bin” which provided a good bottle of wine for $75 that was orphaned from a previous special.  Our wine was just okay, but it was nice to know we got a good value (the wine would have normally gone for well over $100).

It was too dark at our table to take pics without flash, so I tried to pick my photo ops wisely and waited for the entire table to be laid out before snapping away.  The only items that missed the shot were the 2 figs with goat cheese that we began with and then the appetizer we ordered of fresh tomato salad (which was good, but nothing special).

The main course was quite a spread.  Mike ordered the aged rib steak and I went with the aged bone-in sirloin.  Our waitress said that while the filets are good, these two cuts were even better, so we trusted her.  They both had EXCELLENT char on them, though I liked my sirloin a wee bit better. We both agreed that even the steak sauce was great and neither Mike nor I like steak sauce.

Mike ordered the Yorkshire Creamed Spinach and I was told the Corn Creme Brulee was not to be missed.  The creamed spinach was tasty and I liked the pastry around it, but it fell a wee bit short somehow.

The Corn Creme Brulee, however, WOW!  This was probably one of the single best things I have ever eaten.  Thank you Hyun for insisting that we order this!  It was perfectly flavored with fresh corn in a custard like creme and perfectly seared on top to make a crackle.  It was absolute heaven.

For dessert, Mike wanted chocolate rum raisin ice cream (which tasted deliciously rummy) and I went with the blueberry tart that had stewed peached.  It was delicious, though the peaches were cut so small that they had almost 0 flavor. My favorite part, however, was that a odd green sauce was around the edge.  Turns out it was basil and mint and it was Fan.Freakin.Tastic.  I could have drank the stuff! The tart itself was great, however, and I wish I had the room to finish it!

Overall, I thought Quality Meats was pretty fantastic.  The steak was some of the best I’ve had (rivaled Keen’s even! My favorite) and the corn creme brulee just sent it over the top.  It’s an expensive meal, but I felt like we got our money’s worth (by NYC Steak House standards anyway).

Total Nom Points: 8.5 out of 10 (and 10 out of 10 for that corn creme brulee!)