Sunday, April 22, 2007

I have an unhealthy fascination with frozen yogurt (yes, okay, I am a total LA-ite. I say fro-yo, but I don't go get my fro-yo wearing a jean skirt and uggs driving my Hummer, so I don't think you should give me a hard time).
My fro-yo addiction first started when I lived the the Valley and Studio Yogurt was right down the street. I went there all the time. I filled up punch-card after punch card to earn the coveted free yogurt. When I moved to Venice my new hangout became Sparky's, and I moved onto Penguin's when that opened even close to my apartment (after-all, Penguin's did have better toppings, and the rating of a frozen yogurt establishment is really a delicate balance between yogurt texture and variety of toppings). At least every other night I would ask, "Al, do you feel like getting some fro-yo?" And even if he didn't he would say yes, because he knew that anything else would be the wrong answer.
When I moved to New York I felt sure that I wouldn't have a local frozen yogurt place. Frozen yogurt somehow seemed low-brow and not an advanced enough culinary achievement to be successful among the foodies of New York.
Thanks to Gawker, and this totally awesome article, I did know that there was a Pink Berry in Manhattan, but not being a fan of sour milk myself, I wasn't too excited.
Someone at work suggested I try Tasti-D-Lite. I had to find this place. Google maps mistakenly told me there was one on 6th Ave and 31st...damn liars. I searched for it one day on my lunch break. Every time I got in a cab I would see one, but I could never quite make it there. Wednesday night Al agreed to find the closest one and said we could take the train there, even though I'm sick. It's only two stops on the G...only two stops!!!!! But the G train took forever, and by the time we got there it was closed. He agreed that Friday we could try again.
I still wasn't feeling well, and probably shouldn't have left the house, but I had a craving for French Onion Soup, and after a little searching we decided to have dinner at Caffe Carciofo on Court St. My French Onion Soup was amazing. Al had this amazing pesto pasta with sun dried tomatoes.
After dinner we walked back towards the Subway, and back towards Tasti-D.
Now, I'm told that I'm not allowed to call it ice cream or frozen yogurt, as it doesn't contain a significant amount of cream or yogurt, but as far as I'm concerned it's fro-yo, and it's the best damn fro-yo ever. It achieves the perfect fluffy and mousse-like texture, and while the topping selection is limited, Tasti-D makes me very happy.
Wow, I mean, wow.
I just read this article on New York Magazine's website.
I guess we can never go to Bottino again.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Where my guidos at?

As a Californian I always had this sneaking suspicion that I had never had good Italian food. Even when I had what I thought to be great Italian food in California, I always somehow knew that it would never be as good as what I was going to get in New York. Needless to say, I have set the bar pretty high for NY's Italian eateries.
The first week I was in NY looking for a job, Rachel and I went out for Italian food, and I was pretty disappointed. I can't remember the name of the restaurant, but don't go there. (that's helpful, I know) We ordered broccoli rabe for an appetizer and it came fried into a little charred tumbleweed. It was greasy, it was gross, and it tasted like charcoal. You can fry most things, even Twinkies, but not broccoli rabe apparently. My entree was a little better, and though I was excited to try desert, small Indian women rarely indulge in such frivolities, so we skipped it.

Last night was my second experience with Italian food in NY. I went to dinner at Bottino. It was a cute little place on 10th Ave between 24th and 25th. The company was great, the olive bread was fantastic.
I started with an asparagus and parmesan salad, which was delicious. For my entree I had the lobster and rock shrimp was good, but not great. I asked the waitress for her input on desert, should I have the bread pudding, or the pecan tart? She recommended the pecan tart, and though the ice cream that accompanied it was delicious, the tart itself was hard, and a struggle to eat.

Am I doing something wrong? Clearly I am. I mean, all this good, but not great Italian food. Am I in the wrong part of the city? I found great falafel in Brooklyn, great muffins at the bakery around the corner, great coffee, great everything else.

Maybe the great Italian places are reserved for Italians. I can't wait until my last name is Petitti and my Italian peeps are like, "Oh, she's one of us." Then they will teach me the secret handshake and lead me down some shady steps which lead to the most fantastic Italian restaurant in the world. Lots of fat women with aprons serving up trays of lasagne and telling me that I'm too thin and I need to eat more.

Ah...until then I'll just need my brother to come visit me. He not only is Italian (different moms) but he looks it. If he slicks his hair back and puts on a suit, it makes you edgy, like someone is going to make you an offer you can't refuse any minute. The NY Italians will clearly give him the 411 on where to go for the best food.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Chelsea Market
Today I accidentaly stumbled into the Chelsea Market. I think I found heaven. I don't care if things are over-priced, it's everything I could ever want, all under one roof. It's amazing.
I have visions of taking long lunches or disappearing on the weekends and people having to send search parties to find me. There I will be, in one of the bakeries with a cookie in one hand and a latte in the other, bags of groceries surrounding me on the floor.
They will have a put one of those things on my ankle that sounds an alarm when I try to go into the Chelsea Market. All the security guards will have my picture. Al will have to go to a support group for people whose girlfriends/wives are addicted to the Chelsea Market.
What a Maroon!
Last night my good friend, Bryan, and another of his friends took me to Maroon's. They have amazing food! We started with fried green tomatoes, mango shrimp and hush puppies. Then we shared some jerk chicken, beans and rice and fried plantains. It was amazing.
The servers were great and there were rose petals scattered around the entire restaurant. I felt very seduced.

Apparently they don't have good Chinese food in California, because I have never had totally awesome things like soup dumplings and pork shoulder at a Chinese restaurant.
Last Friday we all went to a restaurant in Chinatown called Goodies, and it was fantastic.
From there we went to Jeollado, a sushi restaurant with the biggest private karaoke room in the world in the back. Needless to say, we totally rocked.

Yep, that's my boss.