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American Traditional/ dinner/ nyc/ Seafood

Lure Fishbar: Seafood in Soho

Lure Fishbar is located within Soho, an area populated with shops and stores, and provides solid American seafood fare. When you go down the stairs and get seated, it looks like you are sitting inside a beautiful cruise ship with dark wood walls and golden lights. I went for a company dinner and was excited about eating some seafood.

Pictured above was their crab cakes which were bite sized but had fresh crab flavors. Yum.

We also ordered their Lobster Tempura Roll to share, served with tobiko, spicy mayo, and avocado. It was good, of course not authentic Japanese, but lobster in anything will make it 50x better.

For myself, I ordered the Lobster Ravioli served with tomatoes and greens.  I enjoyed the entire dish; the ravioli was perfectly filled with lobster meat, and the sauce was light enough to feel full yet heavy for that thicker buttery flavor.

I would go back to Lure, especially if I feel like having solid seafood dishes. Maybe I’ll make it there after a long day of shopping.

Lure Fishbar
142 Mercer St
(212) 431-7676

Baked Goods

Busy Busy: Hester Street Fair

I know it has been a while since there’s been a post, but I’ve been preparing and participating in the Hester Street Fair!  If you didn’t notice the cute logo on the right hand side of my blog, I am starting a baking company called “Filled With Sweets“.  The idea?  My company is dedicated to creating Asian-inspired desserts with tasty and unique fillings often taking inspiration from my Taiwanese-American childhood and my passion for food!

I have created a series of cupcakes and cookies that embody flavors I grew up with and love to eat, such as black sesame and green tea. I use high-quality ingredients (i.e. cage free eggs, hormone-free milk), and focus on integrating various fillings that blend different tastes and textures to create delicious baked goods.

As for my food blog, I promise – there is another post on its way!  You will still be able to see and hear about beautiful food, I just happen to be a bit delayed.

Feel free to show me some love when I’m at the street fair, which is on Saturdays. Here are my dates: August 6, August 20, September 10. Mark your calendars!

Facebook Page: Like it!

Twitter: @filledwsweets

American Nouveau/ dessert/ dinner/ nyc

Colicchio & Sons: A Warm Christmas Dinner

What used to be known as Craftsteak has been transformed into Colicchio & Sons, a new American restaurant that serves solid dishes with great wine. As one of Tom Colicchio’s restaurants (as if the name didn’t give it away enough), this restaurant isn’t overhyped by Colicchio’s successes of Top Chef and being a James Beard winner. In fact, it meets expectations – dishes that highlight the ingredients, sauces that compliment other elements of the dish, and wine that suits the meal.

Who can deny this beautiful bread basket, rather cast iron skillet? As a bread lover, this was the perfect start. It was warm, moist, and nicely buttered. I’m drooling even thinking about it…I can eat this any day.

Charred Onion Agnolotti (a type of ravoli) are pockets of deliciousness. Served with some celery root and field mushrooms, it is a light and easy to eat appetizer. It can also be made into an entree for those vegetarians.

This is roasted Nantucket Bay scallops, served with green apple, endive, and szechuan pepper. Oddly enough you didn’t taste much of the szechuan pepper. The scallops are small, not sure if it is because I shared this dish, but they were bite-sized and quite tender.

Loch Duart Salmon with roasted persimmons, sunchokes, turnips, and almond puree. Salmon is from Scotland and the persimmons were sweet with a nice bite. Everything was well marinated plus the salmon was well cooked (medium rare).

Boston cream doughnuts with spiced pear jam, malted milk, and milk chocolate ice cream. It is as good as it sounds. The doughnuts weren’t oily and not to sweet. Definitely a good ratio to cream and a nice touch of chocolate. The milk chocolate ice cream was really good and added another layer of flavor – sweet and cold.

It was great for a Christmas dinner, warm and tasty, exactly what suits the holiday season. Colicchio & Sons is definitely worth a try if not continual visits. I hope to try the tasting menu next time since it sounds rich and decadent. Gotta make sure I make room for that meal.

Colicchio & Sons
85 10th Avenue
New York, NY 10011
(212) 400-6699

American Nouveau/ lunch/ nyc

Eleven Madison Park: $28 Lunch is as Good as It Gets

Good food deals in New York, does that really exist? Yes, I am a telling you that there are reasonable lunch deals at some fine restaurants in the city that are worth trying out. Eleven Madison Park has been on my list, and since the dinner menu is usually expensive, eating lunch there is the best way to go for me. This is good news for the poor / price sensitive foodies out there, so read on.

Eleven Madison Park features a $28 two-course lunch prix fix menu. Even though that might not sound like a lot, with most fine dining restaurants they give you as much bread as you like AND bring amuse-bouche to start off your meals, so you are well covered. In fact, you can probably feel full on a two-course meal.

After quizzing the waiter with numerous questions about what things were, I was able to decide upon the perfect balance to create a surf and turf lunch.

The meal started off with an amuse-bouche; one of them was a foie gras macaron with apple mango chutney in the middle. Even though I am not usually a fan of foie gras, I actually enjoyed the macaron. It started with a salty flavor and progressively ended with a sweet tang. It was surprisingly pleasant to pop into your mouth, previewing the playful ingredient combinations that lay ahead.

This dish was wonderfully constructed, light and refreshing, perfect for springtime. The Balik Salmon was plated with pommes dauphine, frisée, and crème fraîche. I particularly liked the pomme dauphine because of its softness combined with the milky and smooth texture of the crème fraîche that perfectly complimented the smoky, silky salmon. They also placed some salmon roe within the frisée salad, a nice addition to the plate.

The cochon de lait, aka “pigs in milk” or “suckling pig”, was served with rhubarb, spring onion, and ice wine vinegar that poured onto your dish. They had small cuts of the different parts such as the crispy fatty belly. I felt that the rhubarb and ice wine vinegar provided a nice touch of sweetness that helped cut the fatty oily portions of the dish. The only unappetizing part was when I ate the bulb part of the spring onion, leaving me feeling like intense spicy and sharp flavors exploded in my mouth. Aside from that, it satisfied my pork craving.

Although I didn’t order this dish, it was still pretty to look at and worth noting. It is the Scottish Salmon Mi-Cuit. From a small bite I had, the fish was nicely cooked (maybe sous-vided?) and definitely gave the salmon a really silky and smooth texture.

I’m glad I went to Eleven Madison Park for lunch because at least I know that this isn’t just another hyped-up restaurant in Manhattan, and trust me, there are plenty of those. Perhaps one day I can return for dinner, see and taste more of their menu, and get a full dining experience. Until then, relatively cheap lunch prix fixes are the way to go.

American Traditional/ Breakfast/ brunch/ nyc

Tribute to Pancake Month with Clinton St. Bakery

I am an avid pancake eater. I love how there are so many things that can be incorporated into pancake batter along with a variety of syrups that come with it. This special month allows me to indulge in buttery, fluffy pancakes and not have a problem with doing so. As a dedication to celebrating pancake month (February), I want to share with you one of the best places to get pancakes in the city – Clinton St. Bakery. I hate to give into hype, but this place is actually really good. Clearly I am not the only one who thinks so; every single time I try to go there, it is packed. People are standing outside in 30-degree weather waiting for their turn to get into this restaurant. Getting a seat is virtually impossible, even at 2PM. In fact, you run the risk of not being able to eat there. They have so many reservations to the point where it would bring them until 4pm, closing time. Long story short, make sure to allot some time if you plan on eating there because you will wait. Guaranteed.

Clinton Street Bakery celebrated pancake month with a special pancake every few days. My friend, as crazy of a pancake-eater as I am, urged me to go with her and of course I conceded. We ended up going twice because the pancakes were that memorable.

The first time we had poached pears with vanilla bean whipped cream and warm maple butter. Yes, it is as tasty as the description recalls it to be. Pears were included into the pancake itself and gave it a crisp texture; when I bit into my pancakes it gave it a soft crunch. Having poached pears on top enhanced the vanilla flavor to all the pancakes, giving them a sweet and fragrant flavor. The warm maple butter is to die for; when you dipped your pancake into the butter, it gave the pancakes a nice touch of maple and light fatty goodness. I don’t know if they put crack into it also but it was very addicting.

The second time around my friend ordered crunchy bananas with cinnamon-chili-chocolate sauce (I opted to get something savory). I had a few bites of her pancakes and I wanted to get an order to take home. Yes, it was THAT good. Not only did the crunchy bananas provided a different texture to soft pancakes, but also the chocolate sauce wasn’t too sweet so it didn’t overshadow the butter flavor in the pancakes. We couldn’t taste the chili part of the chocolate sauce as much, but the cinnamon kicked in later on in your mouth. All in all, big two thumbs up.

Make sure to mark it down in your calendar for next year to eat pancakes in February. Clinton St. Bakery is sure to be celebrating this culinary holiday, and hopefully you will taste awesome buttery flat pancakes there, and hijack some of that maple butter for me.

dinner/ Korean/ nyc

In Remembrance of Persimmon

Kimchi and Sides
My friend approaches me for a restaurant suggestion and asks, “So I have about four people for dinner tonight. Where do you think we should go? Nothing crazy.”
“I like Persimmon. It’s Neo Korean, East Village”, I say.
A few minutes later she tells me that Persimmon is closed. CLOSED.
“Wait you mean permanently?”

I quickly type into Google “Persimmon restaurant nyc” and see that all articles show that it is closed for good. It makes me sad because I had some great dishes there and it even got one star on the New York Times. Who else is surprised about this?

As I reminisce I feel the need to share this wonderful restaurant experience with you.  The reason why I wanted to try Persimmon was because I was intrigued by the idea of Neo Korean cuisine. Kimchi, bulgogi, soondubu jiigae, these items are all familiar to me. Neo Korean? What does that look and taste like? I had to go to find out. Even when they first opened, they received a lot of press because the chef Young sun Lee cooked at places like Momofuku and EN Japanese Brasserie. Their menu had a cheap prix fix dinner for $37, and it changed often; there were a variety of dishes for a reasonable price. Here are photos of their food:

From top to bottom:
Crab Kimchi croquette (Gae Goroggae) – Crabmeat, potato, kimchi, bread crumbs, flour, egg, cream, tobiko (flying fish roe), port wine, and soy sauce
Sauteed Vegetables and Sweet Potato noodle (Jab Chae) – Sweet potato, noodles, cucumber, carrot, pyo go (shiitake), onion woo eong (gobo), and sweet pepper
Grilled Octopus salad (Moon Eo Goo Yi Salada) – Octopus, water chestnut, shallot, pickled mae sil (asian plum), garlic, rosemary, thyme, lemon, olive oil, soy sauce, and pepper flakes
Tofu Stew with Seafood (Hae Mool Soon Du Bu Jji Gae) – Silken tofu, spicy house dashi, baby octopus, shrimp, littleneck clam, kimchi, quail egg, and scallions
Bread Pudding With Black Sesame Seed Sauce – Bread, cream, mak gul ri (korean traditional sake), black sesame seed, honey, egg, and sugar
Ginger Tofu Mousse With Honey Sauce – Ginger, soy milk, silken tofu, honey, and white wine
Though this restaurant is short-lived I believe it made an impact on New Yorkers. It shows us that Korean food is still evolving, and there are chefs that continue to explore this cuisine. I would like to highlight some other restaurants in NYC that are exploring Korean cuisine:
Farewell Persimmon! It has been a enjoyable and scrumptious dining experience.
Australian/ dinner/ Fusion/ nyc

Public: Fusion is the Name of the Game

Yup, I am reviewing another fusion restaurant. So finnnnne…maybe I go to more fusion restaurants than I would like to admit, but at least I am featuring GOOD places right? Anyway the point is that I was impressed by two things:

1.) the menu ingredients are very varied (i.e. wild boar, quail & foie gras, Tasmanian sea trout)
2.) the restaurant is really spacious and felt down-to-earth yet sophisticated

Now down to the stuff you’ve been waiting for…delicious food pictures.

Here we have the Grilled Scallops appetizer. This is served with sweet chili sauce, creme fraiche, and green plantain chips. I gotta say, there’s nothing better than a nicely grilled scallop, especially since it’s so meaty and has a smooth bite.

Snail and Oxtail Ravioli. Yup I had to try it…not only did it sound so intriguing to me, but it’s not a combination of meat that I have seen. It is served with pickled shiitake mushrooms, oven dried tomatoes, peashoots and smoked paprika oil. Some foodies would say that I “nommed nommed” and finished it easily. I enjoyed the vegetable : ravioli ratio AND the sauce totally enhanced flavors. I just wanted to say “can I have some mooorrreee?

Lastly, and sadly I cannot seem to remember what this dish was…blame it on my horrible memory or the “al-al-al-al-alcohol”, but here’s a picture of it:

I cannot figure it out for the life of me. If any of you have an idea, PLEASE let me know, pretty please. Otherwise I might just shrivel up in frustration and agony in a corner of my small bedroom over a delicious dish I cannot remember. Yes, that is how serious I am. Leave a comment, email, SOMETHING.

Conclusion: It lives up to the Michelin Star ranking it received. Interesting dishes, comfortable and sophisticated atmosphere, and a friendly waitstaff. It is a great place for a date especially for a avid food fanatic.

210 Elizabeth Street
New York, NY 10012
(212) 343-7011

dinner/ Korean/ nyc

Feast: Momofuku Bo SSsäm

As I flipped through all my food photos (and try to catch up this blog with all the good eats), I came across one of the finest feasts I have had with my friends: Bo Ssäm at Momofuku’s Ssäm Bar. Let me say that I am NOT the hugest fan of all their food — don’t even get me started on Momofuku’s Ramen, but THIS meal/dish is marvelous. To all the meat eaters out there, this is a MUST to experience with your friends. Note: You must make a reservation for a group of 6 or more and it must be made at least one day in advance.

We gathered together, all starving for pork butt that had been cooked for 6-7 HOURS. “Meat, meat, meat”, we all chanted. They started bringing over the fundamental materials needed to properly eat this dish.

This is the lettuce, Ssäm jang, salted shrimp, and kimchi to wrap the meat in. I have to say, the sauces were so good. So good to the point where we had to ask for refills at least two times. I am pretty sure the waiters were prepared and sauces appeared instantaneously before our eyes.

Aside from the meat, 12 oysters come with the meal. We weren’t really interested in this and I didn’t feel like it added much to the feast either. No one really complained. After all, we thought the more food the better. This just whetted our appetite, kind of like a pre-game before a major event.

After some light conversation and much anticipation that amassed amongst us, they brought the core of our meal: pork butt – the Bo Ssäm.

OH MY GAWD. As the plate of roasted pork butt was placed in front of us, we gawked and slurped up the drool that was dripping off the side of our faces. Then someone asked, “how are we supposed to cut this?” One of us rushed to grab the knife and quickly took a stab onto this piece of meat. OH YEAH. We saw the meat just fall right off the bone – juicy, fatty, tender – and all quickly reached for our plates.

The frenzy had begun.

Ten hungry people reached for meat, lettuce, sauces all at the same time required a particular kind of harmony. Place all sauces onto personal plate. Pass the lettuce to the person on your left. Grab more meat. Eat eat eat. Silence fell upon us as we all munched together.

A close up of my plate…that is some nice lookin’ meat.

Yeah, all our sauces are gone…into our tummies. Delicious and satisfying.

As we wiped our hands and scraped our plates, we all realized how incredible this meal has been. It brought together people with the same desire to eat some good food for a fair price. Because there were ten of us, it amounted to cost around $25/person…with tip! Granted, because there were ten of us, there wasn’t as much meat as they would have liked, but it was still a memorable meal.

Conclusion: Make the reservation. Enjoy. Thank me later for the recommendation.

Momofuku Ssäm Bar
207 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10003

dinner/ Fusion/ nyc/ Queens

Day: Rose House; Night: Buddakan

These two outings happened on different dates but they’re both memorable. Memorable = Post-Eligible. That’s right folks, I try to bring you the best of what I encounter as well as what I see. Not to mention it is in time to make a New Years Resolution: to blog more often. So…here goes!

Day: Rose House

After a nice dim sum meal with the family in Flushing aka. “China-in-New-York”, we decided to spend more time with each other at the Rose House located in Queens Crossing. They actually have locations all over Asia (definitely in Taiwan!), and they are now in Flushing too. You can basically order rose teas from polite waitresses. Well I decided to order this dessert along with a bunch of tea:

Ice Cream with Warm Waffles. Oh yes, it was pretty great – the combination of cold ice cream with warm, crispy waffles.

Conclusion: This place is not cheap for what you’re getting. Hopefully you can enjoy the atmosphere and believe what you’re paying is going into the floral couches and delicate teacups.

Rose House (in Queens Crossing)
136-17 39th Avenue
Flushing, NY 11355

Night: Buddakan

I remember running to meet my friend that night for drinks at Buddakan. I have never been there but heard a little bit about it so we decided to check it out together. As we pushed through various crowds that looked like they were attending corporate happy hours, we got to the bar to order drinks. I gotta say…they were delicious. They were able to mix beers with asian flavors pretty well. It went down my throat very smoothly. However, the longer we talked the more we got hungry so we decided to order some snacks, as pictured below:

Beef tartare with a sesame cracker. Not too bad.

Jade Shrimp Dumplings. We killed these pretty easily…

Conclusion: I would say this place is great for drinks and I’m still a bit undecided about the food. I think we need to go back again and have a real meal there.

75 West 16th St.
New York, NY 10011

American Nouveau/ dessert/ dinner/ nyc

Long Awaited Post: Park Avenue Autumn with Ryan Boyd!

So what else would I be doing on a Friday summer night in Manhattan? BLOGGING OF COURSE. With the television on the show ABDC (America’s Best Dance Crew) whilst cleaning the bathroom, I realized that it is about time for me to blog. Clearly I have not achieved my goal of blogging once a month but I guarantee you that every post I make is meant to entertain…myself. HAHA.

Accenture has provided me with meeting fellow foodies from all across the USA. I was lucky enough to meet Ryan Boyd, a friendly Texan that is very into eating. He educated me in the different types of BBQ and I talked incessantly about the great food in Manhattan. Of course he called me up when he came to NYC and offered to treat me to a delicious dinner with him and his girlfriend. My pick: Park Avenue [insert season here] – Autumn.

They are known to change their decor and menu every single season. I remember that the menu had a special section for MUSHROOMS. That’s right – just to highlight this lovely fungus that is most fresh in the autumn. I was thrilled to be invited to this dinner.
Warning: I apologize ahead of time if I don’t list things properly or if I can’t even identify the dish at all. This is a LONG awaited post (something like 1 year old??) so forgive me!

This was the chef’s starter. What it is you ask? I cannot remember, but I do recollect my feeling towards it. Please sir, can I have some more?

We dabbled in bread. Drrooooool. My weakness…carbs. But oh are they delicious…we are talking about flat bread sticks, multi-grain bread, and muffin-like rolls. “Gimme gimme more, gimme more…”

And onto appetizers! We ordered:

Local Diver Scallops with Lemongrass Broth and Red Delicious Apples. This dish highlights aspects of autumn and combining fall’s fresh ingredients with seafood.

Unidentifiable dish #1:

I think this might be an appetizer or main entree. Either way I can’t remember…however, doesn’t it look so pretty?

Speaking of mains:

I believe I got the Dover Sole with fine herbes brown butter. It was delicious and eaten in a matter of minutes.

The side dish that stands out the most:

Broccoli & Cheetos! Yes, I am serious. They use REAL cheetos for this side. I was really surprised but I really liked it. It gave the broccoli a pleasant crunch.

And a meal is not complete until you finish it off with dessert!

The chocolate cube and…

Cranberry almond cake with Cranberry brulee and toasted almond ice cream. What is in the chocolate cube? I can’t remember. How were the desserts? That I do remember…and they were gobbled up in a matter of minutes. Two thumbs up!

All in all, one of my most memorable meals…thanks to Ryan Boyd! You rock! I would highly recommend going to Park Avenue [season], and I am more than happy to accompany anyone if desired.

Park Avenue [Season]
100 E. 63rd St.
New York, NY 10021
(212) 644-1900