My trusty cookbooks (by Suvir Saran owner/chef of Dévi)
First off, I didn’t bring a camera with me, and even if I did, it was really dark inside so I doubt I could’ve gotten any good shots. This week (and last week) is New York Restaurant Week. It’s a great opportunity to eat at some restaurants that you were saving for a special occasion but never got around to. Dévi (8 E. 18th St., New York, NY 10003) is a really nice though pricey (for moi) Indian restaurant near Union Square. I’ve been dying to go there for the past year, ever since I bought Indian Home Cooking.
This is the first time I ever ate at a Michelin star rated
* (1 star) restaurant (I’m frugal). The Hubby and I got the prix-fixe three course dinner (menu
). I had the Grilled Scallops (with roasted red pepper chutney, Manchurian cauliflower, spicy bitter-orange marmalade), the scallop (it was just one) and roasted pepper chutney had a great smoky flavor combo, followed by Tandoori Prawns (yogurt marinated with crispy okra salad and spicy eggplant). The Manchurian cauliflower was a great surprise, it was mind-blowing. You can definitely taste a Chinese influence and made me a cauliflower convert. The Pawns were succulent and the crispy okra was equally great.
The hubby had the Goan Shrimp Balchao Bruschettas (with onion-tomato marmalade, red chiles, vinegar, on brioche bread) and Poori aur Tari Wale Aloo (puffy bread, spiced potato curry, fenugreek chutney). We ordered extra sides of Garlic Naan (bread), Saag (spinach) with mushrooms, and Ragda Chaat (potato cakes, white peas, tamarind and mint chutneys), which were completely unnecessary but we wanted to taste as many things as we can in one go.
We were pretty stuffed before we moved onto desserts but that didn’t stop me from enjoying my kulfi falooda (Indian ice cream, falooda noodles, rose milk) and the goat cheese ice cream from the hubby’s fig cake (with wine macerated figs, mascarpone, ginger caramel sauce, goat cheese ice cream). We also had to try the mango lassi along with some Mint Lavender tea to go with dessert. At the end I was happily full and dying to try recreating the Manchurian cauliflower at home. In fact, we went straight to Whole Foods afterwards and picked up a head of cauliflower (I bought other stuff too, I’m sane, I swear!).
* but Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery might count. Their pastries are heavenly.
January 29, 2008 at 6:38 am
Cecel Cafe Crepe, 135 1st Ave (btw 9th ST and St. Mark’s Pl), is a cute little place with only a bench and a small counter for eating in. It’s open late (midnight) all week, and till 2am Fridays and Saturdays. The kitchen is right behind the register, wide open so you can see them make and fill each crepe with meticulous precision. The menu has variety of sweet and savory crepes with familiar fruit and dessert flavors and Japanese twists including red beans in sweet combinations, tofu and hijiki (seaweed) for savory creations. The crepes themselves only took a minute or so to cook on the grill, and then they take their time trying to perfectly replicate the filling from the photos on the menu before rolling it all up.
I ordered a small Double Mango; fresh mango, sponge cake, mango sauce and thick tasty pastry cream. I love the filling and the soft crepe; but I think I could do without the sponge cake getting in the way of my mango and cream. The hubby ordered a Banana Strawberry minus the custard and chocolate sauce (went with a caramel sauce instead) then proceeded to finish it without offering me any.
We were a bit surprised to see the guy actually slicing and skinning fruit per order, wasn’t pre-cut in containers. It was nearly 10pm and there were only two other customers we saw going in. Makes me wonder what the place looks like during peak hours.
January 19, 2008 at 5:18 pm
Chikalicious Puddin’ (204 E 10th St. New York, NY 10003) is across the street from and spin-off of the Chikalicious Dessert Bar (which is famous for their upscale all dessert menu). Chikalicious Puddin’ is a tiny storefront with a selection of 3 puddings, some shortbread cookies, and some drinks. They don’t plan to add more items, ever!
In pudding, you have the choice of a Vanilla Steamed Pudding in Custard, Adult Chocolate Pudding and a Brioche Bread Pudding. I only tried the first two but will make my way back for that bread pudding soon. The steam “pudding” is cake covered in a thin vanilla custard sauce, was nice and warm. Tho tastey enough, it’s still unexciting. While the “Adult” chocolate pudding is wonderful, a scoop of silky dark chocolate pudding on a bed of crisp buttery chocolate cookie crumbs. It’s definitely crave-worthy.
Another place added to the Chelle-list for her summer visit.
January 15, 2008 at 4:44 pm