Seriously, we only came for a Burger…

Bourbon Steak is a go to in DC.. and a place W and I like to head to just cuz… especially when we’re craving a good burger.  But I don’t think we’ve ever gone for a burger and ONLY gotten a burger.  As soon as I was done with work I slipped on some clothes and we headed over for some food.

When I sat down I ordered a champagne cocktail.. but was quickly presented with a yummy special one from the head bartender, Dwayne. YUM!
[Note: this drink will reappear in a Baltimore post!!!!]

Look at him at work.

Like always we were soon after presented with the Trio of Duck Fries. YUM – Crisp, flavorful and yummy, piping hot, they NEVER disappoint.  And I love how they switch up flavors and dipping sauces all the time. WOOHOO.

Raw Oysters with a Kimchi Sauce…

Delicious and fresh.  Tasty.  The kimchi wasn’t chunky like I thought it would be.  And see those little white balls? They’re little rice balls.

An amazing Rockfish Crudo

Sooooo many elements but the taste came out sooo simple and fresh.  A mixture of sweet – from the melon – and salty, different textures of the raw fish to the crunch of the shallot and then the creamy sauce.

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Mozzarella…

That hand is none other’s than Exec Chef Adam Sobel‘s…


I love anything with tomatoes and mozz. Maybe not the best season for tomatoes this year but I thought it was tasty anyways. I loved the little marshmallows of mozz! So cute and pillow-y. FLUFF.

Deconstructed Bahn Mi

This was SOOOO GOOD.  Everything about it was amazing. Creamy liver pate on a nice brioche… and then some meats on the side. AMAZING.

Calamari with Chorizo and Brioche Croutons

This was a HUUUUUUUGE bowl of squid. SO freaking much.  It was delicious but just SOOO much.  I could’ve had a little more chorizo as well :] Teehee.

Sheep Ricotta Agnolotti with Veal Cheeks and Bone Marrow

This was SOOOOOO GOOD!!!! Delicious!  The cheeks literally MELTED in my mouth as soon as it hit my tongue. BAM!  And the chunks of bone marrow, ahhhh meat butter. <3

And while we were gonna split a burger…. We realized we wanted our own.

I even got a nice salad on the side, NOM NOM I need my greens!!!

ALWAYS AMAZING.

I finished mine. WOOT. W didn’t *point and laugh*

BUT we always have room for desserts. Yes. PLURAL!

BSDC Red Velvet Cake
tainori chocolate cremeux, cocoa nib gelato, bulls blood

This was probably the best Red Velvet cake I’ve ever had. SO. FREAKING GOOD.

Chevre Cheesecake with Virginia Berries
strawberries, pistachio streusel, basil gelato

I wasn’t as into the cheesecake but I LOOOOVED the basil gelato.  It was beautifully plated though. I think it was a goat’s cheese – cheesecake or something.

BTW, here’s a sexy pic of Adam holding the A-5 Wagyu Beef straight from Japan.  Best of the best.

Orgasmic no?

Crazy Good Italian Book Signing for Top Chef Mike Isabella

After Brunch, I went shopping with J and W went home to rest a bit.  After a fun relaxing afternoon, we headed over to Graffiato to W’s buddy’s book signing at Graffiato. You might know him.. Top Chef Mike Isabella.  The booze were flowing and the snacks were a-coming. Even saw a quick glimpse of other Top Chef Bryan Voltaggio.

Hahaha YESSS.. I’m a “celebrity tweeter” ;]

[BTW this cook book is pretty awesome, you should totally go out and get it. NOW!  EVEN has his pepperoni sauce in it ;] YUM]

After a super fun party W and I decided to sit down and eat there. I’ve never ever had a bad meal at Graffiato. SO FREAKING GOOD.  We ordered a few things and we got surprised with a few items as well.

Crudo

Light, fresh and perfection.  A perfect way to start a meal.

Pig’s Head.

As soon as I saw this on the meats&cheeses part of the menu, I KNEW I had to have it. DIVINE.  Fennel, apple, SOOOOOO good. Thinly sliced and pure scrumptious.  I like the bit of cartilage from the ear in it. NOM.

Burrata with asian pear, walnut, & pickled cauliflower

My MUST get here.  W already knows so he doesn’t even have to ask and I don’t need to say and he knows I want it.  I love it when a man knows exactly what you want to eat without asking.  He never gets me wrong.

Crispy Veal Sweetbreads with Fried Green Tomatoes and Coffee Aioli

Who would’ve thought a coffee aioli would be good.  It was SOOO good.. light coffee flavor.. creamy.. paired SO well with the tender crisp fried sweetbreads. BUT.  I must say, the star of the show was the fried green tomatoes!!!  W and I were digging for them. SOOOOO good.

W’s must get: Roasted Cauliflower with pecorino, mint

Delicious, per usual. We both adore Cauliflower.

Sweet Corn Agnolotti with Pinenuts

I forgot what the other stuff was. Olive?  Not sure. But these were tender and pillowy. YUM.  The creamy innards were bursting with sweet corn flavor.

We always get the Porky’s Revenge so I wanted to try another one.

Countryman Pizza with black truffle, fontina, farmed soft egg

Sexy Egg… our waiter popped it and spread it for us, but I secretly wished I did it instead haha…

Although it was just truffle oil, it was delicious.  BUT… I think Porky’s is still my favorite… still need to try some others. HEE HEE. But I love my pig.

Charred Octopus with potato, black garlic, olives

Another dish we always get.  It’s SO tender and delicious. YUM.

Crispy Lamb with yogurt, cucumber, tapenade

You guys know I’m not a huge fan of lamb but W loves this. NOM NOM NOM.

Complimentary Desserts from the Book Signing Party before.. SOOOO GOOOOD

Nutella Pudding and Tri-Color Italian Cookies

SOOO GOOD.. and the nutella.. OH MAN, I licked the shot glass cleeeean!!!! And I may have kept the cute little spoon ;]

SHHHH

I don’t remember why I was doing this and why W took this pic of me. But apparently I was NOT amused.

Scott Conant makes my tummy swoon: Scarpetta in Vegas

It was a lazy day of pool and grubbing.. and yes, more drinking… but we finally decided to get our deal together and realized that it’s hard to find a good place to eat on a Friday night.. trying to book a table when it’s already 7pm… in Vegas…OOPS.  After a few failed attempts with the concierge at Caesars…

…[we got ready anyways] and ended up deciding on Scarpetta

[Oh Scott Conant you so dreamy <3 swoon]

…with an old coworker of mine, who also happened to be in town.. we headed over to Cosmopolitan – GORGEOUS hotel.  Had a few drinks at the bar and then finally sat down before 10.

Bread and yummy stuff to dip it in… MMM BREAD!!!

George & I

Appetizers Round

Roasted Sea Scallops
truffled white asparagus, pink grapefruit & uni aoili

Super tender scallops… delicious white asparagus… MMMMMM….. To me, if someone can cook a scallop to perfection, they can cook. It’s hard to get it just right, especially since it’s so easily overcooked and turns rubbery like whoa.  These melted at the touch of my tongue. Light, decadent. Amazing. But hello. Two scallops and two asparagus for three people? Awkward!

Special: Steak Tartare

This was okay.  Probably shouldn’t have ordered it, wasn’t bad, wasn’t great.  Wish there was a bigger portion….

And the best dish of the night — and possibly of the whole time in Vegas:

Creamy Polenta
fricassee of truffled mushrooms

Here is the guy pouring the sauce with truffled wild mushrooms all over the creamy polenta…


SO good we got it twice – YES twice!!! We started smothering ALL of our food with this stuff.  Words can NOT describe how amazing it is… and as soon as we licked the bowl clean, we ordered another one.  I’ve never had creamier, buttery polenta in my life.  It was like melted ice cream of savory truffled goodness.  Delicious tender mushrooms.. OMFG.  Last dinner sort of food. I can die happy in a hot tub of this.


We all ordered our own dish but shared everything – not allowed to order the same thing hahaha….

Duck & Foie Ravioli
marsala reduction

This  was obviously mine.  It was the least tasty of the three, methinks, not that it wasn’t tasty.. the filling was good but a bit dry/mealy.  The texture was a little weird for me, but the flavors were spot on – and the pasta was a good al dente.

George picked the Special: Bone-In Prime Rib with a side of Potatoes

It was delicious. If you fuck up beef, than you can’t cook at all.  It was HUGE, Fred Flintstone style. I love a good piece of meat with a nice bone in it.

Kelly got the Special: Chicken & Sweet Corn Agnolotti

This was actually  in my running to be one of my choices.. it was really good and the only thing we all finished!!!! YUM – the corn was amazing and added such a great texture and sweetness to it. YUM

We opted out of dessert but our awesome server gave us some deliciousness anyways…

Butterscotch pots <3 YUM

We headed to XS afterwards…. but ended up waiting a million hours in line.  I ended up cutting a ton of people to get thru, get stamped, just to wait LONGER.  Got to see B for a brief moment and say hi at least…. at least tummy was happy – cuz feet were NOT.

Ai Fiori’s Chef’s Tasting – Oh Michael White…

Back in February I won the auction for SOBE Wine&Food Festival for a Chef Tasting for 2 with wine pairings at Michael White’s baby Ai Fiori.  You guys should know by now that I rarely go to the same restaurants again… so when I do, it really means that the restaurant [and Michael White] made a huge impact on me.. my stomach… which basically is where my heart lievs.

Delicious soft gooey butter with black pepper to go with my olive bread!!!

And then began the Chef’s Tasting… I marked all the add-ons we really wanted to try/eat that ended up being complimentary with a “*” :] Seriously, Ai Fiori has some of the BEST service and staff and everything everrrrr *ALL SMILES*

Amuse Bouche…
Steak Tartare, Tuna Tartare and Salted Cod Croquette
The tartare was super tender, very very clean tasting with a nice crunchy buttery crostini on the bottom… er, crouton?  The tuna tartare was just as clear, light and refreshing as the tartare.. and the croquette, which I had last, wasn’t overly salty, or fishy… definitely heavy on the potatoes… all three were an excellent start to the meal.

Chilled Asparagus Soup Shooter

Tasted like my favorite, BPC Green Juice :] Very very refreshing, clean and healthy tasting.. not very much on the asparagus taste but definitely full of fresh veggies…

Ricciola
amber jack tartare, cara cara oranges, cucumber, uova di trot

The cleanest tasing amberjack… SOOOO fresh… the caviar was SO delicious – popped in my mouth but wasn’t overly fishy or salty… perfectly complimented the raw fish. NOM!

The sexy version…

Uovo *
slow poached egg, lobster knuckles, crispy veal sweetbreads, nuage layon

Delicious and foamy… delicious chunks of lobster and sweetbreads with the most amazing cheesy tasting foam… all which complimented the ever rich, smooth and creamy perfectly poached egg… gooey amazingness.

Wait wait, what is this?

Vellutata
lobster velouté, périgord black truffles, chervil

Definitely the most TENDER lobster I have EVER eaten. SUPER SWEET… sooooooooooooo perfectly cooked.. and I’ve eaten a LOT of lobster… raw, cooked right, cooked wrong, overcooked and undercooked, but this was perfection. To be honest, better than the last time we had lobster here.

Agnolotti
braised veal parcels, fava beans, black truffle sugo

I LOOOOOOOOVE Michael White’s Agnolotti.. I literally daydream about these things everytime I crave pasta… SO tender, perfect dough….. MMM creammmmy veal center… I also adore fava beans, tastes like spring – and this whole dish was completed and complimented with delicious black truffle sauce… all of the elements, while perfection all on they’re own, just totally brought the dish together as whole

Vitello
amish veal chop “au four”, asparagus, peas, spring onion blanquette
They gave me the “man” dish…

And they gave Z the girl dish.. hahaha

YESSSS… I gots the bone :D

I’m a sexy bitch when I eat aren’t I? NOT!!! But it was SOOO tender and delicious…. YUM! Ever since my Resto Veal dinner I’ve been in love ever since.. OKAY, to be honest I never would fully seek out veal.. I do now… hahah thanks to Resto… and YUM YUM YUM was this good.  The bone was soooo fatty, delicious and FULL of amazing flavor.  Once you go veal, you never want regular again.. OKAY, that’s a lie.. just wanted to think of something clever to say.. hahaha

Gnocchetti *
semolina saffron gnocchi, blue crab, sea urchin, tomato, fresh herbs

Yeah, okay, we had this before, but we were still hungry so we decided to add to our order… we EACH got our own dish – YUM! The portions were so much larger too.. amazing, delicious, licked the bowls clean. YUM! YUM! YUM!… Michael White and his PERFECT pasta and sauces.. so balanced… chewy tender, perfectly al dente, creamy uni, melt in your mouth crab… OH FREAKING MAN… and then the crunch of the buttery breadcrumbs on top – so heavenly its like a dirty dirty secret.

And because we were super curious about the lamb dish that was usually on the Chef’s Tasting….. Chef gave us some to try :D

Agnello *
rack of lamb en crepinette, swiss chard crochetta, sariette

Yep, Chef got me to eat lamb. Lots of lamb, this was delicious.  SUPER SUPER tender and PERFECTLY cooked.. it wasn’t too gamey or “lamb”-y in my words, at all. Just plain deliciousness.  The swiss chard was cooked down and also super tender… the sauce was soooo flavorful.. yum yum yum.

Panna Cotta ♥

This definitely had a light light goaty or sheep flavor but I found it absolutely amazing.. DEVOURED… Super creamy and delicious – not too sweet definitely to die for.  I ate it up SO fast… crunchy, creamy, cold, amazing.


Okay, I honestly don’t really remember what was in this.. I remember there were SO many layers of tart textures and flavors…. there were candied walnuts and it was SO interesting.. so refreshing and new. Delicious nonetheless…

Thanks Chef Chris Jaeckle.. He was SO nice and charasmatic… we got to chat with him for awhile and I couldn’t stop praising the food… nom nom nom. Ai Fiori, my favorite place for pasta in NYC :] And probably ever… When you have time PLEASE try the Chef’s Tasting and definitely go with the Wine Pairings as well.. absolutely BRILLIANT!!!

Our Best Dinner Yet…

Yep, it’s official, on March 30, 2011 we just may have had our best dinner yet.

Z and I have had a lot of delicious meals… and a few too many not so delicious ones…. but this just may be the perfect delicious meal – not one complaint or yick escaped from our mouths [except me towards our neighbors haha] Dish after dish, delish! I was having a good day, a really good day [been having a lot of those lately] so Z was taking me out to dinner [celebraaaaaaaaaaation] to L’Artusi :] Yep, the same chef as another pasta love of mine, dell’Anima! [does Z know me well or what?!] But unlike my dell’Anima meal, I liked EVERY. SINGLE. SAVORY and SWEET morsel/bite :D

I love Open Kitchens

Hilarious…

Z asked for his usual lemon and lime slices.. but somehow only ONE slice out of the four got into my water :[ Waaaa… meanie!!! LOL

Cute little rounds of bread and EVOO

Special of the Day: Housemade Ricotta

EVOO, Sea Salt, Marmalade and delicious Cheese Crisps

I have been daydreaming about this ricotta… and having wet dreams. This is the creamiest light but yet still flavorful ricotta. SOOOOO fluffy and creamy it was like a gelato… a light drizzle of EVOO on top and a sprinkling of big crunchy sea salt. AMAZING. I dug in, sans crisp, as soon as it landed on the table [well AFTER the photograph hahaha] – and then combined with the cheesy but light cheese crisps. OH EM GEE.

Hamachi Tartare

Lemon, Chives, Ginger

This was delicious. Tender, fresh… the ginger added a delicious kick to the frisee and the fatty, but light, fish.  The citrus provided a nice balance against the fat of the fish as well.. and lightened the “fishy” taste.

Escolar

Avocado, Basil, Chiles

The fish was SO soft and fluffy….. fishy and amazing like an escolar should be.  The sauce was really thick, delicious but overly spicy and overpowering for the fish and the other flavors. Sadly I got no avocado or basil in the bite.. I ended up wiping off most of the sauce on the fish and just eating the fish underneath.

Roasted Mushrooms

Pancetta, Fried Egg, Ricotta Salata

Absolutely heavenly. The pancetta was big thick chunks of pork belly and not overly salty at all. Or salty for that matter – they were perfect.  The mixture of wild mushrooms were cooked to perfection…. delicious gooey egg on top [also cooked perfectly] and a very generous portion of ricotta salata. Oh dear my poor lactose intolerance. I am in love.  Everything was licked clean off the plate and sopped up with fingers and bread.

Special of the Day: Beef Short Rib Agnolotti

Fennel Butter Sauce

Never have I tasted such a pure butter sauce.  I was scared that the fennel was going to be overpowering but it was so LIGHT.. I mean a LIGHT but RICH butter sauce?! Who could ever imagine in their wildest dreams? Well I tasted it in mine. The agnolotti was made PERFECTLY.. the dough, the filling.. very reminiscent of Michael White’s tortellini from the SOBE W&F ’11 Dolce Brunch.  Oh was this heavenly… I know it must be bad for me… well bad for my waistline [no wonder I can’t fit into my old jeans anymore] but OH SO GOOD for the soul <3 THIS needs to be a regular on the menu!!!! I would get two bowls of it just for myself.

Crispy Sweetbreads

Hazelnut, Brown Butter

I’ve had bad sweetbreads and meh sweetbreads, but these were delicious, creamy and perfectly fried. Crunchy outside, soft fluffy creamy innards and an amazing brown butter sauce… the hazelnuts added a great nutty, but not overpowering crunch to the dish. I could eat these like popcorn.

Brussels Sprouts

Pecorino, Black Pepper

These brussel spouts were roasted to a crisp and coverd in delicious pecorino. MMM it was a HUUUGE portion, probably the biggest portion out of all the dishes we had that night.  They were small tender brussels sprouts, could’ve used lessed time under the broiler methinks but delicious nonetheless. I love a good burnt crispy sprout :D

Roasted Quail

Braised Pancetta, Sweet Potatoes, Radicchio

I still can’t stop thinking about the quail from SOBE W&F ’11 Gilt Dinner… to DIE for. I’ve only had quail twice in my life that make me dream about them nonstop. The mere thought of quail makes me think of that Gilt Dinner and the Tandoori quail from this modern indian bistro+bar, Tamarind Bay, in Harvard Sq. This quail was pretty delicious. The legs were a bit salty on the skin…a nice serving of delicious thick pork belly pancetta… and amazing sweet potatoes, cooked to a soft chew and they were naturally so sweet – for a second I was almost convinced I bit into a carrot.

After cleaning our plates.. more licking and sopping off the juices… we wanted dessert.  Our eyes went straight to one of them…

After watching last Sunday’s Chopped All-Stars and the battle of the souffles for dessert round we HAD to get this dessert:

Caramel Souffle

To DIE for. Best souffle I’ve had to memory. Just a little sauce went a long long way.  Poked a little crosshair hole at the top and poured it on top and all over.. OMG.. gooey hot perfect fluffy goodness inside. I can die happy now… but then I wouldn’t have gotten to eat the delicious buttery walnut cookies that came with it… and of course the gelato balls we ordered…

Yep, in Tiffie fashion, we also got some gelato which came with the most delicious little chewy almond macaron-style cookies covered in toasted pine nuts :]

Baci, Amarena Cherry-Ricotta Gelato

Sea Salt Gelato

They were DELICIOUS. I especially loved how the sea salt gelato came out. Salty but not in an overpowering way – very subtle and went delicious with the baci [I’m pretty sure baci is starting to take over my love of Stracciatella for gelato now OH NO – I blame it on delicious GROM :D]

Most Fabulous, Per Se

 

I woke up to a delivery of this….

Gorgeous, isn’t it?!… It was funny because I was super annoyed being woken up by our security downstairs.. they kept calling and calling and calling me…. and at first I was avoiding picking up the phone… but finally I gave in…. hahahaha

Onwards.

I was told that I was bring brought to Gordon Ramsay at the London – which is also fab but I had my heart set on Per Se for the special occasion…… BUUUUUTTTT I was sooo surprised when I was taken into Columbus Circle… I was like.. this isn’t where Gordon Ramsay is….. SURPRISE!!!!

He told me he had booked it over a month in advance already and was just PRETENDING that he did’nt try til a week ago. Silly guy.. I was all smiles :]

He got the Chef’s Tasting and I got the Vegetarian Tasting so that way instead of just the same 9 courses, we get 18 different courses to try :D We also got a wine pairing for every 2 dishes of ours…

[Read more…]

The Last Meal…

When I was younger, the inner party queen in me was centered around how I was going to end my year at which party. The best celeb guest/host, music, festivities, etc… was what I planned my NYE around. This year was different… in a few ways.

1. I didn’t plan it :]
2. It was centered around a meal.
3. Which party I went to didn’t really matter [we had tickets to Cain Luxe btw]

Let me continue. I was surprised with dinner reservations to Daniel. Yes, THE Daniel Boulud‘s Daniel. If you don’t know who he is, shame on you.

[Read more…]

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