Fishtail, Top Chef Ed Cotton. Fellow Masshole. Perfection.

I have been anticipating eating Chef Cotton’s food again sooooo bad… SO happy to be in NYC again.. one of these days we’ll both be in Boston at the same time to chill

Me and J have been avoiding seafood since I was SUPER SUPER looking forward to eating at Ed’s new gig. SOOOO…. after work I got all did up and obviously over underdressed for the occasion.

All black.. with red shoes. <3

AHHHH… FINALLY <3 FISHTAIL

Bread. and Butter. SOOO GOOD we got more… no really, we did… you’ll see soon.

We got a Brut Cava, YUM…. and was ready to eat.

I went to pee [TMI] and saw Ed along the way so he waited for me to bring us back the Amuse Bouche.

FUCKING AMAZING.

And then came our oysters. Half East Coast, Half West Coast.  I got the third East and J got the third West. AHHH we fit together so perfect.  Nothing but a little lemon. SO HAPPY.

Cheers Babe <3

Moooooooore… yummy dishes from Ed.

Avocado. Yes. Yumminess. Yes. Happy. Yes.

I think this was when I tweeted about how orgasmic his food was so far.

Screen Shot 2013-03-14 at 11.26.51 PM

And then came this:

Baked stuffed clams with house made sweet Chinese duck sausage and baby cilantro

LIFE. FUCKING. CHANGING.

Screen Shot 2013-03-14 at 11.10.51 PM
Haha yep, Chef instagrammed it and it went into our bellies. SO. FUCKING. GOOD. PUT IT ON THE MENU NOW. I think we said that to Ed after dinner too.

More cornbread!!! told ya we got more… FUCKING LOVE THE CRUST

We shared a Roasted Monkfish Tail… which was a good idea since we both didn’t realize how big it would be.

They split it up for us and gave us a foursome of sauces:

Ok I don’t remember EXACTLY what they were per-say I know there was a Curry and a Wasabi…. buttttt….. anyways they were delicious HAHHAHA – I’m guessing
WASABI-YUZU VINAIGRETTE
TANGY TOMATO GINGER
BROWN BUTTER HOLLANDAISE
RED CURRY-COCONUT

AND Chef sent out some sides for us…

we got sides of Mushrooms

And Spinach

Yep we licked the plates clean..

AND THEN…. came dessert.. we were super full but we couldn’t resist trying the Warm Apple Tart
vanilla bean ice cream / salted caramel sauce / apple chip and they surprised us with some cheesecake pops.. a David Burke speciality.

Warm Apple Tart. soooo GOOD.

Cheesecake Pops with Bubblegum Whipped Cream

We are happy and full.

Thanks Chef. Do the FOB SIGN WiTH ME DAMMIT!!!!

YAYYYYYYYYYYYYY Chef Fobbed with me :] Love you and see you soon Ed. Thanks for another ammmmmmmmaaaaazing meal. So memorable and fantastic. J and I went home and promptly passed out from food coma [for once not from booze] and it was all we could talk about the next day [the food]

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.

FINALLY got Top Chef Isabella’s Pepperoni Sauce in me – Graffiato

All dressed up and definitely know where I wanna go tonight… It’s been a long fun day of food and play… but I’ve been craving something….

*SQUEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAL*

FINALLLLLLLLLLLLLY got to eat at Graffiato, Top Chef Mike Isabella’s babyyy!!!!

Remember I met him back at Eat + Pray + Heal Japan in NYC last year?!  I’ve always been a HUUUUGE fan of him on both of his seasons of Top Chef and wanted him to win All Stars SO bad. Yep. I want his pepperoni sauce in me.  And OH EM GEE, he remembered meeeeeee :D WOOHOOO!!! SOOOO psyched to finally eat here, been wanting to since the huge hype of Graffiato before it even opened!!!! *dance dance*

Yep. This guy.

Awww what a cutie :D He was smilie and talkative just as I remembered :]  I always get so chef-struck #fattienerd

Ok, back to the food MMMM, check out the menu…

We got seated so that I had the PERFECT view of the open kitchen… I couldn’t stop staring….. it was like a chef’s table without the fancy price tag

Do you see the pepperoni sauce?

Close up!!! It’s blurry and bright but yes it’s in that tub of red <3 YAYYYYYY

My champagne flute was flowing with bubbles from the Prosecco tap. YES PROSECCO ON TAP!!!!! [at least that’s what W told me, blame him if it’s not true hahaha jk] – I need to get this installed in my house!

First up?! W knew what I REALLLLLLY wanted… Isabella’s sauce…. *cough*

Flat Bread & Pepperoni Sauce

SOOOO excited to dip my bread in the sauce…

Up close of the Pepperoni Sauce *orgasm*

It was like liquified pepperoni… HOLY MOLY this was just as amazing as I thought it would be. I can finally check this off of my dreamlist of things I must eat.  I could dip my leather shoe in this sauce and eat it up. WOW, I’ve never used that and always wanted to LOL…

W hiding from my picture taking again… I left my digicam back in my other jacket so everything tonight was from iPhone…. HAHA good thing I’m photo ninja and caught him in the act of covering his face…

Delicious Meat Plate <#

That *points* was my favorite. You’ll just have to try them all to figure out which one I’m pointing at!

Burrata

Honey Glazed Onions, Nigella

This jumped straight out at me on the menu. I. LOVE. BURRATA.  Creamy happy deliciousness melting on my tongue and down the back of my throat.  Delicious with the tangy sweet onions, scallions and just HAPPINESS.  This was amazing and I could eat a tub of this.  Swim thru and just inhale into my lungs.  I. LOVE. BURRATA.

Broccolini

Spicy Pepper Relish, Walnut, Feta

I also love broccolini, I eat it a couple of times a week… and I love feta and walnuts SOOOOOO why not?! The only downside to this dish was that it was cold – I expected it to be hot; It kinda thru me off a bit…

Glazed Pork Cheeks

Sweet Potatoes, Pecans

Tender, juicy, meaty and just melted in my mouth.  SOOOO delicious with the silky sweet potato mash and the crunch of the pecans. LOOOOOVE pecans. MMMMM I should re-create this for a thanksgiving dish this year! SOOOO HAPPPY in my mouth!!

Roasted Cauliflower

Pecorino, Mint

“We’re gonna be farting all night” – W

HAHAHA.. these were yummy..  a little bit overcooked for me but I LOOOOVE cauliflower – YUM!  And no, no farting… hahahaha.. there was a bit of tang to it, definitely

Marinated Octopus

Romesco, Olives, Almonds

Soft, slow cooked, long cooked… Most of the time I eat my octopus with a bit of bite and chew to it… but this was creamy and had delicious flavors…. I missed the chew but adored the flavors that came with it… PLUS.. I’m a sucker for tentacles.. I’m such a texture whore…

Crispy Potato Gnocchi

Wild Mushrooms, Stracciatella

AMAZING!  Toasted and creamy.. MMMMMM I’ve had good gnocchi but mostly BAD GNOCCHI..  These were delicious…. Scrumptious mushrooms… creamy creamy melty and drippy Stracciatella OMG happiness… have you noticed the theme lately? Happiness and happy is being used a lot.

Porky’s Revenge

Sopressata, Pepperoni, Sausage, Tomato, Stracciatella

OMG look at that gooey deliciousness!!!!!

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAMZING. Meaty, juicy, CREAAAAAAMY ooey gooey sexy cheese… the crust was just as amazing as the toppings – SUCH a great way to end a huge dinner – I can never eat too mucuh pizza. LOOK AT THAT.  I was trying to figure out what was Porky’s revenge – the fact that we were EATING porky OR that we would probably have a fun time on the toilet after eating this. THAT decadent and amazing BUT SO SO SO WORTH it!

W was full and even tho I PICKED the dessert, he didn’t wanna share.. again.. hahahaha

Just kidding :] I ended up eating most of these…

ZeppolesAutumn Spices, Pumpkin Caramel

SOOOOOOOOOO GOOD. Tasted like autumn and Thanksgiving.  I smothered EACH BITE with the marscapone – SOOOO GOOOOOOD!!!!! SOOO DECADENT – I’m an indulger… MMMMM…. Creamy happy orgasm…

Thanks Chef for exceeding my already super super super high expectations for your delicious food! I’ll be back soon :] #stalk!

“Snack” at We, The Pizza after an afternoon at the Botanical Gardens

After a delicious breakfast full of piggie fatty goodness… I headed off to the Botanical Gardens :D SOOO PRETTY – The weather was SOOO fabulous!!!!

It wasn’t super big but it was beautiful and sooo much fun to walk around in. I snapped so many pictures but I figure you guys don’t wanna see hundreds of flowers over and over again on this post LOL.  I was getting super thirsty and hungry.. again…. so we went to visit Chef Spike at We, The Pizza. We were originally gonna eat some burgers at his burger place, Good Stuff, – conviniently RIGHT next door to each other – but ended up getting suckered in PIZZA!!!!

SOOO MANY PIZZAS TO CHOOSE FROM!!!

We ended up getting 6 slices for two of us… a freshly homemade orange soda for W and a Blue Moon for me :] MMMMM

From bottom and then clockwise…

[and yes this was a “SNACK” :] TEEHEEHEEHEEHEE]

Spinach & Artichoke Pie: Béchamel, sautéed spinach and roasted chokes, aged provolone, Parmesan cheese

White Pie: Today’s ricotta, fontina, roasted garlic, Parmesan, mozz, sea salt, olive oil, fresh Italian parsley

These two were a bit on the dry side for me. the flavors were good but I like my cheese ooeyyyy and gooey but then again we had so many slices we couldn’t eat them piping hot all at the same time. #fail.

Colletti’s Notorious BBQ Pie: Slow roasted pulled pork with Colletti’s award winning BBQ sauce, cheddar and crispy onions

TONSSSSS of crispy onions on top with tender pulled pork.  The BBQ sauce was a bit on the sweet side but I loved the crispiessssss on top!!!

Buffalo Chicken Pie: Spicy boneless chicken wings, creamy blue cheese, mozz, Miguel’s hot sauce

Alternating Blue Cheese and Hot Sauce.. hahaha.. I took a huge bite of all hot sauce LOL… tangyyyyyy

Forest Shroomin’ Pie: Wild forest mushrooms, truffles, mozz, fresh thyme

OH MY LORDY. Orgasmic.

Spicy Mexican Pie: Tomato sauce, mozz, free range chicken breast topped with peppers, onions, chipotle, cilantro, Mexican spices and a splash of lime

This was super tasty, it was like a fajita on a pizza MMMM, I’m a sucker for spicy things… MMM loved the flavors and complexity of each bite, a different burst of flavors and textures in each nibble :]

SO, I originally thought we were getting a slice each so I chose the Spicy Mexican.. W went for the Mushroom.. and then a few more.. hahahaha See I took a bite of each but you can tell which one was our favorite :] The Mushroom pizza was SOOOOOOOOOO GOOOD #dies…. GOOOOOEY cheese, TRUFFLE-Y bechamel.. omg… happiness… I could eat a whole pizza of that.

Piccies a la W :] Ninja creeper…

Full and happy we’re about to head out to watch The Lorax, but not before Spike made me a delicious homemade grape sodaaaa!!! THANKKKKKK YOUUUUUUU :D Bubble bubble sugary burp!!!  Look at him all hard at work :D

The Lorax at IMAX 3D BOMB DIGGITY.. I think I was giggling more than the little kids. SUCH A FREAKING CUTE MOVIE!!!! OMG LOOK AT ME SOOOO HAPPY!!!….

SQUEEEEEEEE!!!!!!

Bunnies in my Tummy…

I like bunnies. I like dressing up as bunnies. If they didn’t smell so bad and poop so much, I’d have pet bunnies. Also no one I live with will let me have bunnies…. so once I finally live in my own place again I’ll have bunnies – it’s been awhile and last time I did I had snakes LOL

The first thing that turned me onto Bunnies? Once again Thanks to the Green City Market Chef’s BBQ in ’09 :] If you haven’t noticed…. Chicago did me good, real good… especially my tummy… and getting fat ;D

Grilled Rabbit Sausage, Relish of Summer Fennel, Pancetta & Mustard Seeds

Crofton On Wells, Chicago

SOOOOO DELICIOUS. Tender. Juicy. Popped in my mouth and slid down my throat… chew chew chew meaty, filling, spiced perfect. I love you. *burp*  Honestly, this one was one of the tastiest sausages I’ve had – and trust me I’ve had a lot of sausages ;] #thatswhatshesaid NO NASTY TALK – it was good. That’s All! The End!

And then it was the first time I cooked bunny.. or helped…

Braised Rabbit a la Dash of Stash

w/ Horseradish Mash & Roasted Carrots

Thanks To Stash, I got got to eat bunny – full, whole, tender..MMM, delicious.  I was scared. I remember trying to bite into a leg and slightly nervous.  The reason why people only eat the legs usually IS because that’s where most of the meat is – AND it’s most tender… the rest of the bunny is scarce in meat, and while still tasty, a bit tougher. STILL. YUM!

NOOOOOOW, one of my favorite dishes EVER AND MY favorite rabbit dish!

Confit Rabbit Risottowith Caramelized Onions, Creme Fraiche and Fontiago Cheese

Solera, Denver

I. DIE. I have wet dreams about this dish. Who would’ve thunk…… DENVER, CO would have the mots AMAZING restaurants and dishes… I can’t even BEGIN to talk about this. It was CREAMY, CHEESY, the BEST risotto I’ve ever eaten, even without fresh white truffles and then some, OMG… better than the best sex you’ve ever had – or maybe I’ve just never had good sex – but this risotto was something that would make you cry and turned on and just….. insane ALL at the same time.

Walnut-Stuffed Gnocchi w/ braised rabbit, onion soubise, appenzeller

Mizuna, Denver

Delicious. Comrfort.

You think Chicken Pot Pie is delicious and comforting?! You’ve never had it this way

Rabbit Pot Pie, Fall Vegetables & Sausage on a Stick

Colicchio & Sons, NYC

SO memorable. While the sausage was good the pot pie is forever BURNED into my BRAIN. SOOOO GOOD.  You can get it during Brunch at C&S :]  I daydream about going back but no guy has gone back with me – LAME.  I obviously don’t date enough daring eaters…

Sour Yellow: Steamed Rabbit Leg
Multi-Grain Rice, Eggplant Chutney & Thai Basil

Kinshop, NYC

Chef Dieterle… you are a Top Chef for a good reason, what you make is GOLD. GOLD. This just fell apart and MELTTTTTTTTTTTED….. I can’t even begin to explain how delicious this was… this was the first thing I wanted to order on the menu anyways. AMAAAAZING.

I love Menton for seafood…. and their crossiants… but then their bunny dish? OMFG

No really.

OH. EM. EFFFFFFFFFFFFFF. GEE

Deconstructed Bunny, Rabbit Sausage,Meatball, Kidney, etc

Menton, Boston

All were SOOO succulent, flavorful, not gamey and just OMG… freaking amazing. FUNNILY, the “funkiest” one was the yummiest THE KIDNEY in puff pastry <3 OH.EM.EFF.GEE – GENIUS. Yea and I had like 20 of their croissants :]

And then the last time I had bunny since I’m writing this… My “21st” Birthday ;D

Il Coniglio
Roasted Napa Valley Rabbit Loin wrapped in San Daniele Prosciutto, Polenta ‘sfogliatina’, Roasted Beets, Green Pea Veloute, Rabbit Jus


Circo, Las Vegas

The prosciutto was a bit salty wrapped around it but I ended up just unwrapping and eating the bunny part SOOOOOO GOOD.  The jus and the veloute was amazing. STILL miss my own cooking tho. I’ve only cooked bunny twice, and basically by myself ONCE… braised down and made into a creamy pasta… :] Bunny confit with cream sauce and with delicious tender pastaaaaaa — good right?!  I’ll try to make some soon and make a blog on it :] Play by play on whole bunny!  Hope you enjoyed this and hope you won’t be scared to try a bite of bunny – it literally tastes like chicken. :]

Constantly Craving Bone Marrow aka Meat Butter

This is going to be a crazy long Food Memory post – I already know it.. I tried to think of ways of narrowing it down but there really isn’t any way to go about it. I love bone marrow – I was eating Bone Marrow long before I even REALIZED it was bone marrow… sucking on bones that people usually tossed away – being asian, I ate a lot of amazing body parts before it was “popular” to do so. PLUS there are so many ways OF eating it.

Example A: Spicy Beef Noodle Soup [Niu Rou Mian, 牛肉麵]a la Mommy

She’s been making this for me as far as I can remember and I’m sure before that as well. It’s pure comfort food.. silky slowly cooked beef broth.. like a stronger beefier Pho broth, tons of scallions, my favorite flat chinese noodles.. some sort of veg – I love Bok Choy and Spinach the most with it – and of course, the star of the show, the BEEF. Not JUST chunks of beef, but tendon, fatty beef and oh yes… Bone Marrow.

SO, after my mom takes… — blank blank — long to make her special beef broth and cooked down oh so tender tendons and beef chunks… she scoops out the bones and the ones with bone marrow and actually SCOOPS OUT the bone marrow INTO the soup.. OMG brilliance!  Now what I didn’t know was that she usually ate about half the bone marrows >_<;; hahahahah… This was before I knew and SHE knew how obsessed I was with this meat butter decadence so now she lets me suck them out ;]

Proof!!

Now that you’ve had a slight taste for what this post is gonna be about… I’m guessing if you love Bone Marrow even HALF as much as I do you’re drooling and have a boner.. yes if you’re a girl you probably have a female food boner… this post is gonna make you hungry. Real hungry.. for Bone Marrow.

From the pure.. roasted and scooped from the bone to in pastas, sauces, etc…. Freaking A I bet it’d be amazing in desserts, skip the lard and use bone marrow instead *HMMM* may try that soon.

How it all began….

The real obsession started here —

Chef’s Table at L’Espalier

Beef bone marrow with baguette crostini and whole grain mustard

Yep. One of the most amazing meals of my life… one of my favorite restaurants… def my favorite French resto…. this was when I realized. Yes. I need more whole bones to suck the marrow out of in my life.  This dinner made me realize, this HAD to be apart of my last meal.

The Basics

The sexiest way, and messiest to eat bone marrow


No bone goes unlicked and sucked. After scooping it all out and putting it on my crostinis… EVERY bone gets a good suck and lick. TMI? PG13? Wait.. do I need to child-proof this blog post now?! OOPS. Tough cookies!

My lovey, Chef Rick Gresh of Chicago’s Prime House’s Roasted Bone Marrow

Toasted baquette, roasted garlic cloves & green city market cherry mostarda

How FREAKING sexy is that?!

Have you seen the blog post title I wrote for this next one? It’s the THING TO GET here… [other than their AMAYYYYYYYYY-ZINGZINGZING Frites]

Eastern Standard

Roasted Bone Marrow w/ Germolata and Sea Salt

Look at that sexiness. Beautiful herbs… Four beautiful hunky chunks of bone marrow and delicious toasted crostini… what can get better than that?!… Such a delicious perfect simple dinner.. obviously that wasn’t my whole dinner, I’m a fatass remember?!… but on simple nights I like just a few self-roasted bone marrows on toast with a great sea salt sprinkle and a big bottle of red.  Ah the single life.

There had been a short break of getting bone marrow every other day… and one of the more recent adventures was on my latest Birthday dinner.. #1? #2? with my parents :] at AKA Bistro
Os à moelle, fleur de sel aromatique,pain de campagne grillé

Bone Marrow, aromatic sea salt and toasted country bread

While most of the dishes were… argueably.. okay NOT arguably, less than subpar… you can’t really eff up Bone Marrow!  Unless undercooked? Frozen in the middle? – ew – but you can’t. This was good. Small. But good.

Craigie on Main

What I love about this is that it’s completely off the menu and you have to be in the know and order it on your own.  It’s delicious, plentiful, and just *lip-smackingly* delicious. Simplicity at it’s best.

Home Cooked

Yep. I miss the days where I’d go to Whole Foods or my nearest neighborhood friendly butcher shop and buy some Bone Marrows… I’d sear both sides and then pop it into the oven til they got gooey in the middle.

PS. As I warned him beforehand, and Z was taught a lesson when he made them, I suggest NOT telling the butcher to cut them horizontally – see Toro pic below – for some reason when homecooked they just… melt awayyy.. and YES you can cook steaks and toast bread int he butter.. but I love the chunkkkkkkkkkkkk – PLUS I love scooping it out of the circle :]  I save the cut ones for going out.  Unless you’re a super skilled chef…/cook/master of Bone Marrow – I’m not, just keep it simple and scoop it with a spoon :]

So now… Things get more Complicated

Okay maybe not yet… this is bone marrow.. but it comes with OXTAIL. And.. all I can say is.. FUCK YEAH OXTAIL – Oxtail is up there [and on my todo list of food memory blog posts] of being a super heavenly decadent food.  So pair the two together?! HAPPY HAPPY JOY JOY – btw, ever try Oxtail Curry?! YES. DO IT. It’s AMAZING.

Toro Asado de Huesos

Roasted bone marrow with radish citrus salad and oxtail marmalade

It never gets old here… I keep coming, I keep ordering.. and this and the corn… and the uni sandwich are my must haves. MUST HAVES. Like, I get freaking CRAVINGS for Toro because of these three heavenly divine things.  It’s so simple. Tender stewed meat on crostini – add roasted bone marrow – put a nice refreshing salad on side. GENIUS.

Kin Shop’s Roasted Bone Marrow

Crisp Taro Root, Radish Sprouts, Roti & Yellow Bean Sauce

Z and I came here BECAUSE of their bone marrow.  He had found an article about them and they were soooooo good….. props to Top Chef OG Harold D. :] OG yo. OG.  SOOOOOOO much going on – thought I’d hate it, was curious, but it was AMAZING.  Creammmmmmmmy sauce with crispy fried taro root and then a refreshing crunch of the sprouts. We had Roti Canai on the side but I ate it as is. HAPPINESS in a bone :] XOXO

Custom House’s Prime New York Strip

Bone Marrow / Oyster Mushroom

Such a simple dish with simple ingredients, but one of them SUPER BOMB ASS amazing!  While the steak was perfectly cooked and I ADORE Oyster Mushrooms, I do, the sauce, subtle but oh so delectable and decadent, made the dish… gave it that extra oomph and pushed it to a whole new level.

EEEEEEEEEE-TAL-EEEEANO

I love Chef Michael White. I need to make a food memory post just on HIS food. LOVE LOVE LOVE. And I LOVE his bone marrow dishes. This man can do NO wrong and is my absolute favorite go to guy for Italian food XOXO

First up, my FAVORITE Italian Resto, Ai Fiori…..

Ai Fiori’s Mare e Monte

Diver scallops, celery root, black truffles, bone marrow, thyme

How. Freaking. GENIUS.  Silkyyyyyyyy scallops… subtle celery root.. thinnn but flavorful truffles.. and BONE MARROW – freaking BONE MARROW. Just LOOK at the dish. FREAKING-TABULOUSIOUS <3 Is this even LEGAL? OH.. but it gets crazier

His biggest baby is Marea… and oh is it his baby…. upscale Italianoooooo by Central Park… OHHH MAN.

Marea’s Uovo

Poached Egg, Spring Garlic, Bone Marrow, Baby Eel, Passatelli, Barley Brodo

Nothing in that description makes me not want it. Boner-licious. POACHED egg?! Perfectly poached!… – looking at it right now makes me want Momo Ramen. BONE MARROW?! Freaking BONE MARROW?!.. I know the egg is the star of this show but it’s the bone marrow that makes it that much more popping..

&

Marea’s famous Fusilli

Red Wine Braised Octopus, Bone Marrow

This is what this place is KNOWNNNNNNNNNNNN FOR! BOMB ASS Bone Marrow in the sauce.. cooked just perfect but not overly so.  DELICIOUS strands of homemade fusilli and PERFECTLY cooked tender Octopus totally enhanced byyyyyyyyy yes yes yes BONE MARROW YO!

And two of the top notch food guys I ADORE approve. Yep

Tony Bourdain approves

As does Zimmern

SEE?!?!?! PROOF! I back up what I say. Not that you guys wouldn’t believe me. *sticks fists up*

And most recently, although most unpure form…

Roasted Garlic Bone Marrow Butter from Mooo…

Here’s another shot of Bone Marrow Butter from my first time at Mooo…

And I’ll leave you with my famously silly NFNS Audition Video when I make my delicious French Onion Short Rib Soup with 3 Cheese Puff Croutons – WHICH WAS SO MUCH more delicious than Breslin’s…. but inspired by Fruition – freaking Breslin trying to steaaaal my steeeeeeeze ;]

Plein Sud with Top Chef Ed Cotton

So the night before my trip back to NYC… I planned out the next three nights of dinners… there was Ai Fiori… then LTO.. and Thursday night was going to be Plein Sud [OBVIOUSLY, #topchefwhore].  To my surprise, as soon as I get into the City I get a tweet from the awesome Chef Ed Cotton to stop by his place. Thinking one step ahead chef, already booked!!! This just made me MORE excited for Thursday night to come :]

Now, to be honest, while I knew Chef was super talented, it wasn’t til I re-watched the whole season 7 again the other week that I knew, FO SHO that I had to eat at his place. Pretty EFFING talented dude yo. Not to mention, Boston pride yo! He went to HS in the same time I lived in. Prettttyyy badass.

I mean he STARTED working in HS… with freaking Todd English.. his resume is pretty impressive including working with chefs [aside from the forementioned English] like Barbara Lynch and Danial Boulud.

As soon as we were seated, in this suppppper cosy cute little round corner booth, might I add, we had glasses of prosecco planted in front of us. Bubbly and ice cold – delicious.

Before we even got to read everytime off the menu, we were presented, once again surprised, with some complimentary munchies….

The most delicious Flatbread

Creamy, smokey, crispy…. amazing!!!! This was sooo delicious… and totally helped with choosing another app ;D NOM NOM NOM

We ordered a whole bottle of the prosecco and continued on with our meal.. MMM delicious.

Large Charcuterie Board with Housemade Pickles

They consisted of yummies such as Coppa, this Cured Duck, a Wild Boar and something very similar to Prosciutto but a lot less salty. I completey devoured the housemade pickles.. sweet, slightly tart, mixture of onions, celery, carrots and, of course CUCUMBERS!!!!… MMM.. pickles.

Boudin Blanc
White Sausage, Pomme Purée, Prunes

Mandatory dirty picture of me with phallic food – yep i said it…

This was SO freaking delicous.  Chef Ed even came up while cooking it and said he didn’t want to overcook it. Seriously, most awesome chef ever :D Anyways. To be honest, Boudin Blanc kinda freaks me out.  Large white sausages… I mean.. OK, it’s ridic but I freak out a little bit. BUT THIS IS SOOOOO FREAKING GOOD.  Juicy, tender, a slight POP while you cut into it and chew it… literally melted like buttaaaa… not butter, but BUTTAAAA, in my mouth.  The prunes.. sweet, chewy, buttery, slightly tart – perfect compliment

Steak Tartare
Dijon-Worcestershire Vinaigrette and Grilled Country Bread

Nicely cut, heavy on the mustard but I love mustard so it’s okay :] And thankfully not overly salty.  Very nice and light, yes light, tartare… MMM, very nice and fresh and beefy tasting.. the bread was SO good.. nice, charred on the grilled and super crunchy and delicious. PERFECT with the soft tartare..

And then, to my surprise, another complimentary dish. Oh Chef Ed you spoil me so :] Make me so fat and happy!!!… The most delicious…

Escargot Persillade
Parisan Ham, Almond. Mushroom
I didn’t guess it’d be Parisan ham but this tasted nice, smokey and fatty.  So maybe Parisan ham is? Hold on, let me google it…

… yeah I don’t know…

The herbs in it were amazing and the most delicious fatty crunchy melt-in-your-mouth croutons.  DELICIOUS.  The escargots [yes snails] were cooked SOOOO perfectly tender – like honestly, the BEST escargot I’ve EVER had!!! And I’ve had good AND bad…]  It was rich and buttery but not overly so like a lot of the other times I’ve had escargot so I couldn’t stop eating it.. no seriously, I really couldn’t…. DELICIOUS. I’ve been daydreaming and fantasizing about it ever since. Anyone wanna go and have a garlicky escargot party with me? :D

Let Plat Du Jour:
Pied De Cochon

Yep! Stuffed Piggie’s Feet… A must when you’re here at Plein Sud… methinks anyways ;D  It’s TOTALLY not what I expected, to be honest with you…  Instead of a whole trotter…. it didn’t have the fatty skin collagen-y foot that I usually eat – but all the meat, a lot of meat in big pillows, big fluffy deep fried pillows… very unexpected but very delicious.

Duck Confit

It was atop a delicious sauce and mushrooms… nom nom nom…. the skin was ever so crispy and melt-n-your-mouth.. the meat melted like BUTTTTTAAA [yep again] in my mouth.. so tender.. Crisp Crisp Crisp MMMM, nothing like tasting something so fatty yet so good… good for your soul… and yet still so light. WAIT… light?  My toes are tingling…

Tribeca
Peanut Butter Ganache, Rich Chocolate Cake, Banana Cream

How could I say no?  It’s Peanut Butter, Chocolate and Bananas, NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM!… You can’t really see in this pic, but there’s a huuuuuge sexy smear of a delicious creamy rich peanut butter behind the cake… with a few slices of caramelized banana slices… MMMM…. a delicious chocolate gelato atop crushed peanuts [nonsalty.. wait, I think] and of course the chocolate cake itself.  Creamy, rich, decadent but not overly so in a gross way.  I could eat this for ages… get fat, but love it. Ok, and I also like how it’s called Tribeca, hahaha…

Lemon Tarte with Toasted Fluffy Meringue

This was so yummy, tart and super creamy.  The meringue was a lot more creamy than solid than I’m used to when it comes to a meringue, but very very tasty.. MMM I love burnt foods, it’s a sick sick thing.. and I’ll probably get some sort of weird disease from it — does your mom tell you that you’re gonna get cancer from eating too much burnt food too? — but oh well, YUMMY IN MY TUMMY!!!

The awesome Chef Ed Cotton and I :] EEEE Beantown represent yo!!!!  Thanks for some of the best French food I’ve had in a long time… :] YAYY happy happy pic!!!

@ChefSamTalbot’s amazing Imperial No. 9

After high anticipation I finally made it out to the GORGEOUS Mondrion SoHo to Chef Sam Talbot‘s Imperial No. 9! To be honest, I’m tired of going to places that are all hype and decor but total lackluster in food.. This was SO not the case. I have been on a crazy good streak of delicious seafood… especially with just having gotten back from a trip filled with fresh seafood in Hawaii… and now this? Most places would not be able to compare, but THIS is definitely one of the best meals I’ve ever had – especially one that was ALL seafood.

Let’s begin with the chef….

Feel like you’ve heard the name or recognize this gorgeous face?

Of course you have, Top Chef Season 2 where he finished third….

Other things about him… he’s diabetic so he promotes diabetic awareness. This is a big deal to me since both my parents are diabetic, as are many members of my family.

Wherever he goes, Sam’s cooking is always a reflection of his insistence on fresh, healthy ingredients. That is part and parcel of who he is as a diabetic—one who also volunteers extensively with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and who uses his newfound celebrity to increase awareness of the disease. To that end, Sam and JDRF have established an annual series of events to raise money for their fight against juvenile diabetes.

Very awesome. Also, Imperial No. 9 is a sustainable seafood restaurant – how awesome is that?! Makes it even more appealing….

“At the highly anticipated Imperial No. Nine, located just off the lobby, Chef Sam Talbot introduces his sustainable seafood concept with a 150-seat restaurant. A long bar serves as a casual imbibing spot with a selection of handcrafted cocktails by John Lermayer, for which Morgans Hotel Group’s nightlife destinations are famous. The garden building at Imperial No. Nine boasts a timeless setting complemented by an elegant crystal chandelier collection and accented with potted plants and natural ficus trees, all beneath the shelter of a dramatic glass roof. The delicate, over-sized glass sculpture centerpiece, crafted by acclaimed artist Beth Lipman, serves as a reference to Cocteau’s story in which seduction takes the form of an elaborate feast, prepared nightly.”

He’s also the exec chef at The Surf Lodge in Montauk…. haven’t been but if it’s anything close to my meal here at Imperial, it’s a must-go :]

All dolled up and ready to chow down!!!

The gorgeous walkway to the hotel… [looking out towards the street]

Sam next to the gorgeous chandelier….

Ok ok, enough beauty shots of the restaurant and the chef, time to get down and dirty [in an oh so good way] to the main reason why we’re here and I’m writing about this. The food, food, food and THE FOOD!!! Okay, because we DO continue though, I need to apologize for the horribly lit photos.  The room was dark and I didn’t wanna ruin the atmosphere with stupid flashe of light from my camera.. you’re just gonna have to go on my description to make up for my crappy photos.. My b.

Iberico Lardo & Sea Urchin
Charred Scallion, Pressed Stecca, Maldon Salt


The bread was soooo crispy and delicious. Buttery [in a yummy EVOO sort of way], a delicious large slice of lardo and milky delicious uni on top.  There were four pieces and I was MELTING over the amazing bread. Usually bites like this are too much bread but this was just perfect.  Great textures, crunch and creaminess… the tart yogurty sauce that the bites were put on top of was a GREAT addition to the flavors. I love how this was IBERICO lardo, not just regular.. usually you just hear of the jamon and not much else…. YUM

Craving more stecca [the bread]…so we asked for some…

Pressed Stecca

They were steamy hot and delicious!  Just a touch of EVOO and a hint of garlic… soooo delicious and crispy.  Tasted almost buttery without the fatty animal taste. Amazing!!!

Special of the Day: Mussels

To be honest, I don’t remember the specifics of the dish.. it was absolutely freaking delicious.  The mussels were steamed/cooked to perfection. Tender and just super fresh.  There was a light broth of what I’m guessing to be an Italian large leaf parsley and shallots?!?!.. it was very subtle and light.  Great broth to dip the stecca in. YUM!

Slow Cooked Octopus
Jalapeno Soffrito, Lime, Soy

I found this to be perfectly cooked.  I always get slightly nervous with octopus… it can be easily cooked wrong – basically overcooked.. but this was tender and FULL of flavor. Tasted like an asian dish out of my mother’s kitchen or something.. Definitely not overpowering though.

Jumbo Fluke
Frozen Coconut, Chili Water, Chinese Black Vinegar

This was so super unique.. I kind of wanted to try the raw cubed tuna, but what got me was the thinly sliced frozen coconut on top of the fresh fluke.  Not fishy at ALL – which sometimes I find fluke to be, clean but definitely fish tasting… the black vinegar totally cuts through the sweetness and the whole bite finishes off with a touch of heat from the chili water. Clean, delicious and addicting.

Heirloom Blue Corn Shrimp and Grits
Aged Cheddar, NY State Maple Jus, Slow Poached Egg, Coffee Oil This just may be my most favorite shrimp and grits I have ever had.  The grits were fine and creamy… and then the chunks of blue heirloom corn kernels just added so much texture and chew to the dish.  The egg was perfectly cooked, lightly lightly poached, so much that the egg white was just barely past translucent.  The shrimp were fresh and cooked to a tender chew which just added to the plethora of textures and flavors of the dish.  I think this may have been the best dish of the night, and, like I said, the best shrimp and grits I’ve ever had.

Special of the Day: Pacific Halibut a la Plancha
Served on top of a fresh Tabuleh

To be fair, I will say that the first plate we got was cold :[ But they were quick to change it with a plate of freshly cooked tender halibut.  I rarely get halibut that is so succulent and sweet… usually I find it to be slightly overcooked and more stiff – kind of like a swordfish – but this is one of the first and few times I’ve realized that halibut can have a silky soft texture.  The star of the show was most definitely the tabuleh though.  Wait, is that fair to say? I adored it, usually there’s too much cracked wheat, but this was perfection… great balance. AND they have some delicious sundried tomatoes. OMG… amazing!!!…  tub of this please.

We actually wanted to get the seared scallops as well, but our waiter felt like it would be too much food — so not the case, totally could’ve eaten more… but they accidentally still brought it out for us – confused – but afterthefact, I wish we had accepted it or had ordered it anyways….. it looked amazing… and I can always eat more.. I guess that’s why I have to come back again to try the rest of the menu [since it’s sustainable and seasonal, I’m guessing it’s ever-changing!]

Banana Bread Pudding
Maple Bourbon Fluid Gel, Honey Comb Semi Freddo, Nutella

The bread pudding was warm and the semifreddo was cold.  So fun to eat.  The semifreddo was TO. DIE. FOR. Like, literally.  I could NOT get enough of it — slight taste of honey and fluffy like a marshmallow :D  I LOVE banana bread so I was a HUGE fan of this… I could NOT stop eating it

Caramel Corn
Salted Caramel Ice Cream, Sweet Popcorn Powder

This was actually one of our waiter’s favorite desserts.  BTW, I forgot his name but he had sick ass glasses and looked like Lenny Kravtiz… swanky… anyways. THIS WAS SO GOOD.  Salty Ice Cream, reminiscent of Resto’s…. but then more salty a la L’Artusi’s sea salt gelato… OMG FREAKING AMAZING…. I know this is a PG..er.. PG-13? Sort of porno food blog but I want to break out in a song of dirty words to describe this… well this dessert and those SHRIMP AND GRITS [gawddamn I can’t stop thinking about it]  The powder was soft and fluffy like Smartfood Popcorn [okay weird comparison but it’s true]  BUT OMG POPCORN POWDER!!!…

And because I’m sure no one will complain…. :] Another photo of the chef ;D

Chicago Baconfest 2011

This year’s Baconfest Chicago was a little different from the previous years… it took place in a huge venue at the UIC Forum with a huge whopping amount of restaurants/chefs.

Since Z and I had VIP tickets we got to get in an hour early.. we left the hotel around 1030 and got there in time to sign in, get our baggies and wait around breathing in the bacon-y air that kept wafting in everytime someone went in and out of the main doors….. TEASE

– – – – –

Sable Kitchen & Bar
Chef Heather Terhune

Applewood Smoked Bourbon Bacon Jam, Crispy Polenta Cake, St. Andrew Cheese Fondue

The flavors were good but it was cold – which was a bit disappointing, I love polenta and wish this was piping hot…. it was probably because the chefs were preparing for the VIP crowd and things were failing a little behind [time-wise] so things got cold?!…. the next few dishes down the row were all cold :[

– – – – –

South Water Kitchen
Chef Roger Waysok

Bacon Cheddar Grit Waffle

Cold but tasty. I love waffles… which there was a little more grit to the texture of the waffle – but it was definitely the heat that was missing.. I couldn’t taste any cheddar in my waffle piece but the bacon was definitely, subtley, there.

– – – – –

Terzo Piano
Chef Margaret Colleran Sahs

Empanadas with Dreymiller and Kray Cinnamon Bacon, Dried Seedling Strawberry, Toasted Almond, Salsa Verde

Once again, cold. It was a slightly sweet empanada, and while the flavors were great, the cold empanada and lack of crunch made it less appealing…

– – – – –

Stanley’s Kitchen & Tap
Chef Jaysen Euler

Bacon & Eggs: House-Cured Duroc Pork Belly, Quail Egg, Aged Wisconsin Cheddar Grits, Smokey Bacon Broth

I adore quail eggs, partially because they are so small and cute… once again, cold… and the grits were disappointing… :T Made me crave some good cheezy grits in my belly [which is why I decided to make my own for dinner tonight… that post coming tomorrow hehe]

– – – – –

The Southern
Chef Cary Taylor

Smoked Bacon, Blue Cheese and Roasted Apple Mac and Cheese

We had one there and took one to go. I’m not even a huge blue cheese fan but this was delicious. Perfectly stinky and cheezy and creamy. The bacon and cheese were so perfectly balanced. Delicious! Z was a huge fan of this too…

– – – – –

Small Bar
Chef Justin White

Braised Bacon Brioche with Salted Maple Butter and Crispy Egg Yolk

I actually enjoyed this – It looks kind of Halloweeny and funky but it was pretty tasty… The crisp bacon-y brioche and the egg yolk actually kind of tasted like a yummy fake powdery cheese. Wait, that sounds kind of gross right? But it was delicious… pretty sure that wasn’t the intention but it still satisfied my taste buds

– – – – –

one sixtyblue
Chef Michael McDonald

Pastrami Cured Pork Belly Reubens with one sixtyblue Sauerkraut

I LOVE pastrami but this was…. not that good to me. I didn’t like the flavors throughout the sandwich. Sad – I love pastrami sandwiches!!!!…

– – – – –

– – – – –

Signature Room
Chef Patrick Sherrin Jr.

Bacon-Stuffed Bacon, Maple Egg Jam, Whipped Pancakes

This was one of my favorite dishes. It was really creative.. seriously?! Whipped pancakes? That little fluff ball of creamy goodness was deliciously amazing! The Bacon-stuffed Bacon was delicious…. this was a perfect dish. Maple Egg Jam?! What the freak! I bow down to you oh creative genius.

– – – – –

– – – – –

Old Town Social
Chef Jared Vancamp

Tijuana Dog Triple S Farms Smoked Bacon wrapped around a Monterey Jack stuffed housemade Hot Dog, Pickled jalapenos, Salsa Fresca, Lime Aioli

Nom nom nom.. while the Bacon wasn’t apparent in the Dog, it was a delicious Hot Dog.. the bun was fluffy.. the innards were hot, the toppings were fresh and spicy yum nom nom!!!

– – – – –

Longman & Eagle
Chef Jared Wentworth

Bacon Rillete Lollipop with Maple Bacon Cotton Candy

Not fond of the lollipop but I loved the Cotton Candy… nom nom, but then again I’m just a cotton candy whore :D

– – – – –

Lillie’s Q
Chef Charlie McKenna

Pork Belly & Grit Hash, Smoked Gulf Shrimp, Bacon ENC Vinegar Sauce

Good shrimp, yicky grits. SIGH. What’s up with the grits lately? And I’m not too happy with the sour vinegar sauce….

– – – – –

Cafe Des Architectes
Chef Greg Biggers

Ziggy Piggy: Bacon Sundae Bar

Bacon toppings and Chocolatey delight for the Ice Cream NOM NOM

– – – – –

Bakon Vodka

Chocolate Martini

Last yr’s was so much tastier.. although I really wanted to gnaw on the cup and possibly eat it… it was SOOO strong I choked on it when I took a tiny sip…

BLT Martini

Also Super Strong. No Bueno…..

I DID love the Bloodys though….

Bloody Marys

Some of the most delicious bacon of the day were in these Bloody Marys and Z was sweet enough to let me have both Bloody Mary tickets :D I shared of course hehehe… adore adore adore *swoon*

– – – – –

Atwood Cafe
Chef Derek Simcik

Cherrywood Smoked Bacon and Black Currant Fruit Rolls-ups; Bacon “Cannoli” filled with Maple and Bacon Marscapone

This was Z’s favorite and one of mine… this was SO good.. A chewy outside and creamy yummy delicious innards… perfect balance of sweet, maple and bacon!!!

We saved our fruit roll up for later, which was super interesting… super fruity, sweet with a LOT of bacon taste in and through-out it.. yep with REAL chunks of bacon….. Not so much a fan, couldn’t eat a bucket but definitely thought it was innovative.

– – – – –

Heaven on Seven
Chef Jimmy Bannos, Sr.

Chicken, Bacon Creole on Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese Grits and Jalapeno Cheddar Bacon Cornbread

– – – – –

Cafe Spiaggia
Chef Sarah Grueneberg & Aaron Diener

Aleppo Pepper cured Pancetta with Vandenboom Farm egg, Tuscan Kale and Warm Onion Vinaigrette

I am obsessed with Kale, I thought this was really good…which is was a runny egg instead of just pieces of omelette… the kale was cooked down perfectly – yum – great flavors and mixture of textures [just needed that gooey egg!!!]

– – – – –

Hearty
Chef Dan Smith

Cinnamon Bacon Sangaree Sucker – Bacon Infused Bourbon Lollipop, Cinnamon Syrup, Nutmeg, Sage and Cherry wood Smoked Bacon Bits

Here is some of that paired with a pork loin….

Pork was cooked perfectly but bland.. the brittle was delicious, a bit TOO much sage though. We ended up taking home two giant lollipops :D

– – – – –

Veerasway
Team Veera

Chocolate rispy Pork Turtles: Rich Chocolate Covered Crispy Cardamom Pork with Cashews and Rain Chutney

I loved this, Z didn’t. I love the curry and spice to it. In addition to chocolate and bacon which is already, a given, a great pairing…

– – – – –

Big Jones
Chef Paul Fehribach

Bacon & Foie Gras Moon Pie

This was SO FREAKING delicioius. Just a tad of bacon taste to it but all that foie gras was SOOOO GOOD.. did NOT except this to be a sweet bite – expected a savory moon pie – but it was sweet livery and delicious..!!!

– – – – –

Black Dog Gelato
Chef Jessica Oloroso

Banana and Bacon’s Foster

This was really delicious… the ice cream was a beer or bourbon I think… the bananas were sweet and the bacon was salty and crunchy. Great balance. Desserts FTW this year!!!

– – – – –

Chizakaya Japanese Pub
Chef Harold Jurado

Grilled Bacon Nigiri with House Made Kimchi Sushi Rice and Smoky Baco Ikura

I was SO super curious about this… and while I think the rice was overpowering, the rice was DELICIOUS!!! Hahaha. it was toasted and crunchy but just completely took over the whole bite.. the bacon flavor was lacking but I would eat a bucket of that toasted crunchy rice.

– – – – –

Spacca Napoli
Chef Jonathan Goldsmith

Pastiera Rustica: Savory Pasta and Cheese Pie with Guanciale

I wanted to like this, I wanted to love this… I love the concept, leftover pasta made into a frittata…. the Chef was super nice and taught me how to say Pastiera Rustica with a thick Italian accent and using my hands when I speaked [haha] speakage :D BUT the dish was cold [a trend I’ve noticed at the event] Very porky [yum to guanciale] but the pasta was dry and even thought I got an edge piece hoping for crunch, it was just rubbery through-out :[

– – – – –

Province
Chef Randy Zwelban

Smoked & Spice Cured Pork Belly Sandwich with Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa on Pretzel Bread

Wait, this was pretzel bread? I have to admit this was pretty tasty although hard to eat without it spilling all over your fingers and losing some avocado salsa [also very tasty] but sad, SO had NO idea this was pretzel bread. SIGH. Me and Z are obsessed with pretzels…

– – – – –

Gamba Ristorante
Chef Troy Graves

Crispy Pork Belly with a Salad of Grilled Ramps, Peas and Farro drizzled with Bacon Agrodolce

To be honest, SO many restaurants had just a slab of pork belly with some dressing and garnish that it got a bit boring. Just from the looks of this I think this was one of the drier ones…. COME ON MAN, what happened to all the creativity from last year?!?!?!

– – – – –

Blue 13
Chef Chris Curren

Honeydew Melon Salad: Honeydew Melon, Honeydew Gelee, Frisee Candied Walnut Dust, Bacon Vinaigrette

See that little bacon speck? That was all the bacon that was IN the salad, which  found delicious and refreshing. In fact, I adored this dish and wanted more.  The little gelee and melon ball, YUM! Totally counterparted the salty smokey bacon and the subtle vinaigrette on the frisee. YUM!

– – – – –

The Bristol
Chef Chris Pandel

Bacon Banh Mi

This was super tasty… the condiments were spicy and tasty – with a nice hint of sweetness.. the filling was great and the bread was crunchy, chewy and fluffy all at the same time. ADORE.

– – – – –

The Bedford
Chef Mark Teuer

Crispy Bacon Meatballs, English Pea Mash, Pickled Mushrooms, Blue Cheese, Bacon Fat Bearnaise

Sad cold mushy meatball with no texture :[

– – – – –

Naha
Chef Carrie Nahabedian

Slow Roasted Slab Bacon with Rhubarb and Burton’s Sorghum

The meat was actually really tender, fatty and delicious… [although I could use more fat] I loved the sweet sauce that cut the saltiness. YUM.

– – – – –

Socca/Redd Herring
Chef Roger Herring

All-Bacon Chicago Style Italian Beef…well, Pork

I LOVE Chitown Italian Beef… um, YUM much? Definitely needed a dip or two but the bread was perfect – SO soft and fluffy… the fillings were great… nice and porky – weeeeeee <3

Remember this moment? NOM NOM NOM!!!

Portillos, Sept ’09

– – – – –

Vie
Chef Nathan Sears

Roasted Pork Belly with Meyer Lemon Marmalade, Buttermilk Biscuit and Pinenut Aillade

Another slab of pork belly… don’t remember anything about the biscuit except it was lacking in volume.. a whole biscuit please :D

– – – – –

– – – – –

Chalkboard
Chef Gilbert Langois

Bacon Manhattan Milkshakes with Cherry Pearls

While Z was in the stand over getting champagne with a sprinkle of black pepper and some syrup.. I was getting this. OMG delicious. So thick I couldn’t suck it up the fat bubble tea straw :D I loved the pearls while they didn’t really taste like cherry – loved the texture.

– – – – –

Piccolo Sogno
Chef Tony Priolo & Miguel Solorio

Paccheri all’Amatricana: Flat Tubular Pasta Tossed with Ragu of House Cured Pancetta, Red Onion and Tomato Ragu

Tasty… the pasta wasn’t super tender but cooked all dente with a nice ragu. Nothing spectacular but I ate it :D

– – – – –

Gemini Bistro
Chef Jason Paskewitz

The Elvis: Homemade crunchy Peanut Butter, Fried Banana, Honey Peppered Bacon, Griddled Banana Bread

I LOVE banana bread!!! I love pb and bacon and all that good stuff. I love maple and I love anything fried, griddled and amazing. Savory and sweet is awesome. Super awesome. The bread was a bit thick/heavy but it was delicious!!!

– – – – –

redFlame Pizzeria
Chef Marty Gallagher

Bite Sized BLT Pizza [left] and Bacon-Inspired Bruschetta with Garlic Goat Cheese

Would call these pizzas but they weren’t bad. BLT pizza, fun concept, could’ve been yummier…

– – – – –

The Black Sheep
Chef James Toland

Banana Panna Cotta, Cherrywood Smoked Bacon Brittle and Peanut Butter Froth with a Lady Finger Spoon

I had to eat one of these.. freaking Elvis in a red jumpsuit was passing them out. I thought I got a picture of him but I guess it’s in limbo.. sad. But this was creamy and delicious with a strangely tart banana flavor to it – but it worked, it worked SO well :D

– – – – –

Forest Grill
Chef Brian Polcyn

Roasted Bacon Bratwurst Sausage on Caramelized Onions

I was actually surprised how bacon-y the brat was. Pretty good.. should’ve just given out the brats :D Or like, as corn dogs NOM

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Custom House Tavern
Chef Perry Hendrix

Bacon Manhattan: Templeton Rye Braised Pork Belly, Sweet Vermouth & Onion Marmalade with Tart Cherry Mustard

Fatty pork belly #2942034829.  And trust me, I LOVE pork belly, and while it’s delicious stuff… I need some creativeness, some oomph please!!!

– – – – –

La Madia
Chef Jonathan Fox

Spinach and Bacon Ravioli with Brown Butter Sauce and Parmesan

We had seen these raviolis earlier on in the event and Z was craving them.. brown butter sauce [mm who could forget the brown butter sauce from L’Artusi]

Unfortunately it was all cheese and spinach and had no bacon taste.

– – – – –

Park Grill
Chef Bernie Laskowski

Bourbon Bacon Cream Float: Maple Bourbon Ice Cream, Candied Bacon Jimmies

Berkshire Pork Maxwell Street Burger: Butterkasse Cheese with Crisp Belly Bacon

Another sexy up close shot of the burger….

The milkshake shot was DELICIOUS!!!! boozey and amazing.. sweet and creamy — the bigger was cold but had good flavor to it. Bacon & Cheese on a thick beef patty and delicious bun – what’s not to love?!

– – – – –

Meatyballs Mobile
Chef Phillip Foss

Coq in Balls: Chicken and Nueske’s Bacon in Red Wine Sauce

Looks gross, but tasted pretty good – REALLY tender, succulent and oozed of red wine flavor – really really creative :D

So funny that the chef asked me to try his “cock n balls” ;D

– – – – –

RB Grille
Chef Christopher McCoy

House Cured Apple Bacon: Cider Braised with Jicama, Red Onion, Chile, Granny Slaw & Nueske’s Bacon Brewery-Cured Mexican-style Chorizo

Crunch crunch crunchity sweet apple…

– – – – –

LOKal
Chef Artur Wnorowski & Ruben Torres

Apple Cider Gastrique Glazed Pork Belly on Potato Beer Bread

I like gherkin :D

– – – – –

The Red Canary
Chef Neal Harper

Bacon Cured Steelhead Trout on Top of Nueske’s Cherrywood-Smoked Bacon and a Bacon & Mushroom Salad

Bacony trout. It was definitely interesting and I’m glad that trout was used instead of the usual smoked salmon [love both]

– – – – –

I somehow managed to not take a picture of one of my favorite dishes of the day… a simple roasted suckling pig <3

Paddy Long’s
Chef Patrick Berger & Chris Latchford

Whole Berkshire Hog wrapped in a Nueske’s Bacon Weave

Do I need to repeat this? a BACON WRAPPED HOG!!! Like a WHOLE pig… this was SOOOOO juicy and tender… we had a big plate of it… while it wasn’t that appetizing looking just some meat and skin… COME ON MEAT AND SKIN.. ok it was definitely appetizing to me :D But I’m a pig lover…. *wets self*

– – – – –

Piece Brewery & Pizzeria
Chef Bill Jacobs & Jonathan Cutler

New Haven Style Pizza & Big Black Mariah: American-Style Porter Brewed with a Small Percentage of Smoked Malt for a Rich, Full Mouthfeel and Flavor

I took a picture of the pizza, but not the bear.. the beat was quite tasty though :D Nice dark smokey beer… MMMM….. delicious… a little heavy and thick but delicious!

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Girl & the Goat
Chef Stephanie Izard

Look it’s Steph!!!

Bacon & Rogue River Smokey Blue Cheese “Bread Pudding”

The last time I had her food…she made me fall in love with goat. This I actually thought was more of a soup. It looks pretty gross [haha] but quite tasty… not super bacony and the blue cheese wasn’t overpowering – especially for me, since I’m not a huge blue cheese girl- not bad Stephy, not bad :D #topcheffetish

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Miramar Bistro
Chef Gabriel Viti

Caramelized Pork Belly with Wilted Escarole and Maple Pineapple Chutney

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Wow Bao

BBQ Pork Bao

Tasted like asian :D Hahaha.. the bao was SOOO fluffy and perfectly steamed!!!

Bacon, Egg & Cheddar Bao

This was okay, really eggy but not bacon-y or cheddar-y at all… I think I enjoyed the bbq pork bao more but both were steaming hot and fluffy. NOM! The second one was definitely really breakfast-y :D

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Magnolia Cafe
Chef Kas Medhat

Pork ‘n’ Beans: Sourdough Bread with White Bean Spread Topped with Thick Cut Bacon and Greens

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Nonna Santi’s Biscotti
Chef Jo-Marie Frigo

Bacon Biscotti

David Burke’s Primehouse
Chef Rick Gresh

Bacon Daddy: Whiskey Caramel Bacon Candies

Rick can never do no wrong… although I do miss his bacon tacos from last year and him dressing up :D Miss miss miss… SO happy I got to see him this trip :D

Baconfest Chicago 2010

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Nana Organic
Chef Alan Krueger

Life’s Little Pleasures Candy Bar: House Smoked Bacon Cake, Koval Whiskey, Burton’s Maplewood Farm Syrup, Caramel

Those jellos are WHISKY gelees. OMG this was SOOOO delicious and made me OH SO HAPPY… Why can’t all candy bars be like this? The Bacon Cake was like a super soft shortbread with bacon flavor bursting throughout… a delicious dark chocolatey covering and the refreshing jellys. AHH another favorite.

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Quince
Chef Andy Motto

BACON: “Magic of Roses” Tea Gelee, Daikon, Bee Pollen

To be honest, I remember this dish being super pretty with the colors but I don’t remember the taste at all #fail

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iNG Restaurant
Chef Thomas Elliott Bowman

Bacon “Drumstick”

This was so freaking delicious. So amazing… think of the regular drumsticks you get off the icecream truck but then add tons of bacon and caramel, delicious ice cream and chocolate in it. Yep yep happiness in a cone!!! I ate it ALL. FAST. More please.

Bacon Dumpling with Bacon Date Consomme

This cute little wonton had a delicious, but unfortunately cold, consomme on the bottom of it in the spoon. The skin was tender and cooked perfectly.

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We played some Black Jack and and got shots of these two together. CREAMY BACON-NESS <3

The colognes were pretty disgusting. She squirted me with the girl one and Z with a muskier “man” one – although they’re both unisex. Honestly, they smelled like ass.. The “man” one was by far the worst… she sprayed ALL over our arms and we were airing them out of the taxi on the way back to the hotel [which we both promptly took showers lol]

We ended the day with some refreshing PBRs…. cold bubbly and oh so refreshing. So fresh and so clean clean….. ghetto fabulous!!

To be honest I was slightly disappointed.. the venue seemed to big and cold and just wasn’t as warm and cozy as last year.. the food was cold too :[ And less creative *sigh* Hope next year they go back to their roots ;D But we had large appetites still – enough to forgo a veggie dinner at Green Zebra and just go straight for two large deep dish pizzas and then some… ;D

Grand Tasting SOBEWFF’11 – Sunday

Always start off your day with a nice breakfast…

Isn’t the Hilton Bentley breakfast buffet so yum and plentiful? They have an omelette bar and everything…. we got omelettes and fresh poached eggs [which took forever tho…] and while omelette guy is SLOW….. they come out yummy…

As you can see I couldn’t start my day without my oatmeal and grapefruit :]


The salsa by the omelette station is DELICIOUS…. and Z got bacon, lots of bacon, MAD bacon… hahahah crispy and delish.

We laid out by the pool with some beer for a bit afterwards and I smuggled two bananas from the buffet for later… and then went back upstairs to our room to shower and get ready for… GRAND TASTING!!!! Yeah, srsly, who eats so much before a grand tasting?!.. We do…

Who doesn’t want to walk to the beach on a nice hot sunny day to eat and drink in tents?

OK, so I was sweating buckets – sexy – but still :]

SO hot and sweaty.. I was sweating bullets…

As soon as we walked in we spotted Michael Symon giving a demo…

…and Rocco Dispirito signing books [he’s so hot]

Anne Burrell in the next tent

Buick boozey slushies… :D

Strawberry with Balsamic Glaze, YUM!

I’m a Flirt tattooooos :D

There are SO many pictures and SO many things we ate and drink… here at the Highlights… [and some Fails…]

Too much bread but loved the pulled pork and the slaw :D

These were the favorite bites of the day!!!! We had one, two, three… and maybe more ;] of these!!!

Some Duck and Greens cone…. it was meh…

The burger was definitely worth the wait.. while I wish the bun was softer and less bready, the burger was really good… :D

Sexieer shot with the bbq Sauce…

They had lots of fixins at the table but they weren’t necessary. OH YEAH, there’s bacon in there :D OBVIOUSLY.. cuz bacon makes everything better….

The quaca mole was really tasty and the ceviche was super refreshing… I’m a fan :D

Lobster, Cream Cheese, etc etc… yeah, Z ate it and made a face… cream cheese in sushi just makes my stomach turn so I didn’t try it…

CRAP! I wish I got a picture with the Top Chef contestant Howie.. but this is his new place. It was really yummy AND he was super nice and gave me the last shirt!!! :D Yep, I have a nice rack shirt.. maybe I should get a boob job now to complement it. HAHA… jk

Me and my main man, Fabio <3 at her Bertolli stand!!!

The plantain cup was a bit too hard/crunchy but the beef filling was rather tasty!!! *crunch crunch*

Pretty Tasty.. wasn’t feeling sausage so I didn’t eat that.. but the beef was really good… as was the fatty pork and the fresh Mozz :D

Basically Peanut Noodles

Not sure what those little crunchies that look like corn on top were but they were really good and added yum to the salad…

Beef Carpaccio

Caviar!!!

Yeah I had a few bites of these :D It was really tasty…  smoked salmon and caviar.. got some coupons to order it.. but Z is still scared of caviar at the moment :] He overate one fine day [dork] but I still make him eat it with me… hehehe…. He promises he’ll come with me to the all-you-can-eat caviar in Vegas :D

HUUUUUUGE VAT of Paella

TACO TACO TACO!!!

Stone Crabs :D Nom nom nom!!!! Could eat these all day at Joe’s [these weren’t from there]


You had me at mimosa.. or maybe jello…

Ugly presentation… but sooo goooood

BUTTTTTTER!!!

They got me to eat mashed potatoes with their butter… it was really good. So I asked for some butter.. AND THEY ACTUALLY GAVE ME BUTTER!!!

Z was so proud of me :] We get swag and free stuff like it’s our job.

Crab Chowder…

NE Girl Represent. Clam Chowdaaaaahhh from Bhaaaastan is the best <3 Besides chowder on a hot day on the beach – not so fun….

These Key Lime Tarts were REALLY tasty….. altho it just made me crave the pie from Joe’s even more…

Somewhere between these I think we hit up a tuna stand and actually got free jars of tuna :D A regular one and a spicy jalapeno one. NOM! We also ended up with free bottles of bronzer and energy drinks. We’re so good at mooching and asking for free stuff :D Partners-In-Crime <3

PIta Chips and SPICY HUMMUS & Tzatziki Sauce.. this was REALLY good… Talked to the guy for awhile and even got some cards [he said he’d ship some to us] SO freaking delicious. Hummus is one of those Achilles Heels for me.. like PB…

Soggy Sweet Potato Fries

FAIL!!!

OK, so I don’t know WHERE they put them up.. but if you sing “Rapper’s Delight” by Sugarhill Gang in a video for Evian…. you get a baby shirt. So OBVIOUSLY, I did. And got a baby shirt.

I told Z to tape it but he accidentally didn’t… so here’s a pic of me after… why am I so puffy and red?

My future ex-husband : Tony Bourdain <3

The dirty naughty things I want to do with this guy ;D TMI

I took this picture especially for Z ;D Sexy sexy…

Haha I’m kidding, I love it. HAHAHAHA

I kid.

Maybe. ;D Narrr… not too into these banana hammocks…

OK. So it wasn’t as tasty and huge as the NY Grand Tasting last fall…. but it was GREAT company…!!! :] Everything is better with great company!!! The weather was gorgeous, yummy drinks and my boo <3