Forage – Cambridge, MA in my overalls… #fobstyle

Oh hai!  It’s been awhile since Yeah I wore overalls, made me feel like a forager lol jk… totally didn’t do it just to dress for the restaurant.

So the night of the big fight on Saturday… Mayweather vs McGregor (FYI where was Bieber? Ha!) I first headed to Forage in Cambridge to grab a quick snack to eat… I say snack because we all know that house parties and any sports game will be plenty of beer, booze, and of course delicious fat-inducing food… which sadly I didn’t take any pictures of. But let’s just say I was pupu-sa’d out from ha! Pupu was, fried shrimp and wings, chicken and beef tacos, etc… the list goes on.

So first off.. Forage is hidden in the middle of a residential area in Harvard Sq. You have to walk down into the basement of what looks to be an apartment complex. The interior is very homey and it looks pretty much like it was an apartment turned restaurant. An inviting bar as soon as you walk in, they have a crazy cocktail list…. but Narrow ways to walk through to get to the bathroom and kitchen…. I was bumping into people just to go pee.

They had gorgeous mushroom artwork like this, which was next to our table, all over.  Wait for staff was a little slow… but being for a Saturday night at least we were seated immediately with no reservations. We were finally given two cherry tomatoes, one each… and salt to dip it in.

I felt like Oliver Twist but I found myself wanting to ask for more. Hungry. Slow wait staff. Waa. When are you gonna take our order?

When we finally got our order taken, btw, not hating, they were super gracious and even apologized straight off for being slow….. we got the bread!!!  They had amazing fresh baked bread… screw my gluten allergy. I eat what I want. They, also simply, just serve it with some delicious extra virgin olive oil… poured right in front of you. Crunchy crust (my favorite!) and a fluffy soft interior… yummy.

We finally got our orders in and the food came out really fast. We ordered three appetizers to share… didn’t realize the portions. “This is what he feeds me when he takes me out on a date!” Haha jk! But I joked about instagram-ing that phrase so I figure better here than nowhere.

This was actually a pretty tasty dish. But the name is definitely not what I thought I’d get. “Cured Fish Plate”

Cured Fish Plate
Cured Trout, Lacto Carrots, Clam Ice Cream, Whipped Brookford Cottage Cheese and Scented Geranium

What made me want this dish was the clam ice cream [duh!] you guys know me too well!  And it was AMAZING!!!!…  I was also curious about what was “lacto carrots” because I just think of lactose, am I right?!?!?!… But seriously. It was ONE piece of trout.  And it didn’t taste like anything, let alone fish or smoked.  Fail.

Anyways next up was the highly antisipating “Confit Lobster Mushrooms”  I love mushrooms… remember when I went on that rage and just ate as many different mushrooms as I possibly could from the farmers market?!…. It was like like 30+ kinds but still :]  So here it is……

DUN DUN DUN *cue music* — oh wait I already started it

Confit Lobster Mushrooms
Cantalope, Blackberries, Salt Brittle

Concept was good.  Execution, not so much.  First of all, the mushrooms were overpowered by everything else, and everything was overpowered by the brittle [which was, btw, not salted]  I felt like this needed some green and some acid to really round up the dish.  Each part on it’s own was great – but come on, it was cut up cantaloupe and blackberries on plate.  Not sure how they did the mushrooms, but definitely not the taste of lobster mushrooms when I’ve cooked it myself.  The texture was meaty but it needed a mushroom taste.. I say add some lemon-y herbs and have a variety of mushrooms to amp up the plate.

And here it comes, what D was coming for — the “Cured Beef Plate”

Cured Beef Plate
Jerky, Biltong, Bresaola, Dried Liver, Mustard, Pickles & Toast

The Biltong was definitely missing from this dish but instead we had a delicious Beef sort of Paté with a big thick disc of beet in it [didn’t really have much taste to it though…. so definitely not pickled].  Yeah I suck at descriptions about this because I couldn’t hear the waiter well.  The Bresaola was tasty, a bit too salty for me, but tasty…. and the Jerky was chewy and full of that good packed in beef condensed flavor.  Gnaw gnaw gnaw.

And then… ” Where is the liver?”

But alas, regretfully, I found it in the parsley and onion salad.  Super condensed, rich flavored liver, dried out and grated onto the salad.  It. Was. INTENSE.

I don’t like liver, aside from foie gras, so this was just eye-twitching for me.  Just a few small flakes packed SO MUCH PUNCH… Now I know why they paired it with the onions and parsley, the mellowed it out a ton — but once I had that liver taste in my mouth I couldn’t get it out.

It was all paired with a great fresh house-made mustard, tons of horseradish in it.  I liked it.  D, not so much haha. MORE FOR ME :]

And for dessert, we got complimentary Tomato Sorbet…. and then two savory ice creams.  A Gochuchang ice cream with Kimchi and a Cilantro ice cream, both with a sprinkling of black sesame seeds.  My taste buds were confused, but apparently the highlights of the night for me were all ice creams.  The sorbet

Me: So how does it taste?
D: Tomato-y
Me: Really? That’s a great description….
D: You try it…
Me: *takes a bite*
D: So how does it taste?
Me: Super tomato-y

This was literally a tomato bomb in your mouth!  Refreshing, smooth, and absolutely amazing!

I had a bite of the kimichi and it was a cauliflower.  They gave just the right amount to balance the sweetness… the gochuchang was seriously ridiculously mind-blowing MIND-F.  Like what is going on?!  Slightly spicy, salty and a good amount of sweetness.  The cilantro I loved… and actually would’ve paired great with the mushroom dish we had above.

So pretty.  All in all, it wasn’t a bad meal, it wasn’t a great meal.  Not sure whether or not I would go back, but then again I only had some appetizers.  XXXOOO

All about the Wine – Sirio

Last night in Vegas and we’re going out in style, with a bang bang bang…

Angel & Devil… or Devil & Angel?!  Who is who?!

I love this girl <3

We headed over to Aria to meet with my college friend Min – and while he gambled we settled at a nearby bar for some drinks.

Drinks  at Julian Serrano Tapas – place smelled good though, got hungryyy fast!!!

Kelly got a nice pretty fruity pear drink

And I got one with ginger bear, cucumber and Absinthe. HORRID. I wanted to die and barely downed a few sips. DISGUSTING. Just say NO to absinthe and bad drinks.

Min met up with us.. also tried my horrible drink and then off to SIRIO to wine and dine!!!!.. Min is a sommelier at Benu in San Fran and knows the sommelier at Sirio so I knew we’d be in for a good wine treat ;D

Another Italian treat..!!!  They also own Circo and Le Cirque … sooooo….. lots to look forward to. But super competition since we had an AMAZING Italian meal already earlier at Scarpetta

Beautiful space!!! And we got to sit next to the windows to watch them make salads and prepare the meats/cheeses, etc…

It took us FOREVER to go thru the menu, it was overwhelmingly HUGE! There was way too many item and sections and made our heads hurt. In addition there was a specials menu AND they offered a Truffle Tasting Menu. ARGH.  Good thing we were greeted with complimentary glasses of a delicious champagne.  Bubbles helped the headache of the large menu.

I was more distracted at looking in the windows.. especially at the guy who just stood there the whole night mixing caesar salads. hahaha..

Bread and EVOO/Balsamic Dip

6 Oysters. 2 of each kind. [4 West Cost, 2 East]

They were super super tiny and the worst shucked EVER.  There was shell and they weren’t even released, we had to do it ourselves. Blah. Not worth it. Severely disappointed.

Yellowtail Tartare…

It was fresh but lacking.  Needed some acid and salt.  It’s amazing what a little salt and pepper can do.  Good little breadsticks tho, I’m a fan.  I found myself wanting to season it myself… and I rarely do that – I like light foods and tend to frown at OVERseasoned things – I think it needed a bit more texture too… frisee worked but there was just like a bite of it to split between us.

Two different Salames, Bresaola, Mortadella and some Parmigiano Reggiano
Salames for the win!!! I loved them.. there was a small one and a big one.  The mortadella was a bit mealy but good, I’m used to “slimier” feeling ones – for lack of better words – which are more bologna like, OK, better explanation, this was a drier mortadella.  It came with walnut raisin bread, grapes, honey.. balsamic?!, breadsticks and flatbread crisps with melted parm.  The parmigiano was delicious.. munch munch munch nibble.

Just the beginning… champagne… red… white :]

And then came our pastas… MMMM carbs… so far so OKAY… nothing amazing.  So we were totally counting on the pastas – it IS an Italian place so it all depends on the pasta!

Min looking good… and ready to get his eat on… 

Can you believe it? One of our last pics together was our sophomore year.. yikes!!! We’re all getting old.. but getting better looking with age ;]  When he was angrier and I was wayyyy nicer… hahaha

“We’re assholes, that’s why we get along so well”

“I don’t remember you being an asshole, you were nice, you were really really nice…”

The last time Min saw me was in AC for my 20th Bday… way back when… and I looked like this… and was blooonndeeeeee – freaking 8 years ago!!!

 And what do you know.. at another Caesars hahahah

Ok back to the delicious food..

We got two pasta specials

Left: Pappardelle with a Prosciutto Sauce and Peas…
Right: Risotto – you could also chose tagliatelle – with Black Truffle

Pappardelle was perfectly cooked and so good. The sauce wasn’t very prosciutto-y but it was really really good. Loved it.  The risotto was AMAZING, creamy, but a bit underdone.  But FUCK YEAH truffles galore… INHALED BOTH! We cleaned the two plates CLEANNNNN

Partway thru I dropped my napkin…

And the waiters walked over it, avoided it and didn’t give me a new one.  I even went to the bathroom only to come back to it STILL on the floor

Excuse me do I have something on my lip?

Min finally gave up and asked for a new napkin for the lady. HAHA “the lady” I’m so not a lady.

Grilled Lamb Chops

These were cooked really well, THERE WAS SOOOO MUCH, the portion looks small here but it was actually HUGE…. not gamey at all… barely a lamb taste – I’ve noticed I like lamb when it’s rarer than when cooked – really really good.

Ossobuco on Risotto

Fell off the bone and had delicious marrow.  The risotto was cheesy and the veggies were nice, crisp and fresh!  It wasn’t amazing or mind-blowing but quite tasty.  We were SO full by now that we could barely eat any more.. which probably affects the taste.

But we got dessert anyway :]

Min: I’m gonna make them do all that Birthday stuff…
Me: YAY
Min: HAHA you LIKE that shit!!!
Me: YEPPPP!!!!

Chocolate Souffle

Amazeballs. I LOOOOVED it – I love a good souffle.

The sommelier and our tray of dessert wines/liquors, YES all of that for the three of us.

4 each.. omg there was some bourbon one that almost killed me.  The housemade limoncello was FREAKING amazing tho. SOOOO fresh and tasty… nice and tart and not too sweet :] *swoon

UMMMM… Fuck it…

I die ;D

While the food wasn’t particularly spectacular.. the company and the booze was FUCKING amazing!  Such a great fun night!!!!!

Osteria Morini, Best Way To Complete a Day of FUN

Monday night, a friend was in town for work from Cali, so we all decided to hit up another Michael White baby.. Osteria Morini… Yep, just the night before we were at Marea and a few days before that, we were at Ai Fiori :]  After a long day of shopping, eating at DD, Dim Sum Go Go and Xi’An Famous Foods [omg Cumin Lamb Noodles are TO DIE FOR! – YOOO Hand Pulled NOODLES!!!]

  
  

Click here to see my Video of making Hand-Pulled Noodles @ Xi’An

Tons of shopping bags, a full belly, too much walking and a bottle of champagne in us later…. we got ready for another Chef White dinner – woot woot! 3 Michael White restos in a week?! AWESOME!


Me and Rhino.

Famous Celebrity Penis and Boob wall next to Osteria Morini – teehee…


Their sign actually reminds me of Yakitori Totto‘s :]

After sitting down at a table in the back near the kitchen we ordered a bottle of wine [and then another since it was so yummy] and picked out a slew of delicious yummies…

We were first greeted with a complimentary dish from the Chef.

Carciofo Fritelle
Artichoke, Chickpeas, Red Pepper, Nepitella Crema

Basically a chickpea veggie fritter or croquette minus the potatoes — Delicious, light, fluffy – full of creamy chickpea flavor and hints of artichoke and peppers.. delish!  Fried to perfection and over a drizzle of Nepitella cream on the bottom…. Nepitella is a wild herb of the Mint family grown in Italy

Battilardo Di Affetatti
Cured Sliced Meats with Grilled Bread & Tigelle Modenese
FegatiniDuck Liver Mousse, Passito Wine
Coppa Cured Pork Neck
& LardoProsciutto Bianco
The liver was TO die for and definitely the hit of the night for the charcuterie.  Creamy, full of flavor and paired SO well with the nice crunchy grilled bread.  The white round disks were flat fluffy bread.. I preferred the grilled crostinis though.  The coppa was salty, porky and full of flavor.  A nice balance of meat and fat… delicious.. and of course, the lardo, the fat, sliced super thin I could’ve eaten it all straight, but instead daintily placed it on my crostini and nibbled like a lady :]

Spiedini Per La Tavola: Assorted Skewers Alla Piastra
MaialeSausage, Sweetbread, Zucchini, Cauliflower, Tomato
LumacheGrilled Snails Wrapped in Rosemary Lardo

The sausage was delicious… which was a blend of lamb and pork…. the sweetbread was a tiny piece but perfectly cooked… the zucchini and cauliflower and tomatoes were also grilled to perfection. Delicious.. which I had my own skewer though…

The snails were SOOOOO tender and delicious.  It was great with a nice squirt of lemon and was great with the crostini but I enjoyed it better without – I like tasting things for their very own flavor. A GREAT run with snails lately…. First Plein Sud, then Marea and now here. YUM.  New trend :]

Carpaccio
Thinly Sliced Beef, Arugula, Lemon, Parmigiano

This was actually very similar to a Bresaola.. a cured/salted and dried beef.  I was kind of disappointed since I was expecting melt in your mouth paper thin beef.. these came in hugeeeee salty pieces that were pretty thick for a carpaccio, covered in a delicious olive oil [White is good with his oil] and the flavors packed a mean punch.  A little bit too much oil for me but was much better balanced with the parm and the bitter arugula. Mwahahah I still ended up eating like half the dish anyways :] NOM!

Ventresca
Olive Oil Poached Tuna Belly, Fava Beans, Fagioli

This was SUCH a good pick!  Definitely my favorite non-pasta dish of the night.  The tuna belly, while I usually don’t like fully cooked tuna was poached SO beautifully.. instead of the fat becoming overpowering, it just turned into butter and made the flesh soooo tender and succulent – super juicy.  The nice balance of some pickled red onion and perfectly cooked fava and fagiolis really added a nice freshness to the dish.  Felt like spring.  YES, spring is here.

Rigatoni
Ground Seppia, Shrimp, Fava Beans, Stracchino Cheese

The rigatoni was cooked to perfection, per usual, the fava beans [yessss!!!! I LOOOOVE spring!!!]  The creamy cheesiness of the stracchino and the flavorful seppia really added SO much to the dish. LOVE LOVE LOVE.  Not to mention how the green favas added a beautiful punch of green to the dish.

Gnocchi
Ricotta Dumplings, Pomodoro, Speck & Basil

Now, it’s been awhile since I’ve had amazing gnocchithe best probably being Le Cirque or Mizuna….I mean the last time I had gnocchi was horrible.  Horrible gnocchi which ended in a horrible night. [Long story] Horrible gnocchi sucks… heavy, dense… NOT fluffy… but these WERE not.  Super light tomato sauce, which I ADORED…a hint of speck and basil…. but omg the gnocchi… SO fluffy and pillowy.. they tasted more like pasta dough pillows and not the fluffy potato-y kinds but it was a good kind of chew and yum!

Garganelli
Pasta Quills, Cream, Truffle Butter, Prosciutto

Like long skinny pennes.. model pennes?  While regular pennes are regular people? I duno, bad analogy.  Creamy, simple, the prosciutto was SO delicious and while there wasn’t a lot, it added SO much flavor to the dish.  Very light truffle but definitely did a lot for the pasta.  Once again PERFECTLY cooked pasta.

Before we get to the final pasta dish of the night, AND my favorite — I just have to say while I loved Marea, I was disappointed in their pastas being slightly undercooked…  especially when I had White’s other restaurant the next day.  I know that Marea is “prized” above Osteria Morini to some foodies but for me, DELICIOUS.

Ok, sorry for the break, continue.

Stracci
Pasta Rags, Braised Wild Mushrooms, Rosemary Oil

My favorite of the night.. here it is in all it’s glory.  Thick juicy flavorful mushrooms admist the large “rags” of thin delicate pasta. SO FREAKING GOOD.. and addicting.  It was like eating delicious thin thin egg wonton wraps – WHICH I’m SO thinking of doing tomorrow night :] Hahaha…  We ended up adding more cheese and some hot pepper flakes to all the pastas.. well, I added the hot pepper flakes, everything else just had TONS of cheese :D

We were super happy and had warm bellies.. but since we were still on our second bottle of wine and I needed some chocolate and sweetness to push down all the savory we ordered one dessert to share amongst the three of us.

Gianduja Budino
Chocolate-Hazelnut Custard, Gelato Alla Caffe

SO FREAKING DELICIOUS.  The thin crunchy, flakey puff  topping on top was TO DIEEEEE FOR.  Delicious gelato and the MOOOOOST CREAMMMMMY hazelnutty and chocolatey,BUTTTTTERY custard. OH EM GEE.  It also came with whole roasted hazelnuts in a delicious light sauce drizzled around it.  Sort of burnt caramely if i remember correctly.  BUT, anyways. continue. SOOOO GOOOD.. I don’t even ever usually order hazelut/choc desserts since they all taste like nutella!  I LOVE nutella.. but since I buy it and religiously eat them out of the jar like crazy it’s not too big of a deal usually when desserts taste just like them. THIS is NOT the case. GET THIS.  DEVOUR IT. SAVOUR IT. LOVE IT. LIVE IT. Ok. Done.

Delicious.  After a great meal we walked over to Madame Geneva.. but since it was Memorial Day and it was closed, we ended up heading over to the rooftop, Plunge bar/lounge, at the Gansevoort Hotel.