Valentine’s Day 2012

Be My Valentine

I’m not a huge Valentine’s Day person. Most Vdays are linked back to BAD memories or no date at all.  In fact one of my best ones was when a crush of mine in HS took me out, bought me a rose and taught me how to drive. :]  Unfortunately for us, he never knew I liked him, he admitted to liking me later on…. annnnd he had a gf at the time. Woot? Anyways. Tragedy.  While I’m not a huge Valentine’s Day I can’t help but give into it if it’s in my face. This was a great Valentine’s Day :]

Last year I was at Blue Hill at Stone Barns and the Patricia Fields Valentine’s Day Costume Ball.. this year was a bit more low key :] But super tasty and fun!!!

Last Year

This Year
This dress looks like a tube top but somehow stretches out into a dress….

Red lips to match my red platform 6″ heels ;]

I worked most of the day and didn’t even start getting ready til late in the day… but I did get a beautiful surprise in the afternoon.. the largest bouquet of flowers I’ve ever received… this tiny little old man who looked like he was 90 carried it all the way to my front door – people who know my house and where I live and how to get to my front door KNOW that sucks balls… but yeah… this was bigger than him.. AND SOOO BEAUTIFUL.

Thanks Love <3

I have late dinner plans with M… so OBVIOUSLY that means we’re gonna pre-drink.. and more importantly, PRE-DINNER!!! So off to DRINK we go.  I love Barbara Lynch…. Obviously… so I was super excited to come here.. it’s in the basement of Sportello – also a Lynch establishment. WOOO!!! Seriously, M knows me way too well… #stalker ;] I had champagne cocktails the whole time, deliciousness and each one was unique~ WOO! He also immediately ordered two things that I LOOOVE

Fried Oysters & Fried Pig Tails

Absolutely AMAZZZZZZZING!!! M knows that I’m IN LOOOOOOVE with pig tails.. these were meaty, fatty and just deliciousness…. while Craigie’s are kinda on the sweet side, these were somehow light fluffy and SUPER fatty and FUCKING AWESOME!  M was sweet enough to let me have most of it. HAHAHA… :] Methinks he enjoyed me nomming on them and licking my lips and dropping it on my legs hahaha #perv ;]

“What else do you want?!”

Yep M REALLY knows me TOO well.. #stillhungry… So hard to choose since there was so much yumminess on their menu…. but obviously I needed to continue my obesssion with Steak Tartare… I still miss my true love.

Steak Tartare: Brioche, Truffle Parmesan Aioli

I LOOOOOVE super chunky tartare and this was a btit finer than what I like but the taste was AMAZING. The meat was super fresh, tender, tasty and YUM YUM I love brioche!

Seriously?

A few drinks and pre-dinner apps later… we were off to our final destination… No. 9 Park :] We already decided the last time we were here to come for Vday… :] Planning ahead hahaha.. altho we WERE supposed to be wearing sweats…

We got the Valentine’s Day Chef’s Tasting Menu with Wine Pairings, there were a few courses that had two options so we got one of each :] at No. 9 Park.. we had resos at 9:45 but didn’t get seated til well past 10 something… good thing we were already getting our drinks on….

Hawaiian Hearts of Palm

Mushroom Vinaigrette, Petite Greens, Black Truffle
Paired with: NV Aubry 1er Cru Champagne Brut

These were SO delicious and definitely made me happy from the truffle fail with M a few weeks ago…  I loooove hearts of palm, and I love that they were the focus of this dish. Amazing.

Pour pour pour

Chilled Peekytoe Crab

Chevril Vichyssoise, Crème Fraîche, American Caviar
Paired with: NV Aubry 1er Cru Champagne Brut

Deliciousness.  LOOOOVE crab everything!!!!!  Looooove caviar everything :] HAPPY HAPPY.. plus I always giggle when I hearcreme fraiche cuz of South Park hahahahha…

Maine Diver Scallop

Smoked Guanciale, Cauliflower, Sauce Périgueux
Paired with: 2008 Simon Bize Savigny-les-Beaune

Is there anything about the flavors and ingredients that are bad at all?! FUCKING BOMB!!!

Seared Yellowfin Tuna

Maine Shrimp, Couscous, Black Olive
Paired with: 2010 Bison Ciliegiolo Rosato 

Super fresh and tasty Tuna. I’m not a huge any kind of cooked tuna girl. I love my tuna rawwwww.. but this was just BARELY seared and delicious. HEHEHE, cute little shrimps and it was super yummy!

Boule de Quercy Raviolo

Celeriac, Dandelion Greens, Bread Crumbs
Paired with: 2007 Lucien Crochet Sancerre Riouge “La Croix du Roy”

We both got one, these were DELICIOUS!  Beautiful fresh pasta, crumbly crunchy bread crumbs… great combo of textures and deliciousness. BOMB diggity of flavors :]

Soooo many wine glasses and we sucked each one down dry

Terrine of Foie Gras

Persimmon, Hazelnut, Quince
Paired with: 2003 Château de Suronde Quarts de Chaume

Creamy and salty… we each had our own, they were HUGE slices and oh so yummy :] I think this was around the time our neighbors yelled at us for speaking too much profanity.. HAHAHA.. srsly, SO much awkward dates going on tonight…

OK I have to say after this the night gets a little fuzzy, more wine was poured, more drinks came and while, yes, the food was banging, I don’t really remember much.

Pekin Duck Breast

Chestnuts, Rillette, Poached Pear
Paired with: 2008 Monpertuis, Châteanuneuf-du-Pape “Suvée Classique”

Prime Ribeye of Beef

Potato Mille-Feuille, Grilled Porcini, Vegetable Blanquette
Paired with: 2009 Margerum “M5”

You are a sexy beast


Out of all the things I don’t remember eating I remember eating this, YUM!

Pomegranate Sorbet

Hibiscus

Chocolate Cream Tart
Pistachio, Banana, Tonka Bean
Paired with: EL Maestro Sierra Pedro Ximenez, Sherry 

Ricotta Cheesecake
Red Currant, Blood Orange, Cornmeal
Paired with: 2010 Marenco Brachetto d’Acqui “Pineto”

Complimentary mini Muffins and Truffles

I actually remember trying a muffin. I think I may have had a frowny face hahaha…. not that it was bad but it was LITERALLY a muffin!

How the hell did we finish EVERYTHING?! Including the wine… How is my liver still alive?! And how am I not 200lbs yet?

OK.. so I don’t exactly remember ALL the details, a bit hazy here, sorry, I blame all the booze beforehand :] Still want more piggie tails, those fried oysters from DRINK… and then the Chicken Fried Foie from last time… I have a feeling I’ll be back soon :]

I love you my Didi baby… my favorite Valentine

Three Times a Charm…. especially at Toro

Thanksgiving Eve.. apparently it’s the biggest party night of the year [it is cuz everyone returns home?] J and I decided to go eat, drink and be merry…. first thought? Well… I didn’t just suggest I basically screamed out TORO!!!! He hadn’t been, and I had been craving tapas, bone marrow & their orgasmic corn… Conclusion on choice? Perfection.

We headed out around 630ish and got there a little before 7… [hahaha stupid Boston roads.. it’s “great” to be back… so used to the City’s grid and easy taxi/train access…] We put our names down [they seriously should do reservations!!] and moooooosied over to the bar [like a foot away from where we put our names down]

First round of drinks:
I got a Cabana Boy – Sailor Jerry spiced rum, Canton Ginger, Pineapple and J got a drink that sounded like man-something that had Maker’s Mark in it… and a cinnamon apple slice…

Second Round of drinks:
I got a Pink Poodle.. that had egg whites in it [haha] and J got another one of his man-drinks :D YES I had to pick the two girliest named drinks on the menu.. if not J was going to anyways….

Mandatory shot of the bread bowl…

Since J was making fun of me taking pictures of bread just a few hours earlier.. his punishment is to be in a picture WITH the bread…. bread has feelings too.. they just want to be loved, acknowledged for their carbiness… and eaten… hmmm.. hopefully he doesn’t kill me for posting this… anyways… we ended up switching tables… the high tables are fun and all but we wanted a nice roomy big table for just the two of us. We ended up getting a nice corner table that didn’t have us bumping elbows with neighbors. SCORE!

Pimientos del Padron

Hot green peppers with sea salt

The staple of any tapas dinner, well for me.. I ALWAYS order these.. I think I mentioned that before the last time I was at Boqueria as well…

Cabeza

Pork head terrine with spiced plums

I love head.

TEEHEE

Yeah, I’m REALLLLLL mature ;D

And while my favorite form of pig head still comes in a sandwich [love you Bobby.. love you Resto] this was really really good.. super tender [as expected] full of delicious porky flavor… and oh so satisfying…

Panza de Cerdo

Crispy pork belly with spaghetti squash, escargots, salsify, apples and smoked maple crumb

AMAZING. Totally forgot there were escargots in the dish… so I’m eating it thinking.. why am I eating escargot?!?!?!.. this was soooo good.. but didn’t really need all the access… I’m chinese, I’m used to eating the pork belly as is ;D

The skin of the pig was so chewy/crisp that I bent my fork….

And as you can see.. new drinks… I got the
Cava Cocktail
Grapefruit bitters, sugar, yellow Chartruese

& J got the: crap, I totally forgot… was it something with tequila? It was definitely red tho…. and either way, they both weren’t too great :T

Lardo

Cured lardo with honey and grapefruit

It’s funny because we only ordered one plate but we ended up getting served two plates :] YAY… one for each of us. YUM! Some people like it on nice crunchy toasted bread…. we ate ours as is ;D mmmmm piggie fat <3

Foie Gras con Champinones

Foie gras with pickled chanterelles and Idiazabel cheese

Had no idea this was gonna be all bruschetta-ish but it was tasty.. the crouton/bread wasn’t too thick and there was TONS of foie… the chanterelles were slightly pickled but thankfully not overpowering…

Ventresca

Tuna belly, tomato tapenade and celery leaves

I don’t like cooked tuna usually… unless it’s just plain out of the can [the water ones, NOT in oil, ew] but this was soooo tender… first time having tuna belly cooked…. perfect balance of sweet and acidity from the tomato… there was just ONE celery leaf tho… hahahah dont think it really made any different.. not even sure if I got it in my bite or J did…

Special of the Night

A Goat/Pork sausage on a bed of couscous

As soon as we heard the specials… [there was also a goat stew that sounded promising] J jumped right at this. SOOO glad we got it, it was SOOO freaking good.. like I’ve said before.. people think it’s weird that I adore goat but don’t really eat lamb. To me lamb is FAR gamier.. but apparently it’s the other way around? Either way, this was FANTASTIC. Huge, juicy and full of meaty flavor. AMAZING spices… need more… if I could I’d make it my go-to BBQ sausage ;D

Uni Bocadillo

Pressed uni sandwich with miso butter and pickled mustard seeds

One of my favorite things to get here… uni sammy. SOOO creamy.. just the right amount of greasy bread.. [must be the miso butter] delicious GRAINY mustard seeds….  AHH the perfect balance of flavors and perfection. UNI UNI UNI <3 LOVES. Second favorite sandwich ever. [And yes, twice in one post, best is Bobby’s]

Atun Pincho Crudo

Tuna tartare with charred green onion and pine nuts

MEHHH… it was OKAY… I think the turn off was that I found scales in my few bites :[ TOTALLY lameass… I tried, but couldn’t finish it…. which is sad cuz i love tuna tartare…

Pato con Membrillo

Smoked duck drumettes with quince glaze

Duck. Legs. Smoked. What else could be better?!?!?! Amazingly delicious [as always!!!!] me and J devoured asap

Ostras en Escabeche

Marinated Island Creek oysters with grains of paradise, lovage and citrus

J and I guessed that there was definitely yuzu… lots of yuzu in it. But I love RAW oysters…. cooked are okay… but marinated and pickled?!?!?!.. not so much… too tart/sour for my taste… they were fresh but just not TOO much to my liking… sorry Toro… oyster fail

Morcilla Bocadillo

Blood sausage, piquillo peppers and alioli

Can you name ANYTHING wrong with amazing blood sausage [the asian in me], amazing bread [<3] and amazzzzzing condiments <333 FUCKING amazing. Yes, profanity is a must. I never met a blood sausage I wasn’t i LOVE with….

Atun Crudo

Yellowfin tuna with fermented black beans and ginger

To be honest… this was awkward… for ME & J… it was too chinese… black bean sauce?… tuna??…awkward…. ok honestly it was good, but in a way that I didn’t want to finish cuz it was so beyond awkward tasting…

Pate de Conejo

Cider marinated Rabbit pate with pistachios and heirloom pears

J & I were MAD disappointed… we had HIGH expectations for the rabbit pate [you know me and how much I love bunny] but it was just okay.. good I guess, not amazing.. not memorable at ALL…. J finished it with bread, I gave up on it after 2 bites…

Mollejas

Crispy veal sweetbreads with blood orange and cinnamon

Veal Sweetbreads = Orgasm.

Perfectly cooked, milky and tender…

That is all…

Navajas a la Plancha

Grilled Razor clams with lemon caper vinaigrette

After the most HORRIBLE razor clam experience.. I’m glad Toro can still have me loving it… I always loved their razor clams…  PERFECTLY cooked… and delicious.. Toro, you never fail me…

Hamachi Crudo

Kombu cured hamachi with yuzu, Gravenstein apple and fresh horseradish

This was amazing. SO fresh, SO delicious… didn’t taste the horseradish but the apples were great….

Pulpo con Sidra

Baby octopus with Basque Cider, chorizo, nasturtium and Piquillo peppers

Slightly overly salty, but the octopus was perfectly cooked.. LOVE chorizo, so it was great… but since WAYYY too salty, lost points.. doubtful I’ll get ot again [even tho I’m obsessed with octopussy]

Asado de Huesos

Roasted bone marrow with radish citrus salad and oxtail marmalade

The #1 reason why I went to TORO…. bone marrow is so LAST MEAL….. it’s like an orgasm and falling in love at the same time….. sigh* I miss falling in love….. its been a long long LONG time…

Erizos en Suquet

Catalan stew  of sea urchin, lobster and crab meat

HOLY MOLY…never thought a soup/stoup/stew would be better than a cioppino full of delicious chunky seafood :] it’s fugging great to be back in new england…

Jamon Serrano Redondo Iglesias

Premium cured Spanish ham

I adore serrano ham… but comeon Toro…. you need some iberico <3 plz plz pretty plz <333333

Costilla de Bourguignon

Red wine braised beef short rib with bacon, mushrooms and pearl onions

J and I were super excited about these melt in your mouth beefy goodnesses. I’ve had great short ribs and bad tough blah short ribs.. these were great… as were the yummy pearl onions :D I think it was atop mashed taters?!….  I also ended up eating allt he carrots too… wait, was there bacon? I don’t remember bacon….

Coles de Bruselas a la Plancha

Brussels sprouts with olive oil and sea salt

Yes. I’m obsessed with brussels sprouts, especially when they’re all nice and burnt like above. To be honest usually I just steam them or do a quick garlicky light stirfry of them at home… but when I go out I like them nice, oily and roasted… :] Thankfully J loves brussels sprouts too… well thankfully and unthankfully… I had to split them, but I’m glad I didn’t go eat with someone who was picky about food or his greens :D

On a side note: Isn’t that the worst? I could NEVER date or be in a relationship with a picky eater…. or wasn’t adventurous…. blah. Thank goodness my friends are awesome.. and big foodies as well :]

Maiz Asado con Alioli y Queso Cotija

La Especialidad de la Casa.  Grilled corn with alioli, lime, espelette pepper and aged cheese.

For you non Spanish speaking people out there… and even still it’s pretty easy to guess, that says “the special of the house” aka HOUSE SPECIAL.. and oh boy is it.. you’d think this would be one of the first things to come out but this came out DEAD LAST… J and I were full… but after one bite we couldn’t stop eating. Yes, this tends to happen a lot…

And yes, we opted out of dessert… it’s becoming the new trend for me lately…

We ended up eating enough for 13 people… and then headed out stuffed beyond belief… in search of a bar.  We ended up at “The Point” near Fanuiel Hall… super white bar.. HILARIOUS… stayed for some medicore vodka drinks and shots…. and left… frustrated that we weren’t trashed and just too disappointed to keep on going…. But still.. our stomachs were happy. Ken Oringer how do you do it? First time was great, second time even better.. and now this? Three times is definitely a charm….

J and I decided our Thanksgiving Eve tradition from now on is to go eat somewhere fabulous and then go to ghetto hick white Irish bars afterwards. Can’t wait til next year :D

Brunch in the Tap Room

As you can tell I’m becoming a huge fan of Colicchio’s restaurants… I’ve eaten here before, in a private room for a Victory Brewers beer dinner – and of course, most recently, his Craftbar restaurant… But me being the brunch nerd that I am needed some of his loving… so off to the Colicchio & Sons Tap Room for an amazing brunch….

Simple, but to the point, menu – I kinda wanted to order everything on the menu…. but there was just two of us and I didn’t want to overdo it [sometimes when I just get up, I can’t eat that much…. and considering an hour before I was still comfy in bed….. We went from 4 dishes to 3…]

I may have had a few of these…. Bloody Mary and Mimosa

Pork & Clams, Chilies, Parsley

OMG this name of this dish says NOTHING about it. The broth was mouthwatering… the dish was tiny but packed a punch – SO much flavor…. It was shredded braised pork shoulder with amazing spices and gorgeous tasty cockles…and just enough heat from the chilies… We ended up sopping up the broth with bread….

Ricotta & Fall Vegetable Frittata with Wildflower Honey & Arugula

SO fluffy with tufts of ricotta throughout the frittata… a nice helping of arugula on top… my only complaint is that there wasn’t much vegetables…  Only a few pieces…. but the fluffy texture totally made up for it and the arugula helped with the contrast from creamy to crunchy and peppery. The honey worked SOOOOO well with the eggs… just a hint of sweetness. *kisses it* it was SO good.. I adore honey.

North Country Bacon

You can never go wrong with bacon – and I can never NOT order it for brunch.

Rabbit Pot Pie, Fall Vegetables & Sausage on a Stick

After the pot pie fail at Bar Americain, I HAD to get this one. PLUS, it’s RABBIT. And yes, I’m obsessed with rabbit… they’re cute alive, but oh so tasty in my belly….

The pot pie was TO DIE for. Creamy, full of veggies and huge chunks of rabbit. The biscuit topping was buttery, flakey and delicious. SO MANY LAYERS OF LOVE.

Totally obsessed with the rabbit sausage….

[yes I have cat ears…. it was Halloween]

I kind of wish we had also ordered the Duck Confit, but it’s okay, next time. I felt happy with my choices…. not full, but very very happy. Sometimes you don’t need a lot of a good thing and everything is perfect.

BUT, that DOES mean more room for DESSERT [and more drinks!!!] – which I don’t always get at a brunch….

Black Mission Fig Tart with Honey, Mascarpone, Hazelnut & Olive Oil Ice Cream

To be honest, the tart was nothing special – but I LOVE figs so it’s a must. The nice crunch of the hazelnut added to it [but needed a few more] and the Olive Oil Ice Cream was light and the true highlight of the dessert.

Quince Tatin with Rum Raisin Ice Cream

I find it so refreshing to FINALLY see quince used as something other than a sauce or a garnish… This tart was OVERFLOWING with delish quince…. totally showcased this yum fruit. The ice cream was super rummy [in a good way] with large plump sweet raisins. I don’t remember the last time I had this flavor – it’s nice to see it appear on the menu.

Zeppole with Banana Caramel & Milk Chocolate Ice Cream

Who comes up with BANANA Caramel?….. well other than Chef Colicchio…. These were fluffy and perfect. I’m not a huge milk chocolate girl, but the ice cream was creamy and amazing on a bed of cookie crumbs… and yes, oh yes, the banana caramel. Just a tiny hint of banana – I find that banana can be REALLY overpowering sometimes – but not in this case. Usually I’m so down with sharing food but I secretly wanted to eat them all myself ;D No worries, I was nice and remembered what my momma taught me when I was a baby. Sharing is caring.

Colicchio & Sons
85 Tenth Avenue
(at the corner of 15th Street)

212.400.6699

Toro.. the bull not the fish ;]

You know that feeling you get after eating really good food….. the afterwards… that depression? Well why let it get you down when you can continue it by eating more amazing food? The day after our O YA meal we decided that the only way we could finish off the weekend was by going to TORO.

We had brunch at Bullfinch’s and then headed off to the Museum of Science for an afternoon of Harry Potter madness.

LOVE. Harry. Potter.


More on my fb album :]

Hufflepuff is like the worst ever [hahahaha jk but seriously.. reminds us of jiggly puff]

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