Today…… and last week’s breakfast

I had the most shitty day.

And then I had the best ending to the night…. my bf gave me frownies that looked so cartoonish and comical… I couldn’t stop giggling… I fell over in giggles……

It’s insane and ridic to explain the whole thing that happened tonight… today…. yesterday…. but ok I admit it’s been a shitty few days since my crash.  I’m still not done figuring out my insurance/police reports and my anxiety/panic attack medication……. my psychiatrist is on VACA. WTF. Part of the reason I had the crash WAS cuz of it, I’m sure.

BUT… I wanna say, I got a lot of stuff done the past two days… and I had full support from friends and mostly my wonderful bf J.

Thanks for your cute little frownie faces that make me giggle and laugh like crazy.  See you soon.

You are just another blessing in my life. Thank you. Love you.

And I’m glad you loved the food I made the last time you visited me……….

BLACK Truffle… this thing was worth like over 90$

Dinner… Rose Champagne and Wine [brought by J]

Red Wine Braised Short Ribs with Swiss Chard, Habaneros, Celery, Carrots and Onion…. 

a WHOLE Fresh Black Truffle Whipped Cauliflower with white truffle salt and oil…. 

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Wild Mixed Mushrooms…. 

My first plate….. of many…

And then we decided I should get this… we had a glass of wine and then……. DID IT…

Didi was jealous cuz J was in her spot

The next morning J made me food… I helped with peeling bacon and mixing eggs…

So much bacon and so much bacon fat….. we fried the WHOLE packet!!!!!!

And then we scrambled like 8 eggs in the bacon fat…. just added some pepper to it… thiS WAS AMAZING…

Obviously I made the mimosas and some black coffee… and we had fresh pineapple to gnaw on…..


So in Love…. with Risotto…

I’ve had risotto, lots of risotto.. good risotto and bad risotto.. fake risotto.. and some that, to be blunt, I just had NO idea what the *BLEEP* it was.  I don’t remember the first time I ever had risotto but I do remember one of my friends trying to make risotto back in college, it was the fall of my Sophomore year and it was the first time risotto had ever crossed my lips… I remember him complaining that it was underdone and not done right, but to me, it was delicious nonetheless.

I’m Taiwanese… I grew up eating rice.  White rice. Lots of it.  Although, as a child, until puberty, I ate very little.  One of the few things I did love to eat, though, was putting my white rice in my soup [which was served every night after the meal] and fresh warm congee [usually for breakfast or if I had an upset concert]

I remember my senior year in high school I ate white rice and pork floss every meal [like 5 o 6 bowls a day] for like two months straight.

OKAY. Now that you guys know of my love for risotto… back to the arborio rice.  The delicious creamy dish. Two very specific memories of risotto stand out in my head… it was preparation and ingredients and I must say the two VERY best risotto dishes I have ever had.  The first dish I’m going to talk about is the first time I became addicted and the second dish is hands down, the BEST risotto EVER to enter my mouth.

Risotto is everywhere. It’s cool. It’s like ordering gnocchi, cuz everyone else does but rarely do people get it done right. It’s trendy.

“He couldn’t tell one good risotto from another good risotto. It was the scene.  It was the newness of the restaurant.” – Michael Gould

That quote makes me sad, because that’s so true. Nowanddays, food is SO trendy, everyone wants to be a “foodie” it doesn’t even have to be “good” anymore. NOT for me. You can be the world’s best restaurant but if it ain’t good, I’m gonna not like it and I won’t eat it.

The first time I fell completely in love with Risotto was at Daniel… it was New Years Eve 2009 going onto 2010 and the very last meal of 2009 I had was from the hands of  the amazing Chef Daniel Boulud.  Yep, as much as Boulud is grand and trendy and amazing and everyone has heard of the name and the chef, this TRULY WAS the risotto that went in my mouth, down my throat and into my heart.

Simple and true. Risotto with Parmigiano and freshly shaven White Truffles.

Keep it coming sir!  Delicious.  Creamy.  Decadent. Rich and very very simple.  Perfectly made and I did not leave ONE lick or nibble left on the plate.  Forever etched in my brain, my heart, my stomach and my soul.  To this day I will never forget how it felt, how it tasted, the environment, the setting, the mood, the THRILL of all the truffles and how I’ve NEVER tasted such amazing risotto in my life. GREAT way to end 2009.

And to prove how consistently delicious Chef Boulud‘s dishes are… more than half a year later I got the same  White Truffle Risotto dish [minus the foam] at Cafe Boulud – absolutely FREAKING delicious!

Still beautiful and delicious in 2010 :]

And lastly, the most amazingly delicious risotto dish I have ever had and I will forever compare all the risottos I eat to… YEP, was found in, who woulda thunk of ALL places, freaking Denver, CO. I went there, straight from the airport off the plane, to get their all you can eat mussels.. and while everything at Solera was DELICIOUS…. To this day, I can’t stop fantasizing about bathing in their risotto..

Confit Rabbit Risotto with Caramelized Onions, Creme Fraiche and Fontiago Cheese

Beautful isn’t it?  The rabbit confit was PERECTLY cooked down to a creamy tenderness and shredded… then carefully mixed and blended into the creamy delicate risotto. The creme fraiche made the risotto even CREAMIER and it had the most delicious fontiago cheese flavor throughout the dish.  A sprinkling of herbs and the subtle taste and sweetness of the caramelized onions… omg, PERFECTION. NO OTHER RISOTTO has COMPARED to this. I’m not even sure I could go back here and eat it again for fear it just won’t be the same.

I have “recreated” this dish before but only in the form of a rabbit pasta dish… risotto to me, is so black or white [like I’ve said before, just like gnocchi] it’s either good or not.  But isn’t that the same with all foods? I remember the guide from Top Chef Season 7 in Singapore said that too.  Only two kinds of food, good and bad.

Okay. Maybe one day I will take a flight back there sometime and get some :] And more all you can eat mussels.. but mainly for this risotto. *daydreams*

Decadent Dinner at Cafe Boulud

I’m a HUGE fan of Daniel Boulud…. He’s an OG and his cooking is phenomenal. I know.  It all started when I got a personally signed book as a gift. So it only makes sense that I go visit his other restaurants all over Manhattan.. this time around, it was Cafe Boulud.

Amuse Bouche – White Truffle Risotto Fritters

Delicious Olive/Rosemary Bread

Starting off with a nice glass of champagne….

As I looked over the menu, the manager brought over a huge truffle for me to smell….. I was hooked [I was gonna order it anyways] but now I was doubly confirming that I was ordering the special White Truffle Risotto.

Shibumi Oysters [Washington]

Rabbit Porchetta
Watercress, Black Mission Figs, Pickled Ramps

Definitely not what I expected… but then it was everything and more, with nice big chunks of rabbit in it.. the figs on the side were absolutely delicious as well. A few raw ones and a few roasted/caramelized ones….

Then the server brought out the FINGER BOWL… just for me, the girl, tho :D

I was super excited… I always hear stories of people DRINKING from the little cleansing bowl and complaining about it being so bland. HAHA. I wish I was cool like that….

Fresh White Truffles
[with choice of scrambled eggs, handmade pasta, baked potato or risotto]

I of course, chose the obvious…

Daniel Boulud and his truffles can NEVER do no wrong – he had me hooked with his first white truffle risotto and I knew then it was love…. Our server just kept shaving and shaving them on – I encouraged him to just keep going, give as much as you want <3

Fresh White Truffle Risotto

Seared Foie Gras

Is Foie Gras ever wrong? I’ve only had it gross once and meh once. Other than that?!… Heavenly….

Pistachio Crusted Venison Loin

To be honest, the crust did nothing and it wasn’t completely crusted either. The venison, on the other hand, was perfectly cooked. So tender and just enough chew – not gamey at all… there were chestnuts

Wild Scottish Hare la Royale
Smoked Sweet Potato Flan, Shallot Confit, Civet Sauce

As you can see it’s really not that much hare in it.. but it was great… the little hare chops were freaking adorable :] Nibble Nibble Nibble.. it’s like nibbling on baby corn…. this was like nibbling on a tiny lamb chop.. except tastier :] Btw, those little poop like mounds are artichokes

Coconut Poached Lobster

Bok Choy, Rice Cake, Hon Shimeji Mushrooms

While I couldn’t taste the coconut in the the lobster [sadness] the lobster was cooked really well [New England baby here] — overabundance of very bland foam.. but yet, it looks so purty…

Side of Hericot Verts

Fresh, buttery and tasty… :] Cooked just perfect – al dente…

Hazelnut Dacquoise

Fudge, Milk Chocolate Mousse, Hazelnut Orange Ice Cream

Absolutely amazing.  Hazelnut is always great and this did NOT disappoint.

Pear-Chocolate Vacherin

Chantilly, Meringue, Ameretto Ice Cream

Definitely not what I expected but it was subtly pear-y… lots of chocolate.. and great ice cream.

Butterscotch Gateux

Mascarpone Cream, Chocolate Biscuit, Bourbon Glaze, Brown Sugar Ice Cream

Nom nom nom.

Roasted Fig
Cheesecake Cream, Port Reduction, Speculoos Ice Cream

Cheesecake with a few tiny pieces of fig on top – needed more fig most def.

Afterwards, I got a nice double espresso… and some complimentary madeleines…and I devoured each and every single one… 

Delicious. If you want amazing but don’t exactly want to spring for the uuber expensive Daniel, go to one of his smaller restaurants for just as amazing food :]

helllooooo denver… SOLERA

What’s the best way to celebrate getting off the plane in Denver? Well in our case [two hour time difference makes us really hungry earlier on in the day since we’re technically on East Coast time.. and then there’s me all kooked up since I’m still on Taiwan time as well]

So after getting into our cute little rental car we headed, not to our hotel, but to Solera for their Tuesday All You Can Eat Mussels. We decided to order a splatter of food along with the mussels and accompanied wine pairings.

West Coast and East Coast Oysters with Pineapple Mignonette & Caper Cocktail Sauce

I looooooveeee East Coast Oysters.. West Coast ones taste fishier and East Coast are salty and “taste like ocean” [in the words of R] and these happened to be from Massachusetts :] YUM YUM!

We started off with the All You Can Eat Mussels….

Moroccan Spiced Mussels

These are amazing. Can you believe our waiter didn’t think that we could eat that much?

[Read more…]

The Last Meal…

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

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

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

[Read more…]