I’ve had some phone calls and emails recently from folks noticing that I haven’t posted in a while. Don’t worry, chickens – I’m still eating in the name of Science and All That Tastes Good. It’s just been a whirlwind of activity that’s kept me from having the time to blog, so here’s the Cliff Notes version of my recent foodie adventures – dig around and you might find something good to try next time you go out.
Back in October, I visited Prime in Huntington for a mid-week dinner overlooking the harbor and blue twinkly lights in the trees. While the food had some low points (over-cooking a pork chop in this day and age, really?) the high points were the wonderful service, the Green Lotus appetizer (ahi tuna & crab inside perfect flower of avocado) and several glasses of prosecco enjoyed in front of the fireplace with MM by my side.
Remember that night right before Halloween when it was cold and sleety and it felt like Old Man Winter was settling in early? Well, I soothed my rain-soaked body with some red wine and nibbles at the sexy Pop Burger lounge. I ordered the trio of pop burger sliders which I already knew were good, while my friend MB ordered a killer chicken spring roll. I’m talking crisp on the outside, filled with tons of chicken and veggies on the inside, flavorful and not a hint of grease. I’m wanting to go back for their cool tunes and duck confit egg roll…
The day it actually snowed in October (thank you global warming), we ducked into Aperitif Bistro to be warmed up by some spicy lamb meatballs and butternut squash soup, along with some salads (a nod to being healthy, I must admit). Located on the main drag in Rockville Centre, inside it’s gorgeously decorated and really gives off a Frenchie bistro feel. A few weeks later we were driving through RVC again and stopped off at Grillfire. The breadbasket included a soft, hot pretzel and the food was plentiful! Affordable prix-fixe menus, $5 specialty cocktails, large portions of tasty food, warm décor and friendly staff = Meatlovin’ Man and I will be heading back there.
I cooked chicken twice over the past two weeks. I usually stick to MM’s favorite baked chicken recipe, a no-fail winner every time. And I did make it the other day for our friend MS, but only after I completely killed a dish the week prior. This is how the dish looked while it was cooking:
Gorgeous, isn’t it? Browned the chicken quarters in the skillet, turned over, added white wine, olives, garlic and let it come together with the bits of flour to form a lovely sauce… Let things simmer a while and kept checking with a thermometer to make sure the chicken was done on the inside. It wouldn’t budge. Then the sauce started to fall apart and I scrambled to fix that. We got tired of waiting for the chicken to cook internally, so we stuck it under the broiler where it promptly burned on top and stayed raw somehow in the middle. The poor chicken was hacked to death, blackened and somehow still raw. I looked around to see if someone was walking up the driveway to revoke my Foodie Badge, but luckily MM spirited a bewildered me out of the kitchen and into a diner. I got the reuben.
Some friends of ours asked us if we’d heard of Tate’s in Nesconset and I said we had not. A BYOB located in a strip mall, it sounded suspect. But our friends the DeC’s know their food, so we agreed to meet them there with our bottles of red and bottles of white in tow. The menu has an Italian influence but does include some French and American influenced items, and everyone enjoyed their well-prepared dishes.
One Saturday we went with our friends D&J to a scavenger hunt in the city, sponsored by Living Social. The weather cooperated and we ran around the Village trying to convince cabbies to let us get behind the wheel and asking strangers to take photos of us by landmarks. At the after-party we met up with some other “hunters” who were brave enough to follow me to my favorite place in Chinatown: Wo Hop’s on Mott Street. The last thing from fancy, it’s the place to go when you want large, steaming plates of Chinese food at a cheap price, and they’re open all the time (been there at 5 am!). Even with surly waiters, no windows (it’s in a basement) and a bar menu that only offers beer, everyone was thrilled with the meal and it capped the day nicely. If you can handle a hole-in-the-wall with good food, Wo Hop’s is for you.
I enjoyed more bistro fare last week at both Nice Matin (Amsterdam & 79th St) and Champignon (7th Ave & 22nd St) in NYC. Nice Matin’s conveniently located one block away from the subway on the UWS and has a bright and bustling interior. The handsome sommelier recommended a bottle of wine that complemented our dishes perfecty without breaking the bank, and my friend SG was thrilled with their gluten-free menu. Champignon in Chelsea is smaller, more cozy and offers happy hour drink prices practically all day (11a – 7p). My roasted beet salad with greens, goat cheese and walnuts was tasty and plentiful and my friend BT who lives down the street from there confirmed that every meal there has been good and at an affordable price.
And last but not least, I went with several girlfriends last night to a comedy club on Long Island for a charity fundraiser. Most of the comedians were “okay”, but one was absolutely hysterical on his accurate take on male-female romantic relationships. If you need a good belly laugh, look up Tim Krompier’s calendar and catch a show when he’s near you (watch the video for a giggle right now). Prior to dinner, we enjoyed $5 martini’s and heaping plates of delicious Mexican food at Margarita’s Cafe.
That’s all folks! I’m now heading off to a wedding that was chosen because today is 11-11-11 and the groom knew he would never forget. We wish the loving couple nothing but happiness in the years to come, and a remembered anniversary for the rest of your lives!