A cousin was caught in a photo of Marea when it was named #1 Best Restaurant in America in GQ, which is where we heard of it for the first time. That cousin, the creator of the Avanzato Feast of Seven Fishes, raved about it as his latest favorite restaurant, so we knew it would be good. But in the way things go by the wayside in NYC, we still never made it out there until a work perk forced us to.
And it was divine. The server was friendly and tolerated my wife’s question on whether the beautiful dish on the website was in the menu. (It was not. It was merely an image from their photo shoot.) We ordered what we thought was a modest selection of two appetizers, a pasta dish and an entree, and ended up stuffed anyway.
Ricci – Sea Urchin, Lardo, Sea Salt Crostinis
The sea urchin wrapped with lardo could very well be your last meal at deathrow. I could do without the lardo as the urchins were meaty and melted in your mouth, the lardo upping the whole combination to another level of indulgence. What is lardo anyway? To me it just sounds like cured fat. Continue reading
We were chasing the high we got during our week in the Andalucia region of Spain, where we had the best churros, paella, tapas, and the best trip with my sister and her husband. The closest we could get to replicating our time in Spain was to make our own paella, or to find a close enough comparison.
Fortunately we had a Gilt City deal waiting when we got back and although we were skeptical that Ventanas would satisfy our Spanish cravings, we were happy to not be so disappointed.
Sardinas Fresca – The sardines were fresh and delivered in a big portion.
It was my wife’s birthday and she had chanced upon the latest list of NYC restaurants awarded Michelin stars. She sent me the website of Dressler in an email and asked what I thought. Like a good spouse I said, “Whatever you want, you get.”
Our choice cocktails for the evening: Ingenue ( Crop Cucumber Vodka, Fresh Cucumber, St Germain, Lemon, Prosecco) on left, and Stackhouse (Kraken 5-Spiced Rum, Fresh Beet Juice, Lime, Habanero Shrub) on right.
Thank god. Dressler blew us away from start to finish, from the ambience of an old wood and steel bar, ornamented carved lightboxes, red leather cushions, and black leather booths. Happy hour started at 5:30. We were so there.
The relaxed and empty bar before six invited the novice to their specialty cocktails. We ordered our selections and were pleased with the fact that none of them were sweet but instead volunteered their flavor readily: cucumber for the Ingenue and beet for the Stackhouse. The Kumumoto oysters tasted like heaven, like urchin in a half-shell, their trademark smaller fluted shells cleaned nicely for one’s eager mouth. Kumumotos are considered the aristocrat of oysters and apparently have their own following. I want to know where to sign up. Continue reading
Tertulia. n. A social gathering of like-minded individuals with literary or artistic undertones, usually to showcase poetry, short stories, and other artistic expression.
There are perfect meals. Some are in New York, and even in the West Village. But not often in a casual tapas joint. Our evening at Tertulia was one of those pleasant and perfect evenings, an early dinner and a glass of wine, warm company and smiles that centered on the great food before us.
Tosta Matrimonio – black and white anchovies, slow-roasted tomato, sheep’s milk cheese, aged balsamic
I love tapas. I’ve loved them since a trip to Barcelona made me fall for a hidden smoky place called Bar Rodrigo, to which I’ve lead a number of travelers, all of whom come back with glowing reviews about that bar that’s stuck in time.
Cojonudo – Two bites of smoked pig cheek, quail egg and pepper