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About

NYC Nom Nom is a blog about food. Restaurants and recipes... from the good, to the bad, to the un-nommable. Recently, I joined Weight Watchers. But I refuse to give up my love for food. Join me on my journey of recipes and restaurants (whether you're dieting or not).

I am very fortunate in that I get to try many of the best restaurants in NYC. I also am realizing that I love to cook and have been expanding my culinary skills with my boyfriend, Mike. So what better way to chart my path through the world of food than with a blog?

I would not consider myself a foodie, as that moniker carries with it some level of expertise, of which I have none. I just really love food and am very lucky to have both access to good restaurants and a really great kitchen (by New York City standards anyway).

If you want to reach me, you can email me at sara@nycnomnom.com or if you have more questions, visit the NYCNomNom FAQs

So without further ado, enjoy nomming.


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6 September 10

Birthday Dinner at Le Bernadin

Continuing the amazing tradition of treating each other to fantastic birthday dinners, Mike surprised me this year with a meal at Le Bernadin(on 51st Street near 7th Ave).  Le Bernadin is famous for having 3 Michelin Stars and a famous chef, Eric Ripert, who did not disappoint (and was also present that night!) 

It is designed simply yet elegantly, with beautiful tall flowers that filled the large space.  The bar was nice, yet really seemed to be more of a quick waiting area than a destination place to drink.

The thing that struck me all night was the incredible service.  They even gave me a stool for my purse! (Sorry for the terrible shot)

I was especially enamoured with the candle center pieces which were simply wire, water, and a floating candle. 

We chose the Le Bernadin Tasting Menu + wine pairings, which in addition to the listed 7 course meal included an amuse bouche of watermelon soup and something I just cannot remember.

But it was such a great little touch to have mini watermelon slices.

Our first course was layers of thinly pounded tuna; foie gras and toasted baguette with shaved chives and extra virgin olive oil.  The wine was Bontani Moscatel Seco, Sierras de Malaga, Spain 2009.  You’re impressed with my memory?  Ha!  (They were nice enough to give me a printed menu as we left… like I said… SERVICE!)  This was absolutely delicious.  All of the flavors and textures just perfectly fit together. And the wine was a great compliment.  We started off impressed.

Next up was charred octopus - fermented black bean, white peach sauce vierge, ink- miso vinaigrette, purple basil.  The wine was a Savignon Blanc, Paul Cluver, Elgin, South Africa 2008.  Mike said that this was sensational.  Unfortunately, this had peppers, so they gave me the choice of an alternative.

I chose the stuffed zucchini flower with peekytoe and king grab; “Fine Herbs - Lemon” Mousseline Sauce (from the Four Course Tasting Menu).  Unfortunately, I didn’t write down the wine that went with this one… but it was actually my least favorite of the bunch.  Great on their own, but just took something away when they were together.  The individual pieces were so good that I had trouble determining which was better.  I think the Peekytoe just barely won out though.  Delish!

Our next course was great.  Warm Lobster Carpaccio; Hearts of Palm; Orange Vinaigrette.  And the wine was so good that I am currently asking my mom to go out of her way to pick us up some in NJ (the closest place I could find it to NYC).  It was a Chardonnay (we loved a chardonnay!)- Patz and Hall Russian River, 2008.  This was the best chardonnay I have ever had. Hands down.  I was scared it would retail for a few hundo, but I found it for an average of about $50 and on sale for about $35 at this place in NJ.  A little more than we’d usually spend, but totally worth it!  The dish was perfectly rich with the citrus being a great acid balance.

Next up was a baked wild striped bass with corn “cannelloni,” light Perigord Sauce.  It was paired with Rioja, Reserva, Vina Bosconia, Lopez de Heredia, Spain 2001.  This wine was also great.  And the striped bass was such a perfectly cooked piece of fish.  Absolutely fantastic.

It was at this point of the meal that I realized it was more than half over… bummer.  Next up was Escolar and Seared Nebraska Wagyu Beef with Sea bean Salad and Eggplant Fries with Mr. Kaufman’s pesto and red wine sauce.  The wine was La Croix de Beaucaillou, Saint Julien, Bordeaux 2004.  Now that description doesn’t even sound remotely familiar, nor does the picture really match.  The escolar and seared beef was definitely there (and WOW was it good… I must remember to order Escolar whenever possible), but the little accompanying items were more like light, flavorful, cheesy curds.  I guess it could have been bean salad with eggplant, however, all I know is that it was delicious.

We moved into the the dessert course next.  The description sounded quite risky: Basil Ice Cream with Peach Broth plus a tomato and a blackberry.  I wasn’t too sure, but it was GREAT. The wine that went with it was a Torrontez Sparkling - Deseado Familia Schroeder, Patagonia.  It was sweet and desserty without being sacarin.  Delicious!

Our last scheduled course was pistachio mousse, roastted white chocolate, lemon, and cherry.  The wine was Chateau La Rame - Reserve, Saint Croix du mont 1999. 

The cherries were beautiful.

I always think it’s fun when they have a stuffed dessert.  It’s like a little surprise inside.  It tasted great, though I can’t say it blew me away.

They were incredibly sweet and quickly realized that it was my birthday.  They brought me this.

Which, as you can tell by the next picture, was inedible.  (Ha!)  I have NO idea what it was. But it was gooooood.

I was a bit bummed, however, that there was no chocolate.  But not to be faulted in any way, a miniature dessert course came out right before the check.

A fantastic assortment of teeny pastries.

Overall, this was absolutely a top 5 meal.  Nothing completely took our breath away, but the meal was fantastic from start to finish.  This was the first time we ever did a wine pairing with our dinner and I was VERY happy we did.  The pours were almost full glasses, so we left the dinner QUITE happy.  We also got to try many different wines along the way and came out loving almost all of them, with one incredible gem.  Well done Mike… well done!

Total Nom Points: 8.5 out of 10

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13 August 09

Fishtail Tasting with FoodBuzz

I was very fortunate to be selected to attend a dinner with fellow food bloggers at David Burke’s Fishtail thanks to FoodBuzz (and Visa Signature). 

(I plan on providing a review as I would any other restaurant and try to not consider the fact that it was free and I won the opportunity.)

One nice thing about being with other bloggers, there was no need to apologize for pulling out our cameras or using our flash.  We also hardly had to ask before taking our forks and digging into each other’s plates to sample the dishes. 

My first glance around impressed me with the decor.  It was quite eclectic and in some ways whimsical, but overall, it had an interesting touch that seemed to be a compilation of things that the decorator just happened to like.  

Our drink selection was a red, a white, or a “signature cocktail.”  I’m still not sure what it was, but it was delicious and STRONG.  It tasted like a combination of a mojito and a gin and soda. 

The passed hors d’oeuvres began immediately and our waiters were understanding enough to pause for photo-ops.  (In fact, our waiters throughout the meal were very impressive and attentive).

My first sample was asparagus wrapped in prosciutto. 

The bread they served was a pretzel like croissant roll that was absolutely delicious.  Not quite BLT popovers delicious, but worth sampling.  The other passed apps included California Rolls (average), mini tuna sliders (delish even with the wasabi, which I’m not a huge fan of!), chicken wrapped escargot (waste of escargot, tasted only like chicken), and oysters with ginger (?) roe.  The stand-out, however, was the lobster dumpling (center).  Perfection.

The one appetizer I couldn’t try, the spicy tuna tacos (allergic to peppers), was also one of the prettiest.  It sounded as though others enjoyed.

The menu provided us with the appetizer options of:
Dry Roasted Angry Mussels- chili oil, basil and lemon
Pretzel Crusted Crabcake- confit orange and poppyseed honey
Warm Octopus- hearts of celery, avocado, and lemon garlic aioli

Due to my allergy, my only option was the Octopus.  It was good, but I just think the chewiness of octopus is not for me.  Flavors were great, however, and the avocado was probably the best I’ve ever tasted.

I did manage to get a pic of the Angry Mussels, however, the pretzel crabcakes were across the table so you’ll just have to take my word for the fact that they looked scrumptious.

Our entree selection was:
Roasted Branzino- asian mushroom vinaigrette
Pan Roasted Wild Salmon- braised bok choy and two curries
Pan Roasted Diver Scallops- sweet corn and lobster risotto and citrus butter

While branzino has quickly become one of my favorite fishes, I love scallops all too much to pass them up.  Add the words lobster, risotto, and citrus and there was just no contest.  Luckily, the friendliness of my fellow food bloggers allowed everyone at the table to sample from each other.

The branzino was a whole fish and it was phenomenal.  Cooked perfectly and great balance of flavors that didn’t overpower the fish but added to it.

My scallops were very good and I enjoyed the risotto, although I wish there was more flavor to the entire dish.

The salmon was really good as far as salmon goes.

My biggest concern when looking at the menu was dessert. They all sounded amazing and I had no idea how I was going to choose just one.  Luckily, they provided us with a sampler of ALL of the desserts:
Peaches & Cream- white chocolate pudding, georgia peaches and strawberry sugar wafers
Chocolate Caramel Cake- chocolate mousse, “cracker jacks,” and peanut butter ice cream
"Can o’ Cake"- molten chocolate cake with all the fixins
David Burke’s Cheesecake Lollipops- raspberries and bubble gum whipped cream

The cheesecake lollipops came out first, and apparently they are a signature of David Burke.  They were VERY good and the waiter was nice enough to wrap some up for me to bring home to the very deserving Mike.

The peaches and cream was my least favorite.  It was just bland to me.  I love peaches but I think they need to be warm and in some conjunction with butter, brown sugar, or cinnamon. 

The chocolate caramel cake was pretty good, but the cracker jacks nearly pulled out my teeth (though they tasted great).  The peanut butter ice cream was Oh.My.Goodness. Good.  It was so flavorful and so delicious and seemed to be everyone’s favorite part.

The “can o’ cake” was a pretty big undertaking.  It required quite a bit of prep and wound up being served by the spoonful with what tasted like sesame bits on it.  Now I LOVE molten chocolate cake, but this just didn’t have the complete “wow” factor I was hoping for.

The pièce de résistance (count it… three French words I had to look up how to spell), however, was the food lovers dream, in my opinion.  Beaters covered in chocolaty goodness.  This put me very near heaven.  There is something just so nostalgic and wonderful about licking something gooey straight off a beater.

The perfect way to end the meal.

Overall, I think the dining experience itself (and getting to dine with kindred spirits) slightly outshined the food.  While it was good, it wasn’t great.  If you go in there and order the lobster dumplings, branzino, and the peanut butter ice cream, you’d be absolutely thrilled with a fabulous meal. I noticed that they have “crispy artichokes” as a side on the menu (we didn’t get to try, much to my dismay), and with that added I think it would be a close to perfect meal. 

Total Nom Points: 7 out of 10

Another THANK YOU to FoodBuzz for making this happen.  It was a great experience.  I do wish they introduced us to each other as I felt a bit settled in my small table so I’m not sure who else was there.  I also think that the chef stopped in, however, I could only guess from overhearing bits of conversation.  I would have loved to hear a word or two from him!

To check out the other blogger’s takes on our evening, check out these blogs:

High/Low Food/Drink
Zen Can Cook
Blondie & Brownie
Chez What?
Eating the World in NYC
Little Girl Big Appetite
Midtown Lunch
The Pink Spoon
Taste As You Go

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All artwork and photos copyright of Sara Axelrod unless otherwise stated. Originally themed by Hunson and Josh

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