RSS | Archive | Random





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.


Tags


20 October 10

Room Service Pizza

I was fortunate to be invited out to our LA offices to meet the rest of my new work team.  I had only been to LA once before, and I was at a conference and then got a great inside tour by my aunt that time, however, I was never on my own schedule.  This time, I spent a week working and then extended through the holiday weekend, and Mike got to join me for his first time in LA.

One night, I was certainly still on East Coast time and really couldn’t pull myself out of the hotel room to find dinner… so I got room service.  The hotel (Le Parc Suites, which was quite lovely by the way) had a “fine restaurant” so I figured it couldn’t be too bad.  They were out of pretty much everything, however, so I wound up ordering a pizza.  As soon as I ordered it, I regretted it.  I mean… I’m from New York… and I ordered PIZZA in LA?  Hmmmmm.

It came and it smelled really great though.

Lots of good mushrooms… crackly cheese.

Ok… it had potential.  The upskirt looked a bit weak though.

And that was where it failed.  The crust was incredibly lackluster.  The toppings were good, but the crust was just too distractingly plain to be worthwhile.  Tasted a bit like fast food pizza crust.  I wound up eating the mushroom, saucy, cheesy goodness with a fork in a way that only you can do alone, in a hotel room, in a city across the country, before falling asleep at 8pm local time.

Comments (View)
23 July 10

Nom Nom Nom… All the Way Home (Portsmouth, NH & Providence, RI)

On our roadtrip back from Maine, we made a lunch stop in Portsmouth, NH and then did an overnight in Providence, RI.  I have always loved Portsmouth, however, it started to rain heavily midway through lunch, so we didn’t have much time for sight seeing.  And then Providence, RI seemed like a good idea… about midway home, in RI, known for being a lovely town… but I just. didn’t. get it.

Back to Portsmouth… after our fantastic tour of Maine craft beers, we decided to continue our new found tradition and stopped in at the Portsmouth Brewery for lunch.  We, of course, ordered beer and mine was quite tasty.  If we hadn’t been driving, we would have totally gone for the paddle of beer that had something like 12 small flights to try their stash.  Bummer.  We did have some good grub, however (and that’s what you’re here for anyway… isn’t it?)

Mike ordered what I thought was a cheesesteak… but I can’t find it on the menu. Hmm.  I remember him liking it very much though!

I chose a special pork dish which had a peach chutney.  DELISH! I was quite impressed that a brewery did such a good job with this dish.

Overall, it’s a great place to have a beer and the food ain’t bad!

Total Nom Points: 6.5 out of 7

_________________________________

As soon as we pulled into Providence, I knew we were in trouble.  I had mistakenly thought it was on a lovely part of water, however, it looked like mostly highways.  We asked the concierge at the hotel where to go for a night stroll, and he sent us up in some direction that made us feel quite scared… and we live in NYC!  It was just so seedy.  We wound up going to see a movie that night… in a mall movie theater.  Pathetic I know.

On the way back from the movie theater we decided to continue our brewery themed trip and tried out the Trinity Brewhouse.  

We sat outside and it was a nice night… but the food literally took SO LONG to come out (and the restaurant was pretty much empty when we arrived) that it actually cooled up and the wind picked up outside.  Uncomfortable at best.

Mike ordered the pizza… big mistake.  It was heavy and greasy and just hardly worth eating.

Then mine came out… ugh… even worse!  Do you see the REFLECTION off those sweet potato fries?  That’s how greasy they were.  And soggy.  Ew.  The sandwich was a corned beef reuben that sounded good… but was basically flavorless.  How do you screw up a reuben and fries?  GA-ROSS

This place was crap.  Seriously.  I’m usually quite nice in my reviews, but I just can’t be.  It was utter crap.

Total Nom Points: 2 out of 10

_________________________________

The next day we decided to take a recommendation from a family friend who had lived in Providence for a while.  She is a chef, so I figured she couldn’t steer us wrong.  This was when we saw the college part of town (Thayer Street).  This was much lovelier an area than where we were the night before.  

The recommendation was for a pizza place called Antonio’s on Thayer.  I was told it would be the “best pizza I’d ever have in my ginger life.”  
I chose mushroom and hawaiian. 

Mike went with a white chicken pesto slice.

And a chicken cordon bleu.

So how does this compare in my ginger life?  It was good, but not THE BEST.  I did enjoy it, however, and compared to the other place we ate in Providence, this was TOPS!

Total Nom Points: 6.5 out of 10

_______________________________

This sadly ended Mike and my excursion in Maine.  In a strange twist of fate, however, I AM GOING BACK NEXT WEEK with the family!  YAAY! 

Comments (View)
3 May 09

Death by Co

I live in a neighborhood that is very convenient to other neighborhoods and the subway system, however, good restaurants within a 6 block radius are few and far between. So imagine my excitement when the mastermind behind Sullivan Street Bakery (Jim Lahey), decided to open up a high-end pizza place right down the street. When I walked by Co. (called “Company” by name and a very silly choice for a restaurant that you have to look for online, though their search engine optimization seems well done) in its opening week, I saw a pizza listd on the window menu that just looked sensational, with many of my favorite ingredients (including chestnuts and crispy pork, if I recall correctly).

I was very sad to see this pizza not on the menu when Mike and I decided to try it out a few weeks later. After about a 45 minute wait (they do not take reservations), we were seated at a round table with another couple. The restaurant has communal seating, but we were happy to find our table-mates were friendly without feeling the need to engage in conversations throughout the meal (cruise style).

First, Mike and I decided to splurge on the Chef’s Selection of meats and cheeses. Now for the $22 price tag, I was hoping for a unique sampling of good cheeses. When the plate came and we saw a sampling of 3 cheeses that were barely 3 bites a piece, we hoped they were very unique, really great cheeses. We were very disappointed. The samplings all tasted very similar to each other and had no real uniqueness at all. They were good, just nothing great. I could have bought them at the grocery store across the street.

Next we decided to order 2 pizzas so we could split them and share. We were a bit disappointed with the selection since they all sounded basically the same (the béchamel, parmesan, buffalo mozzarella base was consistent for almost every one), but we tried the Leek and Sausage (with breadcrumbs) and the Flambe (with caramelized onions and lardons).

Now I checked with the waiter twice and Mike questioned further, to make sure that neither pizza, nor the sausage, had peppers (as I’m very allergic). The waiter assured us that I was safe, so I enjoyed a big bite of sausage when it came out. I’m sure you see where this is going… I had to run to the back kitchen to ask for a glass of milk. I followed that with two more and still had some blistering (YUCK!) Now I guess I could forgive the attempt on my life had the food been outstanding… but it just… wasn’t. In fact, as far as pizza goes, I’ve had better crust and cheese and corner pizza stores in the West Village (for 1/3 the price).

I am a very strong proponent of some things being worth the extra money, and good food is very high on that list. But if I spend the extra money and the food is barely average, it just makes it seem that much worse. To add insult to injury, I barely received an apology from the waiter for the peppers mix-up and nothing on the check was comped (not even a soda). I was pretty surprised by this seeing as though usually restaurants are VERY careful about this and should a mistake happen, they bend over backwards to make sure I leave happy. Co didn’t seem to care. And I didn’t care for Co.

Total Nom Points: 5 out of 10 (max)

Comments (View)
20 March 09

Culinary Walking Tour of Greenwich Village

For our 6 month anniversary, I gave Mike a gift certificate for us to take a Culinary Walking Tour of Greenwich Village.  Over 9 months later, we finally scheduled a date to go. 

Last Sunday we began our culinary adventure by meeting at Murray’s Cheese Shop on Bleecker Street.  I was excited to start this adventure with cheese, however, that had to wait for later in the day. 

Our guide was a perky wannabe Broadway star with terrible hair and a cute smile.  She talked a bit about the neighborhood, buildings, and history and then we went walking.

Our first tasting was at Famous Joe’s Pizza.  Our guide described it as being back to basics with fresh tomatoes, cheese, and crispy crust.  It was good, but not great.  As she said, very basic.

Our next stop was O & Co, a Meditteranean Food Merchant specializing in gourmet olive oils and balsmic vinegars.  One taste and I knew I had to come back to buy (the 20% discount for people on the Walking Tour that day was also incentive).  The balsamic tasted like candy! 

We talked a lot about the character of the area, the history, and the buildings.  This carriage house is not only huge, but happens to also be where they housed the cast of “The Next Food Network Star” for a season:

One of my favorite stops along the way was Palma.  It’s a more classic version of Meditteranean food that is more Italian/French.  The restaurant itself was charming with a nice patio out back, and I cannot wait to go back to try the fried artichokes that looked and smelled delicious as we passed through.  We were told they had great sangria, but when we stopped in after our tour, we were informed that they didn’t have it at the time.  Shame.  The coolest part about the restaurant, however, is that there is an urban farm house behind it where they host private parties.  We got to peak inside and I couldn’t help but dream of a day when I could set up a party for my friends in a place like that.  It’s not something you find everyday in NYC!

Our next stop was Faicco’s Italian Specialites (formerly Faicco’s Pork Shop… but I guess “pork shop” has less mass appeal).  We tried the risotto balls which were delicious (though not quite as good as the ones from CraftBar).  The place itself had beautiful cases of meat and prepared foods. 

We then walked down the street to Aphrodisia Herb Shoppe, which I think they said has been around since the 60s.  We were greated with the smell of spices and a cat who everyone took a moment to pet… before reading the sign on the other side of the store informing us that petting the cat was not advised.  While there, we tried some tea and I noticed that they had some special “sore throat” tea recipes.  As a fan of the mass market Throat Coat Tea from Traditional Medicinals, I regretted not buying some of this special tea while we were there.

We passed by one of my favorite NYC bars, The Blind Tiger.  We stopped in there afterwards for a drink as well, however, much to our dismay there was a private party going on and it was too packed.

The next tasting was around the middle point in the tour and allowed us 10 minutes to sit down and use the rest rooms.  We went to a modern Italian wine bar called Centro Vinoteca.  This happens to be the restaurant where Leah Cohen (of Top Chef Season 5 fame… the one who made out with Hosea) is chef.  They serve small plates called “piccolini” and quartinos of wine.  I’m not sure what the dish we sampled was called, however, it was a whole grain with squash, mushrooms, and some other delicious things prepared risotto style.  I really enjoyed it.  The menu also looked fantastic (and I want to go back to try the braised veal cheeks with cauliflower puree & artichokes) and this is where we wound up settling on for our post-tour drink.  I saw that they had a honey chestnut gelato on the menu that I just had to try.  It came with dark chocolate and creme de fresh gelato as well and we thoroughly enjoyed it while drinking my wine and Mike had a St. Germaine cocktail.  I enjoyed it so thoroughly, that I forgot to photograph it.

We passed by a really adorable court yard called “Grove Court” while walking around.  It used to be called “Mixed Ale Alley,” however, they changed it during prohibition.  Interestingly, it used to be a sign of wealth to live close to the street, so these beautiful houses pushed back off the road with these court yards were actually where the poor used to live.  I can only imagine how pricey these are now!

Our next stop and tasting was a place I have been wanting to go for a while: Milk & Cookies Bakery.  They specialize in the basics, but you can also select from a list of ingredients and custom create a recipe that they will bake for you (great for people without big kitchens or baking skills).  We tasted a chocolate chip, oats cookie that was still warm from the oven.  It was absolutely delicious.

At this point in the tour, we finally got to return to our original meeting spot: Murray’s Cheese.  We had a sampler of 3 cheeses, a cheese baked good that was delicious, and a hard salami.  All were delicious, and I was thrilled to see they offer a cheese class AND a cheese of the month club.  Their mac and cheese also looked amazing.

Our last stop was Rocco’s, a pastry shop specializing in Italian.  We tasted DELICIOUS canollis and then bought a humantashin to carry on our Purim tradition.  We enjoyed eating the humantashin on our way to the subway. 

All-in-all, an absolutely delicious and fun day!

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

...