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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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27 October 10

Father’s Office - LA

When I asked my coworkers where I should be sure to eat lunch, a few questions later (mainly… do you like burgers? and do you like craft beer?) we were told that Father’s Office was a MUST!  My coworker recommended the Santa Monica version rather than the larger LA location.  We were fine with that since we wanted to check out the pier anyway.

The inside was VERY small and it’s seat yourself when you can stalk someone until they give up their seat find a chair.  It only took about 10 minutes until there were 2 stools open right in the center of the bar.  I was impressed with the beer selection.  My type of place.

We each ordered a draft and the sweet potato fries.

We decided to split the famous Office Burger.  This burger cannot be modified and is served as is (dry aged beef, caramelized onion, applewood bacon compote, gruyere, matag blue cheese and arugula).  In my opinion, that didn’t need modification anyway!

I found it interesting that it came on more of a long roll than a hamburger bun.  No complaints from me though!

The burger was INSANELY juicy.  The meat was hardly formed into a patty… it was so loose and tender (without being greasy).

While I’m not a huge fan of arugula in everyday life, I think it’s a great foil for a burger.  The bitterness really compliments the fats and cheese.  And those onions were to die for.

Overall, the sweet potato fries, burger, and beer all surpassed expectation.  I really enjoyed this meal and highly recommend stopping in if you’re in the area.

Total Nom Points: 8 out of 10

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14 October 10

Market Cafe- Bumped Up

I wrote about Market Cafe previously, however, I have to update the review because I found a dish that is SO good that it makes me need to bump up the Nom Nom points.

To start, however, I must mention that while they say they open at noon, we literally stood outside the empty restaurant staring at them until about 5 after when they finally seated us.

So onto the food… The Seared Sea Scallops are SO. DAMN. GOOD. that I could make a whole meal out of it.  Unfortunately, I have now sung their praises so much when I’m there with others that I always wind up splitting it. 

The scallops are cooked so well to begin with… but then they’re on a bed of potato puree with brown butter that is TO. DIE. FOR.  Holy potatoes batman!  I am salivating just looking at that picture.  Just because it’s so good… here is another picture.

The rest of the items on the menu are just pretty much average.  Good but not great.

On this adventure, Lori and I got both the pork loin sandwich.  It comes with smoke mozzarella, arugula, and butter pickles on homemade bread.  I couldn’t have the pickles due to my allergy, and Lori thought they were way too sweet (since I love sweet with pork… I probably would have liked it).  I also noticed that Lori could not handle the fat on the meat, however, in my humble opinion, that’s the best part!  To each their own.

We were there with my Aunt Linda and she got the omelet of the day.

It was something along the lines of swiss and mushrooms (I think) and she said she enjoyed it.

HOWEVER… there was a salad problem.  The lettuce was VERY old, brown, wilted, and tasted funny.  It should never have left the kitchen.

To be fare, the waiter was very apologetic about it and brought us french fries.  Unfortunately, they didn’t make it to the table before I had to leave for a meeting.  Though I remember them being tasty.

So while the 6.5 stands on most of the food… and the service was lacking… the scallops get a solid 8!  I’m therefore changing my ranking…

Total Nom Points: 7 out of 10

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13 October 10

Stone Street Tavern

Mike and I love to dine on Stone Street.  It’s a (closed) cobble stone street Downtown near Wall Street that has a few restaurants with outdoor seating lined up.

We try a new place each time we are there, and this time, it was Stone Street Tavern.  

Unfortunately, this experience did not start off well.  There were some very rude tourists who were chain smoking at the table next to us.  Now…  it is 100% illegal for people to be smoking where food is served, even outside, unless in a designated area that is separate.  Stone Street Tavern’s waitress, however, denied this and offered for us to move tables.  We did… but it was still wafting.  Just what I want when I’m eating.

Thankfully… the food arrived soon after.  Both Mike and I must have been either hungover or recently drinking, because we both ordered their aptly named “Hangover Burger.”  Angus beef “loaded with cheese bacon, onion and fried egg.”  

My mouth is watering just thinking about this burger.  It was incredibly messy… but incredibly delicious.  That fried egg was fan-freakin-tastic.

And the fries were damn good too.  Usually steak fries are just too mushy for me, but these were perfectly crisped

My test of a friend egg is by how runny it is.  This, my friends, was a perfectly runny egg.

Nomilicious.

Total Nom Points:  7 out of 10 (0.5 points docked due to the smokers)

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12 October 10

Glass House Tavern

It will be hard to blog about this without a twinge of bitterness.  I suggested a few restaurants to a friend and was unceremoniously SHOT DOWN by his boyfriend (and I believe my choice of Becco was called “pretentious.”  BECCO!)  Now I will try to forgive as I was warned that the boyfriend was picky, and thankfully he’s nice enough to make up for it… but BECCO?!?!  Ok… /rant

So the end choice was to go back to a place where they had been before and enjoyed.  I was slightly concerned when they made the choice to go to a place that was in my neighborhood but I had never heard of:  Glass House Tavern  (on 47th between 8th Ave and Broadway). 

The decor was lovely inside.

And I appreciated the aesthetic.

We started with apps.  Fresh Mozzarella & Tomato Salad sweet garlic, basil & extra virgin olive oil.

Organic Green Salad roquefort apple brioche.

Malfadine Pasta Primavera zucchini, yellow squash, fresh tomato & basil

Grilled Filet Mignon smashed potato, caramelized shallots and red wine

Free Range Roast Chicken garlic roast potato, tarragon jus

Then some dessert… Buttermilk Panna Cotta with berries

Pineapple Bread Pudding caramel, vanilla sauce

And then I, of course, ordered the Warm Chocolate Cake fresh berries, vanilla ice cream.

Notice the lack of commentary for this post?  Yeah… that’s pretty much how I felt about the meal.  Nothing stood out.  Nothing was even good.  Even that warm chocolate cake was bland and dry.  And it looks like they just plated an upside down cupcake without frosting.

This place was fine.  Just… fine.

Total Nom Points: 5 out of 10

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15 September 10

Origin Thai (2) in Morristown, NJ

My sister became my hero when she donated 10 inches of her hair to Locks of Love.  When we were in the area, we stopped by Origin Thai for lunch.  There are two more locations in Somerville and Basking Ridge, NJ and they bill themselves as being a French/Thai fusion.  I have only previously been to the Somerville location, and it was actually the first place I ever tried (and liked) Thai.  It never fails to impress.

Both Stacey and my mom chose the Massaman Curry.  Even I like this dish (and I am just not a curry fan).

The sauce is just perfect and the ingredients are fresh.

I chose the Pad Thai.  I’ve tried many different Thai dishes, but Pad Thai still remains my favorite. And Origin does it just right.

And see that little cigar on the side?  It was delicious, however, as it turns out that lovely sauce was filled with spicy chilies.  Both Stacey and I suffered after trying it, as we are both allergic.  It wasn’t pretty.

Overall, Origin is set apart because of the quality and freshness of the ingredients compared to most Thai places.  It just has a leg up on the rest.

Total Nom Points: 7 out of 10

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13 September 10

Luke’s Lobster- East Village

After hearing about Luke’s Lobster (we went to the one on 7th Street near 1st Ave, however, one just opened up on 81st Street near 2nd Ave) for a long time, I finally made my way there as a “last meal” at my old job.

Staring at the menu, I was really stuck.  I wanted to try as much as possible, so I eventually decided on “A Taste of Maine” which included a small version of each of their rolls (crab, shrimp, and of course, Lobster) along with 2 Empress crab claws, chips, and soda. 

It was a bit more than I usually spend on lunch at $20, but fresh seafood ain’t cheap.  Oh wait… aren’t lobsters prices at all all-time low?  Ok… I guess we’ll forgive them for transportation costs, etc. Sort of…

I really enjoyed the Maine kitsch that decorated the small storefront. 

My soda pick was, of course, blueberry.  It was delicious, sweet, and tasted like dessert (definitely NOT on the diet plan).

The sandwiches came and they were certainly small, however, they were overflowing with meat.

Luke’s Lobster bills itself as being fresh from Maine, and I really value that, however, the lobster just wasn’t the same.  I can’t totally fault them, however, because I have had lobster at some of the finest restaurants in NYC and it just never compares to the lobster in Maine, right off the boat, and simply steamed.  Even when I buy LIVE lobsters to make myself, it just isn’t the same.  Is it the Maine water? Air? The 10 hours of transit?  I wish I knew… because it’s good, but it’s just never quite MAINE good.  The roll at Luke’s was exactly on these lines… good, but not the same.  And (I HATE to say it) it tasted almost frozen (perhaps their fridge was too cold?)

I actually wound up preferring the shrimp roll (shockingly), however, the highlight of the meal was the Empress Crab Claw.  HOLY SHIT!

This tiny little claw packed SO much flavor.

Overall, I’m glad a place like Luke’s Lobster exists since they are such Maine fans, however, they still haven’t solved the eternal “MAINE GOOD” problem.  Sad, but I’m glad I went.  And I would go out of my way for that Empress Crab.  Nom Nom Nom.

Total Nom Points: 6.5 out of 10

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11 September 10

The New Montenapo

I was completely blown away last time I went to Montenapo (in the NY Times building on 41st between 7th and 8th).  So much so, that I nominated it for the #4 meal of all of 2009.

They closed down for a few months when a new owner came on board.  I’m not sure what they changed, however, I was so excited that it opened back up that I ordered take out.  Very expensive take out to be exact. 

I chose the Pappardelle alla Genovese (with braised pork, beef, and veal).  It sounded great, but I was kinda bummed when I opened up the lid to find… this…

I mean, you pay $20 for pasta from a restaurant that you were blown away by last time, you expect more than this lump of goo.  And it was fine… just… fine.  Nothing even remotely interesting about it.  I still had hope for Mike’s dish…

Linguine alle Vongole e Zucchine (with littleneck clams and zucchini).  It was… fine.  Fair… Okay it was boring. 

And the side of sauteed spinach? Also… bland.   

I was beyond disappointed.  It was SO good in the restaurant before and this was just so bland.  For a $50 delivery, I expect more to begin with, but to have such a great place turn to so boring just sucks.  Maybe it was an off day… or maybe they just don’t do delivery well.  I MAY try to give them another try by dining in… but this was so uninspired I might just throw this on the “give up” list.  Bummer.

Total Nom Points: 5 out of 10

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