Category Archives: Restaurant Meals

Off the Wagon

More than 95% of my meals are eaten at home, and more than 95% of my food is sourced from local farmers.  But when I do “fall off the wagon,” I like to do it right. 

My latest culinary binge took place at Rosarito Fish Shack in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NYC.  I had octopus wrapped in bacon on a brioche roll topped with cole slaw.  It was so worth it.  

Off the Wagon


Special Lunch Special

We live so close to the Union Square Greenmarket, that the food in restaurants rarely tastes better than what we can eat at home.  Consequently — unlike most New Yorkers — we don’t eat out very often.  One thing we love to go out for, though, is Asian food.  All kinds of Asian food.  Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Korean, and Japanese all top the list when we’re choosing a restaurant.  So, if you find yourself in New York City’s East Village on a Saturday afternoon, stop in at Hasaki for their delicious lunch special. It’s a bargain that will make your taste buds as happy as your wallet.

Hasaki Lunch Special

Tap Water

It was refreshing — in more ways than one — to find bottled water on the tables in a local restaurant recently.  But this wasn’t just any bottled water.  This was New York City tap water.  And the custom-made label on the bottle said, “Pure Tap Water: Drink Your Town’s Tap Water from the Faucet.”  I couldn’t agree more . . .

Pure Tap Water

Parker House Rolls

We almost never eat white bread in our house, so when we traveled to New Orleans last February, we treated ourselves to Parker House rolls at Cochon Butcher.  When they arrived dripping in butter, we reminded each other that we were making an exception to our “whole grains only” rule because it was a special occasion.  The experience reminded us that rare exceptions to daily rules can make wonderful memories and, indeed, I’m still smiling about those rolls a year later.

Parker House Rolls

It’s Our Pleasure

One of the simple pleasures of life for me and Kay is stopping in any of the myriad independent coffee shops in New York City.  Though each shop is otherwise unique, chances are good that a cup of coffee “to go” will come in an iconic blue and white Greek paper cup.  The cups, ubiquitous in New York City but practically unknown anywhere else, are a comforting reminder that I am home, where I belong, in the city I love.

Our Pleasure

Totonno’s Pizza, Coney Island

When you’re a chef who lives two blocks from the Union Square Greenmarket, there’s little need to eat out very often.  This summer, however, we decided to spend our vacation in our own city, supporting some of the businesses that were so badly damaged during Hurricane Sandy last October.  One of those places was Coney Island, Brooklyn, where our first stop was Totonno’s Pizza, a family-owned business that opened in 1924 and was closed for nearly 5 months because of flooding caused by Sandy.  The pizza was well worth the trip.  In fact, it was perfect: crisp, gooey, and wonderfully seasoned.  We will definitely go back again, and next time — we hope — it will be to celebrate a hurricane-free hurricane season.

Totonno's Pizza, Coney Island

Charred Beet and Lentil Salad

The fact that we almost never eat out makes us unusual among New Yorkers.  Last week, however, we were on a “staycation,” which meant that I didn’t cook every day.  On Friday, we took the East River Ferry over to the Greenpoint, Williamsburg, and Dumbo neighborhoods of Brooklyn — practically a foreign country to a committed Manhattanite like me.  While in Williamsburg, we stopped for lunch at a Mediterranean restaurant called Zizi Limona, which we’d read about in the “Cheap Eats” issue of New York Magazine.  $11 bought us this beautiful and delicious platter of charred beet and lentil salad with tahini and date honey sauce.  It was so sublime that it may actually get me to go to Brooklyn more than once a year.

Charred Beet and Lentil Salad

Croissant & Chocolate

A few years ago, I found myself in Copenhagen visiting the country from which my great-grandparents emigrated.  I had envisioned myself spending a week indulging in decadent Danish pastries, but ― to my surprise ― I never found any.  Instead, I discovered a croissant so sublime that I suspect any Parisian baker would have been proud to claim it.  I only wish my Gramps had been there to enjoy it with me.

Breakfast is Served