Posts Tagged ‘calamari’

you say it’s your birthday

Friday, October 19th, 2012

We woke up on Crockett’s bday fully aware that we had only a few hours left in NY and we hadn’t done nearly everything we wanted to do. I, for example, wanted to eat at Dominique Ansel and Balthazar Bakery. Crockett wanted to go to the American Museum of Natural History.

Thanks to the magic of subway power (!!) we did all three.

Before we left, I’d bought this little City2Go app and marked off all the places I would like to eat with little red dots on a map of the island. When we got off the subway, the Dominique Ansel dot turned out to be many many blocks from the actual Dominique Ansel bakery. Whoops. Fortunately, the Balthazar Bakery was on the walk to the real DA, so we swung in there. It’s this teeny tiny place, too small for pictures, but I ordered a chocolate sable (chocolate shortbread, basically) and a canelette (tiny rum custard cake with a darkly caramelized outside). I was trying not to overdo it on the pastries, but I wish I’d ordered more of the sables.

When we made it to Dominique Ansel, I stared at the tiny cakes (top picture) for hours (ok minutes) but ended up going with more traditional breakfast pastry.

I ordered a ham and cheese croissant and a kouign amann, something DA specializes in. A kouign amann is like a croissant, sort of, except that it has sugar folded into each layer as well as butter. It’s sweet and crispy and flaky and it was delicious, but I’m glad I balanced it out with the croissant.

In addition to sharing my breakfast(s) with me, Crockett had a perfect little egg sandwich. (That’s seriously what it’s called). It was all squishy and cheesy and yummy.

We ate our many delicious treats on DA’s back patio. It was a little chilly but so cute. Crockett really liked SoHo – he said that if we move to Manhattan (ha) he feels like SoHo would be his neighborhood.

I hadn’t realized we were so close to the south end of the island until we saw this. I actually had to ask Crockett what it was. He was like ‘um, Em? There used to be two things there?’ and then I felt dumb.

Once again full of tasty delicious food, we headed north to the museum. It was our worst subway experience of the trip – we had to change trains several times because there was some issue and local and express trains were all mixed up, and everything was running late. Since I knew Crockett really wanted to go to the museum and my bakeries had come first and it was his birthday!, it was really the only part of the trip where I felt rushed.

The elephants made me feel better as soon as we got there, though.

We spent most of our time in the Rose Center for Earth and Space, walking around the scales of the universe exhibit. This is Crockett, larger than supergiant star Rigel.

Crockett was telling me about this prof he had in college (Crockett’s an ex-rocket scientist) who talked about the naming conventions in different areas of science and how astronomy is so much more logical than the other areas. For example, the science name (wow I sound totally brill right now) for dogs is Canis lupus familiaris. That’s all fine and dandy, but, come on, what? The scientific name for a big cluster of stars? “Big cluster of stars”. Awesome.

It looks like I’m trying to tell the future, but I’d actually be seeing the past if I were doing this. I’m ENORMOUS. Those are galaxies in there!

Perhaps I shouldn’t have had four pastries for breakfast.

We also made it to the Hall of Ocean Life, where I insisted on running around acting like I was in an underwater horror movie…

And Crockett demonstrated his blue whale lifting skills.

We had a late checkout, but we made it back to the hotel just in time to throw our things in our bags and clear out of the room (so sad). Since it was only two and our flight wasn’t supposed to be until 6:40, we stopped downstairs for one last drink in the outdoor covered bar.

My wine and I would have preferred to stay another few days.

Alas, it was not to be. Our flight home was out of Newark, so we took the subway to Penn Station and a train to the Newark tram. What up, New Jersey!

Unfortunately, our flight was delayed AGAIN (only an hour, though, not four, so … that better, I guess) and we snuck in one more meal. We went to the Oyster Bar, the same one that’s in Grand Central, on the theory that any place that got famous in a train station can’t be bad in an airport, right? I ate a whole plate of calamari. It was indeed tasty.

Crockett had one last lobster roll.

Bye New York! I miss you already!

 

Top Chef hubba hubba

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

Fine. Hosea Rosenburg, the winner of Bravo’s Top Chef season 5, is no longer the chef of Jax Fish House in Boulder. He won and then moved on. For awhile he had a cart, called Streat Chefs - we saw them at our farmers market a couple of times, but I haven’t been keeping up.

Bygones.

(My girlfriend Laura just reminded me how that guy used to say ‘bygones’ in Ally McBeal, and I love it.)

Anyway, despite living 20 miles or fewer from Boulder my entire life, I had never been to Jax. And I sort of want to make out with Hosea. So… last night, Crockett and I went to Jax. They’re famous for fish. Fresh, delicious fish.

We had the gall to show up at 8:45, when most people are starting or halfway through dinner.

We had to wait. We killed 20 minutes at Urban Outfitters, but when Crockett ran out of grey button up shirts to try on and and I ran out of pint glasses with mustaches on the side to mock, we headed back to Jax. They had a narrow wall bar, so we had wine (me), a Sazerac (him), and some calamari.

Turns out The Empire calamari salad has spoiled me for all other calamari. I mean, it was good, but once you get used to eating calamari with greens it seems sort of greasy when you eat it by itself. The two sauces, mango chile and lime aioli, were super strong and damn tasty. I love it when something that purports to be spicy is actually spicy, which the mango chili sauce both did and was.

It was actually 9:30 when we made it to our table. 9:30, people. I would like to pass it off like ‘oh, yeah, eating at 9:30 is totally normal’, like we live in Manhattan or something, but we don’t. We live in Louisville, Colorado, and 9:30 is late to eat dinner.

If they hadn’t given us crayons, I probably would have eaten my own hands. Or, more likely, Crockett’s hands.

Crockett’s name isn’t actually Crockett, by the way. He has a thing about his real name and the internet.

Doesn’t he look handsome when he realizes that I’ve inscribed his aka on our tablecloth?

What? Heidi braids are the way to go when your hair isn’t super clean and you unexpectedly leave for dinner at 8 pm on a Friday night.

Also, there are names written on every brick in the restaurant. A) I don’t know if real people wrote them, B) I really want to install thin brick in our living room.

When we finally got around to eating, Crockett had grilled New England sea scallops with english pea and asparagus farotto and a warm mushroom vinagrette.

He adored it.

I have a hard time with scallops. When they’re done ‘properly’, I sometimes find them slimy. That was that case here. I do agree, though, that the farotto and sauce were amazing.

I had grilled Shetland Isle salmon, with spring garlic and snap pea slaw and lemongrass curry broth.

Dude.

I know I was hungry, but I am willing to argue that if I had just eaten an entire cow and you set a plate of this in front of me, I would punch Mike Tyson to keep it.

Of course, word is that Mike Tyson is a vegan now.

I don’t usually have dessert, but I’ve sort of decided that by doing so I’m making a mistake. I began rectifying it last night.

With this. A caramel pear tart with salted almond ice cream.

Crockett claimed he wasn’t going to eat any, when I ordered it, but somehow he managed to choke some down.

By some, I mean as much as he could before I completely and totally cut him off.

Overall, Jax gets three and a half thumbs up (we both deducted a quarter of a thumb for the wait – which I think is both petty of us and also reasonable.)