Tuesday, November 30, 2010


I'm not a fan of pre-crumbled cheese but this ad almost makes me want to buy some.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Casa Zabala is in a house in the Cimadevilla which is the oldest part of Gijon. It was nice and quiet. The crowd is mostly older couples that seem to be regulars. I like that you can see into the kitchen and watch the chef at work. The walls were very nice: old stones covered in some areas by wood panelling with carvings.
We started with croquettas with ham.
Besugo: a bream from the Cantabrian Sea
After dinner I tried local drinks similar to grappa: one made from honey and one from cranberries.


Ataulfo is one of many Sidrerias in Asturias. They are restaurants that serve a mild cider made from apples. Guys pour it from up high to make it more effervescent. They have a display of today's foods in the window.
We started with a salad that had white asparagus, olives, tuna, eggs, onions and lettuce.
I like that Spanish culture values a siesta. If I was a Gijon business man, I'd come here almost everyday, eat this meal and then go home to enjoy a siesta.
Seafood soup:

Friday, November 26, 2010


Kelly and I are in Spain for the Gijon Film Festival. Last night we wandered in to Casa Baizan, an old family run restaurant. We tried two local cheeses:Le Peral and Cabrales.
And some dried ham with goat cheese that had been cooked on a griddle.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I love eating lunch at Gramercy Tavern. Today was an exceptionally good day to be there. It's the day before Thanksgiving so there were preppy families reuniting over lunch, business guys who skipped out of the office early joining each other for drinks, and couples whose schedules secretly allowed them to have a lunch free of the kids. I read the paper and eavesdropped while having a fish croquette and the chicken.


Tyra Banks and I had lunch at Osteria Morini. I started with the Mare (poached scallops, squid and shrimp with celery, olives and onions). Then I tried Stracci-pasta with braised mushrooms and Mezzelune stuffed with squash in butter. I'm not sure what Tyra had.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


We stopped at No. 7 Sub for breakfast sandwiches before our scout yesterday. I had the General Tso's Soft Boiled Fried Egg Sandwich. They take a soft-boiled egg and quickly deep fry it in a chicken-like breading and then douse it with a semi-spicy sauce. Add this to some crunchy pickles and arugula on a toasted bun.

Monday, November 22, 2010


This was a great experience. Every once in a while this truck parks on my street and clangs a bell. Mike the knife sharpener has an old truck from 1941 that he's outfitted with grinders to sharpen all of your tools. It's real old timey (instead of fake old timey). He did a great job and only charges five bucks each.
That's not my motorcycle (I don't have one)


I love Eataly Fish. It's crowded but if you time it right, you can grab a spot at the counter and have a great meal. Yesterday I shared a whole grilled Porgy with pesto.


I tired Mario Batali's Bolognese recipe.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Locanda Vini & Olii is an Italian restaurant in Clinton Hill Brooklyn. It's beautiful inside. Ten years ago the owners converted an old pharmacy into a restaurant. They kept all the wooden cabinets and glass display cases. Since we were a group of four, we ordered family-style. We pretty much put ourselves in the hands of our handsome server (some of us would have liked to literally be in the hands of our server!) We started with "charcuterie del mare": octopus sopresatta and tuna salami.
Shrimp with black chick peas
Carpaccio with fennel
Cauliflower sformato (pudding)
Charcuterie "della terra"

Next was pasta: Chestnut Lasagnette, butternut squash ravioli and tagliatelle al ragu.

Our main courses were Branzino cooked in parchment and grilled duck breast.

Unfortunately, everything was pretty disappointing. It was a lot of food, but nothing really tasted like much. I don't think I'll go back.

Friday, November 19, 2010



I had a McRib. It was gross. This seems better, I think I'll give it a try. I'm a yuppy (Do people still use that term?)


This didn't turn out so great. I was trying to be experimental. Roasted butternut squash with rosemary and put it on top of some lettuce with walnuts and parmesan. Something about the whole combo was sort of gross.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


The Meatball Shop has a bunch of different kinds of meatballs and different sauces for the meatballs, you can make your own meatball combos. Before my meatballs I had an escarole salad with arugula and sunflower seeds. Then I had lamb meatballs with tomato sauce.
Whenever I think of meatballs I think of the comedy bit that John Benjamin and Jon Glaser did where one of them was a dad and and one was the son. They kept calling each other "meatball"... "son, don't be a meatball!"... "I don't want to be a meatball dad".

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


I had a little nub of truffle left over so I made some spaghetti and shaved some parmesan over the top. This is a great dinner for one if you have some truffles lying around.

Monday, November 15, 2010


I'm sorry. I don't have any pictures from the Blue Guy so I'll have to describe it. Mindy and her daughter Lucy decorated their house with orange flowers to go with the blue table cloths and place mats that Kat got. Phil and Tracy (the servers) and Mindy (the hostess) wore blue and orange outfits to complete the look.
When people arrived they were served a choice of rye or sherry to go along with fish balls (cod and potato croquettes) and flat bread with scallions, rosemary and parmesan cheese.
Having never had a restaurant before, the servers and kitchen crew (Kat) did a great job getting the food out.
We had three tables: two four tops and one eight top.
Phil and Tracy took turns announcing each dish.
The first thing was a salad with arugula, fennel, blood oranges and pomegranate seeds.
Next was pappardelle that I made earlier in the day (a lot of it stuck together in transport but Lucy helped me salvage it) with butter and truffles that Tracy expertly shaved onto each person's plate.
Then we had short ribs that had been braising in wine for a day or so, with cannellini beans and red, yellow and orange carrots.
Mac (a vegetarian) had Black Sea bass baked in salt.
For dessert we served coconut cake (from a recipe I saw on America's Test Kitchen) and chocolate Puddin' cake.
I had the most fun I've had in a long time. It wasn't really stressful cooking for all these great "customers", I felt very supported and I had confidence in my crew.
Thanks to everyone that participated.
Hopefully we can do it again.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


We saw a great and weird short movie called Squeeze by Mika Rottenberg at Mary Boone gallery after eating lunch at Eataly. My favorite is the fish place. Everytime I've been, there are different specials. Today the crudo was red snapper, salmon and scallop.
Sea urchin
Snapper with capers and lemon
Fritto Misto with calamari, shrimp, scallops and fish
King Crab salad with orange
Spiadina with bread, calamari and shrimp

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


When I saw this recipe, I knew there was no way I could wait til Thanksgiving to try it. I like things that take a long time to cook, it makes my apartment smell good and it feels like I'm being productive even if I'm just sitting around playing Scrabble. I milked this project for one and half days. Joe and Mindy came over to try it, we had a great conversation about being adults.

The ribs braise in a soy sauce mixture for three or four hours. I did a few one day, let it sit overnight, and then did a few more hours the next day.


I know it's cool to like vegetables but I need more from a meal. Eataly has a counter called Verdure where they serve only things made with vegetables. I tried the chick pea crostini, blood orange and beet salad, and broccoli rabe with bread crumbs.