A friend in town? There go my arteries.

I consider myself extremely lucky to have found friends that are as food-obsessed as I. Particularly females. Nothing better than a girl who can really get down on some food. When one of my closest friends was visiting last weekend, I used it as an opportunity to explore a number of eateries I’d been longing to try.

photo 1Narcissa
Although I’ve been less excited about dining at the super-fancy, why-is-the-hostess-glaring-at-me restaurants that are ever-popular here in New York, Narcissa was a chic upscale place I was really excited to visit. Located in the nearby (well, to me, anyway) East Village Standard Hotel, it wasn’t stuffy, and the ambience felt very low on the douche-ometer. Yes, there was the usual comma’d accompaniments for each dish on the menu, and the promise that each seed and grain (not to mention carnivorous offerings) was organically harvested by a sweet, dungaree’d Ivy Leaguer BUT, it felt genuine and, well, the food was splendid. Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetThe cocktails, particularly the saucily named “Frisky Cow” (bourbon, aperol, citrus, smoked paprika) were terrific, and I loved my super-savory, multi-textured main course: seared scallops with asparagus, maitake mushrooms, potato purée and–yes I’m bougie–lobster butter.
The carrots Wellington, of which I’d read a lot, was very tasty as well–a super Umami dream.

mmm…Lobster Butter—————————>
Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetBlack Seed Bagels
Opened by the husband-and-wife team who started the wildly-popular Mile End Delis, this further foray into Jewish cuisine had long been on my list. Lauren and I’d enjoyed the sandwiches from Mile End on a previous trip to NYC and we were both thrilled to go to their new Lower East Side bagel shop. I ordered their signature beet-smoked salmon, on an everything bagel, with horseradish cream cheese, sliced radishes and herbs (and I added cucumber.) While the flavors were good, it just wasn’t a New York bagel, which I should have known–particularly as they are advertised as “Montreal-style.” But, who can blame a New York resident for craving that doughy, toothsome hole-y goodness? Also, the prices were nothing short of crazytown. I’ll stick to their other ventures, methinks. (A couple of days later we got our fill of the classics at the unbeatable Tompkins Square Bagels which fulfilled any lingering bagel cravings.)

La VaraProcessed with VSCOcam with c1 preset
Opened a little over two years ago, this tiny tapas joint in lovely Cobble Hill always appealed to me, and although I largely detest brunch, they do a damn good (and very innovative) brunch! Case in point: freakishly good fried chickpeas to snack on (read: devour in handfuls.) My fried eggs over blood sausage and octopus (with squid ink on top) and my amiga’s fried meat and eggs “cuchifritos.” Not pictured: a Manzanilla sherry-Sprite concoction–que refresco!Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

A Brooklyn Chocolate Teaser

DSC_0168Last Thursday, I spent the day jaunting around Brooklyn meeting wonderful chocolatiers and obviously sampling tasty treats. We traversed all around, starting in Dumbo at old school original Jacques Torres, then went to Mast Brothers in Williamsburg, Fine & Raw in Bushwick, Nunu in Boerum Hill and finally Cacao Prieto in Red Hook (the painting above is located across from Cacao Prieto).This is for a forthcoming article, but I wanted to share some teaser snaps from the sweet day of fun.

DSC_0016Jacques Torres

DSC_0036Mast Brothers

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