Stat Counter

Friday, February 24, 2012

Pigging Out

For a Wednesday treat, I popped over to the Spotted Pig to see if their roquefort burger lived up to the hype.

Nothing like a beer with your mid-week lunch to toast your time off!

The burger was tasty, but it didn't send me into orbit like their ricotta gundi. I must also confess, the sight of four Asian tourists all silently photographing their burgers was enough to make me reconsider my affinity for food photos!

Monday, February 20, 2012

V-Day Dinner

My friend Mae was planning to host dinner on Valentine's Day, but she got sick and had to postpone until Sunday night. She put out a fabulous charcutiere spread and made a perfect lasagna, with turkey sausage and fresh ricotta.

What's not to love about a gal who is beautiful, brilliant, and looks this adorable in an apron?

Also little contribution, a salad with roasted veggies, goat cheese and walnut vinaigrette.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Brunch at The Smith

A friend from D.C. visited NYC recently and said I *must* add The Smith in the East Village to my eating itinerary. Kurt and I met Adam there for brunch on Saturday. (I actually made it an early friend Frank was in town from Charlotte, so we met for coffee and muffins. Then I gave him a little West Village tour, and we walked all the way over to Avenue A together.)

There are a million great brunch places in the city, so I'm not sure it's really necessary to make a reservation and/or wait in line at The Smith. The place was packed!

Kurt had poached eggs over chicken sausage and cornbread with spicy gravy and potato hash. For those of you who like to cook, this would be a fun dish to recreate.

Adam and I both went for the potato waffle benedict with spinach and caramelized onion. was good, but it would have been better if we'd split one order and gotten something else. Caramelized onions were not to be found, but maybe they were pureed with the spinach??
Nevertheless, always fun to have brunch and try a new place/neighborhood.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

New toy!

Finally broke down and got an iPhone! Sadly, I am just as excited about the ability to text as I am all other phancy new features.

Yoo hoo, 2002, it's Lynsley calling!

Anyway, here's my first test post, complete with photo of my dinner stop. Did not have any food at home and figured I should avoid the v-day crowds at most nice restaurants.

To My Valentine

All this time I’ve been telling people I’m not seeing anyone. That I’d stopped dating. That I felt so content being single. That I never felt lonesome. You keep me so busy with meals, walks, exhibits and endless discoveries. Searching for a partner started to feel unnecessary.

One day it hit me: there’s a reason I’m not lonely. I have you.

I’m not sure what you’d really call our relationship. It’s unconventional, sure, but so are lots of great pairs. Plenty of couples transcend age, geography, cultural barriers. Bogart and Bacall. Beets and goat cheese. Popcorn and M&Ms. Unexpected combinations can be surprisingly delightful.

I remember the days when my friends knew you, before we’d even met. Some of them fell in love with you in their 20s. You weren’t my type, I thought. Too concerned with success and status. I’d never fit in with your gang. You sounded overpriced and stingy: you didn’t even give free refills!

I listened as most of my friends gradually grew disenchanted with you. Too crowded. Too cold. Too cranky.

You were, I decided, the kind of guy who loves an endless buffet of options. You might take me out for a delicious meal, fill me with good wine and great conversation, but you’d never call again. I resolved to settle down with a less fabulous, more practical guy. We made a nice home together. He gave me everything a girl could ask for. A life full of friends. Killer vacations. A kitchen with granite countertops and new stainless appliances. Summer days lounging by the pool and grilling out. But after a few years with him, I felt bored. He was so predictable. I’d ask my friends how you were doing, and I’d fantasize about the possibilities.

When I worked up the courage to call and learned you were still available, I couldn’t believe my luck. Moving in with you was a bold leap, but I went flying. Hearing the news, most friends were encouraging. One thought I’d lost my mind. I didn’t care. I knew what this was. It was a fling, a short-term affair. I’d make sure you gave me what I needed. Meanwhile, you’d barely notice I’d moved in.

Our romance started in the spring, a perfect season for new love. The days were getting longer, and you wooed me during long jogs beside the Hudson River, with the downtown skyline and Statue of Liberty in sight. You seduced me with meatballs and mezze, artisanal cocktails and outdoor markets. Thanks to you, I reconnected with old friends, and I realized how much I missed them, how much we still had in common. I came to love a life that was less planned, more spontaneous. One Friday night we hung out, just the two of us, in Washington Square. We licked gelato, listened to a pianist and danced to the wild beat of African drums.

You were a bit beastly at times during the summer, but we made it work. I’d sweat off my makeup waiting for the subway in the mornings, until I learned to keep a separate stash of cosmetics in my drawer at the office. There were a few summer nights when the power failed, my air conditioner died, and I tossed on my sweaty sheets, wondering whether we’d make it together.

But suddenly, it was September, I turned 35, and you gave me the glorious gift of a birthday in the Hamptons. Surrounded by new and old friends, I realized I didn’t want to let you go. I started plotting ways we could stay together. Maybe this short-term affair would have a longer shelf life.

As I write these words, it’s been an unexpectedly mild winter, and tonight marks our first Valentine’s Day together. We had plans with friends, but those fell through. Now I’m just looking forward to a quiet night at home alone. Maybe some time at the gym. Valentine’s Day seems insignificant when you’re in love every day.

I’m not delusional. I know our time together may be limited. You will always be expensive, hot and cold, cantankerous. The endless variety that now seems so appealing may one day lose its luster. So, in case I can no longer say it then, let me write it down today:


Monday, February 6, 2012

Dinner at Craft

I lucked into an unexpected treat on Thursday night. My writing class was canceled, so I got to join my sister and some colleagues for dinner at Craft, Tom Colicchio's restaurant in Gramercy. Unfortunately, I didn't get pics of the fabulous starters, but they included:
-- Roasted foie gras and banana (YUM!!!)
-- Wild arugula and lemon salad (this was amazing, and I am totally going to attempt to recreate it at home)
-- Pork ravioli and Steen's cane syrup (this was excellent, though the portion was quite skimpy)
-- Marinated hamachi and blood orange (sort of a ceviche-style preparation of the fish...the fish was as bright as ruby-red grapefruit...I think there were also some finely diced jalapenos for a little heat)

For dinner...I ordered the swordfish and gremolata. Tasty, but I would have enjoyed more of the gremolata, since it added so much brightness and flavor to the fish.
Mary had the dayboat diver scallops and vermouth. Both the scallops and the swordfish were perfectly cooked and had great flavor, but they were each $30 for the tiny bit of seafood alone. Not cheap!
Andrew had the guinea hen with foie gras, black truffle and cranberry jam. This was actually from the tasting menu, but they did a special entree-sized portion for him.
Leigh Ann had the braised beef short rib and root vegetables, which our very personable waiter noted was a signature dish.
For sides, we ordered the roasted Hen of the Woods mushrooms...these were fantastic. The texture was perfect -- not quite crisp, but just enough bite to them.
Blurry shot of roasted brussels sprouts with bacon...
We could not decide between the sauteed swiss chard and the spigarello, so we got both. You can never have too many green veggies! (What is spigarello, you ask? So did we. The waiter explained it's an Italian leafy green with a flavor similar to broccoli, but with a texture more like swiss chard or spinach.)

For of the most innovative, unexpected combinations I've had: dark chocolate mousse with coconut and passion fruit-jalapeno sorbet. Wow! Leigh Ann loved this as well. Check out the sugared jalapeno slices!
Also...sugar and spice donuts with bittersweet chocolate and blood orange marmalade. What's not to like about donuts, kids?
Finally...sticky persimmon pudding with roasted pineapple and quark. I wanted to get this so I could see what quark was. Um...still not sure I could tell you.
Just for kicks, here are a few more words from the menu that are/were new to moi:
-- Harissa
-- Gribiche
-- Ballontine (as in "suckling pig ballontine")
-- Agnolotti
-- Loup de Mer

I saved the menus, in case you're wondering how I recalled all of this. On that note, can you believe my sister didn't want to split the 30-day dry-aged rib eye with bone marrow and bordelaise for two? It was a mere $125. I'm certain she would have taken me up on it if it had been heart-shaped!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Tapas and Theater

Saturday night, my friend Caroline was in town from D.C. We met a friend of hers for drinks at a cool pub on West 4th, the Four Faced Liar.

Bellies full of Blue Moon, we walked a few blocks to a tapas placed called La Bota on Greenwich Ave. I'd strolled by it a few times and thought it looked appealing.

It was even better on the inside! It's downstairs and feels warm and cozy like a cave...

(Photos from Yelp)

We had some tasty tapas -- patatas bravas, empanadas with spinach and manchego, dates wrapped in bacon and fried cauliflower with aioli. Then we split an order of paella negra. All washed down with a pitcher of cava sangria -- maybe too much! I spent much of Sunday in bed. Oopsie.

Another little nugget I forgot to post a few weeks ago...for a birthday treat, I took Neil to see Other Desert Cities with Stacy Keach, Stockard Channing, Judith Light and Rachel Griffiths from "Brothers and Sisters."

Here's how the show's website describes it:
In Jon Robin Baitz's OTHER DESERT CITIES, Brooke Wyeth (Rachel Griffiths) returns home to Palm Springs after a six year absence to celebrate Christmas with her parents (Stockard Channing and Stacy Keach), her brother (Thomas Sadoski), and her aunt (Judith Light). Brooke announces that she is about to publish a memoir dredging up a pivotal and tragic event in the family's history - a wound they don't want reopened. In effect, she draws a line in the sand and dares them all to cross it. 

(Photos from New York Times)
Favorite line: "Families get terrorized by their weakest member."

Neil and I agreed afterwards we loved the way the play presented all of the characters with richness and complexity. There were no simple good guys and bad guys. Indeed, the daughter's character -- with whom I thought I'd sympathize most -- annoyed me with her insistent need for her family's stamp of approval on a project that exposed their most painful chapter.

The play made me think about the ways we all create very different narratives from the same events. I was particularly glad to see it the week before I started two writing classes. Funny enough, one is a memoir class...the play would have made a great field trip!