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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Life with K

I must share with you how creative my adorable roommate is! Check out this clever Sunday night "picnic" he hosted recently to celebrate the birthdays of his friends Claire and Allison. This was the first course. He followed it up with cheese fondue, with miniature cupcakes for dessert.
That same weekend, he turned our bread scraps into a tasty breakfast casserole. Technically, this was my idea, but he actually made it happen -- and used some of the leftover fondue. Ingenious!
We have had fun watching Homeland together and continued our CIA-ddiction with a trip to Zero Dark Thirty, where I purchased an appallingly large popcorn and Coca-Cola (and M&Ms, natch!).
Phantom of the Opera recently held a gala at the New York Public Library to toast the show's 25th anniversary on Broadway. Kurt managed to get me and Tim inside to enjoy the festivities. Such a treat!

Product Placement

I cannot resist sharing that I feel I have stumbled across a must-have product for the pedi-free winter months! Check out these press-on toenails!!! Granted, they are a bit scarily clawlike in length, but they were just perfect for my Saturday night Phantom outing. SCORE! It was a blast to my middle-school Lee Press-On past! Who knew?!

Lunch at ABC Kitchen

On MLK Day, my friend Leora and I took advantage of the holiday to hit ABC Kitchen for lunch. The farm-to-table restaurant north of Union Square won the James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant in 2011.

I'd planned to do the prix fixe, but Leora and I were both uninspired by the offerings, so we ordered from the regular lunch menu.

First course: roasted kabocha squash toast with ricotta and apple cider vinegar. One of the best things I've eaten this year! Mark Bittman of the NYT posted a Thanksgiving video with Jean Georges showing how to make it. Can't wait to try it myself.
Next up: line caught tuna sashimi marinated with ginger and mint, and raw diver sea scallops with chili pepper and raddish. We preferred the sashimi, but it was fun to taste both.

We wanted to share our entrees, so they split them for us in the kitchen. Classy! Black sea bass with chilies and herbs, spinach and basil.
Arctic char with roasted vegetables and some kind of puree.
Roasted brussels sprouts in a yummy, spicy sauce.
And now...the grand finale...honestly, I can't stop thinking about this dessert! I have been obsessed with caramel corn on desserts ever since Mom's 60th birthday dinner at American Seasons in Nantucket. This salted caramel ice cream sundae was THE BOMB. And you can make it yourself! What do y'all think the chances are of finding salted caramel ice cream at the Quincy Winn Dixie?

Dinner at WD-50

Verdict: Exceptional! Loved the presentation. The foie gras sort of dissolved in the heavenly broth. Would have been out of this world had the broth not been sort of tepid. Check out the funky cracker, which I think is basically a high-class pork rind.

Verdict: The subtly flavored scallop wafers were my favorite part. Points for playfulness: they almost looked like styrofoam. Possibly the freshest scallops I've ever tasted.

Verdict: More wafers...I think these were an herby sort? Did not love this one. My vocabulary failed me; I thought squab was seafood instead of foul, and my taste buds didn't adjust.
Verdict: The jerkey was the most interesting part of this one.
Best. Palate. Cleanser. Ever.
Verdict: This was incredible! It looked like a hunk of angel food cake. It was a perfect segue from the palate cleanser to the chocolate course. The little crunchy bits were delightful.
This was heaven in a ball. I think gjetost must be something like caramel? O.M.G.
All in all, definitely glad I went...but it doesn't compare to my initial foray into molecular gastronomy, which was at The Fat Duck outside of London. Still, I had no idea what to expect when I went there, whereas I went into WD-50 expecting to be dazzled.

I would not recommend this to anyone but serious foodies, as I think you have to be really fascinated by flavors, textures and presentation to enjoy it. But I'm very glad to have experienced it, and very glad we went all out with the full deal and the wines!