January 18, 2012

New York - Yummies

Country borsch with pirozhok
Seledka pod shuboi - multi-layered, herring-beet-vegetable salad
Vareniki with Cherries
Because we got into NYC a little prematurely,
we had to keep ourselves occupied for a few hours
before we could check into our hotel room. 
So we left our luggage with the concierge,
and embarked on a hunt to find some grub.

Immediately after turning the corner from our hotel,
we stumbled upon Russian Samovar
It was a little chilly,
and a hot bowl of borsch, along with some vodka shots would warm us right up. 

Now for some of you fellow Sex and the City fans,
the name of the above restaurant may sound a little familiar...
"It's very... red"
observed Carrie when Aleksandr Petrovsky asked what she thought of his lair away from home.
Red it was,
and the real Petrovsky, dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov, is actually part owner of this midtown Russian hideaway.

Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while,
may already know that I'm Russian.
A very proud Russian,
who is very judgmental about Russian restaurant cuisine, 
since it's nearly impossible to compare to my grandma's home cooking.
So you can say that I was cautious when I careful selected to try out the meals above. 

I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised - 
although the borsch could use some meaty flavoring,
the seledka pod shuboi was very tasty,
and the vareniki were absolutely delicious! 

The restaurant also offers a wide variety of infused vodkas
and traditional Russian beers,
which we tried out, 
and I can personally vouch that the strawberry martini was potent (always a good thing for me).

Hirata Buns - steamed buns filled with pork or chicken, served with Ippudo original spicy buns sauce
Akamaru Modern - original "tonkotsu" noodle soup topped with Ippudo's secret "umami dama" miso paste, pork chasu, cabbage, kikurage, scallions, and fragrant garlic oil.
I topped mine off with kakuni, braised pork belly.
We were warned that the wait may be long at Ippudo,
but three hours?!
Three hours is a little excessive. 
So of course we put ourselves on the list. 
Any place with a wait that long is bound to be good.
Besides, we came here with one of my best friends,
who's Japanese, and is just as much of a food snob when it comes to Japanese cuisine as I am when it comes to Russian.
She said we MUST try it. 
So we waited. 
A wait that was alleviated with some retail therapy a few blocks away,
but I digress...

After finally getting into our booth,
we started off with some hot Asian buns.
Ohhhhh my gah.
These were SO good.
The only disappointment is that each serving only came with two, 
because the husband could have literally consumed about 45 of these things. 
And the ramen?
Oh, the ramen.
Whatever is in that "secret" miso paste,
must be made out of crack, 
because I gulped down the whole bowl in minutes,
and now I wake up in the middle of the night with cravings and withdrawals.

Yeah, it was that good. 
Nuff said.

BBQ braised short rib sliders - with sweet potato fries and smoked paprika aioli
bacon doughnuts - with dulche de leche, coffee ice cream
First and foremost,
is it just me,
or do I look like a vampire in the picture above?

Now let's talk about Traif.
Literally translated into 
"anything that is considered vile and non-kosher in the Hebrew faith",
traif is also known as pork and other delicious meats. 
To the husband and I,
this means that it's worth venturing out to Brooklyn for. 
We met a few friends here for dinner,
and proceeded to indulge in,
like, a fourteen-course dinner. 

My goodness,
everything was delicious!
If you're a meat lover like me,
you have to visit this place.
Some standouts were the
baked muenster cheese with smoked chorizo, golden apples and crostini,
sauteed veal sweetbreads,
and the bacon doughnuts.
Yeah I said bacon doughnuts.
Of course they're as good as they sound!

Member what I said about sweetbreads last time?
Reason enough to visit this place!

I'm just a sucker for all pretty French things.
I first tried Laduree macaroons in Paris,
and after tasting something SO delicious,
I simply couldn't just walk by a shop without picking some up.

So what if the line is ALWAYS out the door?
Standing there,
drooling over all the pretty things for a half hour,
is like waiting for a Disneyland ride.
But better. 



Akane Seki said...

Amaze review!!!

Bailey Schneider said...

Amazing - everything looks so delicious!
Much love, Bailey from Vanilla Blonde

meg said...

I love Laduree!! I would wait in any line for their chestnut pear macaron. So good.