Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Recent Eats

I've gotten in quite a bit of eating in the past few days.

Tabla Bread Bar: One of my go-to places for dinner. A low-key, casual, yet sophisticated atmosphere. Good, fruit-based drinks (passionfruit puree with vodka), a menu of small plates with a lot of variety. The salad with chicken livers was particularly good. We had their signature dessert of sugary orange doughnut holes served with three sauces (caramel, vanilla rum, and chocolate fudge).

Shake Shack, Madison Square Park: Earl Gray custard. I am always glad when I can get this flavor in some form other than tea, but I wished it had come through more strongly. Also the first time I ever tried an Earl Gray ice cream it had chocolate chips and I think the custard would have benefited from some sort of chocolate mix-in.

Sripraphai: Best Thai food I've had in the city. Though I have not been to Thailand, the spiciness of the food and the ingredients make the dishes seem more authentic. No Thai food in Manhattan will burn your mouth as much as this will. Vegetable Penang curry had a strong coconut milk flavor that barely offset the red chili sauce coating Thai eggplants, baby corn, string beans and snow peapods. Drunken noodles and sauteed pork leg rounded out the meal, but kept things hot. The Thai iced teas are a good accompaniment.

Shake Shack at Citifield: We arrived early so the line was manageable. Shakes and fries were good. But I would like to see more options available there. They had burgers and hot dogs. How about the mushroom heart attack burger or Bird Dog? And flavored custards!

Felidia Restaurant: Owned by celebrity chef Lidia Bastianich. Food was decent, but not outstanding and combined with its far east location, most likely will not return. I had an extremely rich risotto made with burrata cheese and black caviar. The combination of the creaminess and the saltiness of the caviar made it impossible to eat the entire dish. A trio of pistachio ice cream, blackberry sorbet and raspberry sorbet was served in a dish with separate spaces for each scoop, which I appreciate, so they don't mix together as they melt.

Damon: Frugal Friday: This restaurant is actually now everyday but Tuesdays. Recession friendly menu of small plates with nothing costing more than $10. Most dishes use many less-often-seen ingredients or combination of ingredients such as caperberries, a ramp waffle, pickled cherry peppers. Dessert menu is short but sweet! A trio of mini ice cream sandwiches - chocolate cookies with vanilla ice cream; vanilla cookies with strawberry ice cream and graham cracker cookies with olive oil ice cream. The other option was an also-tempting blueberry shortbread.

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