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PLEASE FEED ME HAS MOVED TO CHASING JAMES BEARD

Sorry for the inconvenience! We are now at chasingjamesbeard.com. Please go there for new posts. We are also in the process of redesign, formatting, etc so please excuse any kinks that might come about. Thank you!

My latest post at chasingjamesbeard.com is about Future Foods.


PLEASE FEED ME HAS MOVED TO CHASING JAMES BEARD

Sorry for the inconvenience! We are now at chasingjamesbeard.com. Please go there for new posts. We are also in the process of redesign, formatting, etc so please excuse any kinks that might come about. Thank you!


Is Fat Hippo Worth the Fat?

courtesy fathipponyc.com

I’m not a huge fan of the bar scene in the Lower East Side (Not East Village, Not Chinatown, but more the Rivington, Norfolk, etc area), but I must say that I’m usually very happy with my food purchases there. Brunch brought me to Fat Hippo and the menu looked innovative and delicious.

Dishes that caught my eye from the lunch and dinner menu that I wouldn’t be able to eat included the pan fried mozzarella balls and lobster pot pie. Doesn’t that sound so homey and satisfying? I can’t wait to go back to try it.

What brought me there that morning was a birthday of a friend who was minding everyone’s budgets, $12.95 for brunch (entrée, coffee/tea and juice) and $4 cocktails (mimosa, screwdriver, hangover spiced tequila shot and bloody Mary’s). I thought that that was very considerate of her.

Unfortunately, either our waitress was either having an off day or was very, very, very new because it took about 30 minutes for our food order to be taken and then almost another hour before our food got there.  We sat at 2pm and got our food at 330PM. Whaaaaaaat? We were pretty damn hungry by then.

Luckily my crab and eggs were pretty good, because I hoovered that thing. The menu said that it was crab cakes with poached eggs, green tomato gratin and home fries. I’m not really sure where the green tomato gratin came in, but what I saw was slices of red tomatoes, topped with crab cakes, topped with poached eggs, topped with creamy sauce and a side of homefries. The food maybe have been sitting there for a bit because it was a little cold, but still tasty. The crab cakes were full of meat, not just breading, the eggs were beautifully poached, seriously, they were beautiful, and the sauce was flavorful. I was not disappointed in taste. The potatoes tasted like they were sitting out there for a while, but I don’t believe that that was any fault of the chef’s.

Nope, it wasn’t busy, there were maybe 3 other tables in there, but something was going on with the service. I want to go back to taste the rest of the food, but I don’t know when I’m going to have that kind of time to spend on a meal again, lol.

6 out of 10

71 Clinton St, New York NY10002

-Juice


Is Kittichai The Thai For Me?

picture-2You can find really affordable and tasty Thai food on every other block of the city, so how does Chef Chalermkittichai’s expensive fare at Kittichai compare? Well… I shall tell you as this is a food blog.

When you walk in, Kittichai’s decor hits you right away. It’s absolutely stunning. Lush fabrics drape from ceilings and the soft lighting makes everyone look good. Intricate wood panels rise from floors, expensive and impressive tables stand tall and even the bathrooms were very sleek for being a potty. My Thai tea martini was wonderfully silky and smooth and decorated beautifully with an orchid (though I have issues with decorations I can’t eat in my drinks or on my food, I have a weakness for flowers). The presentation of the family style platters was exquisite, chicken perfectly stuffed and sliced, seafood glistening with sexy red tomatoes, my eyes glazed over and a sleepy and lopsided smiled emerged from my face. And then I took a bite and sobered up and then took another bite to make sure that my tastebuds didn’t deceive me and sobered up a bit more, so I do what I do what this happens. I ordered another drink, a stiff one.

Each dish had a part that was overseasoned and underseasoned as if someone was hoping that the two would balance each other out. No, no, no, no, no. Uh-uh. It doesn’t work that way. And some dishes were just ‘eh.’ I dont’ mind ‘eh’ dishes if I’m paying ‘eh’ prices, but the prices were kind of far from ‘eh.’ Dishes that were “over” and “under” and “eh” included the:

Northern Thai beef salad, Chinese long beans (hmmm, maybe I’m remembering wrong ’cause I thought mine had regular string beans) and roasted sticky rice powder

Lemongrass stuffed chicken breasts, wild mushrooms, chili-jam drizzle

Tuna tartar in cripsy edible cups
Curried short ribs (they were green so I expected them to be hot, but I guess it wasn’t green curry)
Artic char with tomatoes

Artichoke and banana blossom salad (so sad because I love artichokes and I felt like banana blossoms are very likable as well. After I discretely moved my portion to someone else’s plate I was chastised for making them eat bad food)

What saved the meal were the wonderful and succulent mussels cooked in sake and the desserts. The broth from the mussel dish was perfectly seasoned and I managed to sneak in a few spoonfuls into my mouth. (It was family style so I felt bad for double-dipping, but we’re all friends right?) The desserts were a pleasant surprise to the end of the meal. Everything flavor a perfect balance for your tongue. Here were indulged in banana spring rolls with burnt honey ice cream, jasmine flan with a coconut-jasmine rice tuille and a flourless valrhona chocolate cake with fresh cream. Yummy.

Though there were some strikes that we had against us. Because we were a large group it was decided that a family style prix fixe meal would be best. I’m not a big fan of prix fixe meals. You don’t get all of the good stuff when you order that way. It’s like restuarant week in my eyes. It’s cheaper, but just not quite the optimal experience. And two, after speaking with a woman outside of the restaurant who had dined at Kittichai many times, it turns out that as time went by, the food simply got worse. She also was disappointed in her meal, especially because she had something to compare it to.

But weighing in the prix fixe, the mussels and desserts definitely gives Kittichai a boost in ratings.

6.5 out of 10 stars

-Juice

Kittichai
60 Thompson between Spring and Broome
(212) 219-2000


Kashkaval Is Worth A Visit

-kashkavalfoods.com

-kashkavalfoods.com

I really like Kashkaval because I loves me some cheese. Cheese fondues? How can you go wrong with baguettes and melted, gooey goodness?
Kashkaval is a Mediterranean tapas and wine restaurant behind a cheese shop. When my friend Jeremy took me there I was like, oooooo, I’m going to like this. We split two cheese fondues (one kashkaval and one gruyere), a bowl of pita bread, a platter of hummus, baba ganoush, guacamole, really good Tzatziki and Taramosalata. To drink, we plowed through a bottle of Lambrusco (yes, I know, some wine snobs turn their nose down at this, but they need to just suck it), which Jeremy had never had but liked a lot and he’s a Frenchie! The hummus and Baba Ganoush were just average. However, the Tzatziki was light, creamy and garlicky. I couldn’t talk to anyone after that, but I didn’t care. The Taramosalta was soooo rich, but so good. It’s a mixture of carp roe, olive oil, potatoes and lemon juice. Though after eating to much of it, I felt like I was just eating salty mayo. On a future visit I sampled the olive tapenade and eggplant tapenade and both had lovely flavors, the olive one especially.
It’s definitely not a fancy restaurant, but the food is wonderful for the price. Jeremy and I were completely stuffed and didn’t even finished everything. With a full bottle of $30 sparkling red wine, our dinner came out to about $70. Just steer clear of the desserts. We had the baklava and the Halva and it was definitely subpar.
The restaurant is very small and can get crowded very quickly so you might want to make reservations.
7.5 out of 10 stars
856 9th ave. bet. 55th str. And 56th str.
(212) 581-8282

Society Coffee’s Food Actually Quite a Snooze

-societcoffee.com

-societycoffee.com

Booooooring. That’s what comes to mind when I think back to my dinner experience at Society Coffee. Oh, yes. And also, blaaaaaaand. The food is quite mediocre. I ordered the baked eggs with a fancy name and fancy cheese. I can’t remember the exact ingredients and can’t check what they were because their site is down, so sorry about that! Though, I think they need to get a new oven because two eggs were cooked in one dish and one was runny and the other was cooked through. The shrimp and cheese grits in a spicy sauce was actually quite tasteless, no spice and no salt apparently. The short ribs were decent, but weren’t that great. My mind is actually wandering as I write about them because they were uninteresting. For some reason the fat and the lean meat didn’t melt together when I took a bite. Usually when I have good short ribs, the texture and flavors are smooth  like butter. Dessert was blah. It was good, but I could have gotten a better chocolate souffle at Dean & Deluca. ONE MAJOR HIGHLIGHT OF THE MEAL THOUGH: The salad dressing. The celery seed salad dressing was absolutely amazing. A mixture of celery seed, vinegar and honey, it was a perfect, perfect, perfect balance of slightly tangy and slightly sweet.

The décor looked as if the owner was confused and gave me the impression that this was the first restaurant the owner had ever been in charge of. I have no idea if it is or not, but just a guess. There are comfy booths on one side, and metal patio-looking chairs on the other. I dunno, it’s like the decorator was trying to be like a cool neighborhood Harlem café, but trying to be sleek and modern at the same time. It didn’t work out.

Though, I do have to say, I have to go back to Society Café, but not for the food, for the coffee, which I didn’t get to try. I must remember that this is technically a coffeehouse and not a restaurant, so it’s OK it the food is just average.
Oh, just a reminder, only wine and beer here, no full bar. Though, another sign that I thought that the owner might be a newbie, they ran out of certain beers, a good restaurant keeps a running inventory with no lapses or they go to the deli and get a 6-pack of Blue Moon if they need to.

4.5 out of 10 stars

2104 Frederick Douglass Blvd., New York, NY 10026 at 114th str.
212-222-3323

-Juice