Tag Archives: tribeca

rocco dispirito in the ‘hood!

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shake shack tribeca / bpc now open!

so i snapped these pictures 3 days ago, and since then, the shake shack near my neighborhood has finally opened! i’m glad i no longer have to trek up to madison square park to get my burger, milk shake and french fries fix.  hurrah!

Shake Shack BPC / Tribeca
215 Murray Street (between West Street & North End Avenue) — basically it’s at the foot of the movie theater complex, right behind Goldman Sachs HQ.
Daily 11am-11pm

compose: a gastronomic marathon

remember compose restaurant? you know, the place where i  first met the lebne tart?  well hubs and i were so impressed with out experience with their bar menu that we went back to the restaurant earlier this week to partake in its 10 course tasting menu. let me just say that the experience did not disappoint!  however, i’d caution anyone contemplating the experience to budget at least 4 hours for the experience. hubs and i got to the restaurant for a 7pm seating and did not leave until 11pm. moreover, while we made it to the very end of the menu, we actually ended up skipping out on the freebie 3rd dessert that the chef was in the process of preparing (i think we probably mortally offended the chef but one of us needed to get up 3 hours later, plus we just didn’t have the endurance to go on).   i don’t think we were alone in that sentiment.  our fellow diners started to get up, walk around, stretch themselves out about 2 hours into the meal.

now that i’ve gotten that out of the way, let me also caveat that the pictures i took of the dishes really don’t do them any justice.  (rather than lug my DSLR to the restaurant, i decided to bring my point and shoot.  i’ve tried to clean them up the best i could but well, still not the same as the DSLR. sorry!)  Continue reading

lebne yogurt tart encounter

a few days into the new year, hubs and i wandered over to compose restaurant  (opened by a noma alum) in tribeca to check-out its bar menu.  to say that we were delightfully surprised would be an understatement.  we enjoyed our experience at the bar so much, that we made a reservation at the end of our meal to have the full ten-course experience in mid-february.  the much anticipated meal is finally coming up next week, and i’ll give a full download on the restaurant then.

i mention compose because it was there, where i first encountered the incomparable lebne tart. the barman explained to us that lebne is a type of middle eastern yogurt.   with the help of some light googling, i later learned that lebne goes by many names throughout the middle east and mediterranean region.  it is sometimes spelled lebni or labneh or laban or kefir cheese.  i don’t yet know what the regional differences are beyond the nomenclature.  the stuff itself has the consistency of sour cream or a strained greek yogurt — in fact, if you can’t find lebne in your supermarket, you can just buy greek yogurt, and let it strain overnight. Continue reading

travel + leisure’s food issue

over the weekend, i received travel and leisure magazine’s food issue in the mail. as i flipped through the pages, i found quite a number of items that i’ve both written about and obsessed over in the past year. i thought i’d share some of the magazine clippings, as it adds another perspective, and serves as a bit of a trip down memory lane at least for myself.

the magazine also covered a lot of new food places in different parts of the world that i’m putting on my list of things to do.  it’s an action-packed, taste bud overloading issue filled with all sorts of food porn. . . i’m glad i have my copy.

the japanese kit kat is becoming a bit of a “where’s waldo” exercise for me.  i hit the mega load back in january when i went to tokyo, and then spied some new flavors in london a few months later. according to the t+l article above, the folks at nestle japan have been busy concocting new and more exciting flavors!  i wonder if they’ll ever go the bertie bott’s (of harry potter world) route and create “rotten egg and bacon” flavored kit kats. . . although my guess is that that goes against japanese sensibilities.

remember this place?  the t+l photographers captured a great interior photograph of the pastry display at la pâtisserie des rêves.  the accompanying text in the article gives shout-outs to chef conticini’s tarte tatin.

so i’ve been noticing that i seem to write more about places that i visit while traveling, rather than ones that are close to home.  locanda verde is one of my favorite restaurants in new york city.  the food is rustic, homey, well-made, and it’s also a stone’s throw from where i live.  they have, amazing fig crumb muffins and a to die for sheep’s milk ricotta — happy sheep creamy, spiced with cracked pepper, herbs and orange truffle honey, and oh my god so addictive.  i really can’t stop myself when i order it, which is why, i must now stop ordering it.  and now that i’ve spilled the beans (again), i’ll probably never get a reservation!

baked fried green tomatoes


every so often, i need to clip, prune and wrestle my tomato vines into a semblance of order. i did so again this weekend and several green tomatoes fell off their vines in the process. they seemed too cute to throw away and not knowing what else to do with them, i went with my husband’s suggestion to make them into baked fried green tomatoes (i guess it’s one of those food names akin to chicken fried steak, is it chicken or is it steak?).

i don’t eat tomatoes unless they are sun-dried or pulverized into ketchup or a stew.   my husband says that they are tasty, so i suppose at least they have one customer.  i’ll have to find a true southerner, though, to see if they pass muster. they are, however, a lot less morbid than those from the whistle stop cafe.

Baked Fried Green Tomatoes
(a very inexact recipe)

Green Tomatoes                                 Whatever you’ve got on hand
Salt & Pepper                                       A sprinkle of each
Egg                                                         Figure about 1 egg per a lb of tomatoes
Panko Bread Crumbs                         Enough for coating
Olive Oil                                                Apply a light drizzle

  1. Cut tomatoes on their sides
  2. Toss the tomatoes in Salt & Pepper
  3. Dip the tomatoes in the beaten egg mixture and dredge through the panko bread crumbs
  4. Drizzle the bottom of a baking sheet with a light coat of olive oil. (I lined my pan with foil for easy clean-up)
  5. Place each coated tomato on the baking sheet
  6. Drizzle with the top of the tomatoes a light coat of olive oil
  7. Sprinkle some additional salt & pepper for flavour
  8. Bake at 350ºF for 25 minutes or until golden brown

hello world!


it seemed like such a good idea.  why pay a small fortune for tomatoes, herbs and the other accoutrements of cooking when you can just grow them yourself? (have you ever noticed how you buy a bunch of cilantro or thyme or mint or sage, use about 1/2 to 1/3, and end up throwing the rest away?)

and away i went!  bags of soil, planters of all sizes galore, fertiliser (organic), stakes, 3 feet, 6 feet, 8 feet, as the tomatoes grew grew and grew, along with the marjoram, sage, rosemary, lavender, thyme, cilantro, basil, carrots, bulgarian carrot peppers, thai chilis, bananas, figs, lemons and limes!  who needs bees when you’ve got an electric toothbrush? Ninth grade biology never taught ya that photosynthesis and cell mitosis are awesome to behold — truly, madly, deeply

i recognize there’s a certain absurdity to my dabblings:

#1 – the plants live indoors near my windows. i haven’t got a balcony.  i’ve got 8 foot tall tomato plants living almost 30 stories above tribeca sidewalks. they have a great view of city hall and the east river

#2 – i don’t like raw tomatoes

#3 – i live next to a supermarket and a farmers market

still, if you’ve got an imp of an inspiration, you never know, if you feed that pesky pest, it just might grow up into a hulking green passion. or in my case, a multitude of kitchen tangents, misfires and new ideas

welcome to my very own savage garden