Friday, October 29, 2010

October lullaby

Our apartment lease expired the end of the summer and simultaneously one of my friends sent a mass email saying that her mom needed a housesitter for two months, upon which Chris and I looked at each other and said, "Hmmm." So since September we've been staying in a beautiful three story brownstone in Park Slope, complete with a deck, back yard, laundry room, and dishwasher. It's been simply heavenly to take lots of baths and lounge on the velvet couches in the evenings, but, alas, all good things must come to an end. This weekend we are moving out and into a sublet while we look for our next spot.

To make the transition more painless, we're taking some time to ourselves and spending the weekend in upstate New York. We found a great deal on Priceline (I'm a big fan of Name Your Own Price), and I'm looking forward to watching the second episode of Sherlock in a comfy king-sized bed and brunch at Oriole 9 in Woodstock on Monday.

That means that today is basically my Halloween (my assistant at work twisted my arm into dressing up. She's Hermione and I'm a ballerina. And I need to visit the marketing department because we sure are the only two in Editorial that I've seen in a costume). I'm loving the fall temps, the orange trees I saw from the train this morning, and the anticipation of a three day weekend with my sweetie.

Happy autumn!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Best of New Jersey

On one of our frequent trips through New Jersey, Chris, Shelby and I got off the clogged turnpike and found ourselves speeding (comparatively) up 295 and thence onto Rt. 1. It was around dinnertime on a Sunday evening. We missed the turnoff for Five Guys, happily as it turned out, because when the Skylark Diner in Edison showed up in the windshield we made a screeching right turn.

What followed was one of our top 20 meals of all time. Chris and Shelby had the prime rib burger but my burger au poivre won the day, with its creamy dark pepper sauce and its oodles of mushrooms piling up all around. The malt vinegar french fries and the huge glass of red wine were similarly delicious. 

And that concludes my best of New Jersey.

Ha ha, just kidding. The hospital in Red Bank where I was born is also worth noting.

(I really am just kidding, Jersey readers!)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Best of Brooklyn

Chris and I have spent our last few years eating our way through Brooklyn. Now, I feel compelled to share our faves here.

Best Coffee
--Though I'm partial to the iced variety at Le Petit on Court Street, I'd have to concur with Chris that the best coffee is hands down Gorilla, on 5th Ave in the Slope. If you have time to wait, they'll also painstakingly make you the best latte you've ever had.

Best Muffin
--Blue Sky Bakery on 5th Avenue. Pumpkin-apple-walnut ... zucchini-chocolate-raspberry ... anything you get there will be the best muffin of your life.

Best Bagel
--Bergen Bagel. Oh, man. The bagels are absolutely perfect and they are complimented by the world's most dizzying array of flavored cream cheeses. Today, for instance, I had a plain bagel toasted with basil cream cheese and sliced tomato. This deliriousness was, in fact, what inspired me to write this post.

Best Egg Sandwich
--Frank's by the subway stop at Smith Street and 2nd Place. Chris just told me that the reason it's so good is because they cook their bacon in the deep fryer.

Best Burger
--Totally up for debate, but I think my heart belongs to the burger at Dram Shoppe on 9th Street. Imagine a Big Mac--made with foodie quality ingredients. The fries with ranch dressing are also particularly covetable. (So is the bourbon.)

Best Slice
--um, I've never had a bad slice of pizza in Brooklyn, so ... this one is wide open. I'm partial to Vinny's at Court and 4th and to that place next to the Bedford L in Williamsburg that I've only been to late at night so I can never remember its name. Most people swear by Lucali's; I thought it was overrated but I'm willing to try it again and be proven wrong. It's pricey, though. We got a mushroom pie there once and it was $27.

Best Barbecue
--Fette Sau. No debate. Get there early.

Best Middle Eastern
--We really love Zaytoons, with locations in Carroll Gardens, Clinton Hill, and Prospect Heights.

Best Thai
--Joya on Court Street (and its sister restaurant Song in Park Slope), but mostly for takeout, as it's so loud to sit and eat there. We also like the massaman curry and chicken spice at Nine-D.

Best Asian Fusion
--Chance on Smith Street. The Chance Chicken with its savory orange crunchiness is to die for, and their dim sum is amazing.

Best Lunch Special
--Chance, above, runs a close second to Kyoto Sushi at Smith and Atlantic, where for like $8 you get free edamame, miso soup, and salad with your delicious and large rolls.

Best Overall Sandwich
--Bierkraft at 5th Avenue near Union, especially the salami with pecorino.

Best Vietnamese Sandwich
--Hanco's on Bergen Street. Love their Vietnamese iced coffee, too.

Best Hard to Describe Sandwich
--The Turkey Leg Sandwich at Henry Public. Think Thanksgiving meets pulled pork. It's, like, shredded turkey mixed with gravy slathered onto thick slices of bread ... I mean, you kind of want to take a nap when you're done, but it's sodiumrrific.

Best Grilled Cheese
--The "Adult Cheese" sandwich at the Commodore in Williamsburg. Spicy poblano melting all over your face. Yum.

Best Mexican
--We're partial to the burritos and quesadillas at Calexico on Union Street; we also love El Pollito Mexicano for more of a sit-down experience.

Best Taco
--Los Hermanos at Starr and Jefferson

Best Wings
--Wingbar on Smith Street. They might win cheapest pitcher, too.

Best Sushi
--We love the funky sauces at J-Pan on 5th Avenue in Park Slope. Try the Fantastic Roll, it's ... fantastic.

Best Cobb Salad
--For some reason I love the one at PJ Hanley's, the sports bar on Court and 4th. It's got the perfect amount of everything, and the bacon is always piping hot.

Best Mozzarella Sticks
--Abilene, our former corner bar. Even though most of the food wasn't that great (with the exception of their pretty good Southern style brunch), I loved going there with Chris on a rainy night and sitting drinking cider and sharing mozzarella sticks with him.

Best Appetizer
--The polenta with wild mushrooms at Fragole.

Best Slider
--The corned beef and cabbage slider at ... this bar that is a block away but that I can't find the name of on Google maps. Um, yeah. It's the one with the red door at 5th and St. Marks.

Best Italian
--We don't feel like we've tested all the options yet! But Frankie's 457, Fragole (love their rigatoni with eggplant), and Boca Lupo are all worth writing home about and using lots of exclamation points.

Best Fish and Chips
--Sheep Station, the Australian pub on 4th Avenue.

Best German
--Cafe Steinhof on 7th Avenue. Love the goulash and the sauerbraten.

Best Brunch
--Brunching is big business in Brooklyn, which is probably why I'm not super into the trendy crowded spots like Buttermilk Channel. Instead: split a pain au chocolat with your dining partner, then order the ham and cheese crepe with salad, and finish with their milky hot chocolate, at Provence en Boite on Smith. (The best brunch, period, has to go to Oriole 9 in Woodstock. More on that another time.)

Best Atmosphere
--This has got to go to the funky/vintage/cool back yard at Robin des Bois.

Best Cocktail
--The Improved Whiskey Cocktail at Clover Club on Smith. Lots and lots of runners up. I like the bourbon one with the black cherry in it at Brooklyn Social Club (whatever it's called) and Henry Public also has an impressive list.

Best Silly Drinks
--The super strong and super slushy umbrella drinks at Zombie Hut.

Best Glass of Wine
--I love getting the Montepulciano, served in a stemless wine glass, at Boca Lupo on Henry Street.

Best Cupcake
--Baked in Red Hook.

Actually, Best Dessert*
--Baked in Red Hook. Get anything. I mean anything.
(I also swooned over the pecan pie and vanilla ice cream sundae served in a tall glass at Buttermilk Channel but, I mean, anyone could make that.)

Overall Best Coffee Shop Experience
--Baked in Red Hook.

Best Baking Cookbook
--Wait for it ... Baked. From the bakers at Baked in Red Hook.

*Except for Best Ice Cream
--The peanut butter cookie dough at Louie G's! For one summer Chris and I had a tiny satellite Louie G's all to ourselves over near the Smith-9th stop. No one knew about it, which is probably why it closed down. But it's worth walking to the larger locations for any of their dozens and dozens of flavors, not to mention their ices (I love the mint chocolate chip).

Best Movie Theatre Popcorn
--The BAM. Gotta love their fill-a-bag-with-candy option, too. Swedish fish!

Best Bar Popcorn
--Angry Wade's at Smith and Butler

Best Hot Chocolate
--The Chocolate Room (locations in Carroll Gardens and Park Slope). I'm not haughty, though. The salted caramel hot chocolate at any Starbucks is also tilt your head back and drain the last drop good.

Best Healthyish Lunch
--The smoked turkey half sandwich on whole grain bread paired with the Skinny Delight smoothie at BeQu on Smith

Best Diner Omelette
--The ham and cheese at St. Clair's, Smith and Atlantic

Still Hunting:
Best French, Best Chinese, Best Pie (I mean, aside from Baked), Best Fried Chicken, Best FroYo, Best Crock of Chili, Best

I'm sorry, I've got to stop. I've made myself hungry.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Splish splash I was taking a bath...

...and the world's biggest cockroach nuzzled its way along the bathroom rug and into my heap of clothes.
So I screamed my head off for my husband who came running up two flights of stairs to dispose of it for me.

He really is the best.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Today I left the office at noon and took the subway to the west village and met my husband for lunch. I had a tuna burger and he had salmon and rice. For dessert we got lemon ginger cookies and coffee. It's a beautiful sunny fall day. I love him so much!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Oui et merci

Why yes, I would like to return to the scene of my honeymoon.

Friday, October 1, 2010


I think I've posted about this ceramic artist before, but she just keeps getting better and better. Someday when Chris and I buy a house, I'm splurging on one of her pieces as a housewarming present. They're so gorgeous.