Healthy and Sane

Entries Tagged as 'NYC'

Dining out sustainably at Marlow & Sons

June 8th, 2010 · 8 Comments · NYC, restaurant reviews

It’s no secret that I am really into sustainable food and recently I’ve been trying to extend this practice to meals out. When my sister and I were brainstorming about activities for this weekend, I mentioned I wanted to go to a restaurant that offered organic and local produce and meats. Without hesitation she suggested we dine at Marlow & Sons in Brooklyn.

The restaurant does not take reservations but the hostess said we could order drinks and enjoy them out on the side walk while we wait for a table to clear. A glass of white wine (DOMAIN DE LA PEPIERE, Muscadet, Melon De Bourgogne, 09 to be exact) seemed perfect on this hot summer day. :)

… and it was… although our table was ready for us by the time we got our drinks at the bar. Sweet! 😀

Marlow & Sons’s menu is basically a template that allows for daily specials. Things like “crostini,” “leaf lettuce” and “fettuccine” don’t mean much until the waiter explains to you what is actually offered that day. You have to really pay attention! 😉

Every single thing sounded amazing but at the end we chose 2 appetizers to share between the 3 of us (me, Adam and sister Inna) and then each of us chose an entree as well.

Morel toast was spectacular – boasting very earthy mushroom flavor balanced out by the more mellow cream sauce. This was definitely a dish for mushroom lovers but it did not cross that too-mushroomy territory (that even I sometimes recognize despite a mild mushroom obsession)

Leaf lettuce” this past Saturday actually stood for kale and spinach greens with shaved carrots and green beans, dressed with house-made buttermilk dressing

I enjoyed how fresh the salad tasted (we asked that it was lightly dressed – it was perfect!) but I generally find raw kale and spinach to be too “green” and tough and would have personally preferred that mesculin greens were used instead. No worries, we still polished it off. :)

For my entree, both Adam and Inna chose “chicken under a brick” and it had perfectly crispy skin and super tender meat. I’ve been craving beef like it was my job so when the waiter mentioned the petit filet and roasted potatoes special, I was all over it. 😉

From the front: petit filet with bearnaise sauce and watercress salad

Roasted garlic potatoes sneaking out from the side :)

The meat was very tender and lean, the potatoes were flavorful and the sauce was slightly tangy and simply spectacular. I’m so glad that this was humainely raised beef because I really enjoyed this dish!

Dessert: chocolate caramel tart

I believe it had an oreo cookie crust and then a thick caramel layer topped with a chocolate ganache layer. This was very hard to cut but man, was it delicious! The fleur de sel added a nice salty finish to each bite. Delicious!

Panna cotta with strawberry rhubarb sauce was so delicate and sophisticated. It was mild and creamy – all three of us absolutely loved it (and I rarely jump at chocolate-less desserts!)

Happy customers :mrgreen:

This was a fantastic environment friendly/humaine meal. If you are ever in Brooklyn, and don’t mind the wait, tight quarters and lots of noise, I’d highly recommend it. A few glasses of wine and we felt right at home… except with even better food!! 😀

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Tastes food festival

June 8th, 2010 · 13 Comments · NYC, restaurant reviews

I’ve been sitting in front of my computer for nearly 10 minutes just now, trying to decide whether I should blog about another NYC highlight or about my food today. This weekend had so much blog-worthy material but I know some of you really miss my “what I ate today” posts. I think I’ll do daily highlights every other day and share some NYC tidbits in between. Does that sound good?

So this past Saturday afternoon we attended the Tastes food festival, which raised funds for the NYC Lab School for collaborative studies. Twenty seven restaurants from the meatpacking district through Chelsey had booths set up and tempted attendees with their delicious eats. Each ticket allowed for 6 “tastes” so we definitely had to make some hard decisions. 😉

A few pictures of the “set up”

The scene with this couple dancing right in front of the giant blueberry bottle-man cracked me up – I had to take a picture 😆

So after browsing through the booths, I decided on a roasted eggplant salad with feta cheese from Pastis to start.

This was not bad but not great (too much dressing maybe?). My least favorite plate of all.

Next The Simple Kitchen table caught my eye with the bright cups of chilled local sweet pea soup

How gorgeous are these?

This was so perfect on an incredibly hot day – creamy yet refreshing. Amazing!

I actually stumbled upon that table on my way to the Bombay Talkie‘s tandoori shrimp with dates and mango lassi. My sister, Derek and Adam all LOVED this dish. I had to know what all the buzz was about!

Too bad this photo came out so blurry because this was another winner. The shrimp was super flavorful with all the quintessential Indian spices and the date was a fun sweet break between the 2 savory bites. The mango lassie was just okay.

A quick eating break for some pictures :)

Back to food…

Taste #4:

Tortilla Espanola con boquerones y guindilla peppers from Tia Pol – basically a fried potato cutlet base with sardines and pickled green beans

I really really loved this – so many textures and flavors! Of course the pickled veggies put this over the top for me. Yes, I’m obsessed!

Taste #5: Fluke crudo from 5 Ninth

Fluke with tapioca and cucumbers – super clean and refreshing!

I was getting really full at this point despite the fact that these were pretty small portions (and I didn’t even eat some of them in their entirety) so we decided to walk around the neighborhood and come back for our last few “tastes.” It was a great idea because we actually ended up passing by a lot of the restaurants that were featured (which was cool), had a fun time browsing through various shops in the Chelsey market (see this post for some pics from there) and worked up a tiny bit of an appetite… at least to manage a few more bites of food. 😀

Taste #6:

Lucy’s Whey is actually a cute cheese shop that carries gorgeous artisanal cheeses, condiments and other specialty items, so this table combined a few of these delicious treats in one.

Cabot clothbound cheddar from the cellars at Jasper Hill with McClure’s garlic dill pickles on Amy’s Bread pumpernickel baguette

I received 2 little toasts and shared them with my group – this was definitely an amazing combo – sharp aged cheddar + pickles + hearty bread = love :mrgreen:

So that was supposed to be it, but the guy checking my ticket at Lucy’s whey actually saw that it was supposed to be my last taste and just let me have it for free. I was pretty psyched about being able to taste one more thing from a great NYC restaurant…

Let’s try this again… Taste #6:

Shaved tuna with coconut lime broth, watermelon fizzy drink + cookies to go from Spice Market. As chef Anthony Ricco said: “The best deal in town!” 😆

This was so delicious, it actually made me sad that I ran out of tastes from my ticket. The coconut lime broth was incredible – kind of creamy yet light and undeniably Thai. It was fun having cookies later as well. There were 3 mini ones – the peanut butter one was my favorite, the other 2 had too much nutmeg for my liking.

I love events like that because they expose you to many wonderful restaurants all in one place. I would love to go back to every single one of the restaurants from my chosen tastes (well Pastis didn’t impress me but its reputation proceeds it). What a great neighborhood event and definitely the ultimate brunch! Another reason to love NY – there is always something super cool going on. Have you ever attended an event like this? This definitely beat any other “street fair” I’ve ever been to.

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Friday night and The Spotted Pig

June 7th, 2010 · 13 Comments · NYC, restaurant reviews

This is going to be one of several highlight posts from our trip to NYC since we really do pack a lot in during every visit. :) Let’s start with Friday night, shall we?

We arrived at my sister’s apartment in Williamsburg at nearly 9pm, very much ready to eat. After checking a few spots for available seating, we ended up having dinner at Fanny – a small French bistro offering humainely raised meats and organic/local produce. My entree was way too salty but I’d come back there if I lived in the neighborhood. Everyone else seemed to enjoy their meals and I like supporting businesses that try to do the right thing (although 2 strikes and they would be out). After quickly polishing off our meals (and a glass of wine – or 2 for some) we hopped on the train to Manhattan to see Eugene Mirman at Comix. The opener/host was pretty funny, Eugene was hilarious and then Andy Kindler came on. Man, what a drag. He was clearly unprepared and the only thing that made it less painful were the oversweetened obligatory vodka cranberries I consumed (two if anyone’s counting). We left the show with a bit of a buzz and headed where else… to another bar! 😉


The Spotted Pig is a gastropub featuring seasonal British & Italian dishes using local ingredients when possible. The atmosphere is super funky – there are pictures, plates, signs and lots of color all over the walls. This place gets pretty packed on a nightly basis. With bright colors and lots of people everywhere, the place had so much energy that I actually forgot that it was past midnight and that I was going on very little sleep. :)

I ordered the Doc’s Draft hard apple cider right away. I’ve never tried it with ice before (I think it sounds weird – who drinks “beer” or even juice with ice?) but it was surprisingly refreshing. Just make sure to drink it faster than it melts. 😆

We just came for drinks but after scoring a table and being presented with food menus, everyone’s eyes lit up. Mine focused on the pot of pickles. Figures. 😉

I ate a pickled shallot (!!!!!) It was dark and I was just grabbing veggies out of the dish. Oops. It wasn’t tooooooooo bad.

Adam has never tried deviled eggs and ordered one.

He didn’t share it with us, so I’ll take it that it was good 😉

I think Derek ordered some roasted almonds

… and I don’t know where that came from but for some reason I ordered a plate of shoestring fries.

Whoa, that’s a lot of fries!! They were a little hard to eat since they were so thin, but somehow this batch was devoured. Yeah, be impressed! 😆

My sister and her boyfriend, Derek:

I had fun being the photographer for the night 😀

Dessert, anyone?

Rhubarb tart

The chef definitely went too easy on rhubarb – this was mostly crust, which regardless was nutty and delicious.

The flourless chocolate cake was to-die for. Smooth and rich. Yum!!

We got home nearly at 3am. Definitely worth being a little tired the next day. :mrgreen:

Check back later for other posts on our weekend trip!

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