The Birthday Week – Spotted Pig, Kin Shop, Flat Iron Lounge and Peasant. It Was A Good Week.

Though my birthday was about 2 weeks ago, I did a lot of good eating on my actual birthday and the days after. On my actual birthday (April 14), my lovely friend Kaisa took me to a well-known west village place called The Spotted Pig. I had been wanting to go here for a while.

Inside spotted pig

Kaisa and I started with the Sheep’s Milk Ricotta Gnudi with butter and sage.

Gnudi

Gnudi close up

These were little pillows of heaven. Literally. They were so soft and melted in your mouth and, lets face it, anything with butter just makes it THAT much better.

I then ordered the pork belly with rutabaga.

Pork belly with rutabaga

The dish was good, but the pork belly didn’t have any crisp to it. The root veggies underneath were really tasty. If I end up going back there, I think I would just stick with their pasta dishes since I absolutely loved the gnudi. They had a special of pappardelle pasta with a pork ragu and ramps, but I decided to bypass it since we were staring with pasta. Will not do so next time.

Kaisa had the chargrilled burger with roquefort cheese & shoestrings.

Burger with roquefort

Their burgers are good, but the roquefort (which is a type of blue cheese) was way too overpowering. Their shoestring fries were delicious. We also ordered a side of their famous duck fat roasted potatoes.

Duck fat potatoes

This, unfortunately, was really disappointing. As you’ve read before, I’m a huge fan of anything fried/roasted in duck fat. The thing that killed the potatoes for me was whatever herb they threw on there (which I think it was roasted with). It was this weird minty/licorice taste (which I usually like!) that was not pleasant.

The next day, Dr. Awesome took me out to Kin Shop, Harold from Perilla‘s new Thai-inspired place. We decided to forgo the usual Thai dishes that you can get anywhere—noodles and soup—and ordered a bunch of appetizers to share.

kinshop 1

So, here is what is in front of yours truly: river prawns with a pepper/peanut sauce, bone marrow with roti, and soft shell crab with a lemongrass sauce. See that smile on my face? Yeah, exactly. Harold, at least in my eyes, can do no wrong. Everything was just very well prepared and all the elements on the plates went extremely well together. I was eating all the lemongrass sauce while Dr. Awesome was nomming the pepper/peanut sauce.

kinshop 2

Now, here’s me with my favorite dish of the evening (and maybe anywhere EVER): the fried pork and crispy oyster salad with celery, peanuts, mint & chili-lime vinaigrette. The oysters were HUGE! I’ve had fried oysters before and I really didn’t like them (even though I love them raw). These were great—not oily and still were fresh-tasting. And the fried pork…well, it’s fried pork. Poor Dr. Awesome. I sort of hoarded that salad. What’s not pictured is the spicy duck laab salad, which had four asterisks next to it on the menu. It was spicy indeed, but still delicious. We ended the meal splitting a scoop of their Thai iced tea ice cream. Like I said, Harold can do no wrong in my eyes.

The night after, we braved the crazy rain storm and met a few friends at the Flat Iron Lounge for some much needed cocktails. I love this place because it’s totally 1930s inspired and their cocktails are amazing (though it gets a tad expensive after two drinks). What was really cool was that it was Charlie Chaplin’s 122nd birthday! There was a private party happening in the party room downstairs and people were dressed up in 1920s outfits. I was tempted to crash the party, but I had one of my own going on 🙂

That next week, I went with Dr. Awesome and our friend Steve to Friend of a Farmer. I had been to the one in Roslyn, Long Island a bunch of times when I was younger and I always remembered it being pretty good. Not so much this time around, unfortunately. I had the chicken pot pie (which was always a favorite from there) and there was no crust at the bottom! From what Steve and Dr. Awesome ordered, it was a bit expensive for what you got and the service wasn’t the greatest either.  The bar was also out of sweet vermouth (for a Manhattan) and the manager asked the bar tender if he could just use dry vermouth in it. The bar tender was like “um, no!”

A couple of days later, my good friend Ginger took me to one of her favorite restaurants in Nolita called Peasant. From the outside it looks tiny, but when you go in, it’s anything but. The place is HUGE. We got sat next to the kitchen, which was really cool. The bread that they started us out with came with a ricotta spread which was so light. I decided to go along with Ginger’s suggestion as to an appetizer and got the baby octopus in chili sauce. This octopus was so tender and the chili had just the right amount of heat that made it very pleasant (if chili can even be that!) Then Ginger ordered the braised rabbit with fava beans (her favorite) and I got the rotisserie suckling pig with fingerling potatoes. They even gave me a crispy piece of skin! The only downside to that dinner was that Ginger’s rabbit had a couple of bones in it (kind of big ones, which had never happened to her before there) and nothing was done about it even though we brought it to their attention. For dessert, we shared their white chocolate bread pudding with figs and almonds with a white chocolate gelato. Dessert was just as good as dinner!

That Sunday, Dr. Awesome and I met up with our friends Seth and Nate at 10 Downing.  I had been hearing a bit of buzz about this place from the food blogs I read and decided to try something new.  I don’t think I’d recommend it after our experience.  We got there right before the brunch rush and were stuck in it afterwards.  I think we were there for a good 50 minutes before our dishes came out and we hadn’t even ordered anything starters. The food was just OK too and our waiter was no where to be found.  You can’t win them all I guess.

As you can see, I needed a detox after those few days. Now, I’m ready for summer and for our CSAs to get into full swing!

Next post will be about mine and Dr. Awesome’s adventure to Hecho en Dumbo for their newly created chef’s table. Another local favorite that keeps getting better and better.

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~ by Rori on April 30, 2011.

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