Monday, November 24, 2008

Authentically Asian at Ping New York

By: Finance Foodie

To round out my weekend in NYC, I had brunch at Ping in Chinatown. Although I am liking Boston more since my big move, one complaint I do have is the lack of a sizable Chinatown. Maybe it’s because I have not discovered it yet, but I feel there is a terrible selection of dining options in Boston Chinatown. Boston readers, let me know if you think otherwise and please prove me wrong. Anyways, I was quiet excited to eat dim sum since I haven't had authentic Chinese food in 2 months.

Note: when I lived in NYC, I rarely visited Chinatown, as I am easily confused by areas that are not organized by a grid system. Being in Boston where there is virtually no Chinatown, I now totally regret that I did not take advantage of the NYC Chinatown.

Ping was quiet packed when we arrived at 11:30am. I would say 98% of the patrons were old school Asian (read: authentic Chinese food served), which made me trust the place even more. We had to share a table with 2 other parties (read: even more authentic Chinese food served). I was surprised to see the place was actually quiet clean (for Chinatown) and the servers were in actual uniforms of sparkly (albeit gaudy) silver vests and bowties.

The dim sum was good, although the selection was a bit lacking. My favorite dishes were the Chinese spinach saute with garlic and fried onions, the pan fried "lo bo gao" (turnip cakes), and shrimp in rice noodles. The rest of our party ordered chicken feet (I declined, the idea of eating any type of stinky feet grosses me out, plus I could see their nail beds...double gross). The items I was sad to have missed out on was the "fa gao" (traditional yellow slightly-sweet sponge cake) and the "do jian" (warm soybean milk) / "yo tiao" (fried dough sticks used for dipping in the "do jian". I was actually too full to eat anymore (still recovering from the previous night at Per Se) and I knew I had a long ride ahead back to Boston, so I decided to have willpower and not order these items.This place was very good. The place was small, so the turnover was quick for each item, which meant that the dishes were all served warm and fresh. Also a $40 meal (we gave a generous tip) for 4 people is pretty freaking sweet for NYC. All and all, not the best dim sum I ever had, but definitely not bad either.

22 Mott St.
New York, NY 10013
Ping's Seafood on Urbanspoon

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Most Memorable at Per Se New York

By: Finance Foodie

This weekend, I headed to NYC for a dinner set up by my NYC foodie friends at Per Se. Per Se is owned by the renowned chef Thomas Keller (also of French Laundry in the Napa Valley) and it is one of only four restaurants in the US to be awarded three stars in the Michelin Guide. I was UBER-EXCITED about this dinner, as I have been told it is a "gastronomic experience of a lifetime" by friend who had dined there before. In order to conserve my stomach for this occasion, I kept food consumption to a minimum (aka a can of Diet Coke and a cup of coffee) during the day. Our reservations were at 5:30pm (ungodly early for NYC, but it does take about 4-5 hours to finish the 9-course prix fixe chef's tasting menu). By the time we arrived, I could barely walk/stand due to lack of food, but the excitement and anticipation of the delicacies that laid ahead kept me strong enough to pose for commemorative pre-dinner pictures.

Below is a play by play of each course (will keep descriptions as easy to understand as possible), with pictures and commentary:

Friday, November 21, 2008

Secret and Sweet at Milk & Honey New York

By: Finance Foodie

So I made a sojourn to Milk & Honey (M&H) a few months back, wrote about it, but never published it until now. M&H is a small hidden speakeasy-type bar in Manhattan's Lower East Side. Reservations are mandatory and can only be done through a secret unlisted phone number that changes frequently. Major props to my foodie friend, now back in London, who hooked us up with the phone number. Below is an account of my night, circa March/April 2008.
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