Monthly Archives: June 2013

Summertime To Get Living

summer[1]

Happy Summer – official Summer! Summer, summer, summer. Man I just want to shout it from the rooftops! I love New York, but I really love New York in the summer. People are nicer, people are happier and that makes me happier. And happiness, well, that’s what life is all about.

Feeling inspired by Cupcakes and Cashmere, I have constructed a Summer To Do List. Some to-dos, well, they’re edible, and others are not. Regardless, there will be food – oh yes, there will be food. So, without further ado, I present to you the Bite-Sized Summer 2013 To Do List…

10. Eat my heart out at John Brown Smokehouse in Long Island City.
Their website is http://www.johnbrownseriousbbq.com. So let me be serious when I say, I plan on eating a serious amount of BBQ here – while enjoying the summer heat and the musical talents of whoever or whatever is playing.

9. Enjoy a Mediterranean dinner on my patio.
I’m thinking babaganoush, grilled pita with za’atar, cauliflower, and salads. Under the dim lights of lanterns from Turkey, surrounded by ceramics from Israel and plants, well, from the nursery at Home Depot. It’s my paradise.

8. Go to a movie in the park night.
There’s just something romantic about this. Even without the romance. I love the idea of grabbing a blanket, a cold bottle of rose, or a really delicious imported 6 pack, or both, whatever. A few snacks and some good company. All the makings of a great night.

7. Eat something I have never tried before.
This might otherwise be hard, but I’ll be in Spain and Morocco in a few short weeks. So watch out world, here I come with my anything but Bite-Sized appetite.

6. Purposely get lost in a neighborhood I’m not familiar with.
To know me is to know I do not thrive on the unknown. I am a planner through and through. One of my most serious talents is list making – especially packing lists. Oh, and I’m dead serious about this. So, in an effort to break out of my comfort zone, my oh so familiar comfort zone, I want to spend some time without a plan, without a map, without a care. Who knows, maybe by not having a plan in place, I’ll find something I never knew I was looking for.

5. Try a CitiBike.
I’m only slightly terrified to ride a bike in Manhattan. After the Rollerblading Incident of 2009, I’m a little wary of wheels. But, if Fat Jew can do it, I can too. (Does it count if I don’t actually move the bike from the docking station?)

4. Blue Hill at Stone Barns.
It still baffles me that I haven’t been here yet. Enough is enough. I’m putting my foot down. This is the summer I will finally go to Blue Hill at Stone Barns.

3. Host a big, and I mean really big, dinner party at my apartment.
I have been trying to figure out how to get 20 people into my apartment for a seated dinner party for a while now. And yes, 20 people is a really big dinner party for my apartment. But, I am determined to figure this out. The menu has already been designed – now it’s all about the logistics.

2. Nap on the beach.
I am a firm believer that the most peaceful time to be on the beach is at dusk. The crowd is gone – and with it, the noise of the day. And while the sun slowly lowers itself out of the sky, I like to lower myself out of consciousness, into a deep, deep nap.

1. Get back into blogging.
A somewhat obvious ending to my list. But I hope that’s a good thing.

Now, tell me…what’s on your Summer To Do List?

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Mandoo the Damn Thing

Mandoo
It’s not often that I am impressed. Not just by food, but by the food suggestions of others. Excited? Always. One well written food description on a menu and I am so excited that I am salivating. But impressed? Eh, it's a rarity. But today, I was thoroughly impressed, both with the food and with the suggestion of two great friends.

I have been hearing about Mandoo Bar for a while. And now that I have been, I cannot for the life of me figure out why it took me so long to get my Bite-Sized butt down to Korea Town for this tasty treat. Mandoo Bar is a small restaurant that leaves a big impression. This namesake eatery has a laundry list of dumplings to choose from. (For those of you who aren’t familiar with Korean, or the art of google translate, Mandoo means dumpling.) Dumplings aren’t the only option at Mandoo, but not ordering dumplings would be like going to the gym and not exercising. Sure, you can do it. But the experts, well, they frown upon that.

While the restaurant considers itself “vegetarian friendly” they serve some of the best Pork Dumplings I have ever eaten. The dumplings are made in the front window of the restaurant. Which is a foodie’s version of the red-light district, or at least mine. Yes, I said it. Red-light district and food. Now you know what I think about.

You will be drawn in by the ladies in the window rolling out dough, and then ever so gently stuffing the dumplings with a heaping amount of pork, veggies, seafood, tofu and kimchi. And if that isn’t enough for you, cause it wasn’t enough for me, you can watch the dumplings get fried and plated too. That, is the Art of Seduction, in its truest form.

If you weren’t hungry before arriving at Mandoo, you can be sure you will be starving by the time you are seated. They don’t take reservations. So while you are patiently waiting for a table, in this small and oh so casual dumpling bar, you get to watch this enticing show, on repeat. So, while you are watching, and waiting, you can take comfort in the fact that you are witness to the art that is dumpling making – and then eating. Cause let’s be real, you came here to eat, and eat is what you will Mandoo.

Oh, and click HERE for the best Vine Video, well, EVER.

Mandoo Bar
2 West 32nd Street
New York, NY
212.279.3075