Tag Archives: East Village

My Not So Strange Addition

Hi, I am the Bite-Sized Blonde and I am addicted to Crack. Well, I’m addicted to Crack Pie, which just so happens to get its name from the addiction it is sure to bring on.  If you are not intrigued, you should be.  Crack Pie is what can only be referred to as the ingenious love child of Christina Tosi, the unbelievably talented and deliciously inclined Pastry Chef at Momofuku Milk Bar.  So, back to the crack.  This is the pie that all pies aspire to be.  The crust is unlike any you have tried before, it is crunchy enough to balance out the gooey center but it maintains an element of chewiness that will pleasantly surprise your textural taste buds.  This crust won’t fall apart either – so say goodbye to your pie anxiety – which will forever be known as anxpiety, because you don’t have to worry about a messy pie, which I think we can all agree is a major buzz kill.

Not only does this pie come equipped with the most serious crust in town, it is filled with pure heaven.  The filling is made of butter, cream and sugar and resembles the inside of a pecan pie, minus the pecans.  It is sweet and creamy with a subtle hint of saltiness that will have you screaming.  Think Harry met Sally, but less acting.

As if the pie wasn’t reason enough to visit Momofuku Milk Bar, they make some of the best cookies in Manhattan.  Take it from a Cookie Connoisseur.  The cookies are out of this world.  I have three favorites; I know you aren’t surprised I couldn’t pick just one.  The Corn Cookie is totally unexpected, but that’s not what makes it so good.  It’s the perfect combination of a corn muffin and a sugar cookie.  It’s light and airy but oh so substantial, and needless to say, it’s chew-chew-chewy.  This cookie might be unexpected, but after one bite, you won’t have any idea why.

Another unexpectedly awesome cookie is the Cornflake Marshmallow Cookie.  The cornflakes add an unanticipated element of crunchiness to the cookie and the marshmallows melt into the cookie batter so beautifully.  The cookie is flecked with chocolate chips to round out the flavors.  This cookie is unparalleled, even up against the Compost Cookie.

The Compost Cookie, which is trademarked obviously, is an addictive combination of all things delicious, including coffee beans and chocolate chips, and lots of butter and sugar.  Of course, if cookies aren’t your thing – well, you should go see a doctor.  But, in the meantime you can still enjoy some of Christina Tosi’s delicacies, including Cereal Milk Ice Cream and Cake Truffles.

Christina Tosi is the Queen of Chewy.  Chewy pies, chewy cookies.  Chew Chew!! All Aboard.  First stop Chewy-Ville, next stop…well probably rehab? Someone is going to have to pry that Crack Pie right out of my hands.

Momofuku Milk Bar
milk bar east village
251 E 13th St.
New York, NY

milk bar midtown
15 W 56th St.
New York, NY

milk bar upper west side
561 Columbus Ave.
New York, NY

milk bar brooklyn
382 Metropolitan Ave.
Brooklyn, NY

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It’s Crunch Time…

So, its crunch time, and I’m not referring to the Captain, although I wish I was.   I mean it’s almost V-Day.  4 Days and counting.  Whether you have a new love, old love, or last minute love, you need to plan something.   Unless of course you are unattached this holiday, and in that case, you can stop reading now.

If you are looking to impress your Valentine, or at least not piss them off, I have a few suggestions for you.  Nothing says “I want to spend time with you like dinner.”  Hey, there’s a reason most people go for drinks on a first date.  But dinner isn’t just dinner on Valentine’s Day. So make sure to pick a restaurant that shows you put a little thought into this.

Here are a couple Bite- Sized Valentine’s Day picks…

Bobo.  This French restaurant in the West Village is the perfect quaint and quiet backdrop for a romantic night.  The food will impress.  Just make sure you will too.

In Vino.  This Italian restaurant in the East Village is warm and cozy.  A nice bottle of vino at In Vino is sure to set the mood.

Marc Forgione.  This rustic American bistro in Tribecca is known for their exceptional food and killer cocktails.  What more could you ask for?

Going out to dinner on Valentine’s Day can be uber-annoying, especially if there is a pre-fixe involved.  Pre-fixe has me predisposed to think overrated.  Pre-fixe? More like please fix this ASAP, and get me a real menu.   So, if the kitchen is more your scene than Kittichai, then you know what you have to do.  Love is in the air, literally, if you cook at home.  You’re entire apartment can smell like love, or short ribs, which is the same thing really.

Valentine’s day is a Tuesday this year, and it’s hard to prepare a whole meal after work.  So, my suggestion, start early.  Make things this weekend you can refrigerate, or freeze, until you are ready to serve them.  Like soup, click here, here and here to see a few soup recipes.  Another recipe you can make in advance? Gnocchi!  Make the dough this weekend, precut the gnocchi and freeze them.  On Tuesday, take them out of the freezer right before you want to cook them. They will just need a few minutes in the boiling water, and voila! You will have a meal sure to impress!!

Craving a little more spontaneity? How about breakfast? This oh so important meal can be a totally unexpected Valentine’s surprise.  Start your morning with pancake hearts or a heart shaped egg in a hole.

Looking to heat things up, but not in the kitchen?  Check out Shag Brooklyn.  This unique adult store, art gallery, event space hybrid is hosting a Valentine’s event for the books.  Aphrodisiacs and Amor is a blindfolded tasting meant to tease, tantalize and tickle your taste buds.  Their words, not mine.

If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen sex store, and head to Nitehawk Cinemas.  This movie theater takes the idea of dinner and a movie to a whole new level.  The theater has a full restaurant that delivers your food to your seats during the show!

Great, dinner down, but one gift to go…Check out Tasting Table’s Valentine’s Shop.   Of course, this will only work if your Valentine is a foodie.  Otherwise, best of luck to you!

What are you planning this Valentine’s Day?

Sunday Lazy Sunday

I love waking up on a Sunday knowing that I have nothing to do but go to brunch. This hybrid meal takes on activity status for a reason.  If done correctly, brunch can last the whole day.  Whether you spend the entire day eating and drinking or spend the entire day in a food coma slash drunken stupor is entirely up to you. We all know who the Bite-Sized Blonde in the food coma is…

One of my favorite places to brunch is Peels in the East Village.  This adorably quaint restaurant is totally unassuming.  Don’t get me wrong, this place exudes that cool factor.  Case in point: the heaps of hipster customers.  But, that’s not why this place is cool.  This restaurant, known for their baked goods, turns out amazing breakfast, lunch and their love child, brunch.

Peels is as popular as it is delicious and cool.  So, you should expect a wait. But, it’s well worth it.  The baked goods sell quickly, so make sure to order them as soon as you sit down! I made the mistake of waiting to order the monkey bread until after we ate brunch, and I was SOL when I was told they were sold out!

Here are some things you shouldn’t miss:  The Fried Chicken Sandwich and The Roasted Tomato Benedict.   The Fried Chicken has a crunchy and salty exterior. Cushioned by a soft potato roll and complimented by tangy pickles and shredded lettuce, this sandwich is irresistible.

If the words Roasted Tomato Benedict don’t turn you on, then maybe it’s time to do a little soul searching.  These beautifully cooked eggs sit on top of homemade biscuits.  These doughy biscuits are still warm when they are covered in basil and roasted tomato hollandaise.  So simple, yet to elegant.

And now for the money shot…

oh yea…that’s good.

Food is everything to me, but a close second is caffeine.  A great cup of coffee has the potential to change a day, just like a bad cup of coffee is essentially a recipe for a bad mood.  The cappucinno at Peels is rich and earthy.  Better just tell the waitress to keep em coming.  Like I said, brunch is an all day activity and you’re going to need your strength.

Peels
325 Bowery (Corner of 2nd St.)
New York City, NY 10003
646.602.7015

Greece Lightning

Dare I say pleasant weather, pleasant surprise.  This warm weather has been such a nice break.  Indian Summer take 2…and hey, why not.  I’ve never heard anyone complain about too much summertime.   And speaking of summer, I know we are all dreaming about it.  So, whether you are dreaming about last summer or this coming summer, it might just be that time for a vacation, if not physical then at least mental.   Is there a food adjective that’s appropriate here? Foodal? No? I guess delicious will just have to suffice.  Come on Webster, it’s time for some new words.

I’m certainly ready for a vacation, and since I’m not heading anywhere anytime soon, I’ll just pretend.  If I close my eyes, spin around in a circle, and wind up pointing at a big, giant map, I bet I’ll be pointing at Greece.  While I don’t have time for a crazy long flight,  I do have time for a short cab ride down to the East Village.   Don’t be skeptical.  I promise this trip won’t disappoint.

Any true foodie knows the next best thing to actually going to Greece is eating authentic Greek food.  Attention restaurateurs…there is a lesson here.  Food can, and should be, transcendental, which is exactly what the food is at Pylos.  You know you are in a special place when you walk into this restaurant.  The stark white walls are accented by the bluest blue panels and decorated with copper nail heads to match the hundreds of terracotta pots hanging from the ceiling.  Beauty isn’t just skin deep at Pylos.  The food is equally as beautiful.

Pylos has some of the best pita bread I’ve ever tasted.  It’s soft and sweet yet slightly salty.   And since there are so many Greek options when it comes to dips for pita bread, why just get one?  You know this Bite-Size Blonde always thinks two are better than one.  And in this case, three are definitely better than one.  The Poikilia is a trio dipping sauces — tzatziki, taramosalata and meltizanosalata. Tzatziki is that addictively tangy yogurt sauce.  Taramosalata is a citrusy fish dip, similar to lox, but chopped up into a spread.  Melitzanosalata is rustic grilled eggplant dip that is irresistible.

It’s a fact that if you have a salad named after you, you have to be doing something right.  And the Greek’s are definitely doing this right.  Horiatiki is the authentic name for a classic greek salad, and authentic this is.   Forget the lettuce, the veggies speak for themselves.  Tomatoes, onion, cucumbers, capers and  kalamata olives combine to become an oasis of freshness.  The tangy feta cheese adds just the right amount of saltiness to this iconic salad.

The grape leaves at Pylos are familiar but not ordinary whatsoever.  They are stuffed with ground veal, golden raisins and pine nuts and drizzled in a lemon sauce.

The Italians get the most praise for meatballs; that’s for sure.  But the Greeks know a thing or two about their balls.  The seasoning is different, so you can really taste the meat.  And more than that, they aren’t camouflaged with sauce.  They are simply pan fried in olive oil and left to be admired in all their glory.   And admire I will.

Ouzo is as Greek as the Parthenon, although I’ll admit I think I like the Parthenon more.  Ouzo’s pungent flavor is not a Bite-Sized favorite, but when it’s used for cooking, the harshness dissipates, and leaves a unique concentrated flavor.  When combined with tomato sauce and cream, it makes a complex sauce for succulent shrimp.

If you’ve never tried octopus, and want to give it a shot, Pylos is the place to try it.  The octopus is charred perfectly and tossed in an acidic balsamic reduction.

If you learned anything from My Big Fat Greek Wedding, other than windex is the cure for every ailment, it’s that Greek’s love their lamb.  The lamb chops at Pylos are a Greek lovefest, grilled and served with eggplant.  This dish is comforting but satisfyingly light at the same time.

Short ribs are not usually a dish I would think to order in Greek restaurant, just like ordering steak in an Italian restaurant.  I was wrong before, and I was wrong again.  These short ribs were exceptional.  The ribs were fall of the bone tender and smothered in a sea of red wine sauce and potato puree that made me want to lick my fork clean.

Can you really say you’ve been out for Greek food without ordering a whole fish?  The jury is still out, but I don’t think so.  Pylos will filet that fish for you, leaving you beautiful, and easily edible filets of delicate fish.  Olive oil and fresh lemon juice dress the perfectly grilled fish for a true taste of Greece.

Now, it’s not over until the fat lady sings, or in my case, the Bite-Sized Blonde says Uncle.  And no one, I repeat no one, can get me to say Uncle sans dessert.  If you are thinking baklava, you are going to be wrong.  Just this once though.  The most underrated and delectable Greek dessert is the Galaktobourekakia, buttery phyllo triangles filled with Greek custard and drizzled with cinnamon and honey.   Don’t waste a single second trying to pronounce it, just point to it.

Still thinking about that vacation?  Yea, me too.  But in the meantime, Pylos is just a short cab ride away.

Pylos
128 East 7th Street
(between Avenue A and First Avenue)
New York, NY
212.473.0220