Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Week Review

Not having a cheesesteak when in Philadelphia always seemed to be sacreligious; but the city has so much more to offer when you open your eyes. The Reading Terminal Market is insane and is a must-see when in Philadelphia. The market is a food lovers paradise whether grabbing a quick lunch or buying some produce. DiNic's Italian pulled pork sandwich is ridiculous while Delilah's mac n' cheese might have been overrated.

Amada and Village Whiskey prove that Iron Chef Jose Garces isn't just about TV appearances. Your taste buds will explode at Amada where Spanish tapas grace the menu. The energy of the restaurant is contagious. If you're craving a burger or something a bit more bar-like--village whiskey is the spot for you. Burgers reign supreme, but the menu is filled with favorites such as pulled pork, duck fat-fries, pickles, and oysters. The Whiskey King is a luxurious take on the traditional burger if you're feeling groovy. Their great selection of whiskey could keep you there sampling all day.

The Franklin Fountain is an old-school ice cream shop serving delicious homemade ice cream while giving off that true authentic retro feel.


Back in NYC, I visited the Birreria at Eataly after stopping by Old Town Bar and Madison Square Eats. Old Town Bar is a cool neighborhood dive bar --exactly what you get from the name. Madison Square Eats is a monthlong food fair right outside Madison Square Park in Worth Square. While there was tons of great options, I got a pizza from Robertas. The pizza was a traditional pizza base with soppressata, chili aoili, and honey. The $9 personal pan pizza was delicious and saved me a trip to BK although I still want to go there anyway. The honey provided a nice sweetness to offset the spiciness of the chili aoili and soppressata. It was kind of cold, but the food and booze were keeping people warm!








After enjoying my pizza, I headed up to Eataly's beer garden: Birreria. The place was jamming, but we managed to get a table after promising the hostess that we were not only drinking but eating as well. Our server started off cool, but then got a bit pushy. I understand you want to turn your tables, but show a little hospitality. He sold us on a pretzel bread that we thought was complimentary, but turned out to be $5. The over-salted pretzel bread wasn't too good, but I wouldn't have been as upset if he didn't make it sound like it was for free. I tried one of their cask-conditioned beers that were pretty good. We also got a cheese plate and meat board to snack on. The fast paced beer garden was a fun place to check out especially if you want to try out some great artisanal Italian beers; but I doubt I'll go back.





We then met up with some friends for a beer at Crocodile Lounge--that spot that gives you a pizza with every beer you buy. It could get pretty crowded in here, but its a good spot for a quick beer and a pizza for cheap. The Scratcher was the next spot we stopped. We had a table at this place so it was a comfortable spot to kick it with friends; but nothing really made me want to go back. Just when I thought it was time to go home, I walked around the corner to Bowery Electric to meet up with my roommates and get my dance on. The DJ downstairs played some great old-school jams that kept the dance party going.

Good Eats in the City of Brotherly Love


When I think of the culinary landscape in Philadelphia, two restauranteurs come to mind: Stephen Starr and Jose Garces. Starr is known for heavy hitters such as Buddakan and Morimoto, which started in Philadelphia and eventually made it to NYC. Starr has over a dozen Philadelphia restaurants including The Continental, Parc, El Rey, and Barclay Prime to name a few. Although Starr has more restaurants, the people of Philadelphia love Jose Garces. Iron Chef Garces, unlike Starr, is a chef-restauranteur that has gained a favorable reputation do to his culinary expertise. Jose Garces started Amada in 2005 and won a James Beard award in 2009 for "Best Chef-Mid Atlantic" which only helped his already popular reputation. Garces went on to open other restaurants around Philly including Tinto, Distrito, Chifa, JG Domestic, and Village Whiskey. When visiting Philadelphia last week, I was fortunate enough to go to Amada and Village Whiskey.


Amada



Amada had energy, even at the earlier part of service. We were shooting for a later dinner, but our impromptu visit only allowed us for a six o'clock reservation. W were brought to the back dining room, a room that seemed to be a bit more intimate than the dining room that we passed by. The front dining room probably plays off the energy of the bar and is therefore a bit more lively. Although the back room wasn't as loud, it still possessed this great energy. The decor of Amada was great--it added to the casual yet refined atmosphere. Polished wood tables and dark fixtures gave the room a sexy feel. We started with a pitcher of white sangria-- a light mixture of crisp white wine, apple, pear, and orange.





The service at Amada was on point and only added to the experience. Our lady server knew when to be attentive and when to disappear and allow us to enjoy our food. The food was all good--there was nothing I didn't like. Sure we had some dishes that weren't good as others, but every dish was full of great flavor and cooked beautifully. The menu was a bit confusing to look at. Garces built Amada around the idea of Tapas, which seemed to be a popular trend a few years ago. Though the trend has died down, Amada has earned its spot as one of Philly's top spots. I like the idea of small plates, because this allows me to try many dishes. After reading the menu a few times, we finally decided to pick three plates each. Among my favorite were the oysters with the strawberry escabeche and cava granita, the short rib flatbread, and the octopus special that they had that evening. I don't remember the components to the dish; but the charred octopus was delightful. Lamb meatballs with shaved manchego and the wagyu sirloin with a prune-bacon stew & sheep's cheese espuma were also packed with great flavor. Goat cheese, basil, and almonds were the main components of another dish that everyone at the table seemed to enjoy. We also enjoyed crab stuffed peppers, The garlic shrimp that we had were good, but I think its a dish that is easily replicated so I wasn't too impressed. Our server recommended the Revuelto, a combination of shrimp and wild mushrooms stirred eggs, which seemed to be everyone least favorite dish. Overall, the food was good--there wasn't a dish that we didn't finish.





Another plus about Amada is how you get your food. The kitchen brings out plates as they're ready so dishes that are ready fast aren't held up by other food. I felt like we got our first plates just minutes after we ordered. I also loved the fact that they gave us a little break halfway through our meal. At this time, they cleared our plates and replaced them with clean settings. This was a little gesture that went a long way with my sisters and I. We definitely appreciated the couple minutes and were please to have fresh silverware and plates. All in all, Amada was a hit. Now I now why a handful of people recommended this place when I asked for good restaurants in Philadelphia. So pick up your glass of sangria and cheers to Iron Chef Garces on a job well done.



Village Whiskey



whiskey village indoor 2 300x206 Village Whiskey: A Downtown Philadelphia Takeover



I was kind of surprised on how small the space was. A hostess standing at a whiskey barrel greeted us upon Garces' first non-latin endeavor. She took us to a bar table that seemed squished in between two other tables. We decided to sit at the bar where a ninja-looking fella was stirring an old fashioned. After bouncing around between helping a guest and making a drink for the service bar, he greeted us with two menus: a tall skinny menu was for their whiskey selections while the other menu was for food. The whiskey menu was pretty impressive, but I guess you have to expect over 80+ whiskeys when your name is Village Whiskey. The food menu was filled of mouth-watering options; but village whiskey is known best for the burger. I got the Whiskey King burger, an 8oz angus patty topped with maple-bourbon glazed cipollini, applewood bacon, rogue bleu cheese, and foie gras. I opted to switch the rogue bleu cheese for their Jasper Hill Cheddar. This burger was massive and messy at that. Good thing I was with my sisters because I must have had burger juices all over my face while eating this thing. It was such a massive burger that it was hard to get a bite with everything; but when you did it was glorious. The ingredients on this burger all sang in harmony especially after being washed down with a delicious brown ale draught. If not in the mood for beer, the car bomb milkshake was awesome. It was a little thick for my liking but the flavors were on point.





Kim and Jen split the veggie burger, which they seemed to enjoy. We also got an order of the duck fat fries; which were good; but definitely over-hyped. The cheddar sauce that accompanied the fries could have been more cheesy and less watery. Jose Garces hits another home run with Village Whiskey, showing Philly that he has more to offer than Latin flare. Village Whiskey combines some of my favorite things (beer/whiskey/burgers) so its a safe bet to say I will be back there next time I visit my sister.







Other must-go to destinations in Philadelphia are Reading Terminal Market where you will find DiNic's and Delilah's. Skip a cheesesteak and head to DiNic's for an Italian pulled pork sandwich. I topped my sandwich with hot peppers which gave the mouth-watering sandwich a bit of a kick. DiNic's is a must have! Delilah's on the other hand was a bit of a let-down. Kim told me Delilah's was on a "Throw Down" with Bobby Flay for their mac n' cheese. Even Oprah declared Delilah's the best mac n' cheese in the country, so I was thinking it had to be good. Everyone in my family loves mac n' cheese, so we usually always try it if its on the menu. Unfortunately, I was impressed by Delilah's mac n' cheese. Maybe it was an old batch, but it lacked creaminess. I wouldn't even consider that to be in my top 20.











For dessert, head to Franklin Fountain on Market Street for homemade ice cream. This retro ice cream shop immediately transports you back in time; but not in a gimmicky way. The decor was authentic opposed to hokey and the staff played their part not only with their uniform, but with their attitude. One scoop maple-walnut and one scoop vanilla was topped with a homemade peanut butter sauce and salted pretzel pieces for one awesome sundae. Franklin Fountain is another must if visiting Philly.






Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Week in Review








The Short Version

For lunch at a cozy, West Village hotspot--check out Joseph Leonard. Joseph Leonard's is homey and rustic yet hip and urban. Service could go either way, but the food was good. For a four-star lunch, check out Eleven Madison Park which was just awarded its third Michelin star. You'll spend a pretty penny, but its worth the dough. Macao Trading Co is a cool Tribeca spot for Portuguese-Asian fare and delicious cocktails. Ellabess is a new-comer to the Nolita area; but it hasn't caught on despite its tastey food.






The Long Version

Joseph Leonard
Gabe Stulman is the mastermind behind such restaurants as Little Owl, Market Table, Fedora, Jeffrey’s Grocery, and Joseph Leonard. Stulman’s West Village eateries are always packed and getting press. Recently, I went to Joseph Leonard on Waverly Place which Stulman named around his grandfathers (Joseph and Leonard). The place is small with only seven tables and a few bar stools surround a L-shaped bar. I pulled up a seat at the end of the bar, which gave me views of the kitchen as well as the corner of Waverly and Grove. I had read some articles on Joseph Leonard, but was surprised on how small the place was—or should I say cozy.





I grabbed a seat at the bar while I waited for some friends. The bartender was drinking a beer, so I figured I could enjoy a mid-day libation as well. The guy behind the bar was dick with his New York attitude. He chatted with a couple locals and didn’t really pay me much attention. After a few minutes of looking around and taking in the space, I was handed a crinkled menu by the server who was working the floor. She asked me if I wanted something stronger than water. I thought a Sixpoint would be a nice way to start the meal. The male poured my beer almost as I was bothering him, taking away from drinking time.



As my friends arrived, we moved to the elevated level above the bar, next to the kitchen. I was worried the place was going to become claustrophobic, but our corner table provided our own little nook. The female server was exactly opposite the bartender in that she was giving off good vibes—she was cool. She told us a few of her favorites and was really knowledgeable on the menu and the individual components of each dish. Jared and Soha seemed impressed with the place. The do-it-yourself d├ęcor made the restaurant feel like an extension of a friend’s home (or apartment since we’re in NYC). Old photographs added to Joseph Leonard’s character and gave a warm, homey feel. Joseph Leonard’s felt hip in that vintage kind of feel.

The food paired well with the atmosphere—casual, comfort food. The fried chicken sandwich and the pork sandwich were instant hits. The crispy buttermilk fried chicken sandwich was topped with roasted poblanos, cheddar, and a spicy mayo. This sandwich left a nice spicy sensation, which went well with my beer. The roasted pork sandwich came with a pickled jalapeno aioli, manchego cheese, avocado, and butter lettuce. Both sandwiches were pretty awesome. I also really enjoyed the corn soup, the sirracha brussel sprouts, and the hashbrown. The lady server also brought out a goat cheese and beet salad for the “sake of trying things”. All the food was well executed and I could definitely see myself going back.























































I definitely recommend checking out Joseph Leonard. Bypass the d-bag in the flannel shirt and driver cap and grab a table. This is a good spot to kick it with friends, have a solo meal, or even take a date. Supposedly it gets packed out at night, but my daytime visit had a nice low-key crowd.
































Eleven Madison Park
With the news of Eleven Madison Park being sold from Danny Meyer's Union Square Hospitality Group, I told myself I need to go here as much as possible before my 20% discount goes away. So after a breakfast shift at Maialino, I walked over to EMP--one of few restaurants in the city with a four-star rating from the New York Times. The space is grand although you get a bit of a banker feel being in the Credit Suisse building. A revolving door leads you into the lofty space where you are met with a handful of guest waiting to tend to your every need. Huge windows bring great light into the space and overlook Madison Square Park to Meyer's money-maker, Shake Shack.


I sit at the bar and take in the space. The bar is beautiful from the wood to the bottles that line the back wall. Daniel, the bartender, seemed a bit ridged; but lightened up as the meal progressed. He started me off with an English Heat, a delicious cocktail of London Dry Gin, Tuaca, Dry Vermouth, jalapeno infused agave, and lemon juice. It was a nice cocktail to start the afternoon being that it was light and refreshing--and very well balanced. Subtle heat from the jalapeno infused agave played as a nice backdrop to this delightful adult beverage.



Daniel asked if I had any food allergies that the chef should be aware of, this seemed to be common practice in the restaurant. An amuse bouches arrived shortly; but I'm not exactly sure what it was. Two cracker-like chips paired with a lemon-grass tea of some sorts. I enjoyed the airy crackers and the tea; but was ready for the lobster I had ordered. Before my entree came out, they sent out goat cheese done in two different ways. A goat cheese and beat lollipop was one way while little goat cheese balls were the other. Definitely delicious, but my hunger pains were still at full force. Bread service was next as the self-proclaimed "bread guy" placed a house-made roll onto my place next to two choices of butter--cow's milk and goat's milk. The rolls seemed like a hybrid of a roll and croissant-- I was happy. Daniel must have seen my enjoyment of the bread, so he brought out another roll. My entree came out soon after. Lobster with mushrooms at its simplest; but more complex that I can even describe. The presentation was beautiful and the flavors were dynamite. The buttery, delicate pieces of lobster on the same fork with beautiful prepared mushrooms reminded me that life is good. Everything on the plate was finished and I even used the last piece of my bread to mop up all the sauce. Being that I was still hungry, I was ready for dessert; but the options looked awesome. Although I left hungry, I left satisfied having one of the best lobster dishes I've ever had.


I am going back for dinner soon to get the whole experience. Tasting menu and wine pairings please!






Macao Trading Co
For quite some time, I've heard buzz surrounding Macao Trading Co in Tribeca. Most of the buzz was good, giving props to the guys who brought you Employees Only while other buzz found the restaurant "silly" and confusing. You've arrived at 311 Church Street and a red lantern lets you know you're there. The bar area appears first, so grabbing a drink from one of the "bar chefs" only seems right; but you might have to wait as the "mixologists" talk booze with their guests. Funny enough, no jiggers (measurements for making cocktails) were being used-- I guess they really pride themselves on free-pouring. The drinks are good and seemed to achieve balance; I sampled a few--Once Daily, Drunken Dragon's Milk, and the Bashful Maiden.




The dining room was pretty empty when we first arrived, but it definitely picked up throughout our meal. This joint gives the vibe as a late night destination where opium den meets port-side warehouse. The vibe is cool at this Portuguese meets China spot. Service is ok, but I wasn't expecting much. The only thing that really bothered me was the runners carrying multiple plates to your table, but only dropping off one. It kind of gave me hopes of getting more food and its disappointing especially when something looks good. Do they do that on purpose? Maybe I'll order a dish that I didn't order in the first place? Or maybe its mere convenience for the running team.




Anyway, lets talk about the food; which was all pretty good. The Jellyfish and Chinese Long Beans was an interesting option though not my favorite. The Pork Ribs might have been my favorite or was it the Mushroom and Truffle Croquettes--the jury is still out. Ants Climbing the Tree was a nice spicy dish of glass noodles, minced pork, and chilies but it didn't compare to the ribs or the croquettes. Towards the end of the meal, the waitress seemed like she wanted to turn the table so I felt like I was being pushed out. I didn't want any dessert, but I could have went for another drink--but she dropped the check; so obviously it was time to go. Overall, Macao Trading Co was a good time. Good vibes were complemented with good food and drinks; so I can definitely see myself going back; but maybe as more of a late night spot.









Ellabess
I never been to only guest in a restaurant untill last Sunday when I went to Ellabess in the Nolitan Hotel. Ellabess opened in July under the control of the folks who brought you dell'anima, L' Artusi, and Anfora. I was a bit confused at first, were they closed? They couldn't have been closed, they restaurant called to confirm my reservation. A few steps down is the restaurant, sunken below street level; but where is everyone? One of the waitors looked at me with surprise asking if he could help me while I looked backed equally confused. I walked up to the bar because I figured I'd get a drink at the very least. I wasn't sure I even wanted to eat after seeing such a dead restaurant. I started thinking why the restaurant didn't have a crowd. Granted the Nolitan Hotel isn't on the best part of Kenmare; but its by no means a bad location.. Still a bit taken-back, I chatted up the bartender trying to figure out why the restaurant wasn't crowded like its counterparts. He blamed it on the summer opening, but I don't know if I buy that either. The restaurant gave off a cold, unwelcoming vibe that looked out of a catalog; but maybe thats because it was completely empty except for the three staff members that roamed the floor.





My chat with the bartender changed directions as I asked him what kind of sweet vermouth he uses in making a negroni. He fumbled around and eventually picked up Carpano Antica, my choice sweet vermouth. Unsure, if I should just take the safe route and get a beer; I scanned the beer selection for a few seconds. I decided to put the bartender's skills to the test and asked for a negroni. A negroni was listed on the menu along with some other classics like the Hemingway daiquiri, old fashioned, and rusty nail. I thought it was cool to see some classics on the menu, but I was confused with choices such as the Harvey Wallbanger and White Russian. The bartender began to make my drink as he fumbled around the bar looking for his bar tools and the proper ingredients. I was happy to see him use a jigger, so atleast the proportions were right. Ellabess had good ice, which always impresses me and played a role in the drinks success.



My friend Jocelyn entered and she looked just as surprised as I did. We sat at the bar for a bit then grabbed a table. Since we had every table as an option, we picked a corner table that gave views of Kenmare and Elizabeth. It was kind of funny to see people look at the Ellabess menu outside; but none of the passer-bys stopped in. We remained the only diners there for a good half hour or so till another party of two entered--then a party of four a few minutes later. I was thinking maybe this was a late-night spot; but noone else came while we were there.

I don't know why this restaurant hasn't caught on because the food is delicious. My old sous chef at Tabla, Ty Kotz works with Executive Chef Troy Unruh so there is no lack of talent in the kitchen. Chef Troy worked at Del Posta before taking second in command at Dell'anima. At first glance, the seasonal American menu seemed a bit boring; but the dishes made me rethink. Black truffle gnocci was sent out first with the kitchens compliments after Jocelyn told our server she never had gnocci. The gnocci was delicious; but the delicata squash stole the show. The squash came with maitake mushrooms, bacon, red onion, basil, and a duck egg. I also enjoyed the striped bass tartare which was prepared with celery root, black truffle, speck and chives. The addition of speck really amped up the dish with a nice smokey flavor.

For our main course; got the roasted monkfish with pork belly, black trumpet mushrooms, and parsley root. This dish hit the spot as I often crave a duo of meat and fish. The monkfish was beautifully prepared and packed great flavor while the pork belly was topped with some sort of chocolate sauce. The sauce was quite good especially when combined with the parsley root puree that surrounded the plate. Jocelyn got three side orders instead of an entree. She got the spinach, brussel sprouts, and squash--all solid side dishes. Ty came out to say hello and brought us one of his favorite dishes--the quail. I'm not too sure how it was prepared; but it was my favorite thing of the night. The bird was cooked with a some love and a little bit of genius. The sunchoke puree was also a nice touch.

We finished with the waffle soufle that was accompanied by maple ice cream. Our server brought us some chocolates with our check.


Overall, I had a great experience at Ellabess. The staff was friendly and optimistic although the restaurant was dead. Our server seemed pretty knowledgeable on the menu and had a good attitude. The food was real good, so I can say with certainty that Ellabess food isn't the reason why they are dead. I guess we could just make assumptions to why Ellabess isn't packed; but I do hope they turn it around. I'm sure its a totally different experience on a Saturday night; but the people behind Ellabess have a track record of success so we'll just have to stay tuned to see if it endures the curse of the hotel restaurant.


















Monday, October 3, 2011

Week Review


Week in Review
Negronis at Momofuku Ssam Bar hit the spot after a hard nights work. The classic italian cocktail was made right with all equal proportions of sweet vermouth, campari, and gin while being stirred and strained over a large ice cube. You'd be surprised, but some classic cocktails including the negroni, martini, and manhattan are ruined by bartenders who don't know or just don't care. Its good to have a good cocktail even if it cost a little more. Another night after work I ended up at a bar on the corner of 14th and 7th. I thought the name was Tommy's, but I could be wrong. This bar was a shot/beer kind of place which was exactly what we were looking for. Friendly service, clean beer lines, and darts kept us there a little later than I planned; but thats ok.




Sushi Samba blew up when Sex and the City was big; but the chain-like sushi joint has passed its prime. Granted I had lunch there around 4:00; but the place was a ghost town. I couldn't even find my server to fill up my water or bring me my check. The sushi combo ($26) was alright; but alright doesn't make loyal guests. At the very least, they didn't even describe the fish in the combo labeled on the menu as chef's choice. I never had high expectations of this Latin-Japanese fusion spot, but I wanted to like it due to its proximity to work. But unfortunately Sushi Samba did not give me a reason to come back.




I would go back to Osterini Morini, Michael White's Soho hotspot. Michael White has gained a great reputation over the last couple years after great success at Marea, Corvivio, Alto, and Ai Fiori. I believe Michael White is now only involved in Osteria Morini, Marea, and Ai Fiori as well as two NJ restaurants. But we're glad he hasn't spread himself too thin because that's a curse of over-expansion that many chefs/restauranteurs endure. Our dinner at Osteria Morini proved that Michael White has trained his staff well even if he's not running the kitchen.






I was happy to see the bartenders at Osteria Morini were not only friendly, but knowledgeable on their craft. Our server continued the trend of knowledge and hospitality as we had a corner table overlooking the whole restaurant. People flocked in and the space became bustling. We started with a bottle of Lambrusca which only felt right as the osteria featured food and drink from Emilia-Romagna. Our first course seemed to hit the table in no time; but then again we probably got caught up in conversation. The ricotta gnocci was tossed in a pomodoro sauce with some speck and basil. The pillow-like gnocci was full of flavor and had a nice smokey-porky flavor from the speck.The garganelli was house-made penne pasta tossed with truffle butter, cream, prosciutto, and peas. This pasta was very tastey and provided a good sauce to dunk your bread in afterwords. Three crostinis also graced the table--two artichoke and one duck liver. Both were tastey although Dan thought the duck had a cat food texture. We were also sent out meatballs compliments of the kitchen. The meatballs were really good especially when placed on the toasted bread that accompanied them. After our pastas and sparkling wine, we moved on to a bottle of Sangiovese that Dan picked out. The wine might not have been Sue's favorite, but I thought it was good and paired well with my meat dish. My entree was a mixed grill of lamb, skirt steak, pork, and fennel sausage. This was a great way to try the different meats which Osteria Morini grills or split roasts. The combination of meat was simply seasoned and delicious. Dan got the branzino while Sue got the short rib which was the special of the evening. Both those dishes were solid dishes that reaffirms the talent in the kitchen. For dessert, we got the Gianduja Budino which is a chocolate-hazelnut custard, caffe crema, and cherry lambrusco sorbetto. This dessert was awesome. I usually pass on dessert because I'm never really intrigued enough; but this budino did the trick. We kept with Italian tradition and had a flight of amaro with dessert. We had nonino, luxardo albano, and fernet branca which is a good spectrum of the italian digestif. Our server gave us a pretty good descriptions of the amari while pouring them table-side. Three hours laters, it was time for an espresso and the check.













We then went across the street to La Esquina on the corner of Kenmare and Cleveland. La Esquina might just look like a taqueria, but a whole different world exists once you get past the girl with the clipboard. If she deems you OK to enter, you will enter a door labeled "Employees Only", head down the stairs, and zig-zag through the kitchen to a dimly lit space that looks like a mexican speakeasy. The place looks old and decayed, but I'm pretty sure thats a look that was designed rather than acquired through age. I don't know if La Esquina is as hip as it use to be; but its definitely still a scene. After our meal at Osteria Morini, we just wanted a drink so we sat in a cove-like indent and sipped our variations on the margarita. I didn't love the drinks, especially for the price; but the scene was cool and the company was cooler so all was good. Next time I will drink tequila on the rocks instead of an over-sweet margarita. I definitely want to try the food, i hear its bomb.





After drinks at La Esquina, we decided part ways. Dan and Sue went back to their Hoboken pad while I headed uptown to 23rd Street for a farewell party. One of my managers left, so he had a going-away party at The Globe between Lexington and 3rd. I've been here a few times and it proved to be a good time. There wasn't any dancing; but there was tons of drinking. Just when I thought the night was ended, a couple of us went over to KumgangSan, a 24-hour restaurant in K-town. We ordered way to much food for 4am; but everything was pretty good. K-Town got a bunch of late night spots if your ever craving Korean food at early-morning hours.