Thursday, November 1, 2012

Hurricane Eats

I think the NoMad restaurant was one of the only restaurants in Manhattan open on Monday afternoon. Walking through the town, restaurants and shops were boarded up ready for Hurricane Sandy's beat down. Not only was the NoMad open, but it were packed. We were lucky enough to grab 3 seats at the bar, which was probably the best thing we could have done. Three hours, many cocktails, and 1 roasted chicken later--we were pretty happy campers.

Will, the bartender, started us off with cocktails off their ambitious cocktail list; but then started branching off on a "bartenders choice" routine. He nailed it every time after we gave him some guidelines. But the drinks weren't the only good thing about our hurricane lunch. The food was delicious! The roast chicken for 2 is pricey at $79, but it might be the best chicken you will ever eat. The chicken is roasted with foie gras, black truffle, and brioche. We also drank Le Poulet which is the beer that Brooklyn Brewery has created to pair with the chicken. DAMN, thats good!

 The slow poached egg appetizer was good, but fell short of being a memorable. The radishes made me think I could eat radishes everyday! They were butter-dipped with fleur de sel. The squash entree was also really good and made me think that eating healthy would be easy if I could replicate this.

We sat at the bar for hours sipping on deliciously balanced cocktails and chatting. It was hard to believe  the tranquility inside compared to the chaos outside. The music almost gave off that somber hotel vibe inside while winds ripped violently around the city outside the walls.

This marked my second visit to the NoMad and both were awesome. The first time we started in the bar with some cocktails and apps and then moved into the library for more cocktails. It was also pretty sweet that Leo (head bartender) told John Mayer that he couldn't sit in our "reserved seats". Don't worry John, your body is still a wonderland.

Around Town

Few spots that I stopped by...

Empellon Cocina in the East Village for brunch. Food was decent, but didn't love it. Portion size kept me hungry. Good company saved the experience. I expected more from Alex Stupak who worked at Alinea and WD50.

Dell'Anima for an after-dinner drink, but wouldn't mind going back for some pasta! Small space with a sexy vibe--good date spot?

Swine is a newer West Village spot next to Red Farm on Hudson Street. Stopped here while waiting for our table. Our server was a total stoner, but super nice and friendly. Got a plate of meats and cheese that held us over for our feast next door. They ran out of 3-4 beers we ordered but also gave us 2 beers for free because of the inconvenience--good recovery! Our server said we should definitely come back for free pinball upstairs!

New Age Chinese Food

Walk into Red Farm on Hudson Street and feel like you've been transported to a farmhouse from the 1800s. Ed Schoenfield and Joe Ng's created Red Farm in the West Village as a different approach to Chinese dining. Ed Schoenfield continues to evolve Chinese cuisine into fun, modern, and hip. Who other to hire than Joe Ng--dim sum master! You might remember Joe Ng's fresh and playful approach to cooking from Chinatown Brasserie. Chef Ng's wanted to bring a "greenmarket sensibility" to the menu at Red Farm. But even if you don't feel that sensibility, you will still have a good meal whether you're tucked into a banquette  or sharing a communal table with strangers. Not everything will blow your mind, but solid food for sure. Good vibes and definitely worth checking out.