Another week, another new type of fish cooked! I have never been crazy about swordfish. For some reason, I tend to associate it with a dry and tough piece of meat. But happily, I discovered how wrong I had been. After marinating the thick meaty filets in an hour in a mixture of rosemary, garlic, lemon zest and juice, I grilled them quickly on each side for 4 minutes. The lemon and rosemary flavors mixed so well with the simple herb de Provence roasted vegetables and orzo dressed in smoked tomato vinaigrette.
Ever since moving to Chelsea, I have always relied on the Lobster Place in the Chelsea Market for my seafood needs whenever I want to cook. While I could find almost whatever fish I needed there, it did lack one thing – a more proper sit down seafood restaurant/counter with a proper menu. This was a void that Cull & Pistol, which opened earlier this summer by the Lobster Place, filled so well.
For starters, the little tiny shop tucked in between the Lobster Place and the Green Table offers a number of fresh oysters as well plump clams. I love to kick off the meal there with one or the other, just a little something light.
For something a little more substantial, the soups and salads here are sizable and easily shared. The chopped salad here is studded with smoked trout, green apples and red beets. All of this is dressed up with a horseradish dressing and a crackling of fried trout skin. And what is an oyster bar without a seafood stew? Cull & Pistol has two and their version of a chowder is the oyster and leek soup. Even though the chowder is creamy, the result with oysters and bacon is more smokey and light than milky and heavy.
In the appetizer section of the menu, there is usually one crudo. During one visit in late summer, we were lucky enough to find a fantastic crudo of yellowtail and grilled peaches with Thai chili. The combination of the sweet smokey peaches and light lemony dressing with the hit of from the peppers was simply outstanding.
The Long Island clam toast is a little more substantial but very messy to eat. There are plenty of clams studded with bites of salty ham. The ciabatta bread is really just a vehicle to deliver the loose clam and ham salad into your mouth.
Initially listed under the entrees, the uni tagliatelle has since changed zip codes and landed in the appetizer section. The good thing is that the dish has not changed much, from neither the ingredients to the portion size. That is to say that this is a rather sizable shared appetizer unless you are very hungry, then this would be a sensible entree. The tender squid ink tagliatelle strands are coated with a creamy thick uni based sauce. The stewed tomatoes add a nice acidity to the rich dish which is finished off with a crunch of bread crumbs.
During my visits to Cull & Pistol, I found myself more drawn to the appetizers than the entrees but one that I wouldn’t mind revisiting is the miso glazed hamachi collar. There is plenty of meat on the collar and yuzu mushroom dashi balances out the sweet miso glaze perfectly.
One thing that I have always ordered from Cull & Pistol is their New Bay fries. I am not quite sure what makes them different than Old Bay but they are certainly addicting.
Like many of their peers, Cull & Pistol doesn’t offer a dessert menu. Instead, all meals here end with an orange gelato from L’arte del Gelato. The sweet orange creamsicle gelato just brings back summer memories, regardless of the weather outside. And if one little scoop isn’t enough to satisfy your sweet tooth, you don’t have to wander far inside Chelsea Market for more sweets.
Cull & Pistol | 75 Ninth Avenue, New York, NY 10011 | http://cullandpistol.com/
Day 330: Newest Addition to Midtown Lunch Options. I love that the midtown west area is finally getting some love from restaurants. The latest to open is the second branch of the Japanese chain, Ootoya. The affordable spot is a great choice to grab lunch with a coworker and is nice enough for a client lunch too.
Day 331: Donburis at Ivan’s Slurp Shop. A few of us took advantage of the slower week before Thanksgiving to sneak away for lunch at Gotham West Market. Who knew that a ramen shop would have such delicious rice bowls?
Day 332: Happy Thanksgiving! Celebrated this year in the city with friends and a table full of food. Most importantly, a delicious fried turkey all the way from Chicago.
Day 333: Homemade Cranberry and Walnut Bread. This was my second attempt at making a no knead bread courtesy of Jim Lahey. Barely sweet and studded with walnuts and cranberries, the bread was delicious toasted with smear of butter and drizzle of honey.
Day 334: Roasted Chestnut Doughnut and Ginger Doughnut from Doughnut Plant. I love the Doughnut Plant‘s seasonal flavors and what says winter and the holidays like roasted chestnuts? I devoured the airy and chewy doughnut with a bittersweet Valrhona mocha – perfect for the cold day.
I need to brag a little bit here. After such a failure last time to make these cornflake, marshmallow and chocolate chip cookies last time, I think I managed to improve quite a bit. Even though the cookies still don’t look quite like the Momofuku Milk Bar ones, the flavor was mostly spot on (and my coworkers mostly agreed!). This just means that I have more work to do in the kitchen!
It took me a while to get back into the grove of baking but I slowly got back into the rhythm. First batch to hit the oven was the funfetti cookies. Just looking at the sprinkles (or jimmies if you are from the South) makes me happy. Of course, it’s even better when the room is slowly filled with the sweet scent of butter and sugar.
I have walked by Rosemary’s in the West Village so many times in the past year and a half but the crowd inside has always deterred me. I had pretty given up on the idea of trying this Italian enoteca and trattoria when I passed by recently early one morning. The spacious and sun drenched restaurant was only half filled so I immediately planned a brunch for the next weekend.
Three of us arrived just a little past noon on a Saturday in the fall and waited a short while at the bar with a cup of coffee before we were seated. It was almost nice enough to sit outside on the side walk but we opted to enjoy our meal indoors to fully experience the beautiful interior of the restaurant.
The brunch menu at Rosemary’s included an abbreviated version of their dinner menu as well as some brunch options. Since it was our first time here, we had to start with some small plates and one of their focacces that we saw waiters parading out the open kitchen every two minutes. After much deliberation, we settled on a trio of the cabbage, pecorino, chilies and almond salad, the chickpeas and smoked onions, and the radishes with butter and thyme with a side of focaccia filled with stracchino cheese.
My favorite of the three vegetables was by far the chickpeas and smoked onions. The smokiness from the onions created a robust under tone for the sweet and sour dressing and the creaminess of the chickpeas. The cabbage salad was light and refreshing while the radishes with butter was presented in an interesting nontraditonal way, they really could have used a good sprinkle of coarse flor de sal.
The focaccia arrived at our table right out of the oven and stuffed with a soft stracchino cheese. The bread was crispy while the cheese unbelievably creamy and buttery. This was definitely worth ordering.
After gorging on the appetizers, we move onto our main dishes. Rapini all’ uovo for ER and the eggs Benedict for JL. The rapini all’ uovo was a simple dish, consisting of a bed of grilled broccoli rabe, charred radicchio, and mozzarella, all topped with a poached egg and bread crumbs. This was a light dish that was perfect for vegetarians or if you were in a vegetable kind of mood. The eggs Benedict was a basic preparation as well – house made coppa cotta was layered on top of crusty grilled filone with a perfectly poached egg.
And for me? I was in the mood for something a little heartier so I chose the stringhe di funghi at the urging of the waiter. This was definitely by far the biggest plate of the three. A generous portion of sauteed oyster mushroom was in the middle and topped with two poached eggs. And either side were large helpings of prosciutto and pan fried fingerling potatoes. I resisted polishing off the entire plate but failed in the end to say no to the crispy burnt bits of salty prosciutto and potatoes.
It would have been great to sample some of the pastas on the menu but alas, we hit our limits for brunch. This is just another reason to come back and revisit. The brunch menu here is eclectic and diverse, great for whatever mood you might be in first thing in the morning. Plus, the lovely setting could have not been more perfect for a girls’ brunch. We can always use more of those in the neighborhood.
Rosemary’s | 18 Greenwich Avenue, New York, NY 10011 | http://rosemarysnyc.com/
I love it when restaurants start to offer a lunch service, especially when it’s one like Carbone with a nearly impossible to obtain a dinner reservation.
Lunch here starts like dinner with their fabulously buttery and delicious garlic bread and some slices of prosciutto.
My lunch companion and I split a generous portion of Carbone’s spicy rigatoni vodka. The al dente pastas were coated with their addicting creamy sauce with a punch. The half portion was just the right amount for a first course.
In addition to some of the classics from the dinner menu, Carbone offers a few lunch specials including a variation on a club sandwich. Filled with beef carpaccio, the sandwich was lightly dressed with tomato slices and watercress. The triple decker was held together with a metal rod along with some crunchy pickled vegetables. To make it a more substantial dish, the sandwich was complete with a small ceramic dish of pan roasted fingerling potatoes.
Because we kept lunch light, it felt only right to round out the meal with a slice of their decadent carrot cake along with a macchiato. Plus it was just too hard to resist when they roll out the dessert cart right up to our table.
Carbone | 181 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012 | http://carbonenewyork.com/