Tag Archives: New York

[Guest Post] Peter in NY without Me

Graffiti Food & Wine Bar
The Breslin Bar

It may sound strange, but since going out to nice restaurants together is our “thing”, I tend to get very jealous if my husband Peter eats out without me. Especially if it’s a restaurant on one of my “must EAT wish lists”.

When Peter has a business dinner here in town and I’m not going with him, he makes sure to eat somewhere we’ve already been to before. This way he knows what to expect from the restaurant, but it also assures him that he’ll be welcomed home afterwards. But when he’s away on business, I tend to ease up on my culinary envy… or at least I TRY.

Peter’s official job title is “Senior Vice President of Creative Advertising for the Theatrical division of 20th Century Fox”. When people ask me what he does for work, I keep it simple by saying, “he makes movie posters”. What the job actually entails isn’t really all that simple.

Before working with various design firms and print shops around town (as well as his team at the studio), Peter has to travel to film sets to spend time with the film makers, photographers, and of course actors (plus their many handlers)… to GET THE POSTER SHOT. He’s looking for that one image that will SELL the movie, but also other photos for publicity, teaser prints, theater art, billboards, bus shelters, bus sides, standees inside theaters and newspapers (yes, they still print those!).

Peter in NYCPeter recently had to fly to New York to work on “Wall Street 2” (Gordon Gekko is back!). Unfortunately I couldn’t go with him since I need more than a few days notice to organize a house and dog sitter (three needy rescues plus our neighbor’s dog).

When he called from Manhattan on Friday and said he had ordered room service for dinner, I laughed and said: “are you KIDDING me? You’re in New York. Go OUT!”

Since his visit was unplanned, there was no way Peter would get a table at a place like Corton or Momofuku Ko (two of many on my to-do list) so I suggested he try Graffiti restaurant in the village. The restaurant’s chef / owner, Jehangir Mehta, was my favorite contestant on “The Next Iron Chef”. He made each episode so interesting with his cunning and clever moves!

Peter called Graffiti and was told they were booked up, but since he was a party of one the restaurant would accommodate him. After ditching $100 room service dinner, he grabbed a cab and headed for the tiny 470 square foot restaurant, and was shocked to see chef Mehta greet him at the door (since the finale of Next Iron Chef hadn’t aired yet). Peter was seated with (in his words) “three lovely Graffiti veterans: Megan, Marisa and Galit”.

So, there was my husband… out on the town in New York, dining with three women that he just met in a cool village eatery. Was I jealous? You bet your sweet cheeks I was… jealous of the FOOD. I’m sure his “dates” were lovely, but my heart was a little bit broken over missing Chef Mehta’s Braised Pork Buns and Pickled Ginger Scallops!

The next morning Peter called and I almost didn’t pick up (but I did). He wanted to know where he should have brunch that day (he slept in because he was so FULL from dinner) and being the forgiving wife, I suggested April Bloomfield’s Breslin. We both loved eating at the Spotted Pig (also by Bloomfield) a few years back, and the Breslin is her newly opened hot spot.

Peter raved about the succulent Lamb burger, then was off to spend the afternoon with famed photographer Annie Liebovitz, while she photographed Shia Laboef and Michael Douglas.

I know… what a crazy world. I sometimes I forget he’s there to work, not eat.

Peter’s iPhone Photos and Notes:

Peter at Graffiti NYC
Graffiti’s Braised Pork Buns, Apricot Chutney 
Peter’s Notes: I took bad photos (iPhone camera and low light… not a good combo). Thanks Marisa for taking the only decent photo of the night – the braised pork buns (above) which was my favorite bite of the evening!

Peter at Graffiti NYC
Grafitti in iPhone photos! Top Left: Marisa and Megan (Galit not pictured) , Zucchini Hummus Pizza, Pickled Ginger Scallops with Candied Red Chili, The TINY (but amazing) 40 square foot kitchen, Hazelnut Chocolate Caviar Cupcake and Chocolate Chip Ice Cream, Green Chili Shrimp with Mirin Daikon Moong Salsa, Chef Mehta’s Sister

Peter at Graffiti NYC
Peter with Chef Mehta himself!

Peter at Breslin, NYC
Breslin’s Lamb Burger
Peter’s notes: Crumbles of goat and feta cheeses, thin swirls if small red onions and cumin mayo. Messy juicy good. Didn’t get any on my clothes but I could feel it oozing out the corners of my mouth.

Peter at Breslin, NYC
Breslin Menu, Fries

Peter at Breslin, NYC
Breslin Interior (reminiscent of Spotted Pig)

Graffiti Food and Wine Bar
224 E 10th St
(between 1st Ave & 2nd Ave) 
New York, NY 10003
(212) 677-0695

Breslin Bar
Ace Hotel
20 W 29th St
New York, NY 10001
(212) 679-1939

Thanks Peter! Can’t wait to actually EAT at Graffiti and Breslin SOMEDAY soon!

More Links:



Filed under Eating Out

The Bazaar by José Andrés [5,6]

Friday night at the Bazaar with the guys. No special occasion, just me and three handsome men celebrating the coming weekend with groovy, “new way” cocktails and platters of mostly “modern” tapas.

Joining me was my husband Peter (of course), our friend Julian (an artist and musician in Peter’s band), and photographer extraordinaire Andrew Macpherson. This was Julian and Andrew’s inaugural visit to the Bazaar, and I’ve jokingly started to call these first timers my “Bazaar Virgins” when I check in with the hostess… which pretty much makes me the devoted “Bazaar Courtesan”, I know.

So what’s better than Friday night at the Bazaar with three adventurous, sophisticated and talented men?

The answer of course is, Saturday night at the Bazaar with three adventurous, sophisticated and talented men! That’s right… we went two nights in a row, but understand this is only because we heard that the man himself, the one and only José Andrés, would (possibly) be in town. Indeed he was, and I got serious goose bumps seeing him standing nearby in his sexy white chef coat! On his PBS show, “Made in Spain”, he usually dresses in casual button-down shirts and khaki pants, but watching him command the room in uniform was sort of intoxicating.

At first I was a little nervous for the staff, especially for the crew in the open kitchen. Andrés is a perfectionist and he was definitely inspecting (sometimes photographing) each dish as it went out to diners. I looked at his face and there was something missing. Where was the exuberant smile that he sports on television? Where was his jovial, “everybody’s my pal” demeanor? 

Then I thought, “oh, he’s WORKING… he’s the BOSS”, it’s the “Bazaar by José Andrés” after all! When he took a seat near our table, I began to hear his familiar laugh as he started to relax. Since I was so used to the “happy-go-lucky” chef on television, I had thrown myself into a nervous state when the “real-life, this-is-business” chef emerged. It was pretty funny that I was the one that was flustered, because when I looked back in the kitchen, I realized that the crew (and the entire staff for that matter) were calm and collected… confidently gliding through dinner service. 

As we enjoyed our drinks and tapas, I kept hoping that I’d get a minute with chef Andrés, so I could tell him how much I love his newest restaurant. By that point he had been out of the kitchen for over an hour or so, and was happily holding court in one of the big, black leather booths against the wall.

We had met before, briefly, at Wolfgang Puck’s American Wine and Food Festival last fall. I told him then how I couldn’t stop obsessing over a Spanish blue cheese that I first learned about on “Made in Spain”. He laughed when I blamed him for my creamy addiction and blurted, “Cabrales is like CRACK”! Not my classiest moment, but it was a good one.

After our extended Bazaar dinner, we did get to say hello and I was happily stunned to learn that José Andrés had visited my website. When I introduced myself, he said “I didn’t recognize you at first, without the bread in your mouth”. 

Note to self: From now on, carry a demi-baguette when dining out.

What we ate:

 'Pa amb' tomaquet, Jamones. MyLastBite.com
‘Pa amb’ tomaquet (bread with tomato in Catalan) – Toasted sliced rustic bread brushed with fresh tomatoes AND Jamones (“Flight of all three” platter): Jamón Serrano (literally mountain ham), Jamón Ibérico (Iberian Ham), Jamón Serrano de bellota (higher fat content than Jamón Serrano).

Dragon's Breath! MyLastBite.com
Making the “Dragon’s Breath”, Caramel popcorn bites cooked in liquid nitrogen.

Tres Dragons, MyLastBite.com
Andrew, Peter and Julian experiencing the “Dragon’s Breath”!  What a shame this has been removed from the regular menu (but may be available in the private Saam dining room).

Japanese "Taco", MyLastBite.com
Japanese “Taco”: Grilled eel, shiso, cucumber, wasabi, chicharron.

Above photos taken on Friday 3/13/09
Below photos taken on Saturday 3/14/09

Our Reserved Table at Bar Centro, MyLastBite.com
Our reserved table in Bar Centro

Magic Mojito, MyLastBite.com 
The “Magic Mojito” arrives with a martini glass filled with cotton candy. Then the waiter pours rum (strained over ice) which dissolves into the glass!

At the Bazaar, MyLastBite.com
Peter and Andrew enjoying from top left: Pa’amb Tomaguet (Cataln Style toasted bread rubbed with tomato), Not Your Everyday Caprese (Tomato and Liquid Mozzarella Pipettes), Sweet Potato Chips with Tamarind Yogurt Dip, Jamón Ibérico. In the middle are the Papas Canarias (Salty, Wrinkled Potatoes, with Mojo Verde Sauce on the side) and a partial view of the Organized Arugula Salad (Raspberries, Corn, Cabrales Blue Cheese)

NOTE: Photographing at the Chef’s table is difficult. We jokingly called it the “TRON Table”!

Potato Foam, Caviar MyLastBite.com
Tortilla de patatas: Potato Foam, egg 63 (cooked at 63 degrees), caramelized onions (served in egg shell). I LOVE this new version of the potato foam. It used to come in a large martini glass and I prefer this smaller portion with more textures. On the right side of photo is the American Caviar Cone.

One Bite Wonder! MyLastBite.com
Foie Gras Cotton Candy! Me, Julian, my husband Peter and Andrew.

Meeting Jose, MyLastBite.com
Julian, Andrew, José Andrés, Peter

With Jose Andres, MyLastBite.com
Jo & José

At the Bazaar, MyLastBite.com
With the chefs that keep us coming back for more! Marcel Vigneron, (LUCKY me), Michael Voltaggio and Ruben Garcia

Bites we usually have on every visit:

Foie Gras and Quince on mini Brioche Bun

Organized Caesar Salad with Quail Egg and Parmesan

Boneless Chicken Wings with Green Olive Puree and Ice Plant

Foie Gras rolled in Corn Nuts and wrapped in Cotton Candy

Latas Y Conservas: King Crab and Raspberries

Philly Cheesesteak: Air Bread, Whipped Cheddar and Wagyu Beef 

Bazaar by José Andrés, SLS Hotel
465 South La Cienega Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(310) 246-5555

Mentioned above:

Andrew Macpherson’s Photographs

Julian Hill’s Artwork

Peter’s band, Rubylith

Meeting José the first time

Cabrales Cheese

Made in Spain 

<– Bazaar Visit #4

–> Bazaar Visit #7

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Filed under Eating Out, Molecular Cooking