Tag Archives: bread

RW Lunch: i Trulli

i Trulli is a lovely and charming Italian restaurant with a gorgeous outdoor garden in the back, where a friend and I enjoyed our Restaurant Week lunch meal.

i trulli_meFirst we were given water and our glass was always full. Then the waiter brought out a small basket of bread: There were 2 different types. One was foccaccia like with sun-dried tomato, fennel, rosemary and other seasoning. The other was rustic brown bread. It came with nice fluffy and creamy butter.

i trulli_breadI had the baby calzones for my appetizer. One had cheese and tomato filling, while the other was sausage and broccoli rabe. I think I liked the cheesy one better. There wasn’t enough of the filling in the other calzone.

i trulli_appsFor my main course, I chose the “straw and hay” pasta dish, Paglia e Fieno, which came with peas, pancetta (lots of it, to my delight) and cream sauce. It was truly delicious! The pasta itself were long strips of golden yellow and green colors and cooked to perfection. The peas were fresh and wonderful, the pancetta was incredibly flavorful with just the right amount of salt, slightly crispy with tons of great seasoning. It tasted amazing. The dish also came with lots of Parmesan cheese. It was very rich and filling.

i trulli_pastaMy friend had the Pork Scaloppini which was pork medallions with bread salad of tomatoes, onion and cucumber. The presentation was really nice and I loved that it was so colorful, but I wasn’t a huge fan of the pork. It didn’t taste all that flavorful to me and was a bit too chewy. The salad was pretty tasty though.

i trulli_porkchopDessert was Torta di Cioccolato, chocolate cake with a scoop of coconut sorbetti. When we were first served dessert, my friend and I felt that the portion size was quite small, but it still satisfied us. The cake, however, was more like a mini brownie with chocolate drizzled on top. The ice cream was in a perfect small ball and there was toffee peanut brittle underneath it. I enjoyed the cake which was chocolate-y, moist and slightly sweet, while the coconut sorbetti was refreshing and light.

i trulli_dessertI really enjoyed the meal, atmosphere and attentive service at i Trulli.

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i Trulli
124 E 27 St
New York, NY

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Luncheon Tasting at Bouley

Dining at Bouley is quite a delightful & delicious experience. When first walking in, you are greeted by coat check and the wood paneling filled from top to bottom with red and green apples, which gives off a sweet, crisp wonderful scent.

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Upon entering the actual restaurant, you are transported into a world of elegance and splendor. There are plush dark velvet blue seats, walls painted a lighter blue, bordered with beautiful white lilies.

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After the rest of our party arrived, we were escorted to the main dining room, which is warm and lovely, giving off a Parisian-feeling with vaulted ceilings. “The interior features limestone from the Versailles quarry, a handcrafted fireplace and 19th century-inspired quarter-sawn oak and walnut parquet floors.”

We are given two pieces of bread to start with. I liked the one with apple and raisin- Soft, sweet and tasty. Then came two amuse-bouches that were oh so good. The first, a pink concoction that tasted of watermelon puree and had a sprinkling of sesame seed and brittle, a bit of cream and the surprise taste of smooth, flavorful cheese at the bottom. The other bite was truffle on top of a savory, wonderful sauce and thin cracker.

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Next, was our appetizer and I ordered the chlorophyll soup, which came bright green and was made out of kale, spinach, sweet peas, asparagus and other green ingredients. It was hearty, savory creamy and full of flavor.

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Before our next course, along came the famous bread cart, complete with around 10+ different types of bread. I enjoyed the rosemary and garlic, as well as the one with blackcurrant. There was also a special one that is a combination of 3 different types of bread. All of it was delicious, but dare I say, too much bread!

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I had to try the Porcini Flan (one of Bouley’s most known dishes), which consists of Alaskan Live Dungeness Crab and black truffle dashi. The dish may not look like much in the image below, but the flavors here are incredible and the crab extremely tender and delicious. The black truffle and egg custard add to the taste and everything combines together beautifully.

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The next course was organic Long Island duck, which came within a sauce of Hudson Valley organic hand milled polenta and confit of young organic clementines. The duck was cooked to perfection and the sauce was sweet and worked well with the duck. I did not like the dates with prosciutto cooked in duck fat on the side though.

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I also tried the beef cheeks with blue kale gnocchi. The beef cheeks were slow braised kobe style and quite good- A bit spicy but not too much. The beef was tender, full flavored and the gnocchi were creamy and delicious. I actually liked this dish better.

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We were given a little taste of fingerling potato mash, which was fresh made, still warm, velvety smooth, fluffy and had the yummy taste of potatoes and butter.

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Next, came our first dessert. I had the strawberries with amaretto ice cream. The flavor of the amaretto ice cream was intense and wonderful. The fruit, very sweet sauce and ice cream worked well together.

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The final course was hot Valrhona molten cake with chocolate mousse, white chocolate ice cream and it was simply divine! The chocolate was indeed hot and oozed out of the souffle cake. It was full of rich chocolate flavor, perfectly velvety smooth, and just so darn delectable.  The ice cream wasn’t all that flavorful and I could have done without the mousse, but the cake was good enough to stand on its own. If this was the only course I had at Bouley, I would have been satisfied…. That’s how good it was.

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We even got to try some truffles and chocolate which was so sweet of Bouley!

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This luncheon tasting meal will go down in history as one of my favorite meals ever. And it’s such a steal at $55, especially compared to the $175 6-course tasting menu for dinner. Also, the service was impeccable. Such a beautiful restaurant (now one of my favorites) with little treats in between courses, more bread than you can handle, with an elegant (jackets-required), but not pretentious atmosphere.

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Bouley
163 Duane Street
New York, NY

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Homemade Italian Dinner

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Tonight, I had a chance to help make a delicious, simple Italian dinner with a friend from Italy! We started with preparing and cutting the vegetable: Butternut squash, pumpkin, onions, tomatoes.

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I took upon the task of cutting the prosciutto into tiny cubes – Something I took great pride in doing well. The prosciutto was then cooked in simmering oil.

DSCN6257Next, I started taking the butternut squash slices, coating them in egg batter then loose bread crumbs…

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The squash was then dropped into a small pot of boiling oil so that they could be fried until they turned golden brown. It tasted wonderful — The fried squash was tender, fresh, slightly sweet with a satisfying crunchy exterior.

DSCN6262My friend also prepared bruschetta: Cut up bread that was warmed up in the oven paired with diced tomato, onion and fresh basil leaves. While I loved the taste of basil, I would’ve liked a little more flavor to the sauce- Perhaps some more garlic, olive oil and vinegar.

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The main course was pasta cooked perfectly al dente, filled with pumpkin and prosciutto and tasted absolutely delightful. Each bite was a burst of wonderful flavor, even without it being doused with sauce… I loved that the pasta was flavorful enough on its own, cooked in the juices of prosciutto and olive oil.

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We ended the meal with some mashed pumpkin with onion. It had an enjoyable and unique taste to it. I had a great time learning how to prepare some classic Italian dishes and of course, eating our creations!

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