Tag Archives: dessert

New Year’s Eve

2014

Flying from CA –> NYC on the Red Eye with a stopover in Atlanta, arriving back on the East Coast afternoon of New Year’s Eve and realizing that my luggage was not at JFK. Apparently it was still in Atlanta! Thankfully, it wasn’t a big issue because I had all my necessary items (including my NYE dress) in my carry on. After ensuring that I would get my delayed luggage delivered to my apartment, I headed home for some much needed rest before going out for New Year’s Eve celebrations.

So, what did I wear? Hot pink & silver glitter, an Enfocus Studio dress with filmy light pink V-neck top with black skirt bottom & sparkly black sequined middle, paired with black high heel boots that have silver sparkles.

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On the way to the venue, I ran into a friend who was going to the same party, which was great timing (also because he didn’t see me fall on the little pothole in the concrete). The venue was beautiful- Wood floors, high ceilings, glittering golden drapes, strung up blue twinkling lights, a stage with large projector and a gorgeous view of the beautiful New York City skyline, with the Empire State Building resplendent in flashing colors, front & center.

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As soon as we walked in, there were waiters with appetizers on trays. My favorite was the chicken filo cups- The chicken was shredded and had a hearty flavor, while the filo cups were flaky and wonderfully crispy at the same time. There was also smoked salmon stuffed cornbread. The cornbread was perfectly soft and buttery, with a slight flavor of salmon. I liked that the flavor of the salmon was not overpowering. Last, there were tomato basil mozzarella cheese balls. It was light, juicy and tasty. Then there were long tables beautifully arranged for a sit down dinner, with gold glitter down the middle and candles.

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For dinner, we had the choice of tomato basil soup or salad. I had the soup, which was not warm and tasted mediocre in my opinion. The entree more than made up for it though. It was stuffed pork tenderloin with a side of wild rice and asparagus with sliced almonds and Parmesan cheese. I really enjoyed the stuffed pork- It was wrapped with bacon, and so deliciously tender and full of great flavor. The wild rice was also quite good, with the right consistency and flavor.  The asparagus were cooked well and the almonds and parmesan combined together was a yummy touch.

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Then, we had some live entertainment and got to see some amazing singers and dancers perform. I enjoyed the heartfelt performances and the last song sung was “Twist & Shout” to get us all up and dancing. It worked. We danced for the next few hours with a live feed of the Times Square celebrations in the background.

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We took a break from dancing to raid the dessert/candy buffet, which had various pastries, yellow cake with cream and fruit, cookies, chocolates, marshmallows, chocolate + yogurt covered pretzels, white covered peanuts, golden gumballs and more!

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Before we knew it, it was the countdown to midnight! Champagne toast, shouting, hugs, kisses and love. I had such a wonderful time ringing in the new year dancing up a storm in the company of some great friends! And I even got a ride home. How I ask for a better New Year’s Eve?

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Roast Pig Feast at Back Forty

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I had the chance to enjoy a roast suckling pig feast for a private dinner last night at Back Forty. We were served salad first, which consisted of pork, beans, crispy skin and/or bacon and a sauce that I couldn’t quite figure out. It was delicious- Very flavorful and I enjoyed the crunchy saltiness of the salad.

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Next we had goat soup, which tasted like it had a tomato base with various vegetables. It was just okay. Then there was corn bread which came in a super cute iron skillet, with herb infused butter. The corn bread was wonderful- Warm, moist, with a crumbly consistency and slightly sweet. And the butter brought out the flavors more fully.

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After that the waiters came in to show us the whole suckling pig on a platter, which was a bit disconcerting actually- It kind of ruined my appetite to some degree. The suckling pig was served Porchetta style — Boned out, stuffed, and roasted with slaw on top. It was incredibly tender, succulent, flavorful and the skin was crisp and salty. The slaw was a nice accompaniment and slightly spicy.

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There was also crunchy thick country style bread with spinach, which was delicious and didn’t even need butter!

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And then there was dessert. It was what looked like chocolate cake with whipped cream and poached pear. Upon tasting the concoction, we realized it was ginger cake and that the whipped cream was bourbon infused. The cake had a nice zesty flavor and the bourbon whipped cream, along with the maple-soaked pear  added to the deliciousness.

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Overall, a pretty good meal with excellent service, though a little on the pricey side.

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Back Forty
190 Avenue B #1
New York, NY
http://backfortynyc.com/

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Stanton Social Feast

I indulged at Lower East Side restaurant hot spot, Stanton Social, getting to try many of the specialty treats, by sharing the small plates. I started off with a non-alcoholic sweet crushed strawberry drink, with a rind of orange. It tasted fruity and delicious. The strawberries at the bottom were a nice touch.

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Our feast of a meal started off with potato and goat cheese pierogies, which came with caramelized onion and truffle creme fraiche. They were melt-in-your-mouth delicious: Crispy and flavorful, the goat cheese and potato were a perfect combination.

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Then the Maryland Jumbo Lumb Crab Cake “Corn Dogs,” which were just okay… The sauce it came with was delicious and complemented the crab cake well, but the overall crab flavor wasn’t very strong.

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The Mushroom & Fontina Quesadilla was wonderful – the mushroom tasted fresh and of great consistency with the delightfully tasty melted cheese.

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We also had one of Stanton Social’s signature dishes, French Onion Soup Dumplings – A unique and interesting concept that lacks the proper execution. The dish came extremely hot, but the soup got absorbed into the cheese, so it wasn’t actually soup dumplings… It was more like cheesy french onion melded together with croutons on top. The taste was okay, but the texture was  bit too chewy and dry. A note to Stanton Social: Leave the soup dumplings to the Shanghainese!

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We also tasted the spicy lamb souvlakis, which were unimpressive. The lamb wasn’t spicy at all, the taste was a bit bland and overall not memorable.

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Then came the entrees. We had to try the Chicken and Waffles. It was brick pressed chicken on aged cheddar waffle, corn pudding and balsamic spiced maple syrup. This was also a disappointment. The waffles were soft and had very little flavor. The chicken were also not great.

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The next dish, Spaghettini Carbonara, on the other hand, which came with braised pork belly and sunny-side up quail egg, was delicious. The spaghetti, pork and quail egg were bursting with delightful flavor and combined to make an inspired treat.

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Then there were the shrimp and grits, which was mediocre to me. The pan roasted shrimp was pretty tasty, but I could have done without the cheddar grits.

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The Sriracha Pea Crusted Salmon, with Asian pesto and soba noodle-beet salad, was simply put, delicious. I loved the crispiness of the crust, the tender flakiness of the salmon itself and the light soba noodle. Everything came together perfectly.

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We also had hanger steak. The steak was decent: Nice and juicy, with robust flavor. I also enjoyed the french fries with crumbles of bleu-cheese and bacon, which was a bit much but still tasty, nonetheless.

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The last main course plate we had were the baby back ribs. The meat was tender and the flavor was good. We couldn’t finish it though because we were so stuffed(!), so we took the rest to go.

As for dessert, we tried the Milk Chocolate Salted Caramel Mousse, which was delectable. This came with caramel popcorn and popcorn flavored ice cream. The caramel popcorn was quite sticky and the ice cream was light, fluffy, and worked wonderfully with the cake, which was incredibly rich, dense, chocolate-y and divine. We also couldn’t finish this… Next time, I would like to try the S’mores Creme Brulee and Bourbon Peach Cobbler Sundae (bourbon ice cream, roasted peaches, oatmeal streusel).

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Overall, a wonderful dining experience, with the following highlights:

  • Potato and Goat Cheese Pierogies
  • Spaghettini Carbonara
  • Sriracha Pea Crusted Salmon
  • Hanger Steak with Bleu-Cheese Bacon Frites
  • Milk Chocolate Salted Caramel Mousse

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Location: 99 Stanton Street, NYC

 

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4th of July Weekend

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BBQs and 4th of July are synonymous to me, so I was happy to attend my friend’s BBQ and enjoy bacon-wrapped mini sausages, chicken wings, salmon steak and grilled peaches. We also had a wonderful white frosted cake with red trim, and a blue flower. Inside was layered white cake with chocolate frosting in between, which was so darn delicious (however, a bit overly sweet)!

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We enjoyed several different street fireworks displays and the next day I prepared to go camping at Ricketts Glen State Park in Pennsylvania with a group of people.  I had a wonderful time. Once again, there was soo much food… I had salmon on top of fennel and sprinkled with thyme. There was also marinated ribs, jerk chicken, steak, sausage, corn, yams!

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Saturday morning dawned bright and beautiful, despite the rain from Friday night and we took a hike through the forest and along the waterfalls. There were trees and green plants, babbling streams, bridges, and more- Such a charming scene in nature. But by far the most magnificent, most glorious creations were the many waterfalls… Some were small, while others spanned the distance of entire boulders. They were absolutely breathtaking and I enjoyed being in the presence of such beauty, taking in the refreshing spray of the water and the sound of the water streaming down.

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After the hike, we decided to head to the beach where I enjoyed being in the lovely water and just chilling in the shade, making conversation and having ice cream.

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Back at the campsite, we started preparing dinner and this time I learned how to make a new delectable tasting dessert. Take a banana, split it length-wise, add a caramel piece, Reese’s Pieces (or chocolate + peanut butter), marshmallow pieces, wrap it all up in tin foil and put it atop the fire for a few minutes until everything is melted together in a wonderful gooey mess. Yes, it is over indulging, but it is so worth it!

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I had a great 4th of July weekend and hope you did as well!

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Birthday in NYC

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Since I was in CA when my birthday hit, I celebrated with New York friends over the weekend, after I came back from holidays in California. I wore my new “Bright By My Side” dress that I ordered online from ModCloth. This flattering and sassy coral red dress is made of crepe fabric with sheer, puffy long sleeves with wrapped bodice and waist sash. I paired the dress with fashions from Shanghai: Coffee colored tights with cute little hearts all over and black high heel glittery boots, that are actually comfortable. And, of course the outfit would not be complete without an exquisitely sparkly and pearl tiara.

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I had my birthday dinner with a bunch of friends at Max Brenner at Union Square, which is a fun place to eat but incredibly crowded on a Saturday night and where we had to wait quite awhile, even with reservations. We were finally seated downstairs, in nice booth seating and I ordered one of the sharing dessert tastings with chocolate fondue. Our orders came fairly quickly and mine included a birthday candle on top an ice cream scoop, which was on a sweet waffle with berries. Everyone sang Happy Birthday, then we dug in!

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The dessert meal was pretty good, and was presented in a way that made it fun and creative to share. We had marshmallows that we could roast on the open fire (we had a little bit too much fun with that), as well as strawberries, bananas, cake, fried plantains, and the waffle. I pretty much dipped everything in the chocolate fondue. Yum! I also got to try some onion rings, waffle fries and black sesame encrusted salmon. If I had to order a non-dessert item, it would definitely be the salmon- Perfectly crispy, good flavor, beautifully presented.

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After eating, we were planning to spend the evening at Polar Lounge, which is located within the Marcel at Gramercy. However, we were informed that Polar was closed, so we waited for others in the lobby at the Marcel, which was actually quite lovely with silver and white accents… A silver couch, an area with a rectangular fireplace, and the main lobby area had a circular sleek black couch surrounding the room. In the center of the room, little white tables were adorned with candles, pretty pink, red and green flower bouquets on top. And the walls had interesting geometric patterns of white, brown and black colors.

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After more folks gathered at the Marcel lobby, we headed onward, in search of a suitable place to party. We passed by a park with this huge, gorgeous ball that changes into all different colors. There were also viewing seats that we could lay back on and watch the magic.

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We decided to go to Vunyc rooftop, which had a breathtaking and very close view of the Empire State Building! We had some drinks, shared great conversation, laughter and all around had a great time together.

The night didn’t end there. We barhopped a bit in the East Village and hit up Gin Palace and Easternbloc, where we did a lot of dancing and got a little crazy! I had a wonderful time with everyone… Even though we couldn’t party at Polar, we found some great places (and unexpected) to hang out at and enjoy each others company!

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