Tag Archives: gelato

Dining at Girl & the Goat

A few months ago I was in Chicago for a work conference and I had the most incredible and wonderful dining experience at Girl & the Goat. Stephanie Izard, the owner of the restaurant won “Top Chef!” For our team dinner, we had our own private room downstairs. The room where we dined was lovely and rustic, featuring a beautiful setting on a wood table with candles and a plant in the center.

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We met Gary, our go-to server for the evening and he was awesome. He knew the menu well, listened and tended to our dietary needs, and was completely gracious throughout the night.

I asked if any of the amazing-sounding cocktails could be made without alcohol and so I got The Royal Rubus that way. It was citrusy soda with lemon bitters, blackberry and lime. It came in a brilliant raspberry red and was very tasty and refreshing.

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The meal started off with an assortment of breads: One sourdough with little pieces of ham in it, which was okay. I didn’t have a ton of flavor but I liked the green peas and ham that came with it. There was also muffin top bread, which was nicely moist and it came with yummy seasoned butter.

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Next we had “Fried Naked Cowboys” which were fried oysters with egg salad on the bottom. These came in cute little spoons and one bite form. Even though I’m not a huge fan of oysters, it was quite good fried and the sauce on top worked well with it.

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Then there was salad which consisted of fennel, evalon cheese, toasted almonds and blueberries. This was nice and I especially liked the cheese, which was a sweet goat cheese with fruity and nutty finish. It added an additional layer of delightful flavor to the salad.

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The goat empanadas were one of my favorite dishes. It had strawberry, white asparagus with it and smashed avocado underneath. The empanadas were perfectly crispy and the goat meat was so very flavorful and melted in my mouth!

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We also had green garlic pierogis which was decent, but I didn’t taste a strong garlic taste. The filling was like mashed potatoes.

The vegetables we had were cauliflower, broccoli and string beans. The cauliflower dish had pickled peppers, pine nuts and parmesan cheese. It was slightly crispy and had a nice burst of flavor. The broccoli had little crisps and the green beans had yummy cashews!

Veggie_Girl&Goat

The entrees were pasta, fish and pork shank. The pasta was spiral with tons of appetizing beef, which was wonderfully juicy and incredibly savory. There were also little orange tomatoes and tomatoes on top that were fresh and flavorful. We also had wild striped bass in a coconut green curry, new potatoes and artichokes. I enjoyed this dish, especially the slightly charred skin on the fish.

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Last, was the crisp braised pork shank with naan and the following dipping sauces: Grilled spring onion kimchi and buttermilk dressing. The pork was so wonderful and tender!  I loved the crunchiness of it.

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After all that, there were 5 different types of desserts. My absolute favorite was vanilla gelato with chocolate shell, caramel sauce and caramel popcorn. This dessert was truly delectable and so decadent. I could have a whole bowl of it if I wasn’t already so stuffed.

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My second favorite dessert was balls of coated gelato with peanut butter inside and candied peanuts.

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There was also a tres leches cake with strawberry and some pudding, as well as fruity sorbet. It was a nice, light and yummy treat.

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Then there was a pudding-like dessert with a blend of pure toffee pieces, expresso and vanilla. The last dessert was different and interesting. It consisted of gelatin, blueberries and pieces of meringue.

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Each dish from appetizer, to entree, to dessert was well thought out and unique in a good way. All of the food exceeded my expectations and was mouthwateringly delicious! The service was impeccable. Everything came together seamlessly. This is absolutely one of the best dinners I have ever had!

Girl & The Goat
809 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL

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Popbar: Gelato on a Stick

I love Popbar in the West Village. It’s the perfect dessert spot for summer and any other season. It’s gelato on a stick… Made with fresh, natural ingredients and dipped in different types of chocolate with the option to add toppings. Such a simple, yet delicious concept.

popbar_me1I’ve been to Popbar numerous times and twice this weekend! Some flavors I’ve tried (all dipped in milk chocolate): Dulce de Leche (probably my favorite flavor- extremely sweet, rich, wonderful); peanut butter (just delicious); pumpkin (seasonal treat- nice and yummy).

popbarRecently I had the coffee with milk chocolate and that was delectable. Loved the smooth coffee-chocolate taste. Today I had the strawberry yogurt with a new dipping sauce: Caramel dark chocolate. I loved the strawberry taste- Very creamy, sweet (but not overly so), refreshing! And I enjoyed the dark chocolate, but I felt like the caramel flavor was not that strong.

popbar_popsicleI really want to try the blood orange, green tea, hazelnut, pistachio & mixed berry flavors next. Looks like I’ll have to come back quite often… Which is perfectly fine by me. This is one of the few establishments I would travel out of my way to go to!

Tip: The Popsicles melt quickly, so it’s better to stay in the store/sit right outside to enjoy/eat it versus walking out with it.

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Popbar
5 Carmine St
New York, NY

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Dining at Aleo

I had a lovely dinner at Aleo Restaurant & Bar earlier this week, which is a cozy adorable spot in the Flatiron/Gramercy area that showcases innovative Italian cuisine with  traces of Mediterranean flavoring.

For the entree, I chose New Zealand Lamb Chops, which consisted of grilled lamb chops, roasted potatoes, asparagus, cumin-marinated carrots, au jus and taziki white sauce. The lamb was cooked perfectly and had amazing flavor. I enjoyed it with the taziki sauce which had a strong yogurt and dill taste, and was slightly tangy. All the vegetables were wonderful, especially the carrots and potatoes. The carrots were incredibly flavorful and just the right texture. The potatoes were underneath the lamb chops and had soaked all the delicious sauces and spices from the lamb.

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My friend and I shared a dessert of  chocolate molten cake with vanilla gelato, which was wonderful. The chocolate was rich and delightful. I would have liked it if the chocolate inside was a bit more warm and melt-y but overall the cake had a lovely sweet and deeply chocolate-y flavor. The gelato was incredibly delicious and a nice change from the boring old ice cream accompaniment.

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Overall, a delicious, flavorful well seasoned and balanced meal with good service. I even received $10 off the bill because I had a birthday coupon, which made for a happy and a great end of meal!

Aleo_me

Aleo
7 W. 20 St
New York, NY

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Otto Enoteca Pizzeria

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I recently received a gift card to Otto Enoteca Pizzeria (thank you, Chris!), one of my favorite Italian restaurants in the city. “Otto Enoteca Pizzeria is modeled after an Italian train station and located on 8th Street, in the historic One Fifth Avenue building,” … at the edge of Washington Square Park in the heart of Greenwich Village. Upon being seated, we were given a large, thick piece of bread wrapped in white paper and a packet of long bread sticks. The bread was decent, but would have been nice to have butter or olive oil and vinegar.

It was tough choosing between Spaghetti Alla Carbonara and one of the pasta specials, which contained radicchio, pancetta and gorgonzola. My friend and I ended up sharing, so I was able to have the best of both worlds.

The pasta special was pretty good. The radicchio (leafy purple-ish vegetable with a slightly bitter taste) was a bit wilted but I liked the pancetta. The gorgonzola was overpowering though. Overall, this dish was a bit too rich for me.

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I liked the Spaghetti Alla Carbonara better, which had pancetta, scallions, black pepper, and egg. The pasta was cooked al dente, there was just enough black pepper (and salt), the pancetta added a lot of delicious flavor, but I couldn’t really discern the taste of egg and the consistency was a little gummy.

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Then, of course I had to get dessert! I’ve had the Olive Oil Coppetta before and it is incredibly delicious, but wanted to try something different so went for the Parfait Carotina, which is described as “carrot & cashew cake, cardamom orange caramel, ricotta crema, cashew brittle, carrot orange marmelatta, cardamom orange gelato.” It was completely different from what I was expecting… There were grated carrots on top of the cake and the gelato didn’t have a strong flavor of either cardamom or orange, though I did like the cashew brittle. The flavors were ultimately not pleasant enough for me enjoy, so I switched my order to the Black & White, which did not disappoint.

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The Black & White was truly delectable. It was a beautiful concoction of milk chocolate chip gelato + chocolate sauce (the Black), crème fraiche gelato (the White), and hazelnut croccante, topped with caramel crema and a crispy waffle wedge. While the caramel crema had a delightful light flavor of caramel, it was too much to eat just by itself. However, when combined with the rest of the dessert, it added an extra layer of deliciousness. The crème fraiche was light, fresh, divine and the milk chocolate (with actual bits of pure chocolate) was rich, creamy, wonderful, while the sugary crispy hazelnut brittle added a satisfying sweet crunch.

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It is a testament to the quality of this restaurant that I’ve come back to dine here several times. Also, the service is quite good and the prices are affordable.

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Otto Enoteca Pizzeria
1 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY

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