Wednesday, February 27, 2008

On an elettric note...

I got this from my dose of .

February 27, 2008
The Elettric Company
Elettaria Restaurant Opens

Enough with Ginger, Posh, and co. We’re way more excited about the reunion of the Spice Boys.

Akhtar Nawab and Noel Cruz jammed together at Craftbar — Nawab rocking the kitchen, Cruz rolling the front of house. They parted ways for other gigs but have reunited at Elettaria, their first solo restaurant, opening today.

The first-generation Americans are doing riffs on the flavors and spices of their homelands, India (Nawab) and the Philippines (Cruz). Wild boar with cumin. Saag paneer gnocchi with cloves. Fried coconut cream with ginger mousse and tamarind sorbet.

Elettaria (Latin for “green cardamom”) was once home to 8th Wonder, a venue where Jimi Hendrix performed. It still has a clubby feeling with velvet curtains, exposed brick, and an open kitchen where the cooks are very much on stage.

Pass the crab meat resala and take us to the bridge.
Elettaria, 33 West 8th Street, at Macdougal Street (212-677-3833).

Note: Text and pictures, from Daily Candy NY

Sunday, February 17, 2008

This weekend: Dim Sum & Museum combo

February's Kitty Party* was hosted in Chinatown (not the one by us, but in Manhattan) yesterday. It was market day, so it's extra busy. I was resolute to look for street parking, even if it meant walking a couple of blocks (after all, we were going to binge on dim sum). 'found a spot just a little past Chatham Square (by Madison St.) and it was not a meter! Yey!

Our group gathered at around 1:30pm at Ping's, a seafood place in favorite Mott St. 8 out of the 10 members were present, and 6 of the 8 were ready to win $2grand. :P So we feasted on dumplings, siu mai, har gow (hakaw), calamari, steamed buns (siopao), black bean ribs, and mango pudding. Good food, good company. I must admit, though, we've had better dim sum at Flushing. :P

Local tip: Filipino stops at Chinatown include Hop Kee (their peking pork chops, cantonese crabs, kangkong, house special fried rice are the ultimate comfort food), Mei Lah Wah (for the steamed/white or baked/brown siopao , sweet bread), and Fong Inn Too (hot taho). They're all in close proximity to one another (Mott St./Bayard St.).


After the mass, 'nixed the trip to Tanger today and headed up to Stepping Stones Museum for Children to meet with the original Flushing gang. 'learned last night that they were going, so we decided to go too. It's just an hour away, and it's a weekend treat for our kids. The museum has a number of interactive, hands-on exhibits that are great for exploration, discovery, play, and learning. Most of our time was spent at Toddler Terrain where Butchukoy had a blast. He also enjoyed himself at Healthyville and Waterscape. What's really neat about the place is the different kinds of gear that are available to kids. In Waterscape, waterproof smocks are offered . In Rainforest Adventure, the children can put on a vest and "become" a scientist, complete with plastic magnifying lens and maps. Around the Healthyville gallery, there are aprons, scrubs, lab coat, stethoscope, and other accessories that can be used for role-playing. So cool! My little boy has had enough of the action by 4pm, his nap time. Even then, he was fighting off sleep and was continuing to soak it all in. It's been a great family day.

Note: I'll write about our Kitty Party next time. For now, try and guess what it is.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Spoiled by my cupids

I guess it all started after I sent Tatay to a cooking class at Cafe Centro (my surprise Feb-ibig gift). Everything was early for this year's Valentine's Day.Boxing records 'got a portable videocam from Tatay last Monday. Love it! And today, the FedEx guy came knocking before 10am. Flowers from Butchukoy!!! Sweet! What a day!

Where to this Valentine's Day?

If you can still get a reservation at Tavern on the Green, do try it and enjoy! It's a landmark restaurant that overlooks Central Park, giving you a romantic Manhattan experience. On a whim, we walked-in one autumn day and had one of our best dates ever. The ambience, the food, the staff, the attentive maître d', the music... hmmmm...*starry eyes*. This was years ago, when we were still new to the city and we had a mental list of places to check out from the Romantic N.Y. book. :P The crystal room is what they say it is... fabulous! You've got to see it to appreciate it.

Another good choice would be One If By Land, Two If By Sea. I went there during summer restaurant week. Although I picked the place, I didn't know that it's been voted as the most romantic restaurant in the city. I went with a girl friend, and well... too late to realize that we could have brought the guys. We were also busy gabbing away. :)

What I would really love to try is River Cafe. Big Al, are you reading this?

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Xin Nian Kuai Le! (Happy New Year)

Gong Xi Fa Cai. Kung Hei Fat Choi. May Prosperity be with you.

However way we choose to greet our Chinese friends, we all mean to celebrate with them the Spring Festival or the Chinese New Year. Today, there is a lunar new year parade in Flushing (our home) that kicked off at 11am and will last until 1pm. I wanted Butchukoy to see the floats and the dragon dancers and steel drummers with colorful costumes, but the weather is drab and it may rain so we stayed home. Albert left early for an 11am-1pm cooking class at Cafe Centro (my early Valentine's gift). B and I hung out with the Lolo and the Lola.

Note: The picture is the Year of the Rat stamp that kicks off the USPS Celebrating Lunar New Year stamp series for the 12 different animals in the Chinese Calendar.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Who would'a thunk it?

This is what a lot of the reporters have said, referring to the Giants' Superbowl XLII win. We watched the game last night, and rooted for NY of course. No major expectations. We enjoyed the thought of the Giants beating the favored New England Patriots. You gotta love the underdogs. And look what happened! The game took a huge turn during the 4th inning, when much of the action happened. We were bored the first three quarters. And sorry, not one of us knew the band that played at half-time until they sang Free Fallin and all of us went... "Aaaah, so they were the ones who sang that song." Now we know them of course, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

Great night. Historic win for the NY Giants!
'can't wait to congratulate our friends who are die-hard Giants fans!!! You know who you are!

P.S. Albert and I were watching the news after the game, and everytime he heard "Who'd a thunk it?" -- he'd turn to me and ask, "Is that a real word? No one ever says "I thunk about you". Exactly. My dear husband... so proper!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Rainy Friday

My belated birthday dinner date pushed through despite the showery weather. We didn't pass up on winter restaurant week, and decided to go Japanese. He booked a reservation at Inagiku through OpenTable. We love restaurant week because it's that time of the year when we can dine at some of NYC's finest restaurants for less. Every winter and summer, a good number of restaurants offer a three-course lunch for $24.07 or dinner for $35. Sweet deal, especially if you know that your lunch tab at River Cafe for example can run anywhere from $55 to $80 pp. Restaurant Week is our excuse to try out restaurants that we won't usually go to if there is no occasion. ;)

I drove to the city and met up with him at Waldorf (after circling the area for about 25 minutes looking for parking and ending up in a garage anyways). Okay, so no entrance from within the hotel and we had to walk out again. Fast forward to dinner... everything was, uhm, 'okay'. Nothing much can be said. I was loking forward to trying their wagyu beef (ishiyaki steak that was grilled at our table on a super hot stone) and I thought was going to be awesome, but it wasn't. What saved Inagiku from it's lack of wow factor was my fine date. Really. On our way out, we were so tempted to have a 2nd dinner at Smith & Wollensky which was down the block, BUT we thought about the baby so we're off to the garage. By then, it was pouring. We managed to stay dry because we each brought an umbrella. Sure, it would have been sweet to cuddle together and use just one but we're not feeling it tonight. Not willing to get soaked. As we drove home, we concluded that it was still a fun date night because (stop here if you don't want to ready the mushy part)...
we were together. Free Smileys & Emoticons at Clipart