Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Yes, I know.  I missed two consecutive days of blogging by allowing my personal life to take over.  Sometimes things go by the wayside.  I'm only human.  Between my 30-40 mile running weeks, my 60-hour-a-week job, friends, family, and boys, blogging is taking the backseat.  

Sunday night, after a dreaded double, I hit up Casellula for the millionth time with a date.  At this point, the staff of Casellula likely thinks I've dated every available (and unavailable) bachelor in the TriState area.  I measure the quality of the date by how the guy reacts to an endless array of cheeses and chocolate cake, which, regrettably, they had run out of on Sunday night.  Probably for the best.  This particular date loved the pig's ass sandwich as much as he loved the five cheese selection I ordered from the fromager.  

That would have been exciting on its own, but Monday brought a whole host of new adventures.  We had a late afternoon cocktail at Gramercy Tavern, my favorite bar in New York City (it always smells like Christmas), followed by what can loosely be termed "very expensive snacking" at The John Dory.  Crudo was nothing short of brilliant.  Nantucket Bay scallops arrived in a giant scallop shell adorned with a meyer lemon reduction.  Kampachi, a personal favorite, arrived beneath slices of ginger, a delicate amplification of the fish's freshness.  We ate an amuse bouche of arctic char pate with fried parsnip chips, oysters with a cilantro mignonette, and rock shrimp over buttery and salty grits.  With two glasses of wine, this seafood snacking came to a staggering $100.  Good news: the warm dinner rolls, bready and delicious, are free for the taking. 

Our meal at The John Dory came too early in the evening to fall into the category of dinner, which meant that after killing some time in Sunset Park I found myself moved to eat again.  Koreatown seemed the obvious option.  Complimentary kimchi spread--pickled cucumber, various styles of napa cabbage, fermented tofu, fresh tofu, seaweed salad, pickled daikon--opened the floodgates for an incredible Korean meal.  A scallion pancake stuffed with kimchi and onions provided the perfect precursor to a big bowl of Korean soup, filled with sliced beef, fresh beef dumplings, vermicelli, and rice cakes in beef broth.  They brought us strawberry ice-cream at the meal's end, which tasted of very good strawberry yogurt.  The day was a resounding success. 

Please know, before entering Koreatown, that you will be treated to all kinds of entertainments, the least of which involve live piano music played from fake rock formations.  I'm not kidding.  This is Manhattan's secret 24-hour-a-day playground.  And it's worth the trip.

401 W. 52nd Street
New York, NY 10019

Gramercy Tavern
42 E. 20th Street
New York, NY 10003

The John Dory
85 10th Avenue
New York, NY 10011

Kum Gang San
49 W. 32nd Street
New York, NY 10001

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