Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Sidewalk Cafe

When my parents told me that my cousin Sidney and her mom Helen were coming to town, the first thing that went through my mind was: "Cool, now can I get back to my Facebook. I'm about to beat my high score in Crazy taxi." Then she told me that they wanted to go out to dinner in town with my mother and I. I immediately suggested Daniel, hoping to be able to go there again. My mother said that the cost was too high. She also wanted to go somewhere hip. So we decided to go down to the east side. However Sidney brought two friends. They were big, not in the fat kind of way, like tall big. And they were sort of intimidating. Then they looked at my blog on Sydney's phone and everything got warmer. We decided to stop at a little place called the Sidewalk Cafe and eat dinner. It looked like a nice little touristy place. The service was TERRIBLE but the company was wonderful. They were laughing at everything I said. after around one and a half hurs, the food arrived. My burger was flavorful but not excellent. The sidewalk cafe is good if you want to take your time eating dinner in the east side of new york. The food was better than decent but not anything to rave about. But the service was pretty bad. Wait, that's an understatement. Whatever. I give the sidewalk Cafe a 5.2/10.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


When my friends told me that they were taking me to Daniel, I nearly passed out. After all, this restaurant was the culinary masterpiece of New York City, and almost everything was impeccable. As we walked in, we were suddenly in awe of the cavernous restaurant. As my friend Max, his father Steve and I sat down, we were expecting nothing less than perfect. We were immediately served by the nicest waiters that I have ever met. We also met the GM, who was very nice, and very informative. We were served the amuse bouche, which my friend Max was blown away by. I also thought that it was delicious. It was a trio of romanesquo cauliflower, used in three different manners; it included a smoked hamachi that tasted like ham. There was also a piece of shrimp with a fragile tip of the cauliflower, and a cauliflower puree that had hints of eastern spices, and tasted like an Indian delicacy. Once they took it away we were able to fully appreciate the beauty of the space. There were large Greek pillars, along with an inside dining space, and an outer circle one. We were also amazed by the beautiful flower arrangements that lined the outer rim of the restaurant. When our second amuse bouche was served, we had decided upon two things. The first being that we had decided what we were ordering. We were going all in, and we were ordering the six course tasting menu. The second being that we were sure that it was going to be the best meal of our lives. And boy, were we right. Then second amuse bouche consisted of a phaesent consomee with a cabbage wrapped fois gras. I usually do not like fois gras, but this just blew it away. As we sat in silent wonder, the head waiter came to us with a preposition. He said that since Steve was getting a wine pairing with his tasting menu, and was already a little tipsy, why let the kids out of the fun? He asked if we wanted to have virgin cocktails with each course. Obviously, we said yes. Our favorite drinks included a cranapple explosion drink, a rose martini and a rasperry cosmo. Our first course came in, which for me was a delicious cod with vegetables, and for Max and Steve, a fois gras platter. We all thought that our first courses had intense flavors, and nice texture. Our second course was the crab that was fresh from Maine. It had some crunchy lettuce, but the smooth crab evened out the equation. However, the thing that we were the most excited about was the possibility of meeting Chef Daniel. We had heard that he was a really nice guy, and I knew that he was an unbelievable chef, so I was not exactly sure what I would do if I met him. All of our servers were very informed, even the busboys, and they all answered many of our questions, mostly about Chef daniel, to which all answers were positive. When our next two courses arrived, they blew our minds away. The third course was shrimp on a porcini cream sauce. One of my favorite foods was mushrooms, so you would think that I would be blown away by it. I was. It was the best dish of my life. The shrimp was crispy and delicious, and the cream sauce was rich, but not too rich. The fourth course was chef Daniel's specialty. It was his sea bass. I thought that it was not too fishy, but that it had the perfect amount of sauce, and that it really showed how amazing a chef can cook when he puts his mind to it. Then the steak came. Usually I am not such a big steak fan, but this one was simply amazing. It was tender, juicy in all of the good places, and it was overall a great addition to the meal. This meal was great, because I am trying to lose weight, and there were barely any carbs in the meal except for the dessert. Right before the dessert arrived, we saw the chef. He appeared very quietly, and went around to each table shaking hands with all of his customers. We were eating the cheese platter which I found smelled very badly, hen the GM came and said that the chef would like to congratulate me on my blog. my chocolate dauphoise arrived, and aI was looking at my dessert when I noticed a presence. I looked up and Chef Daniel was walking to our table. It was one of the most amazing moments of my life, since he had ben my idol for around a year, and I had always dreamed of meeting him. We shook his hand, and got his autograph. He was kind enough to stay and talk to us for around ten minutes. After he left as silently as he had come our waiter directed us to the kitchen. We were amazed by how many people there were cooking, and by how loud it was, when the restaurant had almost been silent. we saw the executive chef shouting out orders, and we saw the pastry chef, and it was almost a bit too much for me. We left the restaurant full, exhausted, but we all saw the world in a whole new way. I would give the restaurant an elven out of ten, but that would be breaching my rules. But it was that good. I give Daniel a 10.1 out of 10. Yeah, that good.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Great Jones Cafe

One downside of having a blog is that everyone tries to convince you to write a new blog. I have gotten requests about a music blog, a movie blog, a cheap restaurant blog, jeez the nerve of some of these people. However, I decided to try out the cheap restaurant blog thing. So here is a little test of that idea. I was tired and hungry. So when we stepped into the eight table Great Jones Cafe, I was just expecting a quick meal. I ordered the Chile with cheese, and some cornbread, and just tried to eat it quickly. However, when the meal came, I was amazed by how simply wholesome and delicious it was. The place itself, was very cozy, and our server was very nice and helpful. My dad ordered the blackened catfish with a side of Kale that was delicious. The price tag was about thirty dollars per person, which was not bad at all. I really thought this restaurant was an interesting and good, if not healthy place to eat. I give the Great Jones Cafe a 7.3/10.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


My feet were slowly beginning to go numb. And we were only halfway there. As Aristotle had quoted countless times; "A meal is enjoyed more when the feet are as frozen as an ice cube on a frigid winter day". No, I just made that up but it's pretty good right? Anyway, my grandfather and I were in Woodstock, and he wanted to go out to dinner with me. So we mutually decided to go to Cucina which is a twenty minute walk from my house. However, there was only one problem with that. I wore my flip-flops. So my feet were completely exposed the entire time. And it was around 45 degrees outside. Anyway, once we arrived at the restaurant, light was beginning to become minimal. I was starting to dread the walk back. We sat down and ordered. Our waitress was a little bit hyper, and she sort of made the meal awkward. After being slightly alarmed by how drunk our neighboring table was, our appetizers arrived. I ordered the mushrooms and the warm ricotta, while my grandfather ordered a cheese-less pizza with mushrooms. My ricotta was very good,if not a little bit too rich, but the mushrooms were having a field day in the ocean of olive oil. After the appetizers were sent back, I began to feel a little bit of warmth in my toes. Then the entrees arrived. My grandpa ordered salmon over butternut squash. The salmon was good, if not dry. However my pasta was soaked in oil. The sausage it was served with was delicious though. We payed the check and began to walk home. All hope that I had for my poor toes was suddenly lost. We arrived home after almost tripping over hundreds of evil pebbles and stumbled into the house, cold, full and exhausted. I give Cucina a 7.1/10.