weeknight gourmet

Category : NYC Restaurants

I Became a Foodie 10 Years Ago

Perhaps being pregnant is making me overly sentimental but I realized that 10 years ago this weekend marks the beginning of my journey as a “foodie”.  I took Tim out to celebrate his 25th birthday.  The first of many birthday celebrations we have shared.  Given that our relationship was just a couple months old at that point, I was very nervous about planning a fun birthday celebration that struck the right tone — I wanted the night to be fun and show that I made an effort, but not be too over-the-top that I might scare him off.

I remember being in the bullpen at Morgan Stanley asking my friends for ideas.  I don’t remember who suggested the Donkey Show — an interactive disco version of a Mid-Summer Night’s Dream — but that ended up being the first part of our evening.  And, my friend Eliza suggested the restaurant — Montrachet, an amazing French restaurant in Tribeca.

I don’t remember everything I ate that night but I do remember eating the most tender and delicious lamb I had ever tasted and being amazed by the beauty of the presentation and intensity and variety of flavors packed into such delicately prepared dishes.

Montrachet has since closed but that experience has compelled Tim and I to try some of the best restaurants across New York City and in different cities we’ve visited over the years and helped inspire my love of amazing food and dining experiences.

Where is the Weeknight Gourmet?

Tim and I moved to a new apartment on Thursday.  So, between packing and unpacking there hasn’t been much time for cooking.  The new kitchen is a touch bigger, and has better cabinets and nicer appliances!  Definitely will be an improvement for the Weeknight Gourmet.  Overall, the apartment is much bigger.  Plus it has a patch of outdoor space (a rarity in NYC) which will allow me to provide more BBQ recipes!

While we’ve been settling in, we’ve enjoyed some yummy food in the West Village.  Here are some of our favorites….

Los Dados: Los Dados is our neighborhood Mexican place.  We love the guacamole, the mahi mahi tacos, and the steak quesadilla.  We usually order all three and split the dishes.  We washed the delicious food down with some Pacifico – my favorite beer!

A Salt & Battery: Authentic fish & chips in the heart of the West Village.  I think the fish is much better than the chips but it’s all quite yummy.  On Thursday night, Tim indulged in their fried Mars Bar after dinner!

Pasita: Our local “pizza” place.  The restaurant actually has Venezuelan roots but serves delicious pizza!  We love the Ropa Vieja and Champinon pizzas.  We usually order a pizza and a salad for a delicious dinner.  The restaurant also has a wonderful and well-priced South American wine list!

Sea: This restaurant recently opened where a pan-Asian restaurant called Highline used to be.  Sea is the Meatpacking / West Village outpost of a Brooklyn Thai restaurant.  We ordered off of their specials but all the dishes were delicious.  Sea is a welcome addition to the neighborhood.

Barbuto: Barbuto is a wonderful Italian restaurant a couple blocks from our apartment.  The menu changes each day and changes more dramatically with the seasons.  The roast chicken is the only constant on the menu.  The seasonal bruschettas and pastas are my favorites!  Last night I had a wonderful tagliatelle with peaky toe crab.  Yum!

Jarnac: Jarnac might be my favorite neighborhood restaurant of all time!  It’s a wonderful French restaurant with an incredibly friendly staff that emphasizes local ingredients.  Like Barbuto, the menu changes nightly with more significant changes seasonally.  Tonight I enjoyed some wondeful grilled ramps as an appetizer and an amazing seafood stew for my entree.  Tim enjoyed the pre fixe which included a delicious cheddar cheese plate for dessert.

I hope to cook in my new kitchen on Monday.  Look for some new recipes this week!