February Random Bites & Too Much Baking
Here's what's going on this month.
Not much, except shoveling a lot of ice and snow and going to a lot of restaurant openings this month (and baking and eating a lot of cakes).
We went to the opening of a new restaurant in Asbury Park, called Cross & Orange.
This shore town has some amazing dining options and Cross & Orange is the new kid on the block.
Chef Sam Byrne treated us to a night of fabulous food.
We had the octopus w/ chorizo, fava beans and peas........Dover sole (wow!) with verjus and parsnip puree.
So many other delicious courses, we rolled out of the restaurant.
Great craft cocktails, try the Moscow Mule in a copper mug made w/ homemade cinnamon syrup and ginger beer (and vodka of course).
It is a beautiful space with beautiful food to match.
I made the most delicious avocado toast ever.
The usual mashed half an avocado, then topped w/ some defrosted peas and some lemon zest.
A sprinkle of smoked salt from The Meadow in NYC, and some fresh cilantro.
I had a peanut butter craving, which doesn't happen often, but when it does, Skippy is my man.
I don't want to get the hate emails that you are shocked that I use this brand, "it has sugar and GMO's and blah blah blah".
I grew up with this brand, though my mother bought the chunky version, and what happened to me?
Buy your favorite brownie mix (why bother making homemade brownies when there are so many good mixes out there, and all you have to do is add butter and eggs?).
I never understood the appeal of brownies, I would rather bake a nice chocolate cake.
Swirl some of that artificial creamy peanut butter into the batter and bake away.
These were decadent and delicious, salty and sweet.
I made a small version of this Puttanesca Lasagne to bring to my inlaw's for dinner.
It was delicious, made with an olive, caper and anchovy tomato sauce instead of meat.
Original recipe from Food & Wine here (but I omitted the eggplant and used less garlic).
Jersey City Bites:
We visited the new exciting Carrino Provisions and Osteria in Jersey City on a freezing cold night.
I don't need Brooklyn, 'cause JC is the new food mecca for me, and I don't have to pay 2 tolls to get there!
This is Dale Talde's (Top Chef winner) block long Italian specialty shop, butcher, coffee bar, Asian fusion restaurant and osteria.
You can find domestic salumi and cured meats, as well as gorgeous fresh pastas to go.
We ate in the osteria and loved it.
We ordered a double order of the campanelli w/ braised octopus puttanesca, fennel and beef fat. Insane.
I had the most amazing burrata w/ a panzanella and grapes! We loved it.
Nice laid back vibe and great service.
More Restaurant Bites:
It was 10F degrees outside the other night, so why not walk around Manhattan freezing your asses off?
The only benefit to this is getting into any hip restaurant, because the hip people are away somewhere warm.
We scored a table on a Thursday night by just walking into the hottest restaurant in NYC right now (and it was 6:45 pm....don't try this after 8)
An amazing warm, sunny, palm tree filled restaurant serving no red meat, and mainly small plates of vegetables, seafood and rice dishes with a coastal Italian flair. (BTW, most everything is gluten free on the menu, so you don't have to ask them).
I am not going to go on about how delicious this meal was, the pictures say it all.
Let me just say, it was one of the top 10 meals I have had in my life ("and that's a rave from a deli owner"....please tell me you are old enough to remember that commercial).
Good luck getting in.
I've been a baking fool lately.
We have had a lot of snow and sometimes I am stuck inside for days.
As long as I have eggs, flour and sugar, I am good to go.
I baked these yummy spice cakes in the snow.
I baked my 10th datenut loaf of the season. It is best with or without a schmear.
Here is the recipe for the 10th time, in case you are new to the blog.
28 days till spring......can you feel it??