Welcome to EatWisconsin, the blog formerly known as Undelicious. This blog will focus on the food, the people, the history, and restaurants in the State of Wisconsin. Though we will focus primarily on the State of Wisconsin, there will be occasional forays into other Cities.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

NYC Day 2

By the time we woke up and got ready, our heads still hurting from the beer and our wallets still hurting from the price of beer at Yankee Stadium, it was almost 11AM. We couldn't decide on what to eat, so I suggested Chelsea Market.

I walked around the market with my friends and pointed out the various places to eat. It was truly food overload with seafood, Italian specialties, Thai food, lots of soups, breads, sushi, and just about anything else you can imagine. I decided to go for the sushi and a bowl of clam chowder from the Seafood Company. It took forever because a bunch of fucking foodies were taking some tour and their sampling of soups happened to occur just seconds before I got there, so I had to wait. I went to the sushi counter and ordered some combo with 5 nigiri sushi with yellowtail, salmon, and tuna and a tuna and avocado maki roll. It was very fresh and they didn't skimp on the fish. The pieces were very thick, with minimal rice, just the way I like it. I went back and finally got my Clam Chowder, which was pretty good, but nothing outstanding. I then went to Amy's Bread and got a prosciutto twist, which was sourdough bread with chunks of prosciutto. It would make a great bread to dip in Olive Oil or to make a nice sandwich or bruschetta with. It was awesome. My desert consisted of some samples from Buon Italia and a small cup of Jimmy’s hazelnut gelato. I was stuffed.

A side note on Buon Italia. If I lived near here I would be in this place a lot. They have so much delicious looking Italian stuff it is amazing. Truffles, cheeses, oils, nuts, sauces, pastas, etc. Of all the cool places in Chelsea Market, this one is my favorite.

Dinner was at the original Les Halles on Park Avenue, made famous by Celebrity Chef and Author, Anthony Bourdain. I had also been here before, but one of my friends really wanted to go. We ordered some wine. It was a St. Estèphe, Ch. Phélan Ségur Bordeaux. It was 60 bucks for the bottle and it was awesome. DISCLAIMER: I know very little about wine. I enjoy it immensely but couldn't tell a 20 dollar bottle from a 100 dollar bottle (I’d bet there are people who claim to be wine experts who couldn’t either. I estimate 75 percent of self-proclaimed wine experts are full of shit. I’m not talking about professional wine people, but Joe and Sally Foodie down the street who try to impress people with their wine collection). Nonetheless, this wine exhibited what I enjoy in a red, a nice bold taste with a definite spiciness. It would pair nicely with my choice of entrée, Steak Frites.

The server brought us a great basket of breads, including some tasty whole wheat bread. This stuff was served with some delicious real butter. Next up was appetizers. One friend and I split an order of Escargots. They were prepared the traditional way in the little ceramic serving plate with holes for each snail and garlic butter sauce. They were very tasty, but somewhat smaller than other escargot dishes I have had (Lake Park Bistro’s are much larger). We really enjoyed dipping some of the bread into the holes to mop up all of that sauce. My other friend had the French Onion Soup. It looked amazing and he indicated that it tasted as good as it looked.

For entrees, I ordered the aforementioned Steak Frites, which is a Hanger/Onglet steak with some excellent fries and a red wine shallot reduction. It was cooked to medium rare and it was perfect. A slightly crispy exterior gave way to a glistening pink warm center. The sauce provided a sweet and acidic balance to the richness of the meat. One friend ordered the braised rabbit legs with olives, which were also outstanding. It was my first time eating a rabbit and I was impressed with the flavor. My other friend had the cassoulet, which was also very tasty, with a very strong herb essence. It is great comfort food. I sampled bits of each of the meats and beans and they were all cooked to perceftion. The flavor of the sausage, duck confit, pork belly each stood on their own My friend didn’t finish his pork belly in the cassoulet, so I speared it with my fork and claimed it as my own. It melted in my mouth and I wanted more.

This is my second visit to Les Halles and I can honestly say I love this place. Great French bistro cooking, affordable prices, and a lively, un-stuffy atmosphere. I have the Les Halles cookbook and now I need to move beyond the Onglet recipes and start cooking some rabbit and cassoulet.

After dinner we headed to Rocky Sullivan’s bar a block away and drank a lot of Guinness. We were then escorted by some friends to some bars in the Village, then to LeSouk, a middle-eastern hookah bar in Alphabet City. It was awesome. Hookah smoke permeated the air and though I hate smoking, I tried some of their flavored tobaccos. I was rewarded with a smooth, cook flavorful smoke. My favorite was the apple mix. We also had some of the best hummus I have ever eaten. It was smooth and creamy, not chunky like so many supermarket brands. Then again, I was filled with Hookah smoke, wine, Guinness, and several bottles of Moroccan beer, so take it for what its worth.

Next up: Day 3 including a visit to a New York institution and some interesting eats in Chinatown.


Post a Comment

<< Home