I don't voyage out to the city enough, so I had to take advantage of my time there this past Wednesday. I wanted to hit a lot of NYC's casual and relatively cheap places (John Dory Oyster Bar, The Breslin, Momofuko Ssam Bar, and Momofuko Milk Bar).
I started off at the John Dory Oyster Bar, which is run by Chef April Bloomfield. Only until recently have I been able to eat oysters, or all shellfish for the matter (A couple years ago I finally got tested for my allergies and it turned out I wasn't even allergic to shellfish, just fish with scales. This was a complete revelation for me. My whole life I had been living a lie....Ok maybe that is a little too extreme). The first couple oysters I had eaten weren't exceptional, just good, not great. I wanted my first oyster to taste "like the deep sea" and transport me, but it didn't. However the oysters at The John Dory Oyster Bar did.....I finally know what the whole hype about oysters is about.
Roasted Peanuts with Garlic and Rosemary was the perfect bar snack. The peanuts were a tad bit salty, but that is done to encorage the ordering of more drinks.
A parfait of chilled crab and avacado was honestly perfect. The sweet crab was light and played off well with the rich avocado.
After my snacks at The John Dory Oyster Bar I walked right over to The Breslin, which is also run by Chef April Bloomfield. I started off with the chicken liver parfait with madeira jelly. This tasted like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on steroids. I can't describe in words how good this was, you must taste it yourself.
The well renowned lamb burger and thrice cooked fries blew me away. Bite after bite my mouth was flooded with fatty, lamby goodness. The slight gaminess was a great match for the rich feta cheese. The "bun" was reminicent of ciabatta bread and did not interfere with the star, the burger. The fries were addictive on their own, and did not need the cumin mayo.
After my marvelous meals at Chef April Bloomfield's places I took a quick cab ride to Momofuko Milk Bar, which is owned by Chef David Chang.
When you think David Chang two main things come to mind - Ramen and Pork Buns. I got to try the latter and to be frank was disapointed. Maybe I was too full to appreciate quality food, but I did not enjoy the pork buns. The belly was fatty, which is a great thing, but there was nothing to cut the fat. It was too heavy and made you feel gross.
I should have invented cereal ice cream. My whole life I would devour bowls of cereal and then gulp down the sweet, sweet milk that was left over. It was pure heaven, and still is. Christina Tosi however was the one to come up with this cereal ice cream. Hers was much more subtle then I expected. There was an over-arching flavor of grain and corn that was not for me.
On the other hand Chef Tosi's compost cookie was awesome. The salt from the potato chips and pretzels really brought ought the sweet flavors of chocolate and butterscotch. I could have eaten my way through a sea of these cookies. However one thing I must point out about the cookies is the ingredient list, it is rather large and contains hydrogenated oils, which I was very shocked to see. But for the cookie's sake the end justified the means.