Tag Archives: greenwich village

Guest Blog: Mas (Farmhouse)

1 Feb

I work in a field where I get to meet a lot of really great people. It isn’t rare that I find someone who loves food as much as I do, but to find a kindred spirit who thinks about it night and day and loves nothing more than talking about it is unique.  When I sat down next to Alexis at a lunch, we were excitedly chatting about her recent meal at Mas (Farmhouse) almost immediately, with her showing me pictures on her phone.  Kindred spirit… check!

It has come to my attention that, disappointingly, I cannot visit every great restaurant in the world, let alone in NYC on my own.  So I am thrilled that Alexis agreed to guest blog about her Mas (Farmhouse) dining experience.

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From Alexis:

I recently started working closer with Sara and when we recently dined together at Millesime, we quickly realized we shared two major passions in life; food and Words with Friends.  I actually mentioned to my husband that these are the only two things I needed in life, he was a bit taken back that I didn’t include him in my list, but hey, I thought that was a given.  My passion for food has transpired over the last few years and I am known to be eating lunch while reading menus for dinner, tomorrow’s dinner, next week’s dinner, you get the point!  I have a self proclaimed eating disorder, where I go to sleep dreaming of food and wake up the same way.  Harnessing this issue has been a problem, so when I was given the opportunity to guest blog, I realized that this may be the perfect outlet for my infatuation. Here goes it…

Mas (Farmhouse)

This past weekend my husband and I went for dinner with another couple.  Of course I read the menu in advance, but I must say the menu doesn’t read as well as the food looks and tastes. Also, despite the waiter’s best effort to showcase the culinary offerings as “custom”, we were a bit overwhelmed by the variations in which you can order; 4 course tasting; 7 course tasting; create your own tasting; a la carte.  We decided to order a la carte but collaborated and shared so we could taste more dishes.  This is always the way I (try to) order despite some people not always in agreement. There’s always that stinker who “doesn’t like to share”… Hate those kinds of people….

Diving right into it…. We were greeted with an amuse-bouche – I didn’t get the exact description, my first blogging error, but don’t hold it against me! – Goat cheese tartlet with caramelized onion and some kind of gelee and micro greens?!

It was truly fantastic and a perfect bite to get our palates going.  I could have easily eaten at least three more of these little tastes of heaven …

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For our Appetizer course, I rallied up the troops to each get something different… I love duck, especially confit style, so I was excited about my selection: Duck Confit Tart with Espresso Gastrique; Apple Butter, Sliced Pears & Mâche Lettuce. The portion size was really nice for one, and actually just enough to give everyone at the table a taste, albeit a small taste as I realized quickly how delicious this sucker was after my first bite ;). The blend of flavors and ingredients in this dish were incredible, and again I would’ve loved to supersize it into an entrée!

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My husband ordered the Yellowfin Tuna l’Occidental; Flashed with Beurre Noisette & Crispy Shallots. Despite him not knowing what half of the ingredients were or knowing what the “flashed” methodology of cooking is, he’s a sure thing when it comes to Tuna with any semblance of tartare-y style. The crispy shallots were a really nice addition, adding texture to the dish and breaking up the typical tuna tartare flavors you usually see.  Very refreshing dish…

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My girlfriend ordered the Shrimp Crusted with Spaghetti Squash; Salad of Frisée & Marcona Almonds with a Horseradish Dressing which was actually on the special tasting menu, but they were flexible to allow her to order it as her app. Although it was certainly a unique presentation, I felt the frisée salad overwhelmed the plate and drowned out the beautiful look of a dish as unique as this one.  Despite the amass of greens, this was another superb dish with unique flavors and texture. I would have gone in for seconds if I wasn’t so wrapped up in hoarding my Duck confit.

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Lastly, my friend’s husband ordered the Brussels Sprouts Roasted with House- Cured Lamb Bacon; Deviled Quail Egg, Butternut Squash Confit & Shaved Pecorino. This is the only dish I did not try. Brussels Sprouts aren’t really my thing, but the rest of the table seemed to enjoy it.

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New blogger mistake #2  = missing a photo-op of our pseudo third course.  The Ricotta- Lemon Tortellini; Wild Mushroom Stew, Sunchoke Purée & Parmesan Foam was actually an entrée, but we concurrently decided that we all would like to try it and share it as a table.  This pasta was amazing.  I would have licked the plate and scarfed this dish down if it was just mine, but I tried my hardest to be polite and somewhat refined. This stacks up with the Duck Confit as my favorite dishes of the night. Also, I am a self proclaimed pasta addict, so I may be a tad biased.  I also love mushrooms, ricotta, and I mean you can’t go wrong with parmesan foam, can you? I wish I had a picture to share of this dish… sorry!

For my entrée, I actually sprang for the chicken. For me, I almost never order chicken in a restaurant, but since I tend to put more emphasis on the ingredients and preparation than I do on the actual protein – I just had to try this.  The chicken was good, but I wasn’t overly impressed.  I found myself forking under the chicken for the escargot and the butternut squash risotto, which were two major elements that elevated this dish.

Chicken Breast Roasted with a Black Trumpet Mousse; Hen of the Woods Stewed with Escargots, Butternut Squash Risotto & Fennel

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I also found myself wishing I ordered my husband’s entrée – Butter Poached Lobster with Hon Shimeji Mushrooms; Huitlacoche Purée & Ricotta Spaetzle with Baby Arugula- The ricotta spatezle were so interesting and different, they tasted like a mini ricotta gnocchi and were super light and airy. These morsels mixed with lobster and a mushroom like puree created for literally the perfect bite….

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We were too full for dessert, but the restaurant provided us with Lemon Marshmallow’s that hit the spot.

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Overall, I would rate mas (Farmhouse) very high – a solid 9.  I definitely recommend this place to anyone that is looking for a unique meal with a French flair. This spot is pretty pricy so it may be best suited for a special occasion, dinner with rents or if you have the luxury of a business expense account, snag some foodie client’s and enjoy!

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Garage

2 Aug

 

I went to meet up with Chef Bill and some of his friends to catch up at Garage Restaurant and Cafe in Greenwich Village. I know they have a Jazz Brunch, but for the life of me I don’t recall if I heard any music while we were there. I have to admit, however, we were quite rowdy, so I blame us entirely if we missed it.

 

Their weekend brunch menu is from 11am-4pm and includes an entree and Bloody Mary, Screwdriver, Mimosa, or OJ for $17.75.  Or you can make the alcohol unlimited for just an additional $6. Not a bad deal.  I’m pretty sure we all went for the bottomless option.

One person in our group tried the tuna burger. They had no complaints.

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The rest of us all got eggs of some kind.  

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Most of us got the Farmer’s Market Omelet with zucchini, tomatoes, asparagus, eggplant, and yellow squash with farm fresh eggs. They came with potatoes, but I went with salad (trying to be good).  This was surprisingly good. All those vegetables really made for a delicious omelet! 

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I didn’t have high expectations of this place. I don’t know what it was, but the moment we walked in there I figured it was probably a run-of-the-mill, busy brunch place. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked my veggie-filled omelet.  The deal is quite good, however, most of the benedict options require a good amount of extra money ($5-$10).  I’m not sure if I’d run to go back, but seems like a solid choice if you’re looking for a bite in the neighborhood.  And who doesn’t love a bottomless brunch drink?

Total Nom Points: 6.5 out of 10

 

Culinary Walking Tour of Greenwich Village

20 Mar

For our 6 month anniversary, I gave Mike a gift certificate for us to take a Culinary Walking Tour of Greenwich Village.  Over 9 months later, we finally scheduled a date to go. 

Last Sunday we began our culinary adventure by meeting at Murray’s Cheese Shop on Bleecker Street.  I was excited to start this adventure with cheese, however, that had to wait for later in the day. 

Our guide was a perky wannabe Broadway star with terrible hair and a cute smile.  She talked a bit about the neighborhood, buildings, and history and then we went walking.

Our first tasting was at Famous Joe’s Pizza.  Our guide described it as being back to basics with fresh tomatoes, cheese, and crispy crust.  It was good, but not great.  As she said, very basic.


Our next stop was O & Co, a Meditteranean Food Merchant specializing in gourmet olive oils and balsmic vinegars.  One taste and I knew I had to come back to buy (the 20% discount for people on the Walking Tour that day was also incentive).  The balsamic tasted like candy! 




We talked a lot about the character of the area, the history, and the buildings.  This carriage house is not only huge, but happens to also be where they housed the cast of “The Next Food Network Star” for a season:

One of my favorite stops along the way was Palma.  It’s a more classic version of Meditteranean food that is more Italian/French.  The restaurant itself was charming with a nice patio out back, and I cannot wait to go back to try the fried artichokes that looked and smelled delicious as we passed through.  We were told they had great sangria, but when we stopped in after our tour, we were informed that they didn’t have it at the time.  Shame.  The coolest part about the restaurant, however, is that there is an urban farm house behind it where they host private parties.  We got to peak inside and I couldn’t help but dream of a day when I could set up a party for my friends in a place like that.  It’s not something you find everyday in NYC!



Our next stop was Faicco’s Italian Specialites (formerly Faicco’s Pork Shop… but I guess “pork shop” has less mass appeal).  We tried the risotto balls which were delicious (though not quite as good as the ones from CraftBar).  The place itself had beautiful cases of meat and prepared foods. 



We then walked down the street to Aphrodisia Herb Shoppe, which I think they said has been around since the 60s.  We were greated with the smell of spices and a cat who everyone took a moment to pet… before reading the sign on the other side of the store informing us that petting the cat was not advised.  While there, we tried some tea and I noticed that they had some special “sore throat” tea recipes.  As a fan of the mass market Throat Coat Tea from Traditional Medicinals, I regretted not buying some of this special tea while we were there.


We passed by one of my favorite NYC bars, The Blind Tiger.  We stopped in there afterwards for a drink as well, however, much to our dismay there was a private party going on and it was too packed.

The next tasting was around the middle point in the tour and allowed us 10 minutes to sit down and use the rest rooms.  We went to a modern Italian wine bar called Centro Vinoteca.  This happens to be the restaurant where Leah Cohen (of Top Chef Season 5 fame… the one who made out with Hosea) is chef.  They serve small plates called “piccolini” and quartinos of wine.  I’m not sure what the dish we sampled was called, however, it was a whole grain with squash, mushrooms, and some other delicious things prepared risotto style.  I really enjoyed it.  The menu also looked fantastic (and I want to go back to try the braised veal cheeks with cauliflower puree & artichokes) and this is where we wound up settling on for our post-tour drink.  I saw that they had a honey chestnut gelato on the menu that I just had to try.  It came with dark chocolate and creme de fresh gelato as well and we thoroughly enjoyed it while drinking my wine and Mike had a St. Germaine cocktail.  I enjoyed it so thoroughly, that I forgot to photograph it.


We passed by a really adorable court yard called “Grove Court” while walking around.  It used to be called “Mixed Ale Alley,” however, they changed it during prohibition.  Interestingly, it used to be a sign of wealth to live close to the street, so these beautiful houses pushed back off the road with these court yards were actually where the poor used to live.  I can only imagine how pricey these are now!

Our next stop and tasting was a place I have been wanting to go for a while: Milk & Cookies Bakery.  They specialize in the basics, but you can also select from a list of ingredients and custom create a recipe that they will bake for you (great for people without big kitchens or baking skills).  We tasted a chocolate chip, oats cookie that was still warm from the oven.  It was absolutely delicious.



At this point in the tour, we finally got to return to our original meeting spot: Murray’s Cheese.  We had a sampler of 3 cheeses, a cheese baked good that was delicious, and a hard salami.  All were delicious, and I was thrilled to see they offer a cheese class AND a cheese of the month club.  Their mac and cheese also looked amazing.


Our last stop was Rocco’s, a pastry shop specializing in Italian.  We tasted DELICIOUS canollis and then bought a humantashin to carry on our Purim tradition.  We enjoyed eating the humantashin on our way to the subway. 





All-in-all, an absolutely delicious and fun day!