Sunday, January 30, 2011

B. Smith's Restaurant: 320 W. 46th st. NY NY

 I was lucky enough to win a 'Chicago Facebook Fan Day VIP' Prize which included reserved seats at the show, lunch at B. Smith's with 2 of the lead's from the cast, a gift bag with a T-shirt and a bolero and a limo ride to the theater. Pretty incredible day overall.
We were given a special 3 course menu as well as 2 fancy drink options, and it was a real treat to be treated like VIPs. I sat across from Colman, who plays Billy Flynn in the show and it was great to chat with him and find out that he is totally down to earth. The other people who were sitting at our end of the table were also a complete joy to hang out with, and I felt really lucky to be at such a cool event with really appreciative and enthusiastic people.
The great thing is that the day was SO wonderful that I didn't really care that the food was very meh. Restaurant row is kind of hit or miss, and this was a miss. I have a few favorites on that block and I will stick with them. (It was not, however, nearly as awful as Brazil, Brazil, my favorite one to loathe in the area...please see my review of that one if you want a good laugh)
I started with a simple green salad (not pictured) and the 'Foxy Roxy' a fruity drink that they came up with for us...I RARELY drink and wondered if indulging at noon on a Sunday was such a smart idea, but it turned out to be mostly juice. I couldn't even taste the alcohol in it...which was fine by me. I asked the waiter what he recommended for an entree and he said the steak was excellent, so I went for it. I should not have believed him. It was overcooked, dry, and slobbered in a mustard sauce that completely took over the whole dish. It sat atop a medley of peas, carrot and potatoes that was one baby step above airplane food.
 The dessert was a pleasant surprise. I am pretty easy to please when it comes to carbs and sugar, and the bread pudding was quite delicious actually. It came with a very vanilla-y ice cream on top and I cleaned the plate.
If you're in the area and looking for a great restaurant, try Orso instead. Now THAT is a fantastic place to eat. As far as B. Smith's goes, I'll give it a little pat on the back for the yummy dessert and efficient service, but just cause it was free for me, did not mean it was good.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Chez Carey! Super easy/fast/inexpensive/healthy salmon cakes.

It's another snow day out there. With about 5 inches on the ground already, I won't be attempting to run today. On non-run-able days I make a little extra effort to eat healthy foods so as not to mess with the lack of calories burned.
I've also been on a cooking kick lately, trying to save money and really just enjoying how creative of an art it is. I made today's lunch rummaging through my pantry and fridge to use what I had on hand. This whole meal probably cost about $2.50. NICE and delicious!
This recipe is a concept, like all of the ones I post, and can be used as a loose guideline. Feel free to change the veggies and sauces involved and add or subtract flavors that you like/dislike. I'm sure this would also be great with garlic, scallions and herbs added in.
For the salmon cakes:
Beat an egg.
Mix in 2 small cans of salmon, use the juice from one can but drain the other.
Dice some celery and radish and throw that in the bowl too.
Add some Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, Tabasco and mix it all up.
Form 4 cakes and squeeze most of the moisture out of them.
Roll the cakes in panko breadcrumbs until well coated.
Put a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a pan, warm over high heat, add cakes and turn down heat to medium. Don't move them around much. Brown on each side for 2-3 minutes.

For the salad, plate up:
Mesclun lettuce mix

Top with 2 salmon cakes and make a quick olive oil/balsamic dressing to pour over the top!


I plan to use the 2 other cakes for a little dinner appetizer tomorrow with homemade spicy tartar sauce.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Hummus Kitchen: 1613 2nd Ave. New York NY

This is not the actual photo of what I ate for dinner last night. My photo turned out really ugly and dark so I stole this one from Yelp. This IS what I ordered though, but I ate mine in the comfort of my home on a chilly night.
I had the sampler with pita. Included was Babaganush, (way too creamy, not enough eggplant, mostly tahini) Falafel, (overcooked, too dense, but good flavor) Couscous taboule, (delicious, lots of parsley, mint, tomatoes, couscous and lemon dressing) Beets (with celery and walnuts in a balsamic vinegar dressing- quite tasty and the walnuts -which I hate, didn't even bother me) Roasted cauliflower with green tahini sauce (surprisingly tasty and kind of fun to eat since it was one huge hunk of the veggie) and Bureka (filo dough supposedly stuffed with mushrooms- although I think mine was all just greasy dough). It came with a few decent olives and 2 sauces. One of the sauces was a wonderful green tahini, the other was way too spicy for me- I'm not sure what it was.
I must say, I was sort of disappointed that in this 'chef's choice' sampler there was NO hummus included. Wouldn't YOU expect it from a place called Hummus Kitchen?
The pita, by the way, was awesome. Really fluffy and doughy and warm. I basically used it instead of utensils and everything tasted even better wrapped up in a pillowy pita bed.
Would I go back here? Well, I suppose. I would like to try the hummus at some point. The falafel, however, was so poor that I would really prefer going to Pyramida instead...where the falafel is heaven. (please see that review) I guess it's worth another shot though, maybe it's better in the restaurant than on delivery. Oh, and the price was VERY fair- with all of this for under $10.