Tuesday, May 18, 2010
This restaurant has the Mom stamp of approval. The food was great, and I really enjoyed the ample selection of delectable small plates. I thought it would be fun to come here after my journey south since Bread and Butter leans in that direction--indeed, I had the catfish, which was very good. The hamburger I tasted was better, and the scallops even better than that. The place was noisy and they made us wait, what, at least half an hour, but at the end of the meal we were served some sort liquor that none of us could identify meant to soothe our supposedly frayed nerves. I was complimented twice on my vintage dress, which is always a sign of the worthiness of an establishment.
My only problem with Hecho en Dumbo is that it ain't in Dumbo any more. I'm too pro-Brooklyn for games like this--I felt the same way when Brooklyn Industries thought it'd be a great idea to sell clothes in Manhattan. Where did their loyalty go? My cousin Helen's loyalty lies with the fish taco, and so Hecho en Dumbo en Manhattan was went to. I didn't taste her fish tacos. I did like the guacamole and the snapper accompanied by some tasty cactus-y type vegetation. The cola was Boylan's, that was a nice surprise. And our waiter was appropriately odd and bemused with us and his surroundings. I should have had a margarita to take away the sting.
53 West 19th St.; 171 Spring St.
How have we not gone here yet? We were even minutes away from the Flatiron location during our rain-soaked pursuit of hot food earlier today. YUM. When I was in Barcelona last December I went to the real Boqueria marketplace on Las Ramblas but I was too scared to order tapas because the counters were so crowded and I don't speak Spanish. Now is my chance: blistered shishito peppers, fried quail eggs, patatas bravas, baby squid. Locations in the Flatiron and Soho. Let's go to there when it gets really hot out.
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Indeed we did go to there, although one of us almost didn't get to there -- the West Village is a confusing place! For some. Joseph Leonard is an adorable little restaurant on the corner where Christopher Street meets Grove and Waverly Place branches off into two directions, both of which are still Waverly Place for a block (this is true - see here.) In the front of the room is a bar and a bartender with a mustache and some little tables by the window overlooking Waverly Place. We sat in the back, at a table by the open kitchen. A chalkboard above the kitchen window counter said "Breakfast and lunch, hell yes."
On every table there was a jar of gherkins marinating in brine. They proved delicious enough to turn a lifelong anti-pickler onto pickles. We also had a glass bottle of water, and tea towel napkins. For lunch I ordered the lump crab "sarnie" -- sarnie is apparently an informal British word for sandwich, and the waiter wouldn't recognize my order until I said it as written (my first attempt was "crab sandwich.") In this case it was open faced: spiced with Old Bay and piled on top of a thick, slightly toasted piece of dark bread, and accompanied by delicious Old Bay chips. This all went very well with the gherkins. And although the sarnie certainly couldn't be eaten as a sandwich, it was simple enough with knife and fork. Actually, the possibilities for perfect bites were many and varied: crab on a chip, chip with a gherkin, gherkin with a crabby bit of toast. You understand. A brioche bun might have been a nice way to eat it, too.
Margaret had the burger with tomato marmalade, arugula, and ricotta -- the burger, she reported, was delicious, but the accompanying fries seemed to be nothing special. After the meal we split a small french press that, according to the waiter, would not be enough for two people. It was. What a gherk! Overall, Joseph Leonard's precious affects might have been a bit much, but the food was actually really good. I was surprised that they didn't have desserts with lunch however -- the waiter mentioned some sort of caramel custard as an afterthought, but it didn't appeal. Would it be so much trouble, I wondered, to arrange a simple cookie plate for a couple of ladies with a sweet tooth?
You can expect to hear a bit from Margaret about the bathroom, which was one of the most charming parts of the experience.