Friday, June 26, 2015

East Village - Spina

I love Spina's tasting menu and they usually have different ones during the year. So when they had a special tasting menu for Valentine's Day, my boyfriend made sure to secure a reservation spot.

We've dined here before so there wasn't anything new except for the menu itself.

We got seated and as always, was given fresh focaccia bread and house-made ricotta cheese.

Started off with the Amuse Bouche, it was interesting and delightful. What we did not enjoy were the oysters. They were frozen, still covered in ice when served. Extremely poor dish. I'm surprised it was even served.

The appetizers were alright. The Winter Salad tasted light a ball of shredded lettuce, not much flavor or texture going around, very bland. The Lobster Risotto was a bit better, had chunks of lobster and the risotto was creamy.

I thought the American Red Snapper was done pretty well. The entire entree as a whole was executed nicely. On the other hand, the Spice Rubbed Filet Mignon was kind of a mess. Too much going on in that dish, spinach, mashed potato, crispy onion and sauce - it was too overwhelming and the taste was kind of confusing.

Dessert was subpar. I honestly expected more but both dishes were simple and tasted no different if I were to make it at home. Feels like they stopped trying.

Overall, I always loved Spina but this meal was one of the worse I've had. And sadly to say, Spina had closed down as of May 2015. Don't think I'll ever get the chance of eating there again.

Spina Restaurant - CLOSED
175 Ave B
New York, NY 10009
(212) 253-2250

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Midtown East - Totto Ramen

Totto Ramen opened another location not too long ago. My coworkers and I decided to check it out since it was dead of winter when we went (I know, this post is long overdue). During lunch hours in the winter, the wait can be anywhere from 15 to 45 minute wait but if you're by yourself, it might just be quicker.

There is a lot more seatings at this location compared to the west side. Service was quick and the staffs were crazy busy.

The Spicy Ramen was good, nice and hearty for the winter. Noodles were cooked nicely which is always a deal breaker when it comes to good/bad ramen joints. You get a choice between pork or chicken, I do recommend the pork since the chicken is quite dry. One thing I wished they did more for the pork was seared it to give it that crisp texture.

Besides being very well known for their Spicy Ramen, their Paitan Ramen is pretty good also. For those non-spicy lovers, this bowl is for you. Broth was creamy and filled with onions, tasted extremely home-y.

They have an array of topping options, all with additional price of course. I usually get their boiled egg which is boiled to perfection, the yolk is still runny when it's being served to you.

I find myself coming here a lot since it's a nice quick fix, can be a bit pricey at times. A bowl can run me anywhere between $12-15, but I love to indulge once in a while.

Totto Ramen
248 E 52nd Street
New York, NY 10022
(212) 421-0052

Friday, June 12, 2015

Dominique Ansel - The Cronut

First off, I'm finally writing again after what seems like 1000000000+ years.

Another exciting news (well, for me), I finally tried that darn cronut people have been raving and crazin' about since 2013. The effect?

I have to say, DA knows how to package. But honestly, such a big box for a cronut, was it really necessary? The cronut keeps sliding all over the place even when you pick up the box.

The month's special was Matcha Golden Pineapple. The look of the cronut was very tantalizing which is probably why everyone is willing to stand on line to get or order it in advance. The idea of a cronut and how it visually looks is enough advertisement in itself.

Don't shoot me...
But, I wasn't amazed by this. Period. You can indeed see the layers of pastry inside the cronut but it wasn't exactly flaky, it was more dough-y. I'm guessing it's because of the filling that might have soften the inside. Yes, I like the idea and the flavors worked really nicely but it's honestly no different than a croissant and just slabbing on some jam. I've had other cronuts before and really wanted to try DA's before comparing and now I can!

Well, DA's cronut isn't the best. The only thing that makes it special is the different flavor and taste combinations they come up with each month. But if you're fine with just vanilla or chocolate, get it elsewhere, it's not worth the wait or the headache of online ordering.

Dominique Ansel Bakery
189 Spring Street
New York, NY 10012
(212) 219-2773