Spice It Up!

 

 

 

 

Curry Puffs Dumplings-Pure Thai

Sorry it’s been a while folks! Been super busy with work and made my way towards Boston this past weekend. But here’s a post for ya! Thanks for reading!

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Spicy foods and I have a love-love relationship. They keep things interesting. They know how to add “spice to your life”. They know how to keep their “cool” and let’s face it… they’re hot.

Horrible puns aside, I’ve been meaning to hit up Pure Thai Cookhouse for quite some time now. Luckily a few friends of mine were up for a authentic Thai experience. Inside looks as what they like to call a “shophouse”. With wood paneling, industrial decor and a modern flair… this place is right up my alley. It’s also built with a vertically oriented layout. How they fit so much seating in such little space?* I’ll never know.

We arrived at about 6pm on a Friday and were lucky enough to get the last seat right in the front. They brought us a nice sized carafe of water and kept our glasses full. And I now know why. I ended up ordering the Wok Basil with Chicken. Now I see that you can customize your spice level and I’ve never eaten there before… I’ll settle on medium**. That way I can gauge for next time whether to amp it up or not. All I can say is, wow. The ground chicken and string beans were a killer. I think that chili garlic puree and holy basil sauce did a number on me. The only thing to tame the heat was that jasmine rice. Don’t get me wrong, it was delicious and I’d order it again. But no 3 stars for me. I’ll stick to a happy 2.

Spicy Wok Chicken-Pure Thai
We also ordered:
-The Chicken Curry Puffs: super flaky/crispy with a moist center. (With sweet potato, onion and a cucumber relish.)

-Steamed Veggie Dumplings:My favorite app. From the looks of it, I had no idea how it was going to taste as well as texture-wise. The peanut flavor was strong which I enjoyed. Pillow-y and flavorful bites.

I received a fairly amount of hype for PTC and was happily surprised to see that it’s completely justified and warranted here. Service was great and we didn’t feel rushed despite the incoming crowds. I appreciated the atmosphere that transported me across the world and the bold flavors that took my taste buds there as well.

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*Welcome to the magic and glory that is NYC.
**As mentioned in my tip, if medium was so true to level… then I wonder what “hot” is.

766 9th Ave
New YorkNY 10019

 

b/t 51st St & 52nd St in Hell’s Kitchen, Midtown West, Theater District

(212) 581-0999

purethaicookhouse.com

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Brick Oven Bread? Homemade Hummus? YES Please!

I must admit, I’m new to the world of Middle Eastern/Mediterranean cuisine. Being that it was heading towards the last days of Restaurant Week, I wanted to venture into something new. When looking at the price fixe menu, theirs immediately caught my eye. With such a diverse assortment of foods, I was all in.

My friend and I kinda made last-minute plans to dine, so the only reservations we could get were at the bar. I usually don’t like eating at the bar since it tends to be very crowded and I had no idea how big or small the inside of Taboon was going to be. When I stepped inside I was pleased to find it was not only spacious but beautifully decorated. Low lighting, clean accents and a rustic feeling. And that oven! You could just smell the aroma of fire-roasted foods waiting to be eaten. As for our seating arrangements– probably the best dining experience I’ve ever had at the bar. Our bartender was on point. He was attentive, friendly, talkative, and just an all around awesome guy. (And might I add good-looking too.)

Now onto the food:
Bread-Taboon-Their signature, known-for flatbread cooked in the taboon oven was ridiculously delicious. One bite and you’ll be transported to your food happy place. It was well seasoned, crispy and buttery. As well as it came with a trio of dips–homemade hummus, tzaziki and baba ghanoush. They were all silky, earthy and creamy.

-(Appetizer) Creamy Yukon Potato and Asparagus Soup: Very creamy & savory and just hit the spot with all this cold weather happening lately.
Chicken Taboon-Taboon
-(Entree) Chicken Taboon: Organic free-rang chicken breast with cured lemon, Israeli couscous, broccoli rabe, pearl onion confit and all topped with a panzanella salad. This dish was very refreshing, light and refined. The chicken was tender, juicy as well as flavorful. All around it was a great dish.

Silan-Taboon

-(Dessert) Silan*: I saw so many outstanding comments about this dish and had to try it. Decadent vanilla ice cream with puffed rice cereal, date honey, caramelized pistachios and shredded halva. I have no idea how this was thought up but thank you to whoever did.

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*Alright. Let’s just say I was in a beauty pageant, and they asked me what would make the world a better place. You’d think world peace right?? NOPE. SILAN. Silan is what should make the world go round.

773 10th Ave
New York
New York, NY 10019
b/t 53rd St & 52nd St in Hell’s Kitchen, Midtown West
(212) 713-0271
taboononline.com

Bacon, Bacon, Bacon!

Sign-BarBacon

BarBacon is a new addition to the Hell’s Kitchen family. Here, you’ll find several things:
-Not a vegetarian in sight.
-Enough sodium intake as the Dead Sea.
-Unusually delicious ways to incorporate bacon into every item imaginable.
-Lamb bacon. You heard it right.

Having only opened about several months ago… from the looks of it, they’re doing pretty well for themselves! The word has gotten around and it looks like BarBacon is hitting home runs with the crowds. My friend and I arrived at around 6:30pm on a weekday and it was pretty packed. With low lighting and a very nature-y feel, I felt right at home. Whoever was in charge of decorating this place had a knack for an ambiance that really sets the mood. I also really liked the fact that you weren’t bombarded by the smell of bacon like some places. I mean, yes who doesn’t like the smell of that porky goodness? But leave that to the dinner itself. To your left you’ll see the bar which offers plenty of space to mingle while sippin’ on some crafty beers. To your right you’ll find the restaurant area with both high and low tables.

Yes, the menu is concise but it’s surprisingly diverse. From the classic bacon cheeseburger to bacon bahn mi, you’re sure to find something that suits your pork needs.

Bacon Flight-BarBacon

Bacon Tasting “Flight”: (HIGHLY recommended) this app consists of 4 types of bacon, 2 pieces each so you and a friend can share. Here’s the flavors if you will:
-Nueske’s Applewood Smoked Bacon: classic, thin, crispy feel-good taste.
-Father’s Country Maple Bacon: by far my favorite. Why not take it up a level and make it even more unhealthy? Add sugar. *Cue heavenly sounds*
-Nodine’s Peppered Bacon: my least favorite. But still good. I felt like it needed to be paired with a merlot. Too much pepper in that bite for my liking.
-BarBacon Lamb Bacon: most interesting one of the night. Slightly gamey and pretty thick sliced meat. It was a true fusion of lamb chops and bacon flavor in one. Don’t miss out on this gem.

Grilled Cheese and Eggplant Soup-BarBacon

Applewood Smoked Bacon Grilled Cheese with Tomato Eggplant Soup:
Delicious. The thick fontina and gruyere was oozing out of the Toasted Semolina (from Amy’s Bread!). The bread had fennel and golden raisins which balanced and added a sweetness factor to the salt of the bacon and cheese. That was a wonderful touch. As for the soup, it was a perfect pairing for dipping the sandwich. It was tart and hearty.

Happy Hour-BarBacon

Tip: Happy hour is at the bar but for the time being (since they’re new) you may be able to snag that 1/2 off special at your table. The Sixpoint is the recommended pairing that goes well with bacon. And it sure did! What a creamy and delicious light beer. (Thanks to our awesome waitress. You rock!)

If you have a love for pork, unique pairings and a relaxed, casual vibe… BarBacon is your calling. I’ll be returning for sure. Don’t worry about eating like a pig*. It’s all good.

*Too much?

836 9th Ave
New York, NY 10019
b/t 55th St & 54th St in Hell’s Kitchen, Midtown West
(646) 362-0622
barbacon.com

Winter Restaurant Week- Bann

Came to Bann for Winter Restaurant Week. $38 Price Fixe will persuade me anyday. I knew going in that it was more of “Asian fusion that leans slightly to the Korean side of the spectrum”. My friend has never ventured into Korean cuisine before and we were itching to escape from the cold and have a nice, relaxing, inviting meal. We reserved a table beforehand, which they honored as soon as we got there. The inside was very dim, very modern with Asian influence. I’m glad I came in my work attire. If I wore jeans, I would have felt under-dressed. We were led through a bar area, several side rooms and then sat in the main dining area. It was very spacious and intimate in nature.

We received our Restaurant Week menu, which gave a nice assortment of options to choose from. Our waiter was very kind and patient when deciding what to order. And he answered some of our questions graciously. I ended up deciding on the Bulgogi Buns for the appetizer, the Kalbi Jim for my main and the Banana Sabayon for dessert.

Bulgogi Buns

-Bulgogi Buns:
Comes with two. The steamed buns were light, fluffly and held together despite the generous amount of beef rib eye and spicy daikon. It wasn’t all that spicy in my opinion, but it delicious nonetheless.

Kalbi Jim

Kalbi Jim

-Kalbi Jim:
The star of the meal. If you’re a meat-lover, go for the kalbi. You can’t go wrong. They not only gave us a generous portion (considering it was a price-fixe), but it was also plated beautifully. The beef was incredibly tender yet super flavorful and that sake ginger soy glaze enhanced it all. I savored every. single. bite.

Banana Sabayon-Bann

Banana Sabayon

-Banana Sabayon:
I have to admit… this is my first experience with sabayon. For those of you that aren’t familiar with this dish, it’s a very light/airy custard served with fruit. I heard great things. Let’s just say I was transported to heaven as soon as I took my first spoonful. It was super silky and decadent. And despite that I don’t usually enjoy “banana flavored” things, I loved this.

Bann may not be traditional, but it is delicious. From seeing what others have said, I can agree on the letdown of authentic options. However, from my experience here, everything was on par. No complaints from me. Bann is certainly worth the occasional splurge. (From the dirt cheap options in K-town.) I’ll surely be back.

350 W 50th St
New York, NY 10019
b/t 9th Ave & 8th Ave in Hell’s Kitchen, Midtown West, Theater District
(212) 582-4446
bannrestaurant.com