Per Se Restaurant: Frenchie NYC03.24.16
Last week, I celebrated my birthday with a ten course, four-hour-long culinary extravaganza at Per Se, one of NYC’s restaurant jewels. It was a night of French haute cuisine that included everything from caviar to pigeon, lobster to lamb—the full array of a carnivore’s dream (or vegetarian’s dream if you’re so inclined), with the finest attention to detail over ingredients and execution. It’s a pity that the restaurant that’s been on my wish list for years was downgraded earlier this year. Regardless, it was a beautifully lavish night that tripped out my senses and made me feel like a modern-day princess.
It’s already been one year since Rana Pastificio & Cucina began to spread the gospel of fresh pasta to hungry New Yorkers. At first glance, the restaurant located on the ninth avenue entrance of Chelsea Market, may seem like a pasta wonderland of sorts with original pasta machines scattered throughout, a collection of graters from flea market from all over Italy hovering over the bar, Rana’s old red motorbike he used for deliveries. But behind all the paraphernalia there’s an air of authenticity. It’s a joyful celebration of one man’s life and passion, and the energy you feel there is contagious.
The owner is 75-year-old Giovanni Rana from Verona, Italy, who started his career in food as a young bread maker. He realized that Italian women were too busy to make fresh pasta from scratch, so he pounced on the opportunity and started making fresh ravioli. His first two flavors were meat and spinach with ricotta. Now his namesake restaurant brings us 85 different varieties of fresh pastas, some in unusual flavors like beet, squid ink, and tiramisu that one can eat on premises or purchase from the counter to cook at home. more »
Spring is here, which means the perfect time to try something new. Zengo, a Latin-Asian restaurant owned by celebrated Chef Richard Sandoval is doing just that. It has created a special tasting menu available through June that combines flavor profiles shared by Vietnamese and Cuban cuisine. Does it succeed? Let’s take a look. more »
It was a clear Autumn night, one of those nights in the middle of October that deceivingly charms us into thinking that we’re ready for what is to come. In downtown Manhattan, shiny pumpkins sat on brownstone stoops and bursted in their orange skin, leaves hung on to branches, beginning their transition from a joyful emerald green to their brittle golden selves. Yet on this night, even though a sharp chill encroached upon me without an invitation, piercing through my tights and slithering behind my collar, I walked briskly to my refuge for the night. A warm place awaited, and I didn’t even have to leave the city. more »
My cheeks were flushed. My head swirled in wine-induced hyperreality. I raised the silver goblet of water to my lips to help dilute the copious amounts of wine that were now coursing through my veins. The sixth dish of the night arrived, “Young Milk Lamb”, with luscious and delicate slices of suckling lamb contrasting with a firm and juicy medallion of pastured lamb. They were nestled in a lime green whip of shallot mashed potatoes and punctuated by a spiraled fiddlehead fern, which I had seen at the market earlier that morning. The lamb had been sourced from a farm nearby. “This is the perfect example of sustainability,” said Chris Weber, the 25-year-old chef that headed the kitchen at the HerbFarm restaurant in Woodinville, Washington. more »