Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Bits & Morsels

Gnocchi & Cheese at Quality Meats.

"Bits and Morsels" is an ongoing collection of information from the world of the foodies and foodblogs:

This was one of those weeks where it was hard to pick one specific thing to write about. For starters, I had a delicious Italian brunch with JH at Morandi.

I had only been to Morandi for dinner once before, and I appreciated it much more over brunch on this Saturday morning. Thanks in part to their amazing ricotta fritters, which are basically light and puffy donuts filled with ricotta cheese and rolled in cinnamon sugar. They are served warm and are exceptional. It's worth going to Morandi just for the fritters. [Morandi]

Ricotta fritters at Morandi.
Quality Meats. This past Saturday night I dined at Quality Meats. Quality Meats, as the name would suggest, is a steak house. Unlike the classic Smith and Wollensky, which is owned and managed by the same company, Quality Meats falls into the trendy category of the modern American steakhouse. The atmosphere was lively and there was a good mix of people unlike the classic steakhouses, which are usually filled with dark suits and mucho testosterone. The décor was dark however, but for good reason, to remind one of a meat locker.

The menu offered updated versions of steakhouse classics, however nothing on the menu was really risky. I started with the local farmers salad, which was good if not plain. Steakhouses always have the best fish and Quality Meats is no exception. For my entrée I had the organic salmon, which was cooked perfectly. The sides too were all tasty. But my favorite were the crispy potatoes, which tasted like fresh thick-cut potato chips. The highlight of the meal was dessert, where one can order individual coconut custard pies, a cute touch. Quality Meats also offers homemade ice cream by the pint, and with flavors like coffee, doughnuts, and blueberry cheesecake ... how can one go wrong. [Quality Meats]
Warm bread with salt and herbs.
Local Farmer's Salad.
Green Goddess Chopped Salad.
Pan Roasted Crispy Potatoes.
Cajun seared tuna.
Organic salmon with caramelized onions.
Coffee & Doughnuts.
Coconut Cream Pie.
The new secret ingredient that is making its way into everything from packaged foods to Jean-Georges: umami. When something tastes perfectly savory ... it's described as umami. Once upon a time, the only way to get umami into foods was to load it up with MSG. Currently scientists are looking at more natural ways to get that sought after 'umami taste' into foods without using that dreaded MSG. I am not alone in associating MSG with migrane-causing Chinese food. There are a number of chefs who are also creating dishes around foods known to possess that 'umami flavor' such as mushrooms and cheeses. [The Wall Street Journal]

Today, December 12th, would have been Frank Sinatra’s 92nd birthday. What better way to celebrate his life than to listen to some of his classics and dine at Patsy’s, one of his favorite restaurants (located at 236 west 56th Street). Patsy’s will be serving up “Frank's stuffed artichoke” and “Frank’s veal cutlet Milanese” in his honor. [Grub Street]

Unhappy Meals. McDonalds has stooped to a new low. The fast food chain is now going to be advertising on elementary school report cards. In this age of rising obesity rates, I am more than a little surprised, and dare I say disgusted, that McDonalds has been given permission to do this. It turns out advertising on report cards is the most cost effective and targeted way to get kids (the bread and butter of Miccie-Dees) into their chains. Kids with good attendance and high grades will be able to redeem their report cards for free happy meals upon presentation, of course. [Ad Age]

Till we eat again,
Jordana Z.

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