Thursday, January 10, 2008

Bits & Morsels

Dinner at Felice Wine Bar on 64th and First Avenue.

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

Last night, I went to the opening of the new Haru location at 1 Wall Street Court. Haru is known for its impeccable sushi and makes a nice addition to the Financial district restaurant scene. The party was packed with people who work in the area snacking on sushi and sipping (or shooting) sake. I'm sure the new location will thrive. Last night's party benefited the Downtown Alliance. [Haru]
At last night's opening of Haru 1 Wall Street Court.
Change. The theme of change is everywhere, from the presidential debates to New York's restaurant landscape. The 2nd Avenue Deli first opened its doors in 1954 at 2nd Avenue and 10th Street. For over 50 years the deli stood unchanged, in its décor and cuisine. In 2006 the deli closed due to a sizeable rent increase. The original 2nd Avenue Deli was a New York icon, and when it closed it broke many a heart.

This past December the 2nd Avenue Deli reopened at 33rd and 3rd Avenue and I was first in line. As soon as I was seated at my table, I was greeted with a whopping plate of complimentary gribenes. Gribenes are crispy chicken skins fried with onions in chicken fat, a favorite way to start a deli meal. They are savory and delicious, but one is more than enough. For the rest of my meal, I ordered a brisket sandwich and matzo ball soup. Both hearty and a cut above most NY delis. The space is significantly smaller than the original but the décor is the same down to the floor tiles, except polished. And the food is pretty much the same too; delicious. Although I'm not sure I'd run back so quickly. Why, you ask? It makes me long for the original. Maybe if they had updated the decor.
Matzo ball soup.
Complimentary gribenes.
Sour and half-sour pickles.
Brisket sandwich on rye.
2nd Ave Deli dividers.
Chocolate Babka.
New addition. Felice Wine Bar just opened up on 64th and First Avenue, and it's the perfect spot for a cozy candlelit Italian dinner. I was there Sunday night and it was packed with neighborhood diners as well as a heavy European crowd. It's very similar to Sant Ambroeus and they even share the same chef. They have a communal table which is nice especially if you're dining solo. The food is casual and rustic and the menu offerings range from crostini with zucchini and mozzarella cheese to salmon with vegetables.
Crostini with zucchini and warm mozzarella cheese.
Artichoke salad.
Spinach ravioli.
Salmon with mixed vegetables.
I love reading the “Curious Cook” column by Harold McGee in the New York Times but sometimes it can be a little too much to absorb. A recent column discussed heat and how to best utilize this ingredient which is practically in every dish. Harold McGee is a brilliant food scientist who makes complex chemical interactions understandable to non-scientists like myself. Mouthing Off simplified his recent column into a practical list of eight ways to cook with heat. [Mouthing Off]

I can’t wait to read Michael Pollan’s new book “In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto.” Pollan advocates a diet of simple, local, and wholesome foods. These rules are straightforward but they are surprisingly hard to follow in our complicated world of convenience food. My favorite rule: avoiding foods with ingredients you can’t pronounce. [Serious Eats]

Till we eat again,
Jordana Z.

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