Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Bits & Morsels

The view of Lincoln Center from inside Bar Boulud.

West Side Story. This week I'm here to tell you about two different but equally delicious restaurants on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Bar Boulud, located at 1900 Broadway between 63rd and 64th streets, is Daniel Boulud’s newest haunt. Located directly across the street from Lincoln Center, Bar Boulud is the ideal spot for a pre-theater nibble. I had the creamy sunchoke soup and pan roasted sea bass with citrus and cauliflower. Both refreshing and satisfying, particularly the soup, whose crock was lined with a mushroom flan.
Pear tart with pistachio ice cream.
Bar Boulud offers a wide range of authentic charcuterie as well as classic bistro dishes, such as steak frites. Good authentic charcuterie is hard to find even in New York, so if pate and terrines are more your speed, you'd be silly not to stop by Bar Boulud ... and stay a while.
Cheese gougère. Sunchoke velouté with mushroom custard.
Mediterranean sea bass, preserved lemon. Crusty french bread to soak up the jus.
Another West side gem is Fine & Schapiro, located at 138 West 72nd Street between Amsterdam and Columbus. This Kosher delicatessen has been serving up some of the best deli in New York since 1927. There are few restaurants that have been around for eighty years and even fewer that are still thriving. For that alone, this restaurant should be landmarked.

Fine & Schapiro is a snapshot of the original New York deli. The clientele is a veritable mix, ranging from New Yorkers who have been eating there since its inception to first timers (although the waiters make everyone feel like regulars). I have been going there for over 20 years and it never disappoints. It’s certainly not trendy but the food is consistently good, they are efficient with deliveries, and the price is right. If you add $8.00 to any main course, they will turn it into a hefty dinner replete with appetizer or soup and dessert. I was feeling under the weather this past week and so I went to Fine & Schapiro for some chicken soup. Just what the doctor ordered.
Clockwise from top left: A bowl of matzo ball soup; Sour and half-sour pickles; Spinach and kashi knishes; Slices of rye.
Clockwise from top left: Part owner Edward Taubes; Roasted chicken; A pastrami sandwich on rye; A side of coleslaw.
Baked beans and kasha. A turkey sandwich on rye.
Fine & Schapiro to go.
Ramen fans rejoice! The Japanese ramen chain Ippudo has just opened its first branch in New York City at 65 4th Avenue. In Japan, ramen bars are everywhere and Ippudo is authentic. Stop by Ippudo and slurp away. [Ippudo]

The Old Homestead steakhouse
just introduced an $81.00 hamburger. The burger is made of Kobe Wagyu beef with a chunk of seared sirloin in the middle. Tater tots and ketchup are included! [Gothamist]

A rendering of Burger King's Whopper Bar.
On the other end of the burger spectrum ... Burger King is planning on rolling out a new restaurant concept of Whopper Bars. The bars will focus on selling the signature  Burger King sandwich in varieties that are not always available at Burger King. At the  Whopper bar you will also be able to see your burger being prepared, something you don’t typically see at your friendly neighborhood Burger King. [Wall Street Journal]

The most important meal of the day. On Tuesday April 8th from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Jamba Juice is going to be giving away free breakfast meals. They are launching a new line of breakfast items that are designed for eating on the run (and they are healthy options). Besides their usual lineup of juices they will be offering baked goods such as zucchini walnut cake plus yogurt and smoothies topped with granola. Who knows, it might just become part of my morning routine.

Here is a humorous list of things that a celebrity chef will never tell you. Celebrity chefs are everywhere these days and many of them are recognized more for their personalities than their cooking IQ. My favorite item on the list: Just because I have a cooking show doesn't mean I am a chef. [Smart Money]

In honor of Major League Baseball's opening day and for all you baseball fans out there, here's a list of eateries in the vicinity of Yankee and Shea Stadiums. All of these spots are nicer and more interesting alternatives to the typical refreshment stand. [New York]

Till we eat again,
Jordana Z.

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