Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Bits & Morsels

Amaranth's Focaccia bread stuffed with tomato arugula and robiola cheese.

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

I love Paris every moment, every moment of the year. I love Paris, why, oh why do I love Paris? Because my love is near. Maybe I'm reading too much about Sarkozy and his romance with Carla Bruni, but right now I am longing for Paris. My two choice New York restaurants for satisfying any French food cravings are Amaranth and Tout Va Bien. Both restaurants serve French bistro fair but each has its own distinct style.

Amaranth, located just off Madison at 62nd is a chic and sexy take on the classic bistro. From lunchtime until late at night, Amaranth is always buzzing. The crowd is a nice mix of Upper East Side locals and visiting Europeans. Amaranth is a place to see and be seen. I have yet to dine there and not run into at least two people I know. If you're having an affair, Amaranth is not the place to go, unless of course, you want to get caught. One of my favorite dishes of all-time is the focaccia bread stuffed with tomato, arugula, and robiola cheese. It’s like eating an inside-out pizza that is fresh and light and just divine. It’s an Amaranth specialty and I order it every time I dine there. I also enjoy their refreshing artichoke salad (I love artichokes as you can see by past columns) which is a great way to start your meal. For dessert, nothing beats the profiteroles. What's better than French pastry puffs with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce?
Artichoke salad.
Tuna tartar.
Focaccia bread stuffed with tomato arugula and robiola cheese.
Halibut with lemon, capers, and asparagus.
In case you're not sure where you are.
Amaranth's neutral-toned dining room.
For more of a retro French experience head over to Tout Va Bien. Located at 51st between 8th and 9th avenues, it's the perfect destination for a pre-theater bite. Tout Va Bien has been in business for 60 years and is still a hidden gem in this restaurant culture of new is better. It’s a very traditional bistro with an extremely festive (bordering on kitschy) atmosphere. Or more aptly, it's like stepping into a Bastille Day celebration. When the weather is chilly, nothing beats their oozy, cheesy onion soup. I also like the artichoke, which is simply boiled and served with a lemony vinaigrette for dipping. The food is authentic bistro fare with other offerings like escargot and Coq Au Vin. And with the strong scent of garlic and butter wafting through the air and Edith Piaf's voice chirping in unison, you will think you are in Gai Paris!
Tout Va Bien, inside and out.
Onion Soup Gratinée.
Artichoke vinaigrette.
Trout Almondine.
Niçoise salad.
The aged menu.
Chocolate Mousse.
Crème Brulée.
Apple Tart Tatin.
Hydrox cookies have disappeared. In 2003, without any warning, Kellogg stopped making Hydrox cookies. Now more than ever people are trying to track down a box of their favorite Oreo-like cookies. There is even a petition going around to convince Kellogg to bring them back to supermarket shelves. The Hydrox name comes from combining two of the most popular elements, Hydrogen and Oxygen, when the cookie was first invented in 1908. [The Wall St. Journal]

I am thrilled that the New York Giants have made it to the Superbowl. Burgers are the classic game day food (pizza's not a bad choice either). Here's a list of useful tips to making the best possible burger. These handy tips range from what type of bun is best to how to properly season the meat. [Men in Aprons]

Till we eat again,
Jordana Z.

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