Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Bits & Morsels

Prime 10 oz. Filet Mignon from Parlor Steakhouse.

Last week I dined at Parlor Steakhouse located at 1600 Third Avenue and 90th Street. Parlor opened in June and it's become a neighborhood hot spot. There are not so many new restaurants uptown and Parlor’s success (it was busy when I was there) highlights the need for some sleek and modern restaurants in the area. What's nice about Parlor is that you feel just as comfortable going there for a full-on steak dinner as you do for a light bite consisting of a salad or a drink. It’s casual and can be formal at the same time.

The clientele at Parlor on this particular night was primarily Upper East Siders. If you don't eat steak (for a variety of reasons) they offer many other alternatives such as crisp and satiating salads to a beautiful raw bar. The heirloom tomato with Gorgonzola cheese was surprisingly good. You see herds of heirloom tomato salads in the summer and many restaurants tend to miss the mark. The candy stripe beet salad with goat cheese was arranged prettily. The best way to mop up these salads are with the onion rolls that parlor serves warm.

As you would expect, Parlor serves all the usual steak house sides; macaroni and cheese, spinach and fries. A plate of fries is served with crispy onions piled atop. One word: addictive. [Parlor Steakhouse]
Parlor Steakhouse entrance. Warm onion roll.
Clockwise from top left: Fries with crispy onions; Seafood salad; Chopped salad; Sauteed spinach.
Mac and cheese outside and in.
Clockwise from top left: Executive Chef Lucas Billheimer; Beet and goat cheese salad; Heirloom tomato salad; chocolate cake with a cardamom cappuccino; A regular cappuccino.
On Sunday I went to a gospel brunch at Lola, located downtown at 15 Watts Street. I always say a good brunch should be both relaxing and inspiring to power you through the week ahead. The gospel brunch at Lola does just that. For $37.00 you get a main course, a drink (alcoholic if you so prefer), and dessert, not to mention the rocking live music. Trust me when I say you will want to get up and dance and sing along (all while working up an appetite). Some of the options on the menu: shrimp and grits, chicken fried steak, french toast, and fried chicken. For dessert: luscious bread pudding and red velvet cake.
Inside Lola.
Lola is owned by Lola Gayle Patrick-Odeen and Tom Patrick Odeen, who are almost always in the restaurant making customers feel down-right at home. Lola is open for dinner and they have live music almost every night. Next time you are in the mood for some stick-to-your-ribs soul food and live music, say hola to Lola. [Lola is Soul]
Clockwise from top left: Lola's exterior; Egg casserole; French Toast; Proprietress Lola Gayle Patrick-Odeen.
Bread Pudding. The menu.
Here is a list of foods that are in season for fall. All of them are good for you and things we should be eating more often. The list includes kale, pears, and concord grapes among other things. It also lists sheep’s milk cheeses which I didn’t even realize 'had' a season. It is worth the effort to work these foods into your diet. [The Wall Street Journal]

Trans Fats are officially banned in Boston Restaurants. New York started the movement when it banned trans fats in 2006. As a result of New York banning trans fats many large companies have had to reformulate their products. Trans Fats clog your arteries and are used mainly in baking and frying. [Boston.com]

Birthday etiquette.
Don’t you hate going out with a group of friends for a birthday and getting stuck with the tab? It’s always an awkward situation and this article from CNN offers useful tips on how to deal with it. Simply asking the host of the party for the details before that special night can save you a lot of trouble and possibly prevent you from even losing a friendship. [CNN]

Until we eat again,
Jordana Z.

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