Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Bits & Morsels

The view from BG.

Yesterday lunchtime, I went to the BG restaurant located on the 7th floor of Bergdorf Goodman. The minute you walk into the sun-bright dining room you are hit with high energy, a colorful crowd, and lush views of Central Park. My lunch partner was my neighbor and good friend Barbara Regna. Before we sat down to eat, we had a cocktail at the bar.

Barbara had the bloody martini, which is similar to a Bloody Mary, but the spicyness is due to Jalapeno pepper infused vodka. They have a large menu with meal-sized salads and fan favorites like croque monsieur. The butternut squash soup was not only pleasant to look at but a tasty choice too; clean, healthy, and heavier in squash content than cream. For dessert we split the s’mores parfait topped with three toasted marshmallows and chocolate mousse. Lunch, cocktails or a snack to refuel after shopping and schlepping, BG is the place. [BG]
Entering Begdorf Goodman .... Entering BG.
Clockwise from top left: At the bar; My dining partner Barbara Regna; Bloody Mary martini; Mixed green salad getting some dressing; Wild mushroom tart.
Our attentive waiter, Elliot. Croque monsieur.
Butternut squash soup with maple pecan butter. Cookie plate.
Cappuccino. S'more Parfait.
Old and new restaurants. Newly opened, Fulton, located at 205 East 75th Street, specializes in Fish. It is owned by Joe Gurrera (who also owns Citarella) who named said restaurant after the Fulton fish market. Fulton is around the corner from Citarella and they offer lovely outdoor seating. The highlight of my dinner was people watching while sitting outside in the crisp but not too chilly air. I sampled a plate of grilled sardines with a panzanella salad and grilled halibut with corn. When halibut is on the menu, I always order it. It’s a you-can't-go-wrong-with-it kind of a fish; mild, meaty yet light. I couldn't help thinking, however, that Fulton was stuck in the middle — too nice to be an everyday neighborhood spot, yet not distinct enough for when you want to go somewhere special. Fulton is worth a try especially now before it gets too cold to sit outside.
Clockwise from top left: Outdoor dining at Fulton; Truffled fingerlings; Grilled sardines over a panzanella salad; Grilled halibut with corn.
Fulton got me thinking about another more casual fish restaurant, One Fish Two Fish. Located at 1399 Madison Avenue, One Fish Two Fish has been in business for twenty years. The location is convenient and if you are looking to grab a bite after a trip to a museum or you are close to Mount Sinai Hospital, this is as good a bet as any. It is a practical restaurant for this current economy; the price is right and the atmosphere (decorated with artwork by De La Vega) is comfortable. A free salad and garlic bread comes with your meal, and on top of that they offer an early bird special. It's a large menu ranging from sole to lobster, crab and burgers. They also have a hearty dessert menu and with scrumptious sweet potato pie. [One Fish Two Fish]
Clockwise from top left: One fish two fish; Garlic bread; Sole with yellow rice; Sweet potato pie.
Fish and chips. James De La Vega decor.
Something to think about before you go out to dinner. Here is an article about restaurant inspectors who work for the Chicago Department of Public Health. Rodents and unsanitary kitchen conditions are common and these inspectors have yet to find a restaurant in full compliance with all the health codes. [Chicago Tribune]

People are funny when it comes to tipping. There is no set agreement on how much people should tip at the end of the meal and sometimes tips and good service do not go hand in hand. Is it ever ok not to tip? Unless tip is included you should always leave a tip. [Consumerist]

You probably don’t need to leave much tip when you place your order by a machine. Here are some restaurants, which utilize A.T.M.-like machines to help you order food. [Zagat]

Snacking is an important part of your diet. Light healthy snacks are useful in keeping your blood sugar levels stable. The key is eating the right snacks and avoiding the junk. When you are really hungry, some oatmeal or a small sandwich made with whole grain bread and lean protein will keep you feeling full. Here is a list of healthy snacks and the best time of day to eat them. [The Diet Blog]

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