Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Bits and Morsels bakes cookies

The Cookie Bar team: Megan Fitzroy, Josh Greenspan, Michael Greenspan, Dorie Greenspan, and Nathan Noland.

Who doesn’t love cookies? Make sure to stock up on cookies from The Cookie Bar at the Mizu Salon at 505 Park Avenue. It’s a pop-up cookie counter that’s run by cookbook author Dorie Greenspan and her son Josh. Going into business with a family member isn’t always easy, but when it works it’s a beautiful thing. Dorie and Josh are a fantastic mother and son team who I can see really enjoy working together.

The Cookie Bar is open until Saturday 2/13 and their hours are from 11am until 7 pm. The cookies are such a hit that they have been selling out every day within a few hours. When I arrived at the store last night there was not a crumb left.

Cookie Bar @ The Mizu Salon.
Every night this week they have been baking the cookies in a large industrial kitchen in Long Island City. And they can’t bake the cookies fast enough. Josh mentioned to me that he could use another pair of hands and that I would be welcome to join and help them bake. I did not want to leave my dear readers without any cookies, so I hopped on the R train last night and stopped by the facility.

Baking is not my forte and since these cookies are pretty serious stuff, I spent most of the night chopping up chocolate. Baking is a precise science and the ingredients are weighed exactly to be sure every batch is just right.

Some of the cookies that are offered at Cookie Bar: Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Chunker, Sable and Molasses Spice to name a few. Not everyone likes chocolate-covered strawberries for Valentine’s Day, but everybody loves cookies, especially really good ones.

Cookie Bar
@ MIZU – 505 Park Avenue (btwn 59th - 60th)
Monday 2/8 - Saturday 2/13
11am until 7pm or until the last cookie is munched!
Josh Greenspan and Dorie Greenspan. Dorie told me that one of the best things about Cookie Bar is that it's something she can work on with her son. I love the logo and the purple and white packaging.
The kitchen in action.
All very precise -- weighing the chocolate chip cookies to ensure they all turn out the same size.
Chocolate chip cookie dough ready for the oven.
Dorie cutting out the Sable.
Peanut butter cookies.
Peanut butter cookies before baking, after they have been pressed with a fork.
A sable is a shortbread cookie. Sable means 'sand' in French as its texture is light and crumbly. Spice cookie out of the oven.
Peanut butter cookies cooling out of the oven.
Last Sunday night I went to the new Danny Meyer restaurant, Maialino, in the Gramercy Park Hotel. Yes, I went for an early dinner on Super Bowl Sunday. I’m not the biggest football fan so I dvr’d the game and instead snacked on crispy fried artichokes with anchovy sauce rather than my usual game food of (too many) chips and wings.

My dinner date was my friend Ajit Gupta, who is a trooper for joining me during the Super Bowl. Maialino, which means “little pig” in Italian, serves up Roman Trattoria cuisine including all the Roman classics like fried artichokes and fresh pasta with plenty of black pepper and Pecorino cheese.

Outside the Gramercy Park Hotel.
The highlight for me was the ravioli al uovo. It’s one big raviolo made with fresh pasta and filled with a mixture of spinach and cheese with an egg in the center. The ravioli is sauteed in brown butter and when you slice into it with your fork, the egg yolk oozes out to hatch a rich and creamy sauce for the dish.

Danny Meyer’s restaurants are known for their great service and hospitality and Maialino is no exception. I liked the vibe. The room is spacious with a bar in the front area. The noise level and atmosphere was just right on this night (keep in mind it was Super Bowl Sunday).

My one peeve with Maialino is that it is a very tough reservation to grab at peak hours. And while it was a lovely experience, hoping for that 10PM reservation makes Maiailino an unnecessary stretch.

2 Lexington Avenue
They are also serving breakfast and lunch

Inside Maialino. My dining partner Ajit Gupta.
Frascati -- a nice and crisp white wine -- always a good choice on wine lists when available, $28. Bread basket with olive oil for dipping - the focaccia was especially good.
3 cheeses -- Taleggio di Bufala, La Tur, and Piave Vecchio. Tonnarelli Cacio e Pepe.
Sauteed spinach with lemon and olive oil. Swiss chard with tomatoes and brussels sprouts with pecorino cheese.
Raviolo al uovo.
Sea bass with blood orange and endive. Suckling pig's foot with white beans and celery.
Fried artichokes with an anchovy bread sauce. Capuccino.
Tiramisu. Mixed berry tart.
Robert Sietsema is a gutsy guy who recently sampled some Fancy Feast Cat Food. It was the Florentine Tuna flavor he was curious about, specifically the ”Florentine” aspect of the food (he admits the garden veggies also intrigued). The verdict, in his own words: "I was expecting something vile and fishy. Instead, the bite tasted like--nothing! It was mind-numbingly bland and saltless." [The Village Voice]

What do you think of the new design? Heinz is getting rid of their old ketchup packets in favor of squeezable containers that you can dip your fries right into. The new design actually holds three times as much ketchup as the packets. [NY Daily News]

Good news! Winter Restaurant Week has been extended to February 28th (it was supposed to end on Friday). I love Restaurant Week and the extension gives you more time to try out a fantastic group of restaurants at a genuinely good price. [Gothamist]

Serving sizes for certain foods are misleading.
I always think about this when chomping on my Cheerios in the morning. An average-sized cereal bowl can hold about two or three servings of cereal. That’s a lot of calories to consume, especially when you're under the impression you are eating only one serving size. The FDA is moving towards stricter, more accurate labeling on the front of food packages. [NY Times]

Until we eat again,
Jordana Z.

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