Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Bits and Morsels goes for Waffles, Frites and Beer at Resto

Liege waffle from Resto.

Waffles, Frites and Beer. It’s almost too hot to be thinking about food, but my recent trip to Resto has me only thinking about its food. I love the location at 111 east 29th Street (an easy trek from the Upper East), and I love Belgian food (sorely missed in this town), even if its more Belgian-inspired than traditional Belgian. The space is a happy one, bright and cheery.

I am not much of a beer drinker (yet smart enough to know that nothing beats a cold beer on a sweltering day), but the informed staff selected a delicious beer based on my wine preferences.
Resto owner Christian Pappanicholas.
The menu has something for everyone as well. While it will have meat-lovers licking their chops, they do have plenty of seafood options including (of course) mussels and frites. The perfectly crisp frites are served in a cone with a choice of 10 different dipping sauces.

Another side dish, roasted broccoli with garlic and chilies, was crunchy and nutty and pretty much the best broccoli dish I have ever had.
The big table for large format meals.
Where Resto really stands out is with its large format feasts. You need to call about a week in advance and go with at least 8 people. Chef Bobby Helen will prepare a nose-to-tail feast utilizing a whole animal. If you choose a pig, he will prepare ham and sausage to ensure that there is no waste. Resto offers several animals including pig, milk-fed goat, spring lamb, and fish. The large format feast was included in the 12 Epic New York Meals to Eat Before you Die. Just to give you an idea of how special it is.

111 East 29th street
Nothing beats a cold beer on a hot day. The wine/beer list is embedded in an old book.
Bread with soft butter and salt. Roasted broccoli with garlic and chilies.
Frites with yogurt, cumin, and roasted garlic sauce and cocktail sauce. Sausage for the large format feast.
Halibut with quinoa and asparagus. Dorade with fingerling potatoes and ramps.
Clockwise from above: The whole Pig, prepared for the large format feast (despite the graphic nature of the photograph, nothing is wasted); Resto always has great additions to the menu; Homemade ham.
Executive chef, Bobby Helen. The door of the walk-in fridge.
The Kusmi Tea store is officially open. The opening was last Wednesday night. If you are a tea lover, the new store is a definite destination. Kusmi is unique in that not only does it honor and respect tea tradition by offering older Russian black tea varieties, but owner Sylvain Orebi is always creating new blends. Chinese green tea, maté and lemon grass full flavored with lemon, known as Detox, is one of them, and a best-seller too.

Kusmi Tea
1037 Third Avenue at 61st Street
Kusmi Tea owner Sylvain Orebi.
Green teas, black teas, decaf & red teas, herbal teas, and wellness teas.
Love the metal tins; I filled my shopping bag with a tin of Sweet Love (Black China tea, liquorice roots, spices, guarana seed and pink pepper), Detox (Chinese green tea, maté and lemon grass full flavored with lemon), and Be Cool (blend of plants, verbena, liquorice, and peppermint).
The Kusmi shopping bag reflects the Kusmi "chic" spirit (limited edition item).
Nothing says summer like a good piece of pie. Here are some top spots in New York to satisfy your pie cravings. Many of the pies are of the nontraditional persuasion, but they are bursting with flavor. How about a grapefruit and apple cheddar pie? [Metromix NY]

If you want to discover delicious food, ask the cabbies. One blog, actually written by a cab driver, did just that and discovered a number of tasty ethnic eats, primarily in Queens and Brooklyn. The bites range from sweet potato pie to goat curry. [Taxi Gourmet]

Someone is selling jelly made by infusing a piece of Princess Diana’s hair with gin. They bought the hair on e-bay and the jelly costs $7.60. Didn't think anything about Princess Diana could be unappetizing, until now. [NY Daily News]
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