Thursday, December 15, 2011

Bits & Morsels

Gorditas de Requesón o Chorizo at Pulqueria.

by Erin Frankel

Wow, did the weather change drastically this weekend! It's getting cold out there! So crawl out from under your comforter and try some of these heat-inducing eats.

Pulqueria. Creamy guacamole, cool, spicy salsas, and aromatic, braised meats make Mexican food a winner in any weather. Down an alley in Chinatown, you will find an unmarked door that leads to a cozy and swanky Mexican den, called Pulqueria. Christopher and Heather Tierney, the team behind classic bespoke cocktail venue Apotheke, have seamlessly made the transition into the restaurant world.
Interior of Pulqueria.
Chef Nacxitl Gaxiola amuses with quirky twists on all-time classics from the Sikil Pak (mayan pumpkin seed dip house-made tortilla chips) to the Esquites (grilled corn off-the-cob, epazote, chile piquin, mayo, queso fresco, lime) to our favorite, Gorditas de Requesón o Chorizo (house-made corn masa pockets with queso requeson or chorizo, with lettuce, crema, queso fresco). By the time dessert arrives, you'll have noticed that the ingredients in each dish turn up as new and unexpected forms, but all delicious. And filling.

Finish off your meal with a Churros (a house-made Mexican street pastry with goat milk caramel sauce) and a mezcal flight. You'll stay warm for hours.

PULQUERIA
11 Doyers Street New York, NY 10013-5104
212.227.3099
Rooster's Eye. Mitchalada.
Ensalada de Nopal.
A variety of tacos.
Enchiladas de Jamaica.
Tostadas de Atun.
Tommy Lasagna. Imagine a restaurant intensely devoted to your favorite Italian comfort food; maybe even better than your nonna's. Presto, you've got Tommy Lasagna. Tommy reminds us that lasagna was created as a resourceful way for families to stretch their food budgets, mixing less expensive meats with a mishmash of other ingredients. In the spirit of lasagna, Tommy has conceived of and successfully executed every version of lasagna imaginable; a little something for everyone you might say.

Here, you will find fancy schmancy varieties such as Truffle lasagna, which contains a mixture of black truffles and chanterelle mushrooms or your more basic nonna's lasagna with marinara sauce, ricotta, and mozzarella. The crowd-pleaser is clearly Tommy's favorite Tommy Lasagna with bolognese, béchamel, and mozzarella. it's a home run.

Tommy Lasagna

119 E 18th St
212.228.3494

Nonna's Lasagna. Marinara, Ricotta & Mozzarella.
Tommy's Lasagna. Bolognese, Béchamel & Mozzarella
Truffle Lasagna. Wild Mushrooms & Black Truffle.
AOA Bar & Grill. The menu at this new Tribeca grill includes simple but precisely-prepared sports-bar staples: Truffled triple mac & cheese, pork and beef sliders, classic French onion soup, a southwestern chicken salad, and every type of burger imaginable.

However, AOA (which stands for Avenue of the Americas) takes it up a notch by taking its casual unpretentious fare and preparing it flawlessly. AOA's ample space also has TVs everywhere, and is sure to become a comfort mainstay.

AOA Bar & Grill
35 6th Ave
212.925.1600
Classic French Onion soup.
Southwestern Chicken salad: baby greens, spicy grilled chicken, roasted corn, scallion, piquillo peppers, pepper jack cheese, crispy tortilla strips, cilantro citrus dressing.
Truffled Triple Cheese Mac.
Beef Sliders with bacon & cheese.
Many restaurants in New York City are offering sweet holiday deals. Here are a few of my favorites:

Chef Di Bari's Feast of the Seven Fishes Dinner. For $45, you will receive a seven course small plate menu. Stuzzicheria's (305 Church St. @ Walker, 212.219.4037) will run from 12/19 – 12/24 and Zi Pep's (424 E 9th St., (212.475.7377) on Christmas Eve.

Your favorite, old-school Pizzeria, Lil' Frankies (19 1st Avenue, 212.420.4900), is hosting a cozy, inexpensive holiday party special: $20/$30 Lunch/Dinner Prix Fix - add $10 for unlimited wine and beer.
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