Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Bits & Morsels

by Erin Frankel


What’s for breakfast? Soy. On most mornings you will find me sitting at a table by the window, armed with my laptop (possibly even writing this column) and my two favorite (and rather healthy) items: an iced lemon-honey-ginger drink and a Zen salad.

Quiet, cozy yet very well spaced, Soy is an exceedingly pleasant place to sit for hours. The Zen salad will satisfy vegan and non-vegan alike (I am the latter) with its mixture of mesclun, soy nuts, edamame, and hummus drizzled with a delicious balsamic vinaigrette. The lemon-honey-ginger drink (lemon juice, ginger, and a dollop of honey to add some sweetness to the otherwise zesty flavors) is an excellent complement to the simplicity of the Zen salad.

Soy, 115 Greenwich Avenue, 212.229.9898
Lemon-Honey-Ginger drink at Soy. Zen Salad at Soy.
Lunch today: Corner Bistro. This West Village landmark/watering hole is always packed. And for good reason. The menu is painted onto a wooden board affixed to the bar wall. The burgers are cheap and reliable. The ambience is as relaxed as it gets.

You either squeeze into tight wooden booths in the back room or wedge yourself into a stool at the long mahogany bar. Never does this dissuade the customer from coming back time and time again. Why? Because it doesn't get better than sipping on a $2.50 mug of beer while indulging in an unequivocally thick and juicy eight-ounce slab of beef with melted cheese piled high with pickles, lettuce and tomato. All served on a paper plate. Who knew sitting elbow to elbow with your neighbors could be such a joyous experience?

Corner Bistro, 331 West 4th Street, 212.242.9502
A pint and fries at Corner Bistro.
Cheeseburger at Corner Bistro.
Date Night: Thalassa. This Tribeca mainstay is an impressive, stylish Hellenic haunt ... both in decor and cuisine. The expansive mosaic tiled, Mykonian space, which occupies three levels of an historic Tribeca building (formally a warehouse), recreates the nautical vibe of sailing through the Greek isles. Pretty dramatic, really. The sophisticated, seafood-centric menu complements the bright and airy space with a contemporary spin on classic Greek seafood dishes.

By far the most interesting dish I’ve had at a Greek restaurant is Thalassa’s Maine Diver Scallops: grilled scallops wrapped with a crispy kataifi filo drizzled with a sheep’s milk butter and Kalamata balsamic reduction. Each densely packed buttery bite is flecked with an abundance of crunchy filo flakes. While the Mediterranean accents may seem predictable at first, Thalassa’s inspiring combination of dishes will surprise even the most discriminating diner.

Thalassa, 179 Franklin Street, 212.941.7661
Maine Diver Scallops at Thalassa.
Thalassa, before the dinner crowd.
Photographs by Erin Frankel.
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