April NYC Digs

It was a gorgeous spring weekend visiting my sister in nyc.  My sister took us around of course and I looked up a couple places I’ve been dying to try.  I go to nyc often but we were only able to hit a few places from our research. I think we were very successful this time around.  We stayed in East Village – a place full of organic markets and vegetarian restaurants. We also ventured out to the meatpacking district and Brooklyn to discover a couple new digs.  If your vegan/vegetarian I’ll show you how to order at restaurants that mainly serve meat.  There’s always an option. You just have to be a little creative like Sally from the movie When Harry Met Sally.

Before heading to dinner my sister came over and gave me the most beautiful flowers.

My sister took us to Scared Chow, a very trendy vegan restaurant in Greenwich Village. We got a perfect seat by the window.  This adorable dig is known for their vegan tapas.  We ordered six delightful plates – a combo of 3 for $18.  The portions are quite large and heavy for tapas, so choose wisely.

We started out with the Sunflower Lentil Pate with crostinis (plate pictured on the bottom).  The consistency was very much like pate – thick and rich.  It was full of flavor with a crunchy bite.  My top 3 favorite plates of the night: Sautéed Shiitake Mushroom w/South Indian Dip (middle left) – The sauce made this dish.  It almost had a buttery taste.  Growing up I ate plenty of shiitake, but never with such a unique sauce.  Root Vegetable Latkes w/Indonesian Date Butter (top right) – Ok, so this is hands down my favorite of the night.  It was perfectly cooked – crispy on the outside but you can still taste the flavors of the vegetable root.  Korean Tofu Cutlets w/steamed kale (top left) – It was sweet and spicy, but not over-powering flavors like most Korean dishes.

We were much too full for dessert but we walked to St. Mark’s where my sister purchased the best gummy bears ever – Crown Natural Gummy Bears from Saint Mark’s Market.  They were soft and chewy tropical flavors.

The next morning my sister took us to a French bistro for brunch, Patis, located in the meatpacking district.  The brunch menu contained mostly diary and eggs, but here’s where you can get creative if you are vegan.  I opted for the granola and berries w/o yogurt, which was absolutely delish even without yogurt.  They gave us a fresh bread basket and jam.

Ok, so this is the highlight of my trip.  I always been a fan of Top Chef and when I heard that one of my favorite chefs opened a new restaurant I had to go.  Dale Talde was from season 4 and made an amazing comeback on Top Chef Masters.  He’s known for his Asian Fusion cuisine.  I went to Buddakan last year to look for him, but no luck.  Everything happens for a reason.  It just so happens he opened his own restaurant – Talde in Brooklyn.  Let me just say it was phenomenal.

What an experience!  We headed to Brooklyn early because the wait can be up to two hours.  Got there 5 minutes before it opened and the restaurant filled up quickly.

The place is bigger than I expected and we were seated at the best spot, right in front of Dale.  I love restaurants that open the kitchen up so you can see the chefs cooking.

Pretzel Pork & Chive Dumplings with spicy mustard – Heard it really does taste like pretzels.

Perilla Leaf – Perfect dish to cleanse your palette before the main course.

Hawaiian Bread Buns – There were three: Filipino Pork, Crispy Long Island Fluke, and the Market Vegetable.  The Market Vegetable bun melted in my mouth.  My sister claims that the vegetable bun was actually the best one.

Tofu & Kale Salad – The best salad I ever had in my life.  It was a bed of kale served with beets, tofu, and fresh water chestnuts mixed with cider ponzo dressing.  Every bite had a subtle and creamy crunch.  I still dream about it.

Short Ribs – My husband couldn’t find anyone that can make short ribs like his dad, until now.

Halo-Halo – I had halo-halo before, but not like this.  This one was special.  I heard people guess what’s in this dessert.  Here’s what I think it is: shaved ice, coconut milk, bananas, mangos, pear, jelly cubes, tapioca pearl, and drum roll….Captain Crunch cereal.

As you can see my sister thoroughly enjoyed this.

The finale – Dale came over to our table to greet us.  I was such a creepers staring at him all night, so I was star struck when he headed to our table.  He is such a humble person and appreciated how we enjoyed his food, nothing like what he seems on TV.

Later in the night we passed by Pommes Frits.  I heard this on the food network and didn’t mind a late night snack.  We got the sweet mango chutney.  Seriously, the best fries I ever had.  When I took a bite for the first time there was complete silence.

Our last day in NYC – My husband wanted to get a pastrami sandwich from Katz Deli for lunch, so we decided to go there first and then go to this vegan café afterwards.

His lunch came with pickles, so I was noshing on that while my husband finishes his sandwich on a bench we found outside.

My turn – we went to Altas Café.  This is a hole in the wall, and the menu caters to all vegan/vegetarians.  I got the Vegan Mediterranean Crepe.

What’s inside is full of deliciousness – tomatoes, olives, mushrooms, onions, tofu cheese.  I savored every bite.

I also ordered the peanut better layered bomb cake to-go.  It was so good I didn’t even notice it was vegan.  A perfect way to end my trip.

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