Left Brooklyn and grabbed a cab up to Columbus Plaza. Midtown traffic was insanely ridiculous, but still, NYC cabs are THE best thing ever. So we were so excited for Bouchon, because well, it’s Bouchon! But as always, our hopes are high and we are let down. This is not the quintessential bakery that we thought of; rather, a storefront with display cases of pastries, sandwiches, baked goods, etc. The feeling was cold and brand-named. The eats were good, but not great. Thomas Kellar, shall I travel back to the West Coast and try the real deal? Breakfast number two did fill our appetite. Practical, but not so personal.
We were SO excited to go to the Jacques Torres in DUMBO Brooklyn because we LOVE the one in downtown so much…well, we still love that one the most. However, we did stumble upon an amazing place across the street called Almondine. The pain au chocolat was truly delicious…perhaps as good as Balthazar’s. Uber flaky and perfectly sweet and warm. What a perfect unexpected discovery!
They also had fabulous cupcakes and french pastries….this place is very focused.
Nothing new for dinner this week, too busy working, so we just went for the good ol’ standbys. OH!…Anna and I did get a chance to try N8’s pumpkin mousse parfait. Just perfectly autumn and delicious!
Okay, so allow me to indulge in my guilty pleasure here…did the Saveur Magazine event the other night and it was indeed pretty cool. Met Hot Doug, Art Smith was there…it was good. But last night at the Meals on Wheels event, after hors d’ouevres went out, we found out that the cast of Season 4 of Top Chef was putting out the first course! I seriously became so excited…I mean, I can’t help it…I love that show. And here I was able to actually see an episode being taped. Padma, Chef Tom, and Gail were right next to me. Padma is uber tall!…and she is just five million times more beautiful in real life….Gail also looks 50 pounds thinner in person. Anyway, they were quickly escorted to their VIP table in the front of the Walnut Room. There were at least 4 big cameras in their faces the whole time. The “production” crew consisted of about 4 people watching the filming on 4 tiny little tvs behind some curtains. It took an HOUR to put out the entire first course…and they’ll probably edit it into just 5 minutes. I love tv.
Monday we were able to finally go a across the street to try the new Indian place, Khyber Pass. It is located in the bottom level of the Columbus Plaza (wacker and columbus). I’m not sure what that name means or why they named it that…the sign is kind of psychedelic too (which I’m a little bit against…no to colors and swirls). Anyway, I’m bummed that all the awesome Indian places are like a trip to Wisconsin for us (all the way up on Devon). So we check it out and I see that, of course, its lunch time and they have a buffet. I’m also a little bit (or A LOT) against buffets. But we scope it out and it looks pretty clean and super vegetarian friendly. The food selection was great for us and was super tasty and we received free naan. BUT, we also received a free little something extra odd: a plate of random non-vegetarian things. We had informed the manager that we were vegetarian, yet, we went sat down from getting our food at the buffet, there was a plate of chicken/turkey leg and random shellfish items and other unrecognizable, but very meaty “items”. Ew. I had to eat so fast and we had to jet outta there so quickly because of the sight and smell of this plate o’ treasures. Nobody would come by our table to pick it up. Khyber Pass = maybe take-out, that’s a big maybe.
On a more delicious eating trip this weekend, snuck into N8’s restaurant and tried his warm chocolate tart.
This was our second time here at Avenues since Graham Elliot Bowles took over the kitchen. The first time was when he very first took over the restaurant, and although it was amazing….you could tell that NOW he has his name all over the menu. It is completely his. And we were very into what he’s doing now. We were able to sit at the kitchen bar which we highly suggest. Sitting at a table in the main dining room is okay, but why? Anyway, we did a vegetarian degustation of globally inspired, contemporary American cuisine. Chef Elliot brought over our first course…and its killing me right now that I cannot remember what it was. I’ll obviously update this once N8 gets home…he can’t remember anything except food and music. Anyhoo, we had about 12 courses…highlights: Fennel – apple, pollen, marshmellow (soup), Barbeque – corn, watermelon, sassafrass (VERY interesting main). The bread service was awesome….seriously, the black truffle butter, DELISH. Executive Pastry Chef Jimmy MacMillan brought us our dessert courses. My favorite was corn and cherries. Amazing. N8 was super into the chocolate and ginger (pictured). But back to the kitchen bar seating…N8 and I felt “little”. The bar chairs are BIG. Super fun and super fining dining. How it should be!