Wednesday, April 27, 2011

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN - the new Pop Up Restaurant in SoHo

What Happens When is a temporary restaurant installation that transforms every 30 days for 9 months, offering guests an ever-changing culinary, visual and sound experience. Located in SoHo till October of this year only. (I wish it would be permanent)

I enjoyed this restaurant because the concept was different, the ambience and new idea of decorating was very "in" and new.  So refreshing to experience dining beyond food. And the fact that the menu changes. An idea I've had 20 years ago when I was tempted to open a restaurant myself.  And if I did, this would have been it!!!

Last night we enjoyed our dinner Called Movement 3.

Movement No.3

Drawing inspiration from this renown Impressionistic painting, Movement 3 is about taking a trip together into the 1880′s France via 2011 New York. The interiors draw a few significant elements from the Renoir painting to re-create an intimate, communal experience reminiscent of 19th century time and place. Note the 25’ awning, the “garden party” string lighting and interpretations of still life paintings in 3 dimensions around the room.

You would think you were outdoors because they set up the inside like a tent.

Under the table on each side is a drawer where you can pull up more knives and forks as you need them.

The floors were painted dark brown and white drawing for the table and chair set up was a decorating idea I've never seen before.  Truly innovative.

The table setting was crisp, clean white with slightly tinted glasses set and very small flowers on shot glasses.

 On the left was the menu for Movement 3. It is a reasonably priced prix-fixed menu for what the restaurant has to offer.  It also comes with amuse bouche (not in the menu).

On the right was the amuse bouche comprised from left to right, of:   Lemon Bomb, Swiss Chard omelette with Greek yogurt and garlic gazpacho (which was divine! I wish it was a bowl of it) 
My first course was rabbit in Filo with medallions of rabbit on the side, with yogurt, dates and fresh garbanzo beans.  And the red streaks were harrisa paste.
(From Tunisia, this fiery-hot sauce is usually made with hot chiles, garlic, cumin, coriander, caraway and olive oil. It's the traditional accompaniment for COUSCOUS but is also used to flavor soups, stews and other dishes. Harissa can be found in cans and jars in Middle Eastern markets.)

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Left:  Another appetizer was the shellfish salad with fennel, olives, and anchovy vinaigrette.
On the right was the Artichoke Salad with haricots verts, aioli, and saucison sec (thinly sliced dried sausage)

The first course could be this wonderful light seafood of striped bass, scallops and vegetables Provencal.

The Poulet dish was a juicy piece of chicken with rosemary served with petite vegetables (the mini zucchini was stuffed) farcis, and pommes duchesse (special way of making mashed potato, squeezed through a decorating tip and browned)

The vegetable bouillabaisse was served with aioli.

Pictured below is the Veal Braise.  Served on top of peas and bacon panisses, and herbes de Provence.

The dessert menu above is this month's choice.  You can view the desserts in the cart.

I'm probably the only one who will cover this part of the restaurant.  Only because it was thematic and jovial.

What Happens When
25 Cleveland Place, NY NY
Tuesday - Sunday, 5:30pm - 11pm

Reserve now at Urban Spoon
What Happens When

Monday, April 25, 2011

EGG DISH good for company

This is an egg dish that's good for everyday or when you have guests.  The key is not to overcook it.  So put it in the oven about 20 minutes before you need to serve it.


14 Morels
2-3 TB of Port or Sherry
2 TB butter
1 large shallot minced
12-15 TB of Heavy Cream
12 Eggs
2 TB soft butter
Sea salt and pepper to taste
12 ramekins

Soak your morels overnight in Port or Sherry.  Prepare your ramekins by brushing the insides so your eggs don't stick.

Slice your morels in slivers if large and leave whole if small.  Melt butter in a pan and saute the shallots and onions till shallots are translucent and sauce is beginning to dry.

Crack an egg in each ramekin.  Put about 1/2 TB of morel and shallot mixture on each egg. Add 1 TB of cream to cover egg.  Place ramekins in a large

Place all ramekins in a pan with hot water. Bake in preheated oven for 12 minutes then serve.
Best served with baguette or sliced Italian bread to soak up the sauce with eggs.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

NUM PANG - A Vietnamese inspired Sandwich Shop

There is a wonderful little Vietnamese sandwich spot at 21 East 12th Street for over a year now and still a hot spot.  Their sandwiches are inspired by Asian flavors inherent to Vietnam.  They use light crisp baguettes with generous fillings.

This is the Num Pang sandwich shop in Greenwich Village with line at 6PM

Above is the pork sandwich I ordered. It's layered with a special mayonnaise at the bottom, with tender grilled seasoned pork, pickled carrots, cucumbers and cilantro and a wedge of lime.
Above is the order I picked out.  With the sandwich, I ordered an incredibly tasty grilled asparagus with special vegetable dressing and an ear of grilled seasoned corn with mayo mixture over and generous sprinkling of toasted coconut.  A wedge of lime is also served to squeeze over the grilled corn. 

For my beverage, I always order their homemade watermelon juice!

Best of all is the low tab.
This place is basically a take out place but you can go up its winding stairs to sit down.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Friday's a good day to have fish. Chilean seabass is what I used for this recipe because the sauce helps tone down the fattiness of the fish.  Its mild flavor and soft chunky texture blends well with this sauce.

This recipe is for 2 people and the ingredients needed are pictured above.
3/4 lb of chilean seabass
1 TB of sugar
1/2 onion sliced
1 small red bell pepper seeded and sliced
1/3 c of tomato sauce
1/4 c of grapeseed oil
salt and pepper to taste

Combine onions with sliced pepper and sugar

Combine tomato sauce and oil mixture

Place fish on baking dish. Season with salt and pepper.  Top with vegetable mixture and pour sauce over.
Bake in 350 degrees oven for 30 minutes.
Serve with Micro Sorrel on top as garnish.
I served this with angel hair pasta and steamed or quickly boiled broccoli on the side.
A healthy choice after all those comfort foods!

MANGOES - Ripe and Not so Ripe or Preferrably Not Ripe at All

Mango is a tropical fruit with about a hundred varieties.  The most popular mangoes we see in the United States are Indian and mangoes from Mexico.  Indian mangoes are mostly deep green green in color with some reddish-purple hue and a little bit more round in shape.  In Florida, they grow a large size green mango about twice the size of a regular mango.  But my favorite mango is the Manila Mango which comes from Mexico but whose seed was imported from the Philippines which is why they call it Manila mango.  The Manila mango has the smoothest flesh texture unlike the other mangoes which could be a bit fibrous.  There are similar yellow mangoes from Mexico called Champagne mangoes that resemble the Manila mango except they are a little larger. Champagne and Manila mangoes are both deep yellow in color with almost a hue toward the color of a very ripe peach.

In Mexico they serve them on a stick peeled and cut up like a flower.  Sometimes they offer you with some chili and lime.

A new study says that mangoes are rich in anti-oxidants.  It has been found to protect against colon, breast, leukemia and prostate cancers. Several trial studies suggest that poly phenolic anti-oxidant compounds in mango are known to offer protection against breast and colon cancers.

This fruit is rich in Vitamin-A and flavonoids like beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin. 100 g of fresh fruit provides 765 mg or 25% of recommended daily levels of vitamin A.

It is rich in potassium, a source of vitamin-B6, vitamin-C, vitamin-E, and copper.  It's no wonder mangoes are served as salads in other countries.


Above is a demonstration on how to cut a mango to be served as a fruit for dessert or for decoration.

You can use very green unripe mango for this salad.
MANGO SALAD RECIPE:1 mango (not ripe - preferably still green)
1/2 medium size onion minced
1/2 large tomato minced
1/4 cup of minced cilantro

Can be seasoned either with fish sauce if used for seafood as salad
Can be seasoned with vinegar and salt if used for grilled meats
Optional: minced hot chillies

The salad above was made with firm but almost ripe mango

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Above are the ingredients I used.
Tapa in the Philippines is a piece of steak meat that they usually treat or enhance to give taste or preserve.  In Mexico, they have a similar dish called Cecina which they add condiments too and air dry before frying.  My version uses basic ingredients for everyday food and indoor cooking.  This type of steak is called Tapa in the Philippines.  It is basically steak as for steak and eggs for breakfast, or main course for lunch or dinner.
1 lb of skirt steak or flank steak
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1TB of butter
2TB of canola oil or safflower oil for frying

First you have to slice the steak into thin slices in order for the meat to absorb the marinade.

The video below demonstrates the technique on how to slice your beef steak thin.

MARINADE: Combine the soy sauce and the brown sugar.

After slicing the meat, marinate it for an hour or 2 (up to overnight if you want).

After an hour or two, you can fry them in a mixture of oil and butter.  The mixture of the oil and butter prevents the butter from burning.

                                                  Best served with some salad on the side.
The Tapa is cooked
The steak (tapa) is served with mango salad on the side which compliments the dish.  It is best served with either steamed or garlic fried rice which we'll discuss and demonstrate in the future.

Note:  I like eating this with some hot sauce on the side.

Friday, April 1, 2011

In Good Taste - A Benefit for CITY HARVEST

Now serving New York City for more than 25 years, City Harvest is the world's first food rescue organization, dedicated to feeding the city's hungry men, women, and children.

IN GOOD TASTE - was the most recent event of City Harvest -Saks Fifth Avenue
and New York magazine which presented an unforgettable night of fashion and food to benefit City Harvest.

Tastings from some fabulous restaurants: 10 Downing Food & Wine, ABC Kitchen, Armani/Ristorante, Asellina, Avra Estiatorio, BLT Steak, CafĂ© SFA, Da Silvano, Eatalian Style, FULTON, Gordon Ramsay at The London, Gusto, The Hurricane Club, L’Artusi, Limani, Pan American, Park Avenue Spring, Philippe Chow, Sant Ambroeus and Serafina.

Presented by Fashion of the Vine Project by the Italian Trade Commission,
100% of proceeds benefited City Harvest and
Each ticket included a the same value for a Saks Fifth Avenue Gift Card to shop that evening only *
Here were some of the delectable treats we had for the night:

Chef Roberto Deiaco of Capesante Scottate sauteed scallops over thousand layer potatoes which was so tender with shaved fresh truffles on top.


Chef Markus Glocker from MAZE - the restaurant in The London Hotel at 151 W 54th Street and a Gordon Ramsay inspiration, served us the above pictured dish.  Olive oil-poached salmon with edemame, wasabi and lime.

BELOW: Park Avenue Spring on 61st Street and Park Avenue was so creative in presenting their coned food.  They took some tree barks with holes in it to hold the cones.  The cones were so light and crisp. 

Above: Beef cones with blue cheese and truffled honey with pickled beets

Above: Peekytoe crab cones with avocado and raspberry

BELOW:  Saks' Cafe Chef John Milito served us this sliced filet herb crusted of beef which was delicious! This restaurant is located inside the Saks Fifth Avenue store right on Fifth Avenue between 49th and 50th Street in New York City.

LEFT: Where the event in Saks Fifth Avenue took place.

FULTON - Chef Jeremy Culver of Fulton Restaurant, prepared this sea salt
Hamachi with caviar and gin pickles.  Fulton is part of Citarella
and is located at 205 E 75th Street. I've been to his restaurant for lunch
where he had prepared blow fish.  The texture was more like chicken.
The sea salt cured Hamachi from Fulton

Above, from Bouchon were fresh French macrons.  I had one of each and enjoyed the peanut butter, caramel and the lemon poppyseed best.  Bouchon in NYC is located at 10 Columbus Circle inside the Time Warner Bldg. They also have a branch in Las Vegas inside The Venetian.  There they have brunch, lunch and dinner.

BELOW:  From Sant Ambroeus were a mignon of desserts including their signature cookies.  Sant Ambroeus have 2 stores in Manhattan: 1000 Madison Avenue and 259 W 4th Street in the West Village.  They also have a branch in South Hampton, Long Island.  (All of which I've been too) In the West Village, they serve brunch, light lunch, and gelatos.

Several great restaurants of the city participated in this event.  Above represented some of the delectable treats of the evening.  It was a good feeling to help the cause and at the same time enjoy a feast. While Saks provided us a gift card to shop!  It was a triple whammy night!