Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Trip to NYC (Winter 2012)...DAY 5: Dinner at Barbuto

Another busy day at NYIGF (trade show) today!
So many (really cool) people came to our booth to check out our authentic Iga-yaki donabe, and they all loved it so much. So, we were very happy.

Photobucket Photobucket
After the show, we went straight to dinner...we had a reservation at Barbuto (by Chef Jonathan Waxman) tonight. It's a cool restaurant in Meatpacking Distrct, and I was looking forward to tasting authentic Italian there. My aperitif Negroni relieved some stiffness from my body. haha.

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket
Salumi (prosciutto di parma & spicy coppa), Fritto misto (crispy winter vegetables & lemon herb aioli), and gnocchi con zucca (roasted acorn squash, brown butter, sage & pumpkin oil).

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket
Three of us had different main courses, and we ended up shareing them:-) They were Merluzzo arrosto (roasted cod, cannellini beans, bacon & kale), Manzo ai ferri (grilled hanger steak, wild mushrooms & rosemary cream), and Dorado ai ferri (grilled whole sea bream, citrus, wild arugula & almonds). The fish was especially nice...the fish meat was so pure and juicy...I wanted Kamado-san rice to go with it! I was so craving.

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket
Wines of the night were 2009 De Forville, Barbera d'Asti (Piemonte), and 2007 Paolo Bea, Sanvalentino IGT (Umbria) (Sangiovege, Montepulciano, and Sagrantino...small producer, biodynamic, unfiltered). Dolci wer Torta (lemon-pistachio-mascarpone layer cake), and budino al cioccoiato (Italian chocolate pudding & whipped cream).

The food was quite good, and I enjoyed the casual laid-back atmosphere (almost like in LA). I got so full again.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Trip to NYC (Winter 2012)...DAY 4: Bo Ssam at Momofuku Ssam Bar

We had such a busy day at NYIGF (trade show) today! We drew such a big crowd to our Nagatani-en donabe booth. One of the highest compliments we received from new buyers was, "Your donabe is the best find in the entire show!" Wow. I was talking all day long, so my throat was hurting at the end of the day. But, no problem.

After the big hustle at the show, we had a dinner plan to look forward to. We scored a reservation for Bo Ssam dinner at Momofuku Ssam Bar in East Village tonight. Our friends joined, so there were 6 of us. I gave them an advance warning advice that they should be extremely hungry for dinner tonight.

The dinner began with Sarataga Springs Lager (Coney Island, NY) draft beer. It felt like my entire body was absorbing the beer. Nice.

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket
Appetizers...Corvina with kumquat, mitsuba, and green peppercorn/ Fuji apple kimchi with maple labne, jowl bacon, and arugula/ and P.E.I. Mussels with apple cider, jalapeno, and pork jowl. They were all very nice, but I was especially impressed by the apple kimchi. I want to make my version at home!

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket
Time for the main course...Bo Ssam was huge! The set included Bo Ssam of whole pork butt, dozen fresh oysters, kimchi trio, rice, and lettuce. The meat was prepared 24 hours in advance and cooked for 8 hours in the low heat oven. The meat was so tender that it came right off by gently picking with tongs.

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket
I tried it with many different ways...like with pureed kimchi, or sometimes with kimchi and rice. 6 of us (5 guys and myself) just kept eating and eating, and we could barely finished maybe 70% of the entire meat. It was indeed a huge meat, and very tasty.

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket
Wines of tonight...2007 Julien Courtois, 'Ancestral' (Soings en Sologne, Loire) (different clons of Gamay plus Cot)/ 2007 B. Kosuge, Syrah 'Dry Stack', Bennett Valley (Sonoma)/ 2007 Ar.Pe.Pe., Rosso di Valtellina (Lombardia)

Photobucket Photobucket
Desserts....Grapefruit pie with candied grapefruit and grapefruit cream/ Pear sorbet with pumpkin, cornflake crunch, and blue cheese.

I stuffed myself so much that the food was up to my head. We had a fun time with nice dinner.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Trip to NYC (Winter 2012)...DAY 3: Donabe time!

The big trade show kicked off today. It was sunny and refreshing in the morning, so I felt very nice walking to the venue.

Photobucket Photobucket
I am here with Nagatani-en people to present their authentic Iga-yaki products for US trade.

Today, I did cooking demonstrations with Donabe Steamer, MUSHI NABE...we attracted a big crowd each time!

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket
I was so exhausted after the full first day of the show, but we had a dinner gathering among Japanese presenters at Ronin Bar and Grill in Midtown East. More than 40 people attended, so it was a big dinner party. Just a few pictures from the very izakaya-style dinner.

After we returned to the hotel, we had more drinks. My Oaxacan spicy cocktail was nice.
Long day is now over.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Trip to NYC (Winter 2012)...DAY 2: Dinner at Kin Shop

For dinner, we had a reservation at Kin Shop in Greenwich Village.

Photobucket Photobucket
Kin Shop is a contemporary Thai restaurant, which opened last year by Chef Harold Dieterle (Top Chef) and Alicia Nosenzo. This highly-acclaimed casual place is also very hard to book a table. When we got there, the place was completely packed and we had to wait for a while although we had a reservation. It smelled so nice inside.

Photobucket Photobucket
We started with crispy roti with assorted condiments (cucumber relish, chili jam, coriander nam prik, and persimmon nam prik). Very nice with my cocktail of vodka, pear, cider, ginger soda, Thai basil, and lemongrass.

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket
Some of the appetizers...Miang of fluke (lychees, shiso, chili jam, fried garlic)/ Spicy duck laab salad (super hot and very nice)/ Fried brussels sprouts and Chinese sausage.

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket
My main course was Pan-seared triggerfish from East Coast (with fresh bamboo shoots, oyster mushrooms, and gang sam curry). I don't think I'd ever had triggerfish...it was a quite delicate fish and very nice. The dish was mild spicy and I enjoyed it with sticky rice. Other dishes were braised goat (really nice!), super hot braised skate and calamari, etc.

Wines were also good...2010 K Vintners, Viognier (Columbia Valley, WA), and 2000 Calabretta, Etna Rosso (Sicilia, Italy). This Etna was mostly indigenous Nerello Mascalese with a little Nerello Cappuccio, from 70-80-year-old vines and aged in large botti for 6-7 years before being bottled. Old-world style, and I really enjoyed it.

Photobucket Photobucket
Their desserts were very nice...we shared coconut cream cake and roasted pineapple financier. The cake was so fluffy.

And, look what I found in front of the basement floor bathroom of the restaurant! (Do they use their old photos intentionally?)