Princeton, NJ – 8/23/16 – Mistral

As seems to happen at least once a month I somehow did not note descriptions of any of these dishes. Perhaps because we sat at the bar and ordered a dish or two at a time, or perhaps because we had original intentions of only a snack but everything was so good that we kept ordering. Everytime I come here I think that it gets better and better. The burger was absolutely killer and I do not say that lightly (despite the non-Heinz ketchup on the side).

NYC – 8/18/16 – Bar Gato

I really wish that I had discovered Bar Gato before everybody else. It completely stands out in NYC and just happened to be the perfect antidote to this less than perfect day.  The cocktails were thoughtful and delicious.  And the okonomi-yaki was completely different from the last version of this I had elsewhere but good enough that I ate the whole thing myself.

Far East Side – sake, tequila, shiso, elderflower, lemon, yuzu bitters

Goto pickles – house pickled local vegetables, yuzu-green chili paste

Gobo french fries – fried japanese burdock roots, red chili salt & wasabi salt


NYC – 8/15/16 – Jean Georges

Sadly I ended up sick in the middle of this meal after battling a migraine and did not make it to dessert.  The evening is consequently a bit of a blur but from what I remember this summer menu was lovely.

Caviar, buttermilk-chive panna cotta and tomato coulis

Madai sashimi, summer radish and nasturtium vinaigrette

Charred corn ravioli, cherry tomato salad and basil fondue

Black sea bass, purple potato butter and charred poblano peppers

Steamed summer squash and lobster, black truffle and lemon dressing

Fragrant spiced-lava lake lamb chop, cucumber yogurt and herbs

NYC – 8/13/16 – Eataly Downtown

A lesson in why to never go anywhere on opening weekend.  Despite what I had read, I found the layout to be completely confusing and I backtracked several times trying to find certain sections.  Some of the space already felt beat up with scuff marks on the walls.  And the size and design of the bathrooms was truly horrible.

I perhaps made poor menu choices, especially with the mystery crudo which was an insulting $2.80 per poorly cut piece.

pesce crudo

mozzarella classica with basil pesto

NYC – 8/10/16 – Sushi Zo

There was no menu and I did not take notes so unfortunately 2 months later I can’t remember what most of these were aside from the somewhat obvious.  NYC is becoming awash in omakase these days and it seems that many people I talk to feel passionate about one particular place, although often it seems to be just the latest opening.  I’m not sure that Sushi Zo is my favorite although I can find nothing negative to say.  The fish was impeccable and service flawless.  Just minor points of personal preference, such as more varied beverage choices, elsewhere.

NYC – 7/25/16 – Rebelle – Winemaker Dinner Series – Abe Schoener – Scholium Wines

I may have arrived soaking wet but I am so glad that I braved the elements for this winemaker dinner at Rebelle.  I have been trying to get to one of these since they started but the dates never seem to work out.  Luckily this one did and I could not pass up a chance to catch Abe Schoener and try so many Scholium wines in one sitting.  In this setting Abe’s past life in academia shines through in fantastic stories about each of the wines and incredibly interesting tidbits of information on California wine history.  I am looking forward to more wine dinners at Rebelle but the bar may have been set too high.

blossom beignet

squash and scallop

beet and green

quail and currants


Chicago – 7/24/16 – Nico Osteria

I swore I was going to cease Nico Osteria posts as there are already too many of them and it is well established as one of my favorites in Chicago.  But evidently I can’t stop plus there were many new menu items. We loved the new formaggi dish that we tried and the burrata salad I have admittedly had again since this particular visit!
Aperol spritz

Gorgonzola cremificato – cows milk, financier biscotti, apple, blueberry balsamic

Madai snapper – kohlrabi salsa verde, basil & wild king salmon – fermented chile, black lava salt, cherry

Burrata – mission figs, grilled kale, treviso, pecan pesto, flat iron steak