30 December 2010

Two Dorks, One Apple Day 2

The beginning of our second day in NYC landed us at Loncada Verde for brunch. I tossed around a few other brunch options (Shopsin’s and Public) but in the end I chose LV because I wanted to treat my brother to something a bit more elegant.

After braving the face-numbingly glacial blasts of TriBeCa we put our name in with the hostess and nabbed two spots at the bar just as another couple was paying their check. We pondered dining at the bar, but in the end we waited it out for a table of our own.



Apparently we weren't the only one counting the minutes to noon
I flagged down the barkeep and ordered two Bloody Marys, but was shot down by the retarded city law of no alcohol served prior to noon on Sundays. Mental note: Brunch in NYC is only fun on Saturdays. So we decided to order some coffee instead and both went with our go-to drinks, him a macchiato and me a decaf soy latte.

I definitely see a fetus
I ain't got no notes about them, so let’s just assume they were… good…?  As a starter I insisted on ordering the Sheep’s Milk Ricotta with truffle honey and burnt orange toast.

Enough cheese to plug me up for 3 weeks
All of the amazing flavors were surely there this time around, but I felt the proportions of the dish were a little unbalanced as we were given a literal mountain of ricotta and not enough herbs/black pepper/honey to compensate for the huge portion. The toast they provided with the ricotta was again nicely charred and citrusy, but when we ordered extra, it was much paler in comparison. Sad, cuz I loves me some char.

What's taters, precious?
The seasoning issues didn’t stop there, unfortunately. We also ordered a side of the crispy garlic potatoes, while they were just as crunchtastic as ever, they definitely lacked the metric tons of garlic and herbs they were topped with the first time I had them.

Onto the mains! Mark this day my friends because this was the very first time in my 29 years of existence I ordered oatmeal at a restaurant. After seeing this amazing photo of it on flickr I had to have it! It was topped with stewed fruits and almonds. Yes, that’s right I ordered a $10 bowl of oatmeal. Was it worth it, you ask? No, not really.

Not Yo' Mama's Oatmeal
Let’s start with the positive: The figgies. Oh, how they were just the loveliest little figs. Fancy, merry, dandy little figs! If they had the proper genitalia I would’ve had to excuse myself from the table to perform on them in the men’s room. My only complaint was that there should’ve been more of them.  What?  I like figs, damnit!  Now onto the utterly unadulterated HATE. Hm, that may be a tad extreme.

The nuts were fine raw crunchy little almonds, but nothing to shout to your mama about. I mean, they wouldn’t make me lean my head out the window and yell down the street “Hey mah, check out these freakin’ almonds ova heeeeeeeah!” (for some reason I seem to be yelling with a thick Italian accent all of a sudden… Not sure why)

The perfect bite, had the oats been properly cooked
My ultimate disappointment came from the fact that the oats lacked the great slightly gummy slightly chewy texture that I love about a good bowl of oatmeal. They were overcooked, and for $10 you’re goddamn right that I was expecting a little bowl of nothing short of perfection. Oatmeal? More like Goatmeal… or Borophyll.

This dish was so hot it literally melted through the table.  We ate it with our feet.
Considering my brother’s disturbing obsession with huevos he ordered the Wood-Fired Uova Al Forno with corona beans, mozzarella and black Tuscan kale or Cavolo nero for all you plant nerds. Even though this dish was strictly vegetarian, it had a nice earthy meatiness to it from the beans and kale, not to mention that he counted no fewer than *5* whole eggs. I understood completely why he wasn’t really up for pizza later in the day, but more on that in a bit.

Eggs... Six of them! (a very obscure Mr. Bean quote that no one will get)
To finish our meal when I went to ask for the check I noticed it was just past noon, so I offered to buy us a round of those bloody mary’s we were so hellbent on getting at the beginning of the meal. Little did I know that they were topped with a skewer of italian hot pepper, green olive, and a huge honkin’ cube of mortadella.  Oops, guess we should’ve read the menu first. You’d think the waiter would’ve mentioned it after my brother asked if the Uova Al Forno was vegetarian... Luckily my bro’s a good sport and he simply removed the skewer and handed it to me and I plopped it right on top of my glass--Score!

Double the toppings, double the fun!
The toppings definitely helped offset the very strong and peppery beverage. I thoroughly enjoyed alternating between bites and sips. The final bill tallied in over $90, making this by far the most expensive brunch I’d ever had. Ouch.

To work up an appetite we wandered around the island checking out toy stores for gifts for my niece. I took him to Toy Tokyo and The Forbidden Planet, he was looking for some sort of faerie figure, but alas he didn’t find one he liked. As the hour was getting late and we both had a bus to catch we made haste to our final stop of the trip, City Bakery. I couldn’t think of anything else better than a cup of their renowned hot chocolate on this cold and blustery winter’s day.

As soon as we entered City Bakery we were sort of taken aback, it takes a while to get the lay of the land. There's lines all over the place and random food stations scattered around the space, with cafe tables peppered throughout. After a quick walk around I noticed a guy ladeling out piping hot cups of their ultra-viscous hot chocolate and immediately jumped in line. We were there for only one thing. Well two things really... Alright, three things. I ordered the smallest possible cup that could still hold one of their housemade marshmallows and a pretzel croissant. I was approaching the register when I noticed a few stacks of cookies. After noticing that one of them was a gingersnap I quickly tacked on one of those as well. Brother ordered a hot chocolate sans the marshmallow as he doesn't consume gelatin, and tacked on a double chocolate cookie with white chocolate chips.

My lunch. Fulfilling my dream of once becoming a diabetic.
The gingersnap was definitely crispy like a gingersnap, almost too much so. It got softer and chewier closer to the center and had a very pronounced ginger flavor, but it was kind of lost in the mix as everything else we had was just so much better. Speaking of so much better, the double chocolate cookie was fantastic.

It was like Count Chocula blew a load of Cocoa Krispies in my mouth
This truly was the first chocolate cookie I've had that literally ran over my legs, crushing them mind you, with a dumptruck--yes, that's right a dumptruck--of cocoa, but without being overly rich or buttery. It was a revelation. I was pissed that he didn't let me try it until the very last bite. He confessed he didn't want to tell me how good it was so he could keep it all for himself. The bastard.

We meet again, my temptress...

You all know this wasn't my first pretzel croissant, but this was my first visit to City Bakery as I popped my PC cherry at Birdbath, a sort of subsidary of City Bakery. The only thing I couldn't understand was that they had the ability to toast them at Birdbath, but not at City Bakery... That's just kooky talk. Even untoasted it was still goddamn delicious, albeit a tad saltier than I remembered. The true glory of the pastry shone through after I ripped off a morsel and swirled it in my cup. Holy hell! Salty, crispy, and buttery combined forces with rich, sweet, and chocolatey to form DEVASTATOR!! Erm, that is, to form FUCKING DELICIOUS.

I haven't had this much fun since Dunk-a-Roos!
The hot chocolate on it's own wasn't too rich or too thick, like many naysayers... say. Bah, I say let the haters hate, I loved it. I easily drank down my cup, all the while dipping everything I could get my hands on into it. During this time I was also contemplating how to tackle that sexy white pillow sitting atop my beverage.

Hot Chocolate with marshmallow at City Bakery
Can't you just imagine it seductively whispering your name?
Welp, it looks like I just ran out of photo space on Blogger so I had to spend an hour figuring out how to set up a Flickr account and linking it with my blog.  Yes, that's right folks, just another reason I hate Blogger.  May it rot in hell.  Now, back to the blog!

My brother excused himself to go blow up the bathroom and it was time. I upended my cup, quaffing the last few drops of hot cocoa along with the entire marshmallow, slowly sliding into my mouth like the Titanic eased into the Atlantic, albeit with much less dying.

My reality simply unraveled.

I struggle to find the words to do this experience justice. This was without a doubt the best marshmallow I've ever had. It made a mockery of the bagged ones one can find in the grocery store. What truly made it unforgettable was the fact that the bottom had melted from sitting in the hot chocolate while the top stayed nice and fluffy and firm. I closed my mouth and the bottom gushed out on my tongue and between my teeth. I saw the light, and it was good.

After this life-altering experience I got back in line and got a few pretzel croissants for the road. Brother returned from expunging himself and we chucked our trash and waddled out the door. We trekked out to the new Megabus pickup location, one block West of the previous spot, and said our goodbyes and got in our respective line. Looking back I find it pretty funny that we were in NYC in December and didn't do a single holiday-related thing. We were there to eat and be merry.

Mission accomplished, I'd say.

Locanda Verde on Urbanspoon
City Bakery on Urbanspoon

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4 comments:

diab0lus said...

iirc, the espresso drinks at locanda verde were a tad over-extracted, which caused them to taste slightly bitter. blue bottle was better even though their shots weren't perfect either, imo (donkey punch).

theminx said...

What? How is it possible for someone with less than 100 posts to have run out of photo room on Blogger? Must be a glitch.

And...your brother won't eat gelatin but he'll happily eat eggs?

Mr. Micro said...

Well diab0lus, care to explain yourself?

Jen said...

Great post. That ricotta and toast looks fab. I might have to try to make me summa dat. I totally got the Mr. Bean reference. I have them all on dvd :P

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