Posts Tagged ‘east village

29
Jul
09

Ippudo and Cha-An

Hooray for birthdays!!  I turned…well, let’s just say that it makes me happy to get carded when I order a drink!  My friends took me to Ippudo for ramen and Cha-An for dessert.  A well rounded Japanese evening out.  If you go on Ippudo’s website, the intro says, “Ramen is Japan’s Soul Food.”  I’m still thinking about the exact parallel between ramen and say, chicken and waffles, but I think I understand generally what they are getting at.  It was my first time eating there and it did not disappoint.  I had heard that people wait over an hour but we got there right at the start of dinnertime and were seated right away.  The broth was incredible and they also offer an option of bringing you extra noodles to go with the broth.  I ordered a special for the day, a cold noodle dish with Tan Tan in the name.  It immediately brought to mind Chinese Dan Dan noodles which are a spicy noodle dish, also with ground pork, from the Sichuan province.  Some Chinese people talk about how everything in this world originated in China, just like Mr. Portokalos in the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding says, “Give me a word, any word, and I show you that the root of that word is Greek.”   I guess legend does have it that Christopher Columbus brought noodles to Italy from China, as well.  Well, according to Ippudo’s website, ramen was brought over to Japan by a Chinese Confucian of the Ming Dynasty.  The cold noodles I had came in a chilled Pyrex measuring cup with egg, shrimp, wine jelly, ground meat sauce, cilantro, fish flakes, and instructions to mix everything together really well.  The flavor was incredible.  My friends’ ramen in broth was incredibly flavorful, as well.

For dessert, we walked from 4th Ave and 9th Street over to Cha-An, a Japanese Tea Room.  I had the Black Sesame Creme Brulee and the Green Tea Float, and my friend had the Zenzai (actually, he had two of them).  The brulee came with a scoop of ice cream on top and a sesame crisp.  The Float had a red bean ice cube floating in it.  Honestly, I could have eaten two orders of the creme brulee, as well.  And the green tea flavor of the float was really good and strong, like I remember the drinks tasting in Asia.  I would like to experience the tea ceremony there, at some point.  I think rituals are underrated in America.

Oh, and somewhere in Manhattan there is a guy walking around with a shirt that says, “Everybody loves Ramen.”  Let me know if you see him!

Ippudo Cold Noodle Special

Ippudo Cold Noodle Special

Sesame Brulee with Ice Cream and Green Tea Float

Sesame Brulee with Ice Cream and Green Tea Float

27
Jul
09

Mario Batali’s Lupa

Thanks to the generosity of friends, I am still able to experience the wonderful restaurants that inhabit New York City, even during these rough economic times.  My friend Lea took me to Mario Batali’s Lupa Osteria Romana last week when she came to visit.  It seemed like a quiet and sleepy Thursday noon hour in the East Village.  I loved that the menus had glossaries on the backs of them.  It was very helpful for ordering.  I got to taste the Dandelion Greens and the Broccoli Rabe with Ricotta.  Lea and I shared the Hanger Steak with Fingerlings and Asparagus, and the Spaghetti alla Carbonara.  Excellent, excellent, excellent.  I always hear in sermons at church that repetition is used for emphasis.  It is true in Chinese, as well as Hebrew and Greek!  The desserts were good, too.  We had the Tartuffo and the Panna Cotta.  It was my first time having Panna Cotta, which Lea had fallen in love with while traveling in Switzerland.  Served with cherries and ultra-smooth.  Delicious.  All of it was excellent.

Hanger Steak with Asparagus and Fingerlings

Hanger Steak with Asparagus and Fingerlings

Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Spaghetti alla Carbonara




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