New York Foodie Dreams: November

So I am fully aware of the fact that this post is long overdue and with the notation that Thanksgiving is indeed very over, we jump into the outrageous foodie month that November was and is. With Thanksgiving as the main attraction, its nice to know that New York has a plethora of food options to offer aside from your classic gravy overload. Yes, I did take advantage of said plethora. Was this even a concern? Read on for November’s New York Foodie Dream highlights.

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Levain Bakery

Of all of my foodie explorations, bakery excursions seem to lack. Perhaps it was due to the desire to slurp hot bowls of ramen in 20 degree weather instead of dropping close to $5 on a small cake with sugary topping. Levain Bakery, located in Harlem, was our “bowla ramen” on a cold, wet day of perusing the Apollo Theater and the Studio Museum of Harlem. This warm, scone-like cookie, gooey and half-baked on the inside (purposefully) was the ideal conclusion to the northern Manhattan adventure. I almost went for the Oatmeal Raisin, but the Chocolate Walnut was just calling my name. When the bakery attendant asked if I wanted it warmed, I almost scoffed, “Is there any other way to eat a cookie?”. Throughout my childhood, my mom would bake her famous chocolate chip cookies and I would notoriously always eat them right out of the oven. There just isn’t any other way.

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Dominique Ansel Bakery

So this post should only be about food love, but this Foodie Dream was slightly crushed due to the snobbiness and obnoxiousness of the staff at this famed cronut bakery. I stood in line for a mere 2 hours, not anywhere near the headlined line times, but when I opted to get only one of the rationed 2 cronuts, nobody wanted to give me the coveted golden box! It’s all about the box, man. The Salted Dulce de Leche cronut itself is super rich, super decadent, and don’t expect to eat anything else for at least four hours.  The layers of crunchy pastry are magnificent, but I could have totally done with about half the filling. I did spot the master of sugar, Dominique Ansel, himself but a “did I call your name? Your madelines aren’t ready yet” at the made-to-order madeline station wasn’t quite worth the sass. Granted, the bakery is tiny and thousands of people go gaga over these hybrid confections, so I understand some curt response but like, come on man. I just want the box.

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The Momofuku Empire

The restaurant group I was most excited to indulge in would have to be David Chang’s Momofuku bars. I made it to the noodle bar (ahem 3 times) and was blown away by the rich and aromatic bowl, topped with a decadent poached egg and slices of salty pork belly. After waiting two hours in one of the coldest New York nights I had yet to experience, this bowl was heaven. My first ramen experience was at Hide Chan in Midtown, but Noodle Bar’s broth was just too out of this world to compare. A day later, I visited Williamsburg’s Milk Bar location and indulged in a Stumptown Roasters latte with the famed Compost Cookie. Calling back to Levain’s Chocolate Walnut earlier in this post, I’m not a huge cookie person but this crunchy yet soft and sweet yet salty cookie was just so stupid good. I’m trying to use that phrase more sparingly, but man Milk Bar deserves the crown.

imageThanksgiving in Lancaster, PA

A welcomed break from the busy city came with a visit from Mom and Sister and a drive to Lancaster, PA to visit family friends with the new baby. We ate well all week, but one of the high points of the big Thursday dinner was my variation on Bon Appetit’s Thumbelina Carrots with Cumin Yogurt (shameless post plug to my BA article). White carrots were roasted in simple olive oil, salt and pepper, and topped with a cumin spiced yogurt, heightened with lime and fresh cilantro. This side of carrots was almost as delicious as cute little baby Michael (see photos here), the happiest and chattiest little human puppy. That’s Rachel speak for baby. Thanks Kerpers for a fantastic holiday!

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