A Sarcastic Appetite

Restaurant Round-Up for the Week of April 7
April 7, 2011, 6:41 am
Filed under: Restaurant Round-Up

I canvas the food blogs so you don’t have to. Some highlights this week:

The Siftster gives two stars (and a critic’s pick check mark!) to M. Wells, the “diner in name only” in Long Island City. Pickled pig tongue? Veal brains? Bone marrow and snails? A hamburger large enough to serve four? This is not your average 3 Guys. I went last night and it was fantastic: the bone marrow and escargot were delicious; the Caesar salad with herring a bit fishy for me; the suckling pig for two was outstanding. Bites of pork belly, foie gras, and pineapple make a magical combination. Oh and order the maple pie, please. See Danny’s post at Food In Mouth for more deliciousness. Apparently we were both there last night, but he managed to take pictures.

Restaurant Girl gets a sneak peek at Coppelia, the new 24 hour Cuban joint in Chelsea. Always a sucker for sandwiches, I think the “pan con lechon” sounds like a win: pork rinds with pickled red onion and mojo sauce. Eater has the menu here.

Grub Street gets word that Ciano‘s doing a new $49 prix-fixe dinner (order before 6, Sunday to Thursday) and Riverpark is doing a $28 prix-fixe lunch. And if you prefer the smell of exhaust with your Prohibition Punch, the Campbell Terrace is now open at Grand Central Terminal, under the overhang on Vanderbilt Avenue. Yum.

Andy at Wined & Dined writes that Anfora, a great wine bar in the West Village, is switching it up on next week. For their Tuesday Producer Night on April 12, they’ve invited Sixpoint Craft Ales, who will be behind the bar and serving up 6 different beers over the course of the night for $7 each.

A Midtown Lunch reader sends word that Zocalo in Grand Central, which has been closed by the DOH for “refrigeration issues,” is offering customers free margaritas on Monday.

If you’re in Hell’s Kitchen this Sunday and like food trucks, follow the crowds to the Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market Gourmet Food Truck Bazaar on 39th and 9th, beginning at 11am and going all day. Some of the stalwarts will be there this weekend, including the Kimchi Taco Truck; Luke’s Lobster (not a truck but who am I to quibble) and the Rickshaw Dumpling Truck. The trucks will rotate each time at the bazaar, which will be held on every second Sunday until October.

Lastly, the boys at Immaculate Infatuation have been busy, checking in on Rubirosa, which they love, and making a vodka pie, which is nothing if not entertaining. They also have only nice things to say about The National, a beacon of hope and good drinks in the wasteland of Midtown. I loved it; the oysters, burger, and brussels sprouts were all excellent.

Quinoa Salad with Shrimp & Lime Vinaigrette
April 2, 2011, 12:41 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I’ve been neglecting the blog lately, skimming by on a bare minimum of posts. I’ve been so busy that I would hardly have noticed, were it not for the constant braying and complaining from my brother, the Ninja, who moans nightly that I’m leaving him out to starve.

You might remember he mentioned in the Blogiversary post that he’s now on a first-name basis with all the “prepared food places” in our neighborhood. He likes to remind me of this every chance he gets, as if to drill home that I’m neglecting my duties in front of the stove.

It still amazes me, that first night he turned to me and asked what I was making for dinner, that I actually took him seriously and cooked. Sometimes I play the “What If?” game with myself, and imagine that I instead got offended and declined his invitation to cook, thereby turning the last four years into an unending series of wine and cheese plates. Frankly, that sounds magical.

But then I remember how much I’ve learned, and how much I’ve cooked. Were it not for the Ninja’s odd dietary requests, for example, I would never have started cooking with quinoa – a tragedy, in my book. It’s delicious, and nutritious enough (or so I tell myself) that I can easily justify going for seconds.

This is a fresh, bright salad that tastes even better the next day. And it’s very flexible; swap out ingredients for those you’ve got lying around. Just make sure you tell the Ninja that all the ingredients are organic. (Oh, wait, that’s just a headnote for me.)



Quinoa Salad with Shrimp & Lime Vinaigrette

Serves about 4. Adapted from this recipe, from FormerChef.com.

2 c. water

1 c. quinoa, rinsed

1/2 lb. asparagus, trimmed and chopped into 1″ pieces

1/2 red bell pepper

2 tbsp. olive oil

3/4 lb. small-medium sized shrimp, deveined and tails removed

1 1/2 c. frozen corn

2 fresh limes, juiced

1 shallot, minced

1/2 c. olive oil

2 tbsp. chopped fresh mint

2 tbsp. chopped fresh oregano

lots of salt and pepper to taste


In a small saucepan, combine the water and the quinoa. Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, until all the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

In a large pot, bring some water to boil and cook the asparagus, only a few minutes, until tender. Remove to an ice bath and let cool.

Chop the bell pepper into small strips lengthwise, then halve them width-wise.

In a saute pan, heat the olive oil. Add the shrimp, seasoning with salt and pepper. Add the corn, and saute until everything’s cooked through. In a serving bowl, combine the quinoa, bell pepper, asparagus, shrimp, and corn. In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the lime juice, shallot, herbs and some salt and pepper. Whisk, then stream in the olive oil. Taste and adjust for seasoning; you want it to be fresh and lime-y without being overpoweringly so. Dress the salad and serve immediately.