Monday, May 08, 2006

Hospitality Blogging, NYC

Because a few of you out there have been remiss in viewing the Susur Lee Iron Chef America episode that aired this weekend, I am restraining myself from talking about it here. But confidential to you slackers: That shit won't watch itself.

So why don't I talk a bit more about NYC? Don't mind if I do. Unfortunately, no pictures as I left my camera at home, but it my Thursday Brad's Birthday Dinner plans go as planned, I'll hopefully have an excellent food photo essay for you by the end of the week.

And so we begin...

I stayed at an excellently pretentious hotel called Hotel QT. No "the". Darkly lit corridors, and even darker elevators. I had to stoop and almost smash my nose against the panel to figure out where the button for my floor was. It was a hipster haven, it was, and it was wonderful. I think my most favourite thing about it was the wee fridge (NOT an honour bar, an empty wee fridge!) that was built into the bathroom vanity. But more on that later.

After getting settled at the hotel, I headed out to fill my belly at Zen Palate, and excellent and reknowned vegan / vegetarian restaurant and cafe. I had the assorted steamed vegetables with red and brown rice, and a couple of amazing rice paper taro rolls.

Afterwards, I headed on over to the Food Emporium, to stock up on supplies - organic yogurt, Bare Naked granola, natural peanut butter and massive amounts of fruit - to fill that wee fridge. There's nothing better then being able to have breakfast with having to pay attention to your appearance in order to make an appearance at a restaurant. Not to mention having excellent fruit snacks available throughout the day.

That evening, I met up with friends at Bar Nine. It was a relaxed, casual place that was pretty cool, until a jazz fusion band took the stage. Porn bass (you heard me right - porn bass)? Thank, you, but no.

The next day, I lunched at the vegetarian restaurant and tea house Franchia. The warm vegetables in cold rice paper rolls and spicy mustard sauce, accompanied by a salad with creamy citrus dressing, were the perfect counterpoint to an unseasonably warm, though beautiful, afternoon. The surroundings were absolutely serene and lovely, and I was refreshed.

For dinner, I returned to the vegan raw food restaurant, Pure Food and Wine, but visited their Take Away storefront instead. I revisited their excellent vegan sushi and tried out their spicy thai lettuce rolls. Excellent, if a bit messy, and definitely good enough to make me accidentally purchase a Eat Raw, Live Long t-shirt. Which may also have tickled my double entendre fancy.

That evening, I met up with friends at the Beauty Bar. Outfitted like a beauty parlor, with a manicurist on staff, the place was awesome. And had glittery paint stripes on the walls!

On Friday, the conference catered in lunch, and damn, did they do it right. All of the food was organic, and all but 2 options were vegetarian as well! I had a couple of vegetarian sushi hand rolls, red lentil salad, carrot salad, raw hierloom baby carrots and steamed asparagus.

The first part of the evening, was spent Gstaad. Again with the hipster mood lighting, this time in the unisex bathrooms, but the rest of the place really appealed to my love of clean lines and urban un-clutter. PS: Swiss! But no cheese. Or watches. Or knives. I wish to see a rumble involving cheese. And watches. And knives.

Dinner was at Bread Bar at Tabla, which I had visited on my last visit to the city. Because that place? I was still occasionally having dreams about it. The food is served family / tapas style, and was just as excellent as my previous visit. We ordered Saag Paneer Pizza, which did crazy things to my tastebuds, channa masala, onion rings, baby bok choy pakoras, yogurt pilaf rice, 2 naans (rosemary and garlic), and an order of tandoori calamari.

Saturday's food haul was disappointing in comparison. Lunch at Au Bon Pain at Laugardia? Don't even look at me, you sad pile of foodstuffs, you.


roro said...

We finally watched the Susur battle on Iron Chef. You're the best for not spilling the beans. Great battle - cop out ending, we thought. Made me want to eat a lot of bacon though . . .

Melissa said...

Oh, yay! Guess what I'll be writing about tonight!

I swear, as horrid as the ending was, the look on Susur's face made it all worthwhile. It's not often a look of pure "What the fuck?" makes it onto the airwaves.

roro said...

Oh, I agree. I thought he was going to whip Flay all up and down with his ponytail. Maybe there'll be a rematch . . .