I get three questions when writers first meet me for dinner. #1) What’s your favorite place? #2) Who’s the biggest weirdo/coolest of all the food bloggers you’ve met? And #3) How’d you pick the restaurants? To put it simply, I made a list of the restaurants I most wanted to visit and those on board are the ones who were excited about the project and said yes first, It was very easy to get lunch places on board (and I even have a few lunch places that I didn’t visit for some reason or another). I had the largest number of places to call for dinner, because that’s the meal people have when they “go out” to eat.
My breakfasts were lacking. I’d let a bunch of the writers know that I needed breakfasts lined up for the project and Simon Dang (link) let me know that he had a friend that owned a bar that did a great brunch … in Brooklyn! Crap. I’m on 116th and Lex, that’s about an hour away and it’s a transfer from the 6. Ugh.
So I’m late already and I get on the 6 downtown and figure I’ll change at 86th. I start typing out a post and am rocking, so I figure I’ll change at 59th instead, then I remember the huge escalator there (I once considered this the longest escalator I’d ever seen) and said F it. I definitely need to change at 42nd. When we roll in, we’re on the express track. I didn’t hear them announce this change. I think I told Melissa I was late because of the train.
How many cappuccinos have I had on this journey? How do I rate them? This was a a pretty good one. Did it make me say OMG WTF like the coffee Dan Delaney (link) got me at Gimme Coffee? No, but it had some nice foam and wasn’t bad. The coffee at Norma’s? Effin TERRIBLE.
French Onion Soup
You know how you have to twirl the cheese on some french onion soup like spaghetti to get a bite? I’m always annoyed by that. Well, this one doesn’t do that. The onions were sweet and the bread stayed together, even after all our photography.
I picked up the slices of bacon and started using them to scoop up the french onion soup. Christophe and Jayme (Simon’s friends) asked me why I was doing this. Now, besides the fact that bacon is not made for this, you must remember that bacon is delicious and if incorporated into a dish has a higher than normal probability of improving it.
There wasn’t much improving that could be brought to the Madame. I’m going to put these guys in the #5 spot for the best fries in the city (and I’ve had a lot of fries), they were pretty strong. I only got two bites of this but immediately wish I’d ordered it. The peasant bread it was on stayed super crispy for the whole meal, the gruyere was firm and tart, and the runny egg; I think I’ll have to order all my croques Madame from here on out.
Red peppers, onions, green pepper, olives, eggplant, zucchini, lamb sausage and two over easy eggs, so Christophe described it as a ratatouille with sausage. I wanted more lamb sausage; I’d never had it before and it was pretty wild. It tasted like you would think lamb sausage would taste like; pretty lamby. This dish had no cheese, but I don’t think it (or I) needed any.
In the vein of always ordering dessert, we asked what we should try. Our waiter said that the flourless chocolate cake was fantastic. I’m all for taking suggestions, but can you give me a more original answer than flourless chocolate cake? Maybe it’s just the restaurants that I picked specifically, but it seems to me like whenever I ask the dessert question that I am given the same answer. We decided to ignore our waiter’s request and got the profiteroles. Everything was exceptional about these but the ice cream. I was looking for a cream or at least a custard; wasn’t ready for ice cream. I felt like they could do better on this one.
Here’s our video:
Guest Writer: Melissa Sands
The IRL Arts Foundation and The Wandering Foodie thank Bar Tabac for providing this meal.
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