Sunday, May 3, 2009

A Few Thoughts On a Few Dishes

It's been several days since my last blog entry. I had several family members in town for a few days and have essentially spent the last ten days eating my way through the restaurants of New York. I've eaten goat cheese in Park Slope, endive in Soho, peashoots on the Upper East Side, and ramps in Greenpoint. There are a plentitude of flavors on which to dish.

For one, I am very excited to report that Five Leaves, my favorite neighborhood restaurant, is beginning to offer an increased array of creative and thoughtfully constructed vegetarian appetizers and entrees. Last week their specials' board was adorned with two flavorful choices, both of which I sampled. The Roasted Asparagus and Arugula Salad with Hazelnut Vinaigrette was rich and satisfying, and had it been a bit bigger, it most certainly would have satiated me as a main course. This is what I'm talking about when I rant and rave about my desire for more interesting salad options. Following this tantalizer, I feasted on the Penne with Artichokes, Ramps, and Poached Egg entree. Can we say ooh la la? This was one of the most delicious meals I've had the good fortune to enjoy in a good, long while. The lemony sauce that adorned the pasta and vegetables was perfectly tangy, without being overpowering, the flavor of which was balanced by the richness of the poached egg. In fact, when I pierced the egg yolk with my fork, the lemony goodness combined with it to form an impromptu, but very welcome, sauce akin to a Hollandaise. All this is to declare that, Vegetarians (and yes, I intentionally capitalize this work), Five Leaves is working to meet our needs. Praise for them.

Second, I made two new restaurant discoveries this week, both of which will soon be reviewed on The Dish (new, more casual nickname for Greenpointdish). Jean Claude in Soho was one of the few French restaurants that satisfied my needs with something other than an Algerian inspired couscous dish that every other French restaurant seems to feature as its one veggie offering. And, Fiore in Williamsburg delighted my brunchtime stomach's gurgles with a flavorful frittata. More on both later.

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