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Archive for May, 2009

chocolate peanut butter draping

This is the cake that I made myself over the weekend.  It didn’t look this pretty, but it tasted damn good.  Here is the recipe.  We are going to Mas (farmouse) for dinner so expect a full report.

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Last month, my husband and I visited shorty’s .32, which has been on the list for over a year.  Shorty’s .32 and its 32 seats are located in a space on Prince Street that has not been kind to its predecessors, Soho Cantina and Goblin Market (both of which I enjoyed).  I am glad to see that Josh Eden (the Shorty, who was greeting guests the night that we visited) has been able to keep his restaurant going strong since it opened in late 2007.  And I can see why given the restaurant’s selection of comforting food at reasonable prices.

We started with two of the restaurants specialty cocktails – the Stargarita (Campari, tequila, triple sec) and the Rumbullion (lime, white rum, soda, grapefruit juice) both of which were quite good.  On the topic of drinks, the restaurant’s list of wines available by the glass was rather weak, but that’s a mild complaint.

To start, we split the Crispy Crabsticks with Basil Remoulade, which were delicious, all the more so for recalling that favorite childhood treat, fishsticks.  My husband had The Burger (8oz. Grilled, Homemade Pickles and French Fries).  I had the Roast Chicken, Chilled Green Bean Salad, Mashed Potatoes and Fried Garlic.  I had read rave reviews of the chicken so my expectations were very high.  While the chicken was very good, it was not as good as the chicken at Commerce (which is the gold standard in my opinion).  Oddly enough, the green bean salad was the highlight of my meal.  We shared a side of macaroni and cheese, which we really did not need.  The details surrounding the macaroni and cheese (frankly, the whole meal) are a little fuzzy (shame on me for not writing this post sooner), but I do recall that we cleaned our plates, and that’s all you really need to know.

A few other notes – shorty’s .32 does not take reservations.  We arrived at 7:30 (the magic hour) on a Saturday night and the restaurant was relatively empty, but when we left the place was buzzing and had a wait.  I was uninspired by the desserts so we took a pass.  shorty’s .32 offers reliable fare at sensible prices…a restaurant ahead of its time when it opened in late 2007, but poised perfectly to weather the storm.

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If you have been reading my blog for any time (not that there has been much to read lately), you know that I’m a big fan of Scarpetta (see previous posts here and here). Imagine my delight when it came to my attention on Friday that Scarpetta was on the final day of a weeklong anniversary special, which included four courses with wine pairings for $50. Yes, you read that correctly. So we scrapped our plans to go to 10 Downing (the second weekend in a row when I have bailed on a hot ressie – last weekend was dell’anima) and headed to Scarpetta.

At 7:30, we waited less than 30 minutes for a table for four in the walk-in section. As usual, dinner was divine. The portion sizes were extremely generous and the wine pours were liberal (and included a prosecco, a chardonnay and a Super Tuscan). The menu is provided after the jump. I strayed from my usual order of agnolotti and tried the tagliatelle, which was the perfect pasta for spring with asparagus, peas and mushrooms as well as guanciale and truffle zabaglione. The piatti were all slightly off the mark, but it was hard to be disappointed given the price tag. Desserts were plunked down with no choice provided. Someone was watching out for me because the chocolate cake that I so love ended up in front of me (my friend, on the other hand, got the coconut panna cotta, which was great…for coconut panna cotta).

The Scarpetta anniversary menu was a special treat. Given that the restaurant is almost always booked, Scarpetta did not need a special offer to lure customers to the restaurant. The restaurant seemed to be making a genuine effort to thank patrons for its first year of success. May it have many more. (more…)

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