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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Blue Ribbon's Match

Tuesday night I met up with Cynthia and her friend, Carissa, who's visiting from San Diego. Cynthia wanted to take Carissa to Blue Ribbon and I told her I'd go ahead of them and put my name down for a table. Being the day after Labor Day, I expected that it wouldn't be very crowded, but what I didn't expect was that it would be wake-like. I decided to go for a short walk and ended up at Lure. I texted Cynthia to meet me there instead.

The mood at Lure was much more lively than at Blue Ribbon. And as is the case on most nights, they had a great soundtrack playing. Laura set me up with a glass of Schramsberg "Mirabelle," (they recently upgraded their sparkling white) to start, while I waited for Cynthia and Carissa to arrive. Just a few minutes had passed before they both pulled up to the bar, next to me and saddled themselves up for accompanying glasses of bubbly.

Telling Cynthia of my earlier experience at Blue Ribbon, we decided we'd ponder over the idea dining at Lure, instead, while we absorbed our apéritifs. I told her that someone had recently recommended trying Lure's crab cakes and we decided to start with a few appetizers before heading elsewhere, for dinner.

Upon announcing our plan to Laura, she laid out three place mats and settings before us and a small, rectangular dish holding three grilled shrimps. Slightly charred and sprinkled with black sesame seeds, laid on a bed of greens, they were delicious. Quite possibly the best grilled shrimp I'd ever had.

Next, came our crab cakes. They were deliciously fresh and came with a celery root slaw and old bay aioli, on the side. Laura pointed out that Chef Capon only breads them lightly, to which I noticed the sides of the cakes were unbreaded; a nice deviation from the standard.

Cynthia and I also opted for soft shell crab. The style was very Asian and I couldn't imagine it pairing well with many other dishes at Lure, (best as a stand-alone dish, I'd say) but nevertheless, with its carrot salad, I still enjoyed it.

After we'd finished our dishes, Cynthia and I were both still shy about the idea of having a main course at Lure. We had dessert instead. We opted for pastry chef, Katie's peach cobbler with ginger ice cream. The cobbler was tasty and the ginger ice cream was a delicious and pleasing contrast for the cobbler.

Cynthia decided we all needed a walk and led Carissa and I east before before finally landing at The Summit Bar. We each had a cocktail at Summit before concluding to return to SoHo, for Blue Ribbon. We agreed we'd walk back, but along the way I suggested we give Crif Dogs, on St. Mark's Place, a try.

I'd recently heard about this place which boasts of deep-fried hot dogs and gourmet toppings. And coincidentally, I was craving a hot dog. Crif Dogs' menu was extensive and if there's one thing I hate about menus, it's long ones. I told the guy at the counter to give me "your wildest, most craziest hot dog." He wasn't very into my enthusiasm and smugly replied, "We have lots of really weird hot dogs with pineapples and cream cheese and..." His effort did nothing to squash my resolution and I asked him to give me "whatever you want."

The hot dog he gave me was one wrapped in bacon and dressed with green onions, everything bagel seasonings and two avocado slices. It was quite tasty, but definitely not wild or crazy... To drink, I had a frozen mint julep which he claimed was "very strong." But what he failed to mention was that it was also undrinkable. (definitely the strongest drink I've had in NYC to date)

I noticed the table next to us enjoying some very tasty-looking tater tots and also placed an order...

Very toasty and tasty...

At the end of it all we all agreed that we fully enjoyed our meals at Crif Dogs. Cynthia and I also agreed that: finally, we'd found a place that we enjoy just as much as Blue Ribbon. (but they really do need to get some cava on their menu)
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