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Saturday, October 15, 2011

My Day of (Thrice) Culinary Delight!

Yesterday was my Sunday (I'm off Thursdays and Fridays) and I decided to meet up with Cynthia and Danny for 'brunch' at Cookshop.

I enjoyed a bloody Mary while I waited

Cynthia was the first to arrive, followed by Danny, who would be joining us later. We decided to begin with several starters, to share. First: country pâté with bread & butter pickles and three mustards.

easy on the eyes

While the pâté was tasty enough, the three mustards--for me--were the winning champions. (I only wish I knew what the pink mustard contained--it was my favorite of the three) Also arriving on course, was crispy Montauk squid and grilled pork sausage.

my dished out portion of squid salad

and grilled pork sausage and lentils

The squid starter arrived atop a colorful salad containing orange segments, olives and pistachios while the sausage came accompanied with green lentils and some beautifully sautéed Tuscan kale. The squid was not as crispy as I had hoped for, but the sausage was good and meaty; with the lentils and fried kale it'd be a nice accompaniment to a cold winter's day.

For our main, Cynthia and I shared fish tacos, with goat's milk feta--partiallly because our neighbors were having it and it looked rather good--while Danny ordered the house smoked turkey sandwich

with jalapeño-cabbage slaw, ranchero sauce and lime crema

Cynthia and I also enjoyed, throughout the meal, a lovely bottle of Domaine Gresser, crémant d'Alsace ($65) which was unexpectedly flavorful and juicy. Finally, for dessert, Cynthia and I decided upon the much-mentioned peanut butter & jelly sundae with peanut butter ice cream, concord grape compote and a salted whipped cream.

sassy sundaes!

We both noticed, first, the salted whipped cream which tasted thick and buttery. Diving  deeper, we uncovered the layers of ice cream, fruit and crunchy peanut butter crumble! Our sundaes were good to the last scoop--even next to Danny's (also tasty-looking) cranberry cheesecake panna cotta.

I may have to order this on my next visit

Even though the three of us managed to enjoy the whole of "brunch" on Cookshop's outdoor patio, before we reached Eighth Avenue, it began to pour. Cynthia, Danny and I parted ways, via the subway, which ultimately led me uptown to The Plaza Food Hall. David had asked me to bring home leftovers; but since there were none to be brought, I decided to bring home my favorite takeout instead!

stuffed medjool dates from The Plaza Food Hall

For our first starter: medjool dates, stuffed with cabrales cheese and wrapped in jamón serrano, followed by my always-favorite boquerones!

boquerones with toasted garlic, evoo and parsley

The boquerones were done beautifully; sometimes the crostini end up burnt, but this time they managed to fair rather well...

"classic" pizza

For our main, David and I enjoyed a "classic" Todd English flatbread pizza. (now, $4 more than it's original $10 price) The "margherita" pizza was tasty enough, as is, with no additional toppings necessary and while the pizza was less well-done than usual at The Food Hall, I still enjoyed it nonetheless. The final treat in my long day of culinary treats was a handful of "Annie" walnut shortbread cookies from Three Tarts Bakery.

"Annie" walnut shortbread cookies 

At 80¢ a piece, they were delightful little treats! And David said they reminded him of the Mexican wedding cakes he'd made (from scratch) for our holiday party last year. His (of course) are better, but these might be a little easier to enjoy on a more regular basis.
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