Lazy Sunday lunch at Osteria Morini

I’m a huge fan of Michael White’s restaurants, especially, Marea.  I tend to go to Osteria Morini a bit more just because it is easier to get a last minute reservation and it is in a more convenient location for me.

A perfect home-y Italian lunch on a gloomy, slushy Sunday:


To start, Polpettine – Morini’s perfect meatballs are made with prosciutto and mortadella and baked in tomato sauce.  Easily, my favorite meatballs in the city.

morini_raviolo morini_tag

Two pastas:

Raviolo (egg yolk, ricotta, and spinach filled pasta with mushrooms, brussels sprouts leaves and parmigiano) – a little bit too heavy on the ricotta but the mushroom based sauce was light and complemented the pasta well.

Tagliatelle (ragu antica, parmigiano) – so good!!!  The ragu was relatively light for a meat sauce, it was hearty but didn’t weigh you down, perfect way to start the a weekend day.

For those on a budget, Osteria Morini’s pasta can be had for $10 a pop on Mondays after 9pm (Industry Night).


I ate a lot this weekend… (Kanoyama, Rubirosa, Momofuku and more)

I’ve been trying to keep vegetarian (mostly) during the week, but once the weekend comes around, I kinda go nuts…

Friday night dinner at Kanoyama with some friends:


Kanoyama – Duck with miso sauce cooked on a persimmon leaf

baby conch

Kanoyama – Baby Conch with lemon and sea salt

corn tempura

Kanoyama – Corn Tempura


Kanoyama – Sashimi Omakase

Kanoyama is my favorite casual sushi place in the city.  Very good quality and selection, you can end up spending A LOT here for a superb experience or you can scale back and still eat really well on a relative budget.  I think one of the best deals to be had here is the Sashimi Omakase, a selection of 9 different types of sashimi, about 2-3 pieces of each – all for $40 (includes soup/salad and ice cream).  They usually offer a pretty varied selection, on Friday, I had scallop, kanpachi, trout, tuna, toro, fluke, red snapper, and two kinds of mackerel.

Saturday late lunch with Kevin at Rubirosa:

Rubirosa - Vodka Pizza with mushroom and garlic

Rubirosa – Vodka Pizza with mushroom and garlic

Rubirosa serves a Staten Island style, super thin (almost cracker like) crust pizza.  The vodka pizza has the thinnest layer of delicious vodka sauce with blobs of fresh mozzarella distributed across the entire pie.  I added mushrooms and roasted garlic.  I love Rubirosa’s pizza for a light lunch, the crust is very light and crispy, no extra dough to weigh you down for the rest of the day… so you have room in your stomach for…

A perfect kouign amann from Dominique Ansel:

kouign amann

Dominique Ansel – Kouign Amann

A short stroll from Rubirosa over to the west side of Soho leads us to Dominique Ansel bakery, the only places that I know of in the city that makes kouign amann.  If anyone knows of another place to get this delicious treat, please let me know!  For those who have not yet tried this sinfully rich baked good, I suggest you RUN to Dominique Ansel to get it.  The best way I know of to describe this is:  it is like a really rich, buttery, dense, sweet, caramelized crossiant – only BETTER!  Check out some of the other offerings: here and here.

Capped off Saturday night with a late dinner at Momofuku Noodle Bar:

momofuku grilled corn

Momofuku Noodle Bar – Grilled corn with Benton’s bacon, lime and cotija

Momofuku grilled octopus

Momofuku Noodle Bar – Grilled octopus with piperade, radish and pistachio

momofuku ginger scallion noodles

Momofuku Noodle Bar – Ginger scallion noodles with pickled shitake, cucumber and cabbage

I really enjoy going to Momofuku Noodle Bar for late dinners.  Although you still have to wait, it is a much shorter wait compared to during the ‘prime hours’ and while you wait, you can enjoy one of their refreshing alcoholic slushies.  I had the creamsicle slushie made with soju, orange and cream.  I don’t like orange or cream separately but when you put them together I just cannot stop thinking… Oooooohhhh ORANGE JULIUS!!!!!  When it is summer time, I see corn on the menu and I HAVE to order it.  Over the years, Momofuku Noodle Bar has done great things with corn,  but I love this season’s incarnation – their rift on the Mexican elote.  Momofuku’s version adds a great smokey flavor with Benton’s bacon and it is served off the cob, I could eat this all day without having to worry about kernels getting stuck between my teeth.  Momofuku does a great job with the grilled octopus, super tender and very tasty, it is a great dish if you want octopus in a pinch but I don’t think it compares to other octopus preparations I’ve been having recently, here and here.  Ginger and scallion noodle is my tried and true favorite here – complete comfort food when you want something lighter than Momofuku’s ramen, which is delicious, but very very rich with the pork-y broth and pork belly pieces.

Ended up in Queens for a late lunch on Sunday and decided to have some Korean BBQ at Hahm Ji Bach:

assortment of banchan

Hahm Ji Bach – assortment of banchan

haemool pajeon

Hahm Ji Bach – haemool pajeon


Hahm Ji Bach – marinated kalbi

bibim naengmyun

Hahm Ji Bach – bibim naengmyun

My first time here and I liked it a lot…  Their haemool pajeon is really good, not too thick, not too thin, the best part is their choice of ingredients.  Most restaurants should really call their haemool pajeon (seafood pancake), squid and tons of scallion pancake, but Hahm Ji Bach does it right and includes baby squid, scallops, shrimps and mussels in their version, soooo good!  I will be back to try their samgyupsal, which is apparently what they are known for.

  • Kanoyama – 175 2nd Ave (at 11th street)
  • Rubirosa – 235 Mulberry Street (between Prince and Spring)
  • Dominique Ansel – 189 Spring Street
  • Momofuku Noodle Bar – 171 1st Ave
  • Hahm Ji Bach – 41-08 149th Place (Flushing, NY)

Kevin’s Birthday Lunch at Marea

I have been so busy between work and school lately, this post is seriously overdue – this meal occurred on Monday, August 6.  Sorry for the delay, but now on to the food!

Marea, the crown jewel of Michael White’s dining empire, is one of my favorite restaurants in the city.  If you want fresh seafood (raw and cooked preparations), expertly prepared house-made pastas, a comfortable, relaxed atmosphere and gracious service, this is THE place to be.

I’ve been for dinner on several occasions and my plan of attack for a table of two usually goes something like this:

  • Ricci (sea urchin, lardo, sea salt)
  • A selection of 3 – 4 crudo – they are all delicious, but I especially like the razor clams, parrotfish, and deep water snapper
  • Two appetizers: Astice (nova scotia lobster, burrata, eggplant, basil) and one other appetizer
  • Two pastas: Fusilli (red wine braised octopus, bone marrow) and one other pasta

If it is a table of four, we usually add two fish entrees or a large salt baked branzino to share.

I had the pleasure of taking a day off with my husband last Monday and decided Marea was the place to go for his birthday lunch. Marea offers a business lunch option for $45, which includes a primo and secondo.  Let’s get to the good stuff.

marea menu

Our appetizer choices:

marea soup

marea sardine

Sardina (seared mediterranean sardine, cured lamb’s tongue, frisee, salsa verde) – Kevin’s appetizer pick, I had a bit of the sardine and it was great!  Not fishy at all and cooked perfectly.

Zuppa (watermelon soup, heirloom tomatoes, surf clams, crispy shallots) – it was a hot day and a chilled watermelon soup seemed like the ideal option.  I’m not sure how much longer this dish will be on the menu as summer is ending soon, but this soup is soooo good – very refreshing, not too sweet and a perfect summer appetizer.

Our mains:

marea pasta

Fusilli (red wine braised octopus, bone marrow) and Spaghetti (fresh cut semolina pasta, crab, santa barbara sea urchin, basil)

We didn’t want to fight over who got which pasta so we decided to order both and ask the waiters to split it up, which ended up working out very well.  Both pastas are wonderful, however, since the fusilli has bone marrow in it, it is a very rich dish, maybe too rich for a hot summer day, so getting half of that, along with half of a lighter pasta was a good idea.  The fusilli is one of my most favorite pasta dishes, the octopus is super tender, the sauce along with the bone marrow coats your mouth in the most wonderful way and the pasta… perfectly cooked.  The spaghetti is fantastic too, the sea urchin gives it a wonderfully briny taste of the ocean and the fresh sweetness of the crab is the perfect foil to that taste sensation.  I was so satisfied after the two pastas, I didn’t even need dessert!

To end the meal, some petit fours:

marea petit four

Blackberry pate de fruit, salted caramel ganache, apricot mini tart… what a great way to end the meal!