Thursday, November 12, 2009

Curry, Ice Cream, and Tuna

No, I'm not pregnant. That was my culinary day, yesterday. And it was delicious. I started the day in Chinatown with my friend, Angus. We went to Great N.Y. Noodletown at 28 Bowery. Apparently they have killer ginger scallion noodles. Since I can't have noodles, I'll take Angus' word for it. But I did have the beef curry over rice. The beef was incredibly tender when I managed to find pieces not still in the skin, but even with the skin on, it was pretty tasty. I'm not particularly accustomed to the texture of beef prepared that way, but I can't say I hated it. Not that I loved it either. Give me a few more plates and I'll get back to you on it. But I will say, the curry sauce was delightful. Just the right amount of heat to warm me up on a chilly day, but not a sear-the-roof-of-your-mouth-off kind of heat. Another bonus, the dish was more meat than vegetables. Often when I order curry, I get a pile of onions and peppers, and maybe four pieces of meat. Not at Noodletown. I got four pieces of vegetables and a pile of beef. This place has their priorities straightened out. I won't say that it was the best Chinese food I've ever had, but I would go back again. And really, that's good enough for me.

After the curry, we walked around the corner to The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory at 65 Bayard St. Yes, it was cold outside, and yes, we're a little crazy that way. Despite the cold weather, the place was packed. And for good reason. The Seid family has been making ice cream at that location for almost 30 years. With flavors like avocado, green tea, and red bean cozying up along side the more familiar coffee, strawberry, and chocolate, this place offers something for everyone. The place offers 33 flavors of ice cream and 9 varieties of sorbet. I spotted the black sesame ice cream and, to use puppy speak, my ears perked up. I have a love, bordering on obsession, for sesame. So there was no question about what I was going to order. Angus went with the ginger ice cream. My black sesame was amazingly good. Sweet with the underpinnings of toasted sesame. And the ginger ice cream? Luscious and full of chunks of candied ginger. It managed to be spicy the way ginger should be, but delicately so. Check them out at their website, Chinatown Ice Cream Factory.

After lunch, I hung out a bit until it was time to meet Michael for dinner and a movie. We had drinks at Giorgio's before seeing Boondock Saints II: All Saints' Day. While not as good as the first, I wasn't disappointed by Troy Duffy's new installment of the McManus brothers. It made for a good way to spend two hours. After, we went back to Giorgio's thinking we might get something light to eat. Light turned out to be Alex pulling out all of the stops for me. Michael ordered swordfish over saffron risotto. I loved the risotto, and while swordfish isn’t my thing, Alex does a great job with it. He livens it up a bit with roasted plum tomatoes. Pretty delicious. But where he outdid himself was my plate. Rare tuna skewers with wilted spinach greens over an orange half and served with beets, brussels sprouts, and baby carrots. All finished with a balsamic glaze. And it was probably the most beautiful plate I’ve been served. I wish I’d thought to bring my camera to take a picture. Everything was vibrant and fresh. It goes without saying that the food was delicious, but it was gorgeously plated as well. And to make me feel extra special, he brought our plates out himself. Top that with a glass of apple cinnamon bourbon made by Brian, and I had a fantastic meal. I told you this place felt like home. Michael may have spoiled me a little here, since Giorgio’s has now become my standard for hospitality.

I came home, full and happy. And by my standards, that’s an excellent night.

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