I was so excited about this ever since I first heard (on tumblr, where else?) that it was coming to Broadway for Christmas this year, so I was sadly disappointed that it was just too cheesy for me.  Me!  The person that thinks a story about eternal love between a 17-year-old and a sparkly vampire is epic and just thinking about the Christmas Shoes or Nestor-the-long-eared-donkey makes me tear up (there we go again, and on my morning train commute more less!).

Meanwhile, Ryan disliked it because the took out all of his favorite “and funniest parts of the whole movie” though I seem to have forgotten a lot of the original story.  (Note to self: rewatch elf this weekend).

Although even I was like – where did the midget go?

Totto Ramen

Spending a morning in blustery AC, an afternoon on the train and an evening on Broadway I figured the perfect thing would be a dinner of noodles. And one of the spots I kept hearing a lot about was Totto Ramen, a sixteen seater on 52nd Street. No reservations like most (all?) noodle places meant we’d probably be in for a long wait. But we were going on Sunday, at 5:30, in the rain. There couldn’t possibly be a line right? Wrong.

But we finally got seated and started off with a Musubi and the uni yaki special (seared sea urchin on a bed of rice and lots of other goodies like freshly grated wasabi thrown in as well.

The table next to us also got the uni yaki and didn’t eat the uni. Hello – that was the entire point and the sole ingredient that drove up the cost of the dish. I envisioned leaning over and scooping up their uni and dropping it on my own bed of rice but figured it was a little intrusive and a tiny bit gross. But that only barely contained me.

Next was on to the noodle part of the dinner (yay) where we both got the spicy totto ramen.

Let me tell you, it was a little spicy – who would have thought? But so good!

Some other things to note: they only accept cash. And don’t go in large groups. That’s just dumb. The group of 6 in front of me stomped off after being told it would take hours to seat all of them. I mean come on. Meanwhile, I was giddy thinking – wahoo 6 less people in front of me!

So all in all I dub it 4 musubis, because while I still like momofuku’s better, the price is much more likable at Totto Ramen.

Metro-north: at least it’s rarely boring

Let me set the scene for ya. An empty train car is slowly filling with passengers for the commute home. Yours truly has scored one of the most coveted seats on a peak hour New Haven bound train – the single seater. There’s only about 4 – 8 on any given train. This is a REALLY big deal. But I digress. I’m slightly annoyed by these dweeby boys in front of me who are arguing about some superhero comic (I know, those obsessed with ALL things Joss Whedon and spreadsheets and owners of the Lost and Star Wars encyclopedias should not throw stones).

So here we are, minding our own business when this drunken loon comes running onto the train and starts trying to pick a fight with the three of us, fists and all. I don’t know the last time I’ve been that scared. And wouldn’t you know it, those 2 guys I wrote off as dweeby and annoying made a barricade in front of me and first enticed the drunkard away from me (even though I was bigger than them and probably had more fat padding on me to handle a punch) and eventually talked the guy into sitting down away from us until the Metro-North security got there. Course drunkard took that to mean it was time to get naked… Still, I have so much love for my little comic book friends!!!!

And with 5 minutes to spare before the train took off, NYC’s finest boards en masse… Seriously, there was 7 of them for 1 guy and hauls him off the train, half naked and all.

And there you have it. Just another night on the good ole Metro-North.

A lot of times I get exasperated about working in NYC.  Like when sleeping in late is now 6:30, or how I start my day by hoping I don’t get stuck standing on the train again, or scrounging through my wallet to pay $10+ for a salad for lunch.

And then there are the days when I am overwhelmed by how lucky I am.  How I can get take out from my culinary crush, David Chang, for lunch and eat it in Central Park while admiring this view.  That’s when realize how lucky I am.

Though as today it is freezing and the trees are bare I figure I should mention this actually happened during the end of November (back when I could still bear to be outside for long periods of time).

2011’s Michelin Star Restaurants in NYC

The 2011 Michelin Star Restaurants in NYC by maryrambin

Jean Georges
Le Bernardin
Per Se
Chef Table at Brooklyn Fare*
Gordon Ramsay at The London
Momofuku Ko
Anthos (closed)
A Voce Columbus
A Voce Madison*
Blue Hill
Café Boulud
Casa Mono
Danny Brown Wine Bar & Kitchen*
Del Posto
Eleven Madison Park
Gotham Bar and Grill
Gramercy Tavern
Jewel Bako
Kyo Ya
L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon
Marc Forgione
Minetta Tavern
The Modern
Peter Luger
River Café
Rouge Tomate
SHO Shaun Hergatt
Spotted Pig
Sushi Azabu
Sushi of Gari
Veritas (currently closed)
(* are the new additions)
The one restaurant Jean-Luc Naret, the director of the Michelin guides and the final word on who gets how many stars, could not stop talking about chef Cesar Ramirez and his Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare – a prix-fixe supper club in Brooklyn where Ramirez seats you around his open kitchen.  Of course since seating is limited I can only imagine how long the wait list is to get in.  And now that he has 2 stars, it will be even harder.
Also noteworthy on this list is Del Posto (Mario Batali) and L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon that both only garnered one star and sit amongst restaurants like Public and Spotted Pig.  That just ain’t right! I also believe Locanda Verde and its fresh fare from Andrew Carmellini and Mas which serves up inspired and light French cuisine tucked into Greenwich village deserve a star.
Overall, I think the list is pretty accurate.  If you visit a restaurant that has a Michelin star, your palate – no matter how refined – is in for treat!
Zagat also announced their NYC lists giving Le Bernadin the top honor for Food and Maialino won Best New Comer (I totally agree!).

Things said by the conductor over the intercom on my train…

While stuck underground near GCS for 15 minutes this morning.

  • Oh man, this is really bad.
  • I don’t know what to do man, I can’t get this started.
  • I’m telling you – we aren’t moving.
  • Okay, maybe this’ll work – keep your fingers crossed, cause otherwise I think we are going to be stranded here.

This guy was not inspiring confidences this morning.

Summer is here!

We kicked off the fourth of July weekend in style by heading up to Stone Barnsfor lunch.  I love this place.  I haven’t been here in a while (probably since last 4th of July) but I really need to go more often just for the lunch!  Everything is made locally and it’s just sooo good.

There’s always a bunch of baked goods, bottled jams and pickles, as well as a salad bar and assortment of open-faced sandwiches (pictured above).

Memorial Day Weekend has begun!

Last year I spent half of the holiday working so this year I’m living it up!

First stop: Shake Shack. What’s that you say? Where’s the “shack”? It’s at the end of the c-like line that I only captured half of in this picture. It is moving though. Because a few people in front of me have given up waiting… But it’s movement nonetheless.