Sunday, April 25, 2010

I Sea Great Thai

Sea Thai's original location is in Williamsburg, and despite being across a bridge or under a river, it became a destination for really great Thai food even for Manhattanites. So, when the restaurant opened a location in the East Village (now closed), and then another in the Meat Packing District, a lot of loyal Sea Thai followers were very excited. For RL's birthday last year, she had a big group dinner at Sea Thai in the Meat Packing. I hadn't been to any of the locations before, so I was excited to try it.

I had actually been to the restaurant in this space a few years ago called Highline, which was also Thai/Asian fusion. The menu had changed when it re-opened as Sea Thai, but the interior remained pretty much the same: stark white and very modern with a lounge/club feel.

So many of the appetizers looked really good that a few of us couldn't narrow down what we wanted to order. MB and I decided to order a few different items and split them. Music to my ears!

We started with the emerald vegetable dumplings with a black plum sauce, triangle curry puffs stuffed with curried chicken and potato,and lettuce wraps with chicken, peanut sauce, and crispy rice noodles. All three were delicious, and a nice combination of flavors and textures. For our entree, we split chicken pad see ew, my all-time fav. And lucky for us, it was a very good version! The broad noodles were coated with a sweet black soy sauce, and mixed with chicken, broccoli, and egg.

Sea is the perfect spot for a birthday dinner, with an extensive menu and cocktail/wine list, a very cool atmosphere, and a great DJ. It has the feel of a Meat Packing restaurant without the pretentious attitude like many of the Asian fusion restaurants in the area. I think it may be time for a trip over to Williamsburg to see where Sea got its start, and see how the newbie stacks up to the original!

Sea Thai
835 Washington Street
@ Little West 12th Street
Menu Pages listing

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The [Brunch] That Jane Likes

Brunch on the weekends is something of a cultural icon in NYC. You can find different people who are all equally enjoying their brunch, but interested in such different brunch experiences: those looking to cure their hangovers with Bloody Marys and greasy diner food, those who are a few steps prior to a hangover drinking unlimited mimosas and screwdrivers, and those seeking a bottomless cup of coffee to sip while flipping through The New York Times (don't tell my boss @ WSJ!), just to name a few. For me, the best kind of brunch is one with great food served in a restaurant with wide-open windows/doors on a gorgeous Spring day.

JB was in town for a long weekend with her friend PB, and they invited me to join them for brunch at Jane Restaurant on that Sunday along with PB's sons and friend. I was excited to see them and to go back to Jane since it had been at least 4 years since my last visit.

The two other times I had been there, I ordered the same thing...the Benedict Johnny. So, for this visit I decided I should change it up and try something new. I went with the Farm House Scramble, which included smoked ham (which I did without), gruyere cheese, and caramelized onions. I didn't quite think it through that without the meat in there, it was a little bit boring. The eggs were cooked well though, and the combination of the cheese with the sweet onions was delicious.
I hate to say it, though, but the best part of the meal for me was the french fries. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing! They were crispy, salty, and sprinkled with fresh rosemary giving them a great flavor. I should have stuck with the Benedict Johnny!

PB's sons ordered the vanilla bean french toast made with brioche bread dipped in crème brûlèe batter, topped with Vermont maple syrup. This stuff looked ridiculous! But, I noticed while they were eating it that the batter hadn't soaked all the way through. So, the center of the slices was just dry bread...a big french toast faux pas!
Even with the restaurant being packed at prime time on a Sunday morning, the server was great. She happily answered all of our questions about the menu, and patiently took our orders with lots of substitutions.

Everyone really enjoyed the brunch all around. Good food, great company, and gorgeous weather all made for the kind of brunch that I really like.

100 West Houston Street
b/t Thompson Street & LaGuardia Place
Menu Pages listing