Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Japanese: Oramen

579 6th Avenue
b/t 16th & 17th Streets

Valentine's Day dinners can be very overrated, especially when it's an over-priced prix-fixe menu at an overcrowded restaurant with mediocre food.  As much as I'd love to have dined at a restaurant, there were plenty of silver linings this year...I was able to try a bunch of different things not being limited to a set menu, every dish was fantastic, and we had some dishes that I honestly hadn't had since well before the pandemic (I see you, crispy rice!). 

This was also the first meal as part of my Around the World: Quarantine Edition where every single dish earned a "GET IT" rating.  So happy with Oramen!

Tan Tan Ramen: Chicken broth, spicy chicken soboro (ground chicken), baby bock choy, bean sprouts, and scallions
Not your typical ramen, but it was really great!  It had heat without being tongue-numbingly spicy.  And the ground chicken was a nice change of pace from the more standard chicken chashu - GET IT

Pork Bun and Shrimp Bun: The buns themselves were like fluffy, little clouds.  The pork was really tender and having the cucumber on there gave it a nice additional texture.  The shrimp were tossed in a spicy mayo - GET IT (THEM)

Spicy Tuna Crispy Rice - Spicy tuna on crispy rice, topped with shitake mushroom, pickled Serrano, and yuzu mayo
This is a dish that I've been craving for about a year!  My go-to Japanese/sushi spots don't have it, which is a shame! I recently looked into making it myself, but was definitely too complicated. Everything about this was just heavenly - GET IT

Katsu Sando Set - Japanese traditional chicken cutlet sandwich served on milk bread with seasoned fries
I've had chicken katsu before, but never a katsu sando. It's really trendy lately, and lived up to its hype!  Flavorful, tender chicken, great katsu sauce, and delicious milk bread (think buttery, soft French toast). And even though the fries got a little soggy in delivery, they had a great season salt...and added bonus, I was able to revive them and crisp them up again  in a pan - GET IT!

Thursday, February 4, 2021

French: L'Express

249 Park Avenue South
at East 20th Street

With indoor dining on hiatus for the time being, Restaurant Week in NYC changed up its program this season. 500+ restaurants are offering entrees (and sometimes a side or starter) for $20.21 via takeout and delivery. It's a great way to support local restaurants and a fun way to try restaurants that would never have entrees for that price or that typically don't offer delivery/takeout. 

I've been eager to get to France on my Around the World: Quarantine Edition tour. And while I've been to L'Express before, I thought it would be fun to try their Restaurant Week menu.  They offered a choice of five entrees served with the soup du jour.

Pan-roasted codfish with ratatouille and asparagus
This was such a great dish. The cod was perfectly seasoned and cooked so perfectly. And the ratatouille had so much flavor. GET IT

Organic half chicken au jus with French fries
This is such a classic French dish and hit the spot. The chicken was great, but the fries did not hold up in the takeout container.  Not a surprise, but a bummer nonetheless because I remember their fries being delicious when they're fresh. GET IT (but maybe opt for the mashed potatoes instead)

Soup du jour - Cauliflower with turmeric
This was kind of bland, and I ended up having to add salt and pepper to it. There wasn't another option for the side/starter, so we just made do with it. FORGET IT (if you can)