Monthly Archive:: December 2011

Howard’s 2011: A Year of Food in Video

howard’s restaurant meals of 2011 from Eat to Blog on Vimeo.

Here for your viewing and listening pleasure are many (though certainly not all) of the foods I ate in 2011, both the good and the bad. All restaurants are in NYC unless otherwise noted. Bonus points to anyone who can identify the restaurants whose names I have forgotten. Music = “Prizefighter” by the Eels.

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Howard’s Favorites of 2011


The Laphing at Phayul

It’s hard to believe 2011 is almost over. I’ve eaten so much food over the past 12 months that it’s hard to narrow down the best of what I ate. This was also the year that I started writing for Serious Eats: New York, and you can see my best-of round-up for them by clicking here. You can see my favorites of what I blogged here, after the jump.

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Shelsky’s Smoked Fish

Baked Salmon Salad in a bagel

The baked salmon salad in a toasted bagel at Shelsky’s Smoked Fish in Carroll Gardens is FREAKIN ADDICTIVE! I had saw my friend’s photo of the thing and for some reason I ran out and got the same thing. I’ve never been to Shelsky’s before until that day and so I didn’t even know how the baked salmon salad will taste. This was so good that I went and got another one the following Saturday.

The salmon was pretty much ground up into a paste/spread with seasoning in it. If you love salmon you will love this also. Very strong fish/salmony flavor that might put some people off but I found it quite tasty. It also helped that the toasted bagel was good and warm, crunchy, cool, salmony, UGH I want one now!

Shelsky’s Smoked Fish 251 Smith St, Brooklyn

Giovanni’s Brooklyn Eats

baked eggplant parmesan topped with a fried egg

Howard: Even though Giovanni’s has only been open for a few weeks, we here at Eat to Blog already have a complicated relationship with the restaurant. Giovanni’s was opened by the people who ran the recently closed Sette; in fact, the website says that Sette has “re-opened as Giovanni’s”. So why is it a complicated relationship? Because Sette is the place where Eat to Blog was conceived, four years ago. And the meal we had there wasn’t very good. So when our friends Matt and Phaedra suggested meeting at Giovanni’s for brunch, I agreed, but with some trepidation.

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Late Dinner at Lupa

Lupa was one of the first upscale restaurants I went to in NYC, and although it was a long time ago I remember having a pretty good (though not great) meal. I haven’t been there in a long time, though I always kind of meant to go back. I recently had the chance when meeting up for a late dinner with my friends Jeff & Eva for our semi-regular end-of-year meal out. I noticed that the NY Times just reviewed Lupa, and this quote from that review sums up my experience nicely: “At its best it can be highly satisfying, but it’s inconsistent and sometimes has a slightly tired feeling.” Although the food was pretty good, the service was slightly off. Jeff called it “indifferent”, I would add “distracted”. Another table got so fed up waiting for their second course that they demanded their check. “Do you still want the fish?” asked the server. “You can bring the fish,” was the reply. Their check arrived at their before the fish did.

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Sweet Potato Sandwiches On Court St

Let’s play a little game. You know that word association game that psychiatrists use? I’m going to say a word and you say the first thing that comes to your mind. Ready?

I say: Sandwiches.

You say:

I can’t hear your response (feel free to leave it in the comments below), but I would bet that it wasn’t “sweet potatoes”. In fact, if you did say “sweet potatoes” you may want to go see an actual psychiatrist, because that’s not a normal association. And yet, there are two restaurants almost directly across Court St from each other that both feature sweet potato as the main ingredients in a sandwich. They are both so different that I thought I’d put them in a head-to-head battle.

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Piccoli Trattoria In Park Slope

Homemade pappardelle with short rib ragu

When Piccoli opened in Windsor Terrace, I really wanted to go try it. They specialize in risotto and I do love a good plate of tasty risotto. Though, situated next to Bene Pizza, it was only a to-go spot. I still haven’t been to it yet but recently they opened a sit down restaurant in Park Slope. I wasn’t in a hurry to go try it but then a friend wanted to have dinner there so I went.

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