Friday, March 25, 2011

Restaurant review of B.E.S “BOUTIQUE EAT SHOP”

Chef as Artist is something I hear often, but in the case of Chef Charles Cho it is true. I was invited to dine at B.E.S “BOUTIQUE EAT SHOP” and enjoyed a truly memorable meal. Part art gallery, part restaurant and part hang out for the local gallery denizens, the space doesn't have that cold feeling of the gallery spaces B.E.S. shares the Chelsea neighborhood with. On the contrary, it's very warm and cozy. Imagine you are in the home of your eccentric uncle who collects art and travels the world filling it with treasures. Now imagine that uncle was a teenage punk who came into money and is able to indulge his edgy 80's aesthetic with expensive materials and workmanship. The attentions to detail from service to the curated menu was thrilling and it didn't hurt they played great 80's tunes we love. Bowie, Heart of Glass... It's a very sexy space that would be great for first dates. The prices are high, but we're in NY and in a trendy nabe. Now, on to the food!

Ginger Grapefuit Panna Cotta with Roasted Beets and Goat Cheese
Highly recommend this. Flavorful cubes of gingery grapefuit, almost like a gelatin, paired
beautifully with a Lemonchello gastrique and goat cheese. The chef's genius lies in his terrific flavor combinations.

Seared Ahi Tuna, Fuji Apple and Watercress with Peanut Miso Dressing
Perfectly seared with an extremely flavorful dressing. The miso paired perfectly with the ahi.


Lobster Ravioli with Creamed Corn and a Tabasco Foam
I'm not a pasta fan, so this fell a little flat for me, but the foam was a revelation. I need to learn to make this myself. I'd love it on fried calamari.

Lamb Chops!
Australian Lamb Chops with Mushroom and Truffle Risotto and Roasted Cherry Tomatoes with a Pomegranate Demi sauce. Decadent creamy and highly truffled. Mindblowing. You must order this.

Chocolate Lava Cake with Trio of Mango, Raspberry and Tangerine Sorbet
The sorbets were wonderful, but we were a little underwhelmed with the cake. The outside had an unusual almost chewy texture.

I can't wait to go back and bring friends. If this was in my neighborhood, it would be my local hangout. I'm told they're opening a spot in Brooklyn, but sadly not Park Slope.
Full disclosure: I was an invited guest and they knew I would be writing up a post. I did check out all the other patrons' dishes as they went by and they all looked as amazing as ours did. Check out the rave reviews over on Yelp. You don't have to take my word for it. :)

559 W 22nd St
(between 10th Ave & West St)
New York, NY 10011
Neighborhood: Chelsea

Friday, February 18, 2011

NYC Food Blogger Potluck and Juicy Pork Recipe

What is better than having a potluck with 30 of New York's greatest food bloggers? Having that potluck be a Chinese New Year Celebration. The food was spectacular and the food centric conversation was even better. Our hosts were the fabulous Jackie Gordon @divathatateny and Ken Leung @hungryrabbitnyc, who not only hosted, but put up fabulous decorations. The video below will give you a sense of the banquet we all enjoyed. You can see that everyone brought their A-game.

My contribution was braised pork shoulder, hoisin BBQ sauce and a cilantro chili slaw. You can probably guess I was going for a Southern spin on Asian cuisine. I was really please with how it turned out. The meat was meltingly juicy and tender and the slaw was the perfect fresh kick it needed. This is the recipe I based the slaw on, but I did up the herb quantity from 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of both the mint and cilantro and added in 2 deseeded and minced Thai chili pepper. I also added some fish sauce to taste. The hoisin BBQ sauce is based on this recipe at Epicurious. I subbed out shallot for yellow onion and added in 3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds.

Juicy and Simple Pork Shoulder

for carnitas, enchiladas, stew, Vietnamese buns...
This shredded pork comes out juicy every time. It is a no fail recipe. I don't use lots of spices during the cooking process so that the leftovers are more versatile.

One 6 to 10 1/2 lb pork shoulder, skin-on, bone-in
Season well with salt and pepper
Sprinkle with a teaspoon or so of each seasoning like cumin coriander chili powder cayenne
2 Tablespoons paprika
2-3 tablespoons of soy sauce
3/4 bottle brown ale
a few cloves of garlic, peeled and halved, 6-10

Rub in the seasonings and put pork into an oven safe stockpot.
Add liquids and cover tightly with a lid or tinfoil. Cook 9-12 hours at 250 degrees until it is falling apart. Start checking after the first 8-9 hours. You'll know it's done when the fork slides in easily and the juices slide out. The internal temperature was at around 190 degrees when it was done.

The liquid it's in is delicious(might need some salt), but the meat is occasionally helped by a BBQ sauce, gravy, asian hoisin sauce or enchilada sauce for leftovers.

When the shoulder is done you really can keep it in a 200- 250 degree oven for 4-5 hours. I have recipes that have it cooking for 24 hours. I kept mine in for about 20 hours before we ate.

The skin is the best part!
When it's done, using a knife and tongs peel off the fat and skin layer and put it on a pan to roast in a hot(450 degree) oven. Make sure you salt and pepper it first. Roast about 10 minutes, or longer til some crisp bits are there. So delicious. You could also smear it with some honey before crisping it in the oven.