Sunday, April 30, 2006

Weekend In NYC

(The camera shook a little when I took this photo, but I kind of liked the effect so decided to put it up. Also kind of tricky to take a photo when you have an umbrella in one hand and it's cold, windy and rainy and you are trying to not get the camera wet. D & C were in the restaurant trying to figure out which one of the dozen black umbrellas in the umbrella bin was theirs so I was outside trying to take this picture. )

I finally made it to the city one Saturday (22nd April) evening to meet Dan and Cheryl. I only live about 2 hours away from NYC but don’t get to visit as often as I would like. It was all fun except for the rain. It rained right from the moment I left the house till I got back on to the train in NYC. But meeting D & C and the great dinner we had more than made up for it.
We went to Gabriel’s an American Bistro style restaurant near the Time Warner center on 11th W 60th street. They picked the place and made reservations which was very nice of them.
We walked in to the restaurant from the cold rain outside to enter this room with one of the longest mahogany bars that I have ever seen. Not sure if the picture below does it justice. We got a nice table in one of the back rooms which was quieter. Our waiter was nice and from Spain. I love hear accents, one of the great things about America and esp New York is the multitude of ethnicities that abound. Each one has it’s own ways of saying certain words and I just find that very enthralling.
Gabriels has a menu it changes about 5 times a year that I geared to the seasons (trust me food eaten in season tastes a lot better).

Appetizers –
D and I started off with a refreshing gin and tonic, C stayed with NYs finest water.
We ordered our appetizers. D n C went with a tossed Arugula salad drizzled with olive oild and balsamic vinegar. I have noticed that what they tend to order and we have been out to eat with them several times. Note to self – ask them about it next time.
I ordered carpaccio - a very thin slice of raw beef on which rested aragula leaves drizzled with some extra virgin oil and balsamic vinegar. On top sat an equally thin slice of young parmesan cheese. It looked delicious and was yummy, needless to say I had only had a bagel since morning and was starving.
A quick discussion and we moved on to the entrees. I sometimes rib D about being a typical white-bread guy. He is not really, but when it comes to food then he usually is. But he has changed and having being fed an assortment of spicy foods during the numerous visits to our place (Japanese/Indian/Thai/Chinese) he has changed.
He found the kid Arrabbiato (baby goat) - goat slow roasted with red wine vinegar and hot pepper tempting. But we were warned about the dish being hot. I decided to go for it since I hadn’t had goat meat in ages. I was warned by our waiter about it being hot and I was like c’mon man I am Indian I can handle spice. He gave me a knowing smile.
By the way arrabiato means angry, a term commonly used to denote sauce with hot chilies...it makes your mouth angry in a good way.
D decided to go for marinated with buttermilk and rosemary, served with garlic mashed potatoes, roasted onions and broccolini.
C chose the red snapper filet cooked in tomato, black olives and rosemary served with toasted polenta.
We then moved on to the wines. The sommelier was helpful and knowledgeable about the wines that would go with the food we ordered. We ordered a light Classico “Terre Vineate” 2003 for C and D & I went for a medium bodied Pinot Noir, 2003.
Meeting D n C is always a pleasure they are fine, well informed folks and good friends. Even a trip to a fast food place is fun with them so we were having a fun time.
We offered each other a taste of the dished each of us ordered.
D’s baby chicken was nice a tad too mild for me but scrumptious, and not dry.
C’s red snapper filet was heavenly! The fish just melted in my mouth and all the flavors just complimented each other very well. My expression must have been a dead giveaway as she offered me more. However I politely declined.
The goat meat was served in small pieces almost like pulled pork. In a neat mound in the middle of the plate. Arranged around it almost like the petals of a flower were snow peas (their pods are flat as compared to snap peas). The dish was lovingly arranged I have to say. I had my first bite the goat meat was succulent, rich and the flavors of the red wine vinegar and the meat went ahnd in hand along with the spices. And then the spice or rather the chile hit me.. it was hotttt! But jit was just enough to clear my sinuses and give my ears a pleasant burning sensation. I was glad I ordered the goat. The wine was a perfect companion to the dish.
The portions were just right, a lot of restaurants will give you humongous (I love this word) portions. Sometimes it’s just a way to mask ordinary food by giving the customer more of it. But Gabriel’s has the portions just right. You want to be full but not feel like you have to stuff dessert in.
But we were sort of full, we had kind of been nibbling away at the great fresh bread basket that we got when we first sat down at the table. Wisely we decided to ask the waiter about the warm chocolate truffle cake. Boy was it good we asked. He said the cake was small I would say it’s diameter was about the base of a big coffee cup and only about an inch or so thick. But he said it was very dense and could easily be shared by the 3 of us. And was it ever so delicious. The rich moist chocolate cake has a soft center filled with grand marnier and a dollop of vanilla gelato on top. A drizzle of passion fruit sauce rounded off this sweet temptation. It was as good as it looked. We were oohing and aahing over the richness of the cake the cognac and the orange in the marnier and the aromatic flavors from the passion fruit sauce made us feel completely decadent.
It took an effort to get ourselves moving at the end and have to deal with the cold, gray grizzle outside. Well at least we were high and aglow with the food, the spirits and the feeling that comes from being with friends.
PS: If any of you visit NYC this is a place to go check out. Dinner was on D and C. I thank them for a most lovely treat.

14 comments:

Keshi said...

Sounds like u had a very enchanting 'New York' weekend..wow lucky u Jay!

**very thin slice of raw beef on which rested aragula leaves drizzled with some extra virgin oil and balsamic vinegar

YUMMM sounds very exotic!

U seem to have a very good taste in food...


If Im ever in NY I'll make sure I go to Gabriel's...thanks for the intro!


Keshi.

Mr. J said...

Dude, these kinda posts always make my mouth water. Wow.. nice stuff.

karmic_jay said...

Keshi.. it was fun indeed. Ya I do love food not sure about good taste though. But it's an advance considering that I used to be a very fussy and picky eater for the longest time.

ME.. ye, when I read it again, I felt the same!

preeti said...

if not the camera had shaken, you could not have taken that nice snap :)

karmic_jay said...

Preeti.. Thanks for stopping by. Yes I kind of like the pic, glad you liked it. Totally unplanned.

tilotamma said...

just this weekend too.nice

Maya Cassis said...

hmmm New York!New york!:))

Aranyi said...

where do you live then, Jay?

karmic_jay said...

Aranyi. I live in Wilmington and it's about a 2 hr train ride or a 3 hour car ride to NYC.

Mridula said...

You do seem to love your food. Me, after ten years of living in hostels and mess food and now office food, have no taste buds left!

Viewer said...

mouth watering !!!!
I too went to a neat restaurant probably will put up the review ..lets see

opinionatedinjerzee said...

karmic, that must be the most graphic description of food i have ever read!!! I gotta check this place out for myself!! I live about 40 mins from the city and always seem to go there to buy those warm honey roasted cashews they sell at those "nuts for nuts" stands!! mmmm, getting that craving again!!!!

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