The Whitney Museum of American Art

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FACTS:  Located in the Meatpacking District, NYC

MY ANALYSIS:  

The Whitney Museum of American Art is now located in the trendy Meatpacking District.  It’s modern, it’s grand, and, of course, it’s oh so fabulous.

As for dining options, there are two different Danny Meyer restaurants to choose from: Untitled and Studio Café.  Admittedly, I did not visit either.  But, given the restauranteur behind both, I’m sure that you will not be disappointed.  Furthermore, Untitled has received critical acclaim for its dishes, and Studio Café offers outside seating during the warmer months, with great Manhattan views

In summary, I highly recommend visiting this museum, along with Untitled or Studio Café.

QUICK TIDBIT: Be sure to check out the website: http://whitney.org/

Founding Farmers

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FACTS:  Owned by over 40,000 family farmers; located in Foggy Bottom, Washington, D.C.

WHAT I ORDERED:

Skillet Corn Bread, Sea Salted Honey Butter

Shrimp & Grits, Andouille

MY ANALYSIS:  

Founding Farmers is a farm-to-table restaurant, hence the name. And, not only did it exceed my expectations, but I absolutely loved it.

We recently dined here for lunch and, because of Lloyd’s passion for corn bread, we started out with the skillet corn bread.  Served with sea-salted honey butter and made with real corn kernels, it’s easily the best corn bread that I’ve ever tasted.  For my entrée, I ordered shrimp and grits.  Served with andouille sausage and seasoned to perfection, this dish was a solid “10.”  In fact, my mouth is watering just thinking about it.

I highly recommend this place and will be sure to return.

QUICK TIDBIT:  Be sure to support this restaurant: http://www.wearefoundingfarmers.com/

Chadwicks

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FACTS:  Located in Old Town, Alexandria, Virginia

WHAT I ORDERED:

Huevos Rancheros: Two Over Easy*, Refried Beans, Cheddarjack, Corn Tortillas, Guacamole, Salsa Fresca, Sour Cream

MY ANALYSIS:  

If you are ever nearby, I highly recommend visiting Old Town, Alexandria, Virginia. It’s charming, quaint, and just truly lovely.  In fact, it completely exceeded my expectations and was nothing like I’d expected.

In searching for a brunch spot, we were advised to eat at Chadwicks.  This restaurant is a local eatery, exuding both a new and an old feel.  As usual, I ordered the huevos rancheros but asked that my eggs be scrambled instead.  And, even though this is one of my favorite breakfast dishes, I’d never had it served with corn tortillas or prepared this way before.  That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed each bite and found the potatoes to be equally as tasty.

So, in addition to recommending Old Town, I also recommend visiting Chadwicks.

QUICK TIDBIT: Be sure to check out their menu: http://www.chadwicksrestaurants.com/

China Chilcano

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FACTS:  Located in Penn Quarter, Washington, D.C.

WHAT I ORDERED:

Ceviche Clásico: Daily-Selected Market Fresh Fish, Leche de Tigre, Sweet Potato, Red Onion, Cancha, Cilantro

Ensalada de Chonta: Hearts of Palm, Tamarind, Avocado, Tomato, Kiwicha Seed, Sweet Plantain

Dim Sum:

  • Dorado – Pork, Shrimp, Jicama, Shiitake Mushroom, Peanut Topped with Golden Egg
  • Concha – Scallop, Pork, Jicama, Shiitake Mushroom, Tobiko
  • Pollo – Chicken, Scallion, Cloud Ear Mushroom, Ají Amarillo

Wantán Especial: Superior Broth, Shrimp and Pork Dumpling, Egg Noodle, Bok Choy, Rocoto, Lime

Seco de Res: Braised Short Rib, Pallares Bean Purée, Squash, Cilantro, Rice

MY ANALYSIS:  

Because of a long wait at Zaytinya, we ended up at one of Jose Andres’ sister restaurants instead: China Chilcano.  Here, the food is a combination of Peruvian, Chinese, and Japanese cuisines, and the vibe is extremely energetic.

During our visit, we ordered the following dishes, which I will briefly elaborate on:

  • Ceviche Clasico – Flavorful and delicious
  • Ensalada de Chonta – I was not fond of this salad medley.
  • Dorado, Concha, and Pollo Dim Sum – I’ve had better dim sum elsewhere.
  • Wantan Especial Soup – I find this style of wanton broth to be totally bland.
  • Seco de Res – This short-rib dish was mediocre at best.Unfortunately, I was quite disappointed and very unimpressed with this place. Therefore, I would not recommend it.

QUICK TIDBIT: Be sure to check out all of Jose Andres’ restaurants: http://www.joseandres.com/

Museum of Food and Drink

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FACTS:  Located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

MY ANALYSIS:  

A museum of food and drink whose current exhibit is about Flavor: Making It and Faking It?  Sign me up!

Upon entering, I found this museum to be relatively small.  But, considering that this is still a very new project, I can assume that additional square footage will one day be needed.  That being said, the industrial-style loft space was completely fitting, given the neighborhood.

Admittedly, I skipped over most of the literature and headed straight toward the scented flavor machines.  Not only were these fun and very well constructed; they also contained a variety of different scents to choose from. These could be mixed and matched. i.e. Orange Essential Oil + Lime Essential Oil + Cinnamon Essential Oil + Vanilla Extract = Coca Cola.

In summation, I’m glad that I had the opportunity to visit, and I look forward to what’s to come.

QUICK TIDBIT: Be sure to check out their website as well: http://www.mofad.org/

Cosme

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Stuffed Avocado, Seafood Vuelve a La Vida, Horseradish

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Sliced Raw Striped Bass, Green Almond Kosho, Fish Sauce, Black Limes

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Quesadilla; Mushrooms

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Chilaquiles; Green with Chicken, Crème Fraiche

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Duck Enmoladas, Chichilo, Crème Fraiche, Onion

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Churros and Mexican Hot Chocolate

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FACTS:  Located in the Flatiron District, NYC

MY ANALYSIS:  

After visiting Pujol in Mexico City, I put Cosme at the top of my bucket list.  So, I was beyond thrilled to finally dine here for brunch.

Between the two of us, we ordered five different dishes to share, along with a dessert. Admittedly though, I did not try the quesadilla, given my extreme dislike of mushrooms. And, despite the fact that chilaquiles is one of my all-time favorite Mexican dishes, I found myself enjoying the raw striped bass, and duck enmoladas, a tad bit more.  Served sashimi style, the striped bass was perfectly spiced, and the duck enmoladas, a.k.a. duck enchiladas, were extremely rich and flavorful.

For dessert, we ordered churros with Mexican hot chocolate.  The churros were light, airy, and prepared as one large knot, and I can’t think of a better way to have ended this meal.

Of course, I really loved the sleek, yet simple décor and found each entrée to mirror this same look.  But, more importantly, everything was truly superb, and I savored every bite.

If it weren’t obvious enough, I highly recommend this place.

QUICK TIDBIT: Be sure to check out Pujol as well:  http://www.pujol.com.mx/en/

Ceviche 105

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FACTS:  Located in Miami Beach, Florida

MY ANALYSIS:  

Thanks to Lloyd’s passion for ceviche, we ended up at the highly recommended Ceviche 105 for dinner. And, given that we were dining with another couple, I wanted to enjoy this meal without too much fuss; hence, zero note taking/photos only.

In summary, I really liked this place a lot and will be sure to return.

  • The ceviche is superb.
  • The prices are extremely reasonable.
  • The service was fantastic.
  • The ambience and vibe are both energetic and fun.

QUICK TIDBIT: Be sure to check out their downtown location as well:  http://ceviche105.com/downtownmiami/