Good Restaurant

When my best friend Catherine told me she'd be in town briefly but was able to meet for drinks and dinner, my sister Kimberly and I couldn't wait to spend some time with our favorite West Coaster (and honorary sister...though we were severely missing the third Cannon sister - Christine!). The place for our girls night? Good (yup that's what it's called), a sweet little place in the West Village. With seats at the bar, Catherine, Kimberly and I enjoyed happy hour glasses of wine and a few dishes to share.

Along with some 1/2 price (daily from 6-8pm!) Grenache/Syrah, we sampled some small plates. First up was a crostini with fresh ricotta, country ham and fig marmalade. It was like a gourmet version of my own gorgonzola fig crostini. It was sweet and salty with just the right amount of crispiness and creaminess!

We also shared a delicious, extremely thin-crusted pizza. This flatbread version was turned artisinal by featuring creme fraiche (an elusive ingredient that adds wonderful flavor and texture!), chopped bacon, baby arugula and sweet onions. It was smokey, savory and creamy. Yum! And what can I say? It was a pork-driven kind of evening (since Shaun doesn't eat pork, it was a rare yet welcome change for me!)

We also sampled the harvest salad, admittedly the item that was most anticipated for me. It boasted mixed greens, aged cheddar, roasted pears and pecans with an apple cider vinaigrette. Unfortunately this turned out to be the lowlight of the evening. The salad which sounded so autumnal, sweet, savory and hearty (essentially salad perfection!) on paper was in reality a small plate of greens with one pear, two cheese cubes and nary a pecan in sight. Oh and I'm not sure about my fellow diners, but I did not taste any dressing on this salad. At $12 a pop, I have to say, it was most disappointing.

Luckily the other dishes were tops, as were the desserts, of which we obviously felt necessary to sample not one, but two! First up was warm banana chocolate chip bread pudding, served complete with vanilla ice cream. Oh my, this was so mushy, full of bananas and chocolate. It was so decadent and wonderful! It was my pick for best dessert of the night!

We also ordered a devil's food chocolate cake, covered in ganache and served with a toasted marshmallow. While the cake was moist and delightfully chocolatey, we couldn't help but wish that this also came along side a scoop of vanilla ice cream or even some homemade whipped cream.

So there you have it.  A little roundup of our impromptu girls night! The one thing missing from our smorgasbord? A Good Burger - a beef patty stuffed with pulled pork and smoked mozzerella - doesn't that just sound so fatty and delicious? It will certainly be on the list to order the next time I visit...and I plan to, during happy hour!



Black Olive Bread at Amy's Bread

Before we get down to today's scrumptious goods, I'm thrilled to share with you some fun and exciting news regarding those killer Dexter cupcakes that were featured on Monday. They've been quite a hit around the blogosphere and have been picked up by a few other sites - CNN's Eatocracy, USATODAY's Pop Candy, Cupcakes Take the Cake, and Carpe Cupcakes - so please check it out if you have a chance! Meanwhile, we're going to extend the GIVEAWAY until Friday (tomorrow) at noon. The winner will be announced later tomorrow afternoon. If you haven't entered, what are you waiting for?

So in the midst of all this bloody fun, I've also managed to devour things outside of my delicious cherry vanilla cupcakes. Remember that little gathering that Shaun and I hosted on Saturday? You know, the one where we I forgot to serve the delicious orzo salad? (though the more I think about it, I realized that I probably subconsciously didn't serve it so I could have more for myself...) Well one of my nearest and dearest, Lindsey and her sweet bf Eric brought over one of my favorite food items of all time: a loaf of olive bread from Amy's Bread.

Now I love bread as much as the next person, but I've never been an obsessive bread eater. You know, the people who can't have bread in the house because they will simply devour the entire loaf in one sitting? Surprisingly, that's not me. Well, usually. That is, until I found Amy's Bread.

With a laundry list of desirable bread varieties, my two favorites are the Black Olive Bread and the Picholine Olive Bread. Yum. For today, we'll focus on the Black Olive Bread since that's what we were gifted with and what I've been thoroughly enjoying all week. Made with organic whole wheat flour, the bread is so light and airy, yet filling. The bits of Kalamata, Amfissa, and Atalanti olives add a delightfully salty and flavorful taste without overpowering the simplicity of the bread. Served with a bit of butter (I use Land o Lakes Light Butter w/Canola Oil, even though that seems sacriligious on such a wonderful slice of bread) and a tiny sprinkling of kosher or sea salt, this bread is unlike any other. I just praise Jesus that there isn't an Amy's bread in Jersey City and that the Village location is a bit out of the way from my walk to the Path after work. It's reserved for special occasions only.


So there you have it. A delicious, slightly salty slice of whole wheat bread that's turned up a notch with the addition of some fancy olives. So, here's the question of the day: Are you a bread person? Do you dabble in it or devour it on first sight? Dish in the comments!

PS - Don't forget to enter the Dexter giveaway! Click here to enter!

Galanga Red Curry Cash

Last week, in addition to my cereal-topped Phileo Yogurt, I had dinner with Kimberly and Lindsey at Galanga, a teeny Thai restaurant in the Village. I know, I've been doing a lot of Village-ing, but when you are so close to a neighborhood so fabulous, why wouldn't I? Anyhow, like most Thai restaurants, Galanga is a low priced, cramped tabled casual joint with exposed brick and chairs that make your back and bootie hurt for the rest of the night. Depite those things, all of which are expected at a small Thai place, the food was goooood.

I dined on red curry chicken, one of my favorite Thai dishes. I'm always wary of heat levels in food, especially red curry, I took a chance on this one because...well, I was really, really in the mood for it. Just the right amount of spice and bamboo shoots a plenty made this dish a solid red curry that did not scream 'mass production'. The broth was more brothy and less creamy which hopefully meant a slightly healthier twist (though I'm always a fan of a creamier broth...who wouldn't be?).

My gripe on Galanga, aside from the uncozy seating? Their cash only policy. What up with that? I mean, really...I can swipe my debit card at the local bodega for a $1.50 cup of coffee, but a legit Thai restaurant in the Village is cash only? I don't mean to knock it, since I've been known to have a cash-carrying problem, but only? What are your thoughts on this? Are you ok with restaurants only accepting cash? Are you happy to pay cash only if it keeps you on a stricter budget? If the food's good enough...does cash only matter?