The train of thought that brought me to this week's Ten on Tuesday...
Dinner smells so good...I love the smell of garlic cooking in a hot pan...I love to cook...do I love to cook or do I love to eat?...I love to cook...and I really love to eat...I can't wait to have dinner with Ian in Little Italy this weekend...the best gnocchis I ever had were in Little Italy...I've eaten at some pretty great places...hey, I should list our 10 favorite dining experiences for this week's Ten on Tuesday! So here they are, in no particular order.
This is one of those local hidden gems that you want to share with everyone, but you don't want everyone to know the secret. When you walk in the door you step back in time. The cocktails are unique and the food is phenomenal. I am most thankful to the Bookstore for introducing me to one of my new favorite bands, Jessy Carolina & the Hot Mess. Don't you love the name? Do yourself a favor and watch this video. When you're done, watch some of her personal videos on the streets of the French Quarter in New Orleans. Jessy's voice sounds like it's straight off of an old record.
Live Music Video in Soho, New York from omar o'sullivan on Vimeo.
2. Moe's in Paterson, NJ
Moe's has a number of locations but Ian and I went to the one in Paterson while we were on an archaeology project out that way. I don't know what I love most about Moe's...the great artwork, the fabulous music (they only play music of dead musicians, so plenty of Jimmy Hendrix, Jerry Garcia, Janis Joplin...), or the 5 pound burrito! The Art Vandalay, mmm...
3. Da Nicos in Little Italy, NYC
This is one of the first restaurants you see as you enter Little Italy. I am a big believer in not settling for the first place you see, but I am so glad we did! I asked the waitress to bring the best thing on the menu and she came out with the most delicious gnocchis I have ever had. Literally melted in my mouth. I can't wait for this weekend!
The morning after my cousin Cara's beautiful roof-top wedding in Philadelphia, Ian and I walked around looking for a place to have breakfast. We passed a dozen small bagel places and cafes but nothing wow-ed us...that is, until we got a whiff of rich chocolate! Max Brenner was an experience, to say the least. When Ian's oatmeal came out on a little lab table with a small beaker of caramel, I knew we found someplace special! We didn't do this ourselves, but if you go, I hear the mix-it-yourself-with-real-chocolate hot chocolate is incredible.
I don't care what you say...the best thin crust pizza in the world can only be found at Pete & Elda's. If you are ever at the Jersey Shore, stop in for a XXL and a pitcher of beer. For those of you non-locals, I should tell you that if you eat a XXL yourself in one sitting, you win a free t-shirt! When you go, save yourself some time and don't bother with the menu. Just think of your favorite toppings and order the pizze. A big thank you to my dad for grabbing me a pie to go while I was hosting Jessie's shower this past weekend.
Ian and I had dinner had this great lounge on our honeymoon. Two things I loved most... the small plates menu and that "dink" stands for double income no kids. HA! Perfect for two newlyweds. I had a crab tower...unbelievable.
Ian and I ate street-side at this retro diner on our honeymoon. We sat at the table you see in the far rigth corner...memories! They served up the best huevos rancheros either of us ever had! Don't you just love the whole scene??? And the mountain in the background?!?! Ian and I almost died on a mountain hike, much like the one in the background, later that day...but more on that later.
Ian and I have found our favorite local joint! Finally! The Mexican food is amazing, as are their house margaritas. This has become our favorite happy hour location on Fridays...and midweek if we're feeling so ambitious. If you go, try the fried avocado...unreal!
On our first anniversary, we went to Mystic Connecticut. While exploring, we suddenly found ourselves in Rhode Island. Luckily we stumbled upon this great little place with an amazing raw bar. This was just one of many great meals on our trip.
For New Years 2008, Ian and I decided to stay at a little B&B close to my hometown. We got to spend the holiday with friends and family and found the absolute best breakfast place in the world! This old pharmacy serves the most buttery delicious eggs in the world! The place is full of charm and good people. Now that I'm thinking about it, I think I need to arrange a meal there next time I'm home!