Tuesday, March 18, 2008

more chang!

my boy dave chang is taking the country by storm.

i was actually out to dinner with katie and some family friends of hers from bumblefuck. somewhere out in that empty spot between central and upstate new york. katie was making fun of my Ko debacle and the kid says, "oh, david chang! of the noodle place!" and to answer my look of confusion he followed up with, "i read Gourmet."

and now there's a whole profile of the darling in my cherished new yorker.

as if reservations at Ko weren't hard enough to get, now they'll obviously be even worse. 

but i came, i saw, it conquered me. when it did that to me, i knew somehow, it had to be...

so i'll keep trucking. i'd like to try back in another month and maybe i'll get lucky. both with the reservation AND with the cute skinny blond chef with wire-rimmed glasses...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

momofuku ko

so that little eensy restaurant i was giving myself anxiety attacks about?

the clusterfuck that was obtaining a reservation is detailed here, summaryhere. that i got a reservation is a miracle. a bloggy miracle! and i brought poor poor peter on the ride with me. frantic e-mails, begging him to reload the site while i was out if he was going to be home and e-mailing him my credit card info to use to make my resy if i wasn't home for the site debut. not only did he NOT use my card to buy $4,300 worth of escort services, but after the panic of getting the resy he said, "i'm a little spent now. i need a cigarette" (he doesn't smoke) and i knew how he felt. i could have used a massage after the whole ordeal.

justy, not only one of my favoritest friends but also one of the only people who enjoys food as much as i do and doesn't mind spending some money on it, was my date.

food porn can be found here, thanks kathryn for the beautiful photos.

the place was serene and cozy except for the intermittent passersby who stopped in to ask, "how long is the wait for a party of six?" or "can i get a takeout menu?" justin and i smugly chuckled at the ignorance of those foolish people. then we let out a wee evil laugh.

justin and i hadn't had alone time in months so we had a lot of catching up to do. the couples on each side of us barely exchanged words all night which resulted in justin and i being a full 3 courses behind those who sat down AFTER us (we were in the second seating, nobody was waiting for our chairs otherwise, i promise, we would have kept pace), but the chefs took it all in stride. food was every bit as good as i expected it to be. the oysters and pork belly in kimchee consommé was my favorite dish...i think. but then there was the foie that was fluffy as new snow but savory and buttery and melty right when it hit your tongue. i kind of wanted to swim in it, like, all the time. and the amuse of teeny english muffins with pork fat and butter that, later, the chefs topped with slices of boiled egg and caviar as a snack. and just when i thought i might explode, the fried apple pie came and was so much lighter than it looked that i thought i might actually want a second helping.

wine/sake pairings were better than decent. a rioja that i hadn't had before (i didn't know such a thing existed) rocked my world. the sancerre cut just the right way during its course. some house made sparkling malbec? was amazing (though a bit tough on the nose, in the mouth it somehow worked).

justin and i lingered (we were actually the last table to leave) and shot the shit with the chefs. david chang was behind the counter for all of 4.5 minutes of our 3.5 hour dining experience. though the legend wasn't there to entertain (and he's SOOOO not the smiley pillsbury dough boy that he appeared to be on the cover of the dining section this morning, but rather more of a distant slightly cocky thing), the chefs he had in his stead (notice the cute lanky guy with the glasses in the background of aforementioned photo and another delightful shy guy who wasn't in the photo, probably because i bet he'd rather be speared than be featured in a photo in a major newspaper) were collected and graceful. also, ridiculously friendly.

afterwards, we sat around with chang (who seemed infinitely looser and happier sans patrons) and the other chefs for a bit. JW black on the rocks in hand, we chatted about the ease with which their first night was executed. snacks were made, things tidied, budweisers consumed. one chef was a bit disappointed that i knew what every course was going to be before it came but, seriously, anyone who had the ambition/luck/unbridled obsession to get a resy at this place HAD to have known a million intimate details about the spot first. in fact, at one point, i reminded them all what their day off was. "it's tuesday, not monday! and i'm a freak that i actually know that, sorry."  when all is said and done, i enjoyed that we were normal people, not critics or people with "ins", and were still able to dine there on their very first night. huzzah to democracy in action! i'd also like to take some time to thank my right hand index finger. without its rapid taps on that F5 button, i wouldn't be here telling this story today.

in all, an incredible night that i wish i could do over and over again. and would, if it weren't for the cost and the fact i'd look like a beached whale in a matter of weeks on that diet. i'll certainly be going back but i'll give them a few weeks to rotate the menu a bit. no sense in duplicating courses...(that is assuming i'll ever be able to get a reservation ever again).

you can't see me but i have a very content grin on my face at the moment and doubt it's going anywhere any time soon. and luckily for me, neither is Ko.