Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Restaurant Week - Meal #5

Lure Fishbar - Delicious seafood in a great setting.

We had a fantastic dinner last night. We changed our Tuesday night reservation 3 times and ended up at Lure. It's located in Soho (one of my favorite places to shop) and had a very 'hip' vibe. The main dining room is made to look like you are dining on an ocean liner. The restaurant is below street level, so it doesn't have any windows - but the way it is decorated you feel like there are windows. And the decor wasn't overdone or too nautical, it was warm and comfortable.
Their restaurant week many had 4 choices for each course - and so many of them sounded tasty it was hard to make a choice.
Starters: They brought nice warm rolls to the table with softened, whipped butter. I chose the raw bar tasting. It included 4 oysters, 2 jumbo shrimp, and a seafood salad. Everything was fresh and delicious. The shrimp were steamed and the meat was tender with an excellent flavor. Michael had the salmon tar tare which was topped with a chive cream and was served with toast crisps. His salmon was excellent as well.
For dinner I had a steamed white fish with a pesto like sauce (it was green and very mild) that was served with fried oyster mushrooms and jasmine rice. Michael had the seared ahi that was served with edemamme, shitake mushrooms and watercress. My fish was mild and cooked to perfection. The ahi was a beautiful tuna steak, barely kissed by the grill (exactly as ordered).
For dessert Michael had the cheesecake and I had the baked apple. The cheesecake was creamy with a graham cracker crust and berries on the side. The baked apple was peeled and cored, stuffed with spices, brown sugar, and raisins and then baked. It was served with a shot of spiced cider on the side.
The meal was not only delicious but a great value. We can't wait to go back. And as an added bonus I got to go through my favorite store in Soho on the way back to the subway. Kate's Paperie - it is a a huge stationary store filled with paper, cards, stickers, journals, gift wrap. A perfect end to the night.

Restaurant Week - Meal #4

Victor's Cafe - Cuban food

The decor looked like Desi Arnez should be playing the bongos - definitely had a Latin club feel. Big, bright murals on the walls, palm trees, and a split level dining room that allowed for some tables to look down over the main floor.

The food was interesting and good, but nothing special. It had a great review in Zagat, so I was really hoping for something out of the ordinary, but all of the food tasted like something we've had before.

I started with a shrimp filled empanada and Michael had chorizo grilled with peppers and onions and served with root vegetable chips. The chips were the best part of both appetizers. They were salty and crunchy and very tasty - we especially liked the plaintain chips. (Not to be confused with parsnip chips which apparently are not very tasty at all.)

For dinner I had roasted pork and Michael had shredded beef in a mild spicy sauce. Both meals would have been great taco or burrito fillings. We did get a side of fried plaintains and they were delicious. Thick slices of plaintains pan fried until they were soft on the inside and slightly crunchy on the inside.

I had a very nice mango sorbet for dessert and Michael had flan (his new favorite dessert). The sorbet was delicious and the flan was good too - but not as good as the Mesa Grill flan.

It was a good dinner, but we probably won't be heading back any time soon.

A Day In Brooklyn

Sunday (Jan 29th) was Transit Museum day!

The Transit Museum is located in a decommissioned subway station in Brooklyn. If you weren't looking for it, you would probably walk right by the entrance.
For something that may not sound interesting to everyone - it was a great museum.

You start your museum tour with a history of the subway system. They have photos and tools from the early 1900's that not only show how the subway was built, but the people behind the work. You also get an idea of the politics behind the subway system. The subway allowed people to move out of lower Manhattan in to Bronx and Brooklyn, but still work in Manhattan. It completely changed how people lived in New York City.

The museum has a huge display of hands on items including working turnstiles, refurbished subway cars, and buses. On the actual subway platform they have at least 20 different refurbished subway cars. They date back to the early days of the subway and feature ads appropriate for the time period, the ads are as interesting as the actual cars (at least for me).
A working turnstile from the early 1930's. The bars are big, heavy wooden paddles. This type of turnstile was in use at the Wall Street station until the early 1990's.

Don't let Michael drive the subway!------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

An ad in honor of Pat Wade - 3-in-One Oil is now a WD-40 product. This ad was in a car from the 1930's.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To encourage use of the subway system, the stations were designed to be aesthetically pleasing. Tile workers created mosaics in every station - they are as beautiful today as they were in the early 1900's. The photo shows a typical station marker.
We ended our day in Brooklyn with a trip to Junior's, known for it's fabulous cheesecake. From the Junior's web site: Founded by Harry Rosen in 1950 Junior's landmark restaurant is known as the home of New York's best cheesecake. Well I don't know if I would call it the best in New York, but the cheesecake is pretty tasty. It has a cake layer on the bottom, instead of a hard crust. The cake just blends in with the cheesecake and makes it smooth and creamy every bite.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Met

Finally a weekend with no chores or other obligations. Saturday we decided to go The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met).

It's about a 10-15 minute walk from our apartment and Michael can get us in for free (what a great job perk).
We didn't realize it, but as an added bonus The Met is open until 9pm on Saturday (good info for any of you planning a trip to NYC in the near future).
The museum is huge and has an amazing array of collections. Everything from Greek and Egyptian antiquities to Tiffany silver and Craftsman furniture.
One of my favorite spots in the museum is the sculpture garden. It is located in a huge atrium towards the back of the museum. The windows across the back all face Central Park.
The first picture is a view of the atrium from above. There are lots of benches, it's a perfect spot to rest your feet and people watch. The nest photo is one of the sculptures in the garden, three very cute bears. I put it here for Karen in Seattle. It looks like it belongs in her backyard!
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------One of my favorite collections is the Arms and Armor. Their collection is so extensive. The full coats of armor are amazing. The details are so beautiful, but then you realize how heavy and stifling they must have been to wear.
Yet anopther another favorite display is the Frank Lloyd Wright designed living room. Many of the displays at The Met are very large. Entire living rooms, big statues, and Egyptian ruins. The collections at The Met are so diverse, there is something for everyone - but it can get really overwhelming.
The costume area has a fabulous clothing display right now - I could have spent hours looking at the closet of a New York socialite.
As a guilty pleasure, we ended the day with dinner at Chevy's Mexican Food in Times Square (not named for all of the good times people have there but for the NY Times newspaper, in case you were wondering). It was just as tasty as we remembered. Not the best Mexican food in SD, but the best in NYC. At least 95% of the people in there had to be tourists - and you could tell the bar tenders hated their jobs. At least one looked like she wanted to be on Broadway, but the Chevy's bar was as close as she could get.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Roxy Loves Catnip!

It's Friday night, time for rolling in the catnip.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Restaurant Week, Meal #3

Restaurant Week 2007 Lunch Menu $24.07
Appetizer Choice of:
Mixed Greens Salad
Pea Soup
Soup du Jour
Main Course Choice of:
Filet Mignon (12oz.)
Grilled Chicken Breast
Grilled Salmon
Dessert Choice of:
Bourbon Pecan Pie
Chocolate Mousse Cake
(Side Dishes, Beverages, Tax and Gratuity are not included.) (No Substitutions)

Restaurant Week 2007 Dinner Menu $35.00
Appetizer Choice of:
Mixed Greens Salad
Pea Soup
Soup du Jour
Main Course Choice of:
Filet Mignon (12oz.)
Grilled Chicken Breast
Grilled Salmon
Dessert Choice of:
Bourbon Pecan Pie
Chocolate Mousse Cake
(Side Dishes, Beverages, Tax and Gratuity are not included.) (No Substitutions)
Lunch is an amazing deal. Look at the menu, the lunch menu is exactly the same as the dinner menu.
We sat down to a huge basket of bread, with 4 different types of bread and flat bread.
I started with the pea soup and Michael had the salad. The soup of the day was chicken vegetable and our server let us know it was not their best. I didn't try the salad, but Michael liked the dressing and for a nice touch the plate had been chilled. I had the pea soup - it was thick and delicious with a hint of smoky ham.
We both had the filet (regular price $32 for the steak alone!). Both were cooked exactly as ordered. The meat was tender and very flavorful. We also shared a side order of creamed spinach, which was amazing. I think the best creamed spinach either of us have tasted. It was very pureed, had onion and garlic in the background. It was so creamy and delicious!
For dessert Michael had the cheesecake and I had the pecan pie. Both were huge pieces and very tasty. We ended up eating a few bites and getting our pie wrapped up to go.
I had read the service moves you out quickly, but we weren't hurried at all. It was a fabulous meal for an amazing price. Restaurant week started out a little slow, but Mesa Grill and Smith & Wollensky were great.
No more reservations this week - but dinner every night next week. Get ready stomach!

Restaurant Week, Dinner #2 - Mesa Grill

Appetizers for Dinner
SOPHIE'S CHOPPED SALAD with Her Own Special Dressing + Crispy Tortillas


GRILLED BLUE CORN "CUBANO" TACO with Roast Pork, Swiss Cheese, Tasso Ham, Pickled Jalapenos + Tomatillo Relish

Entre├ęs for Dinner
SIXTEEN SPICE CHICKEN with Mustard-Red Chile Gravy + Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes with Crispy Shallots

YELLOW CORN CRUSTED CHILE RELLENO filled with Acorn Squash, Goat Cheese + Sage with a Fig-Cascabel Chile Sauce

ANCHO CHILE-HONEY GLAZED SALMONwith a Spicy Black Bean Sauce + Roasted Jalapeno Crema

Desserts for Dinner

Smoked Vanilla + Toasted Pecan Flan

Chocolate Pudding Cake with Pineapple Tequila Granita
I had the chopped salad, 16 spice chicken, and the chocolate pudding cake.
Michael had the 'cubano' taco, the salmon, and the flan.
The salad was very tasty - it had kidney beans, garbanzo beans, jack cheese, olives, and tortilla strips. The dressing was really nice. I really enjoyed the salad, but Michael's starter was excellent. It was so different, a great combination of flavors and it had a great sauce.
Both the chicken and the salmon were excellent. The chicken was cooked to perfection. It was tender and so juicy. The spices on the chicken were very unique - it was almost sweet (cinnamon or cardamon) at the first taste and then it was spicy. The potatoes were amazing - with little fried scallions on top, like little onion rings. I didn't try the salmon, but I did try the black bean sauce - it was really tasty. The plating on the salmon was really nice - it had a couple of other sauces on each side and little dollops of the jalapeno cream.
The flan was the best flan we have ever tasted. It was very soft, almost like a creme brulee consistency and the combination of the vanilla and pecan flavors was so delicious. Michael had the flan (he doesn't like chocolate - and we had to try each dessert), he wasn't too excited by it when ordering, but...he ended up loving it and finishing the whole dessert. My chocolate cake was soft and gooey - a nice deep chocolate flavor. I liked the pineapple granita better - it was so light and delicious after a heavy meal.
I had a house margarita with dinner - it was excellent.
The restaurant was loud and bright. It had a fun vibe - definitely not intimate with low lighting. I was really excited about dinner here and we were not disappointed. In fact we both wanted to try the other dishes from the menu - we joked about ordering another meal with the soup, relleno, and the best flan ever!
Next in the belly - lunch at Smith & Wollensky.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Restaurant Week - Opening Night

Last night we had dinner at Thalassa - the first stop on our restaurant week eating fest.

Thalassa is high end Greek food, with an emphasis on fresh sea food.

They had 3 choices for starters, main course, and dessert for their restaurant week menu - and they were all nice selections.

We sat down and were immediately served a wonderful home made baba ganoush (an eggplant dip) and 2 types of fresh bread, and a bowl of Greek olives. (Yes, they provided a dish for the olive pits - for anyone who watches Top Chef.)

I started with a crab cake served with a delicious sauce and gigantic white beans that had an olive oil dressing. The crab cake was almost all crab and the sauce was really tasty. The beans were served cold but I liked them. It was a solid starter.

Michael started with a grilled octopus. It had a great flavor, but I didn't care for the texture. Michael really enjoyed it.

For dinner I had a pan fried sea bass served with beets and fingerling potatoes in a lobster sauce. The sauce was so delicious, it tasted like lobster bisque - the sauce made the dish. Michael didn't get so lucky - he had fish as well. It was grilled and served in a caper sauce with wilted greens. His fish had bones and the presentation just wasn't that nice. I lucked out last night.

For dessert he had a Greek doughnut - the flavor was good, fried dough with honey and sesame seeds, but some of the fritters were a little tough. I had a yogurt cake (basically a soft cheesecake) with raspberry sauce. The desserts were fine, but nothing outstanding.

The restaurant itself had a great ambiance. It was located in Tribecca (a pretty 'hip' neighborhood) and used to be a phyllo factory. It had really good lighting, lots of candles and soft/indirect light.

We probably won't go back - but it wasn't a waste of a night either.

Tonight is Mesa Grill - a Bobby Flay establishment. I looked at the menu and I want everything! I'm really excited.

Trixie and Sadie Take a Day Off

Apparently Trixie and Sadie decided to take a day off - Trixie didn't even show up to the office today and Sadie was up to watch the Oscar nominations live, but then left her reception desk (aka - the couch) and went in to lie down on the bed.

Luckily Blackjack and Beckham were able to fill in. Blackjack is working the reception desk and Beckham is office manager for the day.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Roxy has been on facilities duty all day - you can see her diligently making sure the radiator is working.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Restaurant Week

The next 2 weeks (Jan 22-26 and Jan 29- Feb 2) are restaurant week in NYC. 100's of restaurants in NYC offer lunch and dinner special menus. It's typically a slow time of year, so they try to promote tourism with great deals on food.

We have 8 reservations at some tasty places.

We start tonight at Thalassa, highly rated Greek food. Tomorrow night is Mesa Grill, one of Bobby Flay's restaurants. Wednesday we have the highly rated steakhouse Smith and Wollensky. We're taking Thursday and Friday off - Michael has a work event on Thursday.

Next week we have reservations every night. We start the week with Cuban food at Victor's Cafe, Tuesday night is Indian food at Devi, Wednesday is New American at Water's Edge (it's in Long Island City, you get there by water taxi and it has excellent views of NYC), Thursday is Mexican food at Rosa Mexicana, and we end the week at the famous 21 Club.

I'm most excited about Mesa Grill and 21 Club. We're both a little nervous about Rosa Mexicana - we hear it's the best Mexican food in the city, but they could be serving up duck carnitas!

I'll keep you all posted on the menu selections.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Iomega Manhattan

A typical day around the Iomega Manhattan Office.

Visitors are greeted by our friendly and chatty receptionist, Sadie

Office Manager Trixie makes sure everyone puts in a full day of work!

Beckham handles any IT support issues, "Did you try re-booting?"

Roxy tackles those tough facilities issues. In this photo we can see her hard at work making sure the radiator is putting out heat for the office.


Blackjack has retired from the daily grind. But occasionally he fills in for Trixie as Office Manager, someone has to make sure we are all hard at work. In this photo he is grooming at his work station. HR sent out a memo regarding personal grooming at your desk, I guess he didn't get a copy.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

My Chair

My desk chair has arrived (can you hear the choir of angels singing) - good bye metal stool with no back support, hello perfect chair.

Setting up the home office hasn't been easy. I need it to be functional, but I also want something stylish and I don't want to spend a ton of money. And space is a big consideration. In the office we need to have room for 2 desks, bookshelves and clothing storage.

The desks and bookshelves we used what we already had. For my clothing storage I had a dresser and we bought a simple (read cheap) wardrobe from IKEA. The missing piece was my desk chair.

I didn't want a big leather desk office chair - too much chair for me. I didn't want arms (they get in the way), I didn't want it to be fabric (cat hair magnet), and it needed to be very comfortable.

Michael went to so many furniture stores with me, on my quest for the perfect chair. Most of the time it was a quick sit down in the chair and I knew it wouldn't be comfortable for a day of work. Finally I found a chair that looked cool and was comfortable. In fact it was the only chair that I sat in and immediately said - this is a really comfortable chair.

Once I found the chair I had to think about it - was it really the right chair? Then I had to research it on the Internet and find the best price. Once I ordered the chair it was shipped from Germany and took 8 weeks for delivery. Finally last week my chair arrived! I LOVE it. It is so comfortable - exactly what I wanted.

Just in case you too need this chair, it is the Henry Miller EAMES Eiffel side chair. No arms, no fabric, stylish, and comfortable. The design has been around for something like 50 years. It is perfect - totally worth the wait.

Wake Up Call

Beckham, who is so cute, has developed a new little personality quirk.

Sometimes he is very, very hungry in the morning and wants to be served breakfast immediately. He doesn't jump on you or paw at your face (like some of the other cats). He comes in to the bedroom and screams. It is this bloodcurdling cat yowl that makes your heart pound. He is demanding that someone get up and feed him. Of course he doesn't eat crunchies, he has special canned kitten food. This cat has no control over his emotions.

Did you hear, his namesake is coming to play soccer for LA - for a huge amount of money.

I need to figure out how to make cat Beckham the mascot or special friend of the real Beckham. Cat Beckham is so handsome and he loves to play soccer - how can the real Beckham resist? I'm sure he would love to sponsor cat Beckham, so he can live in a manner that is appropriate for a cat of his beauty and talents.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Heat Wave

It was 70 degrees Saturday!

It was so nice outside. Michael and I walked around Central Park, enjoying the sunshine and warm weather. The park was packed - just about everyone in the City was enjoying the sunshine.

We watched the turtles swimming in the turtle pond. Usually the pond is frozen solid this time of year - what happens to the turtles when the ice freezes? Around all of the ponds in Central Park there are signs that warn you to watch out for thin ice. They all look really silly, considering there is no ice to be found.

The only New Yorker that I hear complaining about the weather is Michael. He likes the cold and snow and blizzards. Lots of people are talking about global warming - but I know, it's just Mother Nature being kind to me.

I'm sure there is snow on the way - but I'll take as many 70 degree days as I can get.

On another weather note - did you know this is the first time since the 1880's that New York didn't get any snow in the month of December. I saw it on the news. Merry Christmas to me!

The holidays were great, back in California for Christmas and then a pretty mellow but fun New Year's in NYC. Now it's back to work (year and close - yuck) and getting ready for Disney World in February!