Friday, August 14, 2009

east village night

Had a fun night with the ladies tonight. It was very much an East Village date night: dinner, dessert, wine and then dancing. But enjoying it with girl friends was exponentially more stress-free and fun.

We kicked the night off at Porchetta, which is much beloved for its sandwich that envelopes unctuous chunks of deep fried pork in a crisp ciabatta roll. We opted for the porchetta plate ($14), which we hoped would be served the way Filipino restaurants serve lechon kawali—a plate overflowing with pieces of pork topped with crispy skin. We didn't expect rice and a little cup with a mixture of soy sauce, vinegar and crushed garlic on the side, but we were expecting loads of pork. So you can imagine our disappointment when we got this:

We were sad to see the plate with a handful of pork and loads of greens and beans. Three pieces of pork skin, really? Sad, sad, sad ... our spirits were lifted a little when we tasted the flavorful pork and each had one piece of crisp fried skin. But alas, this does not hold a candle to the Filipino lechon kawali, unfortunately ... The crispy potato wedges sprinkled with the burnt ends of the porchetta ($6) were very nice though, as was the fresh heirloom cherry tomato salad. A nice meal, but we were still left craving grease-loaded Filipino comfort food. Next time ...

Afterward, we walked over to Momofuku Milk Bar. Ludette and I had been talking about coming here for a long time so we were definitely excited.

Having heard so much about the soft serve ice cream, I had to have some. I picked the cereal milk flavor which uncannily enough tastes like, um, cereal milk (doh). $4.15 is a wee bit pricey for a small cup of soft serve but cereal milk is an unusual flavor to come by so I suppose it's warranted.

The revelation, though, was this cookie which is quite possibly THE best cookie I've had in my entire life:

This is the cornflake chocolate chip marshmallow cookie. Biting into it, you first experience a pleasant crunch, followed by a fun gooeyness of melted marshmallow, capped off with a beautifully chewy cookie. It's not overly sweet, even for one with a very passive sweet tooth like myself. I've never eaten more than 3 cookies in one sitting in my entire life, but if any cookie can push me over the 3-piece mark, it's this one.

For drinks we ended up at Ten Degrees, where we shared a bottle of Montepulciano and eventually this plate of crostinis:

It's a rather unexpected taste, even though you know exactly what's in it: sauteed wild mushrooms splashed with Thai chili and drizzled with coconut milk atop a crisp crostini. I'm always surprised when a non-Asian establishment serves up an Asian-inspired dish with serious heat. Lovely. Might want to have it again.

After wine, it was off to Lava Gina (yeah, we're still arguing about how that's pronounced) to listen to a co-worker's band perform and watch a roomful of couples salsa the evening away. Must definitely come back with a dancing partner next time!

In all a wonderful East Village night. Now off to sleep and *fingers crossed* wake up with no trace of a hangover. Nightey night!

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