Fraunces Tavern

Finally got a chance to eat at Fraunces Tavern in lower Manhattan the other day. In my book Homegrown Terror I describe George Washington and Benjamin Tallmadge's farewell there in 1783. It was touching scene, of a sort that Benedict Arnold never knew. What I didn't know until a few weeks ago was that it was also the site of a terrorist attack in 1975, a bombing that killed four people and injured fifty others.

Bryant Park

Had coffee and read a book in Bryant Park, behind the New York Public Library, recently.

The view is spectacular, but what separates this park from others is the Ping-Pong tables, the chess boards, and the reading room, where you can check in and read newspapers or books in the actual park.

I had a relaxing afternoon in this gem of a park - a model for what Connecticut might do with its greens and parks with a little effort.

Coney Island Baby

Amy and I visited Coney Island the other day, and pretty much did all the classic Coney Island activities, starting with lunch at Nathan' dogs and cheese fries.

We walked out to the end of the pier, we visited the aquarium (still in bad shape after Hurricane Sandy), we rode the Cyclone, and we rode the giant ferris wheel.

We also went to the side show (below), as a sort of homage to Tom Thumb. It was actually an entertaining little show - fire eating, sword swallowing, nails "driven" into the nose, eating a balloon, juggling knives...and best of all, Amy getting taken up on stage for an act where they ran electricity through her and lit a torch from her finger, and then her tongue. Boy, what I would give for a photo of that (but none were allowed).

Coney Island is not what it once was, I'm told, but what is? The creepy guy (below) still rules over a kingdom of fun and sun, right in the heart of old New York.

Rivermarket, Tarrytown

Dinner at RiverMarket, in Tarrytown, New York - with a view of the Tappan Zee bridge.

Delicious lobster bisque (above) and gnocchi (below).

These Italian dumplings were delicious, and Amy even liked the candied lemon rind on top (but I didn't).

This pork belly was done just right, though I was already a little too full from the gnocchi "appetizer."

Totally solid restaurant - and a fine place to stop (you'll need a GPS to find it) if you're in Tarrytown. Those of you in the City can take the train - the park and restaurant are right next to the station.

Kalbi House, White Plains

Went across the border to Kalbi House in White Plains the other day. Their selection of small dishes they bring everyone (above) was top notch. Amy says the best kim-chi she's ever had.

The bibimbob in the hot pot (above) was an average dish of its sort, but their homemade gochujang that went with it (and the dish below) was excellent.

I had the Hwe Dup Bob (above), which was like a collection of sushi pieces, salad, seaweed, and such, that you ate also with red pepper paste. A fascinating combination that I would have never thought of. Overall, this was a solid Korean restaurant that I would go to again if I was ever in White Plains.

The Flying Chicken

Stopped for lunch at The Flying Chicken in Troy, New York, last week. The fried chicken was quite tasty, and the macaroni and cheese was simply fantastic - one of the best I've had that I haven't made myself.

Amy liked the fried dill pickles, although I wasn't such a big fan. She also had biscuits and gravy, also delicious. Overall an excellent lunch stop. They probably get a lot of crazy business when Rennsalear is in session, but during the summer it was very casual.

Davidson Brothers Brewery

Had dinner at the Davidson Brothers Brewery in Glens Falls, New York, recently.

I was quite taken with the fried green beans and chipotle dipping sauce.

And the peanut butter pie was also delicious.

How was the beer? Also good. In fact, we drank it too fast and forgot to take photos of it! I especially enjoyed their porter. Not enough porter is made. I have loved it ever since trying Yuengling porter back in the day. Make more porter. That is my request.

The Hyde Collection

Stopped in Glens Falls, New York at the Hyde Collection to see the Georgia O'keefe exhibit. Great house with nice works, and a fine little space to have temporary exhibits. The Florence Griswold Museum just got its space for these sorts of exhibits, and I think the Hillstead Museum in Farmington should go in the same direction.

Fette Sau

While in Brooklyn, I stood in line for two hours to eat the fantastic barbecue of Fette Sau.


The sausage was good, the brisket was amazing, and the pork cheek was fantastic.

Also tried their duck, which was very good, though I still think the one my wife and I make is better.

Would I spend two hours again? I don't think so. There are other barbecue/smokehouse places in Connecticut that are nearly as good, and with certain items are just as good. I mean, Uncle Willie's comes to mind immediately. Maybe the brisket at Fette Sau was better, but the ribs at Willie's are unearthly, and I don't have to wait two hours. So, I'm glad I went, but let me tell you New Yorkers, you don't know what you are missing as far as barbecue. And I'm very sure there are better ones around the United States, but Fette Sau's location in the center of the universe (according to some) gives it an advantage that put it higher on the list than it should be.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Had a great time hanging out in Williamsburg the other day. Especially the oysters and Chablis and visiting the local biergarten.

We enjoyed the hipsters, especially since I had just read Joe Mande's  Look at that F@#$$% Hipster.

I thought that the mannequin with the horse head was a particularly nice touch.



Roger, Subhash, and I got reservations for Takashi in Manhattan, which I had seen on the Anthony Bourdain show, and was very excited to try out.

I'm not usually a fan of sea urchin eggs, but in this case they were delicious!

Beef tartare with quail egg...

This was obscene...foie gras stuffed kobe burger drowned in bubbling hot chocolate sauce.

Steamed beef shank buns...

Cow's testicles in escargot sauce (garlic butter and pesto).

Squid ink rice and miso-marinated sweetbreads on a magnolia leaf, with spicy yuzu aioli.

Bone marrow and crawfish dumplings...

Pieces of beef heart that we grilled ourselves and dipped in delightful sauces.

Freshly made sausage - kobe beef inside an intestine, grilled in front of us.

Achilles tendon...

The most vanilla ice cream I've ever had. Keep up the great work, Takashi.